Fix Anything with Duct Tape

Duct tape fixes anything

Duct tape fixes

It’s been crazy busy with the kids out of school for the summer. Who knew summer school and dance classes were all consuming, this post has been in the works since Mother’s Day.

After Mother’s Day lunch, my family planned to take pictures at the local portrait studio. Unfortunately, my black dress picked up lint from the napkin during lunch and I didn’t have a lint roller in the car.

Since we were going to Sears Portrait Studio, I made a quick detour into the hardware department, searched for the duct tape and for under $2 including tax I was able to de-lint my dress.

Here are some other useful ways to use duct tape around the house.

  • Reattach the tips of the foam swords for the kids (my nephew wrapped duct tape around the entire sword to make it silver)
  • Fix frayed seatbelt edge so the metal part slides up and down the seatbelt easily (ummm…get a new car is on the list of things to do)
  • Reseal bags of chips, when the chip clip isn’t enough
  • Repair a shower curtain grommet

How are you using duct tape? Share any tips you have in the comments.

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Tackling the Toy Box

Does your child have an overflowing toy box full of toys they no longer use? The assortment of stuffed animals, favorite toys, McDonalds freebies, odds and ends of different game pieces become too much to stuff into the box and the floor or the entire closet becomes a big junk pile.

Here’s what we do to help keep the toy box from becoming another disaster area.

Tools needed:

  • Laundry basket
  • 2 Garbage bags (one bag for trash and the other for things to donate)
  • Kitchen timer or cell phone to countdown time


  • Set your timer for 30 minutes
  • Have your child pick out 10 of their favorite toys and have them put them in the laundry basket. Tell them it’s a game to finish cleaning out the toy box before the timer goes off. Let them know which bag is which and start organizing.
  • Have your kids put additional toys they are keeping into the laundry basket
  • Throw all toys missing arms, legs, or games which are missing so many pieces it’s unplayable in the garbage bag labeled trash.
  • Throw all toys your child has outgrown in the donate bag, these toys should be in fairly good condition.
  • After the timer goes off, haul the garbage bag with trash into the garbage can. Take the bag to donate and put it in the car so it can be taken to your local donation station. Move all the toys your kids are keeping back into the toy box.

To keep the toy box from becoming overrun with toys going forward, have your child pick a toy to donate every time they get a new one.

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Give Your Books Away

I start my days reading my latest book for about 30 minutes or catching up on my favorite blogs online. I am an avid reader so I read for pleasure, personal development, and business in no particular order. I find the more I read, the more open my mind becomes and helps ideas flow freely. The side effect of this is a ton of books, some of which I’ve sold through Amazon or given away to friends.

Today, I read a the Freestyle Mind blog where this guy is giving away 43 personal development books on his blog and shipping them for free. Yes a small expense on his part, however, he not only is cleaning out his space, he is also paying forward some of the knowledge which could be gleaned from these books. In this spirit, we are giving away a book to save you time and automate your life. As I clean out my place, I will be posting more books I’m giving away.

If you are interested, please do some of the following:

  • Let us know you would like The 4 Hour Workweek in the comments. We will select a reader at random.
  • Become a Fan of Hand Things Down on Facebook to be notified of new articles or give aways.
  • Remember to use your real email address, that way I’ll be able to contact you if you win.
  • I don’t ask anything in return and I will ship in the United States for free.
  • You have time until midnight of April 15 2010 UTC+2 to make your submission.

Here are a few tips to help you keep your personal library more manageable:

  • Get your favorite books from the library, use their online system to browse and put a hold on your selections. This is a great way to give you deadlines on when to finish a book because you have to return it.
  • If you have a Kindle, Kindle for PC, or Kindle for iPhone/Blackberry, buy the Kindle edition of the book to save money and trees.
  • If you have another e-reader download the e-book version to save space and have your books with you every where you go.
  • Trade books with friends, post a status message on Facebook or Tweet you’re done with your book and ask who wants it next.

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Moving: Opportunity for Spring Cleaning

Since I’m moving at the end of the month, I thought, this is a great opportunity to edit what I have in my life and dress more like a grown up. Last night, I started the process by going through my closet and asking myself a few questions. I also told myself, pretend its not yours so I don’t end up keeping stuff that I am attached to for whatever reason. Obviously, if the answer is no to any of these questions, I threw it on the bed in either the donate or trash pile.

  • Do I LOVE it?
  • Does it fit?
  • Does it look good on me today? This one was hard, just cause you can put it on doesn’t necessarily mean you should wear it.
  • Is it from Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, or Wet Seal? If yes, get rid of it unless its just a tank or a long tee. I’ve discovered I love long sleeve tees and have about 10 of them, mostly in black, white, or gray.
  • Is it a screen printed tee? Again this was hard, cause I love my smartass shirts, I made myself part with a lot of them.
  • Have I worn it in the last month?
  • Does it fit my new personal style?

I made a good dent in my closet, now I have to repeat for shoes and accessories. It’s amazing how much more space I have in my drawers. I have to go back to the buy something, get rid of something else philosophy to prevent myself from becoming a packrat.

Closet - AFTER more space

Closet AFTER photo

All coats, dresses, and shirts hang together by color. Makes it easy when almost everything is black.

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New Uses for Old Things

Cupcake tin with lid

Use cupcake tin with lid to store beads, small craft supplies, or jewelry

If you’re anything like the average parent, the usefulness for certain things quickly diminish as your kids get older. When the kids are in grade school, it seemed the cupcake carrier got put to use almost monthly for birthdays, bake sales, or play dates. With everyone becoming more health conscious, we’ve turned the cupcake carrier into an organizer for beads. The lid keeps all the beads from spilling everywhere when we move it from the closet to the kitchen table. Here is a list of new uses to recycle some of your things:

  • Reuse the cupcake carrier to store beads, small craft supplies, or jewelry.
  • Reuse empty wine bottles to preserve the shape of your boots by slipping the bottles into each boot.
  • Reuse wire hangers from the dry cleaners as ribbon holders – untwist the wire hanger, slip on spools of ribbon, then re-twist the hanger. Hang it back up in the crafting closet to make it easier to see all the different ribbon, organize the hangers by color.

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