When I recently asked a friend what she couldn’t live without in her home, she answered “the washer and dryer.”
This is true, I agreed, but I was thinking more along the lines of little things that make life easier. Like those colorful bag clips that help keep Veggie Stix, assorted cereals and noodles fresh.
Or the masking tape dispenser I store on a shelf in the back hall closet. It’s so heavy that it doesn’t move when I pull off a strip of tape, without having to use my other hand to hold it in place.
I, too, am fortunate to have a washer and dryer, but below are some of my much smaller – and less expensive – happy finds:
• Bottle brush. This brush is the ticket for cleaning our single serve smoothie blender, stainless insulated food jars and other bottles. The round head is big enough, the handle long enough and I can run it through the dishwasher.
• Lint-free kitchen towels. I have had my all-cotton white towels for years and, frankly, I can’t remember where I even bought them. I think they are called flour sack towels, and they came in a set of three or so. I use them for drying dishes and polishing wine glasses. They are soft and smooth and easily laundered. The only problem is that I am forever reminding my family that these towels are not hand towels! That’s what the terry towels are for, people.
• Sharpies. A Sharpie permanent marker is a handy thing. I’m happy with black, although they come in many colors. I also use a Sharpie pen (different than the permanent marker) for making lists. Which I do all the time.
• Electric pencil sharpener. Yes, there is room in my life for Sharpies and pencils. Sharpened pencils, that is. I use the pencils for balancing my checkbook. My daughter prefers mechanical pencils for homework – and wonders why I don’t enter the 21st century. I tell her I prefer my old #2s, thank you. Maybe I can trace this back to my elementary school days, when a pack of new pencils at the beginning of the school year was just the best. Or maybe they remind me of my grandmother, who used them to do her crossword puzzles. Of course, being the frugal woman she was, she would sharpen, reuse, sharpen and reuse that pencil until it was sharpened down to about an inch.
• Label maker. While I admit I have backed off some from my labeling habit, my label maker has a special place in my desk – and my heart. These days, however, I realize that one does not need to see a label with “dust rags” printed on it to be able to identify what’s in the plastic basket it’s attached to. I’m just happy when someone in the family grabs a rag to dust the dining room table or piano.
• Suction hooks. First came one pack of stretchy headbands in various colors. Then another. Then they began to pile up on the vanity in our daughter’s bathroom – white, black, navy, green. One day a couple years ago, while wandering the aisles at a home-improvement store, I saw some clear suction hooks. Now three of them are stuck to the tiled wall behind the bathroom door – and it is here where those headbands hang.
Most of the time.