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Christmas is over and the new year is fast approaching! All that’s left is a few extra pounds and what’s left over from Christmas day and its build up. We’ve recognised that it’s this time of year where waste rises considerably more, so we’ve put together some ways for you to spend the post-Christmas period sustainably and guilt free.

1. Gift wrapping

  • Re use your leftover gift wrapping for another present later on in the year. If your paper has been teared in awkward places or has rips, simply` trim them along the edges when it comes to re-wrapping and fold over the areas which may not look as neat. If you are left with a smaller piece than you originally had after first wrapping, use it for a future gift which is smaller, such as accessories or jewellery which don’t take up too much space.
  • One of the best ways to sustainably gift your presents is to present them in gift bags. They can be used over and over again and don’t require any additional effort like folding and sticking. The same can apply to bows and foils which may have also been used to decorate your gift. If you wish to dedicate 2019 to the year of recycling to the max then be sure to try out giving gifts in gift bags from now on – not only does it look as fabulous as gift wrapping paper, but also encourages other people to pass them on and re use them too!
  • Another reason to not throw away your leftover Christmas wrapping paper is to use them for crafts. Pretty patterned or coloured wrapping papers have many other uses. For example, say you have some pretty gold wrapping paper left over – use it to cut out stars which you could be used to decorate cards and more. You could even use your favourite patterned ones the following year and DIY your own baubles by placing it in a clear ball. However, if your wrapping paper is particularly christmassy (with snowmans or reindeers), there’s no harm in storing it neatly for next year to save you some cash – and it doesn’t take up much space!

2. Recycling your tree

The time has come to take your Christmas tree down – it has done its job of embellishing your home all season, witnessed family coming together and the joy that comes with it. Along with the responsibility taken on when buying your tree, recycling it is also an important part of keeping sustainable over the Christmas period.

  • If you have an artificial tree be sure to keep it for as long as possible as it’s made out of plastic PVC which is incredibly difficult to decompose. According to the Carbon Trust, “you would have to reuse your artificial tree for at least 10 Christmases to keep its environmental impact lower than that of a real tree”. In order to store it away for the following year, we would advise cleaning it branch by branch to remove accumulated dust before storing it in its box. When storing it, avoid places which are too wet to better preserve the tree and the colors of the branches.
  • If you have a natural fir tree this is definitely the more ecological option in comparison.

– If you have already bought and used a tree which has been  cut at the root then it would have already dried out and can not be replanted. Make sure it does not end up in a landfill as they can take up a lot of space and the tree produces methane gas as it decomposes, an incredibly potent greenhouse gas.

– The most ecological way to dispose of it would be to recycle it – this can be done in multiple ways. The most obvious would be to put it next to your recycling bin for it to be collected, however there are many local councils which have tree collection points to ensure that as many trees are recycled at possible. Make sure to check your local council’s website for more information.

– You can also reduce your carbon footprint by turning your tree into wood chip for your outdoor areas or drying it out completely and using it as wood for your winter fires.

  • The ideal way of loving the planet you live in is by growing your own tree. Buying a pot grown tree means that you’ll be able to re plant it’s roots in your garden for the following year. The only downside is that your tree must not be kept indoors for longer than 12 days as there is a risk of them dying. However, Fir trees are very resistant plants so once re planted their root systems will get back into action rapidly, allowing them to flourish again for the following year. They need very little attention over the year, just make sure to keep watering it well.

Alternatively, should you not want to buy an actual tree, there are lots of ideas of how to make your own tree out of fun materials here.

3. Food waste

Although it’s certain that we love to eat our hearts out over the Christmas period, a lot of it still goes to waste. According to WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), UK households throw away £15 billion worth of food over the entire year, generating tonnes of avoidable greenhouse emissions. 

Here are a few seasonal tips on the best way to try and prevent it:

  • With your leftover turkey (or chicken) carcass, boil it into a soup that will last you for weeks.
  • Leftover fruit can be blended together into smoothies. If you have grapes with your cheese board, they can be frozen to go with drinks or by themselves – they taste like sorbet!
  • If you use Stilton cheese it can also be frozen for future cooking.
  • Cooked turkey can be blended for turkey mince or frozen for a later date.
  • Whip any leftover cream and freeze it.
  • Christmas cake can also be frozen. Top tip – pre slice and wrap it in greaseproof paper to save you from de freezing the whole thing if you just want a slice. 😉
  • Get inventive with leftover sauces, meats and herbs and turn them into whichever pies, curries and sandwiches take your fancy!

4. Old toys

Whilst the kids are off playing with their new toys after Christmas, there is a chance that they could reject their old ones. Its normal for kids to like the latest trends as they come, so if you find that your child isn’t playing with a toy that father christmas got them a few christmases ago, don’t throw it away. Instead you could:

  • Give it a new life with another child by donating it to friends and family who may want them. If this isn’t an option, charity shops or giving them to your local council will most likely take them. You could even give them to a place of worship, sometimes churches and synagogues take in toys for their community – whether you’re religious or not! There’s always a way, you can be sure that another child will thank you 🙂
  • If possible, give old toys a makeover. For example, should you have an old toy shop which has become worn and torn, revamp it with a lick of new paint or some extra nuts and bolts. It’ll soon be as if it was brand new!
  • If you have a board game which has some pieces missing or even a pack of cards don’t have any aces… recycle them and get back that cupboard space.

 

We hope you’ve picked out some useful top tips and inspiration, don’t forget to make sure to love the planet in the same way that you have shown love to your friends and family this holiday season!

 

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We all have those objects in our house that we hide at the bottom of the cupboard, objects with stains so ingrained we start to think maybe it’s always been that way, objects we don’t even try to fully clean anymore. Well, it’s time for a change. These 10 cleaning tips will have your things sparkling new again, and loads of them can be accomplished with simple household items!

1. Chopping boards

Lemon and salt works wonders on chopping boards. You can either mix the two together in a bowl, and rub this solution on with a wet sponge, or you can place salt directly onto the board and rub the lemon over it until the juice comes out. Once done, rinse, dry, and voila!

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2. Copper pots

Copper pots looking more brown? Sprinkle salt on the surface, add vinegar, and rub with a wet sponge until the original colour returns.

10 Simple Cleaning Tips To Make Old Things Look New thehandymano the handy mano manomano mano diy do it yourself tips and tricks  copper pots

3. Oven trays

If you want to remove the grease from your oven tray, mix hydrogen peroxide with baking soda until it becomes a paste. Cover the entire tray, let it sit for half an hour, then wash.

10 Simple Cleaning Tips To Make Old Things Look New thehandymano the handy mano manomano mano diy do it yourself tips and tricks  baking tray before after cleaning

4. Carpets

We all have carpet stains from one time or another. To get rid of stains, mix vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray onto the stain, cover with a damp cloth, then turn your iron to steam mode and run this over for 30 seconds.

10 Simple Cleaning Tips To Make Old Things Look New thehandymano the handy mano manomano mano diy do it yourself tips and tricks  spray bottle stain carpet

5. White trainers

Are your favourite trainers more grey than white? Mix 125ml of white vinegar with 60g of baking soda. Apply this to your shoes with an old toothbrush, and rub the entire surface thoroughly. When done, dry them carefully with a cloth, and enjoy your new trainers!

10 Simple Cleaning Tips To Make Old Things Look New thehandymano the handy mano manomano mano diy do it yourself tips and tricks  shoes clean toothbrush baking soda

6. Towels

To get new feeling fluffy towels, rinse them in salty water after a regular wash. After this, leave them to dry outside.

10 Simple Cleaning Tips To Make Old Things Look New thehandymano the handy mano manomano mano diy do it yourself tips and tricks  fluffy towels

7. Glasses

Glasses can take on a more opaque tone after years of use. To get them transparent again, soak them in a container of vinegar and let them sit. Once soaked, simply remove and wash.

10 Simple Cleaning Tips To Make Old Things Look New thehandymano the handy mano manomano mano diy do it yourself tips and tricks  glasses tumbler

8. Frying pan

With a concoction of just baking soda and water, your frying pan will be looking sparkling and new. Let the solution sit for a few hours, then rub thoroughly with the soft part of a sponge.

10 Simple Cleaning Tips To Make Old Things Look New thehandymano the handy mano manomano mano diy do it yourself tips and tricks  cleaning frying pan sponge

9. Aluminium pots

Add a little oil and alcohol to a cotton ball, and rub this over the surface. This should get rid of rust and dirt, you can even add a little citrus juice to be sure!

10 Simple Cleaning Tips To Make Old Things Look New thehandymano the handy mano manomano mano diy do it yourself tips and tricks  aluminium pan cleaning cotton ball dirt

10. Between your tiles

Hot water and vinegar will give you your shiny floors back.

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We hope we helped to show you some new cleaning tricks (although no doubt your grandma knew them all already!) If you’re still in cleaning mode, we have plenty of other articles to help you get your house spotless while saving on the labour!

10 Quick and Easy House Cleaning Tips

Clever Cleaning Tricks for Hard to Reach Places

 

It can be tough to keep your house clean and tidy constantly, but having a good organisation system in place really reduces how messy things become (and therefore the amount of work you have to do!) Some ingenious people have come up with these tricks for organising your home, and we’re going to share them with you!

1. Wardrobe organisation

To store multiple items, hook a chain over your hanger, and use the other spaces on the chains to create layered storage. Tip: if you don’t have a chain, the same thing can be achieved with the top piece from a can of fizzy drink!

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For handy belt storage, why not try using curtain rings?

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2. Clothes pins

Clothes pins organise little things very well, from gloves and hats, to holding your car keys.

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You could attach your clothes pins with a wire and screws, or for a faster option, simply stick some command strips to the back of the pins.

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3. Shoe organisers are your best friend

Shoe organisers can hang on the inside of cupboard doors, keeping them out of sight (they’re practical, but they’re not the prettiest!)

10 Clever Ways of Organising your Home the handy mano handymano manomano mano diy do it yourself projects home improvement organisation tips tricks hacks tidy shoe organiser door

 

Don’t be restricted by the name, you can use your organiser to store anything – ties, hats, underwear, even cables and cords that may become tangled elsewhere.

10 Clever Ways of Organising your Home the handy mano handymano manomano mano diy do it yourself projects home improvement organisation tips tricks hacks tidy shoe organiser door

 

4. Get some chalkboard paint

Chalkboard paint is a great organisation tool! You can paint the tops of lids, changing up the writing according to what’s inside. You could also paint the inside of cupboard doors as a handy place to write down things you need to remember.

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5. Pegboard storage

Pegboards can be great organisers all over the house. You can use large boards to display custom items, or a smaller board on the inside of a cupboard door. They’re cheap, easy to install, and give you a customisable space.

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6. So much tension

Tension rods are a great way to organise your things. You can place them vertically, and use them as cupboard dividers.

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Used horizontally they can hold your spray bottles

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…or  even spices.

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7. Kitchen roll holders

These can be used for little things around your kitchen that otherwise get lost, such as cookie cutters.

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8. Stick a pin in it

Use a thumbtack to attach cardboard boxes to the inside of cupboard doors, meaning easier access to things like sealable plastic bags.

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9. Magazine holders

Like kitchen roll holders, these are multifunctional, and can be great organisational tools.

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10. Binder clips for your freezer

These will not only keep your food from spilling everywhere, but will allow for space-conscious storage!

10 Clever Ways of Organising your Home the handy mano handymano manomano mano diy do it yourself projects home improvement organisation tips tricks hacks tidy binder clips freezer

If these images made you jump up and start organising your house (or maybe not jump… maybe just write them down in a notepad for a later date when you’ll DEFINITELY do them), why not check out some of our other articles? If you live in a small space, these handy tips and tricks will help you optimise your space. Want a clean house? These 10 expert cleaning hacks will make your life a little easier!

Wondering how to get rid of bed bugs completely? Despite the name ‘bed’ bugs, these little suckers can get EVERYWHERE. Once they’ve infested your home, they can be a huge pain to get rid of – but it can be done, we promise! You’ll have to attack them from all angles, but with a steamer in one hand and an aerosol spray in the other, you’ll be able to free yourself of bed bugs at long last.

Step 1:

Declutter!

Get out anything you don’t need, and remember that everything remaining will need to be treated. Take linens and clothes and bag these up. Be sure you’re not transporting the bed bugs through your house, spreading the infestation. Wrap everything tightly and take it straight to the washer, running it on a high heat in order to exterminate the bugs.

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Personal items like stuffed toys can be put into air tight bags with velour strips. Remember to remove any wall fixings to allow you to access the space behind and around these.

Step 2:

Search

Find the right products for each area of the house and spray, spray, spray. Leave no nook untouched, no mattress unturned. Bed bug kits are often the most economical way of purchasing all the things you’ll need, and be prepared to try various different methods. One will often not be enough – you’ll need to attack the bed bugs from all angles.
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Bed bug traps are great for the feet of beds and sofas. This will stop them in their tracks, leaving them unable to infect the fabric. When going around the room, don’t forget lamps, table tops, the edges of carpets, the wall to the skirting board, and door and window frames. A bed bug steamer is a great product to use. Take your time with this, as it must be directly in contact with the bed bug to work. This is a great option if you can’t or don’t want to use pesticides.

Step 3:

Second attack

Go back in with a strong insecticide once your first round of bed bug spray is totally dry. A straw applicator will allow you to reach into the nooks and crannies – being sure to hit bed frames, picture frames, walls  and cracks.

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Upholstered furniture should be sprayed, with extra attention to the seams. Spraying skirting boards and the space underneath will help prevent the infestation spreading. When treating the mattress, remember to be treating it in its entirety: box springs, mattress, the frame, folds, corners, screw holds and even the internal areas of the box springs. It’s an idea to encase each part in a bed bug proof encasement cover, to prevent re-infestation.

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Step 4:

Bed bug powder

Bed bug powder can be applied to skirting boards, between mattresses and box springs, headboards, wall fixtures, under furniture, behind light switches and behind drawers. The great thing about powder is it will last for a much longer time than an aerosol spray.

As well as the powder, you may want to keep a live bed bug spray with you. That way you can whip it out and spray down any live bugs that dare to cross your path.

Step 5:

Prevent re-infestation

Washing your linens and clothes before they return to the room is a must, but it’s also highly advisable to keep washing them regularly on a high heat. For things that can’t be washed, there are special bags that you can contain them in for a while until the bugs die, or you can opt for heaters.

 how to get rid of bed bugs exterminate infestation do it yourself diy the handymano handy mano mano pest control cycle of a bedbug

And now to repeat!! Never underestimate the sneakiness of bed bugs. You’ll need to repeat the above steps every week to ten days, until there’s no evidence of the bugs, and no fresh blood. This can take a minimum of 7-8 weeks.

 

We hope this helps you kick out those unwanted guests. Having a problem with spiders too? Luckily, we have a guide for how to oust those too. Sick of reading about pests and want to get out of the house? Build yourself a simple hammock and take a well earned relax

 

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Having an organised and tidy kitchen makes life that little bit easier. Gone are the days where you’d walk around in fury, tipping over pots and pans and complaining that you can never find anything, and asking yourself who put the pots and pans back in the cupboard that way because it certainly was not you. Those times are a thing of the past, just take a look at our small kitchen storage solutions.

10 Small Kitchen Storage Solutions

1. Have a good wine

Use T shaped mouldings attached to the top of a cupboard keeps your wine glasses organised and accessible.

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2. Bag it up

Use an old tissue box to keep your bags in. Lay them lengthways, shortest side to shortest side, with a slight overlap. Roll this up, and then tuck your rolled up bags into the tissue box. Tip: You can attach this to the inside of a cupboard door for easy access.

Small Kitchen Storage Solutions the handymano handy mano mano manomano storage hacks kitchen life hacks home clean tidy wine storage easy simple tissue box plastic

3. Keep it spicy

Organise your spices by using a metal sheet and a frame. Simply put the sheet into the frame (you could even paint it) and then attach strong magnets to the lids of some small jars. These will then stick to your spice organiser!

Small Kitchen Storage Solutions the handymano handy mano mano manomano storage hacks kitchen life hacks home clean tidy wine storage easy simple magnetic spice rack

This is totally customisable, you can put on any frame or leave it out entirely. The metal can be painted any colour. If you can’t get your hands on a sheet of metal, a pizza tray or other metal tray (or even just your fridge) will work just as well.

Small Kitchen Storage Solutions the handymano handy mano mano manomano storage hacks kitchen life hacks home clean tidy wine storage easy simple magnetic spice rack

4. Under zip and lock

Keep manuals for your sink, oven and other appliances in sealable plastic bags, and hook these over a c hook at the back of a cupboard. When you want to find something, it’ll all be together.

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5. Great rack

Use closet racks at an angle to keep tinned goods in order. Screw in at the front, and leave to rest against the back of the cupboard

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6. Cold as ice

Keep your freezer organised by tipping magazine holders sideways, and putting them in. It’s as simple as that, and you have mini shelves!

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7. Open sesame

With a little DIY, you can open up your ‘unopened’ cupboards for some sneaky extra storage space.

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8. Spare the rod

Use a curtain rod to keep your pot lids organised. You can set this up inside the cupboard for neatness. No curtain rod? A tension rod will work great too.

Small Kitchen Storage Solutions the handymano handy mano mano manomano storage hacks kitchen life hacks home clean tidy wine storage easy simple curtain rod lids organised

9. Shelf-ception

Keep your cupboards organised by loading smaller shelves inside.

Small Kitchen Storage Solutions the handymano handy mano mano manomano storage hacks kitchen life hacks home clean tidy simple organised clean shelves in cupboard

 

10. Put a lid on it

Keep your lids organised and tidy by installing a magazine holder on the inside of a cupboard.

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We hope these small kitchen storage solutions will help you keep it organised, and save you a little sanity. Looking for more hacks? Try our other articles below:

12 Easy Tricks To Fix Broken Stuff

8 Clever and Simple Kitchen Hacks