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I’ve been working on this post in my head for months. Every time I do or use something here in my home that I love or can’t do without, I have thought about this post. It isn’t written to endorse any particular brand, although that’s invariably going to happen just because sometimes it’s a particular brand that does the job just the way I want it done. If I really prefer that brand, I’ll mention it in this post, otherwise, I’ll just use generic terms and not a brand name. Oh, and all the things I’ve mentioned (except one) are readily available in most hardware stores or online.
Join In: Impromptu Linky Party
I want to know what you can’t live without in your home! I added InLinkz to the end of this post so you can link up a post sharing what you can’t live without. This post will be up all weekend, so join in and share your favorite go to products or ideas!
If you don’t blog, no problem. Just leave a comment with your “have-to-have” products/items. I have my pen and paper ready…I’m going to jot some down to try. Can’t wait to hear!
So, here’s my list…items I use every day in my home that I’d sorely miss if they weren’t available:
Floor Protector/Furniture Leg Pads: Since all the rooms in my home (except two) have hardwood flooring, I use these under pretty much every piece of furniture. They help protect the floors and they also make it a lot easier to slide furniture around when you need to vacuum underneath or just want to try a chair in a different spot. They are readily available in most hardware stores.
Touch-Up Pens: You may recall these from a post I created HERE sharing how to hide scratches on furniture. I always keep these around and they last a long time without drying out. I bought these pens several years ago and they still work great.
Timers: I couldn’t live without a timer in my entry. It’s so nice when the light automatically comes on each evening…no stumbling down the steps to fiddle with the switch. It’s also nice to come home after dark to a brightly lit house. In the fall and in the spring, you have to adjust the timer just a bit as the days grow longer or shorter. But other than that, there’s nothing to do but plug it in and let it work.
Push Pin or small hook to help hide cords: Here’s a little trick I employ to help hide cords under furniture.
Just take a small push pin or a hook as show here and push/screw it into the underside of your table/furniture.
Then, using a twist tie or rubber band, gather the long cord and hang it from the hook or push pin. So nice to tuck away those long cords when we can.
Hagerty Silversmith’s Spray: There are a number of great silver polishes on the market. I keep a cream polish on hand but I always make sure I have some of the Hagerty spray polish around. You can really get down into the nooks and crannies of silver with a spray, as opposed to a cream which can gunk up in the grooves and leave behind some messy residue. Be sure though to wear a mask when using a spray, no matter what kind of cleaner you use. You don’t want to risk inhaling a cleaning spray. When I use this, I wear a mask, spray the item and then walk away for a minute while it works.
Two Vacuums: Okay, I’m cheating a bit here because I don’t have two vacuums, but I desperately want two vacuums. I know I would vacuum more often if the vacuum wasn’t always on the floor where I’m not.
I almost had a central vacuum system installed when I was having the basement remodeled, but a friend told me how much she disliked hers and never used it. Plus, the price doubled between the time I first checked into it and when I was ready to have it installed. The company I talked to said the increase in price had to do with an increase in the cost of copper. I don’t know if that was just a line he gave me, but I gave up on the whole-house vacuum idea after that.
But I highly recommend, if you don’t have a central vacuum system, save yourself the trouble and risk of falling on steps and buy a second vacuum. It also comes in handy if one dies right before the big party. Never hurts to have a back-up vacuum.
Hand-Wash Basket: Okay, you’re going to think I’m nuts, but I’ve been using the same General Electric washer for 32 years. Yes! 32 Years! I’m on my third dryer but the washer is still going strong.
I hope to one day renovate my laundry room and when I do, I’ll probably break down and buy a new washer and dryer. That will be a sad day though because I LOVE the hand wash basket that came on my GE washer in 1980. I use this thing ALL. THE. TIME. It’s perfect for 2-3 shirts or a couple of thick sweaters, or a bunch of socks/underwear. It just uses the amount of water needed for those few items and it washes them gently.
This plastic tub/basket fits down over the center agitator thingy and the basket that holds the detergent sits right on top. It’s awesome! I periodically check to see if another company has made a washing machine with a basket like this, but I’ve never seen another one. So wish someone would make one again…before my washing machine dies.
Hand-Wash Bag: For delicates like hose and lingerie, a little mesh bag comes in handy. I toss this into my GE Basket along with a few more items and the straps and hooks on lingerie don’t get all caught up in your sweaters and socks.
Shout: Love this stuff for getting out stains.
Fish Foam: I just discovered Fish Foam Window Cleaner when they began advertising here on BNOTP, and now I’m hooked. The thing I love the most, besides the fact it cleans so well, is when you spray it on your window, it stays put. It doesn’t run all down the pane and onto the window frame as you frantically try to catch it. Good stuff!
Scissors in every room: I keep a pair of scissors in every room of my home. Scissors are so inexpensive. I found them for a $1 in Hobby Lobby or some craft store a while back. No more running up and down the stairs to find the scissors. I label them all on the handle: Laundry Room, Bonus Room, Office etc…. so I always know what room they go in, just in case they spout feet and turn up in another room.
Pledge Fabric Sweeper for Pet Hair: My friend, Bonnie, told me about these and they have changed my life! Seriously! They are amazing for getting pet fur off of furniture and they work FAST. Soooo much better than a roller. LOVE these! Just try it…you’ll see!
Masking tape: I always keep masking tape around. It’s great for so many things where you want to temporarily tape something and not ruin the suface underneath. I tape paint chips to walls or tape painted poster board when I’m trying out wall paint, before I commit and paint the room. I’ve even used it to tape up curtains I’ve bought to see how they look hanging before I actually hang them. So many uses.
Goof Off: I don’t like the way this stuff smells, but wow, does it do a great job of getting the price stickers and glue residue off glassware and dishes. You should always read the can to make sure it’s safe to use on a surface before you use it.
Measuring Tape: I keep one of these on each floor of my home, in the garage and a small one in my car. Seems like several times a month I need to measure an area, a wall, a piece of furniture or something and keeping one upstairs saves me a few steps. The one in the car comes in handy when I’m shopping for furniture, rugs, etc…
Level: I guess I could do a whole post on “tools.” A level isn’t something you need often but it’s a must for hanging some things, especially large items like mirrors or craft/paper organizers that are not easy to move once hung.
Ooks: Gone are the days of putting giant holes in my walls with molly or toggle bolts. A wallpaper hanger told me about Ooks and they are amazing. I use them for almost everything I hang. You can find them in the large hardware stores, maybe in the smaller ones, too.
This large, heavy Venetian glass mirror here in the dining room is hanging from an Ook. No kidding!
It’s hanging from an ook that looks something like this. This one below will support up to 100 lbs. They make ‘em that will support up to 160 lbs and even over 200 lbs.
Flashlight by the bed, in the kitchen and in the office: A flashlight is another item I keep in several places of my home: kitchen, office and bedroom are key rooms. You don’t want the electricity to go off in middle of the night while you’re sleeping and have no way to navigate to find candles and such.
Emergency Light/Flashlight: I have one of these plugged into an outlet in my upstairs hallway. It only comes on when/if the electricity goes off. So, if the power goes out in the middle of the night, the hallway is lit up and you can unplug it and carry it like a flashlight. You can find these in hardware stores.
MillCreek Biotin Shampoo: I just discovered this shampoo a few months ago. It is so gentle on color-treated hair…doesn’t strip your color. Love it! I bought it at GNC.
They’re Real! mascara: A few days ago I got my hair cut in a new salon that just opened in my area. The salon is HUGE and carries a million products. I have been searching for a good mascara. Over the past several months I’ve spent a good bit trying different brands…wasted money. I asked the ladies working in the salon what mascara they recommend and they all immediately handed me, “They’re Real!” and said it makes your lashes reallllly long. It’s not cheap…$22, but I love it. The brush is amazing and doesn’t clump up. You can find it easily online…just Google. It has a rating of 4.7 (out of 5) after 187 reviews on this site and 5 (out of 5) after 57 reviews here.
Almonds: I keep these in my desk drawer for a quick healthy snack during the day…can’t do without them.
Box to hide remotes: Have to have a place to stash those unsightly remotes.
Now, I want to see what you can’t live without! If you don’t blog or can’t join in with a post, just leave a comment and share your top 5, 10 or 20 things you can’t live without…besides kids, hubby, pets, food, water and the stuff we all can’t live without.
Link up your “can’t live without” list below: