About Me

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Practical, Versatile, Creative Things

Some simple things make life so much easier. Take duct tape for instance; you can fix things, strengthen things, bind people (don't!) etc.

Today I fixed a garment bag with duct tape. Now it is stronger than before and I can get many uses out of it. It is something easy and cheap to replace but, why? Two inches of duct tape fixed it really well. Frugal, easy, environmentalist... Right?

I have a cheap bag I had bought for USD 20 from Chinatown in NYC. It has zippers to make it bigger or smaller. I have one good quality big suitcase and an OK midsize one. When I go to the US for an extended period I need two big pieces. I use the midsize when I travel for a week or so in the country. Instead of buying another large suitcase for which, I have no storage space, I use the cheap bag which can be folded for easy storage but, it was worn out at the bottom. Less than a yard of duct tape and voila! Better than new! The fix is inside so, it doesn't look funny but, even if it did, who cares?

I am sure you all know the suitcase wrapping service at the airports. Don't you think, they are outrageously priced? I do. My suitcase does not need wrapping but the cheap bag mentioned above would be better off wrapped. What do I do? I wrap it at home with a box or two of cling wrap after I am done stuffing it. The closure is at the top so I forgo that part just in case, they want to open it and look inside. Even if I use two boxes of the cling wrap, it is still much cheaper. Yes, I like to take vacations in the US, but I do not like to spend money having my bags wrapped.

I use four hooks and a few yards of laundry line to hang my laundry indoors in my corridor. The hooks get attached to the doors.  I need this contraption when I wash the bed linens. I use a drying rack for most other things. This line which I can put up and take down easily holds at least two sheets, four pillow cases and a couple of towels. When I am done, I just take it down. I never owned a dryer and have no space for it. So, line drying is my only option. Living in an apartment in a nice neighborhood makes it impossible to hang laundry even in the balcony. One needs to be creative.

I have cut up some old sheets which had holes and tears into a few 1 and 1.5 yard squares and sew all around them. I use these sheets to place my clothing items and other necessities snuggly in the suitcases. One could hold all my underwear, another would hold t-shirts and sweathsirts, etc. They keep my stuff clean and even if the suitcase is damaged somehow, my clothes will not be sticking out.

I use thick elastic bands that are used to tie broccoli, for extra grip when opening jars. I keep a couple in my utensil drawer just in case.

I am always looking for things that are simple and handy. Any tips and tricks you may want to share?


  1. Hubby's packing trick - you know how they say you should roll your clothes in your suitcase to get maximum packing power - well we do that but he also puts rubber bands around them to keep them that way. It does work. We have a dryer but I don't dry most of our shirts that way. We are not permitted laundry lines in our town (bylaw) so in my laundry room on top of the washing machine I have a plastic laundry basket and I carefully dry all bras, my underwear/shorts etc there by just hanging them over the sides. In the master closet I hang anything else we need to dry on hangers - usually 6 hours does it. Due to our moist climate I dry other things like towels/jeans in the dryer as it would take forever for them to dry. We do have a de-humidifier in the house so I don't worry about things getting too wet

    1. Thank you for sharing Cheapchick! I will use those ideas from now on. Especially the rubber band trick.

  2. I love duct tape as well and I never go travelling without putting a roll into my backpack. One thing I do is save any plates/cups/china when they break - then I put a few at the bottom of flower pots to provide drainage for my outdoor plants. In my laundry room I installed a shower rod to two beams with hangers for my clothes to dry - takes up very little space. I love figuring out frugal ways of doing things :)

    1. Thanks for the tips Jane. I love recycling and repurposing things too.