Modifixes: Installment 1

One cold and rainy Saturday I took a good look around my home and realized I have a lot of little house-related tricks that make my life a whole lot easier. I’ve always had this obsession with constantly trying to make things more efficient and less of a hassle. I get that from my mom; my dad calls her The Modifixer. (Why? Because he’s foreign and likes to mix up English words on purpose.) That phrase–which is a combination of modifying and fixing things–just sort of stuck, and now it’s a commonly used term around both of our homes.

I thought this could be a recurring feature on the blog, and I encourage you to share your modifixes (Dude, seriously WordPress. Add that word to the dictionary, already.) in the comments!

Modifix #1: A sewing machine

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This isn’t so much a modifix as it is something that I recommend for all somewhat-crafty homeowners. It has changed my life. There is a whole door of projects that opened once this bad boy came home with me.

Modifix #2: A timer

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Ever sit in your family room and suddenly think, “How the hell’d it get so dark in here?” Putting a timer on one of my focal-point lamps is probably one of my favorite tricks. It comes on and turns off at the same time every night, and it’s something I never have to mess with. It’s also a nice reminder to get my booty into bed on a work night.

Modifix #3: Drawer dividers

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This is such a simple thing, and I know most of you are face-palming right now. My life was made so much easier after putting in these dividers. I can actually FIND THINGS now. I know! It’s a ridiculous realization. Gone are the days of cursing and rummaging through my utensil drawer while a delicious questionable meal is burning cooking on the stove.

I thought I’d throw this one in there, too.

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As a woman with weak hands–seriously–I recommend that orange/red jar opener thingy. It will change your life.

Modifix #4: A step-stool

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The dog in the background is an optional purchase. Although they do make life pretty grand. I’ve never had a step-stool until recently because I’m pretty tall, but the last few times I’ve needed to reach up high into the pantry this guy saved the day. I want to make him a little superhero cape. See Modifix #1.

Modifix #5: A cereal container for bird seed

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I’m not even going to tell you how many times I’ve cut a small hole in a bag of bird seed, gone to fill up my feeder, and then Three-Stooges-Style watched the bird seed spill and cover every surface imaginable. You know why I’m not going to tell you how many times? Because the number is too high to count. Use this trick. Do yourself a favor. You never want the birds to get the impression that they’re smarter than you. Haven’t you ever seen that movie?

Modifix #6: An easily accessible tool box

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Keeping a few common tools in the pantry assures that I never have to run into the garage in my socks to grab something as simple as a hammer. We keep our whole lot of tools locked up (there are a lot of them) so it’s exceptionally brilliant to keep a handful of useful tools within easy reach. Except I have no idea what the hell that white tube thingy is.

Modifix #7: Hidden pantry cork boards

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I grabbed a 4-pack of these sticky cork board panels and hot-glued them (the stickiness didn’t hold over time) inside one of our central cabinets. It’s a great place for receipts, take-out menus, or anything that you don’t want tucked too far away.

Modifix #8: An olive oil dispenser

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This guy is decorative in the sense that I pour the olive oil from its original bottle into this “decorative” bottle, but it’s also extremely functional. Because it sits out I always have easy access to it. I use olive oil all the time when I cook, so having this close by cuts down on trips to the pantry.

Modifix #9: A jewelry corral

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Yes, I have my jewelry stored and organized in an ocd-like manner. But sometimes when I get home from work I like to de-jewelify by tossing my favorites into this ceramic dish. It keeps everything together without me having to meticulously put everything away every single time I get home.

Modifix #10: A small space heater

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This guy. Let me tell you about this guy. I used to crank up the heat in the whole house while I got up early and started getting ready for work. Who likes to get ready in a cold house? Not this girl, no sir. I got wise and realized that’s not really the most efficient way to do things, and now I just have this little $10 space heater in the bathroom for my morning routine. It heats up the room quickly and is much cheaper than cranking up the thermostat.

Modifix #11: A hair utensil rack

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I picked up this bad boy at Ikea (thank you to the good people of Sweden) and he lives behind the wall that separates the vanity and the toilet. He’s hidden back there, but it’s also just an easy reach in the morning to grab my most necessary hair accessories. The best part is I can put my straightener away hot, and the other best part is I’m less likely to burn down the house, because I know if it’s back there in its home then it’s not plugged in anymore. One point for the good guys.

Modifix #12: A basket for mail

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You know how when you get mail there are always some things you toss into the recycle bin immediately, and some things that require your attention but you’re too tired from work or fighting dragons or whatever to even think about it? Well, I got tired of papers all over the place, but I also didn’t have the energy to give those papers my full attention. We developed this little basket dealy to corral our papers until we could sit down and go through them at one time. It keeps the counter tops clean and prevents us from losing anything important.

The end.

Those are my 12 Modifixes for this fine Friday. 12 is a rather random number, but we’ll just pretend I planned it like that. Anyone else have anything good to add?

If that doesn’t get you ramped up for a little Saturday organization party, than I don’t know what will.

Have a great weekend, party people!

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8 thoughts on “Modifixes: Installment 1

  1. Thanks for the tips! I recently got a sewing machine too (thanks mom!) and it’s taken me a little while to figure it out and I haven’t made anything fabulous but I’m still glad I have it. I really like the timer idea too! I need to remember that one when I finally have a lamp in my living room. I totally agree about the drawer dividers! I only have two drawers in my kitchen (what the?!) and having the drawer organizer definitely helps! (No I did not realize before we bought the house that we only had two drawers. And while I’m talking about dividers I might as well go ahead and admit that my “dividers” are really just long pencil holder type containers that I got from the dolalr store. They work so whatever.

  2. Wonderful Tips! (I need a red/orange jar thingy!) I agree with the sewing machine (Hello cute-blackout-curtains-for my sons room!) there are so many uses! I make extra drawer dividers as needed with cardboard boxes (think the Ritz box, cereal boxes, etc) when I have a bit more space in my drawer and want a divider to fit JUST.RIGHT.THERE! Find a box in your pantry- eat through the contents-or if you are impatient like me dump out said contents into a baggie and shove back into the pantry. Cut it to the depth you want then cover the cardboard box with wrapping paper inside and out to glam it up. (Or leave plain if you are too lazy like me). My modifix is to use a dish drainer IN the sink while hand washing dishes. It allows me to soap up and clean a lot of plates, place them upright in the drainer while cleaning other plates, after I am done with a good bit (5-7 big plates, and 4+ little plates) I grab my sprayer hose, and rinse the fronts and backs of quickly and efficiently. It works great since I have no dishwasher (unless you count my left hand and right hand).

  3. hmmm, you covered a lot of mine. As you know, and others do not, we have a tiny kitchen. The magnetic knife thingy is my favorite mod-fix. It’s a magnetic strip that you attached to the wall and your knives just attached to it. It saves that drawer space and makes the knives easily accesable.

    the kitchen is our dumping ground so we also have hooks for the keys and purse/diaper bag.

    I’ll have to think about what other ‘modifixes’ we have in our house. BTW totally asking for a sewing machine now. No idea where I’ll put it though.

  4. Pingback: Modifixes « Reflections and Ponderings

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