Making life simple

by Jill Dickie

Sometimes life sends us a few curve balls and we have to find a way to cope — being able to utilise some time-savers and clever tricks will free up our time and money.

For instance, do the kids need a new sandpit with shade? How about reusing that two-man tent that has sat in storage for the last couple of years? The built-in floor will hold the sand in, and you can zip it up afterwards to prevent the neighbour’s cat using it as a litter tray.

If you’re in a household that buys minced meat in bulk trays for freezing, you might consider packing the meat into bags and flattening it before putting into the freezer. The bags stack neatly, and the meat thaws very quickly being a thinner package.

On family movie night, children love to lay on the floor with a blanket.

To provide a versatile ‘bed’ sew four pillowcases together along the long side, then insert a pillow into each. When you need to wash them just pull the pillows out.

Don’t you hate when you slice into a freshly baked loaf of bread — the whole loaf squashes flat? If you turn the loaf over and slice from the underside down to the top, the slices stay in shape beautifully.

A favourite trick for many is getting someone else to open the split ring on your keys to save your own fingernails, particularly if you’ve spent a small fortune on acrylics. A tip here is to use a staple remover to open the split ring — simple, but efficient.

If you need light but don’t have a torch, and you’re using a cellphone that isn’t bright enough, sit a clear water bottle on top of the phone and the light distributes like a lantern. Life has so many challenges, but there are always simple solutions — we just need to find them!