Thanks, Mom (tips I never would have known)

Because it’s Christmas Eve and I am both jet-lagged and sick, today’s post is a little late and a little shorter than usual. But tomorrow is my mom’s birthday, and over the years I have been compiling an odds and ends list of random tips she’s given that you don’t know you need until you need it*. I’ve put them in loose stage-in-life order, and hopefully it proves useful:

  • With your first apartment, buy a small toolbox — you should be able to hang pictures and build Ikea or Target furniture on your own
  • If you’re ever driving really late, don’t be in the fast lane; it puts you at more risk of getting hit by flip-over accidents or wrong-way drivers
  • Baking soda in your fridge will help keep it from smelling
  • For kitchen dishtowels, bar mops and flour sack cloths work best — plus they’re cheap and don’t go out of style in 5 minutes
  • If you wipe a counter, dry it. It makes it look cleaner and then people won’t accidentally put stuff on a wet counter
  • Zout. Aka the best stain remover to as of yet be created by man
  • If you sprinkle baby powder on stains (especially oily ones), they’ll also come out better in the wash
  • In a pinch, salt and dish soap will also combat stains right after you spill something
  • Lemon juice will get rid of armpit marks on clothes
  • Don’t cook without clothes on. It might seem cute, but burns from grease/oil/other are not
  • If the smoke alarm goes off in your home and there’s no danger, stick it in the freezer to shut it up faster
  • Every girl needs a good tote for work — for you lunch, extra shoes, files, whatever
  • If you’re going to get your hair done before a big event (as in cut or dyed more than styled), leave enough time between the appointment and event to fix it in case you hate it
  • Put a Pyrex 9×13 with a lid and insulated carrying bag on your wedding registry
  • Around the time your kids go to kindergarten, buy or ask for a cupcake carrier if you don’t already have one

What are some of the best random tips other people have given you? Feel free to share in a comment below, on Twitter @ohgrowup, or Instagram @oh.grow.up! Thanks for reading, and have a happy Christmas and holiday season!

*For the record, my other three parents also give really good tips, this list was just ready first. But I appreciate all of them dealing with my questions and the many times I need help.

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