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solutions to petty problems

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Hi, the other day I read on a site somewhere about the all the little annoyances in our homes that we put up with simply because they are little things. It said that for a day or a week just to jot down all these things as they happen, and then find a solution. I was amazed how many things I had just not stopped to think about, and it was actually fun.
Eg: DH loves his cups of tea, but it was always a pain to carry a drippy used tea bag from our "tea and coffee making nook" to the trash bin: Aha, we found an itty bitty bin that hides in the nook and is just for his tea bags.

I was always annoyed about losing the potato peeler among the bigger utensils in the drawer. Aha. I hung it on a nail under the sink which is the only place I use it anyway.
My recipe books kept slipping down in the cupboard I keep them in. It took DH about 5 minutes to screw a metal bar in there to act as a book end and now they stay up.
We have a king size bed, and the sheets are almost a square but not quite. For years we would put the fitted sheet half on, only to have it the wrong way round, until last year, DH said, "I'm sick of this, can't you just mark the sheets, "Side" "bottom" "top" ? Just two minutes with a black marker, and we've saved ourselves hours of wasted little moments of frustration.
There are still things I haven't found an answer for:
Teenage DS simply CANNOT remember to hang up the wet bath mat, no matter what, it just doesn't register. I've thought of elastic to make it bounce back, a whoopy cushion sewn under it so when he steps on it, it reminds him, a sign sewn in the middle of it!!!?? It makes for interesting sleepless night mind games.
I'd really love to hear if other people are like me...if you've put up with stuff that could have been overcome easily for the sake of a few minutes time and effort and thought. Could we find solutions for each others pet peeves? It's fun to think outside the box sometimes. And sometimes the answer is just staring us in the face, but because it's the way we've always "done it", we just keep on putting up with things.
post #2 of 47
I'm impressed!

Unfortunately, I'm also the sort of person who will suffer the inconvenience of stumbling around a dark room for months, without it ever occurring to me to change the light bulb. Organisation.... not my forte. I put up a hook for my aprons once--that's about it! Oh,and I use scrappy paper to write shopping lists on, and keep the spare ones on top of the fridge. Super, no?

I'll be curious to read other people's responses, though--maybe I can pick up some tips.
post #3 of 47
I'm with Smokering with this one-- it sounds fantastic but I have to work on the bigger things first, like remembering to change the darn sheets in the first place, etc. I think I'm much more like your son in that I just don't pay much attention to my environment!
post #4 of 47
We do this too. Or, really, I complain about something and DH fixes it. He's not Mr. Perfecto but sometimes it's nice to be married to an engineer who loves tinkering with things and figuring out ways to make things better/more efficient/etc.
post #5 of 47
That's the only part of organizing I really like. Finding solutions to stuff. Half the time though, when I find the solution to one thing, I end up completely re-doing everything else too.
post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lillydilly View Post
We have a king size bed, and the sheets are almost a square but not quite. For years we would put the fitted sheet half on, only to have it the wrong way round, until last year, DH said, "I'm sick of this, can't you just mark the sheets, "Side" "bottom" "top" ? Just two minutes with a black marker, and we've saved ourselves hours of wasted little moments of frustration.
You mean you hadn't noticed that the elastic always went the same way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lillydilly View Post
Teenage DS simply CANNOT remember to hang up the wet bath mat, no matter what, it just doesn't register. I've thought of elastic to make it bounce back, a whoopy cushion sewn under it so when he steps on it, it reminds him, a sign sewn in the middle of it!!!?? It makes for interesting sleepless night mind games.
How about a note on the door of the bathroom and one on his bedroom door until it becomes a habit?
post #7 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
You mean you hadn't noticed that the elastic always went the same way?
It depends on the sheets they have. Some are elasticized all around. Some brands are elasticized along the width, others along the length. If they have the "all around elastic" type, or two (or more) sets with elastic in different locations, it will be harder to remember.

For the soggy bathmat, I was also going to suggest a note at your son's eye level reminding him to hang it up. How about something cutesy like "I hate wet feet, just like a cat, please be a sweetie and hang up the mat".

But there may be no simple solution to that one. It's one thing to do something to make it easier to find things for YOURSELF (new location for the potato peeler, etc) but something else altogether to make SOMEBODY ELSE remember to do something, especially if that person is a teenager!
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
It depends on the sheets they have. Some are elasticized all around. Some brands are elasticized along the width, others along the length. If they have the "all around elastic" type, or two (or more) sets with elastic in different locations, it will be harder to remember.
Eeeew, how would you ever... wait now I know how to handle it if I get scary sheets like that some day!
post #9 of 47
Thread Starter 
Yep, the elastic goes all the way round on my sheets.
And I'll admit, I'd rather organize than clean. Give me a filing cabinet to sort rather than a floor to sweep, any day.
Would you believe I hadn't thought of a simple note for DS. Maybe a waterproof note pinned on the mat, and then when he steps on the pin....hehehe
(no, I didn't honestly say that. I'll use a safety pin.)
A big reminder note on the back of the door.. and it'll be out of sight to everyone else. I can't believe I didn't think of it before.
So thanks everyone.
Best Feeling, I have 2 engineer sons, and they got their inventive minds from hubby, so I'm lucky that way too. Trouble is though, whenever I see something I really like or need for the house, he's reluctant to ever buy anything. It's always, "I could make that.. I've got bits in the shed I could use". And then I have a hard time convincing him that I don't really want a coffee table made out of steel and angle iron!! Not complaining, he's wonderful, but we do end up with some unique things.

PS how do you get the little smiley icons into your posts. I'm new here, and they do put the right expression into posts. I'm always worried I'll sound serious when I'm being "tongue in cheek", and they can convey the right tone. Are they not on the "quick reply" option?
post #10 of 47
No, they're not on the "quick reply" but you can type in the smile codes in quick reply if you've memorized them. I've memorized the ones I use most often, as I prefer using quick reply.

Full reply has a box with a few smilies on the side, plus a place to click to get all the smilies open up in a new window.
post #11 of 47
Thread Starter 
thanks ruthla. I'll have to learn
Hooboy, I just found them all in FAQ s
What an impressive collection
Sorry, just showing off now. I had no idea how to do this.
post #12 of 47
Do you have a glass shower door or a curtain? If you have a curtain, maybe you could attach the sign to the fabric so that it shows through the plastic layer?

Those are good ideas, btw
post #13 of 47
aaahhhh. someone figured out the reason that all my sheets have tone-on-tone stripes....

stripes go up and down.
post #14 of 47
Thread Starter 
Loitering: Glass doors. Good idea though. I'd stick it on the outside of the glass, but you see he'd forget again between stepping out and toweling off! He's our 4th boy, so I'm kind of used to teenage boys living on some other planet.. Hormonia?
I think a sign on the back of the door will work. He does have to open the door to get out, and it's the last thing he does, so no excuses. I'm off to print up a sign.
I like your little poem Ruthla, but ummmmm... I might just have to add line to it, like,
"if not, you'll wear it, and that's THAT!"
post #15 of 47
my problem... coffee pot on one side of the kitchen sink on the other, had too many steps in between when getting water
my solution... pitcher of water next to the coffee pot that I refil every couple of days

my problem... wanted to start brushing everyones teeth after eating
my soultion... since we wash hands at the kitcen sink when we clear the table I brought the toothbrushes in the kitchen so now when we wash our hands we also brush our teeth.
post #16 of 47
My problem with the sheets is that I rotate the bed quarter turns since it is so close to square and neither dh nor I (nor ds, lol) are tall. It's nice having an extra little bit of width and I figure it will help the mattress wear evenly. I flip it, too, occasionally. It's a lower end mattress so it needs all the help it can get. I think I need to color code the sides of the mattress, mattress pad, and sheets.

I got annoyed with the drain rack being on the right of the sink. Much better for me to have it on the left since I hold the dish with my left hand while scrubbing with the right hand. I was slow to change it because the electrical outlet is on the left but I managed to rearrange things.
post #17 of 47
Hmmm. I'm all for rooting petty little annoyances out of my life. Let me think about what they are!

I'll be back later...
post #18 of 47
My DH rocks at figuring out those types of little solutions. I'll usually just live with it, but if I complain to him, he'll figure out a solution:-).
post #19 of 47
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking of more too.
An area in our shower room, between the shower and the vanity, that collects hair and lint, but is just too small for the vacuum head to reach and a pain to have to reach in and wipe out every time too. It just bugs me every time I do the floor in there.
Just thought of a solution here now. Find a lidded basket the right size to fill in the gap and use it for... something or other.
DH likes a hot drink while he's using the computer, and misses the coaster I have there, so sticky rings end up round it. Solution: A cork placemat instead of a coaster. Her can't miss that, surely?
Never having a pen at the phone.. this is a world wide thing, surely. My Mum always had hers on a little chain, so no one could "borrow" it from there. But I just put up with never having one there when I needed it, till recently. Why? because it would take a minute to do it, never mind how many hours I've wasted over the years searching for a pen.
post #20 of 47
What a great thread. I do have little annoyances here and there. I know we recently addressed a few of them but I cant even remember what they are!!! LOL I will post when I remember.

I am with you on the king sheets. I put them on wrong *every time* .. annoying. I will mark them now! Ours have elastic all around as well.

One thing I did about a year ago is purchase a shower curtain rod that has a second rod, in front of the "main" rod. You can hang your towels on that rod to dry, and they dont interfere with opening and closing the shower curtain. Love it.

I will think on this.
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