How to Organize Jewelry By Hanging It Up With Shower Rings

As I've accumulated more necklaces, bangles and bracelets over the years, it's become incredibly difficult figuring out how to store them in a way that allows me to see them all at once, so I don't have to open individual bags and boxes trying to find a particular piece of jewelry.

So I figured, why not hang them up?


I found this really great multi-use hanger from Ikea that only cost me 8 bucks, then I attached old shower curtain rings to it to hang my jewelry from.


And voila! All my necklaces and bracelets easily accessible and on display.



However, if you live somewhere with a humid climate, it might be better to store your silver jewelry and valuables in a way that will prevent them from becoming tarnished. Perhaps like this.

How to Make Shampoo with Baking Soda


I have found that most commercial shampoos either dry out my thin hair, or make it so heavy that it lays limp on top of my head. Not to mention the fact that the nicer shampoos that give my hair more body are incredibly expensive, and still filled with chemicals that I'm not sure are entirely necessary to keep my hair and scalp clean.

Then I came across this solution online: baking soda shampoo.

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You'll Need:

- a clean, empty container
- at least 1 tablespoon of baking soda
- 1 cup of warm distilled water


Directions:
1. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda into your empty container. Use a funnel if you have to.
2. Add the distilled water into the container.
3. Close the top securely and shake the container until the baking soda is dissolved.

To Use:

Apply to your scalp and thoroughly rub it into your skin and hair like you would with conventional shampoo. The solution, of course, will not create a lather, but after you rinse and dry your hair you'll see that your scalp feels clean and refreshed, without the use of any chemicals! I have personally also noticed that my hair has a lot more body to it after using this home-made baking soda shampoo.

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Add more baking soda to the solution if you feel you need it. However, keep in mind that the more baking soda there is in the solution, the less it may dissolve, which means you need to remember to shake up the bottle each time you use the mixture.

If you prefer having a lather to your shampoo, some people add soap flakes or liquid soap of their choice to the mixture. Experiment with as much or as little as you prefer until you get the amount of lather you like.

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Cost Comparison:

Normally my shampoo would cost about $5.00 for a 400ml bottle. One 450g packet of baking soda costs about $5.00 and yields me about thirty 400ml bottles of far superior and healthier hair wash. This means each bottle costs about 16 cents. Crazy.

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Also, find out how to make hair conditioner with apple cider vinegar!


House-Cleaning with White Vinegar


White vinegar has become one of the most important ingredients in my cleaning kit as I gradually phase out all the commercial cleaning products that contain highly toxic chemicals. Here is a list of the ways I use white vinegar to clean and freshen my home:

Multi-purpose cleanser: Simply fill a squeeze bottle with white vinegar use it to clean grime off almost any place you can think of; bathroom tiles, toilet, kitchen counter tops, stove, oven, refrigerator, etc. After the vinegar smell evaporates, you'll notice many foul odors also disappear. However, avoid using vinegar on marble, as it may damage the surface.

Mirror and window polisher: Use a squeeze bottle to spray a solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% water on your mirrors and windows. Then polish with a clean rag or paper towel.

Polish metal surfaces: Use a solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% water to polish metal materials.

Unclog drains: Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 3/4 cup of hot white vinegar. You may see bubbles emerge from the drain when the two elements react. Leave it for a few minutes, then run hot water down the drain.


Remove stickers and labels: Soak any container with unwanted labels in a solution of white vinegar, or place a paper towel soaked in white vinegar over the offending sticker. The label should peel off easily after a few hours.

Clean rags and sponges: Soak dirty sponges and rags in white vinegar for a few hours, rinse clean with water and let dry.

Clean glass bottles and jars: Fill dirty glass containers with white vinegar and let it sit. After a few hours, the glass should be clean after rinsing with hot water.

Repel insects: Spray white vinegar wherever you think unwanted insects are making their way into your home. White vinegar will turn most pests away.

Organize Jewelry in Empty Cookie Boxies

I recently finished a large, tin box of cookies.

And look what I did with it!

No more tangled necklaces.

Prefer hanging up your jewelry instead? Here's a great way to do it.

Uses for Boxes and Containers

It surprises me how many people throw out the nice boxes and packaging they get along with gifts or the things they buy. I find these boxes and containers perfect for organizing my drawers and small things. Keep it at your workspace to hold pens and thumbtacks. Keep it in the bathroom to hold cotton swabs or cotton pads. If it's conveniently sized, you can even use it as a pill box to bring with you when you go out.

Everyday Poop Bags for Dogs

When I go to the grocery store, I always bring my own canvas bag to put the groceries in so I don't create more garbage by asking for a shopping bag. However, this doesn't solve the problem of the fruits, vegetables and meats that are placed in separate smaller plastic bags when you purchase them.

Don't throw these bags away though. They can always be reused for things like trash, kitchen scraps or, in my case, picking up my dog's waste when we go out for walks.

I also make a habit of not throwing away any used tissues and napkins that aren't too soiled. These also come in handy for reuse when I handle my dog's poop to put into the bags.

This means I have never had to spend money on doggy bags, and the small plastic bags I collect don't go waste.

Baking Soda as a Natural Alternative to Toothpaste


Did you know you don't actually need toothpaste to keep your mouth and teeth clean? It's generally the brushing action rather than the lather created by toothpaste that keeps your teeth and gums healthy. In fact, your mouth will probably be healthier if you flossed regularly without brushing, than if you brushed regularly without flossing.


When you think about it, if you are already maintaining proper oral hygiene by regularly cleansing your mouth of food debris and bacteria, there is no reason why you should need to add chemical-laden toothpaste to the mix. Moreover, the fluoride added to toothpaste and the tap water in many countries is arguably bad for you. However, if you'd still like a little abrasiveness without using chemical-laden toothpaste, try baking soda.



Baking soda is a natural ingredient that is abrasive enough to help clean the stains off of your teeth when you brush with it. Just sprinkle a little on your toothbrush and brush your teeth as you normally would. However, make sure it is completely dissolved and try not to do this more than once or twice a week to avoid too aggressively wearing down the enamel on your teeth.

In fact, baking soda is an ingredient that is often added to most commercial toothpastes anyway. By using it alone you're simply avoiding also putting a lot of other chemicals into your mouth.

If you dislike the taste, try adding a little stevia or xylitol to the baking soda. This sweetens the mixture while keeping it all natural.

Don't forget to brush your tongue!

How to Make Foam Hand Soap

Most liquid hand soap is wasted because people wash their hands too quickly, rinsing off the soap before properly lathering up. One way to avoid this is to use foam hand soap instead. People tend to wash their hands more completely before rinsing it off if the foam comes directly out of the bottle, saving them the trouble of having to create a lather first. But don't go running out to buy foam soap, you can get your money's worth by simply making your own with regular liquid soap.

You'll Need
    - liquid soap
    - warm water
    - foam soap dispenser (make sure the pump is designed to dispense foam, not liquid. I use a 250ml plastic bottle from Muji)


Directions:
  1. Fill the foam soap dispenser container 1/3 full with liquid soap.
  2. Fill the rest in with warm water.
  3. Attach the dispenser nozzle securely to the top and shake the entire container several times.

To Use:

Push the down on the dispenser, and foam should be released through the nozzle.

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You can change the ratio of liquid soap to warm water depending on how thick you like your foam hand soap to be. Foam soap dispensers shouldn't be too hard to come by nowadays. The one I use is a reasonably priced, sturdy plastic one by Muji.

How to Make Body Exfoliant with Coffee Grounds


No need to purchase pricey exfoliants that are pumped full of harsh chemicals when you can make your own using something you probably throw out every day - coffee grounds!

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How to Make Body Exfoliant with Coffee Grounds

You'll Need:

- coffee grounds
- table salt

Directions:

1. Spread out used coffee grounds on a plate and allow it to dry.
2. Fill a container of your choice 4/5 with the dried coffee grounds.
3. Fill the remaining 1/5 of the container with table salt.
4. Mix together, and you're done!

To Use:

Before showering, gently rub your homemade exfoliant on the skin of your body to remove dead skin and debris. Pay attention to particularly rough areas such as your elbows, knees and feet. Rinse away the exfoliant when you're done.

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Some people use this mixture on their face as well, although I personally find it a bit too harsh. You may also choose to combine the mixture with essential oils, but be careful as this may become messy in your shower or bathtub.

Oil Blotters are a Waste of Money

I recently realized that oil blotters are an unnecessary purchase. Their purpose is to rid your face of excess oil, but that's something accomplished by using any ordinary piece of tissue paper anyway. Moreover, if the kind of oil blotters you usually purchase are made of non-biodegradable materials, they will stay in the environment long after you're done using them.

Use Eco-Friendly Cotton Swabs

It's easy to overlook how even the smallest items can impact our environment; for example, cottons swabs. Most of the cottons swabs sold in stores have sticks made of plastic, which can take a long time to break down in landfills. If everyone in the world used one such cotton swab a day, that amounts to a lot of plastic being tossed out as waste. As an alternative, consider buying only eco-friendly cotton swabs or those that are made with paper sticks.

Also, try cleaning out your ears with cotton swabs only once every few days. It's actually bad for you to over clean your ears as it strips them of their natural wax and oils, and cleaning them fewer times a week will also help reduce the number of cotton swabs you throw away.

Bar Soap is Greener Than Liquid Soap

I personally prefer using bar soaps rather than liquid soaps because not only do I feel like it lasts longer than the same amount of liquid cleanser, bar soaps are generally sold in less packaging. Liquid soaps must always come in a plastic bottle, which means purchasing it is encouraging the production of more plastic bottles, not to mention resulting in more waste. There is also a common tendency to overuse liquid soap because it's sometimes difficult to gauge how much you need for a decent lather.

But if you still prefer using liquid soap, learn how to make your own foam hand soap here!

Pencils Are More Eco-Friendly Than Pens

The next time you're thinking of buying a new pen, try purchasing a pencil instead. The millions of pens that are used everyday require a lot of plastic to manufacture, and it is usually difficult or impossible to recycle. This results in a lot of waste that doesn't easily break down. Although I'm a big fan of pens, I recently realized I don't have to write everything down in ink, and can choose to use a regular lead pencil or colored pencil instead. If you absolutely need to use pens, buy the ones where the ink cartridges are replaceable, or buy from companies that make their pens out of recycled plastic.

How to Cut Soap


Cutting up a block of bar soap into more manageable portions is really very easy. Also, be careful to remove the soap carefully from the wrapping so you can rewrap the remaining soap pieces that you aren't ready to use yet. This is an easy way to reduce waste.


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You'll Need:
  • Cutting board
  • Large, sharp knife
  • Flame
Directions:

  1. Place your bar soap of choice on a clean, sturdy cutting board.
  2. Heat up the blade of the knife over an open flame, such as the stove, for a few seconds. The blade doesn't have to be scalding hot, just warm enough to feel uncomfortable if you put your skin against it. Be very careful when handling fire and sharp knives, especially together.
  3. When you feel the knife is hot enough, place the blade down against the center of the bar soap, and use your other hand to carefully press down on the top of the blade with even pressure until you've cut all the way through. If the blade is too hot too touch, use a clean rag to hold against it.

If you want the soap in smaller portions, simply cut through the pieces again.


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Rewrap any extra pieces to use for later, and enjoy using your soap!

How to Make Natural Face Toner with Rice Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar


The original purpose of toner was to help wipe away the last bits of dirt, oil and make-up from a person's face to keep the skin clean. However, that seems a bit redundant, considering if you are using a facial cleanser that already does its job properly, there should be no need for toner. In fact, I find most commercial toners only end up drying out your skin, which isn't good for you, even for those who tend to have more oily complexions. Toner that is too harsh will only force your skin to produce even more oil to compensate for the dryness.

Now when I occasionally use toner, I use it for the purpose of lightening any blemishes and keeping new ones at bay. And instead of spending money on commercial brands of toner, which are mostly bottles of water and/or alcohol, I opt to make my own using natural ingredients.

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Rice vinegar tonerYou'll Need:

- distilled water
- rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- tea tree oil


Directions:

1. Find a clean, empty container you want to use to keep your toner in. I use a a small, plastic travel container I bought from Muji since I only make a small amount at a time, as I don't use toner that often.
2. Fill about one-third of the container with the rice vinegar.
3. Fill the rest of the container with distilled water.
4. Add a few drops of tea tree oil (3-4 drops per 100ml of solution should be enough).

To Use:

Apply the solution to your face as you would with any other toner. I assume most people pour some onto a cotton pad then apply it to their face after washing.

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For me this works very well, if not better, than the toner available in stores. Try it out for yourself.

How to Make Natural Deodorant with Coconut Oil


I went on the search for a safe, natural deodorant when I read that the ingredients in most commercial deodorants may be linked to breast cancer. To be fair, there is no definitive evidence that this is true. However, as breast cancer runs in my family, I didn't want to take that chance.

However, many of the natural brands that I came across were either very pricey or hard to find. That's when I discovered that I could actually make my own deodorant. It's a safer and - to my delight - cheaper alternative to most commercial deodorants.


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You'll Need: 
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup corn starch (potato starch works too!)
  • 4 tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil
  • tea tree oil (or other essential oil with antibacterial properties)

Directions:

1. Stir ingredients together in a bowl until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. Add a few drops of tea tree oil, which will help kill bacteria that contributes to bad odors. About 20 drops is sufficient for this amount.
1. Scoop mixture into container of your choice.


If needed, you can refrigerate the mixture to make it solidify more quickly.

To Use:

Scoop out a pea-sized amount with your fingers and allow the warmth of your hands to soften it before applying it to your underarms.

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Some people may prefer scooping the mixture into an empty deodorant twist-up bottle, but I do not recommend this for those who live in hot and humid climates. Coconut oil becomes a liquid in higher temperatures and the mixture may leak if it isn't placed in a completely closed container.

Downsides to making your own deodorant in this form is that it does not function as an antiperspirant. Application can also become rather messy, and it may leave a white, flaky residue on your clothes, so make sure to double check your outfit before leaving the house.

Also, play around with the ratios of ingredients until you find a recipe that works best for you. If you find the baking soda to irritating to your skin, add a little less. Feel free to also add a combination of other essential oils to create your own unique scent.

You can also make your own deodorant powder or spray-on deodorant using ingredients in your kitchen.