Organize a room without a closet
What are some good ideas for keeping things tidy and attractive in a bedroom without a closet? This is a teenage girl’s room, so there is a lot of clothing and other random stuff. Do you have frugal storage ideas? — Carla, Canada
Use free-standing shelves or a book case (use tension rods or Velcro so the front can be covered in fabric to keep items hidden), closet rods, bins or totes (buy bed risers/lifts and slide the bins under the bed), rolling garment rack, over-the-door organizer or wall hooks. I like the Elfa solutions at The Container Store. Create your own organizational system with open wall shelves and baskets or bins. Check secondhand sources for an armoire or large dresser, too.
Can you cook red cabbage and can it after it’s cooked? I don’t like the recipes I’ve seen and would like to have my own. — Hilde J, e-mail
I’m not aware of a recipe for canning cooked cabbage unless it’s pickled or sauerkraut. I checked my home-canning books and called Ball and didn’t come up with anything. I’m sure plenty of people have pressure canned it based on older recipes, but without a reputable reference source that shares an updated, safe and specific method or recipe, I wouldn’t recommend it. It can be frozen (shred or chop small wedges, water blanch then freeze) or dehydrated. If you’re interested in a pickled red cabbage recipe, visit www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/how-to/how-to-make-easy-pickled-red-cabbage-109916, or get your hands on a recent Ball Blue Book for a spiced red cabbage recipe.
I need easy cheap ideas for cleaning grass stains. My son comes home from school with grass stains a lot of days. I use OxiClean spray, but it is expensive. We are trying to be frugal now, and I want him to get by on three to four pairs of pants, so I want something that will be gentle on fabric and not something too hard to prepare. A pre-mixed stain spray would be good. Ammonia is pretty strong to me, and I don’t like it. I have read about vinegar for grass stains. What about the cheap Dollar General stain sprays? — Amanda W., Wisconsin
Vinegar works. Soak the jeans overnight in vinegar and water (1 part vinegar to two parts water) after rubbing the solution into the jeans, and launder as usual. You can use dish liquid rubbed into the jeans. Rinse and launder as usual. Or pre-treat with an enzyme laundry detergent such as Biz, Wisk or Era. Lisa from Indiana shared the following stain spray recipe and two other stain-fighting options.
1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup clear Dawn
1/4 cup water
Pour ingredients in spray bottle and shake. It really works. If it doesn’t work, rub the stain with a bar of Fels Naptha soap or soak in 1/2 cup powdered Cascade and 1/2 cup Clorox 2 in a big bucket of hot water and let soak overnight, and then launder as usual.
photo by jennratonmort