Back when MTV played music videos, I always looked forward to this time of the year. Why? I couldn’t wait to see what the top 100 videos of the year would be, and especially which video would be crowned No. 1. I always rooted for those from ‘NSYNC.

While I no longer hold my breath for the top music videos of the year, I do get excited for the many other lists: “Top News Stories,” “Biggest Fashion Mistakes,” “Best Photographs,” etc.

This week, I decided to put together my own list. In compiling such a list, I’ve discovered that I’ve been fortunate to learn many things when it comes to the home. While some tips were more difficult to grasp than others, my favorites are handy solutions that anyone can implement. Here they are, in no particular order:

• Remove water stains from wooden tables with mayonnaise. Cover the stain with mayonnaise and let sit for at least 15 minutes.


Older stains may require more time.

• When attempting to loosen a nut that won’t budge, touch a lit candle to it. The melted wax will act as a lubricant.

• To maximize storage space in your refrigerator, pantry, closet or any other area, choose square containers over round ones.

• If you accidentally break a light bulb while it’s in the socket, remove it by using half of an unpeeled potato. Just remember to turn off the power to the light before doing this.

• Defog a mirror with a hair dryer. A blast of hot or cold air should do the trick.


• Keep your bar soap from melting all over your tub/shower by resting it on a sponge on your soap dish.

• Clean up pet hair by running your hand over hair-covered surfaces while wearing a rubber dishwashing glove.

• For slippery lids that won’t seem to open, tie a rubber band around the top for extra grip. This works for every type of twist-on cover, including nail polish bottles.

• Keep your tools free from rust by placing a few pieces of chalk in each compartment that has metal tools or hardware.

• When painting, wrap fixtures such as doorknobs and hinges with foil to protect them from drips.


As I reflect back on 2012 and all the wonderful things I learned and projects I’ve tackled, I get even more excited for what’s to come.