Raising kids, I often hear and read sayings about parenting that hit home. One of my favorites: The days are long, but the years are short. I could not agree with this more. While sometimes it seems that bedtime is light-years away, 2018 has flown by. It is hard to imagine that when it first started, my family and I were living in a different home and our son was still in my belly.

At the blink of an eye, here we are ready to start 2019. Every year, I like to look back on the year that has passed before the new one arrives. This past year brought a lot of joy and also a lot of lessons along the way. This was true for the home as well. Thanks to family and friends, I picked up on plenty of quick tips to help making our home a better place just a little bit easier.

Clean a dusty, but delicate light fixture


Use two gloves: one dry and one sprayed with glass cleaner. Wipe surfaces with the wet glove and dry with the other.

Un-stick stuck glue traps

Pour cooking oil, such as olive oil or canola oil over the area. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then lift the glue and wipe clean with an oiled paper towel.

Close the light gap

Window coverings, like Roman shades, sometimes leave gaps between the wall and the shades. This lets the light in, which can be troublesome in places like bedrooms. Attach small magnets to the shades and stick them to your walls. Paint the magnets the same color as the shade and wall, if necessary, to help disguise them. You can take a fabric swatch to the paint store and have them mix up a sample size.

Make your own


If you ever find yourself without a cleaner, save yourself a trip to the store and make an all-purpose cleaner from ingredients you already have on-hand. Grab an empty spray bottle and fill it with 4 tablespoons of baking soda and warm water, or for a citrus-scented solution, mix diluted white vinegar with a few orange peels. Shake it up, and clean away.

Add soap and water

A little bit of dish soap can go a long way. Mix it with water and use it to remove grease stains from clothes, mildew from patio furniture, and grime from kitchen cabinets.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.