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How to teach an old baby new tricks

Our 11 month old kid loves to be helpful and tries to copy whatever we do. Unfortunately, he's about a year or two or three away from having the physical ability to do so. So what simple things can we teach him that would be sort of helpful in doing everyday things, or at least wouldn't break stuff or actively hinder us? [more inside]
posted by gakiko on Mar 13, 2014 - 23 answers

What is a reasonable contribution from a daughter who lives at home?

Daughter, 23, lives with me. She has had mental health struggles and doesn't feel ready to live alone or with roommates. I'm sure she will someday, but probably not within the next year or even two. She's doing great now. She completed a certificate program and has a full-time job at entry level pay, which will increase with experience. How much is a reasonable financial contribution to the household? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 18, 2014 - 30 answers

Shelf life of Household Chemicals?

What is the shelf-life of common household chemicals? [more inside]
posted by entropicamericana on Feb 18, 2014 - 6 answers

Home improvements that pay for themselves

I recently bought a 1000 square foot condo. I'm starting to think about ways to make it work better and improvements that will pay for themselves over the long term. I've started replacing lighting with LED and have bought a programmable thermostat, just to give some basic examples. I'm also looking for things that will save maybe tiny amounts of time and energy when viewed as single events but will happen over and over again throughout the lifetime of the house. For example, using shelving instead of cabinets or hanging pots and pans on pegboard. I'm basically looking to put up a little more effort/money up front in order to save myself the same over the long term.
posted by mike_bling on Jan 21, 2014 - 16 answers

Meal planning extreme!

Help me app-ify the way that I plan for meals for extreme streamlining given a series of food restrictions. [more inside]
posted by 3491again on Nov 23, 2013 - 5 answers

Is this what "being the breadwinner" means?

What strategies can I use to convince my husband to more openly discuss our household finances with me? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 20, 2013 - 49 answers

Where to donate / sell specific items in Atlanta?

I have inherited multiple generations of household items that I would like to donate to the best possible recipients in Atlanta or sell if there is a market for these items. [more inside]
posted by Frank Grimes on Nov 17, 2013 - 8 answers

Yucky-smelling microfleece

Chemical/burning-rubber odor on new microfleece garments. What causes this, and how can I remove it? [more inside]
posted by Bardolph on Nov 2, 2013 - 5 answers

Make my home a factory for living

I figure, at this point, somebody has done exhaustive operations research on pretty much all of my daily chores. Assuming I don't care about hominess or aesthetics, what does industry have to teach me about getting through all the little maintenance work of life with less time, effort, and attention? [more inside]
posted by d. z. wang on Oct 29, 2013 - 25 answers

Off-lable uses for everyday products?

Today I discovered that Mr. Clean Magic Erasers -- which are meant for cleaning scuffs and dirt off of floors and walls -- effortlessly worked on some clean-but-stained melamine bowls I own. What new ways have you discovered to use common household goods and items?
posted by Room 641-A on Oct 4, 2013 - 50 answers

Re-purposing things from Amazon.com's less-traveled corners

I just bought some stuff from Amazon.com and needed a little bit more to get free shipping. I ended up buying some glass rods from Amazon's "industrial and scientific" store that I will use for stirring cocktails. Can you recommend other cool doodads from Amazon's dark corners that might be useful around the house? Bonus points for less-expensive items to round out your shopping cart, not $1000 pieces of lab equipment. [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Sep 10, 2013 - 16 answers

Dishwasher repair -- how? And should I?

I have a 7-year old Whirlpool dishwasher (GU2200XTSB to be exact.) I got the 7 clean-light-flash error signal, and was able to clear that (so control panel seems good.) Heating element -- still hot. Water fills? check. But then it just hums when in the past the big chugging washing motion would begin. So it sounds like some kind of pump/motor problem. The water isn't getting pushed around. The little detergent door is opened but the detergent is still there, barely wet. I am pretty handy and have repaired several other major appliances before. so -- 1) how to diagnose pump vs. motor vs. ???? 2) Is this just stupid given the age of the dishwasher? I'd rather pay $50 or $100 than $500, but....
posted by msalt on Aug 21, 2013 - 7 answers

The best housewares from around the world!

What are the best household items or life accessories from around the world that most Americans probably aren't familiar with? [more inside]
posted by WidgetAlley on Jul 17, 2013 - 52 answers

Fix my mug

Extreme long-shot filter: The lid on my favorite travel mug partially melted in the dishwasher. Help me find a replacement? [more inside]
posted by Ms. Toad on Mar 30, 2013 - 4 answers

Remedial Laundry Study

The thing I want to wear is always in the hamper. I can't see my dresser under mountains of worn-once clothes. I never have enough kitchen towels. I have somehow made it to the age of 30 without really understanding how to stay on top of laundry. Please help! [more inside]
posted by peachfuzz on Feb 21, 2013 - 46 answers

Head of Household filing - simple question for someone who knows tax law

My divorced sister has a 24 year old son (23 in 2012) who lives at home but does not go to school, he has a part-time job. She did pay for all the expenses at home. Using Turbo Tax and it recommends she should file as Head of Household, but I want to be sure this is correct. I checked and I did put her son did not go to school in 2012. Can she file as Head of Household?
posted by just asking on Feb 17, 2013 - 7 answers

Can a diaper pail not stink?

Can a diaper pail be made to not stink? [more inside]
posted by Mai2k3 on Oct 3, 2012 - 20 answers

Family budgeting for people who LOVE spreadsheets.

Household finances: My SO and I have started to give ourselves "allowances" to put an outer limit on our discretionary spending. Have you done something similar? What did and didn't work? Any thoughts on the specific questions inside? [more inside]
posted by 5845(f)(1)(D) on Sep 12, 2012 - 23 answers

Household Magic

What modern products and technologies work "like magic"? [more inside]
posted by danceswithlight on Aug 31, 2012 - 58 answers

simple practical tips for daily living

Simple household tips [more inside]
posted by Pantalaimon on Jul 27, 2012 - 15 answers

Divesting ourselves of a household

How to divest of a household worth of stuff other than giving it away? [more inside]
posted by Megami on Jul 26, 2012 - 11 answers

E pluribus -- wait, how do you say 'soap' in Latin again?

What's the best way to combine small shards of soap, the pale remnants of larger bars, into one usable bar? [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on May 13, 2012 - 20 answers

Housework Blues

I'm confused about how to equitably split up housework. I am messier than my spouse, and to him this means I should do all the housework. Help! [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 30, 2012 - 54 answers

Heater outlets?

Alternative to this ugly heater outlet and online fabric stores [more inside]
posted by pakora1 on Feb 23, 2012 - 6 answers

Dealing with a passive aggressive landlord.

Asking for a friend. She currently lives with 3 other people in a single family household in the Boston area. Recently her landlord/roommate sent the entire household a very passive agressive email and she'd like some opinions on how to deal with it. [more inside]
posted by thekiltedwonder on Feb 7, 2012 - 52 answers

Hey, Cleaner, leave those machines alone!

Cleaner of 1+ year is using our clothes washing machine(s) without permission. She's a smoker and it makes the machines smell. Is this an expected perk? Regardless, what's an indirect way of saying "Please don't use our washing machine."? [Ridiculously detailed story insideā€¦] [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 4, 2012 - 37 answers

Household learning!

My cups of tea teach me things. Can the carpets, or the plates, or the cushions? [more inside]
posted by Fen on Dec 21, 2011 - 20 answers

How can I get boring daily activities out of the way more efficiently?

I want to spend less time and effort on "maintenance" activities. What are some good not-widely-known methods, or (cheap/small) products, to get this stuff done more quickly and get back to the more interesting parts of your day? (Examples in the extended explanation...) [more inside]
posted by SpiralT on Nov 28, 2011 - 25 answers

Toddler being raised with two languages

My 2-year-old daughter is growing up in a two-language household. Any advice on ensuring a balanced retention of vocabulary? [more inside]
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo on Nov 22, 2011 - 19 answers

Ever notice your junk is stuff and their stuff is junk?

How do you quickly and efficiently dispose of 60 years of household items while maximizing return? I am looking for tips, tricks and suggestions for dealing with a fair-sized estate. [more inside]
posted by pixlboi on Nov 16, 2011 - 21 answers

Mold control in a dry basement?

Mold control in a dry basement? [more inside]
posted by bondcliff on Oct 3, 2011 - 4 answers

Herding cats during termite treatment?

Upon the discovery of several live termites attempting to set up shop in my garage wall, I called in a local pest-control company. Following inspection, said company recommended treating the dirt under the garage slab with fipronil (aka Termidor). I have four indoor cats and a fish, and while the termite guys say the fish can stay, they're recommending moving the cats out of the house for the three hours it will take to apply the stuff. Is this really necessary? If so, where the heck can I take four fairly skittish cats for three hours? [more inside]
posted by aecorwin on Aug 29, 2011 - 10 answers

How can I mend these torn garment linings?

Small tears in the linings of wool coats and dress-pants. How can I go about mending these in a functional (but not necessarily pretty) fashion? [more inside]
posted by Bardolph on Aug 23, 2011 - 4 answers

Same meat, different bleach?

Is the active ingredient in these household cleaners the same thing? "Exit Mould" and "White & Shine"? [more inside]
posted by evil_esto on Aug 20, 2011 - 5 answers

Why, when i turn on the hot water, does the water pressure slow down just when the water gets warm?

Why, when i turn on the hot water, does the water pressure slow down just when the water gets warm? I don't believe its a pressure reducer on the hot water tank, nor a special valve at the tap. i've seen this in literally 100 year old houses, brand new installs, hotels etc etc. Question came up because we are moving to a home with a tankless hot water heater and are curious if the same effect exists there...
posted by chasles on Aug 2, 2011 - 6 answers

Slippers hack

Sometimes when I get out of bed I forget to put my slippers on.. [more inside]
posted by fire&wings on Jun 1, 2011 - 23 answers

Rewards for packing our own lunches?

Help us think of incentives that will entice us to pack lunch instead of buying it. [more inside]
posted by Knowyournuts on Jun 1, 2011 - 28 answers

Help me set a fair price for my services!

Help! Yesterday I impulsively put an ad on craigslist offering meal preparation (on-site or delivery) and grocery shopping. But what should I charge? [more inside]
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet on May 10, 2011 - 23 answers

Do it In A Week (and a bit)

I'm going away for a week and a bit. Is there anything I can set up now that will done and ready to be enjoyed when I get back? [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Mar 11, 2011 - 23 answers

Lost in the household

How can we manage to do our chores despite working all day [more inside]
posted by jfricke on Jan 4, 2011 - 57 answers

I didn't know IT did THAT

What are some new uses for common objects? [more inside]
posted by HeyAllie on Dec 28, 2010 - 15 answers

Lock Filter

Help me install an entry lock correctly. [more inside]
posted by bad grammar on Dec 3, 2010 - 9 answers

Whats the best exterior fiberglass door ?

What type of exterior door should I buy ?? I need a good exterior door to keep out the cold, I'm looking into Thermatru, but I need some advice. [more inside]
posted by absolutshrk on Nov 29, 2010 - 5 answers

Name your favourite alternative household products and where to find them cheap!

Where do you find the lowest costs for various household products? [more inside]
posted by mbatch on Nov 28, 2010 - 10 answers

What is living in my attic?

I can hear something scurry above my head. But no signs when I check for evidence. My study has a ceiling, and above that is the loft/storage/attic area. I can hear things scurrying there at certain times of day and night. Sound big-ish to me (rat sized?) but I also know even little things can sound big. [more inside]
posted by Megami on Nov 23, 2010 - 14 answers

DIY Home Insulation Kits

Hi All, I need some help and recommendations on the best method to insulate one's house envelope + attic. I'm somewhat handy, but I don't want to get in over my head with skill-level or cost. I'm thinking of the DIY spray foam insulation, any recommendations? Please see detailed explanation. Thanks [more inside]
posted by absolutshrk on Nov 8, 2010 - 6 answers

A man does not need a maid!

I can't believe that, in 2010, I have to ask this question: How do I get my SO to share housework duties? [more inside]
posted by two lights above the sea on Oct 25, 2010 - 56 answers

H2O2 + baking soday yields?

Hydrogen peroxide + baking soda = ???? [more inside]
posted by Kevin S on Sep 8, 2010 - 22 answers

What brand is this faucet?

Help me identify my faucet! [more inside]
posted by COBRA! on Sep 1, 2010 - 4 answers

Please help me evoke my childhood?

Please help me find the perfect water glass. Fortunately, I know exactly what it is. Unfortunately, I can't find it anywhere in the world. Maybe because the last time I saw one was in the late 1940s? [more inside]
posted by fivesavagepalms on Aug 5, 2010 - 16 answers

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