Marlen Komar

Marlen is a writer first, vintage hoarder second, and donut fiend third. If you have a passion for finding the best taco joints in Chicago or want to talk about Doris Day movies, then she thinks an afternoon coffee date is in order.
6 Things You Should Never, Ever Put Down Your Kitchen Drain
And what to do with them instead.
Jan 23, 2023
4 Simple Ways to Get Butter Stains Out of Clothes
Get your favorite shirt or pair of jeans back to tip-top shape without permanent grease marks.
Jan 10, 2023
Does Putting Aluminum Foil in Your Dishwasher Really Remove Water Stains?
I asked a chemist to weigh in.
Oct 22, 2022
We Finally Found the Best Container for Pantry Items
There is nothing more aesthetically pleasing to me than a decanted pantry. Seeing before-and-after photos of crowded shelves filled with crinkled packages being transformed into a uniform, symmetrical storage system makes my heart sing. It’s so organized and pretty — but as anyone who has done it will tell you, it’s also impractical. Unless you shop for just yourself, few containers are large enough to hold an entire package’s contents.
Sep 13, 2022
I Found the Key to Making Moving Easier and Quicker
This trick will help save hours of work once the move begins.
Sep 9, 2022
3 Window-Cleaning Tips My Polish Grandmother Taught Me
Onions are involved.
Aug 30, 2022
Here’s How to Wash Dishes When There’s No Running Water
Perfect for camping, summer houses, van life, and more.
Aug 15, 2022
Here’s How to Wash a Backpack (by Hand and in the Washing Machine!)
The new school year is right around the corner ...
Jul 27, 2022
Here’s What You Need to Know About Cleaning Your Gas or Charcoal Grill
The key is keeping up with maintenance!
Jul 25, 2022
My Mom’s Secret Strategy Totally Changed How I Feel About Cleaning
It not only made cleaning a lot more fun, but also made me more selective and mindful of what I brought into my home.
Jul 18, 2022
This Extremely Simple Rule Has Completely Changed the Way I Clean
If you find yourself putting off the task and cleaning only once a month because you can’t scrounge up enough energy (or time!) to organize your home, this is a helpful alternative.
Jul 13, 2022
The “Limbo Box” Has Helped Me Get Rid of Stuff … Without Any Regrets
Organizing Tips from The Kitchn
Letting go is hard!
Jul 3, 2022
5 DIY Weatherproofing Tricks to Try When Using Indoor Furniture Outside
While you can’t make all furniture weatherproof, there are some tricks to help make certain pieces more outside-ready.
Jun 8, 2022
I Tried My Mom’s Technique for Keeping Baseboards Clean — And I’ll Be Using Her Method from Now On
Cleaning Tips from The Kitchn
She’s been a housekeeper for more than 20 years.
May 23, 2022
Ready to Finally Get Organized? These Are the 5 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid.
Organizing Tips from The Kitchn
Declutter before you buy!
May 20, 2022
8 Super-Easy Things You Can Do to Fight Off Pests Right Now
Tips from The Kitchn
Deter fruit flies! Repel mice! Turn cockroaches away! And more!
May 9, 2022
My Grandmother’s Dust-Busting Cleaning Secret Is Too Good to Keep to Myself
Cleaning Tips from The Kitchn
You'll have to dust way less frequently with this tip from my Polish grandmother.
May 6, 2022
My Grandmother Has Kept Her Glass Coffee Pot Spotless for Decades — Here’s How She Does It
Cleaning Tips from The Kitchn
It calls for two things that you definitely already have.
May 2, 2022
There’s a New Trend in Open Shelving and We Are Here for It
Trends
Even people who don't like open shelving might like this idea!
Apr 15, 2022
This 1950s Decorating Trend Is Back in Style — In a Big Way
Trends
Even Kate Middleton and Prince William have embraced the trend!
Apr 5, 2022
I Tried My Grandmother’s Technique for Cleaning Stainless Steel — And I’ll Never Use Any Other Method
Cleaning Tips from The Kitchn
You’re left with a lovely sheen – and you don't have to buy any extra cleaning products!
Mar 25, 2022
This $100 Gadget Is the Best Thing I’ve Ever Bought for My Kitchen. Period.
Tools
"I never thought, in a million years, that I’d become so obsessed with it."
Nov 25, 2021
The Surprising Piece of Furniture from Your Grandparents’ House That’s Coming Back in Style
Trends
It's just being used a little differently these days.
Oct 26, 2021
A Brief History of Depression Glass, the Gorgeous 1930s Kitchen Staple Making a Comeback
This cheery-hued, inexpensive glassware trend is back. In a big way.
Sep 17, 2021
10 Great Sources for Buying Plants Online (on a Budget)
Shopping
Not all plant sites are created equal.
May 19, 2020
10 Things from Your Grandparents’ Kitchen That Are Back to Being Cool Again
Tips from The Kitchn
It's time to reconsider the hanging fruit basket!
Mar 6, 2020
6 Brilliant Ways To Make Space for a Dining Table in The Smallest Living Rooms
Small Space Living
No space? No problem! You can still have a dining table!
Jun 5, 2019
You Can Buy Houseplants Online — Here's Where to Look
Plants in the Kitchen
Many of these sites will even help you keep the plants alive!
Jun 4, 2019
23 Ways to Use String Lights — Beyond Your Patio, That Is
String lights, globe lights, fairy lights — no matter what you call them, they’ve proved their staying power. String lights have become the secret weapon for (professional and amateur) decorators, coming in all shapes, sizes, and colors. And, there are so many ways that you can use them to dress up a place in a modern, chic way. Here are some of our favorite ways to experiment with string lights — beyond the super-expected patio treatment, that is. 1.
Jun 25, 2018
Why You Want a Kitchen Island Now (but Didn’t 100 Years Ago)
The evolution of the kitchen island maps out not only how American kitchens have changed over the 20th century, but also how our lives have shifted from decade to decade.
Apr 12, 2018
5 Smart Tips for Finding the Best Restaurants While Traveling
Don't risk a sad meal or a tourist trap.
Oct 31, 2017
I Only Ever Stay in Hostels. Here’s Why.
I remember the first time I ever booked a hostel room. My dad nonchalantly informed me that he was not, in fact, Liam Neeson — ergo, he would not be taking names through Europe to find me when I got kidnapped. Fair enough, I thought. My dad’s c’est la vie attitude towards my inevitable disappearance aside, the exchange shows us that hostels sometimes get a bad rap. But for me, they’re the only places I stay when I travel.
Oct 13, 2017
I Only Ever Stay in Hostels. Here’s Why.
I remember the first time I ever booked a hostel room. My dad nonchalantly informed me that he was not, in fact, Liam Neeson — ergo, he would not be taking names through Europe to find me when I got kidnapped. Fair enough, I thought. My dad’s c’est la vie attitude towards my inevitable disappearance aside, the exchange shows us that hostels sometimes get a bad rap. But for me, they’re the only places I stay when I travel.
Oct 13, 2017
I Got on a Plane for a Cocktail & It Changed My Life
It was midweek when I found myself staring outside the plexiglass window of my landing plane, worrying my lip as the typical Dublin rain blurred the lights of the airport. What am I doing? I asked myself as the “unbuckle seat belts” sign dinged overhead. This is not what a rational, put-together adult would do, I lectured as I wrestled my carry-on out of the overhead bin.
Oct 5, 2017