Shifrah Combiths's Recent Articles
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The 2 Biggest Mistakes You Make When Dusting Your Kitchen
It’s true: Dusting seems futile. Yes, dust is going to keep coating any and every faintly horizontal surface and, no, it’s not a fun or particularly rewarding chore. But that’s not to say that getting rid of dust doesn’t make us feel good — if not by reducing the allergies we’re exposed to inside our homes, at least by just knowing that our surfaces are dust-free (for, like, a day).
May 1, 2019
The Biggest Mistakes You Might Be Making When Using Goo Gone
I may be a rare breed, but I get really excited to try cleaning tools or hacks that extend the promise of near magical ease-of-use or effectiveness. I’ve even been known to run out to Target to pick out a cleaning product I’ve read about so I can try it out myself. And when I write articles about top-rated cleaning products on Amazon? Well, let’s just say I now own and regularly use an O-Cedar mop, Bar Keeper’s Friend, and a bunch of Scrub Daddy sponges.
Apr 30, 2019
Vinegar Is the Only Floor Cleaner You Need (Even for Carpet!)
Here's how to put it to work.
Apr 30, 2019
7 Things to Declutter Before Spring Turns to Summer
In the spirit of saying goodbye to the past season and getting prepared for the coming one, we've made a list of some smart things to declutter as spring turns to summer.
Apr 29, 2019
3 Things We Should All Be “Hand Mopping” at Home
Getting down on our hands and knees results in a detailed kind of clean that's just so, so worth it.
Apr 26, 2019
The One Kind of “Clutter” That’s Okay to Keep
There are so many kinds of clutter: excess items you think you might need someday, clutter you’re so used to having around that you don’t even notice it anymore, piles of paper you have to go through, and things you feel guilty getting rid of because someone gave them to you or you spent good money on them. But there’s one kind of clutter you should never feel bad hanging on to.
Apr 22, 2019
Why “Clean the Fridge” Should Be at the Top of Every Grocery List You Make
I hate to toss around tired old adages, but the truth of the matter is that taking care of a problem when it’s small is far easier than addressing a bigger problem once it’s grown. “Stitching in time” is particularly relevant when it comes to home-keeping — where procrastination, like not sweeping dirt from hardwood floors, can lead to major tasks like eventually refinishing your scratched-up floor.
Apr 4, 2019
38 “Useful” Things You Should Probably Get Rid of Anyway
Just like finding the right meal-planning method or exercise regimen, finding the right decluttering motto can be the key to keeping your home clutter-free. Many find an admonition by William Morris helpful when deciding what to keep and get rid of: “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” But this popular decluttering criterion could actually become a pitfall if you’re not careful.
Mar 22, 2019
16 Brilliant Hacks That Make Your Microwave Worth the Counter Space
Any tool that multitasks in the kitchen means less wasted space and more bang for your buck. A gadget with a specific use has to be downright amazing for me to give up kitchen real estate to it. (A strawberry huller falls under that category in our family, and gets used several times a week in the summer.
Mar 20, 2019
6 People on What They Really Notice About Your Messy Home
I hosted a small party for my daughter’s birthday the other weekend. After making sure the cake was baked and the decorations were hung on the wall, I felt pressed to deep clean. Not just pick up stuff, but dust baseboards and thoroughly mop the floors and shine the stainless appliances and wipe down every bathroom afresh. I didn’t want the parents dropping off their kids to think I was a slob. Fortunately or unfortunately, I didn’t have time. And guess what.
Mar 11, 2019
If You Own a Vacuum, You Need This Simple $5 Tool
It’s a little meta, but cleaning your cleaning tools is an important part of keeping your homemaking life humming. For example, imagine how your bathroom-cleaning momentum would come to a screeching halt if you discovered you were out of your favorite tub and tile cleaner. And you won’t be so amped to handle the living room once you realize that your usually-trusty vacuum is struggling to suck, and the brush is being taken over by a swarm of hair.
Feb 28, 2019
7 Tiny Ways to Make Your Cleaning Routine a Million Times Better
Even if you ignored the pull to make a New Year’s resolution and reevaluate your past year and make lofty promises to yourself for the year to come, you probably can’t help but feel a bit of a fresh-slate feeling with the semi-recent turn of the calendar page. You know what stays the same year after year, though? Your household chores. But they don’t have to.
Feb 12, 2019
This Organizer Will Free Up an Entire Kitchen Cabinet
Variety is the spice of life, as they say, and nowhere is this more true than when amassing your collection of tea for cold-weather sipping. I bet everyone in your household has their own favorite that evokes the comforting sensation of sitting on the couch shrouded in a blanket beside a crackling fire and twinkling fairy lights. You make sure you’re stocked on the old standbys: mint, sleepy time, vanilla chamomile, and rooibos.
Jan 1, 2019
14 Surprising Uses for This Cult-Favorite Floor Cleaner
It's good for so much more beyond hardwood floors.
Nov 23, 2018
27 Things in Your Kitchen to Get Rid of Before Thanksgiving
Nothing turns a happy chef into a frazzled one like searching through drawers or disassembling the kitchen to dig out the necessary tools. Don’t let this be you at Thanksgiving. For a smoothly running kitchen — and, more importantly, a smiling cook — eliminate everything that doesn’t need to be in your kitchen before the big day.
Nov 12, 2018
The Ridiculously Weird-Looking Tool that Makes Me Super Happy in the Kitchen
Last spring when my mother was in town, she offered to help me make an epic month-long supply of freezer meals. While preparing for the task, I came across a recommendation for a kitchen tool that I’d never seen or heard of before. I bought some and, now, they make me so happy every time I have an occasion to use them. They’re so delightfully handy, I’ve even given them as gifts.
Oct 17, 2018
How Microwaving Your Cleaning Rag Can Make It More Powerful
Many of us are familiar with the trick of microwaving sponges to help disinfect them. Although that practice has been thrust into the spotlight and put under scrutiny lately. Turns out that microwaving sponges only kills the worst of the bacteria they harbor; the other microbes quickly recolonize the sponge and it’s as bad as it ever was, ewww. But there is a reason to microwave your rags, one that sidesteps the whole question of how to keep your kitchen cloths sanitary.
Oct 16, 2018
Spend Less Time Cleaning with One Small Shift to Your Routine
I’ve been cleaning my house according to this room-by-room cleaning schedule for years. When I keep up with it, my house looks perpetually clean. But (spoiler alert!) I don’t always manage to keep up with it. And I’ve begun to wonder if a particular shift in my routine could save me time and give me the impetus to finish my daily tasks. The room-by-room method works well enough.
Oct 11, 2018
You Should Put a Bowl of Vinegar in Your Dishwasher — Here’s Why
You've already got it in your pantry.
Oct 4, 2018
You Should Vacuum with a Paper Towel Tube — Here’s Why
I love my vacuums. Yes, we have two: A Dyson small ball (the big ones are way too heavy for me to vacuum with comfortably, and was definitely too heavy for me to carry up and down the stairs when we lived in a two-story house) and a cordless that was a (requested) Mother’s Day present that has for real changed my everyday life.
Sep 25, 2018
4 Surprising Uses for Our Favorite $3 IKEA Organizing Staple
The magic of IKEA pieces is not only in their well-thought-out, small-space-maximizing design, but also in the numerous ways each versatile piece can be repurposed and hacked. And that includes the VARIERA bag dispenser. Yes, the thing you buy to store your used plastic grocery bags. Here are four ways to transform one of our very favorite IKEA staples into more than meets the eye.
Sep 6, 2018
This Chill, Low-Maintenance Plant Is Perfect for People Who Can’t Keep Anything Alive
Snake plants, also know as mother-in-law’s tongue or sansevieria, have become increasingly popular, and rightly so. With their striking lines and hardiness, they’re the houseplants even black thumbs can show off. They also act as air purifiers to improve your home’s air quality. Here’s how to keep them happiest. When shopping for snake plants, select one that has dark green leaves; leaves that are too pale indicate that the plant may already be faltering.
Aug 29, 2018
The Low-Maintenance Plant That Belongs in Your Dining Room
In recent years, the ubiquitous fiddle leaf fig has dominated all other entrants in the competition for most popular in-house tree-like plants. But we think it’s time to give another understated-but-stately tree — with its large, deep green leaves — a second look and another chance. Here’s how to maintain a rubber plant as a striking part of your dining room decor for years to come.
Aug 10, 2018
12 Ways to Put Used Tea Bags to Work in and Around the House
It feels so good to be able to do something with the things we’d normally discard. Coffee grounds as rose fertilizer and clementine peels saved for DIY candles come to mind, not to mention composting in general. If you’re a regular or occasional tea drinker, you can add your tea bags to the list of garbage you shouldn’t throw out just yet. Here are some ways to reuse them post-brew. Add a hint of flavor to rice or grains.
Jul 17, 2018
The Must-Have DIY Cleaning Solution You’ve Never Heard Of
The funky name of this cleaner (which, let's be real, is totally part of its charm) alludes to its somewhat surprising ingredients.
May 24, 2018
The One Major Drawback to Undermount Sinks
Undermount sinks are often a no-brainer decision when remodeling a kitchen. There’s lots to love: they look nice, let you wipe water and crumbs directly from the counter into the sink with a single swipe, and they eliminate that gunk-magnet seam that comes with overmount sinks. With all these pros, what’s the catch?
May 23, 2018
The Pros and Cons of Single-Bowl Versus Double-Bowl Kitchen Sinks
Much like gas versus electric stoves, kitchen sinks inspire strong opinions and fierce debate — ones that transcend even the trends of the moment. People either love or hate their single- or double-bowl sinks If you’re in the position to choose, and/or you’re open to change, here are the pros and cons of each.
May 18, 2018
4 Reasons You Should Always Put a Coffee Filter in a Flower Pot
Plants add vibrancy to our living spaces like nothing else quite can. And although tending to them isn’t necessarily hard, they are living things that require our time and attention. So anything that makes caring for plants a bit easier is a plus in our book — especially because this means we can add a few more! Here’s how coffee filters contribute to smart, less-mess plant maintenance.
May 15, 2018
The Surprising Miracle Cleaner You’ve Had in Your Apartment Since College
When you’re looking for an effective cleaner, most of us would love to find something inexpensive, non-toxic and — while we’re being picky — something we already have at home. Often white vinegar, the darling of every DIY cleaning maven, fits the bill. But some people just cannot stand the smell. So can we suggest another substance to fulfill your green clean dreams? One that you may have buried in your freezer or pantry (or out on the bar cart) already?
May 7, 2018
5 Reasons You Should Keep Toothpaste in the Kitchen
I love finding ways to use things I already have in new life-hack-y ways. Take toothpaste, for example. It’s something we all have in our bathrooms. Turns out, though, that it might be worth keeping a tube in the kitchen, too, as it can do a bunch of other useful things — you know, in addition to fighting tooth decay! Keep reading to see how toothpaste can be used in the kitchen. Gently rubbing non-gel toothpaste on water rings can remove them from a wooden table.
Mar 15, 2018
3 Things Science Says You Should Clean & Declutter to Snap Yourself Out of the Winter Blues
The season of winter cheer is over, Groundhog Day is past us (Phil saw his shadow, by the way) and we’re left to stare down a few more weeks of cold and darkness with holiday bills still to pay down. But don’t let winter get you down without a fight. Here are some ways to combat the winter doldrums right in your own home. Most of the difficulties brought on by a severe form of winter blues, called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), stem from a lack of light.
Feb 14, 2018
29 Things in Your Kitchen You Can Get Rid Of
It’s easy to assume that many of the items in our kitchens are necessities. But a closer look almost always reveals that the heart of our home could use some paring down. The rewards of stripping down to the actual necessities are especially great when done in this highly utilitarian room because you’ll reap the benefits of a much more efficient food prep space.
Dec 19, 2017