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Household hints and tips are a collection of folk and household wisdom passed down through generations, both inter- and intra-generationally. They comprise helpful knowledge and expertise-from-experience that people have gathered over time, and have been willing to pass on to others.

Household hints and tips tend to be brief, to-the-point and focused on quick ways to solve everyday household issues. Many hints and tips are innately environmentally-friendly.

Sustainability and folk knowledge[edit | edit source]

The long tradition of passing on household hints and tips is steeped in the desire to help other people and future generations. It is the wisdom of experience and the fruits of coming up with solutions to make living easier, safer and better in small, daily tasks. In a way, use of household hints and tips is a connection to those who have gone before us, and in turn, it's something we can leave for others who come after us. Moreover, household hints and tips can form part of a wider array of transition skills, helping us to be less reliant on manufactured solutions and more reliant on manufacturing the solutions for ourselves.

Hints and tips are also focused on frugality or thrift, low-cost alternatives and a desire to live within means. They often focus on reuse, repurposing, substituting and finding an array of ways to reduce usage of many items in the household context. Hints and tips will frequently help people learn how to make things stretch further, last longer, work better and be repaired where possible.

While not all household hints and tips stand the test of time, as science reveals some to be no more than myths or superstitions and others to be downright dangerous, many household hints and tips continue to be useful knowledge that can be bolstered with improvements in knowledge and understanding. If the hint or tip relates to medical, health, ingested items, pet care or things best left to the sparkies and plumbers, then researching quality references to verify the accuracy of the hint or tip is essential. On the other hand, if it's simple, straightforward and doesn't involve dangerous substances, an experienced householder will be able to determine the validity or otherwise of actioning such tips and hints. And there is always the internet, where you can find answers and ask questions!

Using household hints and tips[edit | edit source]

One of the benefits of household hints and tips is their brevity. They do not need to be relayed in technical detail or even in lengthy ways. It is sufficient to state the hint or tip in relation to a particular problem or item and the solution will be of quick use, and potentially of ongoing helpfulness.

Keep your favourite household hints and tips somewhere secure for future reference. Household tips can be collected in notebook or digital form, whichever you prefer the most. The benefit of a digital format is fast retrievability and ease of updating. However, there is charm in a dogeared old hints and tips book in the house, especially if everyone is contributing to it over time.

Share your favourite hints and tips on Appropedia, to help keep the cycle of homegrown knowledge and experience flowing onward.

Common areas for household hints and tips[edit | edit source]

There is a vast array of household hints and tips from the past and present. Some of the commonplace hints and tips revolve around such things as:

  • Use of vegetables and fruits in the home - cooking tips, preserving hints, use of lemons, ertc. for cleaning, storage periods,
  • Use of household products to replace commercial products - substitute ingredients, cleaning substances and polishes, uses of such items as vinegar, baking soda and borax for many a household need, etc.
  • Care of the home - ways to keep house that don't cost a fortune, that preserve the appliances the household does have or does away with such, and that keep the house in good condition through attentiveness and easy repairs, etc.
  • Keeping cool or warm through use of household items, rearranging the household, keeping the body temperatures up or down, etc.
  • Mending, repairing, fixing, repurposing, reusing - instead of disposing or or discarding items brought into the household, etc.
  • Sewing hints - mending, quick fixes, easy patterns, repurposing existing clothing, etc.
  • Bodily care - making homemade cosmetics, pamper products, hair care items, etc.
  • Caring for plants grown in the home environment and the householder's garden patch, dealing with pests, encouraging good growth, etc.
  • Organising - hints and tips on getting and staying organised in the household environment, daily chores and tasks, etc.
  • Budgeting at the household level.
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Authors Felicity
Published 2015
License CC-BY-SA-4.0
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