Little Household Things I Love.

By: Jen Shoop

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links below, I may receive compensation.

01. A tall stack of cheap white towels in the linen closet by my sink. I use these to wash my face morning and night. I love that I needn’t be precious — if a little makeup or mascara gets on there, no problem! They are just for washing my face. I toss them into a wire basket I keep at the bottom of the linen closet when used and wash them every few days.

02. We wash nearly all of our produce in a solution of baking soda and water. (I’ve heard other Magpies use a solution of vinegar and water, but the effect is the same: the soda or vinegar act as a mild abrasive, dissolving waxes/coatings.) We then rinse in a colander. We’ve been doing this for months and months, typically several times a day as our children are fruit flies, so we tend to just leave the orange Arm and Hammer box by the sink! I recently bought this little glass jar with lid and spoon to decant the baking soda into — a little bit less of an eyesore.

03. Ditto my two salt cellars for fancy salts (seen above). We use Diamond Kosher salt in great quantities as we cook at home a lot, and store that in an open-mouth salt pig from Emile Henry (N.B.: these now come in really fun colors, BUT you can also get the look for much less with these ones, also available in great colors). But I found we were reaching for both our Maldon flake salt and our seaweed salt a lot, and I hated the way those containers looked on our kitchen counter. These inexpensive wood salt cellars to the rescue! I bought them in two slightly different wood types so you can easily tell which is which, and stack them on top of one another.

04. Return address labels! Save me so much time. Cheap and cute prints from this Etsy shop.

05. Beadboard drying rack. Life changing! I love that this can collapse into the wall when not in use, and that it’s mounted / out of the way. Contemplating buying a second one to flank the first. I use these all the time!

06. These cabinet/drawer organizers — the smaller ones are great for things like hair ties, paper clips, push pins, etc, and the larger for pens, bandaids, lipsticks, makeup brushes, lining up bottles of sunscreen, etc. These are so handy in the kitchen, bathroom, and any linen/storage area of the home. For larger sets of things, I love this exact brand in the medium size. Somehow the perfect dimensions for everything — great for organizing sets of bath/body products (shampoos, body washes, etc), medicines, and general categories of loose items (e.g. in the linen closet in our children’s bathroom — we toss all the random combs, brushes, etc in these).

07. For organizing travel items and/or backstock of cosmetics, I’m in love with these drawers! I keep them under my sink. The fact that they are clear is a huge bonus. You can see everything!

08. Portable speaker. We love this thing! We bring it outside any time we’re out watching the kids on their bikes/playing in the yard, having a cocktail or dinner, sitting on the front stoop, etc. Mr. Magpie also uses it while washing the car and doing yard work. We also bring it on trips — great for beach, hotel room, etc. Super durable and semi-water-proof too. The best!

I’m not including this in the “little households things I love” category but I have to say: this teak dining table was the first item we bought for our house in Bethesda and not a day goes by I don’t love it. I noticed it’s 30% off, which might be the least expensive I’ve ever seen it. Strongly rec. We purchased it as soon as we closed on the house. (I mean, maybe the same day we closed?) We were so hungry for outdoor space, and this was the one thing we absolutely needed: outdoor dining table and chairs. I love the classic teak style and it’s the perfect size for our back covered porch. Withstands swampy D.C. summers and frosty D.C. winters with poise. We paired with these dining chairs. (S&L has a similar style they just released here. Unrelated, but these kitchen pendants, also from S&L’s newest arrivals, is so retro-chic and different!)

P.S. Another S&L item I love, and all its virtues, here.

P.P.S. More household favorites and repeat buys, plus kitchen favorites you might not have.

P.P.P.S. What’s the first job each morning?

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

11 thoughts on “Little Household Things I Love.

  1. I’m always so curious about everyone’s stuff! Apologies for my typical long-winded answer, thanks for bearing with me. I’m having the type of day that requires me to start a new 24 hours fresh, and enumerating this was very soothing.

    We have so many of these white bins!! I use them to corral kid toys in the living room, and outgrown baby clothes in the closet. https://www.amazon.fr/gp/aw/d/B08GKR22Y5?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title
    These canvas sacks under the bed for our out of season clothes and linens: https://www.amazon.fr/rangement-vêtements-chandails-courtepointes-couvertures/dp/B01GH2I3I0/ref=dp_fod_sccl_1/261-4825474-8565054
    This organizer for all our lotions and potions, since we don’t have drawers in our bathrooms: https://www.amazon.fr/your-orders/pop/ref=ppx_yo_mob_b_pop
    These large pockets hold our son’s diapers, with room for a pack of wipes beneath, and I use the medium for sunscreen tubes and hairbrushes
    These big rolling bins for clean laundry:
    and these for dirty laundry:
    We fight over these mugs:
    They go well with our dishes:
    I’m deeply loyal to Brabantia and I’ve bought their stacking food containers a dozen times for pantry and freezer.
    For file boxes, I use Bigso of Sweden’s beautiful stuff to organize our taxes/receipts/insurance!

    I love seeing everyone’s repeat buys! We’re a curaprox toothbrush household thanks to you, we each just picked a new one last night! Our son uses Hello’s watermelon toddler toothpaste and Risewell Kids cake batter toothpaste and we use Opalescence, though if we’re in the US we prefer David’s. I have a tube of Marvis Jasmine Mint I got as a stocking stuffer that really does taste of jasmine!
    We reorder replacement iPhone glass constantly!
    My husband just got a new box of Astra razors for his safety razor; the prior box ($12) lasted through 7 years of frequent shaving!

    Cleaning supplies:
    We have a Force of Nature machine! Every 2 weeks I make more, and we use it as hand sanitizer, for kid toys, the diaper pad and potty, and the counters, since it kills viruses. I use melamine sponges (basically magic erasers without any added cleaning chemicals) for scrubbing the high chair and kids’ table. Miss Messy Mouth gets out the worst food/diaper stains. We buy bambino mio laundry booster (an oxygen bleach) to add to most loads of stinky little kid clothes.

    I buy a tin of Matthez truffles every 2 weeks (the Whole Foods cocoa truffles are identical). Other reorders include vanilla powder, Calabrian chile paste, Maldon. Rummo pasta and sauce are our store bought gold standard, and their gluten free are the best we’ve found!

  2. Hi! Need ideas for newly remodeled bathroom showers, but forgot to add shelf or ledge for ladies shaving. We need white for sure or cream.. Florida beach living. Teak? Not sure

  3. Also — re: washcloths for the face: we once stayed at this beautifully appointed AirBnB home and they had these navy washcloths with the word “makeup” embroidered on them in white. I don’t use makeup much but I loved this little upgrade! Nice to have a dark color so we don’t have to worry about stains, and also to have a set exclusively for face washing. I’ve seen them on Amazon!

  4. Yes! We wash produce in baking soda and water too and I keep a container under the sink (since we get the huge Arm and Hammer bags from Costco). Amazing how much gunk comes off and sits in the bottom of the bowl after a soak. I’ve also been trying baking soda + dish soap on stubborn stains (especially on whites), will report back!

    Do you have an effective-yet-not-unsightly way of storing dishwashing gloves so that they dry completely between uses? Thank you!!

    1. On the stuff at the bottom of the bowl post-soak — I know, right? Gross! I also feel like the fruit LOOKS better after its little bath — like it’s had a glow up. Ha.

      I have no answer on the gloves — I leave them resting over the edge of the sink (!). LMK if you find a better solution…


      1. Question re: produce washing. I usually rinse right before use. Should I be using something stronger? I’ve heard of using a special wash but baking soda is new to me! Is the residue actually bad for you? Also, I read that washing and then storing in a tupperware hastens the molding – but it’s obviously easier to do it all in a weekly prep vs just as you eat.

        Your blog is lovely and I enjoy reading it always. Thank you!

        1. Thank you so much for the sweet note! Glad to have you here, and lovely to meet you!

          Re: washing. We usually do it in day-of batches, e.g., when making breakfast, we’ll do a big wash of all the fruit we think we’ll need that day. We lay everything out on clean kitchen towels to dry for about an hour and then put in bowls for the fridge (to avoid the mold issue). Unfortunately, I do find that washing them and then not eating within 24-ish hours DOES lead to molding, but making sure the cleaned fruit is REALLY dry (esp berries) can extend the life in the fridge.

          Hope that helps!


  5. That teak table is gorgeous! What do you do for winter storage? Just cover it, or do you have a way to keep it out of the elements? I’d love something similar, but whatever I choose will need to handle real winter weather (as well as the summer scorching).

    1. Hi Sara! We do not cover it – we probably should – but it is on a covered porch so it doesn’t get direct snow/rain/ice/branches/birds/etc. I bet you can find something suitable on Amazon that will do the trick!


Previous Article

Next Article