Save money by keeping your garden tools in shape with these tips

Jessica K. of Windsor asks: Do you have some suggestions on how to clean my new and used garden tools?

Keeping your gardening tools clean helps prevent rust, keeps the edges sharp and removes caked-on soil and sap. Good tools can be expensive, so to avoid the need for frequent replacement, keep them clean and in good working order.

All garden tools should be cleaned and wiped down after use to remove soil. If you won’t be using certain tools for awhile, give them a thorough cleaning and inspection before storing them. If pruners or saws are used to prune or remove a diseased plant, they should be cleaned and disinfected before using them on a healthy plant. A squirt of Lysol spray will work. Some gardeners say dipping the tool in bleach diluted with water and wiping it dry, before using it on the next plant, also works. But be aware that bleach can damage blades, so be sure to rinse and clean the tool thoroughly when you’re done.

Use a strong spray from the garden hose to remove soil. Scrape off stuck-on mud with a trowel or plastic scraper. To remove residual soil, fill a bucket with hot water and add about one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid per gallon of water. After removing the stuck-on soil, place the tools in the bucket and let them soak for 15-20 minutes. Rinse the tools and dry them with a microfiber cloth or an old towel. Look over each tool thoroughly for signs of rust. If you spot rust or pitting, use a stiff wire brush or steel wool to scrub it off. Wipe the tool with a little vegetable oil to help loosen the rust while you scrub it off. If any tool feels sticky, the safest product to remove it is a citrus based cleaner. Turpentine, lighter fluid or Goo Gone are good backups. When cleaning, pay close attention to the hinged areas.

For tools with wooden handles, those handles will eventually begin to dry out, split and loosen from the metal components. Once or twice a year, use a medium-grit sandpaper to sand down the handles to remove the rough spots and splinters. Rub the handles with linseed oil for a protective barrier to help repel water. If they’re in really bad shape, most wooden handles can just be removed from the metal component and replaced with a new handle.

Tools that have moving components, like pruners or shears, need oil to keep the moving parts working correctly and smoothly. Place a drop or two of machine oil on the hinged parts. It’s also a good idea to take these tools apart once a year and rub down the screws and bolts with a machine oil. This will help remove the hard-to-see rust and any mineral deposits.

Any of your gardening tools that have an edge — like hoes, pruners and shovels — will need sharpening every so often. The large blades and edges can be sharpened with

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11 Organization Tips from The Home Edit to Get Your Kitchen in Shape for Fall

home organizing tips from The Home Edit

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home organizing tips from The Home Edit

These organization tips from The Home Edit will help you get your house in shape for fall (and keep it that way all year round).

For those of us who have already re-watched “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” for inspiration decluttering our quarantine dens, there’s good news: “Get Organized with The Home Edit” is now available to stream on Netflix.

The unscripted series featuring celebrity organizers Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, the duo behind the viral home organization company, follows the Nashville-based duo as they conquer clutter in the homes of  everyday people and celebrity clients alike (which isn’t a stretch for Shearer and Teplin who’ve worked with everyone from Katy Perry to Khloe Kardashian).

a close up of a newspaper: Joanna Teplin & Clea Shearer The Home Edit

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Joanna Teplin & Clea Shearer The Home Edit

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If you’ve ever audibly swooned over a rainbow of perfectly aligned cans of La Croix or longed for Busy Phillips’ delightfully organized and colorful pantry, you’re probably familiar with the work of The Home Edit and the beautifully organized spaces they create.

a group of items on a shelf

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Busy Philipps on Instagram: “My kitchen and pantry looked insane and the lovely ladies at @thehomeedit came and changed my life(I mean, at least my snacks)Also. It’s…”

Unlike Marie Kondo’s KonMari method which thrives on the joy of minimalism, The Home Edit takes a highly visual (read: Instagrammable) approach to home organization, using uniform containers, labeling, and color grouping. It’s perfect for maximalists and minimalists alike.

If you’re looking to whip your kitchen and pantry into shape (or simply want some helpful solutions for organizing the things that “spark joy”) here are a few key takeaways from The Home Edit method.

1. Start Small and Edit

a bottle of items on the counter

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THE HOME EDIT ® on Instagram: “Our THE bins and drawers are perfect for under the sink ✨ Products from this post – along with THE book, and our other favorite items – are…”

The name says it all. The Home Edit doesn’t want you to get rid of your possessions, they want you to edit them. If being overwhelmed is an issue, start with the smallest areas of your kitchen, like your junk drawer. Pull out everything and group similar items together. Purge what you no longer use, like, or have in duplicates (for example, do you really need those two can openers?). Next, assess what containers you’ll need to organize your items.

2. Be Consistent

a plastic container filled with food

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THE HOME EDIT ®’s Instagram post: “Our favorite glass canisters 🌈✨ Products from this post – along with THE book, and our other favorite items – are available on our shop…”

According to The Home Edit, when it comes to organizing consistency is key. As Shearer tells House Beautiful, “if people have a hodgepodge of containers, it is the worst thing in the entire world.” We can think of worse things (like steak that’s been warmed up in the microwave or overcooked

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