DECEMBER 22: GOOD THINGS
"It's a good thing." We've all heard Martha speak these words countless times over the last quarter century - and by now we instinctively know what a Good Thing is. Perhaps Martha defines it best: "Ideas that are simple, but not too simple - interesting and useful, but still inspired."
The Good Things column made its first appearance in Martha Stewart Living magazine in the very first issue. It has been in every issue since, bringing the reader simple solutions for everyday problems and good ideas for the home and garden that just make you wonder, "Why didn't I think of that?" The term "good thing" has become part of the Martha Stewart vernacular, a phrase so commonly associated with Martha, her television shows and her magazines that it is impossible to separate them. I have not counted how many Good Things have been published in Martha Stewart Living over the last 25 years, but it is surely in the hundreds. A "Good Things" book was put together in 1997 - a collection of the most popular ideas from the column - but I certainly feel it is time for another compilation to hit the bookshelves. (Take note, editors!)
When I think of my own life and some of the Good Things I have adopted, there are many that come to mind:
- Mount a steel funnel to the wall, wide side up, and place a ball of string inside, guiding a loose strand through the narrow end to create a twine dispenser. We do this at our cottage.
- Decant your dishwashing liquid into an attractive glass bottle to keep by the sink. I know we ALL do this!
- Use a tray filled with pebbles from a garden center to keep by the front door for wet boots and shoes. The water and mud will trickle off the boots into the tray of pebbles, keeping your floors clean.
- I learned how to tie a great bow thanks to a Good Thing!
- Tightly roll a paper towel and insert it three-quarters of the way inside a newly washed bottle. The towel will wick away the moisture from an area that is difficult to dry by hand.
- Have a key corral by the front door to keep all your keys organized and in one place.
- Use vegetable oil to remove stickers and their residue from glass.
It goes on and on. And I frequently refer back to old issues just to read the Good Things. I very often find new ideas that I had previously overlooked.
Designate a grassy spot a step away from your porch or patio as the place for washing sandy feet before re-entering the house. Make a weatherproof frame with four three-inch-tall boards. The box shown is 16 inches square. Fill it will several layers of smooth, flat stones - river stones look particularly handsome and are easy on the soles. Sand rinses away into the stones and grass below, leaving bare feet clean.