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Learn more about life hacks for a clean, organized home

By Abby Hardison

Rowan Public Library

A common trend on social media and pop culture websites for several years has been the propagation of “life hacks,” also called “life pro tips,” where folks share their improvised, inexpensive or especially clever ideas to make life easier.

This is not a new concept. Domestic goddess Heloise (and her mother before her, also Heloise) has been doling out her famous “Hints” for decades in newspapers and magazines.

Websites such as Pinterest and Facebook are full of household tips and tricks to make life cheaper, easier, cleaner and more organized, by using paper towel rolls, shoe organizers and wall hooks, among other things.

RPL has some great books on organizing the home, including Marie Kondo’s bestseller “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” (2011), but getting rid of stuff isn’t the only way to streamline your life and home. Repurposing and reusing items, or upcycling, as it’s also called, is another way to take items that you don’t need and turn them into things you never thought possible!

A great example is Yankee Magazine’s 2004 book “Vinegar, Duct Tape, Milk Jugs & More,” which is chock full of all sorts of ideas that will make you say “Huh!” Another cool book in the collection is “Making it: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World” (2012), by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen, which has everything from making your own cleaning products to cheap gardening projects.

On March 5, from 6-7:30 p.m. at our Salisbury headquarters on West Fisher Street, we are showcasing our collection of books to bring out your inner Heloise and make the Pinterest people jealous. We’ll show you organization ideas for every room with repurposed and attractive items, such as cardboard boxes turned into chic storage containers with a little contact paper and paint. Rein in your bathroom vanity area with drawer organizers meant for tableware, and use a tension rod under the sink to hang all your spray bottles.

To find out more and see pictures, you’ll just have to come and see us at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 5 at the library. For more information, check out www.rowanpubliclibrary.org.

Friends of RPL and Cheerwine Concert Series: Headquarters, Feb. 27, 7 p.m., Castlebay will perform “Bards & Blarney,” a celebration of the Irish Bardic Tradition as part of the Friends of RPL and Cheerwine Concert Series on February 27 at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. This event is free, open to the public, and all ages are welcome.

Tech Tuesdays: Reading on Your Favorite Device, South, Feb. 20, 7 p.m. This one-hour computer class, held in South’s conference room, introduces participants to reading free content on their favorite devices. Space is limited, so registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Paul at Paul.Birkhead@rowancountync.gov or 704-216-7737.

“Oh, look at that …” scavenger hunt: Through Feb. 28, East branch. Olaf’s body has come apart yet again. Can you put all nine pieces back together again before he melts? Find the pieces and be entered into a raffle contest for a literary-themed prize. For more information, contact Tammie Foster at 704-216-7842.

Blind Date with a Book: Through Feb. 28, South. Life is full of surprises. All ages are welcome to experience the mystery of checking out an unknown book and discovering what’s in the wrapping. This program is for all ages. For more details, call 704-216-7842. Also at East through Feb. 14.

PJ Storytime: Feb. 19, 6:30 p.m., headquarters. Put on your pajamas, grab a blanket, your favorite stuffed animal, and join us for a special evening storytime. Recommended for children 3-11 years old, but all children are welcomed.

Seusstastic Mystery: Headquarters, Feb. 24, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Someone has made a mess in the library, and damaged books. Who could it be? Can you solve the mystery? Kick-off Read Across America and honor Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a fun library mystery. For families and/or children 7-11 years old.

Baby Time: Birth-23 months. Highly interactive 30-minute program for children and their adult caregivers. Headquarters, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.; East, Mondays, 10 a.m.; South, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.

Toddler Time: 18 to 35 months. Highly interactive 30-minute program for children and their adult caregivers. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Mondays, 11 a.m.; South, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.

Preschoolers: 3-5 years. Highly interactive 30-minute program for children and their adult caregivers. Headquarters, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; South, Mondays, 10 a.m.

Noodlehead Storytime: Pre-K to fifth grade. Interactive storytime. Headquarters, Thursday, 4 p.m.; East, Tuesdays 3:30 p.m.; South Wednesdays, 3:30 p.m.

Art programs: Pre-K to fifth grade. Learn art terms, techniques and work on art projects; 30-45 minutes. Art in the Afternoon, headquarters, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; Bethany’s Brushes, East, Tuesdays, 4 p.m.; Canvas Kids, South, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.

Tail Waggin’ Tutors: 7 to 9 years old. Children can practice reading skills in a relaxed, dog-friendly atmosphere. Canine listeners provided by Therapy Dogs International. Headquarters, selected Tuesdays, 4 p.m. Call 704-216-8234 for details. East, selected Mondays, 3:30 p.m., Call 704-216-7842 for details.

Chapter Chats: Weekly book club for teens 14-17, primarily for participants with developmental or intellectual disabilities, though all are welcome. Mondays, 5 p.m. at East Branch, Rockwell. Contact Tammie Foster at 704-216-7842. Next meeting, Feb. 19.

Escape at the Library: RPL has its own escape room. See if you can solve the clues and codes to get out of the room before the timer hits zero! February’s escape room is Escape the DEATH STAR, a “Star Wars” escape room. Headquarters: Feb. 20, 4:30 p.m.; East, Feb. 19, 6:30 p.m.; South, Feb. 21, 6 p.m.

Teen Board: Want to be part of a Teen Advisory Board and make decisions about upcoming teen library programs? Or just want to play some board games? Now you can do both. Headquarters, Feb. 27, 4:30 p.m.

Displays: Headquarters, North Hills Christian School log cabin projects. East, G.I. Joe memorabilia by Cathy Wood; South, student art from Corriher-Lipe Middle School art classes.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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