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Bees are an amazing addition to any homestead. Their honey is the perfect natural sweetener that does wonders in home baking. Honey production also creates beeswax, an all-purpose material for frugal, natural living. Instead of tossing your beeswax, put it to work! Here are a few useful ways to make the most of beeswax around your home.

Beeswax Wraps

Cling wrap is so 1998. You can make a reusable, eco-friendly version of cling wrap with beeswax. Cut a natural cotton cloth or muslin into your desired size and shape. You can easily cut the fabric using a sheet pan as a guide.

Preheat your oven to 120 degrees. Lay your cloth over a sheet pan (you might want to use an old sheet pan–this gets messy). Generously sprinkle grated beeswax over the cloth. Let the cloth bake in the oven until all of the beeswax melts. Use an old paint brush to slather the melted beeswax evenly on the cloth. Hang the cloth dry on your porch or clothesline. The beeswax will harden within 20 minutes.

Use this waterproof cling wrap to cover bowls, raising bread, and even to pack lunches.

Candles

You haven’t lived if you’ve never smelled a beeswax candle. An easy way to put beeswax to work is to create your own candles. You can even use essential oils like citronella to make bug repellent candles.

To quickly DIY beeswax candles, tape a wick into the bottom of a clean leftover tin can. Melt beeswax in a double boiler and pour into the can. Stir in essential oils if desired. You’ll need to prop up the wick with popsicle sticks while the wax sets up.

Pomade

Never buy hair gel again. With beeswax, coconut oil, and essential oils, you can DIY a pomade that’s better than store bought. Simply heat equal parts beeswax and coconut oil in a double boiler. Pour into a container and allow to briefly cool; stir in essential oils if desired. Use a small amount of pomade each day for fabulous hair. It’s also great for your skin!

Beekeeping provides an endless supply of honey and wax, two essential materials for luxurious, frugal homesteading. Instead of tossing your beeswax, make it work for you in a variety of easy household applications.

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How to Transition Your Closet From Summer to Winter

With winter chills officially in the air, many of us are reaching for clothes that we haven’t seen since spring. Unless you have an enormous closet, you probably need to do some re-organizing around this time, rotating your seasonal clothes into and out of storage. Out come the jackets and scarves, and away go the summer hats and maxi dresses.

Transitioning your closet from summer to winter can be overwhelming, but there are a few simple steps that you can take to ensure that you’re taking good care of all your clothes.

For Clothes You’re Putting Into Storage
  • Clean your clothes before you store them. Wash or dry clean each item one last time before it goes away. If any grime, mildew, stains, or other ickiness is on your clothes now, it’ll be twice as hard to remove after sitting there for several months.
  • Take this time to purge. Take note of the items that you didn’t wear all summer. This is a great opportunity to make a “donate” pile and drive it to the local thrift store.
  • Choose the right containers. Stow your summer clothes in air-tight plastic containers with a lid. Avoid plastic dry cleaner bags, which trap moisture and suffocate your clothes, or cardboard boxes, which attract insects. Vacuum-seal bags work, but will wrinkle your clothes.
  • Pack properly. There’s a “right” way to pack every item. Shirts, dresses, and other flexible items should be rolled up, rather than folded, so they take up less room. For clothes that should stay hanging, use a rolling garment rack. Hats can be placed in a hat box or regular plastic bin; stuff them to maintain the shape and don’t place anything heavy on top.
  • Don’t put everything away. Only store items that are truly limited to one season, like shorts and sandals. Other items, like short-sleeved T-shirts, can be useful all year long.
  • Add a pest-repelling sachet. A sachet full of lavender or cedar will discourage pests and also make your clothes smell great through the winter. Don’t forget to replace it occasionally!
For Clothes You’re Taking Out From Storage
  • Organize as you go. Transitioning a closet can be daunting, and it’s tempting to take shortcuts and just kind of toss everything in. But truthfully, this is the perfect time to organize, since you have to go through each item anyway. Sort similar pieces together – sweaters in one place, jackets in another, and so on. It makes everything much easier later.
  • Inspect your clothes for damage. Did moths get to your sweaters? Are your boots intact? Take a look at each piece as well as the storage containers. Even if there aren’t any holes in your clothes, moths leave behind other evidence, like casings or cocoons.
  • Get rid of musty smells. Depending on your summer storage situation, your clothes may develop a musty smell after a few months despite your best efforts. To get rid of the smell, mist them with a mixture of one part vodka and two parts water. If that fails, consider the dry cleaner.
  • Refresh down coats. To help puffy coats regain their natural, full shape, toss them into the dryer with a few tennis balls or hang them in the bathroom during a hot shower.

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