Marlen Komar, The Kitchn

Marlen Komar

The Kitchn

Chicago, IL, United States

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  • Unknown
  • The Kitchn
  • Apartment Therapy
  • Bustle
  • Allure magazine

Past articles by Marlen:

4 Simple Ways to Get Butter Stains Out of Clothes

Butter stains can be tricky since they aren’t as easy to dab away as other pesky stains, but they’re not impossible to clean. Here are several ways to get butter out of clothing, so you can get your favorite shirt or pair of jeans back to tip-top shape without permanent grease marks. → Read More

Here’s What You Need to Know About Cleaning Your Gas or Charcoal Grill

Grills can get dirty — and fast. Depending on what you’re cooking up and what kind of equipment you have, you need to clean everything, from fat to charred food bits to charcoal remnants. Luckily, they’re not too difficult to clean, especially if you keep up with maintenance. → Read More

How to Wash a Backpack — by Hand and in the Washing Machine

With the new school year around the corner, now's the time to get the backpack out of storage and give it a refresh. Here's how to wash a backpack by hand and in the washing machine. → Read More

My Mom’s Sweet and Small Trick Helps Me Enjoy Cleaning

My mom shared this sweet idea a few years ago, and it has changed my whole relationship with cleaning. → Read More

This Organizing Method Has Helped Me (Finally!) Conquer Clutter and Stop Overbuying

When I hit my 30s, I finally understood why my mom had clusters of trays, candlestick holders, weird statues, and Laura Ashley-inspired flower baskets all around the house. Decorating isn’t just a necessity; it’s a hobby. There’s no rush like the one where you see a side table or knick-knack that seems to encapsulate your entire personality in its design. → Read More

It Took Me Two Years to Decorate My One-Bedroom Apartment, and I Have No Regrets

It took one writer two years to decorate her one-bedroom apartment. Here's how she furnished to find her forever pieces. → Read More

I Follow This (Extremely!) Simple Rule — and It’s Completely Changed the Way I Clean

Here's how the 20-minute rule, inspired by the Pomodoro Technique, transformed the way I clean for the better. → Read More

How Storage Bins Made Me Face My Shopping Problem

Organizing and putting my stuff into bins, baskets, and containers made me realize I was overbuying many of the same things or items I really didn't need. → Read More

If You Live In a Chicago Apartment, You’ve Probably Dealt with This Annoying Bathroom Feature — Here’s How to Clean or Fix It

I live in a hundred-year-old apartment building in Chicago, and while it has its charming details, it has just as many dilapidated features. From missing baseboard corners to uneven floors that require chapter books to be placed under floor lamps, most of these quirks are relatively easy to ignore if you don’t get caught up with perfectionism. But one thing that is hard to turn a blind eye to is… → Read More

How to Clean a New Apartment with a 'Landlord Special' Dust Buildup

Here's a definition and a solution to this common renter dilemma. → Read More

The ‘Limbo Box’ Method Helped Me Get Rid of Stuff Without Regrets

Letting go is hard. Whether it’s that dress you haven’t worn since college, the knick-knacks that haven’t seen the light of day since you got them on the HomeGoods clearance shelf, or the random souvenirs you have collected over the last decade, keeping clutter is extremely easy to do. They take up valuable space and you know you should donate or sell them, and yet they live on. → Read More

Does Putting Aluminum Foil in Your Dishwasher Really Remove Water Stains? I Asked a Chemist

“There's no plausible mechanism for this, other than perhaps foil balls bouncing around and mechanically knocking things off the surface of plates or bowls, but that's not going to be very effective." → Read More

8 Tools You Need If You’re Apartment Gardening (and How to Store Them)

Like so many of my fellow millennials, I’ve become an avid plant collector during the pandemic. I went from having a black thumb that I inherited from my mom to having a well-earned green thumb after a series of spectacular plant parent failures. A lot of my first plants ended up in the grave (apartment dumpster?), but honestly, learning through trial and error was part of the fun. → Read More

4 Ways to Protect Your Outdoor Furniture from Annoying Falling Debris

Try these budget-friendly ideas to keep debris from falling on your outdoor furniture. → Read More

I Finally Found a Vacuum That Actually Makes Me Want to Use One Way More

It’s light, convenient, and does a great job picking up dust, crumbs, and light messes off of floors. → Read More

What is a Pony Wall? Here’s Why You Might Want One

In home design, it seems that everything old becomes new again, and it’s time for pony walls to have their comeback. Pony walls never truly went away, but they have fallen out of popularity in the last couple of decades. A feature of McMansion layouts and new-build architecture, many modern buyers tear down pony walls in their renovations rather than embrace them. → Read More

I Tried My Mom’s Technique for Keeping Baseboards Clean and I’m Never Going Back

How using a dryer sheet to wipe your baseboards can help to repel dust buildup. → Read More

Stinky Smells and 3 Other Gross Compost Problems — and How to Fix Them

Composting is amazing for your plants and the planet, but it’s a messy business. If you’re a seasoned veteran and have been composting for years, then the smell, upkeep, and distribution probably don’t bother you anymore. But if you’re new to composting and struggling to find your footing, don’t fret. → Read More

Ready to Get Super Organized? Avoid These 5 Common Beginner Mistakes

Here are five mistakes people make when getting organized for the first time. → Read More

This Small Swap Will Instantly Make Your Cleaning Routine Less Wasteful

Living in a modern world means figuring out how to walk that fine line between convenience and waste. On the one hand, most of us are grateful we don’t have to scrub our hands raw to wash the laundry or clean the floor. On the other, many of these modern cleaning shortcuts create a large amount of waste. From paper towels and throwaway cleaning pads to plastic bottles filled with various… → Read More