DIY Tips and Tricks: Part 1

Some people are just naturals when it comes to handiwork and fixing things around the house. Others…not so much. This week and next, we’ve got a little something for everybody, whether you’re Handy Andy or his not-so-handy helper. And for those of you who are a little less handy, many of these ideas and projects are great starter tasks for those who want get a bit more comfortable around the toolbox. Let’s get to it with our Top 10 List of DIY Home Improvement Tips and Tricks.

Number 10: Think Vertically.
So often, our home improvement projects are really home organization projects. More specifically, they’re about fitting as much as possible in small spaces without a big mess. The answer, quite often, is to Think Vertically.
• Instead of trying to section bathroom drawers off to fit hairdryers and curling irons,diy tips and tricks vertically mount some size-appropriate, cut-down PVC piping on the inside of a bathroom cabinet door (one pipe for each appliance with a smaller one next to it for the folded cord).
• Sick of that cluttered desk? Think Vertically by installing some shelves all the way up to the ceiling.
• Kids’ toys all over the floor? Think Vertically by painting a large pegboard, adding plastic hooks (safer than metal for kids), and hanging toys along the wall.

Number 9: Think Naturally.
Our homes are filled with far more chemicals than ever before. So it’s nice to know that there are plenty of repairs and maintenance tasks you can perform without any chemicals at all!
• Did you know that rubbing a shelled walnut on small scuffs and dings on your hardwood furniture and floors will disguise those little bits of damage?
• And distilled white vinegar is a natural cleaning solution with countless applications: Google it!
• Need to fertilize your yard? Contact your area’s yard waste recycling center and save money by buying their compost or making your own.
• Gum in your carpet? Don’t reach for chemicals. Fill a plastic baggie with ice, set it on the gum, and wait for the gum to harden before removing the gum with a butter knife or scraper. Better yet, go find the culprit (aka: your kid) and have them help!
• Accidentally set a plastic bowl on your still-hot ceramic-top stove? No problem. Once the stove has cooled off, cover the burned bits of plastic with ice. The plastic will shrink up with the cold, and then it’s easy to clean off with a wide razor blade.

Number 8: Don’t Recycle; UPcycle!
Recycling has long been the right way to go about living an environmentally friendly life. These days, however, people are looking more and more into what’s being called “upcycling.” The premise here is not just to reduce waste and recycle instead of sending trash to the landfill, but to actively recycle things up and out of their former purposes and into new use: upcycling! Better yet, in addition to a healthier planet, you’ll have a healthier wallet because these upcycling tips are major money savers!
• Need a watering can? Next time you finish a bottle of detergent in the laundry room, thoroughly rinse the detergent container. Poke several holes in the lid, and voila! Watering can! Plus, with just those little holes, these watering cans are perfect for little helpers to carry around the house and yard without creating puddles!
• Cover clean, empty soup cans in pretty paper or ribbon for utensil and pencil holders.
• Need some fun bookends for your study? Grab those old license plates out of the aluminum recycling bin, bend them using the edge of a table (protect your table with a piece of cloth) and you have upcycled bookends!
• Looking for picture frames? Take that old, paned window out of the garage and hang it up with photos in each pane.
• Getting ready to toss the old, leftover ceramic tiles from your last remodel? Repurpose these by adding paint or different finishes and felt bottoms: perfect as trivets or coasters.

Up next: Fixing stairs, spackle-free spackling, and building your knowledge base!

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