homeimprovementChances are your Home Improvement list was stuffed in a kitchen drawer and long forgotten about the same time that Tim Allen’s quirky family comedy went off the air (ahem, well over a decade ago). The days of pining for JTT are over, but the list remains.

Here are quick-fix solutions for many home improvement projects you might be avoiding.

Fix Those Leaky Faucets

Is your house a den of Drip Water Torture? Drip. Drip. Drip. It’s enough to drive a sane woman mad. Not only can leaky faucets be extremely frustrating, they can waste up to 750 gallons of water during the summer. Don’t contribute to the drought. Fix your faucet with some tips at This Old House.

Clean Out the Gutters

Winter came and left, but it also left behind a bulk of debris in your gutters. Word to the wise, don’t be lazy. Get out the ladder, a pair of thick gloves and rid the gutters of the gunk. In the long run it helps you avoid water damage and repairs that could cost up to $10,000.

Squeaky Door Hinges

Sure, this may help your teenage son sneak out of the house more easily, but it will also give you a noxious noise break. Spray a little WD-40 onto the hinges, moving the door back and forth to work in the lubricant. If that doesn’t do the trick, lift the hinge pins about halfway and lubricate them with three-in-one oil.

Heal Peeling Wallpaper

Remember how beautiful that fresh wallpaper looked? So smooth, so new. It brightened and revamped an entire space, but now it’s peeling a little in the corner and every time you pass it, you give off a little unintentional groan. Groan no more. With a knife, smear wallpaper paste onto a piece of writing paper. Rub the paper against the underside of the peeling section. Press the wallpaper against the wall. Slide the writing paper out and smooth away bubbles with a clean cloth.

Clean That Old Stained Tub

The grime! It builds up and scrubbing the tub is the one chore that every man, woman, and child loves to put off. A sparkling clean tub however, is a blessing to come home to. Combine equal amounts of cream of tartar and baking soda with enough lemon juice to make a paste. Rub the mixture into the stain with your fingers or a soft cloth. Let sit for a half hour, then rinse well with water.

Fluff Up Flattened Down Cushions

Why can’t the bed always look like it does in the hotel: Fluffy, white, and pristine. Unless you have turn down service fluffing your pillows every night, chances are your down cushions look a little down on themselves. Put them outside in the sun for a few hours, flipping them halfway through. The sun will help evaporate the moisture that gets into the filling over time, and the cushions should plump up nicely. You can also give them a spritz with a homemade linen spray.

De-Grime Dirty Vases

That dinner party was over a month ago, but the vases you used didn’t get washed right away, and there is a good amount of floral reside stuck to the hard to clean sides. Here’s a trick: fill the decanter halfway with hot water, a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap, two tablespoons of white vinegar, and a cup of uncooked rice. Yes, you read right. Rice can get to the grime if a sponge or your hand can’t. Sometimes the opening of a vase is tiny.  Swirl the rice around for a few minutes to remove the residue, rinse with hot water, and turn it upside down to air-dry.

Soothe Squeaky Floorboards

They may warn you of a pending intruder, but they are also a sure way to wake a sleep baby or dog (because really, pets are people too) during a midnight snack run.
But your creaky floors don’t have to be as noisy as they are. You may be able to quiet annoying squeaks in your wood floors simply by dusting talcum powder into the cracks between the floorboards.

Have some other quick solutions? Share them with us below!

–Arianna Schioldager

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