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25 Home Hacks You May Not Know About (Featured Blog from HWA Home Warranty of America)
Dated: December 24 2020
From cooking to cleaning to regular maintenance, taking care of a home can feel like a never-ending cycle. That’s why we’ve rounded up 25 home hacks to make your life a little easier. They’re affordable, simple to complete and they may just save you some valued time and energy.
1. Hide thermostats or alarm systems
Not everyone has the latest smart home devices that look pretty hanging on their wall, and many thermostats or alarm systems are bulky and dated. A painting on a canvas is the perfect solution. By attaching hinges to one side of the canvas, you can cover your thermostat or alarm system with the hollow backside of the canvas while keeping it accessible. Additionally, it's one extra piece to add to your décor to pull the entire room together.
2. Organize pot and pan lids with a magazine rack
Pot and pan lids can be incredibly difficult to store because they don't stack neatly and take up a ridiculous amount of space. Instead, use a vertical wire magazine rack to keep them organized and upright. Now you'll find your pot's matching lid faster and minimize the risk of a lid avalanche.
3. Organize curling irons and hair dryers with PVC pipes
Curling irons and hair dryers have tricky cords that can get tangled with one another. Plus, there's never a good place to store them. Use hook-and-loop tape to attach 5-inch lengths of 2-inch diameter PVC pipe to the vanity door to make a curling iron holster. Do the same with 3-inch lengths of 1-1/2-inch-diameter pipe to hold the cords.
For your hair dryer, you'll likely need a 5-inch diameter PVC fitting. If you can’t fit a 5-inch PVC fitting onto your vanity door, you may consider a freestanding PVC hair dryer stand that you can spray paint and decorate.
4. Remove small scratches on furniture with toothpaste
Before you take your furniture to be refinished, consider using toothpaste to buff out stains and marks on the wood. The gel-like texture and baking soda content can make for a great cleaner and scratch remover. Be sure to rub the toothpaste in the same direction as the wood grain.
5. Restore white sneakers with baking soda
If you have tough stains on a pair of white sneakers, baking soda and laundry detergent can work as a great fix. Add one-part baking soda and 1 1/2 parts laundry detergent. Scrub the exterior with a toothbrush. Then, throw them into the washing machine with a bit of regular detergent. Finally, let the shoes air dry.
6. Fold your plastic bags with this handy technique
After two trips to the grocery store, it seems like you now have hundreds of plastic bags. You could store them in a PVC pipe or an empty disinfecting wipe container. However, stuffing them into a container can trap a lot of air and waste space. Instead, follow this tutorial to fold the bag into a neat triangle. Once you are comfortable with the folding technique, it'll become second nature and can be done while watching television.
7. Make your rugs non-slip with a bead of caulk
Rugs that slide are an accident waiting to happen. Instead of spending your money on a rug pad or underlay, you could achieve the same effect by adding a few lines of caulk to the back of your rug. This can create traction and prevent your rugs from moving.
8. Put a shoe organizer on your pantry door
The door of your pantry is often not utilized. By hanging a shoe organizer on the side of your pantry door, you now have convenient pockets to store snacks and other small miscellaneous items that would otherwise get lost.
9. Store extra paint in a glass mason jar
Old paint cans tend to dry out and prying them open again can be a real mess, causing flakes to fall everywhere. Instead, at the end of your paint job, store the extra color in a glass container, like a mason jar. This makes it convenient to pull out the same paint for quick touch-ups later.
10. Stick a paper clip at the tip of your roll of duct tape
Instead of folding the end of the tape to mark where you left off, put a paper clip at the end. Now, you no longer need to cut off the part that you've folded over. You may waste less tape, you won't have to feel around for the fold anymore and you'll know precisely where that roll begins.
11. Freshen up your home with vanilla beans
Air fresheners and scented candles are the traditional methods for freshening up the smell of your home. However, they may not be ideal for your health and air quality. A simple alternative is to simmer a vanilla bean in two cups of water on the stove. This causes the light aroma of vanilla to disperse throughout your home, making it smell like you have just baked cookies.
12. Switch the direction of your ceiling fan
In the winter, your ceiling fan should spin clockwise. This creates an updraft that pushes warm air hot air near the ceiling down. However, in the summer, you want to switch the direction of your ceiling fan to turn counterclockwise. This forces the cold air down, creating a windchill effect.
13. Hide your spare key in a medicine bottle
The secret is out: Thieves and strangers frequently check under the flower pots for your spare key. Instead, hide your spare key in a medicine bottle with a pinecone glued to the end of it. Then, bury it with just the pinecone exposed. You'll know exactly where to pull it up from the ground if you ever get locked out.
14. Use ice cubes to fix carpet dents
Heavy furniture can weigh your carpet down and leave noticeable dents. Place ice cubes onto the carpet divot and allow it to melt for a few hours. The water should swell the nap of the carpet. Blot the excess water and use a coin to lift the fibers.
15. Drill a small hole in your trash can
To effortlessly remove your trash bag from the can, drill a small hole at the bottom of the can. This may relieve the pressure causing the vacuum-like seal that makes your bags stick to the can.
16. Use a squeegee to remove pet fur from carpet and furniture
A squeegee - the same one you use for your windows - can collect more pet hair than a lint roller. With a single swipe, you can remove the pet hair from large surfaces like furniture and carpet.
17. Use a rubber band for stripped screws
When the threads on a screw have been stripped, it may seem hopeless to remove it without the metal grooves. Put a rubber band between the screw and the screwdriver or drill. It'll give you the right amount of traction to unscrew the stripped screw and replace it.
18. Use a shoe organizer for water bottles and travel mugs
It can sometimes be challenging to organize water bottles, cold tumblers with straws, travel mugs and other reusable food and storage containers - especially when you have multiples for each family member. If this is the case, an over the door shoe organizer is a great way to keep each of your items separated and accessible.
19. Use a letter organizer to store flip flops
While a shoe rack is perfect for shoes, flip flops tend to get tossed around and lost. A letter organizer allows you to store them together vertically, saving space and keeping the pairs together.
20. Disinfect small toys
If you have kids that like to put just about everything in their mouths, cleaning their toys regularly is a good idea. One way to disinfect small toys is to put them all in a mesh laundry bag. The bag can go straight into the washing machine or top rack of the dishwasher and you won’t have to worry about damaging the machine or your kids’ toys.
21. Use nail polish as a DIY key cover
Instead of buying different colored key covers, paint the heads of your keys with different colored nail polish. Now you can identify your keys easily even when you’re in a hurry.
22. Use pool noodles to protect your car
If you own a garage, opening your car doors and trunk may chip the paint or dent your vehicle if you hit your garage wall or roof. Cut a pool or swim noodle in half and attach it to the critical areas of your garage. This will prevent any unexpected trips to the auto shop.
23. Use a hot glue gun to create non-slip hangers
Tired of your clothes slipping off your hangers? Instead of buying non-slip hangers, try laying a textured bead of hot glue on each side of your hanger. Let the bead cool off and you’ll have an anti-slip hanger to prevent your clothing from sliding off.
24. No-slip cutting board
A cutting board that slips around when you chop is an accident waiting to happen. Wrap rubber bands on each side of your cutting board to prevent it from moving around during use. Be sure that each rubber band lays flat against the surface so you have a level cutting board.
25. Freshen up your garbage disposal
To fight food odors in your garbage disposal, use citrus peels. While running the water on medium pressure, drop in orange or lemon peels. The natural citric acid can help soften hard water buildup, attack odor-causing bacteria and leave your sink smelling fresh.
These life hacks for your home may save you time and money in the long run. For all the unexpected expenses of household repairs, HWA has you covered.
(This article originally appreared at hwahomewarranty.com.)
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