Handy in a Jiffy: Quick Household Improvements in 15 Minutes or Less

by in Productivity Tips, WAHM Issues

Whether you're busily working or taking care of the family, it's just downright hard to make time for household projects. But they must be done – at least every now and then. Believe it or not, there are plenty of small repairs you can tackle around the house in about fifteen minutes or less. You can accomplish these tasks while you're waiting for dinner to broil in the oven or for an email to come through on an important project. All you need is a few minutes and your home will reap the benefits. Best of all, you won't need to call a professional – or even your husband.

Squeaky Door Hinges
If you don't already have a bottle of lubricant such as WD-40 around the house, get some and spray the hinges of the pesky door. Another interesting but less popular trick is to spread a bit of petroleum jelly on the door hinges.

Stuck Sliding Windows or Doors
Spray a bottle of silicone lubricant onto a rag and wipe the skids of windows and doors with it. It should work fine whether or not the skids are metal, wood or plastic.

Dirty Chandelier
Is your glass chandelier looking rather dull these days? Put on a pair of cotton gloves and spray one of the gloves with regular glass cleaner. Leave the other glove dry and take turns cleaning and drying each of the prisms. Note that if your chandelier happens to be crystal rather than glass, you can use a mixture of rubbing alcohol and distilled water in place of glass cleaner.

Scuffed Up Linoleum
Did you know that you can get rid of scuff marks on linoleum by taking a dry rag and rubbing a little bit of toothpaste (not gel) onto the spot? Alternatively, you can use the WD-40 that you bought for the door hinges. But if you go this route, you'll need to unslick the area for the safety of your family members with a bit of dish soap and water.

Slamming Doors
Do you mistakenly think your teenage daughter has left in a huff every time one of the doors slams, only to realize it's just a noisy door? Fix the problem with some adhesive, foam weather strips applied around the doorstop.

Wall Dentshandy-in-a-jiffy
Obviously, there are certain holes that can only be fixed professionally. However, you can fix small dents yourself. Wedge a little bit of newsprint into the dent and, with the help of a putty knife, spread a little joint compound over the paper. Scrape the whole operation with the knife until it is smooth.

Once everything has dried properly, you can paint over the spot. You can also use a little sandpaper to whittle the area down, should it be slightly raised in comparison to the rest of the wall.

Mold Spots
If you have embarrassing mold spots on your walls, mix a bucket of bleach – about one cup should do the trick – and warm water. Scrub the mold spot, and then rinse it off again with clean water. Once the area has dried completely, you can repaint it.

Running Toilets
Instead of helplessly calling a plumber for a running toilet, fix it yourself. First, lift up the back of the tank and look inside. You can lower the level of water in the tank by bending the arm of the float in a downward position. On newer toilets, you may need to tweak the adjustment clips to move the float.

Another reason your toilet is running nonstop could be the flapper, which can be replaced easily. To determine whether the flapper is the problem, drip some food coloring into the toilet tank and see if the water in the bowl changes. If it does change, it is time to replace the flapper.

Clogged Drains
Are you foolishly spending money on drain fluid when you could be unclogging the drain yourself with a few items around the house? Simply use a half cup of baking soda and water to make a paste, then pour paste down the drain, followed by a full cup of white vinegar. Wait for fifteen minutes and then follow the treatment with a pot of boiling water.

Remember, there are plenty of annoying household issues that you can fix quickly and easily during the day. And, working from home will be that much more pleasant when your home is in great shape!


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About the Author - Chris Long

Chris Long has been helping DIYers on window and door questions as a Home Depot store associate in the Chicago suburbs since 2000. Chris also writes DIY advice on exterior, interior and sliding doors for the Home Depot website.


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