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Unfortunately, we’re on a budget and we can’t afford to fix what’s broken around the house, let alone buy new furniture… However, thanks to my newly rediscovered DIY craze, I found some really useful and creative home fixes that you can use yourself.
1. Cover Up Dings On Furniture… Using A Walnut
I’ve already tried this crazy tip on my wooden furniture and it works! I had no idea I could fix those scratch marks so easily. And it cost me absolutely nothing. You should seriously try it, too.
2. Move A Refrigerator The Easy Way
According to ThisOldHouse.com, Clarence Yuzik (also known as The Fridge Doctor) uses Magic Sliders to move a heavy refrigerator. You simply put the plastic disks under the fridge’s front feet, then pull. As most refrigerators have wheels in the back, it should be easy-peasy to move it around. Safety first, be sure to get some help tilting the fridge enough to get the sliders underneath.
I loved these Magic Sliders! You can use them to keep the furniture from scratching the floor or to move it around the room, if you feel like “redecorating” while you’re on a budget.
3. Keep a door closed
I found this low-tech, low-budget solution on PopularMechanics: “We had a door that we wanted to keep closed, and not having any suitable ready-made device at hand, we made one from a spring rat trap“.
And here’s how to do that: Saw off the bait end of the trap and screw the remaining part to the door casing. Protect the adjacent surface with a piece of tin. That’s it. So simple and so affordable.
4. Fix scratches and nicks on wood
Here’s an useful piece of advice from Martha Stewart: Camouflage scratches and nicks on wood with shoe polish (the kind that’s more opaque than tinted paste wax). It offers easy coverage for an overused tabletop or frequently kicked table legs. It’s also reversible: If you don’t like the way it looks, you can remove it with mineral spirits.
Detailed instructions: Place a small amount of polish in a color that matches the surface you’re treating on a soft cloth and rub it into the scratch until it disappears. Permanent color from a lacquer stick is adequate for furniture that won’t have another generation of owners, but do not use it on a valuable or an antique.
5. Check for leaky toilet
Did you know a leaky toilet can waste 50 gallons of water a day? I had no idea so much water can go to waste and quickly burn a hole in your pocket…
But here’s a great tip from Angie’s List: To check for leaks, put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank, and see if it seeps into the bowl. Use a bold color, because using yellow might make matters confusing…
6. Fix carpet dents for free
You’ll love how simple this one is! And it really costs you nothing. If you’ve got dents in your carpet and you don’t know how to hide them, fix them with ice cubes. Just let an ice cube in the divot and let it melt. Then gently lift the fibers with a spoon or a coin in a pinch. This way, you won’t feel the need to replace the carpet just because of those nasty-looking dents.
7. Clean oil stains on your driveway
Having ugly, smelly oil stains on your driveway can get really frustrating, especially since they’re so hard to clean. Maybe you’ve tried the classic “grind cat litter into the concrete” scheme, in which case you’ll know it does absorb some of the oil, but it will not clean the stain. In fact, it’s quite a messy job to do…
So here’s a cleaner, more effective solution: it’s a product called Pour-N-Restore, which goes on as a liquid and dries into a powder. Allegedly, this magic cleaner soaks into the concrete and pulls up embedded oil stains, capturing them in the dry powder. And it’s also very easy to use: you just pour it on the stain, let it dry, then sweep the powder with a brush. The guys at Instructables.com say it works so well, you couldn’t tell where the stain was. I think it’s worth a shot.
8. Deal with a seized lock
Don’t call the locksmith before you try this trick: Spray some WD-40 into the keyhole to lube the mechanism. You can use long-lasting Teflon spray twice a year on all your locks, to keep them from locking up.
9. Cheapest way to unclog your drains
Before you rush to the supermarket to buy a retail declogger or call a plumber, try to unblock your drains at home by pouring down 1 c of salt and 1/2 c of baking soda mixed together, followed by a kettle of boiling water. Or use baking soda and white vinegar, then pour the boiling water. It’s the most affordable solution and it really works. I tried it twice with my bathroom sink and it worked both times.
10. Get a handle on a broken tool
This is one of my favorites on PopularMechanics:
“Replacing a shovel handle is one of those disappearing rural skills that shows basic mechanical competence—just as wrapping duct tape around a broken handle denotes the opposite”
Getting a wood handle’s grain direction right ensures the strength of a replacement handle. Mount the new handle so that the oval rings of wood grain run up and down the sides of the handle relative to the blade. Handles break when the tool is strained along those ovals. A look down the blade toward the face of the handle should reveal only straight, parallel lines of wood grain (see picture above).
If you’ve got more of these smart fixes, do share them in the comments section. Every idea that can save some money is more than welcome!
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