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Inexpensive Handy Hints to Fix Common Home Issues

We all have those annoying problems around the house we'd like to fix, but we keep putting off for one reason or another. Well, this collection of cheap and simple handy hints may have just the solution you're looking for.

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HH vacuum wrapping paper tube extensionFamily Handyman

Vacuum Extension Tube

A cardboard wrapping paper tube makes a handy vacuum hose extender. Tape or just hold the tube on the end of the vacuum cleaner’s hose. You’ll be able to easily reach ceilings as well as under furniture. Also, the cardboard is flexible, so you can flatten it to get into narrow spaces, such as alongside or under the refrigerator. Check out how to clean the inside of your fridge.

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HH touch up paint saver mason jarsFamily Handyman

Touch-Up Paint Saver

When painting walls or trim, put leftover paint in a mason jar for inevitable touch-ups. A well-sealed jar keeps the paint usable longer than the can, and it’s easier to store. Label the jar with the room the paint was used in. Take a look at these best painting tips from pro painters before starting your next painting project.

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HH Puppy PVC slow feeder dogFamily Handyman

Puppy Slow Feeder

If your puppy eats food too fast, it can result in them vomiting it back up. Instead of buying a slow-feed bowl, drill holes into a 12 in. length of 2 in. PVC pipe and cap the ends. Fill the tube with puppy food, and they will have to roll it around to get the food to fall out of the holes. Your puppy will get all the food they need without the mess that comes from eating too fast. Be sure the holes are large enough for the food to come out! Here are the human foods your dog can eat too.

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HH secure garbage bag with command hookFamily Handyman

Super-Secure Garbage Bags

Trash bags and waste bins should work perfectly together, but that’s rarely the case. As trash bags start to fill up, the bag slithers into the bin and you have to dig it out. To keep handled or drawstring trash bags in place, all you need are two medium or large self-adhesive command hooks. Position the hooks at a location that allows full use of the bin. These practical kitchen trash cans fit any budget.

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HH DIY hose drip watererFamily Handyman

DIY Drip Waterer

Here’s an easy way to turn any hose into a drip-watering hose. Drill 1/8 in. holes every 2 in. and screw a cap at the end. Weave the hose around your plants and turn on the spigot. You’ll have to do some testing to figure out the right setting. To make watering even easier, you can add a programmable faucet timer to the hose. Read up on how to create an affordable garden.

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HH Handy hint ice cubes wrinkle remover dryerFamily Handyman

Say Goodbye to Wrinkles

Ditch the time-consuming iron or handheld steamer to get wrinkles out of a shirt or slacks. Throw a few ice cubes or a wet washcloth in the dryer with your wrinkled clothes. As the ice melts and the water turns to steam, it will remove the wrinkles. This trick isn’t as effective with heavier clothing but works great for lighter fabrics. The best part is that you don’t have to set the dryer for longer than 10 minutes for it to work. Take a look at these laundry tips.

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HH tape measure notepadFamily Handyman

Tape Measure Notepad

If you never seem to have a notepad when you need to jot down a measurement to remember, turn a tape measure into a notepad. Just remove the label and residue and then rough up the face with 250-grit sandpaper. Using a pencil, the sanded surface is easy to both write on and erase.

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HH direct plant watering bottleFamily Handyman

Direct Watering Bottle

For healthy plants, it’s important to get water to the roots. Here’s a good method: Drill holes in water bottles and bury them alongside plants, leaving just the cap above the ground. To water the plants, unscrew the bottles’ caps, fill the bottles and screw the caps back on. It requires some extra effort, but it conserves water, and your plants — especially the tomatoes — will thrive like never before. Check out these other ways to take your garden from good to great.

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HH key ring plant tag organizerFamily Handyman

Plant Tag Organizer

You know those plant tags you save to reference later, but aren’t exactly sure what to do with? To keep them organized, punch holes in the tags and slide them onto a keyring. Check out these perennial garden mistakes to avoid.

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HH Pool noodle hose extenderFamily Handyman

Pool Noodle Water Hose

If you need to fill up a bucket that won’t fit under your sink faucet, bust out a pool noodle. Set the bucket on the floor, slip the pool noodle over the faucet and run it down to the bucket. Take a look at these DIY projects that cost less than $100.

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HH food storage containers organizationFamily Handyman

Lid Corral

Tired of having a messy and unorganized food storage container drawer? Simply put tension rods in a drawer to keep storage lids from taking over. Just secure the tension rod toward the front of your drawer to keep them manageable. Problem solved! Is something always falling on your head when you open up those kitchen cabinets? Then these concealed kitchen storage hacks are for you!

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HH pick up a spill of screws with magnet or plastic bagFamily Handyman

Contain a Spill of Screws

Ever spill a box of drywall screws and prick your fingers picking up the sharp little suckers? Here’s a solution: put a magnet in a plastic bag and drag it over the screws. When you have them all picked up, turn the bag inside out. Now you can dump them back in the box.

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HH simple standing deskFamily Handyman

Simplest Standing Desk

Make a simple standing desk from scrap lumber and coffee table legs with threaded studs. Fasten leg-connecting top plates to the table’s underside, and then thread in the legs. For the best ergonomics, the standing desk should allow your arms to be at a 90-degree angle while typing. Adjust the table leg lengths to suit. Follow these tips for setting up a productive home office.

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remove hard water buildup with a lemonFamily Handyman

Remove Hard-Water Buildup with a Lemon

To get rid of hard-water buildup on a faucet, try this natural solution: Cut a fresh lemon in half. With one of the halves, use your thumbs to gently open up the center. Then press the lemon onto the end of the faucet. Put a small plastic bag around the lemon and secure it around the faucet with a rubber band. Be sure that the rubber band is cinched tightly and that the lemon is around the end of the faucet. Leave the lemon in place for a few hours to allow the citric acid to work its magic.

After you remove the lemon, you may need to use a gentle scrubbing pad to wash off any loosened hard-water buildup. Then wipe the faucet with a damp cloth to remove any leftover lemon juice, and your faucet will be squeaky clean — and you didn’t need to use harsh chemicals! Here are more ways to clean with lemon.

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mount magnets inside a medicine cabinetFamily Handyman

Magnets in the Medicine Cabinet

A handy way to store small metal items such as nail clippers, tweezers, etc., in a bathroom cabinet is to simply stick a few magnets to the back of the cabinet or inside the cabinet door for holding the items. Then they’ll be organized and in plain sight when you need them.

If your cabinet is not metal, you may need to use a bit of double-sided tape or hot glue to mount the magnets where you want them. Be sure to use the inexpensive gray disc magnets, as the expensive neodymium magnets do not want to let go of your items!

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HH wrapping paper binder clipsFamily Handyman

Wrapping Paper Clips

Having to trim ripped up wrapping paper is wasteful and a hassle. So, keep it from getting torn in the first place with a well-placed binder clip on either end. It’ll be ready to go for next time! Stay organized with this gift wrap organizer.

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furniture mover upgrade tri dolly and pvc cap HHFamily Handyman

Furniture Mover Upgrade

Moving furniture is always a hassle, especially couches. Some small tri-dollies may work, but the couch’s feet can still slip off. To remedy this, bolt some PVC caps to the dollies. Now, you can slip the feet into the caps, giving you a solid hold on the furniture. Find out tips for arranging furniture in the best way

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HH razor remove sweater pillsFamily Handyman

Get Rid of Sweater Pills

Want to make some of your old favorite sweaters look like new? To get rid of pilling on sweaters, try shaving it with an electric razor. Even a non-electric razor works! All you have to do is gently run the razor back and forth across the pills. And be careful not to snag your sweater. This hack will also work on your wife’s favorite fuzzy sweaters and socks, too. Plus, find out why clothes shrink in the wash and how to prevent it.

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HH disinfect legos in dishwasherFamily Handyman

Easy Way to Disinfect LEGOs and Other Toys

Children’s toys are a breeding ground for germs. A dishwasher makes quick work of disinfecting toys that are washable, like LEGOs. To quickly clean LEGOs:

  1. Drop the LEGOs in a laundry bag to keep them contained.
  2. Run your dishwasher as usual.
  3. But, remove the LEGOs before the drying cycle, letting them air dry completely on a towel.

This method also works well for other treasures like seashells, dish brushes, rags and sponges.

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HH carpet padding to make plush rugFamily Handyman

Add Cushion to Your Rugs

Want to make any rug feel extra plush and luxurious? Add a layer of carpet padding underneath your rug—it’s thicker and cheaper than a typical rug pad. The next time you wash that pile of dishes in the sink, your feet will thank you. Check out these clever kitchen hacks you’ve never thought of before.

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Painted Carpet HHFamily Handyman

Spilled paint on your carpet? Don’t panic, do this:

Pour some denatured alcohol onto a rag and scrub away the paint. Use a rag that is as close in color to the carpet, as the alcohol can transfer some of the rag’s color to the carpet. Need some denatured alcohol? Buy it here. We’ll show you how to remove paint from your clothes.

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HH message board picture frameFamily Handyman

Picture Frame Message Board

Dry-erase message boards can be convenient, but they’re usually pretty unattractive. Instead, make message boards using nice picture frames. To make these message boards, grab a picture frame and some paper. Cut the paper to fit the frame and set it in behind the glass. The glass makes an excellent dry erase surface!

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cork table fix HH

Wine Cork Wobbly Table Fix

Have a table with a wobbly leg? Using a synthetic wine bottle cork (natural cork crumbles over time), mark the amount of space between the wobbly leg and the floor. Then use a utility knife to slice off the amount of cork needed to brace the leg. Use hot-glue to adhere the piece of cork in place. Done! By the way, here’s how to open a bottle of wine without an opener.

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bead of hot glue on hanger

DIY Non Slip Hangers

This simple hanger hack will keep your clothes in place without having to go out and buy expensive specialty hangers. Apply a bead of hot glue to the top arms of the hanger and let it dry completely. The rubber-like dried glue will keep your clothes in place — even when you’re in a rush to get ready and can’t find anything to wear.

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HH ironing board holderFamily Handyman

Hang Your Ironing Board

To keep your ironing board out of the way, install a pair of coat hooks on a closet wall. Hold the ironing board against the wall, keeping it off the floor. Then, mark the height and position of the hooks. If you can’t find studs to attach the hooks, use drywall anchors that can support the weight of the ironing board. These inexpensive laundry room updates make the most of what space you have without breaking the bank.

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easy sticker removal HHFamily Handyman

Renew Your Furniture in Minutes

If you have furniture covered in stickers, try this tip for removing them: peel off all the stickers using a putty knife in combination with hair dryer, to soften the adhesive. Some are harder to remove than others, but you should be able to get them all off in a couple of hours. Next, read up on these household cleaning tips.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman

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