helpful tips

Got a leaning plant? Try this fix

A friend recently mentioned to me one of her chili plants was falling over and I told her one of my favorite tips.

Small plants can get a little support with some chopsticks. Make sure to use something thick enough to tie it so as to not cut into the delicate plant. You can also use the bamboo skewers we all have around this time of year for doing kabobs on the grill, especially for taller plants. Happy gardening!

Chopstick as a plant stake

Chopstick as a plant stake

Categories: gardening, helpful tips, repurposing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ikea assembly tips

I put together quite a bit of Ikea furniture. It’s one of my favorite things to do. Some people really hate doing it and tend to think I am a little bit crazy, but they appreciate my brand of crazy when they ask for my help so it’s fine with me! I’m happy to save them from a task they despise.
While doing some of these jobs recently it occurred to me to put together a few tips to make the process less painful for others when putting together Ikea or other assembly required items.

sort all the hardware before putting anything together

sort all the hardware before putting anything together

So here is some of my advice:

  1. Mentally approach the project like a jigsaw puzzle.
    1. Verify and sort the hardware and individual pieces first thing upon opening the box.
    2. People frequently tell me how much they hate the wordless instructions with Ikea furniture, but they are very effective if used correctly. Pay close attention to the details in the pictures, match up the patterns of holes, sizes of the pieces, the finished side vs raw side, etc exactly as shown.
    3. Give yourself plenty of room to work and move things around.
    4. Give yourself plenty of time. DO NOT rush. Take your time, doing it over will always take longer than doing it slower but correctly!
    5. Lay out all the pieces but keep them from being in your way; lean them against walls, stack matching pieces together.
    6. Examine the pieces for damage and so you can recognize them more easily.
  2. Browse the entire set of instructions before starting any of the assembly. You don’t have to fully comprehend each step in advance but getting an overview of how the process works and in what order can save SO much time and headaches.
    1. Make note of how much room you might need to move things around or turn them over and to layout partially assembled sections as you go.
    2. Does this item require the help of another person to lift or move things?
    3. Do you have the necessary tools ready and nearby?
  3. Always work on a surface that protects the pieces and keeps hardware from rolling away:
    1. Carpet or a rug is ideal.
    2. Sometimes you can use the packaging box, usually for smaller items.
    3. If  working on wood, tile or concrete laying a blanket, sheet or drop cloth for your work space is very helpful. Just be careful as fabrics can be slippery on the hard surfaces.
  4. There is such a thing as brand quality. I’m no spokesperson, but I can say I would rather put together stuff from Ikea than the office supply stores based on recent experiences.
  5. If the package contains an additional insert providing a toll-free number to call if you need assistance, you will almost certainly end up needing to call!
    1. Sometimes there are slight changes to the manufacture or assemble process and instead of re printing ALL of the instructions the company will put in this extra slip of paper offering customer service help. Use it, if you start having any trouble at all, I learned this one the hard way. Trust me, just call the number.
    2. I have usually only see this in non furniture items. I have come across this issue on blinds, ceiling fans and other light fixtures, accordion doors etc.
  6. Know when to get help.
    1. If you are not inclined towards this sort of project you might think you are doing a bad job when there is actually something wrong with the parts or instructions. Ask someone else to look at it with you if you started but are struggling.
    2. Get help that helps. Don’t ask someone who hates doing this also, or gives you a hard time if you made a mistake. Reach out to someone who can make it better rather than worse!
    3. Someone who does these projects frequently might realize more quickly if there is a problem with the materials, or the instructions rather than just being a complicated project and find resolution faster.
    4. If you really hate puzzles maybe you shouldn’t put together pre fabricated products. Maybe it is worth the cost of hiring someone to assemble that new dresser or bookcase over the amount of stress and lost personal time you will experience doing it yourself? Sure, you CAN do it, just like I could change my own oil, but some things are worth having someone else do. Ask your friends to help, chances are you have at least one nutty pal like me!

     

     

Categories: DIY tips, helpful tips, Uncategorized, work I do | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

7 UncommonTips for Kitchen Cleaning | Sears PartsDirect

Nice article here with some great tips.

I like the second one about cleaning the microwave especially. You can do it using your kitchen sponge too, and get longer use from your sponge by sanitizing it!

 

7 UncommonTips for Kitchen Cleaning | Sears PartsDirect.

Categories: cleaning, cooking, helpful tips, kitchen | Leave a comment

Cures for Common Holiday Messes – Consumer Reports

Cures for Common Holiday Messes – Consumer Reports.

 

A favorite product of mine not mentioned in this article is Folex. It has no odor or color and is amazing at red wine removal (we use it A LOT at our house!).

Categories: cleaning, helpful tips, holiday tips | Leave a comment

Quick Tip for Friday: water-wise help for trees

Borrowing a post from another blog again for today’s Quick Tip for Friday

Be water-wise to help your trees survive the drought « Invest From the Ground Up.

 

 

Categories: gardening, helpful tips, Quick tip friday, Water saving advice | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Mother’s Day “Honey Do” List | DoItYourself.com

This is a great idea!

Mom will love it even if you are hiring someone else to help with these projects, it is still more personal than cut flowers.

Mother’s Day “Honey Do” List | DoItYourself.com.

 

  

Mother’s Day is coming up fast, and like most years, you’re probably worried about what to get her (or maybe you haven’t given it a thought yet). This year, try giving her your time instead of buying her the predictable flowers and chocolate. Set aside a day, or even just a few hours, to take care of things for her around the house and yard that she may not be able to accomplish herself. Not only will you be taking stress off her shoulders, but she’ll love getting to spend time with you as you accomplish each task. (And if you’re already an avid DIYer, chances are you already have the tools and won’t need to buy anything!)

Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/mothers-day-honey-do-list#.U2gbCBBOXIU#ixzz30t1q1xCq

Be good to Mom’s!

Cass

 

Categories: DIY tips, helpful tips, Home Improvement, home maintenance, home repairs, organizing, painting, work I do | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Quick tip for Friday-Water saving tip-check your water bill

How closely to you check your water bill?

Reading the comparison information regarding USAGE may be the surest way to look for bigger problems.

Are you taking shorter showers and still paying more?  We get accustomed to the prices of everything increasing, do you forgot to look how much water you are actually using and not just how much you are paying?

Save Water graphic

Increases in consumption can indicate a need to change habits, update appliances or serve as a warning for leaks in the household.

Put into practice the water saving tips we hear all the time (if you are not already doing so):

  • Take shorter showers
  • Don’t run the water while brushing your teeth
  • Run only full loads of dishwasher or washing machine
  • Reduce watering days for lawns etc to 1 or 2 days a week

If you don’t see enough change in consumption for the next billing cycle it may be a good idea to check  for leaks or consider updating water using appliances such as dishwashers, toilets, washing machines, etc.

Categories: helpful tips, home maintenance, home repairs, Quick tip friday, Uncategorized, Water saving advice | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Repairing a sprinkler line

Follow up to my last post where I very easily fixed a watering system problem, because sometimes a leak in a watering system is more complicated than a screw off sprinkler head.  For one thing, not all sprinkler heads attach that easily.  🙂

A break or hole in the line can be more challenging, to discover and to repair.

In this case there was damage caused to one of the pipes leading from one nozzle to the other. It was a pretty good-sized hole and a substantial leak. Luckily being  in between two small rose plants bordering the space between the lawn and sidewalk made it quickly noticed by the homeowner.

However, there was only a small area to work with without disturbing the plants, as the 2 roses were only a few feet apart and that was a bit challenging.

broken sprinkler line and not a lot of room to work

broken sprinkler line and not a lot of room to work

Typically this repair is done by cutting out the broken section and replacing it with a larger diameter piece, but it takes a little room to work so you can cut, then get a good seal and apply the glue without a bunch of dirt getting in the line. I was in the neighborhood of my favorite hardware store, Kurt True Value, so I dashed over there for supplies.

I saw this and decided it just might be the answer to the cramped condition I was working with and I was back out the door!

Fix kit I found at my favorite hardware store.

Fix kit I found at my favorite hardware store.

As you can see I didn’t even have to make the hole any larger to complete repair. I cleared as much dirt as possible from the line with my shop vac and snapped the repair coupling over the existing line. Per the instructions I also sealed the seams with PVC glue but I was impressed with the seal even without it.

worked great!

worked great!

I did repair months ago and it is still holding strong!

Categories: DIY tips, gardening, helpful tips, home maintenance, home repairs, Lawn care, Uncategorized, Water saving advice | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Quick Tip Friday- Water saving tip – Check your sprinklers

We are in a drought here in California. A phrase I have been hearing my entire life, but I still take it seriously and try not to be wasteful.

I will be posting water saving tips as often as I can through the spring and summer months.

My water saving advice today is related specifically to sprinklers or watering systems and it is very simple.

Watch when your sprinklers or watering systems run to check for needed repairs or adjustments.

A few years back a neighbor told me about a broken sprinkler she happened to see because our sprinklers ran the same time she left for work everyday. We never happened to see it. Since then I try to check things out twice a year and it paid off this year. We ran a check on the watering system in the backyard recently and discovered a leak that could have gone undetected for a very long time.

As you can see in the pictures there was no obvious problem besides the puddle. Timing and location might have kept us from noticing this puddle for quite some time.  There was a crack in a sprinkler head below the surface we w0uldn’t  know about until we watched our system running to check for possible adjustments in spray pattern or timing.

It was a easy fix to replace the sprinkler head (it just screws off/on) and no more water is being wasted watering our pavers instead of the grass.

sprinkler head sprinkler head2

Take a few minutes to check out your watering system regularly , it’s worth it!

 

 

Categories: gardening, helpful tips, home maintenance, home repairs, Lawn care, outdoors, Quick tip friday, Uncategorized, Water saving advice | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to properly fill a nail hole. | The Art of Doing Stuff

I know it has been a very long time since I have written my own blog post, it’s one of the few drawbacks to the wonderfulness of having business going really well and my customers keeping me busy fixing, building and improving stuff!
When I saw this post from The Art of Doing Stuff  (seriously, if you don’t follow her already, start now!) I knew it had to be my next post instead of my own original content.

How to properly fill a nail hole. | The Art of Doing Stuff.

It’s too good not to share and I have been wanting to write about NOT using things like toothpaste to fill nail holes. Honestly, who came up with that idea in the first place??

Thanks to Karen for always being so informative, witty and fun!

 

Categories: DIY tips, do it anyway, hanging pictures, hanging shelves, helpful tips, Home Improvement, home maintenance, home repairs, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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