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100 Home Hacks That Will Improve Your Life

Sit back and relax with the time you'll save after adopting these home hacks.

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Garage Floor Dam

Garage Floor Dam

Family Handyman

Garage floors are puddle prone: springtime floods, melting ice from tires, you name it. You can keep that water away from your tools and toys with a dam made of expanding foam. It sticks, it's waterproof, and you can walk or drive over it without damaging it. And come summer, it'll scrape right off. These 12 unique uses for spray foam will blow your mind.

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Invest in Healthy Food

Invest in Healthy Food

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If you don't already, try growing some of your food. And build a garden box or planter. Also, plan your meals for the week before you do your grocery shopping to cut down on food waste. When possible, get everyone in the family involved in lagom and meal preparation.

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Use Rechargeable Batteries

Use Rechargeable Batteries

VLADY SLAV DANILIN/Shutterstock

Old traditional batteries need to be disposed of properly and kept out of landfills. And while the up-front cost may be more, rechargeable batteries will save you money in the long run, while also producing less waste.

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Reuse Items

Reuse Items

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Opt for items you can reuse, such as cloth shopping bags, travel mugs and aluminum water bottles. And build a compost tumbler so you can use those compostable food scraps to enrich the soil in your garden.

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PVC Curling Iron Holsters

Family Handyman

  Hate the messy look of curling irons lying on the vanity or the toilet tank? Here's a tip for you. Use hook-and-loop tape to attach 5-in. lengths of 2" PVC pipe to the vanity door to hold the curling irons. Do the same thing with 3-in. pieces of 1-1/2-in.-diameter pipe to hold the cords. Just measure your curling irons to see how long your "holsters" need to be. Let your curling irons cool before you stow them away.

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Overhead Storage in the Garage

Overhead Storage in the Garage

Stow bulky items overhead by cementing together a simple rack from 2" PVC pipes and fittings. Bolt the straight pipe to the ceiling joists to support heavy loads, and screw the angled pieces from the 'wye' connectors into the cross brace to stabilize the whole rack. The PVC's smooth surface makes for easy loading and unloading.

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No-Ladder Gutter Cleaner

No-Ladder Gutter Cleaner

This gutter cleaner is inexpensive, takes about 10 minutes to make and will help you avoid ladder climbing. Buy 3/4-in. PVC pipe, two elbows, a garden hose coupling and a cap at a local home center. Drill 1/16-in. holes in the cap as shown. Make the handle long enough to comfortably reach your gutters, and cement the parts together with PVC glue. The Best Gutter Guards for Your Home

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pvc bike rackCourtesy of Quinnatotor via Reddit

Bike Rack

Use PVC pipe to build a bike rack. Perfect for a corner of the garage, this DIYer used PVC to make a bike rack that holds five bikes upright. Depending on your bike wheel specifications, you can modify dimensions so they all fit snugly. You can also build a wall-mounted bike rack with storage.

Courtesy of Quinnatotor via Reddit

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computer cordsPreechaB/Shutterstock

Hide Cords

Help keep your home office space organized by using PVC pipe to hide cords. Just wrangle all those computer, mouse, monitor and phone cords and hide them in some PVC pipe. You can even use some colorful tape to match your office décor. Try these 10 easy DIYs for a home office.

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PVC-plastic-bag-dispenserFamily Handyman

PVC Plastic Bag Dispenser

After building a PVC fence, I was left with a few extra 2-ft. lengths of fence post. I turned one of them into a home for grocery bags that I reuse. I stuff them into the top and pull them out the bottom. If you don’t have any leftover fencing, 3-in.-diameter PVC pipe works well too. Attach it to the door inside a pantry or closet, or to a wall of your workshop or garage. — Dave Mitchell. Get those bags out of the way in the kitchen too, and organize your kitchen.

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Lighted Screwdriver Hack

Lighted Screwdriver Hack

No need for fancy hand tools with built-in LED lights, opt for this lighted screwdriver hack instead. When working in a dark space such as inside a cabinet, make your own lighted screwdriver by taping a keychain-size flashlight to the shaft. It'll shine the light right where you need it.

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Draft Dodger

Draft Dodger

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My house has round ceiling registers for the air-conditioning system. In the winter, we'd get cold air falling from the registers. Rather than put up with the drafts, I sealed the registers with those clear plastic saucers that you put under flowerpots. I temporarily glued them in place with White Lightning SEASONSeal Clear Removable Weather Stripping ($10). It's a rubbery sealant that you apply with a caulk gun and peel off in the spring. — reader James Herrrenknecht Plus: Stop window and door drafts to save energy.

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Long Reach Shears

Long Reach Shears

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Slip PVC pipes over the handles of your pruning shears and tape them in place to extend your reach and clip high branches without a ladder. Plus: How to Trim a Tree.

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Tarp Trailer

Tarp Trailer

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With a big, cheap plastic tarp you can drag leaves, branches or mulch around your yard. Plus: 11 Exceptional Wheelbarrows that Do Everything.

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Clog Claw

Clog Claw

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Every homeowner should have a flexible-shaft pick-up tool for grabbing stuff out of hard-to reach spots. They're also great for yanking clogs out of drains! Plus: Here are more tricks for how to unclog a drain.

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Stop Losing Socks

Stop Losing Socks

Family Handyman

Stuff a strip of foam pipe insulation into the space between your washer and dryer or along the wall. That way, socks can't slip into the abyss. Here's how to Organize a Laundry Room.

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Poop Pipe

Poop Pipe

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My dogs and I have an arrangement. They poop; I pick it up. But rather than make daily trips to the trash can, I built this poop pipe. It's just a large piece of 4-in. PVC drainpipe sunk into the ground a foot or so, with a trash bag lining it and a cap sitting loosely on top. A rubber band holds the bag in place, and the cap helps keep odors at bay. When the bag gets full, I just take it to the trash bin and put a new one in the drainpipe. — reader Kelley Griswold Plus: 19 Cleaning Tips Every Dog or Cat Owner Should Know.

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Tape-Tearing Tip

Tape-Tearing Tip

Here's an easy way to tear tape and get a starting edge at the same time. Simply fold the tape under at a 90-degree angle to the roll. Then, with a snapping motion, pull the tape against the edge of the roll. The tape tears, leaving a triangular starting tab. This won't work with plastic tapes; those must be cut. — reader Chris Henrichs. Plus: How to Tape Drywall

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Wine Cork Wobbly Table Fix

Wine Cork Wobbly Table Fix

Next time you open a bottle of wine, save the cork! You can use a slice of synthetic cork to brace a wobbly table leg. Just mark the amount of cork needed, slice it off with a utility knife and glue it in place.

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Skinny Laundry Room Cart

Skinny Laundry Room Cart

Family Handyman

A lot of laundry rooms have a narrow wasted space either next to or between the washing machine and dryer, and it's usually a hideout for socks and lint. To take advantage of this space, build a simple plywood laundry room cart on fixed casters to hold detergents and other laundry supplies. Get more easy organizing ideas.

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Hands-Free Light

I was working under the kitchen sink and couldn’t see what I was doing, so I used zip ties to attach mini flashlights to a pair of safety glasses. Now I use this pair whenever I climb into the attic or do any repairs in unlighted spaces. Everywhere I look is illuminated. — Nathan Rodgers. Plus: Safety gear every DIYer should own.

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pool noodle inside drawerFamily Handyman

Stay-Put Drawer Organizer

I have always hated the way drawer organizers move around when you open and close a drawer. I solved the problem at my house with a pool noodle!

I measured the distance from the back of the drawer organizer to the back of the drawer and used a utility knife to cut the noodle to size. The pool noodle fits snuggly in place, so the drawer organizer doesn’t move around anymore. You could also cut the pool noodle in half lengthwise to reduce the amount of space that it takes up. — Roy Allison

Have you ever thought about using a pool noodle on a hanger?

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Lift Gate Protection

Lift Gate Protection

Family Handyman

When you open the lift gate of your van or SUV, it's easy to hit a cross brace of the garage door and chip the paint on the gate. Protect it by using a swim noodle as a cushion. Just slit the swim noodle with a utility knife and slip it over the brace. You can also use pre-slit foam pipe insulation. If it slips off, use double-face tape to hold it in place. – Mary Sprang. Plus: These pickup truck bed hacks are simply amazing.

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Ladder Padding

Ladder Padding

Family Handyman

I spend a lot of time on my ladder, and leaning against the rungs all day was taking a toll on my shins and thighs. Then I got smart and slit pieces of my kids' pool noodles lengthwise and wrapped them around the front of the rungs. Instant relief! The cushions are easy to move as you work. Just make sure you never stand on the pool noodles, and always place them higher than you'll step since they can create an uneven step or fall off if you step on them. — Dave Switzer

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Patching a hole in the wall

Patching a hole in the wall

Is there anything more sad than having to look at a nice big hole in the wall of your beautiful home? Probably not, but don't worry, it's really easy to fix. Learn how to fix all of your damaged walls with our easy guide on how to fix drywall.

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No-Slip Clothes Hanger 1

No-Slip Clothes Hangers

If you have all matching clothes hangers in your closet and sometimes you get one of the really cheap, plastic ones when you need an anti-slip hanger. One solution is to wrap pipe cleaners around the clothes hanger. The pipe cleaners add a grippy stop to these otherwise slippery hangers.

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Simple DIY Vacuum Extension

Simple DIY Vacuum Extension

To make it easier to clean hard to reach spots use a left over wrapping paper tube as a vacuum cleaner extension. Now you have 3 extra feet to clean ceiling fans and cobwebbed corners.

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No-Slip Cutting Board

No-Slip Cutting Board

Most cutting boards don’t come with any kind of rubber surface on the bottom to prevent them from sliding on a countertop, but with a couple of rubber bands, you can stabilize your cutting board and keep it from moving around during use. Slip on two rubber bands—one at each end of the cutting board—and you’re good to go. Make sure that the rubber bands lay flat and aren’t twisted when you put them on so the board will sit steady on your countertop. Next, check out 25 handy hints specifically for the home cook.

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Rubber Band and Paperclip Binder

Rubber Band and Paperclip Binder

Store small extension cords neatly with this simple office supply hack: Attach a paperclip to a small rubber band. Then wrap the rubber band around the bundled cord and clasp the paperclip onto the rubber band again. No more tangled extension cords! Check out this Simple Idea for Extension Cord Storage.

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No-Rattle Ceiling Fan

No-Rattle Ceiling Fan

If the screws that hold the light globe to your ceiling fan tend to work loose and then hum or rattle, slip a wide rubber band around the neck of the globe where the screws grip it. The rubber band prevents the screws from loosening, dampens any noise and protects the globe from overzealous screw tighteners.

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Organize Small Cords with Toilet Paper Rolls

Organize Small Cords with Toilet Paper Rolls

Family Handyman

To keep small cords organized, try this handy hint: Fill a shoe box with as many empty toilet paper rolls that will fit vertically; then place a single small cord in each tube. It'll keep your cords free of tangles and in one place.

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Paper Towel Boot Shaper

Paper Towel Boot Shaper

Insert one or two empty paper towel rolls inside each of your tall boots to help them keep their shape while in storage. When tall boots are back in season, you won't have to spend time ironing out creases.

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Clothing Storage Solutions: DIY Tiered Hangers

Clothing Storage Solutions: DIY Tiered Hangers

Family Handyman

Short on closet space? Use a lightweight piece of chain to stagger hanging clothing in tall closets to maximize space. Just loop the first link of the chain over the first hanger, and hang subsequent hangers on every other links after. Hang up to six shirts for the rod space of one. Want to get into a closet project? Build your own melamine closet storage system here.

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Toilet Paper Roll Hair Band Organizer

Toilet Paper Roll Hair Band Organizer

Keep elastic hair bands in one place—not scattered in drawers or in the bathroom sink or all over the floor. Slide them onto an empty toilet paper roll, which can then be neatly tucked into a drawer. The small cardboard tube keeps the circular hair accessories organized yet still easily accessible.

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Pool Noodle Hanger Hack

Pool Noodle Hanger Hack

Use a pool noodle to prevent creases in your dress pants! First, cut the noodle to size; then slice it open lengthwise. Slip the noodle onto the bottom bar of the hanger and drape your dress pants over the noodle. No need to iron out a crease before you can wear your dress pants!

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Toilet Paper Roll Wrapping Paper Sleeve

Toilet Paper Roll Wrapping Paper Sleeve

This hint will save you from wasting wrapping paper each time you bring it out of storage. Rather than sticking a piece of tape along the loose edge, cut an empty toilet paper tube lengthwise and wrap it around a roll of wrapping paper. Cinch it up and secure the sleeve with a piece of tape. Next time you use the wrapping, you may rip the sleeve when removing it, but your wrapping paper will remain intact.

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Nonslip Tools

Nonslip Tools

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When you're working on the roof, wrap rubber bands around tools to help them stay put. The rubber will grip on roofs with up to a 6/12 slope. Keep yourself from slipping off the roof with these tips.

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Eliminate drain odor

Eliminate drain odor

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If you have a drain that isn't used often, it's likely that the drain will dry out. This can be harmful thanks to sewer gas from the septic tank or the city sewer system, causing a smell that can be quite unbearable. Fix the odor by adding a quart of fresh water followed by a tablespoon of cooking oil. This will seal it and hold drain water in a trap, eliminating the smell.

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shutterstock_696897289 broom cleaning productsNipastock/Shutterstock

Combine tasks

Kill two birds with one stone by doing similar cleaning tasks at the same time. “Clean your baseboards when you are vacuuming or washing floors, clean blinds when you are cleaning windows, etc.,” suggests Becky Rapinchuk, owner of CleanMama.net.

Here’s how often you should be cleaning everything in your home.

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shutterstock_532799731 dishwasherYunava1/Shutterstock

Use your dishwasher

Dishwashers are for so much more than just washing dishes. Use yours to dust off knickknacks like mason jars and glass candle globes. Pretty much anything glass or ceramic should be fine going in the dishwasher, but you do want to stay away from putting meltable plastics, and these eight objects in your dishwasher at all costs.

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Floor Swiffer for Walls

Floor Swiffer for Walls

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A Swiffer Sweeper floor mop is useful for more than just cleaning hard floors. Use it to dust interior walls and trim, too! Attach a dry cloth to the rectangle end and press it along walls and trim. You can pick up dust, cobwebs and dirt safely, without having to step on a ladder.

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Baking Soda + Vinegar = Magic

Baking Soda + Vinegar = Magic

Now that your baking soda paste has sat overnight, take a spray bottle of equal parts water and vinegar and fully saturate all surfaces of the oven. You'll see the chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar begin to bubble and break up baked on char. Spray extra vinegar over problem areas and let the spray soak in for about 15 minutes. Put that magic baking soda to work to eliminate the stink from shoes, you'll be amazed at the results.

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Remove Hard-Water Buildup with a Lemon

Remove Hard-Water Buildup with a Lemon

Family Handyman

Remove hard-water buildup on your faucet with this simple, natural solution: Place half of a fresh lemon on the end of the faucet, wrap a small plastic bag around the lemon and secure it to the faucet with a rubber band. After a few hours, remove the lemon and wipe the faucet clean.

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Remove Pet Hair with Duct Tape

Remove Pet Hair with Duct Tape

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That's right. We've found another use for duct tape—cleaning. The stickiness of duct tape makes it perfect for a makeshift pet hair remover and this method is faster than vacuuming. It also works on seats in vehicles. A sponge or cloth wrapped with duct tape works great for getting into corners. Wrap duct tape around a paint roller cover, sticky side out. Roll the paint cover over furniture or carpet to pick up the pet hair. Add more tape as the surface gets full of hair. Once you're done removing hair, learn how to clean a microfiber couch here. Plus: Kitchen Cleaning Checklist: 11 Tips for a Clean Kitchen

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Clean the Exhaust Fan

Clean the Exhaust Fan

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If the grille on your bathroom exhaust fan is clogged with dust, try a trick that's faster and more effective than vacuuming. Here's how to clean a bathroom fan: Turn on the fan and blast out the dust with "canned air." The fan will blow the dust outside. This works on the return air grilles of your central heating/cooling system too. Run the system so that the return airflow will carry the dust to the filter. You'll find canned air at home centers and hardware stores, usually in the electrical supplies aisle. Caution: The cans contain chemical propellants, not just air. Don't let children play with them.

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Dust with Your Dryer

Dust with Your Dryer

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Blankets, pillows, slipcovers, drapes and other textiles not only trap household dust, but they create it as they shed and disintegrate. Curtains and drapes, in particular, get dusty because they absorb moisture and dirt from the outside and act as a landing pad for dust from ceiling fans and air vents. The best idea for how to clean dust is to buy machine-washable items and launder them twice a year (OK, at least once). For non-machine-washable textiles, throw them in the dryer on the air-fluff setting (no heat) for 20 minutes with a damp towel. The damp towel will attract pet hair, and the tumbling movement and airflow will remove the smaller particles for you. Keep towels out of the way with a space-saving towel rack on a cabinet door.

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Synthetic Soap Simplifies Bathroom Cleaning

Synthetic Soap Simplifies Bathroom Cleaning

In terms of chemistry, some soaps aren't really true soap. Any soap in a liquid or gel form and some bar soaps, such as Zest and Ivory, are synthetic soap. These non-soap soaps are much less likely to form that dreaded layer of tough scum on your sink or tub and will allow you to clean house fast. Learn more about the best cleaning supplies for your home.

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Clean Grout with a Bleach Pen

Clean Grout with a Bleach Pen

Family Handyman

Associate editor Elisa Bernick recommends using a bleach pen to transform your grout from grungy to great. This method is tedious, but the payoff is crisp, clean grout lines. Use the pen to 'draw' bleach across the grout lines. The pen allows you to target the grout without getting bleach all over the tile. Wait 10 minutes and then rinse. For really mildewed grout, you may need a second application, and it can help to gently scrub the bleach into the grout with a toothbrush before allowing it to work for 10 minutes. Make sure to run the fan in the bathroom and to avoid skin contact. This method is best for light or white grout. If you have colored grout, test a small area first. It might fade. Instead of trying to find a bleach pen at the store, the cleaning solution to grout might already be in the bathroom.

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Clean a Sluggish Toilet

Clean a Sluggish Toilet

Family Handyman

If your toilet flushes slowly, the rinse holes under the rim may be clogged with mineral deposits. (Get a refresher on the parts of a toilet.) Use a hand mirror to see the holes under the rim of the toilet. Bend a coat hanger flat and probe the tip into the holes to poke out any deposits. You can clean out those clogged holes without ever getting your hands dirty.

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Vacuum First, Then Scrub

Vacuum First, Then Scrub

Family Handyman

Do you ever find yourself chasing strands of wet hair or running into dust balls in the corners with your sponge or cleaning rag? You can learn how to clean your bathroom better and eliminate this nuisance by vacuuming the bathroom before you get out your cleaning solutions. For a really thorough cleaning, start at the top, vacuuming the dust from light fixtures and the top of window casings. Then work your way down. And finally, vacuum the floor methodically so you cover every inch. You don't want to leave any stray hair or dust bunnies to muck up your cleaning water. A soft-bristle upholstery brush works best for this type of vacuuming. Figure out what vacuum to use here.

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Clean Your Bagless Vacuum Filter

Clean Your Bagless Vacuum Filter

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'Bagless vacuums are good for business,' according to one vacuum repairman. The problem isn't design or manufacturing but user negligence. Vacuum owners empty the dirt canister but often don't clean the filters. Plugged filters lead to an overworked motor. And sooner or later, the motor burns out. Motor replacement costs at least $100. People avoid cleaning filters because it's a messy job. The typical method is to tap the filter against the inside of a trash can until most of the dust falls off. But this raises a thick cloud of dust and doesn't get the filter completely clean. Here's a faster, neater, more thorough approach: Take the vacuum out to the garage and clean the pleated filter with a shop vacuum. Some pleated filters have a special coating that you can damage, so be gentle with the shop vacuum nozzle. Clean prefilter screens and post-filters the same way. Learn what the experts say on how often to change filters on bagless vacuums. 

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Citrus Peels and Ice Cubes for a Stinky Disposer

Citrus Peels and Ice Cubes for a Stinky Disposer

If your disposer has developed an odor, it may contain bits of rotted food. Here's how to clean them out:
  1. With the water running at about half throttle, drop in orange or lemon peels. Run the disposer for five seconds. Citric acid from the peels softens crusty waste and attacks smelly bacteria. Give the acid about 15 minutes to do its work.
  2. Turn on the water and the disposer and drop in a few ice cubes. Flying shards of ice work like a sandblaster inside the disposer.
  3. Run the water until the bowl is about half full. Then pull the stopper and turn on the disposer to flush it out.
Plus: Bad Smell in the House?

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Microwave Cleaner

Microwave Cleaner

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It's easy to clean baked-on food and spills from your microwave Here's how: Partially fill a measuring or coffee cup with water and add a slice of lemon. Boil the water for a minute, and then leave the door closed and let the steam loosen the mess. After 10 minutes, open the door and wipe away the grime. Plus: Best Household Cleaning Supplies & Products

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Countertop Gap Filler

Countertop Gap Filler

If crumbs, papers or even flatware falls into the gap between your countertop and refrigerator, fill the void with nearly invisible plastic tubing. Clear tubing is available at home centers in several widths starting at 1/8 in and will help you clean house fast since you won't be searching for crumbs. Save headaches and money by following six steps to keep your fridge running.

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Remove Tough Grime with Less Scrubbing

Remove Tough Grime with Less Scrubbing

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Whether it's built-up soap scum on the shower walls, ground-in dirt on the floor tile, or dried toothpaste on the vanity top, a Magic Eraser sponge will make short work of it. Just dampen it and rub it on the offending mess. In most cases, the mess will come right off. These sponges are especially useful for removing ground-in dirt from porous floor tile and getting those pesky nonslip strips in the bottom of your tub clean. Magic Eraser sponges are available at grocery stores, hardware stores and wherever cleaning supplies are sold. Unlike regular sponges, they wear out pretty fast, so stock up. While you're out, look for these other very useful household cleaning supplies.

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Blow Out the Garage

Blow Out the Garage

Family Handyman

Forget the broom—clean out the garage with a leaf blower. It's fast (about five minutes), you don't have to move heavy stuff, and you can clean work surfaces and shelves along with the floor. First put away papers or anything else that you don't want blown away. Open the overhead door. Put on a dust mask, earplugs and safety glasses, then turn on the leaf blower and blow out the dust and debris. Use the leaf blower to get under workbenches and to clean off the benches themselves. If you don't own a leaf blower, you may be able to use your shop vacuum by connecting the hose to the exhaust port. This cleaning method works great for screen porches, too. No leaf blower? Our buyer's guide can help you decide which one is best for you.

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Clean Range Hood Grease Filters With a Degreaser

Clean Range Hood Grease Filters With a Degreaser

Family Handyman

Running your vent hood grease filter through the dishwasher can yield disappointing results. Likewise with 'grease cutting' household cleaners. Get great results with a water-based degreaser from the auto parts store. Fill the sink with hot water and degreaser, drop in the filter and let the degreaser do all the work. The filter will come out sparkling clean in just a few minutes. Then just rinse it off. Do you have a glass stove top? Learn how to clean a glass stove top the best way.

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Clean a Stinky Fridge

Clean a Stinky Fridge

Family Handyman

You don't have to live with a stinky fridge. Follow these instructions for using newspaper and charcoal and the odors will be gone within several days.

Plus: 14 Cleaning Tips Every Dog or Cat Owner Should Know

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Luminous Light Switch

Luminous Light Switch

A dab of glow-in-the-dark paint means no more groping for the light switch in the dark. You can buy glow-in-the-dark paint at hardware stores and home centers. Plus: Wiring Outlets and Switches the Safe and Easy Way.

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Suck Out Drain Clogs

Suck Out Drain Clogs

Family Handyman

A wet-dry vacuum slurps clogs out of plugged drains. Even plumbers use this trick sometimes. If you need to increase suction, seal around the nozzle with a wet rag. Plus: Using a Shop Vacuum for Dust Collection.

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Pinecone Scooper

Pinecone Scooper

Family Handyman

My pine trees drop cones all summer long, and my old back doesn't like me bending over a lot to pick them all up. I don't have a dog, but a pooper scooper has turned out to be this man's best friend! Gently squeezing the handle opens its jaws, allowing me to pick up pinecones with no back pain. — reader Don Greer Plus: Easy Lawn Care Tips

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Plastic Bag Dispenser

Plastic Bag Dispenser

To make it easy to stow and reuse plastic bags, make a dispenser from a discarded 2-liter soda bottle. Cut off the top and bottom with a razor knife. Trim any jagged edges so you don't tear the bags when you pull them out, then screw the dispenser to a cabinet door or closet wall (or attach with hook-and-loop tape). Click here for more kitchen storage ideas.

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Brush with a Drill

Brush with a Drill

Family Handyman

Got a big scrubbing job on your list? Chuck a brush into your drill and save the elbow grease. You'll find drill-ready brushes for all kinds of scrubbing from Drillbrush.

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Make a Homeowner's Journal

Make a Homeowner's Journal

Family Handyman

Buy a ring binder and keep insurance papers, repair receipts and all other paperwork pertaining to the house in it. Storing all your house information in one handy place makes life easier for the homeowner and can be a sales 'plus' when selling the house later. – reader Debora Emmert Paying too much for your insurance? Learn how to save money on insurance here.

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caulk window insulationFamily Handyman

Whistling Window

If you’ve got a dull whistle that comes through the house on a windy day it can make for a long day. Take care any possible leak by caulking the window.

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bath fan noiseFamily Handyman

Bath Fan

If the bath fan in your home is more than 20 years old, chances are it’s pretty loud. A loud fan may be good for masking bathroom noise, but the jet engine roar is downright annoying the rest of the time. Worse yet, your old bath fan may not be moving enough air to keep your bathroom free of mold and mildew. Here’s how to fix a noisy bath fan.

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Clink, Clink, Clink of the Ceiling Fan Chain

Clink, Clink, Clink of the Ceiling Fan Chain

Family Handyman

Even if a ceiling fan is perfectly balanced, the breeze from the fan can cause the pull chain to smack up against the light fixture. Solve this annoying noises problem by removing the chain and sliding a 1/4-in. plastic tube over it. You can buy the tubing at home centers. Did you know that with ceiling fans, you get what you pay for? Here's the scoop.

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Keep It Quiet

Keep It Quiet

Family Handyman

Washers and dryers transfer vibrations to floors and telegraph noise throughout the house. The solution is to set their feet on rubber anti-vibration pads (available at some home centers and online). You may not realize you can do these other washing machine repairs yourself, too.

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Squeaky Door Hinge

Squeaky Door Hinge

Family Handyman

Spray squeaky door hinges in place with a little all-purpose lube, silicone spray or dry Teflon spray. If the squeaks persist, remove the hinge pins and rub off any rust or corrosion with a steel wool pad, and then coat the pins with a lubricant before replacing them. Plus: Learn how to fix sagging or sticking doors here.

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Jingling Dog Tags

Jingling Dog Tags

Family Handyman

If the constant jingling noise from your dog's tags drives you crazy, check out the Quiet Spot Pet Tag Silencer. It's a little neoprene jacket with Velcro straps, and it even has a reflective logo. One will last about a year on an active dog. These silencers are available at pet stores and online. Plus: 40 pet projects to show your pet some love.

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magnetic strips for kitchen utensils knives BelkaG/Shutterstock

Hold Knives and Kitchen Utensils

One of the most common ways to use magnetic strips is to hold kitchen knives and utensils in the kitchen. Magnetic strips work great in small kitchens, because they help get items off the countertop so there’s less clutter.

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mount magnets inside a medicine cabinet

Keep Grooming Tools in One Spot

Keep all those personal grooming tools in one place. A magnetic strip in the medicine cabinet can be used to store tweezers, clippers and small scissors.

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Add-On Clothes Rod

Add-On Clothes Rod

Family Handyman

Here's an easy way to add space for hanging clothes (or at least clothes that don't require a tall space). Hang a second clothes rod from the upper rod with lightweight chain. Attach the chain to screw eyes directly or use S-hooks or carabiners. Carabiners make adjusting the height of the extra rod a snap. Plus: 18 Life-Changing Organizing Ideas for Hard-to-Store Stuff

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Clothing Storage Solutions: Maximize Drawer Space

Clothing Storage Solutions: Maximize Drawer Space

Family Handyman

By folding shirts KonMari- or military-style and sandwiching (instead of stacking), you can fit more into each dresser drawer and have a better visual of what's inside. This folding technique is perfect for T-shirts, tanks and workout gear. Learn about Swedish Death Cleaning to clear out clutter.

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High-Visibility Boundary Marker

High-Visibility Boundary Marker

Family Handyman

Each year I mark the boundaries of my yard so the snowplow driver doesn't damage my lawn. For years I used rebar along the perimeter, but the driver couldn't see it at night. Even with reflectors on the rebar, it would still get hit, bent or broken. Now I've found a better solution. I slip a brightly colored swim noodle over the rebar. You can't miss the markers now. – Bill Remia. These 23 yard tool hacks will actually make your life easier.

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Touch up Nicks and Scratches

Touch up Nicks and Scratches

If you have shallow scratches or nicks, hide them with a stain-filled touch-up marker. Dab on the stain and wipe off the excess with a rag. But beware: Scratches can absorb lots of stain and turn darker than the surrounding finish. So start with a marker that's lighter than your cabinet finish and then switch to a darker shade if needed. For deeper scratches, use a filler pencil, which fills and colors the scratch. If the cabinet finish is dingy overall and has lots of scratches, consider a wipe-on product like Old English Scratch Coat. These products can darken the finish slightly, so you have to apply them to all your cabinets. Bigger than a scratch? Use polyester filler.

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Restore Free Flow to a Faucet

Restore Free Flow to a Faucet

Family Handyman

When a kitchen or bathroom faucet loses pressure or starts spraying to the side, it's usually due to a dirty aerator screen. Luckily, cleaning a screen is an easy job. Start this fix by closing the drain plug (so you don't drop parts down the drain). Then remove the aerator using a rag or masking tape so you don't mar the finish with your pliers. To remove the sand and other deposits, soak the aerator in vinegar, then scrub it with a toothbrush. This usually solves the problem. If you have to disassemble the aerator to clean it, lay out the parts in the order you removed them so you can reassemble them correctly. Still having issues? Do a showerhead deep clean.

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Kitchen Window Plant Perch

Kitchen Window Plant Perch

Family Handyman

Do you like having fresh herbs at your fingertips? Keeping them on your counter takes up valuable space and doesn't expose them to enough light. Try this easy storage idea: Install a wire shelf between the upper cabinets flanking your kitchen window. You can set your plants where they'll get plenty of light without blocking the view. This also makes watering easy and keeps them readily available for snipping. Make sure to install the shelf high enough so you don't bump into it when you're working at the sink. Get more quick and clever kitchen storage ideas.

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How to Stop Under-the-Door Air Leaks

How to Stop Under-the-Door Air Leaks

Family Handyman

If you can feel the breeze and see daylight under your entry door, it's costing you big-time. It also means you need to adjust your door threshold or install a new door sweep. Door sweeps start at $10. The hardest part about replacing them is usually taking off the door. Start by adjusting the threshold. Newer versions have screws that raise and lower them. Turn all of the threshold screws until the door opens and closes without much drag and any draft is eliminated. If that doesn't work, or your threshold doesn't have adjustment screws, replace the door sweep. Close the door and pop out the hinge pins with a pin punch to remove the door. Set the door on a work surface and remove the old door sweep. Caulk the ends of the door, then install the replacement sweep. Some sweeps are tapped into place and stapled along the door bottom; others are screwed to the side along the door bottom. If a drafty sliding patio door is your problem, here's how to fix it.

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Junk Drawer in a Bag

Junk Drawer in a Bag

Family Handyman

Heavy-duty zip-top bags are a versatile solution for miscellaneous junk. Unlike a drawer or coffee can, they let you visibly see and instantly find just the thing you're looking for. To clean-up that junk drawer or any space in your home, here are 18 easy organization tips.

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Switch Your Ceiling Fan Direction

Switch Your Ceiling Fan Direction

Family Handyman

Ceiling fans should turn clockwise in the colder months, which pushes warm air back down into the room. Most fans have a simple switch that reverses the direction. Plus: How to Balance a Ceiling Fan

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More Shower Shelves

More Shower Shelves

Those shelves that hang from a shower pipe are fine, but you have only one shower pipe. To hang more shelves, mount cabinet knobs on the wall using No. 8-32 hanger screws and screw-in drywall anchors. For more bathroom storage ideas click here.

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How to Seal Outlets and Ceiling Boxes

How to Seal Outlets and Ceiling Boxes

The tiny gaps around outlets on exterior walls and ceiling boxes let cold air in (and warm air out). Sealing these areas takes just half a day and will help cut down on drafts (and your heating bill!).

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Secure Your Kitchen Towels

Secure Your Kitchen Towels

Hanging a dish towel from an oven or dishwasher door makes sense. The towel is in a convenient location, and the oven's warmth quickly gets rid of dampness. However, the one drawback with hanging your towels here is that they are constantly falling off! Here’s a way to keep the towel from slipping off: Fold your towel into its desired form and attach Velcro strips in two spots, one on the front and one on the back, as shown in the photo below. Stitch in place, or use fabric iron-on Velcro strips and follow the directions on the packaging. Finally, hang your towel from the oven or dishwasher door and match velcro ends together. We've collected hundreds of home tips throughout the years to make life a little easier for our readers. Here are 100 of the Handiest Home Tips.

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Kitchen Storage: Better in a Basket

Kitchen Storage: Better in a Basket

The Adaptive/Shutterstock

You come home from the grocery store with an armful of fresh fruit, but lo and behold—there's no spare fridge or counter space available. A stylish solution for this storage problem is to hang a single or tiered wire basket from the ceiling. You can store your apples, bananas, and oranges as well as potatoes, onions, and garlic here. Plus, a hanging basket adds visual interest to your kitchen.

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HH handy hints spaghetti noodle lighter candleFamily Handyman

Pasta Lighter

We’re sure you’re stocking up on sweet smelling candles to make your home extra cozy for the colder months. But, if your candles are burning too low to reach the wick, there’s no reason to go without your favorite scent. Instead of burning your fingers, light a piece of uncooked spaghetti. It’ll reach into those deep candles and burn long enough to light the candles on grandpa’s birthday cake!

Everyone enjoys saving money, especially when it comes to improving your home. So check out these 35 amazingly cheap handy hints using everyday items.

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HH Handy Hint color coded key nail polishFamily Handyman

Identify Your Keys at a Glance

“It seems the older I get, the more keys I carry around. Between the car, house, shed and garage, I have a whole pocket full of keys. To make it easier to quickly find my most used keys, I paint both sides of the key head with brightly colored nail polish. I use a different color for each key. The nail polish is extremely durable and you’ll be surprised how much longer it lasts than spray paint.” —Joseph Grayson

Check out these other 14 Secret Tool Tips for DIYers from the Pros.

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HH Handy Hint fog free mirror car waxFamily Handyman

Fog-Free Mirrors

Prevent your bathroom mirror from fogging up after a hot shower with car wax. Apply a small amount of car wax to the mirror, let it dry, then buff with a soft, dry cloth. Expert tips that add up to big savings on your next bath remodel.

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HH Handy hint ice cubes wrinkle remover dryerFamily Handyman

Get Wrinkles Out of Your Laundry with Zero Effort

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 is a miracle 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. These 20 small laundry room ideas make the most of what little space you have in your laundry or utility room.

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Lampshade Lint RollerFamily Handyman

Lampshade Lint Roller

Fabric lampshades are magnets for dust and pet hair. You can’t just throw them in the washing machine, so what do you do? A lint roller works really well. Be careful though, as lampshades are fragile and can even become brittle. A torn lampshade is worse than a dirty one.

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tractor rope HH

Lawn Mower Grass Chute Saver

To avoid a lot of string trimmer work, I like to mow as close as possible to trees and buildings. But the grass chute on my riding mower prevents it. So I drilled a hole in the chute and tied a rope from the chute to a handle on the side of the tractor. Now I can lift up the chute without missing a beat, and cut way down on string trimmer work. — Travis Larson

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HH Handy Hint Vacuum cleaner nylons find lost itemsFamily Handyman

Find Your Lost Items

Everyone knows how annoying it is when you can’t seem to find a dropped pill or the back of an earring. So how do you find these items quickly and easily? Use your vacuum. Here’s the trick; before you turn the vacuum on, cut off the end of a nylon and secure it on the end of your vacuum hose with a rubber band. Check out these ingenious hacks and practical uses for rubber bands that go far beyond their intended use.

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HH Handy Hint broom wide tooth comb dust bunny dustpan hackFamily Handyman

Dust Bunny Broom Cleaner

Every time you sweep, clumps of dust and hair collect at the ends of the broom’s bristles. To solve this problem, hot glue a wide-tooth comb to the top of a dustpan. Just run the bristles through the comb to remove any excess gunk dangling from the broom.

Check out these Cleaning Tips to Reduce Household Dust in the first place.

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Rice and sock heat pad

Homemade Heating Pad

Next time you have a sore neck or back, don’t reach for an electric heating pad. Instead, fill a sock with uncooked rice, tie the end and microwave it for two or three minutes. I like this better than a heating pad, as it conforms to whatever body part that needs heat. You can even put in some fragrant herbs like cinnamon or lavender to make it smell nice!

Need cold, not heat? Try this homemade ice pack hack.

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HH Handy Hint Sponges stay plants stay hydratedFamily Handyman

Cheap Planter Upgrade

Water settling at the bottom of pots can lead to root rot. To combat this problem, cut up old sponges and put them in the bottom of the pot. The sponges retain moisture and create necessary air space. They also help prevent water from flushing out the bottom. The sponge acts as a water reserve and keep soil moist longer.

Love to garden but short on time? Here are some tips that will help you plant, water and weed more efficiently so you have more time to stop and smell your roses.

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clean-refrigerator coils

Clean Refrigerator Coils or Pay Unnecessary Repair Bills

Refrigerator condenser coils are located on the back of the fridge or across the bottom. When coils are clogged with dust, pet hair and cobwebs, they can’t efficiently release heat. The result is your compressor works harder and longer than it was designed to, using more energy and shortening the life of your fridge. Clean the coils with a coil-cleaning brush and vacuum. A coil-cleaning brush, which is bendable to fit in tight areas, does a thorough job. Look for one online or at appliance stores. For tips on repairing your refrigerator (without a service call), check out our guide or how to pick the best refrigerator out there.

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Build a Ball Tower

Build a Ball Tower

Family Handyman

Some kids are into balls—any kind of balls. So they accumulate. It's hard to find a storage system to keep them all handy, including the ones on the bottom of the pile. Here's an ingenious system using bungee cords. They're firm enough to keep the pile organized, but stretchy enough that you can squeeze the bottom ball out. Need more storage in the garage? Build this super shelving system with pegboard.

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HH kitchen condiments lettuce tomato muffin tin bbq

All Your Condiments in One Place

The next time you host a barbecue or a patio party, pull out a muffin tin. Rather than using it to bake muffins (although you can do this later too), fill the cups with various condiments and barbecue toppings. This way your condiments are easy to access and your buffet lines will move along quickly. You will also dramatically increase your table space, and cut down on the separate serving bowls to clean up afterward.

For a truly impressive backyard barbecue, a home cook needs the right tools and a great plan for a successful day out in your yard. That’s why we’ve collected 12 of the best tips to make sure your grillout is fun, easy and delicious.

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Joist Space Storage

Joist Space Storage

Family Handyman

Don't waste all that space between joists in a basement or garage. Screw wire shelving to the underside of the joists. An 8-ft. x 16-in. length of wire shelving and a pack of plastic clips (sold separately) costs about 20 bucks. Don't forget that wire shelving also shines on walls. Learn the best practices for installing wire shelving here.

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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. Plus: How to keep your trash can from flying in the wind.