Do you have a few stubborn home problems that keep popping up to disrupt your holiday cooking, decorating and entertaining? I have six solutions to these common but easily “fixable headaches”. Read on and cross these off your to-do list!
Dodge a Drafty Window
Being able to escape the freezing winter weather is part of what makes it so enjoyable. There’s nothing like taking in the snow-draped scenery with a warm cup of cocoa in your toasty living room. That is unless you’re watching it from a drafty window. Not only do drafty windows let cold air leak in, but they also won’t properly contain heat, costing you more on your energy bill. Consider fitting your window with an insulating Cellular Shade or installing your own weather stripping. Weather stripping may look daunting, but is actually a very common DIY project. If you can measure, cut, and drill – you can do it. When you’re finished, you can use those measurements to browse our variety of Cellular Shade options for more energy saving insulation. No matter how many times, I say this: Cellular Shades are always a dynamo in maintaining a warmer home during the winter months, with minimal obstructions to your outdoor view. Cell Shades have superpowers, simply.
Unstick a Sliding Glass Door
Over time, sliding glass doors can collect a good deal of grime in their tracks, eventually making opening them difficult. You don’t want to ignore a stuck door and your guests don’t want to feel trapped in your home. Luckily, there’s an easy fix. Start by cleaning out both sides of the track and remove anything that may be mucking things up. I recommend using a flat head screwdriver to scrape away anything hiding in the wheel well and finishing off with a vacuum to remove excess dirt. Try the door again to see if it’s still stuck and, if it is, apply silicon spray to the inside of the track to ensure smooth, struggle-free sliding. In case you noticed that this patio door needed an update on the window coverings, you know where to go!
Restore Scuffed Wood Furniture
Real wood furniture looks warm and elegant, unless it has taken a family-sized beating year after year. Scuffs, dings, and scratches slowly accumulate on wood pieces but they’re something you want to keep an eye on unless you’re going for a really distressed look. It may sound ridiculous, but a walnut may be the best tool available for the job. Remove the shell from the walnut and rub vigorously along the scratch on your furniture. Let the oil soak in for a few minutes and then wipe the area down with a small cloth. On darker wood, try mixing used coffee grounds with a bit of water and applying the mixture to the scuff. The darker the wood, the more you should let it sit before wiping the stain away. While this won’t be a miracle cure, it will definitely give your furniture a cleaner, more polished look. Another quick hint for small dents or scratches on any porcelain or white kitchen appliances: “White-Out” does wonders for small nicks. My Kitchen-Aid stand mixer and Toaster Oven look brand new.
Unstick Stubborn Stickers
The only thing kids love more than stickers, is sticking them everywhere. And one of my biggest gripes is scratching pesky stickers off of new glassware, storage containers and toys. It seems to me stickers are always in places they don’t belong. Here is an easy way to attack this problem. Try heating up any stubborn stickers with a hair dryer to loosen up the adhesive. After a while, the decal should peel right off. If any sticky stuff gets left behind, soak the spot with rubbing alcohol or white vinegar and rub it away with a rag. Easy as that!
Loosen up a Stubborn Window
Even though it might be too cold where you are to open your windows, it is always a good idea to make sure the windows are in working order. Obviously, I am a bit obsessed with windows and what goes over them, but fresh air is always a perk. It won’t hurt to have another way to escape your house if the holiday season becomes overwhelming. First, check the inner track for any obvious obstruction. If you don’t find anything, spray a bit of silicon lubricant on a rag and wipe up and down this inside track. Silicon spray is colorless and doesn’t leave behind any sticky residue, just a slick streak that your windows should have no problem gliding over. The best part of this trick is that it will work on all types of windows – metal, wood or plastic.
Quiet Your Floor Boards
There’s nothing more annoying than a creaky wooden floorboard – especially when you have a few extra pairs of feet shuffling around. This usually happens as the boards or nails in your flooring start to loosen and rub up on each other. For a quick fix, drop a bit of baby powder between each plank and force it between the cracks. The baby powder will eventually settle, removing friction between the boards and, of course, the noise. Oh, silent night! If nothing else, Santa will be able to creep around the house to deliver presents without creaking and waking up the kids.
These fixes are quick, leaving you plenty of time to finish before your guests dash through the snow all the way to your door. Your crazy uncle won’t wake you up every night as he creaks towards the cookies and your parents won’t have to point out that there are gingerbread houses in better shape than your own home. Looks like holiday wishes do come true! Now you have the tools to make your home feel brand new and you can take a hiatus from humbuggery. Happy holidays!