Got a half-hour to kill?
Use it to spruce up your house.
Some fairly effortless under-takings can make a big difference in the appearance of your home. Here are a few you can check off your to-do list this weekend.
Take a tour. It’s easy to get too used to the little flaws in your home and stop noticing them. So it’s a good idea to periodically walk through your house with a note pad, looking critically at each room and jotting down the little fix-ups that need to be done there.
Are the light bulbs burned out? The registers rusty? The floorboards scratched?
Don’t let the task overwhelm you. You don’t need to address everything at once. But by keeping your list handy, you can pick off a chore or two to tackle as you have time.
Revive your woodwork. Window frames, door casings, base-boards and other wood surfaces can become scarred over time, but hiding those little scratches and dings is easy.
I recently used Restor-A-Finish from Howard Products Co. to freshen my woodwork. You just rub it on with fine steel wool, and it softens the old finish just enough to let the stain seep in to hide all those little blemishes. You can also disguise scratches in wood with a wax touch-up stick, a crayon or even a nut meat, but I like the way the Restor-A-Finish leaves a protective coating over the repaired areas.
Best of all, it’s a fast process. I had all the door casings and window frames on my first floor done in probably 15 minutes.
Touch up the paint. Walls, like woodwork, can take a beating. Little chips and scars appear over time, making your painted surfaces look dowdy.
Whenever I finish a paint job, I like to save a cup or so of the leftover paint in a plastic deli container, just for touch-ups. The paint stays fresher than it would in a can, and it’s easier to store, too.
Make sure to choose a container with a tight-fitting lid, so you can shake the paint to mix it before you start to work. Then just take a small artist’s paintbrush and brush on a little paint to hide the spots that have become scarred.
Clean smudges. Look closely, and you’ll probably notice lots of smudges on your walls and doors, particularly around light switches, doorknobs and door edges.
A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser takes those off in a snap. So does Scrubbing Bubbles spray cleaner, which does a great job of removing all kinds of dirt from hard surfaces. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever once used it to clean a bathroom, but I use it all the time on my walls.
Clean light fixtures and fans. Have you looked at your dining room chandelier lately? Chances are you haven’t, because we rarely look up.
Chandeliers are particularly prone to collecting dirt, because they have so many surfaces. Giving yours a good dusting, including the light bulbs, will let your light shine brighter.
While you’re at it, check the state of the globes over lighting fixtures, the blades of ceiling fans and the plastic grates over bathroom exhaust fans. The latter might benefit from removing the grate and giving the inner workings a good vacuuming, but be sure to shut off the power first.
Vacuum crevices. Did you ever look at the spot where your car-pet meets the baseboard? The vacuum cleaner doesn’t reach it well, so it’s a place where lint, dust and other dirt collect.
That’s the kind of job a vacuum cleaner’s crevice tool is made for. It’s a nozzle with a narrow end that fits into slender spaces, and it’s perfect for grooming the edges of your carpet.
Dust high and low. Base-boards get dusty. Ceilings collect cobwebs. Grab your long-handled duster and make a pass around the top of a room and then the lower perimeter.
Now, doesn’t that look better?
Via Vancouver Sun.
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