Wednesday, January 30, 2013

An Organized Kitchen

An organized kitchen is a lot easier to work in, but the task of sorting it out may seem daunting. I have some easy ideas to help.  Cookie sheets and baking dishes piled in a heap? Get extra space and easy-to- see storage by investing in a couple of metal file racks. Pick them up at any office supply store. Just slip the rack into your cupboard and then you can put your baking dishes in between the dividers. Neat and easy!  Do you feel like you're short on drawer space? Look around. Do you have a drawer dedicated to plastic wraps and foil? If so, pick up a foil and wrap organizer. It screws easily into the inside of a cabinet door, keeps all of those wraps organized and frees up some drawer space.  If you have a drawer in the kitchen cluttered with pens, scissors, paper clips and other stuff, grab an old silverware divider. All of those items will fit neatly into the silverware sections so you can find what you're looking for.  If your appliance cords get all tangled in the cabinet, use some plastic garbage bag ties to secure them. They twist easily around your coiled up cord.

Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard is great for jotting down notes and a great place for kids to draw, but they can be expensive. An easy and inexpensive way to make your own is with chalkboard paint! It looks like any other spray paint, but it dries to a chalkboard finish.  Pick out a piece of wood that is nice and smooth and thin enough to fit into a frame.  Make sure that you have plenty of ventilation and wear a safety mask when using spray paints. Paint the board with a primer, and let it dry thoroughly.  Spray the chalkboard paint back and forth evenly until you have a nice finish. Make sure that you don't spray too much, or you'll end up with drips! Then allow it to dry. Once it's dry, put the board into your frame and hang it up.

Bi-Fold Door Problems

Bi-fold doors are a common choice for many closets, but you can run into some problems. Generally it's one of three things. They don't meet in the center, they press too closely together and won't close, or they're uneven. All three are easy to fix!  Remove the door by lifting it up and out of the bottom pivot, swinging it away from the bottom bracket and then pulling the top pivot out of it's bracket.  Once the door is removed you can easily loosen the adjusting screw and slide the bracket into the position you want. If the doors don't meet, move the top and bottom brackets toward center. If the doors press together too hard and won't close at all, move the brackets away from center. As for the door that is uneven and looks like it's sagging towards center, move only the top bracket slightly away from the center.  Bi-fold doors have a liner down the inside to help hold them closed where normal wear & tear can bend them. If this is the case, gently bend them back into shape with a pair of pliers.

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Cleaning Awkward Spaces!

Tight and awkward spaces can be hard to clean. Don't get frustrated. Here are some ideas. If your ceiling is so high that it prevents you from reaching cobwebs, slip a tennis ball inside an old knee high. Gently toss the ball to the ceiling. It may take a few tries, but those cobwebs should come down in no time.  To get the small space between the wall and the refrigerator, tape a feather duster to a yardstick. This extension handle will help you reach all the way back in there. If you can't get the corners on a glass front cabinet clean, grab a cotton swab and dip it in your cleanser. The swab is small enough to get rid of all that dirt.

Clogged Shower Head

Do you barely have a trickle left in your shower because of mineral deposits and soap scum? 

Well, I can show you how to get rid of that build-up with products you probably already have in your home.  

Remove the showerhead and put it in a bowl of undiluted vinegar. Let the fixture soak for a couple of hours. When you take it out of the vinegar, if there are some stubborn spots, just brush them with an old toothbrush until all of the scaling is gone.  

If you cant get your shower head apart - don't worry, just fill a plastic bag with vinegar and secure it to the shower head with some heavy duty tape or string. 

Then let the bag soak overnight. In the morning the showerhead will be clean and deposit free. Just remember never to use vinegar on brass or brass plate.  

For a faster clean up, in a small bowl mix together 1 teaspoon of alum and a quarter of a cup of lemon juice. Saturate a rag with the mixture and scrub the fixture the deposits will literally disappear.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Carpet Vinegarette

If you have a carpet stain would you think to grab the vinegar. Well, you should, cause it can cut through some of the toughest stains.
1. Gum on carpets is a nightmare, but vinegar can actually help to dissolve it away. Pour white vinegar directly onto the gum and let it sit for a minute, then use a paper towel to start easily pulling the gum out of the carpet fibers. Follow up with a little soapy water to clean up the vinegar and you're all set!
2. Dried glue on a carpet can also be dissolved with white vinegar. warm the vinegar for thirty seconds in the microwave, then dip a white cloth with it. Lay the cloth over the glue and leave for five minutes. once the glue had softened you'll be able to remove it from the carpet with a spoon and then just follow it up with some soapy water.
3. If you have chocolate stains on your carpet, mix together a half a cup of white vinegar and a cup of water and use that along with a white cloth to blot out any stains. Change the cloth frequently to be sure you don't redistribute the stains. This vinegar and water solution also works great on coffee spills.

Dusting Louvered Doors

If you have louvered doors, you know that all of their little crevices make them really difficult to clean. I have some ways to make the job easier for you!
1. To dust in between those slats just grab a ruler or a butter knife, cover it with a soft cloth and spray it with some dusting polish. Then, insert it between the slats and run it back and forth. It's a quick and easy clean-up that gets both the top and bottom of a slat, without you having to do both sides!
2. To get the corners, try a small paintbrush instead of a feather duster. The stiffer bristles make it easier to really get the dust where it's hiding. The paintbrush also works great for the corners in the framework of regular doors.
3. To wash these doors, open the door and spread a towel underneath. Mix a little oil soap and some water in a spray bottle, and spray the door from the top down, making sure to hit all of the slats. Then use the ruler trick to clean and dry the slats. Wipe down the rest of the door with a soft cloth.

Innovative Uses for Wine Racks

Decorative wine racks have become a favorite home accessory. So if you have a few, or if you see something you like grab them. Because they can do so much more than hold a bottle of wine.

1. Place a wine rack near your stove and it can hold oils, vinegars and other cooking essentials. They'll be right where you need them, but not cluttering up the counters or cupboards.
2. A standing wine rack is great for a tabletop to carry silverware and condiments from the kitchen to the table or on a buffet.
3. Keep a rack in living room or bathroom to hold your favorite magazines. Just roll them up and stash them in the compartments.
4. A wine rack also works in the bathroom to hold hand towels or corral curling irons, hair dryers and bath products.
5. Put a wine rack in your home office to sort mail, envelopes and other office essentials
6. Just some easy ways to use decorative wine racks around your home!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everybody - 2013 is going to be a great year for Mrs. FIXIT's tips, tricks, repairs and reuses! I hope you'll invite your friends to join me here!!