When I was in high school, I volunteered regularly with Habitat for Humanity. For three summers I joined dozens of people on a week-long work camp to raise rafters, paint house exteriors, or drywall. During my senior year, I worked at a local house on Saturday mornings, helping with spackling and painting.
Although I didn't realize it then, gaining experience with these rudimentary construction projects has given me confidence with the do-it-yourself projects that I've faced as a homeowner.
That being said, I'm still learning little tricks of the trade. For example, I've discovered that the use of a simple Post-It note makes drilling virtually mess-free. Simply bend a Post-It, adhere it to the wall below your drill marks, and let the drywall dust be neatly caught by the Post-It instead of falling to the floor.
It's foolproof, unless you drop the Post-It and spill all of the drywall dust that it had so cleverly captured while you're attempting to throw it away, which is what I recently did. (Note to self: cradle that Post-It carefully as you move about.)
My other tip is one I'm quite proud of. When I recently hung curtains, I noticed that they didn't drape well at the bottom. Because the fabric was lightweight, the bottom edges billowed outward instead of falling straight downward.
I brainstormed how I could fix this easily and inexpensively, and I came up with these homemade weights by stacking a few pennies, gluing them together, and adhering them to a paper clip. Each weight costs only four cents (literally), and they unobtrusively fasten to the curtain's inner hem.
The result is that my curtains now drape beautifully. As an added bonus, if I'm ever desperately short on petty change, I instantly know where I can find a stash of coins.
Soon, I'll share with you my before-after pictures from my tray table project, which is one of my final house goals for the summer. It's been a good run.
Do you have a favorite tip? Share it with us!
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