Small DIY Projects That Save Time and Money

cleaning shower head

I’m preparing to move, and in doing so, I don’t have a ton of money that I want to spend on this house. But things have to get done, so I’ve been learning to do them myself now that I am single again. I know there are many ladies that can and will do everything, but until recently, that wasn’t me. I had absolutely no interest in doing repairs or fixing things. Oddly, as I started doing them, I started enjoying them more and more.

Ask a Friend

Seems logical enough, but not for all of us. And, let’s be honest, I can’t do everything although my head says I can. That includes asking for help; it’s hard for me. But what are friends for? Before trying to fix it yourself, ask your friends if they can help or if they have a friend that can help. Buying a six pack to say thanks will likely be much cheaper.

When the disposal was broken in the kitchen my cousin was able to get me a replacement at cost and my friend’s husband installed it for free. I almost paid for it because I didn’t want to bother them. The take home message: ask a friend. They more than likely will be happy to lend a hand if they can.

Bathroom DIY Fixes

It always seems to be the bathroom that has the most issues in my house! Clogged toilets are downright gross and no fun. But, broken toilet parts obviously need to be replaced. The good news is that fixing a broken toilet isn’t as difficult as you might think. The obvious starting point is using a plunger to see if you can dislodge the clog.

If the toilet bowl is constantly running, it’s most likely the floater or piston in the cistern. This can easily be repaired with a trip to Home Depot for the right items. Alternatively, it might be something as simple as the flapper not properly closing. It might seem hard to believe, but that little water dribbling down the toilet can add up to a big price difference in your monthly water bill.

If the shower head is sluggish, there’s an easy fix! All you need is vinegar and a Ziploc bag. Start by warming two cups of white vinegar, then pouring it into a Ziploc bag big enough to fit the shower head. Immerse the shower head in the warm vinegar. Using a rubber band, hold the bag in place over the shower head and let it soak for at least 30 minutes. It will remove mineral deposits and unclog water holes.

General DIY Fixes

Squeaky door hinges? Some WD-40 or petroleum jelly will quickly fix it. The WD-40 Web site has a wealth of information, who knew there were over 300 things that you could use this stuff to fix?!

Peeling wallpaper? Just smear wallpaper paste onto a piece of regular writing paper and rub the paper against the underside of the peeling wallpaper. Press the wallpaper against the wall and slide paper out. To finish, smooth away bubbles with a cloth.

Sliding glass windows stuck? Pick up a can of silicone spray lubricant at the local hardware store and grease the skids. It’s best to spray onto a rag first and then wipe onto the tracks.

Scuffed linoleum? Using a dry cloth or an eraser, rub the area with white toothpaste.

Is an odd smell emitting from the dishwasher? Clean food scraps from the tub and then run a dishwasher cleaner through a cycle.

These are just a few things that I’ve recently tackled around the house in the last month. Surely there are more and more chores to be done and DIY projects to start. As an aside, have your kids help with these projects!

This is a guest post by Ashley, a freelance writer for DIY Mother who specializes in all things DIY/home improvement. She’s been known to start painting or resurfacing a table on a whim, which often perturbs her husband, but he’s a good sport. In her spare time, which is rare, she builds websites.

Photo by sunflower19020/Flickr

6 thoughts on “Small DIY Projects That Save Time and Money”

  1. Great tips! Ugh, I’m with you on the toilet repair. I did have to figure that one out on my own, thank God for Google and blogs with info like that that help us out 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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