When the New Year arrives and the time comes to retire the Christmas decorations, not only can your house seem a bit bare, it can also feel a little shabbier. Often, once the lights and baubles are put away, blemishes on the paintwork and clutter around your home seems more obvious than ever.
With this in mind, consider New Year the perfect time to give your home a little TLC. Joseph Beeby, DIY expert at Handy (handy.com), shares his best DIY tips and tricks, to help you start the year as you mean to go on!
- Wires, wires and more wires – Today, most of us have wires trailing all over the place from various devices. Avoid tripping over (and make your home look a little nicer) by gathering them up and feeding them through a bull clip screwed to the back of your desk or cabinet. That way, everything is kept in order and your room instantly looks less cluttered
- The pan-lid rack hack – Save space and increase stack-ability in your pan cupboard by attaching a couple of towel rails to the back of the door. The lids will easily slot through the space and handle or knob on top will stop each one slipping through, creating a space saving new home for your disappearing pan lids!
- Repainting? Find an elastic band – When touching up the walls, slapping too much paint on with a paintbrush can be a nightmare, with large blobs of paint running off the wall on to the floor, and an uneven finish. Avoid making a mess by looping an elastic band vertically around the tin of paint to brush off excess paint. This way, excess paint goes straight back into the tin and your walls will be evenly decorated
- Too much clothing, too little space! – If you’re having a battle fitting all your new winter clothes into your wardrobe, don’t just stuff them into a drawer. We’ve got a secret weapon for you - the ring-pull on a fizzy drink can. Remove the ring pull and loop it over the top of a hanger. Then just feed a second hanger into the other hole in the ring pull, effectively giving you another row below the top one. There’s more space in there than you thought!
- Re-arrange the furniture – When you’ve gotten rid of the tree, the room will seem rather bare. This is a great opportunity to give your living room a new lease of life by shifting the furniture around a bit. When you do, one great tip to remove indentations in the carpet left by heavy furniture, is to use ice cubes. Place them wherever the carpet is marked and leave overnight. The ice will melt and plump up the flattened fibres, restoring it to its former glory.
- Picture this! One great way to give the house a re-fresh is to add some artwork, but it’s a task many of us put off. Here are three simple steps to hanging a picture like a pro:
1. How many times have you drilled or hammered a hole into the wall, only to realise you’ve made the hole in the wrong place when you go to hang the picture? There is a really simple way to avoid this. When hanging anything on the wall, photocopy it first, stick the photocopy to the wall and adjust it until you’re happy with where you’ve placed it. THEN drill.
2. A really simple hack is to place a sticky note below the hole you are about to drill and fold it to a right angle so it forms a horizontal lip beneath the hole. The dust will collect in the lip below and, once you’re done, you can just fold it up and throw it away.
3. If the thought of hammering your thumb into the wall along with the nail means that your artwork or photographs have been gathering dust for longer than you care to admit, then this tip is for you! Use a clothes peg to hold your nail in place against the wall before hammering. Problem solved!
There's more consumer advice in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.