My Cluttered Life – Part 2

I can’t tell you the number of items I find around the house that were purchased and either weren’t what I was looking for, didn’t fit just right, or just decided I really didn’t want anymore. They get put down with the intention to return.

Sometime attempts get made to do the return but where is the receipt? If I can’t find the receipt you get store credit and, well, I really want my money back. So it sits, in a pile, until its too late to return. Now what do I do with it? Sigh….

If it really can’t be used it either needs to go to the trash or in a container to be donated. It can be given to a friend or family member, as long as it goes out of your home. A big rule: No holding or storing items for others who do not live with you.

Lots of money is waited this way. I wonder if you took one popular store and added all the sales of product from that store that were never used and had had intention to be returned but ended up in a death pile in someones home would tally up to. Shivers…

So not much can be done for these items once they have been in your possession for a period of time but to donate, five away or trash. But, what can I do to prevent this from happening again in the future. Here is an approach I have developed to keep this from happening.

Get a zippered pouch and keep it in your car and get in habit of putting receipts in the zippered pouch so returns are easy. If you find you need to return something put the item back in the store bag with the receipt taped to the item so it does not get lost and put it in your car. Next time you go to that store or drive by that store do the return.

Make sure you regularly purge your zippered pouch of receipts after a certain time goes by when you can’t usually return, like 90 days, unless you need the receipt for a warranty.

Since I have got this habit it makers returns easy, it keeps a pile from developing and I have not once had to dig through the trash to find a receipt.

Posted in Home, Car, Yard, and Pets, My Cluttered Life, ~Cleaning, ~Storage & Organization | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lamp & Bowl Art For Your Garden

I found this great idea on the internet and wanted to share. These are mushrooms made from bowls and candlesticks and the larger ones are made from lamps. They are so unique and would be a great spruce up for recycled art in your garden. The best thing is you can source the materials from your old items or cheaply at any thrift or yard sale.

There are a variety of methods to make these and vary on the items you are using. The easiest is to drill a pilot hole through the bowl and into the candlestick or lamp post. Screw a large heavy duty screw through bowl and into lamp post or candlestick. You need to use a drill bit designed for the metal you are using. If you have a smooth surface between the inside of your bowl and the stem then you can use epoxy.

To paint you will need a spray paint like Krylon that is designed to adhere to metal. You can paint them traditional type colors or get really funky with the color choice.

Make them yours. You can also glue little accessories on them like little gnomes or fairies. Moss and pebbles glued on the the base where it sits in your garden will make them loo like they have been there for a long time.

 

Posted in Crafts ~ DIY ~ Projects, Home, Car, Yard, and Pets, ~Gardening, ~Recycling & Upcycling | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

6 Tips to Master Home Appliance Repair

Sometimes you just gotta take matters into your own hands. Whether it’s because you want to develop your skills, or if you just want to save some extra money, DIY repair is a great choice. You will be able to extend the lifetime of your appliances considerably, and you won’t have to rely on unreliable repairmen who will charge you a fortune.

However, this is not an easy task. Without the proper training, you may be at risk of hurting yourself, or, at the very least, have the risk of making things worse. So, safety first, get some protective gear and read about our top six tips to master home appliance repair below.

Get the basics down

No matter how obvious or banal this piece of advice is, we still expect people to read it. Too many wannabe DIY repairmen end up getting hurt or just destroying their appliances because they didn’t start with the obvious. So, first of all, always unplug the appliance before you start working on it. Furthermore, once you’re done, keep an eye on the said appliance and make sure everything is going well. The last thing you need is to have your microwave catch fire while you’re on the other side of the room.

Next, actually check to see if there are any obvious problems before you start disassembling the entire thing. So, double check the power settings, or whether the thing is actually plugged in. Maybe the problem isn’t in the appliance, but in the outlet. Maybe there are some issues, like a simple filter being clogged. Or, on the other hand, maybe the appliance isn’t working due to a standard operational characteristic it has (like not working when placed on an uneven surface).

Check the moving parts

Moving parts tend to be the most likely culprit when it comes to home appliance repair. We suggest you start with them when you are repairing your appliance because of their tendency to wear and malfunction quickly. So, take a look at the fans and the motor of the appliance. You can often check this by the noise the appliance makes. Since you are fixing appliances that you yourself own, and have probably owned for a long time, you are probably accustomed to the noise they make. Anything different is a tell-tale sign of what’s actually wrong. Now, as far as fans and belts are concerned, get the right appliance spare parts at any specialized store, and get it done. On the other hand, motors are a bit more problematic and may require professional assistance.

Stick to the 50% rule

The 50% rule goes as follow: if your appliance is older than 50% of its expected lifespan, and if the cost of repairs and replacement parts is more than 50% of the price of buying a new one, you shouldn’t bother. The most financially sound decision here is to simply replace it. Of course, you can always disassemble it for your own enjoyment if you’re gonna replace it soon.

Get the right tools

Now, we are not saying you should buy the newest, most expensive and advanced toolkit on the market. But, you need to understand that often a screwdriver will not be enough. Something middle of the line will definitely be enough. Besides, if you want to continue with your DIY home repair efforts, you need a good toolkit anyway.

Now, one specific, important tool that you should get is a nice multimeter. One of the more annoying things when doing home repairs is that it’s hard to figure out if the problem can be found with the wiring. With a multimeter, you can measure voltage, and figure out which wires are ok, and which are not.

Check the ignition systems

For most gas-powered appliances, the most common problem is the ignition process. This goes for appliances that have electric starters and pilot lights as well, however. The point being is that stoves, for example, are very durable appliances that rarely break down completely. The most likely culprit tends to be their ignition system. So, we suggest you start there, check if there is any soot, or if the entire thing is properly aligned.

Check pipes and hoses

Dishwashers, washing machines, and basically any other water-based appliances depend on pipes and hoses to use water. The most likely culprit here tends to be these same hoses. We suggest you check them, and the surrounding valves, first when you want to repair appliances like these.

Conclusion

If you really want to get better at home appliance repair, we suggest you take the above advice to heart. Work on getting the basics down, get the right tools and stick to the 50% rule. Check your moving parts first, figure out where your hoses are, and get familiar with the ignition processes on your stoves.

Posted in Home, Car, Yard, and Pets, ~Solutions & Fixes | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment