Three 10-Minute DIY Home Maintenance Projects


    It’s rather gross, but I find myself thinking of this saying a lot lately: “It’s like eating an elephant – take it one bite at a time.” It really puts a seemingly overwhelming project into perspective.

    Like home maintenance and improvement stuff

    You know, that “honey do” list that you keep adding to and rarely crossing something off?

    The weather is so crummy, though, lots of Billingsites aren’t getting out much, so now is actually the perfect time to get some of this stuff knocked out. Then, when the weather turns nice again, you can have fun, instead of working on the house.

    I chose a couple of really easy things that most homeowners rarely get around to, but should. Best of all, they’re quick. None of them take more than 10-minutes (not counting the time it takes to go to the store to buy the supplies).

    If it’s dirty, clean it

    Hey, we aren’t haters – you ought to take a peek into our cupboards and closets! Life is busy and cleaning and organizing is the last thing we have time for.

    But, someday you’ll move and if you haven’t cleaned the shelves in your cupboards and pantry in a decade, you’ll be sorry

    So, tackle this job instead of vegging in front of the TV. Throw out anything that’s expired, consider giving away anything you haven’t used in the last year and give the shelves a good scrubbing before putting everything away.

    And, put it away, strategically. If you don’t bake a lot, put the baking stuff at the very top of the pantry. The shelf that’s eye-level is for items you use the most.

    The holiday serving ware, cookery and what-not can be stored in the garage, right? Think of all the extra room you’ll have.

    If it slides, lubricate it

    Windows, sliding glass doors and anything on hinges can use a squirt of lubricant at least once a year. Get out the WD-40 or whatever else you have on hand and get going.

    Be sure to clean the tracks and window frames before applying the lubricant

    Wipe them down with a cloth to remove the loose gunk and then use the vacuum to get the rest.

    A solution of vinegar and water (hot water is best) is good to clean up mildew or heavy grime buildup. Use a clean damp cloth to rinse of the solution and then a towel to dry everything.

    Now you can spray the lubricant. If you have vinyl windows, be careful. Avoid getting the lubricant directly on the window because it may leave a mark.

    You can not only get the interior of the house squeak-free and moving without struggle, but probably the shed and garage as well, in less than 10 minutes.

    Is it dripping?

    That is so annoying, isn’t it? It’s funny, though, how we learn to live with annoying things.

    If you have dripping faucets, fix them. If you pass a hardware store on your way home from work, stop in and buy washers or, if you have washer-less faucets, buy an O-ring or neoprene seal or, as John D. Wagner says at This Old House, buy a replacement for “the entire assembly for less than $20.”

    He even shows you how to replace these items on the website.

    It’s a quick, inexpensive fix that you’ll be happy you did.

    It only takes a minute – or 10 – to rid your home maintenance to-do list of these easy fixes.

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