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17 Common Household Problems and How to Fix Them Yourself

The warm summer months bring long days filled with outdoor activities and cherished moments with your loved ones. But nothing ruins a good day like a cluttered home, pest infestation, or any other common household problem. Whether you live in a mansion Atlanta, GA, or a bungalow in Portland, OR, every home encounters at least one of these obstacles over the summer and we usually just have to accept it, but now you don’t have to. We’ve asked experts to share their best tip on how to fix common household problems so you can go back to enjoying your summer.

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Use a streak-free solution to clean windows and mirrors

Forget expensive and toxic glass cleaner and special rags. All you need is one clean rag that you wet very thoroughly with warm water, and another clean dry rag. Use the wet rag to wipe the entire mirror or window down to get any dirt or debris off of it. Then,  use your dry rag to dry and polish it. However, this simple procedure will not work if you use any fabric softener or too much soap to wash rags. – The Cleanest House

Clean tile and grout the easy way 

If you’re looking for a product to clean your tile and grout, look no further. Use one dime-sized squirt of dish soap and a microfiber padded mop. Clean from one end of your home to the other and follow with rinse water only. – Las Vegas Tile and Grout Cleaning

Banish any smells coming from your garbage disposal

Is your garbage disposal starting to smell like garbage? Pour two to three cups of cleaning vinegar into the disposal while it’s running and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes. Then, rinse thoroughly and the smell should be reduced or completely gone. – Inspection Pros

Find a home for your belongings

Get into the habit of giving everything a “home”, and always send it home after using it. Most of the clutter in our home stems from things not having a home to begin with, or never finding their way back to where they belong. To keep an organized and decluttered home, we simply need to help them to find their way back. – Goals on Track

Maintain your deck to avoid injuries

Conduct routine maintenance to keep your decking safe. If your deck is wood, the nails or screws can work their way out, and splinters can form on the surface. This may cause injury to people walking barefoot or even cut your pet’s paws if left unattended. Use a hammer or screwdriver to drive any lose screws back into the wood. Sand any rough areas and replace rotting and warped boards.- Prudent Home Inspections

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Donate belongings that aren’t of use to you anymore

If you don’t love something, you probably shouldn’t be storing it or toting it around. Donate items or give things you’re unsure about to someone who will actually use them. – Clean Outs

Know the signs of a bed bug infestation

Properly identifying a bed bug infestation is the first step to effectively deal with this common household problem. Warning signs include small, reddish, or rust-colored stains on bedding, tiny eggs or eggshells on sheets or crevices in the mattress, or dark spots in the crevices of the mattress. Homeowners may be tempted to sleep in another room after learning of an infestation, but this can spread the infestation throughout your home. Seek professional help to ensure that all of the bed bugs in your home are completely eradicated. – Burns Blackwell, President and CEO of Terminix Triad

Set a time limit and declutter in sections

If you’re struggling with your space and need to declutter, pick a small area that you know will be manageable and start there. Give yourself a time limit, set an alarm if you need to, and make sure you don’t dwell on the items while sorting. Make quick decisions and put items in “keep”, “maybe”, and & “get rid of” piles, then come back to the maybe’s at the end. – Sorted

Start with a small task that can be done in the time you have available to avoid getting overwhelmed. This can be a kitchen drawer or a surface that has too much going on. Quick wins help you gain momentum and find the confidence to move on to bigger decluttering tasks. – Life Uncluttered 

Prevent mosquitoes from turning your backyard into their habitat

Nothing can crash an outdoor gathering quite like a drone of mosquitoes, so be sure to eliminate standing water around your home. By emptying kiddie pools, birdbaths, and pet bowls of standing water you are helping to prevent mosquitoes from enjoying your backyard. And outdoor lighting placed away from the home, rather than attached to the house, can help in the attraction of flying insects at night. – Adam’s Pest Control

Keep items that you’ll use in the future

If you are keen to declutter but find it hard to part with those things that ‘could’ be useful in your future, ask yourself whether you will use it in the foreseeable future. Is it worth storing it and taking up valuable space if you don’t know when you’ll next use it? You may be better off letting it go now and borrowing or buying another, if or when the need arises. – OrganisedWell

Stop flies from making your home their home

Flies can be a common nuisance for any homeowner. Make sure doors and windows are kept closed or their screens are in good condition and seal well to keep flies from getting in. Empty trash daily, clear food scraps, and clean your drains to prevent any flies that still make it in from multiplying. – Mathis Exterminating

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Mow your lawn to prevent a mosquito infestation

Keeping your grass cut and maintained will also help deter mosquitoes away from your yard. In the Summer months, mosquitoes are inevitable. If you need help reducing the mosquitoes around your home, contact a professional. – Advanced Termite & Pest Control

Always clean your home after it’s been decluttered

If you are trying to clean a space that’s cluttered it will take much longer. There will likely be items you don’t need anyway, so it’s important to de-clutter first and clean second. If you don’t have a plan of action or a checklist then you can end up mindlessly cleaning and end up wasting time. Create a to-do list or plan to fix this common household problem that allows you to stay focused to get the job done. – Rise and Shine Cleaning Service

Clean regularly using the right supplies to improve your indoor air quality

Embracing a cleaning schedule can ensure there’s less dust and dander in your air, but cleaning supplies can also contribute to indoor air pollution. Choosing truly natural cleaning supplies means you can have your clean and breathe easy, too. – Ingredients Matter

Keep insects from sheltering in your firewood

Firewood is not only a shelter for insects, but it is also food for many insects. Firewood should be stacked above the ground on a platform or rack so insects in the soil like termites and ants do not have access. You also need to store these piles of wood at least three feet between any structure to prevent insect infestation and cover your firewood with a cover or store under a roof to keep it dry. Do not wrap the firewood with plastic or tarp because it can trap the moisture and lead to fungus or other pest issues. – Pestco Professional Services

Prevent grease build-up in your kitchen

Prevent grease fumes from sticking to your kitchen cabinets and appliances. Have a damp towel handy so you can quickly wipe your stove vent, stovetop. Microwave front, cabinets, or beneath the microwave. It takes less than three minutes to quickly wipe everything down and it will prevent the residue from getting hard and deteriorating the surfaces. – Excellence Cleaning Pros

Article by Julia Weaver at Redfin – used with permission

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