ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"How To" Projects That Make Home Life Easier, Better, or Safer

Updated on November 9, 2013

Clean a Bare Cedar Wood Deck

Source

How to Clean a Bare, Unfinished Cedar Wood Deck

Difficulty of this project: Easy
Time to complete this project: Under an hour, depending on the size and dirtiness of the deck
Cost: Under $1 for dish soap; $10 for a deck brush if you don't have one

How can you clean your deck effectively without harsh chemicals that can harm kids, pets, or plants? Use dish soap! This method works well with unfinished cedar wood decks and even siding (test on an inconspicuous spot first, however).

Simply mix up a bucket of soapy water, brush it lightly on your deck, let it soak for about 15 minutes, then brush lightly and rinse off with a hose. If some areas are still dirty, spot-treat those areas, letting the soapy water soak for another 15 minutes on the area and brushing more vigorously as-needed. Very little brushing/work is necessary with this method, however, compared with commercial cleaners and regardless of how dirty your deck is with moss and dust/dirt.

Tips:

  • Make sure the soapy water doesn't dry out while you're waiting for it to work--a cloudy day is best for this. You can also mist the area with the hose or apply more soapy water from your bucket if areas begin to dry before they have had a chance to soak for 15 minutes.
  • Use dish soap with enzymes and "oxy", such as Dawn liquid dish soap, for best results.
  • If you have a large deck, clean just a portion at a time to make sure the soapy water doesn't dry on the surface before you have a chance to rinse it off.
  • While you're waiting for the deck to soak, use the soapy water to clean the deck furniture using a large sponge or scrub brush. Be sure to hose off the dirty soapy water before it dries on the furniture, however!
  • Never use a pressure washer on wood--it ruins the wood's surface! Just regular hose pressure and possibly a little brushing is all you need to rinse away the grime.

For complete instructions, see "Clean a Bare, Unfinished Cedar Wood Deck With Dish Soap".

A Complete Garage Door Monitor System

Instant peace-of-mind that your garage door is closed.
Instant peace-of-mind that your garage door is closed. | Source

Remotely Make Sure Your Garage/Shed Door is Closed

Difficulty of this project: Easy
Time to complete this project: About Half an Hour
Cost: $15-20

If you have a garage or shed with a roll-up or fold-up door, you can remotely make sure that the door is closed without leaving your home or bed! Simply install a sensor on the door and a receiver in a central location inside your house, such as your bedroom, and the receiver lights will tell you at a glance if the door is open or closed.

This remote monitoring system works with attached or detached (within range of the sensor/receiver) garages and sheds whose doors roll or fold up. No more worrying if there is an intruder in your garage, stealing something or breaking into your house, and no more need to get up in the middle of the night to check on the door, and no more worrying if the kids remembered to close the door when they finished playing.

For installation details and more information, see "How to Remotely Make Sure Your Garage or Shed Door is Closed".

Custom Ironing Board Form

Ironing board form for shirts, especially T-shirts
Ironing board form for shirts, especially T-shirts | Source

How to Iron Clothes Faster

Difficulty of this project: Somewhat involved.
Time to complete this project: About an hour.
Cost: $5-15, assuming you have most of the tools needed.

Cut your ironing time significantly by making a simple, custom ironing board to tackle a bunch of your clothes. A custom ironing board saves you time and you'll always look great in pressed clothes.

Pick your most tedious, time-consuming set of clothes to iron--such as T-shirts--and gather representative samples of them to establish the pattern (size and shape) of your custom ironing board. Draw a pattern, then cut out a thin board that is the shape of that pattern using a jigsaw. Cover the wood on both sides with quilt batting, cut to size and stapled in place. Then, cut out a cover from two pieces of plain, un-dyed cotton cloth and sew both sides together, leaving room to slip it over the wooden/batting form. Hand-sew the opening closed once the cover is on the wooden form.

Tips:

  • Make sure to pre-wash the cotton cloth cover to remove the sizing.
  • Sew a sturdy ribbon or cord on the top of the form so that you can hang it up in your laundry area.

For complete instructions and more information, see, "Iron Faster: Make A Custom Ironing Board Shape".

Opt Out of Junk Mail

Source

How to Opt-Out of Most Junk Mail

Difficulty of this project: Easy.
Time to complete this project: Half an hour.
Cost: Free-$5.

Have you ever wished you could get rid of junk mail before it even arrives in your mailbox? The good news is that in most cases you CAN! Getting rid of junk mail "before it happens" helps protect your privacy, too, and saves you time shredding unwanted credit card offers, for example, and other offers containing personal information that you would rather keep private.

Several simple steps will significantly reduce your unwanted mail in just a few few weeks.

  1. Opt-out of unsolicited credit offers by contacting the credit bureaus.
  2. Ensure that the Department of Motor Vehicles is not selling your contact information to mass marketers.
  3. Contact the Direct Marketer's Association and get removed from their mailing lists.

By "opting-out" of junk mail sources, you are helping to keep waste out of landfills as well as protecting your privacy and helping to prevent identity theft and fraud.

Tip: There are even services you can subscribe to that will help keep your mailbox slim and trim and junk-mail free.

For complete instructions and more information, see, "In Pursuit of Privacy: How to "Opt Out" (Part 1)" and "In Pursuit of Privacy: How to "Opt Out" (Part 2)".

Are You a DIYer?

Do you consider yourself a do-it-yourselfer?

See results

Will you try any of these "how-to" projects around your home?

See results

About the Author

Information about the author, a list of her complete works on HubPages, and a means of contacting her are available over on ==>Laura Schneider's profile page. But wait--please leave ratings and any comments you have about this article so that it can be improved to best meet your needs. Thank you!


All text, photos, videos, and graphics in this document are Copyright © 2013 Laura D. Schneider unless indicated otherwise or unless in the public domain. All rights reserved. All trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Laura Schneider profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Schneider 

      3 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

      Very true! I love writing "how to" articles--I feel like I'm helping people solve a problem or make a fun craft project.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 

      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      how to projects could make more hubs than this, there are tons of topics!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      "How To" Projects That Make Home Life Easier, Better, or Safer well advised and informed on this topic thanks for sharing another informative hub

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)