After a tough day, do you ever wish that dinner would magically appear? This week’s practical tip can make your dreams come true.Read More
To avoid the bend and pluck weeding dance and hard-core chemicals, try this mixture but use caution in areas adjacent to plants and trees you wish to save.Read More
Mother’s Day gift ideas throwing you into a tizzy? Budget too tight for extravagances? Try these wallet-friendly and much appreciated indulgences.Read More
The secret to silky hair and soft skin may lie in your pantry. Check out this practical tip courtesy of those gorgeous women of Italy.Read More
Don’t look. This is really disgusting! When is the last time you gave your keyboard some TLC? If yours is anything like mine was, it might be time to include keyboard cleaning into your spring clean.Read More
If chronically running behind is affecting your work performance or missing appointments is getting you down, try these tips to keep you on top of your game.Read More
Don’t you love getting gifts? But sometimes gifts are not only unuseful, they can be difficult to dispose eco-responsibly. Adhesive labels are a recycling no-no.Read More
Ice cube trays can be so versatile for organizing bits and bobs around the house. Time to start thinking inside AND outside the freezer to save you money and help you easily locate objects.Read More
When you sense danger like the kitty, listen to your hunches and take steps to protect yourself like those suggested in this week’s tip.Read More
Do you know that Oregon ranks 4th in the Nation for percentage of work-at-home employees? Nearly 108,000 estimated workers work from their home office. The numbers are exponentially larger for those who use a home office for household business. Here are some ideas to organize work space to enhance your creative flair and productivity.Read More
Are you vertically-challenged but need every inch of closet space? Here is a simple solution for maximizing clothes storage yet if like me, you were not gifted with statuesque legs.Read More
January is GO Month. What’s that? Find out here and why it will help you start the new year on the path to greater productivity and organization.Read More
The Practical Sort shares handy tips for helping make your life a little easier. Share your ideas with firstname.lastname@example.org. If your tip is chosen, you may be selected for a 10-minute phone consultation to help you sort any areas that are driving you crazy.Read More
Wishing you all the best for 2019! From the Practical SortRead More
Out with the old makes room for in with the new. Begin your pre-holiday purging now so you have plenty of storage for all the new goodies.Read More
Check out these practical tips to get you or your child(ren) ready for their education ‘A’ game.Read More
Paper management can be taxing (pun intended), but with some simple strategies you can get it under control and keep steady.Read More
When the FBI issues warnings, it is best to listen. Reboot your router to protect your computer and yourself. Read on to learn what else you need to do.Read More
You may not know this, part of my business involves engaging contractors to facilitate rapid and lucrative home sales by putting your home's best look forward. Engaging contractors particularly in this crazy sales and home repair market, is no easy task. All sorts of contractors are booked months out. They are short-staffed. And most importantly they can name their prices. OUCH.
If you are looking to hire a contractor, the last thing you want to do is hire the wrong contractor and unnecessarily run up the costs or experience job delays. If you are inexperienced, doing the project yourself could also result in needless headaches. This morning a list of Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring A Contractor appeared in my inbox courtesy of Home Advisor. Click here to view article.
Whether you are doing repairs, spring touch-ups or getting ready to put your home on the market, these tips could help you avoid some project landmines.
1. Poor Communication
Open communication is the golden rule of dealing with home improvement contractors. As long as you find a reasonably honest person, asking straightforward questions and clearly delineating what you want and expect from your home projects will eliminate the vast majority of potential problems. Put this verbal communication in writing to protect yourself from unreliable contractors.
2. Waiting Until You Need a Contractor
Not addressing major problems early on can lead to costly replacements in lieu of repairs. Spending $500 on a 20-year-old heating system is not a good investment, but it can take a week or more to find and install the right replacement heating system. As soon as you see signs of trouble, get someone out to your home for a look. Also, be sure to run your heating and air conditioning for an hour during the off-season. Much like a CEO, you should be concerned with the long-term financial status of your home.
3. NOT Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor
There are a number of different home improvements that present themselves as viable DIY projects, only to morph into money-sucking monsters. Fence building, deck building, exterior house painting and drywall repair can all fit into this category. None of these projects are impossible to DIY, but the average homeowner should always lean toward hiring a pro when there is even the slightest doubt.
4. Hiring Someone Who Shows Up at Your Front Door
Avoid door-to-door solicitation. Depending on what your gut tells you, respectfully ask for a business card and look up the company or call the local chapter of your Better Business Bureau to report suspicious behavior.
5. Hiring Someone to Fix a Problem Without Diagnosing It
Don’t hire a pro to solve a problem without addressing the cause. Perhaps the worst thing you can do is ignore recommendations for further repairs. If a contractor can show or explain why damage is occurring, don’t bypass the problem.
6. Being Enticed by Low/High Bids
You should always be wary of bids that are substantially higher or lower than those of the competition. High bids sometimes result from a busy contractor who isn’t looking to take on more work unless the profit margin makes it worth it. Just as you would with a suspiciously low bid, ask both the individual contractor and the rest of the bidding contractors why one single bid is so much higher or lower than the others.
7. Not Looking Far Enough
Don’t be afraid to look for contractors outside of your immediate area. Most home improvement contractors service multiple counties. Many contractors are willing to travel and provide bids — especially for larger projects.
Months ago, a white stain appeared on my kitchen table. No one remembers leaving a perspiring glass or bowl on the table. Regardless when I glanced to the left from my chair that white shaped blob bugged me. With guests expected, I would try to strategically arrange my husband’s placemat over the stain, but that not only looked awkward, it was slightly out of range of his eating area.
Fast forward a few weeks when my mom inquired about removing an ink stain from her Formica kitchen table which then set me to work on solving my own exasperating problem. I was now determined to banish that ugly water stain. When it first manifested, I tried several home remedies. Baking powder (which actually removed some of the finish…still working on that), vinegar, and toothpaste with no luck.
My web search led me to try just one more option, ironing. I selected the lowest setting and placed a cloth napkin on the table and began ironing. In total, it took nearly 10 minutes so don’t expect immediate results. However, keep checking as you go to adjust the temperature, location, and to watch progress. Important caveat: use cotton not polyester fabrics to iron. The latter gave off too much moisture while the cotton wicked it up. And, you can knock out some ironing at the same time.
As you can see from the after shot, the stain is virtually gone (it had been where the pen point is). On the area where the finish had been rubbed off previously, I smeared a touch of mayonnaise. That helped a little, but not enough. After wiping that off, I applied some coconut oil. And voila. See the photo.
Yay, no more awkwardly placed placemats and no more embarrassing stain!
Word of caution, please use a low setting if you try this and do so at your own risk!
Its the "fixer-upper" time of year. Lots of folks are busy working on their landscaping; cleaning out garages; pressure washing sidewalks, driveways, and porches; lacquering outdoor furniture; and painting.
A fresh coat of paint can make drab rooms or a tired exteriors appear bold, clean, and inviting. If you are selling your home, your realtor may have suggested livening up a room or two or toning down others to enhance marketability.
Once you embark on a painting project, what do you do with the leftover paints, primers, lacquers, and waterproofing sealers?
- save leftovers for a future project or touch-ups
- donate unused paint (ScrapPDX-be sure to check scrappdx.org/donate/items-we-accept for guidelines)
- recycle used paint
The PaintCare recycling program offers latex and oil-based drop-off sites throughout Oregon for five gallon cans or smaller regardless of age. They will ensure that the paint is converted into fuel, other products, or properly disposed.
You have already paid the recycling disposal fee at the time of purchase, so it makes economic and environmental sense to take advantage of this program if you have a location nearby. To find your nearest location: click here for Paint Care's search tool or call 855-724-6809. Locate sites outside Oregon on the link. Products accepted for collection are included on the featured flyer and also available at Paintcare.orgIf you have other waste disposal or recycling questions, be sure to contact Metro at oregonmetro.gov.