Easy fixes

We’ve lived in our house for almost two years, and I finally feel like it’s starting to come together. This is the first time I’ve owned a home, and before we moved in I’d done very little decorating and no DIY renovation. Without a permanent home, it wasn’t worth my time or money. My dad, however, did plenty of work on our rentals over the years. He was very handy, but sadly he passed away unexpectedly, and I never got the chance to learn his skills.

I’ve been so focused on big picture updates, that I’ve neglected the small things that bug us, either aesthetically or functionally. Painting the interior of the entire house was hard work, so I was worn out and overlooked easy fixes that could be done in a matter of minutes. Now that I’m (hopefully) done painting, I’ve realized that easy fixes can make a big difference. It’s a great feeling when you spend a few minutes on something and it looks or works better, without a huge time or money commitment!

Easy fix number one:  the prior owner of our house hung faux bamboo shades on the French doors leading to our backyard.  They are nice looking doors (or they were until a weed-wacking incident, but that’s a story for another time) and our yard is private, so covering them wasn’t necessary. But we kept those ugly shades for months! Then one day I climbed on a dining room chair (didn’t even take the time to get a step-ladder) and unscrewed them. It took all of 10 minutes. Our dining room was immediately brighter and the ugly shades were gone forever!

I’m embarrassed it took so long for us to do another easy fix. We only had one garage door remote and couldn’t get the opener to pair with our car’s Home Link system. So, thinking I would have to install a whole new garage door opener, which I was too frugal/busy to do, Chase and I alternated weeks having the remote. Some days he would take it when it wasn’t his turn and I would be annoyed since I had to get out of the car to open the door. Even Clay would tease Chase about taking it on my day. We did this for 20 months! Then I decided to check Amazon for a second remote. I searched for two minutes before finding one that looked like ours. It was $18, with no tax and free two-day shipping, thanks to Amazon Prime. We held it up to the receiver for 30 seconds, and our days of remote wars were over. Well, for the garage remote anyway…sometimes I just need a break from MLB Network!

Our most recent easy fix was Sunday, when I decided to remove the reverse osmosis water tank under our kitchen sink. We never hooked up the system because we get Culligan water and didn’t see the point in spending extra money. The tank took up an entire cabinet, which in our small kitchen, is a lot of space. I was storing our cleaning supplies in the garage, but wanted to move them into the kitchen. I figured it couldn’t be that hard to disconnect, which it wasn’t. But the minute I unhooked it, it was like a fire hydrant, shooting water up to the ceiling and across the room. Fortunately I covered it with my hand and ran outside before causing any real damage. So if you count the time I spent drying the kitchen, it took about 10 minutes. If I’d turned off the valve properly, it would have taken 30 seconds. It was a soggy process, but I was able to move our cleaning supplies to a more accessible location and free up some space on my garage shelves.

There is a good chance that if he were still alive, my dad would be doing our house projects for us. Not only was he good at them, but he enjoyed doing it. I’m learning to like it too, and I always think how proud he’d be when I finish something.  Even something as easy as pulling down ugly blinds. And I can just see him laughing at me for nearly flooding my kitchen!

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