8 Lifehacks for Your New Home

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Congrats! You finally have a place to call your own -- and that means all of the organization, repairs, and cleaning are yours now, too. But don’t sweat it. With just a few lifehacks, your new house can feel like home in no time.

1. Make Freshly Painted Rooms Smell Delicious

Believe it or not, adding a tablespoon of vanilla extract will give a gallon of paint a bake sale-like aroma. The color won’t be affected, but your finished room will smell like cookies instead of chemicals.

2. Store Paint in Baby Food Jars

Speaking of paint, rather than saving a trickle in a giant gallon bucket that will likely sit in your basement for the next 14 years, fill a small jar (baby food containers work great) with just enough paint for touch-ups. Don’t forget to label it with the name of the color and where you bought it.

3. Fix your Dented Carpets

If the previous owner’s furniture left dents in the carpets from years of staying in one place, that problem is fixable. Instead of replacing the rugs, try the ice cube trick: just place a cube in the dented areas, then wait 12 hours. Blot the area to remove any lingering moisture, then fluff the fabric up with a fork. The simple trick should return the rug to its original form.

4. Save a Stripped Screw with a Rubber Band

Whether you’re hanging a shelf or assembling furniture for your new space, a stripped screw can halt your progress in a hurry. Place a rubber band over the top of the shredded screw - the rubber will help you grip the gaps enough to remove the screw and restart with a fresh one.

5. Use Sticky Notes to Catch Dust

Before you drill into your drywall, crease the bottom half of a sticky note and bend it upward. Place the adhesive side on the wall just under where you’re going to drill. When the dust from the drywall falls, the bent sticky note will catch it and save you from having to sweep later.

6. Fix Scratched Wood with a Walnut

Hardwood floors often get scratched during a move. But for a quick fix, look no further than the baking aisle at your local grocery store. Rubbing the “meat” of a walnut (the edible nut, not the shell) into the damaged spots will disguise the scratches. It helps to rub the affected area with a finger prior to applying the walnut - a warm surface will absorb the nut’s oils better.

7. Don’t Forget the Pecans

If a walnut is too dark for the stain you need, don’t worry: there are some other solutions in your tin of mixed nuts. The humble pecan, for instance, does a masterful job on lighter colored woods, taking on the task a walnut can’t.

8. Remove Oil Stains with Cola

If your driveway or garage is pock-marked with unsightly oil stains, there’s an easy solution: pour some soda on it. Specifically, you’ll want to douse each stain in a couple of cans of lukewarm cola and then let the liquid soak in overnight. The next day, just use an old towel to soak up any of the lingering beverage, and then hose the area down with water to marvel at your spotless driveway.

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