How to Remove Stripped Screws, Fill Nail Holes, and Other Home Hacks

Our homes are full of small, but mind-boggling challenges, such as: Is there a way to remove stripped screws? Or eliminate those water rings on your coffee table, or those divots where your table once sat on your carpet? If you’re looking for answers to common conundrums you might encounter, a new book can help: “Tidy Hacks: Handy Hints to Make Life Easier.”

Written by home hack expert Dan Marshall (also author of Life Hacks: Helpful Hints to Make Life Easier and Dad Hacks: Helpful Hints to Make Life Easier), this modern-day maintenance manual is geared to people who have no time for home maintenance. The fix-its that it recommends are insanely easy to accomplish. And since we’re all about making homeownership easier, check out a few of these genius tips below.


How to remove stripped screws

Can’t put in (or take out) a screw because that X-marked divot is too worn to turn with your screwdriver? Place a flat rubber band over the top of the screw head, and insert the screwdriver so it pins the rubber band in place. The rubber band will give you enough grip to remove the screw with ease.

 


How to shine shoes with a banana

The combination of the potassium found in bananas (which is also an ingredient of shoe polish) and the natural oils in a banana peel makes a great natural leather shoe polish. So when your shoes need shining and you’re in a pinch with no shoe polish around, reach for the next best thing: a banana. Rub the inside of the peel on your shoes to buff away the scuff.

 


How to organize cleaning supplies

Get your cleaning supplies out of that awkward low cabinet under your sink. If you hang up a shoe organizer in an area that is easy to reach, like the back of your laundry-room door, you can store them handily, without turning yourself into a pretzel. The best part? Close the door, and you won’t have to look at the bleach and Windex until it’s time to start cleaning.

 


How to avoid tangled Christmas lights

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, there comes a time when every well-decorated home must lose its Christmas lights.

Some of us are all too familiar with throwing them into a storage box and calling it a day—only to spend hours untangling them next year. Allow us to suggest a better way to keep knots out of your lights: Take an extra three minutes to find some wire hangers and wrap the strands around them. This will space the bulbs at regular intervals, so that they are less likely to break.


How to fill nail holes

For many people, hanging a picture or a piece of art isn’t an exact science, and it often involves a certain amount of trial and error. If you happen to hammer a nail into the wrong spot on the wall, grab a crayon that matches the color of the paint and draw on the hole until it is filled. Wipe away any excess wax with a clean cloth.

 

 


How to get rid of a water ring

How dare your guests ruin your beautiful wood table with their damp drinking glasses? Don’t lose your head, though, because you have this ingenious trick to remove the liquid stain. Turn a hairdryer on high heat and hold it close to the water mark. It will start to disappear before your eyes! Keep the heat on the ring until it’s completely gone.

 


How to get rid of dents in the carpet

Rearranging the furniture in your bedroom or living room can be an exciting way to reinvigorate your home decor, but a heavy table or armoire is sure to leave unsightly dents in your carpet. Believe it or not, the secret of getting rid of those dents is hiding in your freezer. Simply place ice cubes along the indents, leave them there until the ice has melted, and then vacuum over the area to fluff up the fibers.

 


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