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Is tackling that growing list of home repairs one of your New Year’s resolutions? Are you thinking about selling but worried about the time and expense of preparing your house to showcase? Use these five brilliant do-it-yourself home repair tricks to shorten that list before the countdown is over.

  1. Stop a toilet from running
    To prevent snags — and save water — unhook the flapper chain from the plunger arm and slide a plastic drinking straw over the chain. Cut it to size if necessary and reattach, and you’ll never hear that tank running again.
  2. Remove carpet dents left by furniture
    Dampen furniture dents with a wet rag, apply heat with a blow dryer and coax the fibers back into place using the lip of a spoon. Let dry and repeat as necessary until those divots are gone.
  3. Keep that cupboard door closed
    With a little more work this one makes a huge difference: pick up a magnetic cupboard latch; most come with screws already. Use a power drill to screw the magnet to the edge of the cupboard opening and the plate to the matching corner of the cupboard door.
  4. Get your showerhead running like new
    Tame those wild or weak streams from the showerhead with white vinegar and water. Mix equal parts in a large plastic freezer bag and attach it to the shower pipe with a sturdy rubber band. Remove and check the flow every 20 minutes. You don’t even have to remove the head!
  5. Breathe new life into old wood
    Pick up a package of wood stain markers in assorted shades and transform your door jambs, baseboards, bannisters, furniture and more. Start a shade lighter and go darker if needed and watch scratches and scrapes vanish. When was the last time you got to color on the walls?

Looking to spiff up your home to sell in the new year? Call me!