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From Trashy to Classy

It’s a necessary part of several rooms in your home, especially the kitchen. But even a simple, daily item can cause frustration. Below are some ideas to make your trash can less trashy.

     1. Air Patrol!

Don’t you hate it when there’s an air pocket between the trash can wall and the bag? You constantly have the “burp” the bag so that it can expand to hold all the goodies. Here’s an easy way to fix this annoyance.

trash-bin-1-drill          trash-bin-1-hole

Drill a hole in the wall of the trash can with a large drill bit. Place it near the top of the trash can on the back side. No one will see it, but the air will escape, leaving your trash bag plenty of room to spread out.

     2. What Stinks? 

We all throw away some gross stuff in the kitchen trash, and our homes can be invaded by smells. The very best way to eliminate trashy odors is with basic baking soda. This time-tested odor-absorbing fix can be sprinkled directly into the bag or between the bag and the trash can itself. When it’s time to wash the can, the baking soda can be used to clean as well. This is a super cheap and easy fix.

     3. Hang in There! 

Now, about those smaller trash cans around the house, especially in the bathrooms and bedrooms. It’s always good to place a plastic bag in them for easy trash disposal, but the bag can often slip down, and trash may not make it in the bag. I line my smaller trash cans with shopping bags from the grocery store.

trash-bin-2   trash-bin-2-clip   trash-bin-2-clip-close

Simply place an upside down removable plastic hook on the outside of the trash can and hook the handle of the shopping bag around the hook. (We used 3M Command hooks.) These won’t damage the receptacle and are easy to remove.

You could use all these tips in less than 15 minutes to solve your trash can troubles!







Slats, Slats, Slats!

Have your blinds reached the point of no return? When it’s time to replace them, think twice before tossing the old ones! There are so many creative, fun things you can do with an old, tattered blinds. I’ve compiled a list of fun and functional ways to reuse your blind slats.


First, I will start with old shutters. These are easy to turn into something great! You can slap on some paint, and hang as decoration. One of my favorite ways to reuse these is turning them into a functional piece of décor. Take for instance this DIY organizer:


Or this mail holder:


Adding hooks to the bottom makes it even more functional, especially if you are like me and always misplace your keys.


Another great idea for re-purposing old blind slats is gardening. You can use blind slats to organize your garden and to give it a little more character.

Here is a great way to organize your plants with old blind slats. I think using them as plant tags is a great idea because the slats should do a pretty good job handling the sunlight.


You can also make a square foot garden using the old slats as shown here:


One of the most frustrating things is when you have clean floors and someone comes in from the garden and gets dirt everywhere. Here is a fun, stylish solution to keeping the dirt outside, where it belongs:



A quick, easy and inexpensive way to organize your kitchen drawers is to line some blind slats in them to make compartments like this:



Last, but not least, you can turn old blind slats into pieces of art to hang around your house or office.


Whatever you do with your blind slats, have fun and get creative!

National Window Covering Safety Month


Later this month, you may take your child or grandchild trick or treating. Imagine walking on the sidewalk with your young child in your neighborhood, their small, warm hand in yours. You’ve made sure that they are wearing warm clothes, comfortable shoes and can see well if they are wearing a mask. You’ve taken all of the safety precautions as possible. It’s what we do; we’re parents, grandparents and caregivers!

This month isn’t just for candy and Halloween. October marks National Window Covering Safety Month and brings to the forefront of our minds the safety of all window coverings. According to the US Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), corded window coverings are one of the top five hidden hazards in American homes.(The other four hidden hazards are magnets, recalled products, furniture tip-over and pool/spa drains.)

The CPSC recommends only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords be used in homes with young children. This will prevent possible child strangulation from loose or long cords. Below are basic tips to keep your children safe from window coverings:

  • Move all furniture, cribs, beds and climbable surfaces away from windows.
  • Keep all window cords well out of the reach of children. Eliminate any dangling cords.
  • Install only cordless window coverings in homes with young children.
  • Make sure tasseled pull cords are as short as possible. Continuous-loop pull cords on draperies and vertical blinds should be pulled tight, and anchored to the floor or wall.
  • Be sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit inner-cord movement.
  • Order and install free retrofit kits on older blinds and shades.

To learn more about blind and shade safety or order free retrofit kits, please visit the Window Covering Safety Council at or call toll free at 1-800-506.4636.

Information for this post taken partially from:

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

cozy-winter-fireplace-knitted-socks-desktop-wallpaperWinter is right around the corner, and if your windows are anything like mine, you will soon be having cold air drafting through them while they are closed. There are a few things that can be done to keep yourself warm and save on energy costs in the coming months.

Growing up in my parents house with old single pane windows, around October every year, my mom would put plastic up around the window. The difference was noticeable almost immediately. This is an inexpensive and fairly easy way to keep the cool air out and warm air in. Window Insulator Kits are available in just about every hardware and general store. The instructions in the kits do a good job of guiding you, and all that is needed is a hair dryer to shrink the plastic film to keep it airtight. It may, however, be best to keep the plastic off of windows or glass doors that need to be opened and closed frequently. Multiple videos can also be found online on how to put the plastic up; here is a good one that shows the process step by step.

Heavy blackout curtains are also a good option to provide an extra layer of insulation that keeps the heat in. While they are usually more pricey than the plastic mentioned above, they are available in a fairly large price range allowing you to find some that fit your needs while also adding some decoration to the room.

cellular-shades-13Cellular shades are by far the best insulation option if you are looking for a more traditional blind/shade window covering. You would want to get a double cell shade to provide an extra layer over the single cell option. They are also available in light filtering or blackout depending on how much light and heat you want entering the room. These can be purchased off the shelf or custom made depending on the size of your window, and again are available in a fairly large price range.

Another option is to caulk the window to seal any holes or cracks that may have formed in the frame allowing air to get in and out. Check out this video on how apply the caulk.

When DIY = Failure

I recently got new bedding. My bedside lamp didn’t match anymore, and rather than purchase a new lamp, I decided to spray paint the one I’d been using. I followed a cool tutorial that included spray painting not just the base of the lamp, but also the lamp shade. (See tutorial here.)

The base came out great! The lamp shade…not so much. In the end, I purchased a new lamp shade to finish the project. Here’s proof of this project’s partial failure. Even those of us in the DIY business still have things that don’t quite turn out right.


Starting out. Painting the base navy and the lampshade white.


Disassembled the lamp and tapped off the light bulb base. Made the fatal error of cleaning shade with a lint roller. This made the cloth fibers of the shade fuzzy.


Painting the base was a breeze. Came out nice a glossy as planned.


Spray painted the shade. It wouldn’t cover well, looked blotchy and fuzzy. Tiny pieces of the shade came off whenever it was touched.


Tried using the painted shade. It looked awful when the light was on. It was very blotchy and left white “shade crumbs” all over. Time for Plan B!


Finished product with the new shade I bought for $10. Project was still cheaper than purchasing a new lamp and matches exactly how I wanted!


What is it? A Clutched Tilt Mechanism

economy_wood_blinds__81503-1344963582-1280-1280Imagine waking up on a blue-skied, sunny day, and, wanting to enjoy the view, you twist the wand to open your horizontal blinds, but nothing happens. The gear inside is broken, and you can’t appreciate your view!

One of the most common repairs on horizontal blinds is replacing the tilt mechanism. That is the gear inside the head rail of the blinds that controls the tilting of the slats that make up the blind. Your blind may have a tilt mechanism that is controlled by a wand or by cord.

Many tilt mechanisms are fully geared, meaning that there are teeth all the way around the gear wheel. However, some tilt mechanism feature a clutch. This means that there is an area on the gear wheel that does NOT have teeth on it. The benefit of a clutched tilt mechanism is that it cannot be over-tightened, causing part failure.

Installing a tilt mechanism with a clutch requires one additional step compared to a non-geared mechanism. Before installing the tilter, you need to set it so that it will open and close the slats completely. Capture2This video shows how to set this type of tilt mechanism before installing: WATCH VIDEO

To select the correct tilt mechanism for your blinds, please visit our easy to follow buying guide here.

Tiny House Thinking for Your Home

Tiny houses are continuing to grow in popularity ever since they gained momentum several years ago. Some believe that the ideas of “tiny living” started with Henry David Thoreau in Walden. In his book, Thoreau states that he, “wished to live deliberately.” I think that idea of experiencing life on purpose partially fuels the tiny house movement.

The average size of the american house is 2,600 square feet. A “tiny house” is defined as less than 400 square feet of living space. (A Small house is consider 400-1,000 square feet.) While downsizing to 400 or less square feet is extreme, there are some ways to employ the ideals of tiny living into our big, everyday homes. Below are tips to help you create a deliberate, vibrant space.


This mirrored console table will open up small spaces with reflections.

* Use Mirrors. Give natural life the opportunity to reflect and create openness. Mirrored furniture can be a fun way to play with this.

* Use light-colored paint and/or wallpaper. Some accent pieces (like cabinets) can be darker, but lighten up spaces with brighter paint colors.


* Declutter! Get rid of or re-purpose furniture that you aren’t using. Also, clean out cabinets, drawers and closets so that you can find what you need and use on a regular basis.


This coffee table is masquerading as a storage piece and dining area.

* Get some double duty furniture. Use a platform bed frame that has drawers or an ottoman you can store games in. Get streamlined pieces and not anything bulky.


* Don’t neglect opportunities to go vertical with storage or decorations. Hang shelves on the wall to store books and other items.

* Using acrylic or Lucite furniture can really open up an otherwise cramped space. These transparent items work well for coffee and end tables in living spaces or multipurpose rooms.


A transparent Lucite coffee table.



Here are even more tips from HGTV from lessons learned living tiny.


How to Shorten Cords on a Vertical Blind

These instructions are for one-way draw vertical blinds only. (One-Way Draw is when vertical blinds are drawn open and all of the vanes stack on the same side of the head rail as the controls.)

To shorten the length of the hanging, looped draw string on your vertical blinds, please follow the instructions below. You can make this adjustment with your blind hanging and the vanes attached.



Look inside the head rail and find the vane carrier where the cord ends in a knot.Hold that carrier and pull out the excess cord until the draw reaches the desired height.





Cut off the excess cord.







Tie a knot.








Operate the blind to ensure the new cord length is satisfactory and everything operates smoothly.



If you need to purchase new cord for your vertical blinds, please click here.

What Is It? Cord Loops


A continuous cord loop is a length of braided string fused together by heat and with adhesive to create and endless circle of string.

Many different types of window coverings operate with continuous, or endless, loop cord. Cellular/Honeycomb shades, pleated shades, woven wood blinds, Roman shades, roller shades, soft shades and even wood blinds can operate with cord loops.

When your cord loop breaks, it can be frustrating. But purchasing a replacement and installing it can be simple!

First, you’ll want to measure to find the correct thickness of cord loop. Fix My Blinds sells four different thickness of cord loops on our website. Measure the thickness by wrapping the loop around a pen or a pencil ten times. Then, measure the width of those ten wraps while they are on the pen or pencil. Match it to the pictures on our site here.

cordloopcellAfter you determine the thickness of cord loop your window covering needs, it’s now time to measure for the length. Simply fold the loop in half (to mimic a loop), and measure from one end to the next. We sell cord loops in whole foot increments, so you may need to round up or down a bit.

Now, that you’ve gotten the loop, how do you install it? It’s easy! The concept is the same as putting a chain back onto a bicycle. Our YouTube channel is full of instructions for replacing cord loops, as well as many other blind and shade repairs. Check it out here: YouTube.

Need Dinner Quick? Fire Up The Grill!

grillI don’t know about you, but I don’t always have a lot of time to prepare dinner. My priorities when making a meal for my family are speed and nutrition. Healthful foods don’t have to take a long time to prepare. Using your backyard (or counter top) grill is an excellent way to provide quick cooking and nutritious meals in your home!

Try to cook all (or most) of the dishes for the meal on the grill. You can easily grill veggies like corn, asparagus, bell peppers, onions, and zucchini. Give them a brush of olive oil, and place them directly on the grill. Sear them at high heat and then move them to a cooler portion of the grill to cook for a couple of minutes. They tend to cook quickly.

Nearly any type of meat can be cooked on the grill, as well. Here’s a handy cooking guide for how long different types of meats take to cook: Meat Cooking Time Guide

Don’t forget about dessert! Fruits such as peaches, pineapple and watermelon are delicious when grilled and can be a tasty finish to a healthy, grilled summertime dinner!

Southern Living’s Easy Grilling Recipes






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