You work and you work and you work around the house. You don’t mind the tasks. Things at your place get taken care of, and as the person in charge of keeping things in order, this should make you proud. But between all the big projects that need to be done and all of the other big projects you want to get started on, some of the smaller things are easy to overlook. In the spirit of spending a few weekends paying attention to the finer points around the house, here’s a list of five good ways to take your already well-maintained home to the next level.
- No Rugged Rugs: One of the first things people notice when they walk into a home is the surface that they’re standing on. Be it in the entryway, the living room, or any of the halls, carpets have a real knack for getting themselves dirty and having kids around definitely doesn’t help. Whether you want to hire a professional or rent a steam cleaner and do it yourself, clean carpets will tie the house together and make the interior look sharp.
- Trimming the Old: Though repainting the entire house may be too tall of a task at the time being, repainting the exterior trim takes a lot less time and will give the home a nice refreshed look. Work from the top down—starting with gables and gutters—and be sure to mask all areas well to avoid drip onto other areas. Also, don’t feel like you have to stick with the same color scheme you already have going on. Giving the house some life with a colored kick-in-the-shorts is a great way to make your work stand out.
- You’ve Got Mail: You know that rusty box sitting on the post out in your front yard? The one that you open up every day to retrieve the mail but never stop to really check out? That is your mailbox, and it is the most visible part of your house from any location on the street. Why have the most public part of your home be the part that receives the least TLC? Whether you want to clean it, paint, it, replace it—the method is up to you. Just make sure that your mailbox is up to par with the rest of the house.
- Going Green: The yard is King. That’s never going to change. But if you’ve already mastered the game of keeping all grass well maintained, why not set your heights a little higher and look for ways to make your green space really shine? Though most yards have at least a few trees already planted, adding new lines of saplings is a solid long-term investment to make a yard that really stands out. Beyond just creating shade, trees create a refined feel once they begin to mature and also add some privacy from neighbors’ prying eyes.
- The Captain’s Deck: More than any other part of the house, winter can have an especially brutal effect on a deck exposed 24/7 to freezing elements. Though it may be in the back of the house and a not so obvious eyesore from the street, approaching summer months mean days of outdoor entertaining and hopefully plenty of BBQ’s; therefore, having a deck that’s in top shape should be on the essential to-do list for spring. Sand paper, fresh paint, and sealant are all great aids to the cause. And if you focus on it now, you’ll have a finely tuned entertaining space ready to go for the sunny days of backyard ball and grilled dogs in June.
TIP: Use WD-40® Multi-Use Product to loosen up the sticky hinges of an old mailbox, remove bird droppings and other debris.
(This was originally posted in March of 2012)