When I bought my first house, I worried at every little creek or noise. Was the furnace about to die? Was that a tree scraping the roof just a little too hard? I lived in fear of the price tag such issues might cause. 

Since then, there have been some big repairs that required professionals, but for the most part, I've been able to handle the small stuff all on my own.

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1. Use Borax to clear a badly clogged drain.

Before heading out to buy some Draino or rent a drain snake, check your laundry cupboard first. Some Borax and hot water left to work for 15 minutes will likely clear whatever's down there. 

2. Know how to caulk a straight line every time.

2. Know how to caulk a straight line every time.
Jeannie Clemens |  For What It's Worth

Whether you're adding extra weatherproofing around the windows or replacing old caulking in a bathroom, a straight, smooth application is the key to looking professional without the price. This trick from For What It's Worth uses painters' tape as a guide for less than steady hands. 

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3. Fill small holes with a white crayon.

There's no need to get out the spackle for a small fix like this. The wax from a crayon is soft enough to fill a small nail hole and be smoothed out with just a finger. 

4. Always label parts you remove so that you can put things back together easily. 

4. Always label parts you remove so that you can put things back together easily.
Reddit |  KaiserBobby

As you disassemble an item, punch the screws, bolts, and other hardware through a spare bit of cardboard. Then write down where they belong. Your sanity will thank you when the project is done. 

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5. Look for matching floorboards in unseen areas of the home.

5. Look for matching floorboards in unseen areas of the home.
Imgur |  MostlyToasty24

If you live in an old house like I do, there's a good chance that you won't be able to find matching hardwood at Home Depot. When Imgur user MostlyToasty24 needed to replace scorched maple boards, he used ones from under the bed, where a mismatch would be less obvious. 

6. Use Kool-Aid to check for leaks in your toilet.

Pour the colored mix into the tank and leave it. If you come back to colored water in the bowl, then you know there's a leak somewhere and can investigate further. I'd choose the brightest color possible, both for test clarity and because it would be funny to have bright orange toilet water. 

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7. Repair blinds with a hole punch.

7. Repair blinds with a hole punch.
Hometalk |  Margaret Powell

If the top of your vertical blind breaks, just flip it around and punch a hole in the blank end. The broken bit will barely be noticeable down by the floor, but you could also cut the blind to make a flat edge again. 

8. A bread tag also works as a makeshift fix.

8. A bread tag also works as a makeshift fix.
Reddit |  billybobmaysjack

Glue the tag in place and trim any excess from the back so that it blends in with the top of the blind. 

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9. Stop your washing machine from rattling across the room.

The most likely cause of this problem is that your machine isn't level. Find a friend to help you tilt the machine and adjust the front feet. The rear feet are usually self-leveling but check for gunk or rust that could be preventing them from working right. 

10. Use cooking spray to grease squeaking hinges.

This isn't a long-term fix, because layers of cooking oil will gum up and could go rancid over time, but it'll keep things quiet until you can get to the store to buy some lubricant. 

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11. Hang brushes to dry with a laundry rack. 

11. Hang brushes to dry with a laundry rack.
Imgur |  Astupidiot

If you want your paint brushes to last, then you need to wash and dry them properly. One of those laundry racks with arms that swing out is perfect for both brushes and rollers. Hanging brushes keeps the moisture away from the metal parts, preventing rust. 

12. Remove a broken bulb with a potato.

12. Remove a broken bulb with a potato.
Reddit |  alglaz

If a light bulb bursts, you somehow need to unscrew it without slicing your hands with the broken glass. A potato (or any starchy root vegetable) is the perfect tool. 

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13. Turn a break into a feature.

13. Turn a break into a feature.
Imgur |  pumpkinknight

A broken counter top isn't a cheap or easy fix, but I love how this idea can turn that busted corner into something beautiful. It doesn't need to be real crystal or anything and if you're worried about the bits being sharp, you can cover it with a layer of clear resin. 

14. Trap and kill ants with a few simple ingredients.

14. Trap and kill ants with a few simple ingredients.
Hometalk |  Andrea Fabry

No need to spray insecticides around the house. Mix a bit of Borax and sugar with water and soak a cotton ball in it. The ants will be attracted to the sugar and the Borax will finish the job.

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15. Know how to fill holes in the walls yourself. 

Maybe a picture fell from the wall and took the anchor with it or maybe a toy got thrown and left a mark, for whatever reason, we end up with holes in our walls. Luckily, it's an easy fix to DIY.

Nancy On The Home Front has a great step-by-step tutorial.

You just need some wood filler, a putty knife, and sandpaper to complete this repair. The key is not to rush and be willing to repeat the process more than once for a seamless finish. 

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16. Larger holes can also be repaired, with just a bit of extra know-how.

16. Larger holes can also be repaired, with just a bit of extra know-how.
Imgur |  bpv6ja

For these deep holes, you're going to need more than spackle to fill it. It's going to need a patch of new drywall. 

Cut out a section of the old drywall and add a piece of wood. This will be what the new drywall is secured to. 

Cut out a section of the old drywall and add a piece of wood. This will be what the new drywall is secured to.
Imgur |  bpv6ja

Once the drywall is cut to size and secured in place, you'll need to use drywall tape and mud to cover it all over and smooth out the patch. 

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17. Remove heat marks from furniture.

17. Remove heat marks from furniture.
Hometalk |  DeeDee

No one wants to see those white spots all over their wood finish, but thankfully there's an easy fix. You just need an iron and a soft towel. 

Pick a towel without a lot of texture, since sometimes the texture can be transferred to the finish. 

Pick a towel without a lot of texture, since sometimes the texture can be transferred to the finish.
Hometalk |  DeeDee

Slowly move the hot iron over the towel until the marks disappear. 

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18. Fix a loose dryer door sensor with a zip tie.

18. Fix a loose dryer door sensor with a zip tie.
Reddit |  doctormink

It makes perfect sense for a dryer to have a door sensor. That way it won't heat and spin when the door is open. 

But after lots of use, the sensor can become loose and think the door is open when it isn't. 

But after lots of use, the sensor can become loose and think the door is open when it isn't.
Reddit |  doctormink

That's where the zip tie comes in. It's thin enough to thread behind the sensor and sturdy enough to prevent the sensor from wiggling any more. 

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19. Use nail polish to cover rough, splintery furniture. 

The polish will protect your skin from splinters and help prevent the rough edge from getting worse every time someone brushes by the table. 

20. When Imgur user derptato's AC stopped working they thought they were doomed.

20. When Imgur user derptato's AC stopped working they thought they were doomed.
Imgur |  derptato

While a professional would be needed to a proper fix, they weren't about to sweat their way through the four-day wait. The drain was clogged, so they rigged up a funnel and hose to get the water out another way for now. It's not pretty, but neither is heat exhaustion. 

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