Easy DIY Tricks For ‘Challenges’ Around the House

Tips and Fixes
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Sometimes our home sweet homes can be pains in the tushy. What, with all we do to beautify and make our spaces happy, we often run into challenges (cue air quotes, please) that can drive us just a little bit crazy. One example? The often-times tangled extension cord that is both maddening to unravel as much as it is to wind back up. How about our wood floors that trick us into thinking our furniture has one leg shorter than the other? No worries my friends! The following quick-tricks will smooth out these wrinkles in no time and practically for free (except tip #2…that one you’ll have to bargain hunt for or DIY). Sit back now, take notes and take heart.

Extension cord tie

Extension cord tie. source: homejelly.com

Shoe lace extension cord tie: want to finally do something with those leftover or unused shoe laces? To keep cables and extension cords nice and neat, tie one to one end (top photo). Knot it leaving enough length to tie around the wound cable.

Utility box birdhouse slipcover

Utility box birdhouse slipcover. source: bhg.com

Utility box birdhouse slipcover: disguise an unsightly utility box with a cover made out of bead board, topped with a birdhouse. With a birdhouse and  little bit of bead-board, you can DIY one like this one yourself!

Potted plant coffee filters

Potted plant coffee filters. source: thisoldhouse.com

Potted plant coffee filters: to prevent soil from falling through the drainage hole of your ceramic pots, place a coffee filter at the bottom.

Wine cork furniture stablizer

Wine cork furniture stabilizer. source: marthastewart.com

Wine cork furniture stabilizer: here’s where wine can actually prevent the “wobblies”…with your furniture that is. Slice corks thin using a serrated bread knife, then place under the leg of a table or chair.

Adhesive hooks lid organizer

Adhesive hooks lid organizer. source: instructables.com

Adhesive hooks lid organizer: a package of self-adhesive hooks, placed strategically inside a cupboard door will keep lids organized and easy-to-reach (oh, and clang-free!). Note: click on photo for how-to.

Got any tricks up your sleeve? Do tell below!

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Written By Skaie Knox

Skaie Knox is a storyteller on a quest to provide sparkling content through copywriting, songwriting and video production. She is founder of HomeJelly, Ruggable.com's key copywriter, a published singer/songwriter (Fervor Records/ASCAP) and kid's book author (Big Bug Lunch!). For doable DIY video tutorials, subscribe to her HomeJelly YouTube channel (for link, click on my nose!).

  • Valerie

    What fantastic ideas on here! I am going to Home Depot TODAY to get the hooks for the lid organizing tip – it’s great!

    • http://homejelly.wpengine.com Skaie Knox

      @Valerie…thanks so much! I was inspired to post this particular blog because my best friend had just moved and her new kitchen didn’t have a pot hanger. She was trying to figure out a way to keep her lids tidy…and…voila! Glad this idea will work for you, too!

  • Erin @ The Great Indoors

    Smart! I learned the extension cord trick from backstage folks at work (I work at a performance venue). I also like the coffee filter in a pot idea.


    • http://homejelly.wpengine.com Skaie Knox

      Full disclosure…I, too learned this trick from a stage hand. They deal with cables all day long, so you know they know great ways to keep their equipment organized. I thought we could bring the same trick into our homes. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Di Kershaw

    I live in Durban South Africa, which becomes extremely humid in summer. I find that the adhesive becomes soft and with time, the hooks fall off. I love the idea, so would hope you can recommend a good glue that works in humid conditions.

    • http://homejelly.wpengine.com Skaie Knox

      Hello Di! My cousin has a fabulous flat in Cape Town, where are you? I’ve visited him and my other cousins in Nairobi and loved it. I do know how humid it can get, so, yes! I do another solutions to organizing your pot tops…magazine racks or short curtain rods! Here is an example of what I mean: http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/52-totally-feasible-ways-to-organize-your-entire-h# I hope this helps!

      • Di Kershaw

        Hi Skaie, Thanks, I will make use of the many fabulous ideas and will use the curtain rod idea for the pot lids. If you are looking at a map of South Africa, you will see Durban up the East Coast in the Province of Kwa Zulu Natal, about 2 hours flight from Cape Town and about 1,653 klms by road. Thanks again for the tips. Di

        • http://homejelly.wpengine.com Skaie Knox

          So glad these ideas will help. Thanks also for the fun google maps look-up! It’s so fun to know we can connect from opposite ends of the earth. Have a fantastic day…please visit again!

    • Ed Nichols

      Regarding the “Adhesive” backed hooks for holding the pot lids, even here in NY the problem of the hooks falling off is real. What I did was drill two small holes in the plastic hook and used small screws that “DID NOT” go through the wood cabinet door. This was found to be the best way and the lids will not fall due to sliding off hooks. Once screwed, they are there for good.
      Ed Nichols

      • http://homejelly.wpengine.com Skaie Knox

        Thanks for the added tip, Ed! Humidity is definitely a factor for some areas and this is a great solution! Cheers!

  • Kris Lee

    As for the cord thing, I use my bent arm to wrap the cord around. Holding the end in one hand, and then using the other to wrap from the open hand (top) around the elbow (bottom). When almost finished, I wrap the final end of the cord around the cord bundle and then plug one end into the other. VOILA, no more tangled cords and easy to find the ends too. I also use an outdoor hose holder to hold my cords. Easy peasy.

    • http://homejelly.wpengine.com Skaie Knox

      Hi Kris Lee! Thanks for your thoughts! Actually, the problem with the “wrap-around-the-bend-elbow” technique is that, over time, the wires inside your cords/cables can get twisted and bent permanently making them more difficult to wrap and can even effect their connectivity. So, it’s actually recommended by professional sound people to wrap cable using the “over and under” technique, then, the shoe string can neatly keep them tidy. Here’s the video to further demonstrate the technique: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MziOBf60Kn0 Hope this helps!

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  • Sherrie

    Looks like a good idea with the pot lids but will the door shut to the cabinet? looks like the shelf would keep it from closing

    • http://homejelly.wpengine.com Skaie Knox

      Hi Sherrie! Thanks for your observation! Actually, though, if you look real close, you’ll see these cabinets are mounted with hardware screwed into a 2 to 2 1/2″ wide piece of wood that sits out from the edge of the shelf. Therefore, the lids have plenty of room when the door is shut. Still, for those of us with regular cabinets, this is a mindful consideration. When mounting your sticky hooks, be sure they clear the inner shelf. Thanks again Sherrie!

  • Amber

    Love the idea to use adhesive hooks to organize pot lids! I have been struggling so long with this…can’t wait to try it.


    • http://homejelly.wpengine.com Skaie Knox

      Hi Amber! I’m so glad you’re going to try this adhesive hook idea…I’ve received some great reviews that it works! Good luck and thanks for your wonderful comment!

  • Midhe Dosher

    I like the utility box cover! Those things are so unsightly. Good idea,Thanks.

    • http://homejelly.wpengine.com Skaie Knox

      Thanks for stopping by Midhe and glad you enjoyed the utility box cover…your thanks should go to Better Homes and Gardens for that clever idea!

  • He

    The hooks have a hard time with the bigger lids they fall off 🙁

    • http://homejelly.wpengine.com Skaie Knox

      Thanks @He for the feedback. Perhaps, for bigger lids, larger hooks should be used, or maybe more added to support the weight and diameter of the lid?

  • Elaine

    As for the cover for a utility box. I worked as a trouble shooter for the phone company. Nothing is worse than trying to locate a phone box that someone got creative with by covering it up. The boxes should be kept uncovered, no plants, shrubs or trees planted near them. The boxes are located on the utility easement and therefore, if something is preventing access to the box, it can be removed. As the old saying goes “Don’t fence me in”.

    • http://homejelly.wpengine.com Skaie Knox

      Thanks for pointing this out, Elaine. Might there be a more aesthetically pleasing solution to just leaving these utility boxes untouched or covered? Clearly, people would much rather do something to ease the eyesore these boxes create…any fun ideas would be fabulous.

  • Judy

    In spite of the professionals not wanting the utility box covered, I do really like the bird house idea. Now, if someone could come up with an idea to hide the unsightly water line cover that sticks up in our front yard, I’d be tickled! It’s on a downhill slope and is not cute.

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  • Lisa G

    OMG I have been searching high and low for an idea for my lids! Thank you for this and am going to try it! My lids have a short lip on them so the average hook won’t work for hanging them which made it so frustrating to find something to solve my organization issue. Its bugged me for the longest time hahaha and even bought a pan organizer yesterday as I saw something on interest, that didn’t work either! Have to take that back and will be picking up those hooks(incidently I picked those exact ones up to check them put them back hahaha)

    • http://homejelly.wpengine.com Skaie Knox

      Glad this lid idea was helpful to you! Thanks for stopping by!

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  • Poohbear

    we keep our pot lids in a dish drainer under the sink. We can use the silverware section for our small appliance pieces, such as the food processor blade, the o rings for the blender, the whisk beaters for the hand mixer, etc….we just slide our lids into the plate slots in the dish drainer and stick it under the counter.

    • http://www.dwellingz.com Skaie Knox

      Hi Poohbear! This is a GREAT tip! I love it! So simple and, most of all, repurposing something ordinary into something totally useful! Thanks for sharing!

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  • Marcia Preston

    Where can I find ordering information & cost on the utility box cover topped with a birdhouse. It’s pictured on your site but with no details. Thanks!

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