3Everyday items found around the home can yield some surprising uses. “We often see innovative ideas within the homes we show and sell that take otherwise mundane household items to new levels,” says Lincoln Thompson, a broker-owner with Royal LePage Gardiner Realty in Fredericton, New Brunswick. “Many of these ideas can come in handy for sprucing up the home at selling time too.” Thompson curates an A to Z of helpful home hacks:

A. Ammonia: Spray on garbage cans to repel raccoons and other varmints.

B. Baby oil: Use to remove fingerprints and surface stains from stainless steel appliances.

C. Candle: Rub on a sticky sliding door or window.

D. Dishwashing detergent: Mix with baking soda and vinegar to remove pet stains.

E. Electric beater: Attach to a variable speed drill to quickly mix paint.

F. Fruit scraps, citrus: Keep cats from digging up plants.

G. Garlic: Place in plant soil to repel insects indoors.

H. Hair conditioner: Can be used to often paint brushes.

I. Insulation, foam: Fill gaps around an outdoor faucet or gaps in siding.

J. Jars, glass: Store nails, screws and assorted hardware neatly.

K. Knife holder, magnetic: Use to organize tools in a workshop.

L. Lip balm: Can replace masking tape when painting windows.

M. Mirror, tile: Mount on a closet ceiling to see what’s on the top shelf.

N. Nail polish, clear: Can repair small holes or tears in screens.

O. Onion: Put chopped onion in a container of water to reduce the odour of new paint.

P. Pennies: Attach to the blades of a ceiling fan to rebalance

Q. Quart, distilled water: Add to your humidifier daily during the winter months. Empty, clean and refill each day to avoid bacteria buildup.

R. Rubber boots: Use on a ladder for skid-free traction.

S. Scouring powder: Improves the holding power of a screwdriver.

T. Toothpaste: Remove crayon marks on a wall before painting.

U. Umbrella: Catch drips when cleaning a crystal chandelier.

V. Vinegar, white: Freshen a foul-smelling dishwasher.

W. Wire hanger: Use to dislodge a blockage in a sink pipe.

X. X-acto knife: Remove old silicone caulking from bathtubs and sinks.

Y. Yoga mat: Cut a piece to place under your knee while gardening or doing chores.

Z. Zest, lemon: To deter ants from crossing thresholds and windowsills.

More information on maintaining your home or preparing it for sale is available at www.royallepage.ca.


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Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.

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