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Browsing the Lee Valley website, I discovered yet another way to hang pictures on the wall: the Push & Hang hanger. This is in addition to the long line of other ways to hang pictures, including Monkey/Hercules Hooks, 3M Command picture hanging strips, push pin picture hangers, or the trusty old hammer and nail.

EZR offers a few reasons to use Push & Hang hangers over the other methods: They install fast with no tools, there’s no mess to cleanup, and they’re reusable. The command strips aren’t reusable, and a nail requires a hammer, but for the most part the advantages they give apply to the other methods as well.

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The ever-expanding closet project continues with the addition of an entire built-in cabinet system. My plan is to convert this space into an organized area that will sport 3 cubbies for shoes and six cabinet spaces that will contain linens, clothes and odds and ends — all for under $100. It’s a larger task than the rack system above it; however when I’m done I’ll have a sharp-looking closet with tons of great space.

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We have long said that someone needs to start throwing kits together for the DIYer/Homeonwer crowd that arms them with the tools they need to get things done around the house. Not drills and saws (others have that covered), but the more obscure home maintenance chores. We knew someone would come up with it eventually, but we didn’t expect it to come from Campbell Hausfeld. Yet the FP260097 Home Improvement Kit and its three like-minded sibling packages are exactly what we were talking about.

It’s not rocket science; tell someone what they need to do then give them a package with all those tools in it for an entry-level price. Apparently someone at CH has their head on straight because that’s what they did. They also threw in an instructional DVD that tells you how to start getting done the projects you bought the kit for.

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Red from Shawshank Redemption tells us that “Geology is the study of pressure and time.” It seems that geology and bedroom closets have much in common. Over time, a small amount of crap we don’t need multiplies to epic proportions inside this all-too-finite area. When the closet nears bursting and the impending clutter bomb threatens to pop the door from the hinges, the twin axioms of organization must be wielded like the hammer of Thor — pare down the excess and add storage.

Several trash bags full of junk in the trash and a trip to the local donation center saw half the offending objects removed from my bedroom area. The rest now neatly piled in front of the bed would need a new home. A look at the top of the closet was all I needed to realize that there was a ton of unused space in that area. I needed a set of built-ins.

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My front door has been sticking for, well, months. And I’m not talking about the door itself, but rather the interior mechanism of the door latch. It’s essentially been a grip-strength test for anyone wishing to enter or exit my house from the front ever since it got sticky. The really sad part, though, is that it took a whopping half-hour to fix, twenty minutes of which I spent running to the local big-box to grab a couple of bucks in parts.

Bottom line: Don’t make the same mistake I did. Take a sec to fix it. Here’s how.

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As usual for this time of year, the big boxes are offering deals on basic- and classic-model ceiling fans. Currently Lowe’s is selling the Harbor Breeze 52″ classic fan (pictured above) for $45; Home Depot has apartment-style Littleton fans for around $20(!), and even Amazon’s got a couple of deals on Emerson and Westinghouse fans.

In my experience, ceiling fans need not be expensive or fancy to do the job. Keeping the air moving and the a/c bill down in the summer is my prime concern, and $40 is the right price for the savings in both energy and cash.

Hampton Bay 52″ Farmington Ceiling Fan [Home Depot]
Harbor Breeze 52″ Classic Brushed Nickel Ceiling Fan [Lowe’s]
Littleton White 42″ Ceiling Fan With Light Kit [Home Depot]
Emerson 52″ Ceiling Fan Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

The best art is unexpected, fresh, and makes us think again about the things around us — often about things that are normally mundane. Walking Chair Design Studios in Vienna has a sweet website with a number of unique products that will make you do a double-take. The “Tooltime” flatware they designed about ten years ago caught my eye; I can’t find it currently available for purchase anywhere, but this might be just the kind of project Toomlongers could do in their own shops, thanks to Walking Chair’s inspiration.

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Spring has officially sprung here in Texas, and even if your hometown’s still under the Groundhog’s curse for a few more weeks, you’re probably considering replacing those nasty, wintrified heating and a/c filters in your home. Realizing that waking up every day with a stuffy nose may be due to my crap-clogged filters, I hit the big box on a mission. Unfortunately when I got there and saw 300 varieties of air filters ranging from “high performance electrostatic” ($$$$) to fiberglass ($), I realized I needed some guidance. Here’s what I learned.

To make sure you’re selecting the appropriate kind of air filter for your home, consider whether any pollutants (indoors, in your garage/shop, or outdoors) are affecting the air quality inside. Household chemicals, pesticides, mold or mildew, high humidity, improperly vented appliances, standing water or leaks, or (obviously) if anyone smokes inside the house are factors that can be identified and fixed first.

Second, assuming your home filters are designed more for providing healthy air in the living space (as opposed to protecting machines or equipment), take into account how you or your family responds to allergens such as dust mites, pollen, mold spores, smoke, pet dander, and smog. The better quality the filter, the smaller the particles it can capture, and without interrupting the air flow of your HVAC system too much, which is paramount for efficiency. Also, check the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) of the filter: they range from 1-16, and the 12-16 range are the highest quality at 90+% efficiency.

Home air filters are divided into six basic types:

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Floating floors have come a long way from the crappy picture of wood pasted to a pressboard substrate; now you can even install floating ceramic tile floors. Besides actually being real ceramic or porcelain tile, the floors promise to be much easier and less messy to install.

Two such floating floor systems are Cerama-lock and SnapStone.  Rather than using glue or other adhesive to stick the tile in place, both use trays which snap together and hold the tiles. These systems can be installed over most hard surfaces with less prep than traditional methods of laying tile.

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I’m not sure I’d recommend buying this garden tool because it seems to be available only from Italy, and the shipping will probably be a bit high, but it does seem like a good idea. The L’Aprisacco (literally, “open sac”) is an injected polypropylene rim that fits on “a standard 24 mm wood broom stick” (not included “for shipping reasons”) with an elastic fastener that fits 33-gallon and larger lawn and leaf bags (as shown above).

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