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posted: 7/4/2014 12:01 AM

Planning a move this summer? Here are our useful tips

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Summer is the most popular time to make a move to a new house. School is out, and we have more vacation time. You can save a lot of money if you do some of the moving yourself, so here are some of our favorite moving tips:

• Start collecting boxes in advance, or buy used moving boxes from a neighbor. Use clothes and linens as packing material.

• Label your boxes. It might seem like a waste of time, but it will save you tons of time in the long run. An option might be to place a colored sticker on each box, corresponding with a particular room. An example would be a green sticker on all kitchen boxes and a blue sticker on office items.

• Slip a large trash bag over hanging clothes and tie the hangers together with a cable tie or the tie that comes on the bag. You can move the whole bundle at once this way.

• If you have to disconnect electronics, take a photo of the back connections. It will make reconnecting them a lot easier.

• If dismantling shelves or other similar items, bundle hardware pieces together and place them all in one place where you will easily find them.

• Plastic wrap is available for wrapping furniture, and it's a great way to protect fine fabrics or wood that might get scratched. It's also a great way to bundle pillows on a sofa or to keep drawers closed. You also can wrap drawers with clothes and other items still in place. The wrap will seal the goods inside and make this job a lot easier and quicker.

• Borrow or rent a dolly. This really will make moving the heavy stuff a lot easier.

• Moving straps, or "shoulder dollies," are a pretty good tool to use for moving heavy objects. It gives you better control and helps center the weight.

Super hints

• Even though the grandkids are beyond the baby-wipes stage these days, we still keep some handy for cleaning up in the workshop. These handy wipes can clean some pretty greasy messes -- even some paint. They will at least let you get into the house without messing up too much stuff on the way in.

• I would rather save stuff than give it away, but I will do the occasional garage sale just to make room for more stuff. I save time by getting things priced ahead of time. I do it the easy way: I just go around and put a colored dot sticker on each item. I have a chart that I put next to the door that has a price listed for each colored dot. I use the same chart every time, so it's quick and easy to get things priced to sell (or give away, as the case may be!)

• Working up on the roof during the summer is going to be hot, so try to do it early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Also, take a car mat up with you so won't burn your knees when you kneel down to work.

Q. I have vinyl lattice panels on my sun porch. They are green, and I would LOVE to find a way to paint them. I tried once before, but the paint didn't last more than a month or so before it started flaking off. What would you recommend?

A. Clean them really well first. Then use the Fusion paint for plastics made by Krylon. It really works well on plastics, and the spray paint will be easy to apply.

Q. We've had pegboard up in the workshop for years and it's been just great, but it's starting to warp a little bit. During the winter, we have a little moisture problem in our garage. I've added ventilation, so that should be under control now, but the damage is done to the pegboard. Is there any way to straighten it out?

A. If you can add more spacers and anchors to the wall behind it, you might be able to straighten it out some. Other than that, replacing it is your only other option. It's not very expensive, just time-consuming to remove all of the hooks and tools and install a new piece. It really is a great invention, and we love it too!

Reader tips

• Our kitchen faces east, so we get hot sun first thing every morning. I didn't want to install heavy drapes in the kitchen, but I needed to do something to cut down on the heat. I bought vinyl lattice panels and had them cut to fit the windows exactly. I pushed them into the opening to act as permanent shades. They do a great job, give us some more privacy and look neat in the kitchen, too. This also might be a better solution for our bathroom at some point.

• My secret to a clean barbecue grill is in the finish. After removing the food, I leave the heat on for a few more minutes to make sure it's hot when I shut it off. Then I spray it with oven cleaner and close the lid. I let the cleaner do the work while I'm having my dinner. When I get back to it, the grease is super soft and I can just wipe it off with some heavy-duty paper towels and it's ready for my next gourmet meal!

• The more I learn about home maintenance, the more money I realize I can save by doing some of the work myself. I cleaned and oiled my furnace blower and saved some money, but it was tough at first. I had trouble getting the oil onto the motor shaft, so I took a coat hanger, straightened it out and angled it toward the motor. Then, I dripped some oil onto it and let it drain down to the motor shaft. A little oil dripped into the pan, but it was nothing serious. The fan runs like it is new, and it's working fine this summer, too.

• I got a new set of golf clubs for Father's Day, and I can't wait to get out on the golf course and try them out. I gave away most of my old clubs but kept the bag. It's going to be my new garden-tool bag. I will keep my rake, hoe and hand tools in it. There's even enough room for my gloves, some trash bags and other small gadgets, and I have an old golf towel still hooked on it. It was always my favorite bag, and I'm glad I hung on to it.


• Summer is a great time of year, but in many parts of the country it also is humid, and this can bring on mildew problems. Mildew not only is smelly and ugly, it also can ruin walls, carpeting and just about any surface it gets on. Learn how to rid your home of this problem once and for all. We've put together a pamphlet called "Mildew Around Your House," and it is full of tips on how to get rid of mildew and how to keep it from coming back.

• Gorilla Glue makes more than just the sticky stuff. Their new Self-Standing Bags are super for the workshop, yard and even indoors. These one-of-a-kind bags have sturdy, 3.3 mm-thick side walls and a square base, which allows them to stand up on their own. You easily can fill them up with all sorts of things, up to 42 gallons of material or 200 pounds of stuff. They even come with zip ties for easy closure. Look for the bags at your hardware store or home center, and online at

• About the only thing that's crazy about Krazy Glue is if you don't keep a tube in your "junk" drawer. The latest formula, Maximum Bond, is a thick, no-run gel designed to fill gaps in porous surfaces to form a long-lasting, super-strong bond. This gel formula is really great for vertical surfaces, and is made to withstand high impacts and temperature changes. Look for it at your favorite hardware store, home center or discount store. For additional information, go to Also, check out the Krazy Big Fix contest at

• Write to Al and Kelly Carrell via their website at

© 2014, Cowles Syndicate Inc.

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