Whether literal or metaphorical, we all have a snagging list of some kind. The rest of the year you can probably go by without noticing them as they basically become part of the furniture that you just learn to live with. The only time they become a nagging issue is when you know you'll be having guests round; in other words, during the Christmas season.
Maybe it's the dripping tap in your bathroom that you've been meaning to fix for three months, or the chipped paintwork in your entryway that you've been meaning to tend to for more like three years. Whatever the imperfection, don't just paper over the problem; it's time to face it head-on.
To help you get started, we've compiled a list of the simple DIY jobs you can do right now to fix the most common snagging issues and get your home Christmas-ready in less than a day. The best part? They're super cheap and there's no need to hire a professional! The perfect weekend project, if we do say so ourselves.
Lilith is an expert at following news and trends across the world of interior design. She's committed to helping readers make the best choices in their homes through sharing practical tips and guides that make home renovation simple. For this piece, she shares a list of the simple DIY jobs you can do right now to get your home Christmas-ready.
1. Replace your shower head
Is the pressure of your shower not up to scratch? Or have you noticed blockages in your nozzles? Limescale might be the answer. The build-up of limescale in your shower head is a common issue caused by calcium deposits, and it's the sort of issue your guests are sure to notice.
'Replacing a shower head is easy to do and could also help to improve your flow rate,' explains Ruth Foster, interior designer at online bathroom retailer Victoria Plum. 'There is a wider range of tap styles to choose from than ever before, with beautiful finishes like matt black or nickel to add fresh new style to your interiors.'
The simple task of changing a showerhead takes less than five minutes, and you can purchase a new one for as little as $20. We love this matt black showerhead from Amazon for a modern, industrial vibe in your shower room.
If you don't want to buy a new one, you could always try cleaning your showerhead to remove the limescale. Use a mixture of lemon and baking soda and scrub at the shower head with a toothbrush to remove the deposit, and spritz of solution of distilled white vinegar and water daily to avoid build-up returning.
2. Fix cracked tiles
When it comes to eyesores in the home, cracked tiles are big contenders. You might not notice them yourself, but your guests certainly will. Luckily though, they're easy to fix with just a few cheap tools.
First, be sure to clear any debris or broken grout from between the tile using a knife. Once the area is clean (and dry, if it's in a shower or bathroom) then you'll need to apply some epoxy grout, filling the entire tile crack. If your tile is broken in two, you'll want to apply a generous amount, sticking the two halves together. Be sure to wait at least 24 hours (or the time instructed on the packaging) to allow the epoxy to dry and avoid getting the tile wet in the meantime.
3. Touch up cracked, chipped or stained paintwork
Even the biggest perfectionists among us can't avoid scratches, scrapes and imperfections on the wall. Whether it's scuff marks around your skirting or grease splatters up your kitchen walls, these paint imperfections make an unsightly Christmas greeting.
'Even though painting isn't everyone's favorite activity, it can be done quickly and cheaply to change the way your home looks and feels,' says Peter Drow, DIY expert and Head of Marketing at NC Cuttingtools. 'This is particularly helpful if your walls have stains, blotches, or fading.'
This fix-up shouldn't be too difficult as long as you have the right shade to hand. If you have leftover paint from the last time you decorated, all you need to do is paint over the blemish, otherwise you'll need to color match the paint on your walls and purchase a tester in that shade. For scuff marks and greasy splatters, you might want to use an alcohol rub before painting. Either way, be sure to clean the area with a damp cloth and let it dry before painting as your walls accumulate more dust than you'd think.
4. Painting over chipped baseboard
Many of us live with chipped baseboards and don't think twice about them, but you're visitors probably will. This is an especially common problem in older homes where the original features have taken more knocks and scraped over time. Although they might be a large effort to replace, painting trim is a much quicker and more budget-friendly solution. Gloss paint is the best option for a job, but bear in mind it will need at least 24 hours to dry.
5. Clear blocked drains
There's nothing worse than blocked drains that start to smell. If you're kitchen or bathroom sink isn't draining properly, chances are you've gone nose blind to stench coming from your sink, but luckily this is an easy fix. This is even more important during Christmas time when extra washing, cleaning and flushing puts more strain on your drainage system, and when emergency plumbing services can be extra costly.
'My advice is to do a simple home remedy drain cleaning,' says Jake Romano, manager at Kingston Drain Cleaning. 'Simply pour half a cup of baking soda down each of your sink drains, followed by half a cup of white vinegar, leaving it to fizzle for half an hour.'
Once you've left the solution to do its work, all you need to do is flush it down with hot water, leaving the tap to run for a minute or two. 'This is great for dislodging accumulated gunk and breaking down grease,' Jake says. 'And, prevention is the best cure, as they say!'
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Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.
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