Super easy DIY fixes to prep the home for the holidays

Some instructions claim easy DIY fixes that don’t deliver with their step one to twenty-two. But we promise, these ones are rookie-friendly and will make a noticeable difference to you and your guests.

While a well-functioning door won’t make as much of an impact as fairy lights, its absence is more felt than some twinkling illumination.

So whether or not you’re expecting a large party this time of year, it’s time to fix those nagging problems in the house. These won’t even take you longer than an episode of House Hunters each.

1. How to fix a dim light

Dim lights can be a sign of a tired bulb that has lost its lustre or just a light that needs cleaning. A clean light makes a huge difference, especially if you have a chandelier or a pendant light that acts as a room’s central focus.

The solution:

  1. Switch off your lights and leave them to cool for at least an hour. Remove your bulb(s).
  2. Dip a microfiber cloth into a solution of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts warm water. Thoroughly wipe your light bulb and fixture.
  3. If your lights have covers, carefully remove them and empty out dead bugs or dust before soaking them into warm soapy water.
  4. If you have a chandelier, take a photo of it before disassembling for a thorough wipe down with the same vinegar-and-water solution and a microfibre cloth.
  5. Cleaning becomes easier when you regularly (weekly) dust your lights with an extendable microfibre cleaner.

2. How to revive a lacklustre couch

If your couch is stained or torn and you just don’t have the DIY digits to reupholster, get slipcovers!


The solution:

  1. Measure your couch’s length, width, and height.
  2. Visit Ikea or any of the following online stores to find a slipcover that matches your couch size and aesthetic inclinations.

Read more: 11 homeware stores like IKEA

3. How to puff up a flat cushions

Flat cushions are the nephews of lacklustre couches. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to fluff them up.

The solution:

  1. Remove their covers before leaving them out to dry under sunlight.
  2. Flip them over halfway. The sunlight helps to evaporate moisture which compresses the pillows.

4. How to wash a stained bathtub

A bathtub is often a major part of a bathroom. You can keep your bathroom spic and span all you want, but a yellowish bathtub will throw the whole look of the bathroom.

The solution:

  1. Fill a spray bottle with 1 part vinegar and 1 part warm water. Spray around the tub, concentrating on stains and leave for 15 minutes. Wipe the solution and stains off with a microfibre cloth or sponge. Rinse with water and wipe dry.
  2. For more stubborn stains, sprinkle baking soda before spraying it with the vinegar-and-water solution from step 1. Leave the mixture for several minutes as it bubbles. Scrub with a cloth or sponge until a paste forms; leave for 15 minutes before wiping down and rinsing off.
  3. For hard water stains, soak paper towels with white vinegar and place them onto the stains for 2 hours. Then, repeat step
  4. Alternatively, visit your home improvement or hardware store and ask for a recommendation for a tub stain remover.

Read more: Eco-friendly cleaning solutions for the sustainable home

5. How to fix peeling wallpaper

There’s no need to re-do the whole wallpaper just cause you have a dog ear here and there.

The solution:

  1. Use a small knife to smear wallpaper paste onto a regular piece of paper.
  2. Place the side of the paper with the paste onto the underside of the peeled off wallpaper.
  3. Press down the wallpaper while sliding the piece of paper out. Smooth down with a clean cloth to eliminate air bubbles.

6. How to repair a shaky handrail

This is particularly important if you’re expecting kids and elderly guests. Note that this repair only applies to shaky handrails with loose screws. If your handrail is shaky as the result of a rusty or weakened handrail, consider a replacement or contact your contractor.

The solution:

  1. Check for loose screws that connect the bracket to the handrail and loose screws that connect the handrail to the wall. Tighten with a screwdriver.
  2. Remove screws that cannot tighten and replace with longer screws. Alternatively, insert a drywall anchor into the hole before reattaching the original screw.

7. How to recondition squeaky door

Squeaky doors are no good in general, and even worse at dinner parties when you’re trying to sneak out of a conversation with your inebriated uncle.

The solution:

  1. Spray a multi-purpose lubricant like WD-40 onto the door’s hinges as you’re swinging it back and forth.
  2. If the door still squeaks, pull the hinge pins out halfway and drip lubricant into the pinholes before replacing them.

8. How to restore jammed sliding window

These are annoying, and not to mention inconvenient. Luckily, they’re also easy to fix.

The solution:

Spray silicone spray lubricant only a cloth and wipe along the window tracks.

9. How to unclog a clogged kitchen sink

Since the kitchen will be working hard to prepare food for all your guests, make sure your kitchen sinks are clear, even if they’re not clogged.

The solution:

  1. Partially fill the sink with hot water. Use a plunger to plunge the sink drain repeatedly and quickly until the clog clears and the water drains. If you have a double sink, plug the other sink’s drain with a cloth to focus the air pressure on the clogged sink.
  2. Alternatively, use baking soda and vinegar. Clear the standing water in the sink. Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the sink drain, followed by 1 cup of vinegar. Plug the drain with a stopper to force the vinegar down towards the clog. Wait 5 minutes before running warm water. If the clog hasn’t cleared, pour 4 cups of boiling water down the drain. Repeat if the drain is still clogged.

Read more: Dirtiest spots in your kitchen (and how to clean them)

This article was originally published as Super easy DIY fixes to prep the home for the holidays by and is written by Charmaine Kon.