This week, long-time friend and Today’s Homeowner Radio Show co-host Joe Truini offers his Top 5 Fall Simple Solutions.
1. Stay-Open Leaf Bag
When raking leaves and putting them into a trashcan lined with a plastic bag, the weight of the leaves tends to pull the bag down inside the can. Every time you dump in leaves, you have to readjust the bag.
To prevent this from happening, put the bag in the trash can and fold its open end over the can, as usual.
Next, stretch a bicycle inner tube around the outside of the trash can to securely hold the bag in place.
Bike inner tubes are available in sizes up to about 26-inch diameter, so you should be able to find one to fit your trash can.
2. Easy, Efficient Way to Pick Up Leaves
Whether you use a rake or a leaf blower to collect leaves, how do you easily pick up the leaves and neatly dump them into a trashcan?
Well, they make claws and all kinds of implements for picking up leaves — or you can just use a tarp.
Get a 4×8-foot tarp, fold it in half, and then staple wooden dowels onto the ends to form handles.
Next, lay the tarp on the ground and rake the leaves onto the tarp.
Then, grab with the handles, lift the entire pile of leaves and slide them into the trashcan.
3. Fast Way to Clean Gutters
Our next Fall Simple Solution is a clever way to clean gutters using a 10-foot length of a vinyl downspout.
Start by using a pair of snips to cut the end of the downspout, then pinch it closed with duct tape. This will create more power and pressure at the end.
Now, slip the opposite end of the downspout onto the leaf blower and you’re ready to power-blast your gutters clean.
You can blow out 8 to 10 feet of gutter from one position to either side, meaning you’ll only have to move the ladder maybe once or twice to clean the gutters along the entire house.
4. DIY Grass Seed Shaker
Fall is the best time of year to sow grass seed because of the mix of warm soil and cool air.
Here’s a tip for over-seeding any bare or thin spots on your lawn.
Begin by getting a small plastic clam-shell berry container, the kind that supermarkets use to sell blueberries and raspberries. The containers have small slotted drainage slots that are perfect for distributing grass seeds.
Just dip the berry container in a seed bag, close the lid, and gently shake it over the bare spots. You’ll get a nice, even distribution of seeds, without wasting seeds.
Next, rake the seeds into the soil, water the area, and cover with mulch hay.
5. Non-Suctioning Garbage Can
Most people collect leaves by simply dumping them into a large plastic bag inside a trash can.
And there’s nothing wrong with that except when you go to remove the full bag of leaves — the bag forms suction at the bottom, making it difficult to yank out the bag.
So, here’s how to break that vacuum so the bag slides right out: Take a 5/8-inch diameter drill bit and drilled a series of holes around the outside of the can and also in the bottom.
The holes will allow air to flow into the can, breaking the vacuum.