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Home & Garden: Bob Vila’s 10 “Must Do” Projects for January

How to Upgrade a Builder Grade Mirror

  How to Upgrade a Builder Grade Mirror While builder-grade mirrors are perfectly functional, they can be quite boring. Compared to more decorative mirrors y ou’ll find at the store, these mirrors don’t have a frame or any visually intriguing elements. Fortunately, just as you can spruce up the look of an old medicine cabinet, there are also several ways you can enhance the look of a builder grade mirror by using a little creativity and DIY know-how.RELATED: How To: Remove a Wall MirrorSimple Wooden Frame © Provided by Bob Vila mirror frame Haskin Rectangle Wood Mirror Photo: Wayfair.

woman writing to do list drinking coffee © Provided by Bob Vila woman writing to do list drinking coffee Photo: istockphoto.com

The 37 Best Gifts Under $50, Handpicked by the Bob Vila Team for the Holidays

  The 37 Best Gifts Under $50, Handpicked by the Bob Vila Team for the Holidays No matter the time of year, it’s easy for those of us who love DIY and home decor to spend way more time than we shou ld browsing kitchen gear and cool tools online, and bookmarking products to buy for ourselves and others. When it comes time to do holiday shopping, forget it—into the rabbit hole of reviews and product comparisons we fall. We can’t just buy our parents a garden planter: We have to buy them the very best planter that ever existed.

January is the month to take stock, plan ahead, and start fresh: Our "Must Do" projects for this month include adopting some home-focused goals and resolutions for 2023, tackling small maintenance tasks that will make a big impact, and organizing what’s in your house before contemplating new purchases. Before you get “in with the new,” job one is to tuck and trash last season’s holiday gear—but not, of course, the memories that go along with them.

1. Pack Away the Holidays

Christmas Ornaments in organizational box © Provided by Bob Vila Christmas Ornaments in organizational box Photo: istockphoto.com

10 Outdoor Living Trends Expected to Be Big in 2023

  10 Outdoor Living Trends Expected to Be Big in 2023 Choose Your Favorite TrendWith every new year comes fresh ideas. Ever since the pandemic, homeowners have focused on turning their outdoor areas into everything from a home office to a staycation zone to a place for hosting holiday dinners and gatherings safely. What are the hot backyard trends for 2023? The National Association of Home Builders reported in 2022 that 58 percent of surveyed homeowners said a connection with nature or the outdoors would be top of mind in design choices. With this focus on backyards, keeping up with what’s trending can be a fun and rewarding hobby.

As fun as it is to unearth boxes of holiday decorations in November, there is nothing enjoyable about packing them all away again in January. Big-box stores will have plenty of bins and containers to help you stash your holiday trimmings, but with a little planning and ingenuity, you can create your own DIY solutions that will work just as well.

2. Shop the After-Holidays Sales

Woman Shopping for Air Conditioner © Provided by Bob Vila Woman Shopping for Air Conditioner Photo: istockphoto.com

Choice Home Warranty: A Relatively Affordable Choice With Stellar Customer Service—And a Few Drawbacks to Consider

  Choice Home Warranty: A Relatively Affordable Choice With Stellar Customer Service—And a Few Drawbacks to Consider Repairing or replacing broken-down appliances and home systems can be very expensive, which is why many homeowners el ect to purchase a home warranty to help cover those costs. In return for an annual or monthly premium, as well as a service fee, home warranty providers will pay for qualified professionals to fix failing equipment or replace items that cannot be restored with a comparable appliance or system. A home warranty may be worth it for customers who would otherwise have trouble budgeting for major repairs on their home systems or paying to replace malfunctioning appliances.

Many shoppers know that January is the best time to pick up discounted Christmas decorations, new TVs, or on-sale towels and linens. You may be tempted to stock up, but make judicious purchases. If you're already testing the limits of your home storage, adopt a “one out, one in” policy. When buying new decor, identify an old or outworn item for it to replace. You'll have less to organize and keep clean.

11 Things You Shouldn't Do Without Gloves On

  11 Things You Shouldn't Do Without Gloves On While donning a pair of gloves before cleaning or starting a DIY project might not be the quickest way to get started , it can be important. Gloves can help protect your hands—and your body—against a number of hazards, including chemicals, viruses, bacteria, and injury. Rather than reaching for just any pair of gloves, however, make sure you have the right gloves for the task.There are several types of gloves, each suited for different types of jobs. For example, disposable latex and nitrile gloves offer a more precise fit, making them a good choice when working with smaller items.

3. Put Your House on an Energy Diet

Man using a calculator to reduce energy costs © Provided by Bob Vila Man using a calculator to reduce energy costs Photo: istockphoto.com

How to Sew Curtains

  How to Sew Curtains Curtains do more than just block light and offer privacy. A stylish window covering can bring color, texture, and cha racter to a living space. Learning how to sew curtains is a rewarding project for sewers at all levels. For beginners, it’s a good way to practice sewing skills, and for seasoned crafters, it’s an opportunity to design a one-of-a-kind curtain.With a sewing machine and a few supplies, you can make easy-to-sew curtains with a lining and a rod pocket by following this guide’s steps for how to sew a curtain.

This month, as you make your resolutions to spend less, go on a diet, join a gym, learn a new skill, or perhaps just find more time for yourself, consider adding another goal for 2023: using less energy. If you want to keep your house trim and fit in the new year, adopt these 12 easy ways to reduce your energy consumption and costs.

4. Plan This Year’s Renovations

Couple remodeling their house and looking at blueprints © Provided by Bob Vila Couple remodeling their house and looking at blueprints Photo: istockphoto.com

The Cornish Method to Reduce Swelling in Your Legs

  The Cornish Method to Reduce Swelling in Your Legs Bob and Brad discuss the Cornish Method to reduce leg swelling. Bob: Today we are going to talk about the Cornish Method to reduce swelling in your legs. Brad: Like a Cornish hen? Bob: No, this is Dr. Cornish. So, I was contacted by Kurtis Cornish, PhD. He was a cardiovascular physiologist and professor at the University of Nebraska. Brad: You can’t go wrong in Nebraska. They have a lot of corn there.Bob: Yeah, Omaha. Brad: It’s kind of interesting, there’s a lot of corn there and his name is Cornish. Take the I-S-H off, that’s probably how he got there. Bob: Yeah, sure.

Is it in your budget to redo the kitchen or bathroom this year? As you make financial plans for the new year (and start working on your 2022 taxes), take the time to plan for any upcoming remodels. Set a dollar limit now to help you decide whether to call a contractor or DIY. Just be sure to set aside 15 to 20 percent as a buffer, because most remodeling projects go over budget. Consult the IRS’s 2023 tax credits for energy efficiency, too, to see if your big reno qualifies for savings.

The Dos and Don'ts of Landscaping Around Trees

  The Dos and Don'ts of Landscaping Around Trees While trees bring shade and beauty to a residential landscape, the ground around tree trunks can become a barren blig ht—and you can blame thirsty roots that draw up all the water and heavy branches that prevent sunlight from reaching the soil, making it tough for other plants to thrive. Fortunately, with the following tips, you can transform those desolate areas of landscaping around trees on your property, adding color, texture, and other design elements, all while maintaining the health of the tree.DO maintain the existing soil level at the trunk.

5. Build a Better Fire

 A person's hand putting wood into a burning fireplace © Provided by Bob Vila A person's hand putting wood into a burning fireplace Photo: istockphoto.com

Although many of today’s homeowners opt for the convenience of a gas fireplace, the traditionalists among us still prefer the smoky smell, crackling sound, and tactile ritual of a real wood fire. There is an art to building a fire, but it all begins with the right choice of wood—and, of course, a fireplace that has been properly maintained.

6. Establish Order

Woman Sorting Wardrobe for donations and keeping © Provided by Bob Vila Woman Sorting Wardrobe for donations and keeping Photo: istockphoto.com

At the start of a new year, many homeowners vow to get organized. Unfortunately, that verve usually doesn't last long. Capitalize on any enthusiasm now by creating a list of closets, drawers, shelves, and corners that need clearing out. Prioritize them by importance, and then steadily work through the list. Determine what stays, what goes, and what gets put into deep storage. By devoting no more than 30 minutes to an hour a day, you'll prevent burn out and have everything tidied by the end of the month.

7. Condition Leather Furniture

Person cleaning a leather seat with cream © Provided by Bob Vila Person cleaning a leather seat with cream Photo: istockphoto.com

Cold weather causes the skin on hands and faces to chap and crack. Leather couches and chairs are prone to the same weaknesses, especially in low-humidity winter months. Keep your furniture in prime condition by using a leather conditioner to soften and moisturize the surface. You can pick up these products at any home center, or you can make your own.

8. Reuse the Christmas Tree

Person cutting a christmas tree trunk © Provided by Bob Vila Person cutting a christmas tree trunk Photo: istockphoto.com

If you decorated with a live Christmas tree this holiday season, don't toss it to the curb just yet. Put it to good use by repurposing it for the home or yard. Consider chipping it into mulch for garden beds, or transforming the trunk into wood slices for simple woodworking crafts. This is a great opportunity to get creative and resourceful in the New Year.

9. Fix the Small Stuff

installing drawer pulls on a white drawer © Provided by Bob Vila installing drawer pulls on a white drawer Photo: istockphoto.com

Make a list of all the minor household problems that need fixes, then focus on the ones that you can DIY in an hour or less: Fix the squeaky front door hinge, for example, touch up chipped paint in the kitchen, and install a dimmer switch in your living room. You’ll build up your DIY confidence—and build up momentum to take on bigger projects.

10. Grow Something

Person holding pot with amaryllis bulb © Provided by Bob Vila Person holding pot with amaryllis bulb Photo: istockphoto.com

Unlike Christmas presents, gingerbread cookies, and wrapped gifts, holiday plants—poinsettias, amaryllis, paper whites, and Christmas cacti—can let you exercise your green thumb, even during the dormant winter months. While there’s no guarantee these plants will bloom again next year (they can be a little persnickety), you can certainly try. Here are some tips for getting amaryllis and poinsettias to rebloom. Good luck!

The Dos and Don'ts of Landscaping Around Trees .
While trees bring shade and beauty to a residential landscape, the ground around tree trunks can become a barren blig ht—and you can blame thirsty roots that draw up all the water and heavy branches that prevent sunlight from reaching the soil, making it tough for other plants to thrive. Fortunately, with the following tips, you can transform those desolate areas of landscaping around trees on your property, adding color, texture, and other design elements, all while maintaining the health of the tree.DO maintain the existing soil level at the trunk.

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