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The Lazy Homeowner Guide

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Jessica
08.10.12

If changing a burned-out light bulb feels a little like an expedition to Mount Everest, or if you get exhausted by the mere thought of cleaning your bathtub, this guide can help. Use this list of shortcuts, workarounds and time-savers to get back on the couch as soon as possible. Let’s get lazy!

Can't get enough? Here are 10 more tips for the lazy homeowner:

1. Buy a Programmable Thermostat

You don’t need to be blasting your AC 24/7! In fact, you can save about $180 a year by changing the temperature of your house throughout the day. The thing is, that can start to feel like a part-time job after a while, and no respectable lazy homeowner is going to put in that kind of effort. To avoid extra work while still saving some cash, why not pick up a programmable thermostat? A basic model goes for $25-$80, and will allow you to set up a comfortable, cost efficient temperature schedule in your house. Once your thermostat is running, you can literally forget all about it.

2. Use Low Nitrogen Fertilizer on Your Lawn

Well-fertilized grass may be greener no matter what side of the fence you’re on, but it also grows at the speed of light. Who needs to mow their lawn twice a week? Not you. To keep your lawn looking healthy but not stuck in an eternal growth spurt, use fertilizer with low nitrogen on your lawn. Your lawn’s root systems will still develop, but you won’t see that superhuman grass-growth that has you reaching for your lawn mower more than your toothbrush.

3. Buy a Stockpile of Furnace Filters

No matter how lazy you are, changing a furnace filter isn’t a big deal. You can do it during a commercial break of Mad Men, plus it will improve the quality of your air and make your furnace last longer (a broken furnace repair is NOT a lazy man’s task). You know what is a big deal? Buying furnace filters. First, you have to remember to do it. Then you have to go to a store or order them online or some other drawn-out thing. So, when you do finally summon the energy to purchase a new furnace filter, grab a bunch of them. Like, three years’ worth. That way, you’ll take care of the hard part of this otherwise easy task in one fell swoop. Remember, part of being lazy is planning ahead.

4. Install Long-Lasting Light Bulbs

When a light bulb goes out, what’s your average replacement time? A day? A week? Longer? We understand – changing light bulbs is almost as taxing as changing smoke detector batteries. Rather than setting yourself up with the task time-bomb that is standard light bulbs, spring for some longer lasting alternatives. If you’re willing to shell out an extra twenty bucks or so, you can even find bulbs that will last up to 23 years like the Philips DIM Dimmable LED. That means you can send a kid to college before you have to change your light bulb!

5. The Squeaky Floor Workaround

One way to fix a squeaky wooden floor is to replace the entire board. But if you’ve made it this far into the guide, we’re guessing that’s not really your style. Instead, sprinkle some talcum powder around the offending board and shuffle it between the gaps. It should stop the squeak. This is a temporary fix, but just how temporary really depends on your talcum powder supply.

6. Unclog Your Toilet with Hot Water

Unlike a broken light bulb, clogged toilets are hard to ignore for extended periods of time. A proactive person may storm the bathroom with plunger in hand, ready to do battle with the toilet, but a lazy homeowner can avoid that hassle entirely with a simple trick: Boil some water and pour several cups into your toilet (pour slowly to avoid damaging your toilet or splashing). Wait a few minutes for the water to…melt stuff…and then try flushing your toilet again. Most of the time, the hot water will have removed the clog and you’ll be in the clear. If not, the elbow grease required for plunging duty should be significantly diminished.

7. De-Stink Your Disposal with a Lemon

If there’s a stench coming from your sink, your first solution is probably to ignore it for a month. Then, once it becomes completely overpowering, it’s time to think about actually fixing it. You could break out a handful of cleaning supplies and a few tools and make a whole project out of it, but that’s kind of overkill. We have a two-step process: Toss a cut up lemon in there and turn on your disposal. Estimated time to complete? 5 seconds.

If you’re struck by a sudden burst of energy, consider adding an extra punch by sprinkling some baking soda into the drain before adding the lemon. This might tack on an extra 15 seconds to your de-stinking mission, so it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it or not.

8. Fix a Squeaky Door

Squeaky doors are annoying, but who has the time to fix them? It can be a hands-and-knees operation, and some fixes even require the use of tools. There’s an easier way. Grab some olive oil from the kitchen and pour it on your hinges. Give the door a wiggle to work in the oil, and be on your way. For the ultra-lazy: Wait until you’re cooking something that requires olive oil before doing this. That way, it’s a quick detour from your kitchen to silence that hinge, and it won’t even feel like an actual “task.”

9. Manage Your Cables with Toilet Paper Rolls

Creating a tangle of computer and TV cables is usually a lazy person’s M.O. Unfortunately, if you share your house or apartment with a less-than-lazy person, you may eventually receive some external pressure to clean up your cable nest. If this happens to you, don’t panic – there’s a lazy solution. Just run your cables through some spare toilet paper rolls! This fix isn't pretty, but it is quick, effective and doesn’t require any extra purchases like Velcro or PVC pipes.

10. Xeriscaping: The Lazy Man’s Landscape

If regularly watering your lawn or setting up an automated irrigation system sounds a bit like building the Panama Canal, xeriscaping may be the way to go. This is a landscaping technique that reduces the need for supplementary water to your lawn, and is common in arid areas like Colorado. It also means you won’t have to mow your lawn very much, if at all. So, if you dig the desert-look, think about starting a xeriscaping trend in your neighborhood.

About BrightNest

BrightNest is a free site that gives you the tools, tips and motivation you need to keep your home in great shape. You can do cool things like create your own digital to-do list, organize home documents in the cloud, or assign tasks to your spouse or partner! To put your whole home on auto-pilot, visit www.brightnest.com.

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