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How-Tos Around the Home

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This month, we’re sharing helpful how-tos to make sure your house truly feels like your home. From tips for hanging picture frames perfectly to simple steps for raking leaves like a pro, we’ve provided a how-to that’s sure to come in handy this fall.

How to Hang a Picture Frame

Incorporating pictures from your family’s latest vacation, and displaying children’s artwork, are great ways to truly make your house a home. Follow these easy tips for hanging picture frames perfectly.

  • Step 1: Hold your picture up against the wall where you plan to hang it. Then, mark the wall at the center of the top edge with either masking tape or a light pencil mark.
  • Step 2: Next, measure from the top of the frame to the hook. If the frame you are using has a wire, pull up on the middle and measure to the top of the frame. Transfer that measurement to the wall from the reference mark moving downward. This is where you will hang the picture hook.
  • Step 3: To locate the stud, we recommend using a stud finder. Now, drive a nail into the mounting hanger. Some hangers require additional nails, so hammer those in to hang the mounting hanger securely.
  • Step 4: Hang your artwork on the mounting hanger and enjoy.

Keep in mind, there are plenty of other ways to hang artwork depending on the weight, so check with your local hardware store if you have questions before hanging.

How to Clean an Area Rug

Don’t let stains ruin your beautiful area rug. Remove stains and eliminate odors with these simple steps.

  • Step 1: Start by vacuuming the rug to remove dirt.
  • Step 2: A vacuum can leave pet hair behind, so make sure to use a stiff brush to remove the hair by brushing in the direction of your rug’s nap.
  • Step 3: If you’re deep cleaning your area rug, make sure to consult with the care label to determine whether it should be dry-cleaned, spot-cleaned or laundered. We recommend deep cleaning your area rug every 12–18 months.
  • Step 4: Need to spot clean an area? Time is of the essence, so we recommend treating stains as quickly as they happen. Remember to blot, not rub, the stain to remove moisture from the rug as quickly as possible.

How to Polish Silverware

Removing tarnish might seem like a time-consuming task, but a few household items make this chore quick and easy to complete. Your guests will be wowed when you have them over for a dinner party.

  • Step 1: Take your tarnished silver and wash it in mild soapy water.
  • Step 2: Next, place your silver in a cooking pot lined with aluminum foil.
  • Step 3: Create a cleaning solution using a ¼ cup of baking soda, a couple teaspoons of salt and a quart of boiling water.
  • Step 4: Pour the solution over the silver and cover the cooking pot with a lid.
  • Step 5: After a few minutes, rinse the silver and dry each piece with a soft cloth.
  • Step 6: Use silver polish for any spots that need a little extra TLC.

Remember, when storing your silver, wrap each piece in acid-free tissue paper and place inside a Ziploc bag.

How to Rake Leaves Like a Pro

A change in weather brings falling leaves. Check out these tips for raking leaves like a pro.

  • Step 1: Start by putting on gloves to prevent blisters.
  • Step 2: Start raking from the far left corner of your yard, bringing leaves to the center of your yard. Make sure not to bend at the waist while raking. Instead, bend at the knees if you have to.
  • Step 3: Keep your rake perpendicular to the ground and remember to move your body as a whole when raking.
  • Step 4: When you finish with the left far corner, start raking leaves from the right corner of the yard.
  • Step 5: Use a shrub rake when raking in flowerbeds or between shrubs. Remember, don’t rake too hard or you might pull plants out of the ground.
  • Step 6: Use a snow shovel or large-mouth shovel to sweep leaves into garbage bags. This process works best when you have someone else hold the bag for you.
  • Step 7: Enjoy a freshly raked yard.

Which how-to will you be trying first? Share with us by tweeting at us at @MeritageHomes.