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Community Manager

Tell us: What projects have you taken on? What advice can you share?

What projects have you taken on? How have you accomplished tasks by being resourceful with what you have on hand? What advice do you have to help others through similar projects? Share your ideas here and earn 50 AARP Rewards points for participating in this weekly discussion. We also will choose one post as our weekly winning post for an additional prize: a $50 HelloFresh gift card.  Click here to see our Rules for participating. 

AARPTeri
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Contributor

I have stained my kitchen cabinets black and painted all the knobs teal. I used the minwax gel stain for the cabinets and once they dried used minwax wipe on poly in clear satin to protect the cabinets. My knobs were a bronze metal to start so I used Rust-oleum teal spray paint for metal, and used a clear spray paint after to protect them. I've started repainting all of my doors, trim and molding, went to Lowe's to purchase plywood, felt paper, shingles, roofing nails and tacks and repaired the part of my roof that was damaged. I have also spent a lot of time repurposing containers (coffee cans, vases, food cans and painting them as well and adding a decorative label so it's easy to know what is stored. An old edible arrangement vase is now my sponge and scrub brush holder at my kitchen sink. Now I plan on removing old caulk which has started cracking, taping the floor and re-caulking baseboards, bathtubs, and showers.

Contributor

I had 4 avocados at the beginning of the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.  As we ate them, I saved the pits and did something that I did when we were first married and too poor to grow plants.  I pushed 3 toothpicks into the top of each avocado pit, equally distant around, and suspended the bottom of the pits in water in a disposable cup.  Once the roots grow out the bottom (about 3 weeks) and the sprouts grow out the top (about 6 weeks), you can then start to add soil to the water, about 1 tablespoon per day, so as not to shock the roots too much. Once the cup is full of solid soil, put it into a small (4" diameter) pot with holes in the bottom.  I don't have gravel for the bottom, so I put old corks (from wine bottles) so that the water can drain, and netting below all that (from used, washed pantihose, so the soil does not drain out).  Be sure to put a small plate below the pot, for water to drain.  If you have a garden, you can re-plant in the garden once the plant tis about 2 feet high.  3 of 4 of my pits grew roots, 2 of 4 have sprouted so far.  You can do this with mango seeds too (check youtube for directions).  It's so nice to watch the plants' daily progress!

Regular Contributor

We are splitting our daylilies. We have 250 different kinds and 25 of them have Star Trek names. So far we have split about half of the daylilies and it has taken us a week but we lost one day to rain.

 

My husband digs the lilies, and I move them to a table where I trim the tops, pull them apart, and label them. I have advertised on Next Door to give them to other gardeners. I am sending the Star Trek ones to my cousin.

 

It is a lot of work and my hands are sore.

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Periodic Contributor

I bought a savings bond once a month for about 30 years at work, keeping them in my safe deposit box as a sort of "doomsday" fund.

 

Now after 30 years, they are reaching maturity and stop earning interest. I used to take them to the bank teller every few months, and go through the tedious process of cashing them in. Some young tellers have never seen one before!!

 

5 years ago I sent half of them off to the Federal Reserve bank in Minnesota. The process worked beautifully.

 

Each month the bank tells me when a bond has matured and I'm able to direct deposit in my checking account.No more trips to the bank.

 

So I will send the other half off soon!!

Periodic Contributor

I've moved about 75 clumps of lilly-of-the-valley from under trees where it grows prolifically to under other trees where grass does not grow because of poor sunlight.

 

I've been moving about 10 clumps each year; this year I accelerated the process with so much time on my hands. I find it doesn't hurt the looks of the 'field" of the lillies because they grow so hardy.

 

I've not had much success with store bought ground covers that are supposed to spread. This process is working. It saves money, and it's reasonable exercise!

Newbie

Container gardening planted

12 containers in last 2 mornings, love digging in the dirt, each pot is different assortment of plantings,  porch sitters and walkway whimsy, vegetable and herb pots line the deck, and cherry tomatoes plants hopefully to yield their fruits by July 4th!

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Working on knitting a scarf.

Contributor

I've stored a large tub of photos in the garage for years. The job seemed so tedious that I could never seem to get to it. Sorting through old photos seemed too overwhelming. Now that we are staying home, I have the motivation to tackle this task. I have many photo albums, which take up a lot of shelf space, so I ordered two photo cases (each case holds a total of 1,600 photos) online. Each case holds 16 smaller cases, making it easier to organize the photos. 

I started looking at a small number of photos to begin with so as not to feel overwhelmed. It's sometimes hard to toss out old photos as they bring up sentimental memories. I started by tossing photos of landscape; I didn't need 10 photos of the same scene from different angles. Toss out poor quality photos that are fuzzy or out of focus. I decided to keep my favorite photos as to pare down my collection. I organized them by time period or event in the small cases. This has been a multiple day project. Some days I worked for 30-60 minutes and some for 10 minutes. 

Tackle the photos bit by bit and they will bring a smile to your face, memories will arise, and you will have organized your memories to refer to anytime you want.  Good luck!

Contributor

Downsizing!  Moving from a 3 bedroom home with garage to a 2 bedroom condo without a garage or yard space is our biggest challenge.  We have lived in this home for 25 years and I never thought we were hoarders, but we definitely were not minimalists.  Our European parents were very frugal and one did not toss items that could still have purpose.  Our parents have passed and we now have only the most precious mementos are left. The worn out stuff is now gone and better things have been given to friends and family.  But we still have too much STUFF.

 

The COVID-19 "shelter in place" has made this project harder because we can't have a garage sale and the donation centers are not taking donations at this time. Goodwill is taking very limited amounts such as 2 small boxes.  We don't have time to wait it out as our house is being sold and the move is fast approaching. We can't see throwing away perfectly usable furniture and household items, but we are at a loss about what to do with them.  

 

We live in Sacramento, CA.  Any helpful hints for donating when the normal places are closed?

 

 

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Periodic Contributor

In South Lake Tahoe, many neighbors are using Nextdoor to give away unwanted items. You can arrange pickup without any contact with the person who wants an item. Because it's mostly your neighbors, it's not as sketchy as Craigslist.
Contributor

Great time to try Door Dash or Grub Hub for the first time

Contributor

I have been organizing my basement and getting everything ready for the yard sale my town has every year. Do a little every day so it doesn't get too overwhelming.

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learning how to use my new Chromebook.

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Periodic Contributor

Just keep at it . I'm not the greatest with it projects unless it has to do with photography. I'm a photographer
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Periodic Contributor

I AM SEWING MASKS FOR MY FAMILY AND COWORKERS
Regular Contributor

To reuse the mask, don't wash it. Put it in the oven at 170 degrees for 5 minutes.

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Periodic Contributor

I'm sewing cloth medical masks

Regular Contributor

Thanks for doing that.

 

I learned that you don't wash masks. You put them in the oven for 6 minutes at 170 degrees to sterilize them.

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Regular Contributor

we have two acres and my gardens have been neglected way to long.  I decide to put river rock in two feet of the garden area as you come through the gate and to help eliminate some of the weeding for that section. my glutes were very sore to start with as those muscels don't get used much during the winter months.  I get stronger and less sore as the weeks have gone by, garden looks better and so do my glutes.  Hopefully I will not wait so long to tackle weeding in the future as it is overwhelming when you first start and everything is so out of controll. Loving the benefits of a fresh, weed free look and firmer glutes.   

Newbie

We replaced a boring oak closet door with a hollow correct door painted black and trimmed with white molding and it looks amazing.  The door is a six panel and looks like a million bucks.

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Newbie

I moved to a new apartment in December & have been redecorating the bathroom with a new shower curtain & decorative plaques from Amazon Prime & the 99 Cent Store. It now looks like a beautiful beach retreat!

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Newbie

Since we recently retired, we have started gardening in ou empty pool chemicals came in , we now use them for small raised beds.  We have okra, squash,cucumbers growing and carrots planted. Our yard  and property are very shadey, but our expansive fron porch is sunny. You can not see our pots, even if you are stading in the front yard because of the large yew bushes and concrete railing around the porch.  Since they are right out the front door, they are easy to water and weed. We have grown okra on the porch about 5 years, but now that we have more time, we added more vegetables.              Shelia Wright

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Regular Contributor

SheliaW878058,

 

That is impressive. I just grow mostly flowers and one patch of rhubarb because my husband loves it in jam and pies.

 

 

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Newbie

I have decided to declutter my home.  I collect elephants for the past 38 years and even at work I would find an elephant sitting on my desk from an anonymous client.  The last count I had 396 elephants.  So, I am making shelves over my windows to put some of them there and putting a large part in a garage sale.  I am taking pictures of those so so still have them, just not laying around!

I am also putting some of my vast jewelry collection for sale too.  Now that I am retired I dont need so much jewelry.  I used some of my old jewelry to make hanging baskets for airplanes and I put essential oils on the moss and it makes a great air freshener to boot!

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Newbie

We have a very large master bedroom. So my husband was in the process of partioning  off one section of the bedroom to make me a craft room where I will the space to have all my crafts in one place.This will help clear out all my craft supplies where I can organize all my craft supplies and not have to be looking all over the place for one thing I need to do a craft. Even with this space partioned off, our master bedroom will still be large. 

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The first thing I did was start to work on sewing projects that I usually start in the Fall. It was snowing and cold, so it was good to keep busy inside.  Last month, I started making cloth masks for our local hospital, instead.  It makes me feel as though I'm doing something to help. While waiting for my order of elastic to arrive so I can finish another batch of masks, I started getting the garden ready now that the snow has mostly melted. We raked and cleaned up pine needles all day yesterday and started installing wire fence panels around my flower beds to provide a barrier to our exhuberant 4 year old chocolate Lab rescue pup.  We walk and hike with him every day, usually from 1-3/4 miles to 2-1/2 miles. He's a great personal trainer!

Regular Contributor

It is great that you are making masks. 

 

I learned that you should never wash the masks. You put them in the oven at 170 dregrees for 6 minutes to sterilize them.

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The hospital is washing masks, they have an opening for a filter which is disposable after use. They have specified cotton that is washable and able to withstand washing in hot water and soap to sterilize them. Is the oven method for the filter material?

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Newbie

First, I turned off the TV. Next, I turned on music that both motivated me and made me happy. Then, I began cleaning, I mean really cleaning! I've incorporated stretching along with crawling around on my hands and knees (HA HA seriously!!) to conquer those pesky dust bunnies.

Unfortunately or not, they continue to reappear every other day - so, my work continues.

I have a lovely cat who is my assistant, when she's not watching from he perch in amazement at the human in her life.

I'm also tackling closets, one by one, and will have donations galore, when the time comes.

You can guess, the theme is cleaning, organizing and in general, staying busy.

I take time each day for a live steamed Mass. I pray while I work. I either call, text or email friends and relatives every day to see how they are faring (uring this unprecendented time in the History of our World).

It's difficult for me because I want to help but I know that "sheltertering in place" is best - for now.

My advice; if you can't find something to do - if you are down and don't feel like you can do one more thing - take a deep breath. Be grateful for the gift of life. Write down (at least) one Blessing or something positive because there are so many people and families who are in pain.

Try to smile!! Love conquers all - even dust bunnies :-)))

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