Problem-Solvers for the Home

  • 01 of 09

    Every Home Has Its Problems

    Attractive living room with plants and string lights

    No matter how impeccable one's taste, how beautifully a home is decorated or how much space it has, every home has its problems. Maybe it's an eyesore like a dangling power cord or an ugly vent in a weird place; clutter caused by a lack of storage; or, inconveniently placed fixtures, air conditioners or thermostats. Whatever the problem, it is likely a source of annoyance and one that may not have an obvious solution.

    Sometimes a smart storage hack is just the ticket and can provide an easy, inexpensive solution. But many times, after lots of head-scratching and Googling, you may simply resign yourself to living with the issue. This article, however, contains a list of cleverly-engineered products developed specifically for common house-related problems. This list of genius problem-solvers offer attractive solutions to a myriad of pesky problems, helping you enjoy all the things you love about your home without the distraction of eyesores and the annoyance of poorly-positioned fixtures.

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  • 02 of 09

    Camouflage Light Switch Covers

    clear dimmer switch
    Clear light switch covers. Mr. Resistor

    Problem: Sometimes light switches are in weird spots. Sometimes they--along with dimmers, thermostats, and air vents--add to the visual clutter on a wall. Light switches--especially if they're in a strange place on the wall--distract from beautiful wallpaper or prevent you from hanging a picture where you'd like to. 

    Solution: Wallpapering or painting outlet and light switch covers is one way to camouflage them, but that idea is a little old-school. Look for clear covers instead, which would blend right into your gallery wall and feature knobs or switches that are sleek and attractive. 

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  • 03 of 09

    Conceal Outdoor Eyesores

    faux ivy screen
    Camouflage outdoor eyesores with a screen. Plow and Hearth

    Problem: Unsightly air-conditioning units, water or electric meters on the side of the house can really distract from your landscaping and even take points away from your curb appeal. Hiding them behind large plants can help, but it's important that whatever you plant doesn't grow so large that it prevents access in the case of a repair or meter reading. 

    Solution: This faux ivy screen can conceal outdoor eyesores perfectly. Position the screen in a shady spot (ivy doesn't grow in the sun) and be certain to replace it if the leaves fade over time. Remove it in the winter.

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  • 04 of 09

    Outdoor Decor Minus the Holes

    brick or siding clips
    Hang a wreath outside with brick clips. The Lakeside Collection

    Problem: Hanging something on a brick surface or on siding can present you with a tricky choice. Putting holes in vinyl or aluminum siding is not ideal. Likewise, drilling into brick with a masonry bit is possible, but not always easy. Rather than deal with the consequences, most people choose to do nothing, which means large expanses of wall remain blank and boring.

    Solution: Thanks to these inexpensive brick and siding clips, hanging a mirror on a brick fireplace or a seasonal wreath on the porch is easy and best of all, does not require drilling. 

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  • 05 of 09

    Catch More Flies with Honey

    fruit fly trap
    Catch pests in style. Gardener's Supply Company

    Problem: Fruit flies are a common household problem; they are harmless, but very annoying. Most typical fixes include concocting home remedies for the kitchen counter to catch the pesky pests; but, bowls with dead bugs in them aren't exactly appetizing.

    Solution: This glass apple will catch pests as well as compliments. Leave it by the sink to attract annoying gnats and fruit flies, or mount it on the wall to keep counters clutter-free

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  • 06 of 09

    Protect Your Stairs and Your Wallet

    non-slip stair treads
    Stylish non-slip stair treads. Dean Flooring Company

    Problem: Carpeted stairs can look dated, not to mention dirty. On the other hand, bare stairs can look unfinished and don't have the sound-muffling qualities of carpet. Households with pets and children certainly could benefit from a happy medium.

    Solution: To be sure, stair treads don't come in the same variety of styles and patterns as traditional runners; however, the benefits of installing treads versus a runner may outweigh their drawbacks. Their non-slip backing keeps them in place and they help to muffle sound, but more important, they can be tossed in the washer whenever they start to show dirt.

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  • 07 of 09

    Hide Electronic Devices

    magazine holder near outlet
    Hide charging devices in a magazine holder. Assortment Blog

    Problem: Too few outlets can sometimes force you to plug phones and tablets into inconvenient locations, such as outlets near the floor. Devices on the floor can pose a couple of problems: they are at risk for getting damaged, and they look messy.

    Solution: Cut a hole in the back of a simple magazine rack, paint it the same color as the wall, and mount it over an outlet. The pocket will keep everything off the floor and practically hidden from view, not to mention safer.

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  • 08 of 09

    Get Double-Duty out of a Basket

    toilet paper basket
    Toilet paper storage for small spaces. Pottery Barn

    Problems: A small bathroom short on storage means toilet paper has to compete with towels under the bathroom sink. Or, an awkwardly-placed commode puts toilet paper out of reach. The solution is often stacks of paper on the back of the toilet tank, which isn't the most stylish option.

    Solution: A basket like this one lets you store the paper and keep it handy for using, too. Its small footprint allows it to slide into small spaces, freeing up storage space for toiletries and cleaning supplies.

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  • 09 of 09

    Hang a Shelf Without Holes

    suction cup shelf
    Hang a shelf right on the tile. FECA

    Problem: Walls completely covered in tile are all the rage in kitchens and bathrooms; however, it can be hard to drill into it to hang a storage shelf or other kitchen helpers without mustering up the courage. Unlike with drywall, there is no way to patch up holes in tile should you decide to change your mind. And if you rent your place, drilling into tile is probably a no-go. Limited options for storage or for hanging towels leads to counter clutter.

    Solution: Keep clutter off the counter by looking for hardware and storage accessories like shelves, towel rings, towel bars and hooks that utilize heavy-duty suction cups instead. Not just for tile, these will also hang on stainless steel, wood, and glass to make changing your mind much easier.