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100 Vintage Home Hacks That Are Still Brilliant Today

These tips and tricks for the home have been passed down from generation to generation, but do they still hold up today? You better believe it!

Family Handyman

Gutter Cleaner

Clean your one-story-high gutters right from the ground using an old paint roller on an extension handle. It’s angled just right to push leaves and debris out quickly and easily. — Lee Sens

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Plastic Bag Storage

If those empty plastic grocery bags are threatening to take over your kitchen, here’s help: Stuff them into an empty paper towel tube. It’s quick and easy, and a dozen or so bags take up hardly any space. Keep the stuffed tube handy in a drawer. — Joan Hill

Find out more kitchen organizing ideas you’ll want to try right now.

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Trapeze Clothes Hanger

Here’s a quick way to add another clothes rod in a closet. It’s especially useful in a child’s closet, because you can easily adjust the height to accommodate a changing wardrobe and a growing child. Use lightweight chain, attached to both the upper and lower rods with screw hooks. Squeeze the screw hooks closed with a pliers. — Jim Shephard

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Floor Ruler

No need to scramble for a ruler every time you have to measure something big. Draw a ruler on your shop floor with a permanent-ink, felt-tip marker. It won’t be accurate enough for precise measurements, but for rough cutting it will save you time and effort. When the markings start to wear off, just redo them. — Christine Smith

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Lawn Fertilizer Markers

So you fertilized your lawn last week, and now you’ve got some streaks of pale grass where you missed, and some really dark streaks where you hit twice. To prevent this, use two short lengths of wood as markers. Whenever you start a new row from either end of your run, drop a marker at the edge of the line of the fertilizer. Aim for the marker as you proceed, and move the marker at each end every time you make a turn. It works with a broadcast spreader as well. — Jim Carabetta

Here’s the most efficient way to mow your lawn.

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Help For Losers

Doesn’t it drive you nuts when you drop a small part on the floor and you can’t find it? Try this trick: Lay a flashlight on the floor, and beam the light slowly in a circle so it just skims the floor surface. The shadow cast by the lost part will help you spot it. — Gary Stewart