For a put-together look on the top shelf of a bar cart, group small items, such as syrups, succulents and a cocktail shaker, on a charger or tray. Then reuse holiday items, such as a Christmas card holder in the shape of glossy black nutcracker, to list beverage choices or give a seasonal greeting or welcome to guests.
Don’t put off dealing with a wobbly stair railing, especially if you have kids in the house. “A stair railing should resist a force of about 200 pounds,” says Frank Lesh, owner of Home Sweet Home Inspection Company in Indian Head Park, Ill. “A little movement is normal, but if it shakes just by touching it, you’ve got a problem.” You may be able to tighten the railing’s attachment to the wall yourself if it’s short, but a long railing or one with a balcony will likely require the attention of a pro.
Earwigs inspire terror with those giant pincer claws on their backside. Those claws are used to grasp prey, including slugs, aphids and insect larvae. They’re also used to fend off predators. Earwigs fill two roles in the garden. On the positive side, they scavenge and consume decaying organic matter and eat other plant pests. But when populations are high, they can damage desirable plants by feeding on the soft tissue of seedlings, new shoots and flower petals. One easy way to deter earwigs is placing rolled up newspapers around the garden as traps. The earwigs crawl inside, and you can shake them into a bucket of soapy water. Diatomaceous earth also works against earwigs. Sprinkle it at the base of plants, on earwig clusters or anywhere earwig populations are high.