Home improvement doesn’t have to be difficult, time-consuming and expensive. Sure, major renovations like redoing a kitchen or adding another room can be pricey and challenging. But there are ways to fix up your place quickly, easily, and without lifting much more than a finger. Read on a for a few sneaky tricks for improving your home.

1. Never underestimate the power of a Sharpie.

Yes, it’s an artist’s dream. But it’s should also be in the kitchen drawer of anyone with scratches in their wood furniture. Grab one in brown for a quick fix on that nicked-up dresser or even wood floors.

2. Fix up those really bad floors

Several companies make fix-it kits for badly scratched or gouged floors (check the carpet cleaning aisle at the supermarket), but you can save yourself some money with a pack of Crayolas. The wax helps fill in the gaps, and by alternating with a brown pen or two, you can greatly improve the look of your floors. Will they pass for brand new? Nah. But better is sometimes good enough. At least while you’re saving to have them refinished.


3. The one tool you absolutely have to have.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. If you haven’t already fallen in love with it, go out to Target right now and BUY EVERY ONE OF THEM ON THE SHELF. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can clean just about anything—the crusty food out of the microwave, the refrigerator shelves, dried toothpaste out of the kids’ bathroom sink, nasty tile, even errant paint dripped on the floor. They’ll all run screaming when they see that unmistakable bar coming at them. Our favorite thing to do with the eraser is wipe down the baseboards. Grime and dust be gone!

4. Don’t ditch the old furniture. Paint it.

Nothing dates a space like a tired piece of furniture. But you can easily update it and give your whole room a lift with paint. You can’t go wrong with classic black or white. But for a modern twist that will help any old bureau or desk look fresh again, try a bright punch of color.

5. Clean your microwave.

Guests coming over unexpectedly for dinner? This quick fix will freshen up your microwave and remove any crumbs and caked-on food in a jiff. “Place inside a 4-cup large microwave-safe bowl that contains 1 cup of water and a chopped-up lemon, lime or orange or several tablespoons of vinegar. Turn on High for several minutes or until the solution boils and the window is steamy,” said Good Housekeeping. “You must let it sit to cool for 15 minutes before opening the door. Remove and wipe out inside.”

6. Make your sad, outdated kitchen happy.

Redoing a kitchen is expensive, time-consuming, messy, and quite often the reason couples uncouple. So give it a facelift without all the drama. You can paint grungy cabinets and give it a whole new look. But if you’re not keen on all that exhausting prep work, try a product like Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations. It still takes some effort to paint the cabinets, especially if you want a smooth finish (and we assume you do). But Cabinet Transformations eliminates the dreaded stripping, sanding, and priming step.

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