TIP OF THE WEEK
After months of winter, warmer weather is finally here. It’s time to head to the lake, spend time on the deck or take your kids to the park. Yes, you’re ready for the season — but is your lawn mower?
One of the season’s most important tools has been hibernating through the winter, and it will need a helping hand to get ready. So before you fire it up for the first cuts of the season, make sure you follow these important mower maintenance tips.
1. Replace any existing gas. Did you run your mower out of gas or add fuel stabilizer last fall? If you didn’t, stored fuel is likely to break down over the winter months and can go bad in as little as 30 days — making your mower hard or impossible to start in the spring.
2. Monitor the oil levels. It’s a new season and your mower deserves new oil. Check the engine’s existing oil level, you’ll likely find it’s low. If it is, add oil as appropriate.
3. Focus on the spark plug. Inspect the area around your mower’s spark plug to make sure no dirt or other debris will enter the cylinder once the plug is removed.
4. Clean the air filter. A mower’s air filter collects a significant amount of dirt, dust and other debris over a typical cutting season, so it’s good to start the year with a clean one.
5. Adjust the blade. When performing your spring maintenance, this is also a good opportunity to inspect your mower’s blade. Look for cracks, nicks, bends or any other signs of damage.
Go Eco-friendly to attract buyers
Great bathrooms and kitchens really do sell homes. From low-flow showerheads and ultra-high-efficiency toilets, to Energy Star-qualified dishwashers and refrigerators, eco-friendly fixtures and appliances are great design choices that will put money back in your pocket for years to come.
Creative ways to add order to your home
Although there are hundreds of options for organizing your home, the pieces you make yourself are the ones that truly reflect your personality. Adding your own flair to standard organizing materials adds instant character and functionality to any room.
Making the most of your space — including your walls — is the key to successful organizing. Channel your inner creativity with help from experts and any craft store and add chic style to your storage with distressed wooden boxes hung to create artful, cubby shelves or a hanging bulletin board with clothespins and clips.
— Family Features
Turn clay pots into hose guides
Place a one-foot length of bar into the ground at the corner of your garden or flower bed and slip two clay pots over it (one facing down and the other facing up). These guides will keep the hose out of the garden or bed and will prevent damage to your plants.
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Home Help: 5 steps to get your mower started for spring
TIP OF THE WEEK