Tag

Organisation

Browsing

If you’re leaving your house unattended for a little while, there are lots of ways to make sure your space is secured and least of a target as possible for potential break ins. In this post, we’ve collected all the best tips and precautions for you on how to keep safe and street wise.

  1. Alarm system

Having an alarm system in your home is a great investment. Not only can you go away in peace knowing that any unknown movement will be picked up on, but it can also provide a lot of reassurance. There are many type of systems available for whatever you may need, some of them including CCTV, outdoor sensored lighting, alarms on as many doors of the house as you like and even remote controlling so that you are able to check up on it whilst you are away. Always expect the unexpected!

2. Look lived in

Simple tasks like mowing the lawn really do make a difference to making sure your home doesn’t look neglected and vulnerable to break ins. Additionally, setting timers for the radio and lights in your house whilst you are away is a great way of deterring potential suspicions. Set timers for the usual time of day that you’d use these: for example if you use a radio to wake you up in the morning keep it on during your time away, making sure it can turn itself off. The same thing goes for lights: install a timer switch to set the light in your hallway to turn itself on when it gets dark for a few hours and people will think that you are living in the house as normal!

3. Warning signs

In order to be extra safe, it’s also worth making sure that anyone who may be potentially thinking of breaking and entering knows that you have security measures in place. Even if you don’t have a real alarm set up in your house or are yet to get one done, we would suggest getting an alarm bell box on the outside of your home, real or fake. This is a clear signal that you have taken precautions to secure your home.

4. A safe

If you are worried about any high value possessions you may have, using a safe will keep your mind at rest, in the knowledge that they wouldn’t be accessible to anyone who tries to find them. To take extra precaution, be sure to hide the safe away not in an open space where it could be easily found, perhaps at the back of a wardrobe or in a loft.

5. Help from your neighbourhood

If you are aware that your neighbours are around during your time away, it may be worth asking them to keep an eye out or check up on your home for anything unusual. This could be in the form of collecting your post, parking their car in your driveway or even coming in every day to feed a pet or open and close your curtains. Alternatively, if this isn’t an option for you it’s worth having at look at your local neighbourhood watch scheme to see how you could get involved and receive community alert messages.

6. Durable doors

In the majority of break ins, criminals break into the house or flat through the door either by forcing the lock or kicking it in. With this in mind, it’s important to keep your doors strong and secure. Which material is your door made out of? If you feel like this is a possible risk for you, consider fitting in a bar for extra strength and precaution. For advice on how best to install it, speak to your local locksmith who should be able to guide you through it.

In addition, glass doors are vulnerable as they are easy to break and then give access to the locks. Switching to laminated glass will mean that your glass is much more durable. Adding film will also give it that extra layer and make it more difficult to break.

7. Deliveries

Whilst it’s easier to prevent making deliveries to your address for when you’re away, trivial deliveries like letters and milk can be easily forgotten about. Luckily enough, postage services like The Royal Mail have in place a ‘Keepsafe’ service. This allows the post that you’d be receiving to be kept aside by them for up to 2 months, should you need it. As for milk deliveries, be sure to let them know the period of time that you’re going away for and they will be able to put deliveries on hold for you.

8. Home exchange

If you prefer to have someone living in your house keeping an eye on it all the times there are plenty of sites available should you wish to do a home exchange. Similarly to AirBnB, they include ratings, feedback and recommendations of other users for your safety. There is trust on both sides of care for one anothers spaces and best of all, you can go away and stay in another person’s accomodation for free! Not too shabby.

We hope you found some useful tips and tricks about how to keep your home secure if you’re going away. Remember, it’s always good to double check everything is safe and secure before you leave and try not to be too vocal about it: not everyone has to know that the house could be empty! We’ve thought of everything so that you don’t have to, 😉 have a great trip!

 

10 Clever Ways of Organising your Home

 

How to Secure Your Home During Winter

 

Christmas is over and the new year is fast approaching! All that’s left is a few extra pounds and what’s left over from Christmas day and its build up. We’ve recognised that it’s this time of year where waste rises considerably more, so we’ve put together some ways for you to spend the post-Christmas period sustainably and guilt free.

1. Gift wrapping

  • Re use your leftover gift wrapping for another present later on in the year. If your paper has been teared in awkward places or has rips, simply` trim them along the edges when it comes to re-wrapping and fold over the areas which may not look as neat. If you are left with a smaller piece than you originally had after first wrapping, use it for a future gift which is smaller, such as accessories or jewellery which don’t take up too much space.
  • One of the best ways to sustainably gift your presents is to present them in gift bags. They can be used over and over again and don’t require any additional effort like folding and sticking. The same can apply to bows and foils which may have also been used to decorate your gift. If you wish to dedicate 2019 to the year of recycling to the max then be sure to try out giving gifts in gift bags from now on – not only does it look as fabulous as gift wrapping paper, but also encourages other people to pass them on and re use them too!
  • Another reason to not throw away your leftover Christmas wrapping paper is to use them for crafts. Pretty patterned or coloured wrapping papers have many other uses. For example, say you have some pretty gold wrapping paper left over – use it to cut out stars which you could be used to decorate cards and more. You could even use your favourite patterned ones the following year and DIY your own baubles by placing it in a clear ball. However, if your wrapping paper is particularly christmassy (with snowmans or reindeers), there’s no harm in storing it neatly for next year to save you some cash – and it doesn’t take up much space!

2. Recycling your tree

The time has come to take your Christmas tree down – it has done its job of embellishing your home all season, witnessed family coming together and the joy that comes with it. Along with the responsibility taken on when buying your tree, recycling it is also an important part of keeping sustainable over the Christmas period.

  • If you have an artificial tree be sure to keep it for as long as possible as it’s made out of plastic PVC which is incredibly difficult to decompose. According to the Carbon Trust, “you would have to reuse your artificial tree for at least 10 Christmases to keep its environmental impact lower than that of a real tree”. In order to store it away for the following year, we would advise cleaning it branch by branch to remove accumulated dust before storing it in its box. When storing it, avoid places which are too wet to better preserve the tree and the colors of the branches.
  • If you have a natural fir tree this is definitely the more ecological option in comparison.

– If you have already bought and used a tree which has been  cut at the root then it would have already dried out and can not be replanted. Make sure it does not end up in a landfill as they can take up a lot of space and the tree produces methane gas as it decomposes, an incredibly potent greenhouse gas.

– The most ecological way to dispose of it would be to recycle it – this can be done in multiple ways. The most obvious would be to put it next to your recycling bin for it to be collected, however there are many local councils which have tree collection points to ensure that as many trees are recycled at possible. Make sure to check your local council’s website for more information.

– You can also reduce your carbon footprint by turning your tree into wood chip for your outdoor areas or drying it out completely and using it as wood for your winter fires.

  • The ideal way of loving the planet you live in is by growing your own tree. Buying a pot grown tree means that you’ll be able to re plant it’s roots in your garden for the following year. The only downside is that your tree must not be kept indoors for longer than 12 days as there is a risk of them dying. However, Fir trees are very resistant plants so once re planted their root systems will get back into action rapidly, allowing them to flourish again for the following year. They need very little attention over the year, just make sure to keep watering it well.

Alternatively, should you not want to buy an actual tree, there are lots of ideas of how to make your own tree out of fun materials here.

3. Food waste

Although it’s certain that we love to eat our hearts out over the Christmas period, a lot of it still goes to waste. According to WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), UK households throw away £15 billion worth of food over the entire year, generating tonnes of avoidable greenhouse emissions. 

Here are a few seasonal tips on the best way to try and prevent it:

  • With your leftover turkey (or chicken) carcass, boil it into a soup that will last you for weeks.
  • Leftover fruit can be blended together into smoothies. If you have grapes with your cheese board, they can be frozen to go with drinks or by themselves – they taste like sorbet!
  • If you use Stilton cheese it can also be frozen for future cooking.
  • Cooked turkey can be blended for turkey mince or frozen for a later date.
  • Whip any leftover cream and freeze it.
  • Christmas cake can also be frozen. Top tip – pre slice and wrap it in greaseproof paper to save you from de freezing the whole thing if you just want a slice. 😉
  • Get inventive with leftover sauces, meats and herbs and turn them into whichever pies, curries and sandwiches take your fancy!

4. Old toys

Whilst the kids are off playing with their new toys after Christmas, there is a chance that they could reject their old ones. Its normal for kids to like the latest trends as they come, so if you find that your child isn’t playing with a toy that father christmas got them a few christmases ago, don’t throw it away. Instead you could:

  • Give it a new life with another child by donating it to friends and family who may want them. If this isn’t an option, charity shops or giving them to your local council will most likely take them. You could even give them to a place of worship, sometimes churches and synagogues take in toys for their community – whether you’re religious or not! There’s always a way, you can be sure that another child will thank you 🙂
  • If possible, give old toys a makeover. For example, should you have an old toy shop which has become worn and torn, revamp it with a lick of new paint or some extra nuts and bolts. It’ll soon be as if it was brand new!
  • If you have a board game which has some pieces missing or even a pack of cards don’t have any aces… recycle them and get back that cupboard space.

 

We hope you’ve picked out some useful top tips and inspiration, don’t forget to make sure to love the planet in the same way that you have shown love to your friends and family this holiday season!

 

More posts:

9 Trouble Saving Winter Car Hacks

Top 10 Tips Cutting Your Heating Bill by up to 40%

 

 

It’s normal for us to get bored of the same old space we live in every day and will feel the need to switch it up every so often. In this blog post, you’ll find some simple yet creative options to divide up your space, giving you more freedom to move items around how YOU want!

We’ve pieced together a collection of some crazy room dividers to hopefully give you some inspiration to make some yourself!

Plant climber divider

https://www.pinterest.fr/pin/AeGrIow1NBq-oM9S56lPJa_aBGlcU-qkE0Xps_7LQ7Ppzo62iHhGrbg/

This epic DIY involves an embedded planter for your room divider. You could do this either by  cutting a slit in your floor or simply by adding your own separate planter to your space, giving the same effect. Whatever works for you! Then, attach metal hooks to the floor and ceiling, making sure that they’re aligned. Thread rope through each pair, making sure that they are parallel, one after the other. Planting a climbing hydrangea vine would be the perfect addition for your climbing divider as it grows vertically very quickly once embedded and produces beautiful flowers even indoors. Make sure to give it lots of sun and water, and you’ll have a vertical plant divider in no time!

Compressing space divider

https://www.ikeahackers.net/2017/08/taac-ikea-room-divider-stuva.html

In this design, the window has been used as a light source to illuminate and give the illusion of a larger room. By merging the two rooms together, this designer has effectively disguised the shared space by breaking them up with the divider, implying that these are two seperate rooms in once space. What a way to maximise your living space!

Glass door divider

https://blog.rhinov.fr/architecture-et-decoration/conseils-deco-verriere-interieur/

A less intrusive way of implementing a room divider is by using windows. This design is super sleek and modern, and would fit perfectly into a newly refurbished, sleek and modern interior. Incorporating sliding doors or windows into the room divider prevents it from splitting the room completely into parts and still leaves you freedom of movement.

Recycling old doors

https://www.pinterest.fr/pin/512214157615775292/

Ever think you’d find a use for an old door? Here’s your answer. Take whatever old doors you have, attach some wheels and a few hinges to their sides and turn them quickly into a room divider. This option isn’t fixed at all, and is able to be moved around however you please. Whether you want a bit of privacy in a corner or completely split the room in half, this option lets you do both.

An atmospheric divider

https://makezine.com/2014/12/06/how-to-twinkling-branches-room-divider/

Another DIY friendly divider is this fairy light branch design. Find yourself some pallet wood, some old branches from your garden and a cheap set of fairy lights to make this gorgeous and original divider. Piece the wood together in the same frame as you would with a door, stick on your branches with some adhesive and once dried wrap around some fairy lights, and there you have it!

Hang a frame

https://designmag.fr/optimisez-espace-avec-cloisons.html

This design would fit in perfectly with a space which has an antique-y feel to it. If you are a fan of vintage finds and artistic pieces, then this one’s for you! Should you be able to get your hands on a large frame, it can easily be hung as a divider which does the job once installed. Not only could you place inside one of your favourite artistic pieces, but also a mirror, or even some beautiful patterned wallpaper.

Multipurpose divider

http://anews24.org/13020

This simple screen room divider has been upscaled to give it multi functionality. Attaching tight strips of fabric to your screen will permit you to attach light scale items to it such as magazines, newspapers and paper reminders. You could even leave sweet messages around for your loved ones!

 

We hope you’ve taken some inspiration from us and now have a clearer vision of how you can fit a room divider into your own space. If you make a divider of your own, don’t forget to share it with us with the hashtag #ManoManoUK!

 

15 Small Space Solutions

How to Decorate Your Rental Home

 

Looking to upgrade your sofa but don’t have a big budget? Save money by making your own DIY Pallet Sofa with this handy tutorial! See for yourself how to turn old pallets into your own personalised and comfy sofa, a perfect match with your living room or garden!

DIY Pallet Sofa Tutorial

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial finished

Tools and materials

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial tools and materials

The tools and materials that you’ll need to make this DIY pallet sofa are as follows:

Cost, time and difficulty

This project is rated medium difficulty as it requires a certain level of skill when it comes to handling the electric tools. If you use manual tools to cut and dismantle the pallet, it will be easier.

The approximate price of the materials is around £100, if you already have the tools needed to make the sofa. This biggest expense is mainly for the cushioning for the sofa seat and backrest, meaning it will be reduced if you use something you already have! You can find the other tools in this suggested basket here.

On another note, to make this sofa from pallets as per the tutorial, you will need a couple of days work to complete everything, including assembly and varnishing. This time may even increase if you use manual tools, or pallets in a particularly bad condition. The more deteriorated these are, the longer it will take you to get them fit for purpose.

How to make a DIY Pallet Sofa

Step 1: Cut the pallet to the size of your cushions

This first step is important if the pallet you have found or bought doesn’t match the size of the seat and backrest cushions. You won’t need to do this if you’re using custom-made cushions.

In our specific case, the pallets measured 120 x 100cm, so we cut the one for the base to fit the size of our cushions. To do this, we followed these steps:

  1. Mark the size the pallet will be cut to.
  2. Cut the pallet slightly bigger using the reciprocating saw.
  3. With a circular saw, cut the pallet’s crossbeam to the desired size.
  4. Screw the extra boards that you cut in step 2 to the edges of the pallet, as well as to the front and back.

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial prepare wood

Step 2: Dismantle the pallet

The next step is to dismantle the pallet using the reciprocating saw or the  crowbar or lever (the first option will be quicker than the second)

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial dismantle wood

Step 3: Sand and plane the pallet and boards

Next, sand the pallet using an orbital sander. This type of sander is the most suitable when it comes to sanding pallets, as its rectangular shape is ideal for the boards that make up the pallet.

However, if the wood is very rough or has many imperfections, it will be a good idea to use a plane instead. This allows you to file down the boards, and after a couple of strokes with the plane, the wood will be completely smooth and flat.

It’s extremely important that before you use the plane, you remove all nails that may remain in the boards, to avoid damaging the plane’s blade.

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial orbital sander

Step 4: Cut boards for the legs, back and armrests

Once you have sanded all the boards, use the mitre saw to cut them as the legs, back and armrests. The sizes are as follows:

  • Use cross beams from the pallet to make the legs as these are the sturdiest and strongest. You will need 4 measuring 50cm long.
  • 2 pallet boards measuring 84cm will be joined to the top of the legs as armrests.
  • 3 pallet boards measuring 75cm long will be screwed to the back of the pallet. You will use two more boards measuring 120cm long to complete the backrest.

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial mitre saw

Step 5: Varnish the parts

Before assembling the legs and backrest, varnish both the pallet and the loose boards. In this way you can more easily reach all the nooks and crannies, because once everything has been assembled, it will be a lot more complicated.

For this, you should use an oak stained varnish. Not only does this help to protect the wood but it also adds a nice touch of colour.

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial varnish

Step 6: Assemble the legs, backrest and armrests

Once the varnish has dried, assemble the various parts of the sofa

  1. Legs: screw the cross beams using a couple of coach screws to the 4 edges of the pallet. To ensure all of the legs are the same length, and the sofa isn’t crooked, we used a block of wood as a guide.
  2. Backrest: screw the 3 boards measuring 75cm to the back of the pallet. The ones for the sides should be screwed to the legs too.
  3. Armrests: attach a board measuring 84cm long to each side, joining the top to the legs.

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial assemble back rest

En la siguiente imagen se puede ver el resultado final una vez se hayan montado todas las piezas.

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial complete no cushions

Step 7: Add the cushions

Fnally, add the cushions to finish the transformation of a pallet into you very own DIY pallet sofa! Note that the cushions we used for the backrest have ties at the rear to allow you to attach them to the wooden slats.

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial add cushions

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial finished project

This article was written by: Bricoydeco and translated. Mari Luz authors the blog ‘Bricoydeco’, she is a DIY fanatic, lover of recycling and customising furniture. Her passion is giving a second chance to turn once forgotten things into unique pieces!

If you enjoyed making your own DIY pallet sofa, why not have a look at our other pallet DIY tutorials?

Pallet TV Stand DIY Tutorial

Pallet Table DIY Tutorial

Unsure where to hang your garden tools and accessories to keep them tidy and ready to hand? Fortunately, this is one of our easy pallet projects! Not only does the tool organiser look great, but it’s also simple and cheap to make. Pallet’s about time you got started on it 😉

Tools and Materials

easy pallet projects thehandymano mano mano tools

Most easy pallet projects, including this one, need these tools and materials:

 

Cost, Time and Difficulty

It will only cost you around £20 to keep all of your tools and implements organised, as long as you already have the tools required. In this sample ManoMano shopping basket you’ll find a selection of the tools and materials used to make this organiser.

A morning should be enough time to complete this DIY project. However, keep in mind that depending on the protective coating you use for the wood, this completion time will vary according to the drying instructions.

The difficulty level for this project is low. In fact, this is the ideal project for anyone starting out on their first DIY pallet project, which is why we’ve listed it under easy pallet projects 😉 

Easy Pallet Projects: DIY Outdoor Tool Storage

This pallet organiser features an extra storage space at the back. Therefore, the top section has been used as a planter while the central and bottom sections are for storing garden tools.

Step 1: Sand the pallet

The first step is to sand the pallet with an orbital sander, both the top and back. Also sand the 3 extra boards – which you can take from another pallet.

If the pallet is in very bad condition, we recommend starting with a coarse grain paper to remove splinters and flaws. Next, give it a once over with a medium grain sand paper. This will give the pallet a more uniform, smooth finish.

easy pallet projects thehandymano mano mano sanding

Step 2: Cut and drill the extra boards

In order to increase the storage spaces on the pallet, we’ve screwed in some extra pallet boards at the back. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Cut the boards to the width of the pallet. You can use either a mitre saw or a hacksaw.
  2. Screw the boards on to the back of each crossbeam on the base of the pallet.

This will create 3 spaces on the back which can be used to store small tools and implements, or even as a planter.

easy pallet projects thehandymano mano mano assembling

Step 3: Protect and decorate the pallet

The next step is to protect and decorate the pallet with varnish. Varnish penetrates the wood and protects it, but as an open-pore coating, it also allows the wood to breathe and can help regulate the internal moisture. That’s why it’s ideal for protecting any wood to be used outdoors.

When applying varnish, you will need a minimum of two coats to allow the product to penetrate the wood fully and properly protect it.

Varnish is also available in a variety of colours and shades, meaning it is decorative as well as protective. In our case, we chose a white colour.

easy pallet projects thehandymano mano mano varnish

Step 4: Attach hooks

The last step is to attach several hooks to the pallet to be able to hang your tools. Specifically, we used:

  • Hooks to hang the hose
  • U-shaped mounts to hold a spade and rake
  • Various coat hooks
  • Handles to hang S-shaped hooks from

Meanwhile, it’s a good idea to use plastic or stainless steel hooks and mounts to provide protection against outdoor weather conditions.

easy pallet projects thehandymano mano mano add hooks

Once you’ve completed these steps, all you need to do is drill some holes in the wall to hang your organiser pallet and start organising your garden tools and implements, keeping them nice and handy. (Although, nothing is as handy as The Handy Mano 😉 )

easy pallet projects thehandymano mano mano add equipment

The top section is perfect for a few plants or flower pots, adding a touch of life and colour.

easy pallet projects thehandymano mano mano complete

easy pallet projects thehandymano mano mano finished

Got some pallet wood left over? Make good use of it with these other pallet projects:

How to Make a DIY Pallet Trolley

How to Make a Coat Hanger from Pallets

Folding DIY Pallet Chair Tutorial