Quick and Thrifty Spring Projects

>> 3.19.2010

After Nate finished puppy-proofing the garden by adding chicken wire, I knew I needed to grab him to do one more tiny project.

I know, I'm getting more and more exciting with my pictures every day. Can you tell what that is?

It's the air vent that releases the hot air from the clothes dryer. With ten minutes, a little chicken wire, and his staple gun, Nate added a little bird proofing to our precious vent. *Note: You don't need to use chicken wire to do this; any material that keeps birds out and lets air pass will do the trick. We'll probably add another layer of chicken wire just to make sure the birds can't fit in.

If you're anything like me, this little step could save you big time. A few years ago, I called my landlord to tell her that the dryer had stopped working. After shelling out a good bit of cash just for a repairman to tell her that the dryer was fine, we realized what the real issue was. Oops... the 'broken dryer' was actually a bird's nest lodged in the air vent. The warm air and secluded location made for a perfect nesting spot for an expectant bird mother. Guard your vents this weekend so that you don't need to worry about de-homing any bird families or calling out any expensive reinforcements!

Already bird-proofed? Why not tackle one or two other quick and thrifty projects this weekend:
*Replace those smoke alarm batteries... I'm sure you did that last weekend ;)
*Swap out your air filters. I'd rather not have the extra dust in my lungs or expensive air conditioner, thank you!
*Replace your old light switches. Can we say fire hazard?

*Keep Fido clean. I'm sure all of our pets are squeaky clean, but don't forget your pup's bowl, bed, collar, and toys! A healthy dog makes for a happy dog... and fewer vet visits!

*Organize your supplies. I know we all have a half page list of DIY projects to tackle this spring. Get organized now so that you don't end up buying those unnecessary paintbrushes, tape measurers, or screwdrivers.

What other quick and thrifty projects do you like to do this time of year?


Jeannine @ Small and Chic March 19, 2010 at 9:47 AM  

I just upgraded my air filter and added filters to all the registers around the house. It's already less dusty around here. It's amazing how such a quick change can make such a difference.

Lauren March 19, 2010 at 10:07 AM  

We are donating old clothes and furniture to Goodwill and the Habitat for Humanity Restore!

Natalie Catherine March 19, 2010 at 11:00 AM  

oo so many good ideas in this post! i should forward this to my hubby.....hehe. i'm pregnant and exhausted..but he has all the muscles and energy..i'm sure he would love for em to add some of these to his to do list...hehe.

dolores @ Welcome to My Humble Ablog March 19, 2010 at 11:21 AM  

Your check list is perfect for a little spring cleaning warm-up this weekend.

I will be working on an gathering disaster supplies since we LA'er's were just shaken by a very early earthquake (centered only a few miles from where I live) earlier this week. :(

LizzieBeth March 19, 2010 at 11:36 AM  

We are actually attempting to clean out our bedroom closet this Sunday.
It doubles as clothing storage and all-things-accumulated-over-the-past-28-years-storage.

I won't lie.. I fear for my life a little.

Wish me luck ;)


Beth March 19, 2010 at 1:06 PM  

Kasey, You were so smart to put that chicken wire up to keep the birds out. But....how far above the ground is that vent??? Only reason I'm asking is cause, the holes in your chicken wire won't keep mice or maybe even rats out!!! They also like to get in there and make nests...even snakes! Don't wanna scare you but wanted you to know that there are still other critters that could fit through the chicken wire holes. You might want to look for hardware cloth I think they call it, but it's not cloth. It's wire that has holes maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch at the most! Just wanted to share!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog March 19, 2010 at 1:14 PM  

@Beth~ Great point about the mice and rats! Luckily, my vent is a good 10 feet off of the ground :). I do plan on adding another layer of wire just in case a small bird wants to nest and I'm only using the chicken wire because I have some on hand.

Jane March 19, 2010 at 2:12 PM  

Awesome ideas! Since I don't have a house I prepare for spring by cleaning up the apartment and donating or trying to sell things I don't need.

Dayka (Life +Style) March 19, 2010 at 7:38 PM  

i need to be ashamed because my air vent is at groud level, and i took the cap off to replace it, only to discover that the newer ones don't fit. too bad i threw the other away instead of bringing it to home depot. this was obviously before my got knowledgeable about how to do things!

thanks for the tip about the vinegar. i actually run into stickers a lot, so i'll keep that in mind.

Harli @ offspringhouston March 19, 2010 at 8:01 PM  

I had the bird nest thing happen to me last year. I checked the vent myself after my dryer quit drying well, and low and behold, it was there! My first response was like the lady's in your post - to buy a new dryer. I always say that it was almost a $499 nest!

We currently have another bird who visits every morning... thanks for the tip on the chicken wire! I've been wondering how we could cover that thing.

L. Duncan March 20, 2010 at 9:21 AM  

I wondered why my dryer did'nt dry my clothes anymore after one cycle. Now I know! Because my husband needs to go and clean those vents in the back of the house!!! I saw them yesterday and they were full of lent.

Mrs. Chic March 23, 2010 at 1:47 PM  

Yikes! I can't imagine birds in the dryer vents. When we bought our hous it came with a dryer and lent everywhere behind it, the prior owners let the lent blow onto the ground, talk able a fun clean up time

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