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Home & Garden

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    Forming a crisp edge between the lawn and plant beds is a simple way to freshen the yard in spring. Use a sharp spade to create a 1- to 2-inch-deep vertical edge between the grass and the bed. Guide the line first with string pinned with long nails.
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  • Planting container gardens
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Managing projects around the house

Just because I write about home maintenance, yard work and related topics doesn’t mean I’ve got my own house in pristine order. I’m as human as the next homeowner.

But I’ve developed a plan, ideally suited for New Year’s resolutions, that can help you and I get going on those projects we’ve neglected in the past year. And I’ve broken it down into five manageable steps:

Make a commitment. Pledge that after the holiday bustle fades, you’ll take action.

Objectively review your home. Grab a notebook and pen and take an hour or two to assess each area. Pretend you’re a prospective buyer. Write down anything that needs to be repaired, replaced or checked.

Make a plan and follow through. Create a priority list of a reasonable number of projects to undertake in the next year. You might do only one a month or one a quarter. Make sure the pace fits your lifestyle and budget.

Safety first. When ranking projects, consider putting first those that involve safety and structural integrity. But don’t overlook a few that will leave you feeling more relaxed and happy, whether it’s decluttering the pantry or planting flowers.

Join forces. Share your pledge and plan with friends. Hold each other accountable and decide on incentives. And post before and after pictures online.

– Angie Hicks, AngiesList.com

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