Episode 223: Decluttering, the Mud Nook, Kitchen Cleaner Review, Painting Foundations

SEGMENT 1: Decluttering

We all have cluttered spaces in our home. And yes, sometimes, we’ve spent a good number of months letting them get that way. But the good news is that decluttering is manageable! In this segment we talk about a few simple steps that will help you get started.

SEGMENT 2: The Mud Nook

Many of us would love to have a huge mudroom . . . . Benches, ample storage for boots and coats . . . . But most of us just don’t have the space. In this segment, we speak with Michaela Noelle from Michaela Noelle Designs about a small mudroom “nook” she and her husband pulled together.


SEGMENT 3: Kitchen Cleaner Review

We discuss 4 of the internet’s most recommended kitchen cleaners and see how they perform. Also, we stumble into another cleaner that is basically a weapon of nearly unlimited power. It can do stuff that few other cleaners we’ve ever used can do . . . . But as they say, with great power comes great responsibility . . . .

The Four General Purpose Cleaners We Tested

The Super Powered Cleaner We Tried

And just for good measure, here are some before and after picks of the caps that sit over the burners on the stove. The first picture shows what I had even after I tried the cleaners in my house AND the 4 cleaners above. 

The second picture shows what I ended up with after an application of Carbon-Off. It wasn’t a complete “no-elbow-grease” kind of cleaning . . . but still, I was blown away by the results. 

Just remember, as we said in the segment: this stuff is potent! You can take paint off surfaces, damage counters, damage the teflon in your pans, and so on. It’s a super weapon against carbon in the kitchen . . . but it needs to be used with care!


SEGMENT 4: Painting Foundations

Unpainted foundations . . . or foundations that have been patched . . . can give your home a bit of an unfinished look. If you’re looking for an inexpensive curb appeal project with a big payoff, this might be for you!

EP214: In a Neighborhood Near You…

SEGMENT 1: Memorial Day

Dan flies solo and shares stories of families with fallen heroes. As we enjoy the festivities this weekend, let’s take pause to remember what Memorial Day represents.

SEGMENTS 2 & 3: Maintenance Free?

The maintenance-free promises of vinyl siding often come up short. Even vinyl needs regular maintenance such as cleaning and inspection. We talk about how to catch the problems your siding might be hiding and answer the age old question…can you paint it?

SEGMENT 4: Here Comes the Judge…

Tick magnet, Dan, is ditching the trails for neighborhood sidewalks… and what kind of Home Improvement Show would this be if he didn’t spend those walks noticing…and perhaps, judging the homes he passes? Luckily we have the solution to a common problem he is seeing.  

EP213: To Paint or Not to Paint

SEGMENT 1: Tick Explosion

Tick populations are exploding in Michigan! Warmer winters and bird migration have contributed to a rise in the tick population in west Michigan. We talk about a few simple ways to help protect your whole family this summer. 

SEGMENTS 2 & 3: Where Do You Stop?


Is painted trim right for you? We weigh the pros and cons of painting your trim and explain how to tackle this project yourself. We also discuss the growing trend of painting the trim colors other than white! The sky’s the limit for color but if you aren’t painting all the trim where do you start and stop? Tune in for an easy rule of thumb. 

SEGMENT 4: Junk Royalty

Dan is clearing out the barn! We know he’s not the only one with junk to get rid of so we thought we’d discuss all the options. Whether you need to hire a service to haul it away for you or just need to know where to take it, we’ve got you covered!

EP208: A Little Ghosting Problem

SEGMENT 1: Is Dirt the New Prozac?

Here’s a segment from last year that’s worth replaying now that the weather’s warming up! If you’ve got flower beds that need work, there’s actually scientific evidence that digging in the dirt can be calming! Here’s one of the articles we reference in the segment….

SEGMENT 2: Which Wood?

Normally, we talk about cleaning and staining your deck for the Spring. But maybe you actually need to build a new deck altogether! If so, here’s an interview with Jason Slenk from Overisel Lumber that might help you decide which material to use.

SEGMENT 3: Goodbye Soap Scum and Hard Water Stains!

Last year, during the lockdowns, Dan stumbled on a bathroom cleaner that really helped clean up some of the trouble spots in one of the bathrooms in his home. It’s CLR: Brilliant Bath and it’s worth checking out!

SEGMENT 4: A Little Ghosting Problem….

Last year, on Memorial Day, Dan pointed out a ghosting (or thermal tracking) problem going on in his parents’ condo. He was happy to dish out the info . . . they were less than thrilled to realize that the things they thought were shadows on their walls were actually something else entirely!

EP205: From “Woe” to “Woah!”

SEGMENTS 1 & 2: Color Woes

Last week we heard a story that perfectly illustrated what so many of us go through when picking out paint colors. Today, we recount Caroline Dwan’s story that went from “Pretty in Pink” to “Miama Vice”. And we tell you how to avoid some common color mishaps!

SEGMENT 3: Seller’s Paradise

Usually we love talking about all the projects to tackle before listing your home. However, the current state of the real estate market left us wondering . . . do people really need to do anything before listing? We are joined by Sue Prins and Ginger Herman from Sue Prins Five Star Real Estate to find out the answer.

SEGMENT 4: The Great Debate . . . Gas vs. Electric

Most of us are getting into Spring Cleaning mode. If that’s you, you might find yourself wanting to clean the dirt off the deck, patio, or even your home’s exterior. A pressure washer is an obvious choice . . . but do you choose gas or electric? Do you buy or rent? We weight the pros and cons of each option so you can decide!

EP178: Reclaim Your Space!

SEGMENT 1: Never Lose Your Keys Again

Here’s a really cool item for those of us who lose things. Often. And with great regularity!

SEGMENTS 2 & 3: Reclaim Your Space!

Betsy’s back! And she’s been busy doing some monumental cleaning. 

We all know the paralysis we can feel when we look at a room or space that we let get out of hand. It’s so hard to figure out where to even begin! Here are a few tips to get you started up that “mountain”! 

SEGMENT 4: Getting the Perfect Stain Match

Getting the right stain color for your project is a team effort! Sure, you need to go to the experts who have the skill to get the color right, but there are also some things you can do to help the process end with the best possible results!