Common Threads

Give a Gift…Get a Gift

Loving the “gift economy.” Spreads joy to others while cleaning out all that “stuff” that is too good to pitch and too small to sell.


How to Bring Plants Inside for the Winter

Many plants—gladioli, dahlias, geraniums—can make it through the winter if you know how to move them inside properly.

Home Maintenance

Stop Flushing Away Money on Unnecessary Plumbing Bills

How to decide which plumbing problems are DIY, which are not, and how to avoid future problems.

Home Improvements

Nine Nifty Tools Worth Adding to Your Toolbox

These tools tackle fix-it challenges including working in tight spaces, unclogging drains, seeing in dark spaces and interpreting car warning lights.

Home Maintenance

Home Warranties Are Horrible Deals

Here’s why home warranties may not give you what you expect.

Home Improvements

6 Home-Improvement Projects That Virtually Pay for Themselves

Six home-improvement projects that return 70% to 100% of the cost, and four that return barely more than half their price.


Five Cleaning Tools That Make Housekeeping Easier

These five effective, affordable products can make your home cleaner and your cleaning easier.


Moving a Household Can Be a Disaster—How to Avoid Big Blunders

A lot can go wrong when you pack up everything you own and move it to a new home. Here are common mistakes and how to avoid them.


Why a Housemate Is a Great Idea at Any Age—and How to Pick a Good One

Home sharing can be a great way to live in a beautiful home, pay less and create an instant community.

Home Improvements

Tips That Will Help You Paint Walls Like A Pro

DIY painters often make mistakes that look bad or even force them to paint a room all over again.


Is Duct Cleaning Necessary?

Duct cleaning services often claim that they can improve a home's air quality and boost the efficiency of HVAC systems. But can you believe their claims?


Buy Better Plants from Online Nurseries

Mail-order nurseries are sprouting up everywhere. Find new flowers and plants for your garden and yard

Home Maintenance

Revive Your Scissors

Tips for making your scissors work better.


How to Buy Appliances That Will Last Much Longer

Here’s how consumers can identify the appliances that are likely to last as long as possible.


Safe Ways to Get Rid of Aphids, Caterpillars, Root Weevils and Fungus on Your Trees and Bushes

Here are effective remedies for common pests and diseases that hurt trees and bushes—without chemicals that could hurt people, pets or backyard animals.