Super Handyman: Getting used to your new home - The Buffalo News
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Super Handyman: Getting used to your new home

This is the most popular time of the year to move. We’ve talked about some super tips for packing, but here are some of our favorite tips to help make moving into the new home a little easier.

Hopefully when packing, you created a “Handyman Box.” This should contain things like a hammer, pliers, set of screwdrivers, tacks, tape and other items that you will need within the first week.

Establish a small “sick bay” at the new place. Keep some basic medical supplies all in one central location for those little mishaps that we all get when making a move.

Keep contact information for new utilities, emergency medical help, prescriptions, schools, friends and family all in one easy-to-find place.

Corral appliance manuals into one central location, especially when newly delivered, so you can get and keep things working properly.

When unpacking, break boxes down as you unpack them and find a place to stack them until recycling day. Try donating your packing materials to a UPS store or the like. Ours takes these and is happy to do so.

Speaking of recycling day, find out when trash pickup, watering and other city utilities are scheduled.

Send out notices with your new address to everyone who needs to know.

Add organization to closets and cabinets before putting your stuff into them. If you wait, you’ll probably never get it done. You’ll be very glad you did this, and it will go a long way toward keeping things organized for years to come, too.

Try local restaurants, grocery stores, hardware stores to get to know the neighborhood quickly. Take a walk around the block and try to meet some of your neighbors. Get plugged in to local newsletters, papers and other city services as soon as you can.


Q: Since we renovated our kitchen, all of the appliances have stainless-steel fronts, which always look dirty to me. I’ve tried the store-bought stainless-steel cleaners, and they work OK. I’ve looked at the homemade cleaners you have recipes for on your website ( but didn’t find one for stainless steel. Do you have a recommendation? – H.T.

A: Probably the easiest and best cleaner we could recommend for stainless steel is just plain old olive oil. If you put some on a rag, just a little bit, and rub the surface, buffing it as you go, you will get a super shine that lasts a good while. You’ll save a ton of money on cleaners, too.

A Super hint

Add a dot of red paint to your food-disposal switch to make it obvious which one it is. Then you won’t accidentally hit it when you are trying to sneak a midnight snack.


If you are doing a drywall repair or some other, very dusty sanding job, consider using the Dust-Free Sponge Sander by Hyde. The sanding head is easy to grip and is great on a variety of surfaces. It uses sanding sponges, which are washable and replaceable. The included vacuum hose will fit any standard shop vac and will eliminate up to 95 percent of dust caused by sanding. Check it out on and see it in action. It’s great for large and small jobs, too.

Got a question or a handy tip? Send it to The Super Handyman at Those of general interest will be used in future columns.

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