Variety Pack: It’s the Little Things.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

toe kick holes for vent
We already know the details are not the details so indeed, it truly is the little things that make a major difference.  Hence a Variety Pack of little things!

Honestly, I haven’t had much time to get to anything big or on my to-do list or the swarm of lingering projects strewn about the house.  Every day is different with Finn and though for the most part he’s doing ok, I’m still left with very little time for DIY schnizz. 

We all have those little things lollygagging around, stuff we know we need to do, fix, tweak, tidy up, declutter, organize, whatever, and we know once we tackle them, we feel fantastic and life gets a smidge better or easier, right?  

So today, I’m hoping to inspire you to hammer those nagging little projects to make you feel top of the world accomplished and improve your life.  And we know once that ball starts rolling, especially the part where we feel good, it’s hella motivating. 

In all fairness, these aren’t earth-shattering little things projects for today’s Variety Pack but yet, they, mmph, yes, felt rockin' to kick.

First up:  holes.

Can’t seem to find the post where I noted this prior, sorry, but total lack of coordination on the dumb flipper’s part:  there’s a floor vent under the corner cabinet in the kitchen.  Like…how…why…uhh…

vent under corner kitchen cabinet
The cabinet I loathe the most.  The cabinet where I stuffed in those scrap wood pot lid racks

A while back, maybe after I painted the cabinets, I popped off the toe kick and plopped one of those magnetic vent covers* over it since my pans were roasting in winter as was I prepping food.  Didn’t solve the issue entirely.

Then recently I thought eh, maybe I can funnel the air to the toe kick since the closest other vent is in the bathroom.  So I picked up this Extend-a-Vent* thingie to find out.
Ectend-a-Vent package
The Extend-a-Vent thingie is merely a low-profile plastic thingie with two pieces that extend out to three feet max.  My biggest issue is that it was straight and I needed an angle.  No biggie, I got the piece to mostly cover the duct opening.
installing extend-a-vent under kitchen cabinet
Top to bottom:  marking a cut line, cutting on an angle, fitting in place.
Now how to get the air through the toe kick?  Holes!  With my 3/4” Forstner bit,* I randomly drilled out some holes, painted the inside edges black... 
drilling holes in toe kick for air vent

...and to keep errant crumbs and dog fur out, hot glued some screen* on the back.

not gluing screen on back of toe kick with vent holes
Does it work?  Yes.  Bonus, it felt incredible to get this project knocked out as it had been occupying valuable brain space for too long.

toe kick vent holes in kitchen cabinet
The cabinet paint is definitely starting to give way now.  May be the year to redo the kitchen.  Just heard Mike pass out on the other side of the city.
But.  Now I remember why I blocked off that vent in the first place.  Hot!  Holy wow!

As before, my pots and pans were roasting again so I went back in and tossed in whatever, foam rug pad heh, as a fix-it-fast lame attempt to insulate.  It’s improved but my pans are still, heh, preheated.  To be continued, I’m sure!

Next on the Variety Pack Little Things list?  Baskets.  

I’m not necessarily a basket person.  Basket case?  Oh now, come on, let’s be nice.  I do appreciate baskets.  There are good baskets.  I respect their functionality but you will never catch me hot and heavy drooling over a basket.

This purchase came down to a. function and b. black.  

Because, see, I find storage and organizing issues never end.  Ever.  Especially in the garage and pantry, the latter of which was annoying the crap out of me.  Again.  Unless you custom fit, doing and redoing storage and organization feels hellfire eternal.

In weeding out other stuff, I ran over to the only thrift store within reasonable distance from home to drop off which means, yeah, I always go in.  Always only to look and not (really) purchase.

This time I found some stellar-sized collapsible wicker storage baskets in black.  They were seven bucks a pop so I grabbed merely four of the bunch as this felt too rich for my mental budget, overpriced IMO.  

collapsible black wicker storage baskets in pantry

I did.  

I instantly regretted not buying the rest.  Yes.  Sigh.

These perfectly sized baskets corralled annoying messes shockingly well which, finally.  Accomplishment A, felt great.  Then B, they helped me eliminate some cheap plastic baskets I had been using, creating a nicer, tidier, chicer look.  And C, I got the task at hand done zippity quick.  Butt wiggle dance.
wicker basket in pantry for storage and organization
So yeah, heh, while I felt awesome, I felt miserable, berating myself for not buying all the baskets as it would have made for a very likable, calming appearance in that cacophony of a pantry. 

Buy it when you see it.  Always always.  Broke my own damn rule.  Dammit.  

I’ll just hope whoever bought them donates them back fast because in poking around online,* I’m only getting more sore at myself….

Ok!  Let’s move on, shall we?!

Last on my Variety Pack Little Things list?  Tape.

Plumbers tape, pipe tape,* to be exact.  That thin white stuff that immediately tangles if you look at it.

Our back storm door, heh, plagues me constantly.  The two screws at the top hinge continuously loosen out causing the door to sag and not shut.  It's been making me batty daily for eons.

screws in security storm door that always loosen
I'd been to Menards four separate times for various whatever screws not to mention digging through my bin of randoms trying to find a solution to, guess what, no avail.

Finally, out of desperation and not wanting to go the permanent thread locker* route, I thought hey, what about some a' that pipe tape.  And guess what again?  It worked.

Seems wild but all I did was wrap some around the screws, screw them back in, and they've stayed.  
wrapping screw in pipe tape
It was freakin' 14° out when I was doing this screw so apologies for the messy tape job.
Who knew?!  

Now I do, and now you do too!  No doubt that door will find a way to torture me again somehow and maybe the tape won't work over the long haul but for now?  For now, I'm delighted.

pipe tape wrapped screws reinstalled in storm door
All righty!  It’s not a Variety Pack post without a recipe!  Don't forget, all the baking goodies are over at The Bake Dept!  

Trying to find something somewhat winter-apropos.  How about Turkey Sloppy Joes with Coleslaw?  I do my own slaw or sometimes I make this deeelish mayo-free Healthy Coleslaw.  So kinda healthier, kinda stick to your ribs comfort food there for ya.

Happy fixing those naggy little things around the house!  Get motivated!  Feel awesome!  Rawr!  Yes!

*The magnetic vent covers, Extend-a-Vents, and black wicker baskets are Amazon affiliate links.  The Frostner bits and thread lock are Home Depot affiliate links.  The replacement screen and pipe tape are a Lowes affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


  1. Pipe tape on loose screws…you’re brilliant!

    1. Oh gosh, I'm blushing! Thank you very much! Hope it works for you!

  2. I, and the idea, are both brilliant!


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