The techniques used to open, close and adjust blinds varies slightly depending on what type of blind you have. Blinds come in many styles but only retract in one of two ways: Horizontally or vertically.

Kitchen with white window blinds
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How to Open Blinds

Opening and Adjusting Vertical Blinds

Larger windows, such as those on sliding glass doors, are covered by vertical blinds. This type of blind draws to one side, opposite to where the window or door opens. There are some vertical blinds which open from the center and leave vanes on each side of the window. These are known as split stack vertical blinds.

Vertical blinds should be open enough to let light into a room before you retract them. When closed, they lie flat in front of the window with no light passing through. If they are in this position when you try to open them, they will jam upon retraction.

Vertical blinds should have a wand and chain to one side. To move the vanes to an open position, twist the rod until you can see through to the window, and the vanes are perpendicular to the window. With all the vanes now open and aligned, use the chain to retract them to one side or, in the case of split stack vertical blinds, away from the center of the window.

To close a vertical blind, move the chain in the opposite direction to slide the vanes back into place before twisting the wand to flatten them parallel to the window.

Opening and Adjusting Horizontal Blinds

Horizontal blinds open in much the same way as vertical blinds. However, you don't need to open the vanes all the way before retracting the blind. To move your blinds up, pull the cords away from the locking mechanism at an angle in the opposite direction from the window. When you have your blinds up to where you want it, move the cords back to where they were so the locking mechanism at the top holds them in place and keeps the blind open.

To bring the blinds down, pull and move the cords away from the locking mechanism at an angle across the window. Let the blinds drop before placing the cords back in locked position.

Remember to pull both cords on the blind at the same time. If you pull only one, only one side of the blind will come up and it won't rest even at the bottom.

If you want to keep the blind down but open only the vanes, twist the wand next to the cords. The vanes will move to let the desired amount of light into the room.

If Your Blinds Get Stuck

In the instance of horizontal blinds, remove the blind from the window, locate the cord lock mechanism, remove its pin with a flathead screwdriver to disengage the cords and then return the blind to the window.

On vertical blinds, if a vane is stuck in a flat, closed position, manually adjust it to an open position before retraction. If you have to remove a vane to replace it, take a credit card and slide it between the vane and its clip to disengage it from the blind.