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How to Get Familiar With Your New City After a Long-Distance Move

Whether you’re moving a town over, a state over, or across the country, leaving everything familiar can be overwhelming. Maybe you had an unexpected obligation pull you away, or you got an offer for your dream job. Don’t panic. As long as you have the right attitude and our tips, you’ll find yourself settling in a new city just fine.

Download Local Apps

moving in a new city

Spend a little time researching the local area and figure out which apps are useful and popular in your new city. You could find public transit apps, restaurant ordering apps, on-demand grocery delivery services, and more. Chances are, every service in your city will have a mobile app. These apps can make it convenient to travel or exist for the first few weeks.

Join Organized Groups

From kickball leagues to nonprofits, even if you don’t normally go join activities, joining an organized group is an excellent way to meet new people. Start with something you like or a hobby, and search for a group. If you’re an animal lover, check out the local humane societies and shelters. Better yet, try something you’ve never done before. Being new at something lets you connect with other newcomers.

Start Off on the Right Foot

A move, no matter the size, is stressful. However, you don’t want to start your move out on the wrong foot. Don’t try to do it yourself. When you search online, make sure to add in your location. For example, search Google for reputable long distance movers in Dallas. These movers will ensure your pending move goes smoothly, and they’ll coordinate everything. In turn, this frees up your time to concentrate on your new city and everything you have to do when you get there.

Stay Somewhere Comfortable

For at least the first six months, concentrate on staying somewhere comfortable. You don’t have to be in a rush to find out the best bars, restaurants, or areas in the city. Instead, work on creating a safe space around your home. Pick out a few different areas and learn all about this. Maybe you want to live with a relative or friend for a few months before branching off on your own. Whatever it is that makes you comfortable, do it for six months.

Mark Out Important Properties

When you get to your city, you’ll be able to settle in better if you mark out where the local stores are in your neighborhood that can meet your needs. Look for your new go-to grocery store, pharmacy, gas station, drug store, and coffee shop. Once you map everything out and know right where it is from your home, your new city will start to feel more like home.

Look for Co-Living Opportunities

settling in a new city co living space

If you’re not quite ready to live by yourself, check into co-living spaces. Most co-living areas give you your own bathroom, kitchenette, and studio apartment. There is a larger family room, living area, and kitchen for all of the other inhabitants. Co-living facilities offer fun events, mixers, and outings. This will help you make new friends, and most co-living spaces are geared toward a certain demographic like young professionals or families.

Say Yes

You’re in a new area. This is why you have to start saying yes to everything to help you find your life essentials. Going out and going to events will help you find a few friends, a best friend, and activities to keep you entertained. You won’t find this sitting home waiting for it to come to you. Join events, go to date nights, galleries, wine tastings, or whatever interests you, and meet people.

Give Yourself a Year

At the bare minimum, give yourself a year in your new space. Settling in a new city takes time, but it should eventually feel like home. Anything you find yourself doubting yourself or where you’re at, remind yourself that you’re still in transition. Moving is hard, and leaving everything is harder. But, you deserve to give yourself a year before making any judgments.

Keep in Touch

inviting friend in a new city

You may have left your old town, but don’t forget your friends, connections, and family there. Make an effort to keep in touch with them. Go back to see them every once in a while. When you get comfortable, invite them out and show them the city. You never know, they may even fall in love with it and decide to move out by you.

Set up Dates

Before you move, go to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter to see which connections live in your intended area. Send them a quick message and ask to meet up once you get moved in. Ask your current friends and family if they know anyone in your area. You may just be surprised at what you find.

Know Your Transportation Options

Many small or rural towns don’t have public transportation, but larger cities do. It’s important that you learn about your new transportation options. Find out about bus transit lines, subway systems, ridesharing services, and bike-sharing programs. It may take a little trial and error to find the best routes to your work or around the city, but it’s worth it.

Look up the Area on Reddit

Almost every city has an area on Reddit. To find your particular city, look under reddit.com/r/cityname/ and see what comes up. Look through the historically popular questions, and ask any burning questions you have. Reddit will tell you about potentially unsafe areas you want to avoid, opportunities to meet people, and how friendly the locals are. What’s even better, you’ll get honest answers.

Bottom Line

Moving to a new city can be overwhelming, but there are several things you can do to help the transition process go smoothly. When you’re settling in a new city, just remember to take it slow. You’ll eventually find your routine, and it’ll feel like home.

See Also: 7 Things to Consider When Moving to a New City

The post How to Get Familiar With Your New City After a Long-Distance Move appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Clean Wood Bathroom Cabinets: Top Tips You Can Try

Wood cabinets are the superstars of the cabinet world. They are elegant, classy, and extremely good looking. This is why many homeowners choose them over other materials for their kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms.

But everything pretty comes with one rule – you must maintain it.

Regular maintenance is the only way to protect the charm and ensure longevity. When it comes to bathroom wood cabinets, this becomes a rule.

Bathroom cabinets are subjected to the most wear and tear along with consistent moisture. Neglected cabinets can, thus, get ruined in no time. We all know what that can lead to.

Don’t worry, though.

Maintenance is not an arduous task as long as you do it regularly. It involves daily cleaning with safe ingredients and disinfecting whenever the need arises. In this article, we shall help you with the best tips on how to clean wood bathroom cabinet.

Let’s begin.

Use soap and warm water.

This is the easiest way to clean your bathroom wood cabinets.

Mix mild dish soap with warm water and use a clean sponge to wipe the cabinets down. One teaspoon of soap is enough for a cup of water. You can increase the quantities based on how many cabinets you have.

This combination is useful for everyday cleaning. However, you must be sure not to use too much water. Use just how much is needed for gentle wiping and then use a dry cloth to wipe down one last time. This will remove all the unnecessary moisture.

Use vinegar and water.

how to clean wood bathroom cabinets with vinegar

Mix equal quantities of vinegar and water. Use a soft cloth or cheesecloth to wipe the surface of the cabinets.

Vinegar is safe to use every day since diluting it with water makes it a mild solution. It also safeguards the finishing of the cabinets.

However, some homeowners may not like using it due to its strong odor. In this case, you can always fall back to soap and warm water for daily cleaning and restrict vinegar to once a week.

Use baking soda and water.

how to clean wood bathroom cabinets with baking soda

Baking soda is quite mild and makes a wonderful cleaning agent. All you have to do is to make a paste by mixing just enough water and then use a cloth to clean your cabinets.

While following this cleaning method, though, you should be very careful. Baking soda, despite being mild, is an abrasive. Being harsh while cleaning can tarnish the wood. Be gentle and don’t rub the paste in too much.

If you are unable to remove a particular stain, rubbing may make it worse. We advise you to apply the paste and leave it for 20 minutes instead. Wiping it down will be easier this way.

Get a wood cleaner.

If you would rather buy a product to keep your cabinets clean, we recommend a wood cleaner that’s soap and oil-based. These cleaners are specifically formulated for wood and, thus, do the job really well.

Also, apart from knowing how to clean wood bathroom cabinets, you should also know how often you should clean them.

Ideally, you won’t need to clean the cabinets every single day with these. Regular cleaning, maybe once a week, would be enough.

The best method to clean your bathroom’s wood cabinets totally depends on the usage. If you don’t use the bathroom regularly (happens when you have multiple bathrooms at home), you can stick to cleaning once a week or so.

Bathrooms that are used every day must also be cleaned every day. Make sure you regularly check the insides and keep them clean, too. You can use the same aforementioned solutions. Under no circumstances, though, should you use strong detergents or abrasives.

What are you waiting for? Choose a method and start cleaning your cabinets!

See Also: How to Effectively Remove Mold From Your House

Author Bio:

I am Sharon. As a professional, I am a content writer. I like to write about interior design, gardening, home improvement, and all new things. I also like to share new stuff, knowledge.

The post How to Clean Wood Bathroom Cabinets: Top Tips You Can Try appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

A House-Buying Guide For Millennials

Buying a house can be an exciting time in anyone’s life, and it’s a huge milestone that you should celebrate. Millennials buying houses is nothing new, but there’s a new surge of younger homebuyers throughout the United States.

If you’re one of them, read on for a few great tips to help you get the home of your dreams without breaking the bank.

Pay Off Your Debt First

Before you go out and get into more debt, consider paying off any you already owe. Student loans, personal loans, and credit card debts are the big three that come to mind. When you pay them off, you have more money available for your mortgage, down payment, or savings. Work to pay your debt off as quickly as possible, so you’re free and clear to buy a house.

Look for a House that Fits Your Lifestyle

millenial house buying

Buying a house can be a lengthy process, but don’t be tempted to rush into a home that doesn’t match your lifestyle. Purchasing the wrong one–whether it’s a mismatch for your needs or leaves you financially overextended–can lead to problems later on, and you may even end up selling prematurely, which isn’t ideal if you’re trying to build equity. Instead of focusing exclusively on what’s inside the house, consider the its distance from work and family, the outdoor space (especially if you have kids or pets), and the overall carrying costs–not just the monthly payment. You can find yourself stuck and stressed out if you don’t.

Buy With the Future in Mind

What will your future self want in a house? If you’re young and single, buying a house in the center of a city by thriving nightlife may seem like a dream, but what happens when you settle down? If you buy a small house, what happens when you have kids if you plan for them? Take a few minutes and think about your longer-range plans, and see how your house falls into them.

Consider the Current State of the Property

So many videos, blogs, YouTube channels, and television shows make home improvement seem so easy. The truth is, it can be a big time and money suck if you’re not sure what you’re doing. It’s usually worth it to buy a home that is in good repair instead of saving a few thousand by buying one that isn’t in a good state. Those few thousand you initially save will be gone very quickly on renovations.

Save for a Down Payment

Many young people forget to put money aside for a down payment, and it comes back to haunt them later. The more you can put down for your down payment, the more affordable your payments will be. Ideally, you should have at least 10% of your home’s purchase price on-hand and ready to use, if not 20%.

Shop in a Buyer’s Market

A buyer’s market is when there are more houses available than meets demand, so the sellers compete with lower prices. The homebuyer has the advantage here, and you can shop through an area and see how the prices differ. If the house has been available for a while, the seller may be willing to reduce the price just to get it off their hands.

Calculate How Much Home You Can Afford

millenials house buying

Before you start shopping, consider how much home you can afford. This way, you don’t get your hopes up on a house that is way out of your budget. Ideally, you want to keep all of your housing-related expenses like mortgage, insurance, and any HOA fees to no more than 25% to 30% of your monthly take-home pay. This amount will leave you with enough money to fix up your home or build savings.

Get Preapproved for a Loan

This point goes back to knowing how much home you can afford. Millennials buying houses tend to skip this step, and it can set the home search back. For example, you can’t make an offer on the house without a pre-approval letter, and the letter can take a week or two. In this time, the home you had your eye on could be long gone. Start home shopping with a pre-approval letter in your hand, and stay in your budget.

What is Your Exit Strategy?

Normally, the first home you buy isn’t your forever home. When it’s time to move on, how will your home fare with your exit strategy? Will it be easy to rent out or sell? Is it big enough for a couple to start their own family in? How is the local school district? What are your neighbors like? Keep all of these things in mind when you’re on your search.

Keep the Process Moving

Once you start the homebuying process, see it through. Stay in the loop so you can stay on top of your agent or any other third parties, like the inspection company. If you can avoid it, never make a seller wait during the contingency period. You want to get the deal done as soon as possible, without tempting the seller to explore backup offers from buyers willing to move faster than you.

Be Honest and Authentic with the Seller

For many people, selling their home is a very emotional process. You can try to connect with them by sending them a short, handwritten note that explains why the home would be perfect for you. This letter can give you an emotional connection with the seller, and make them more likely to entertain your offer.

Buying a home can be a rewarding but overwhelming process, especially if you’re not prepared. Use our 11 tips to help streamline your home buying process and find your dream home.

See Also: Here’s What Millennials Want When They Buy A Home

The post A House-Buying Guide For Millennials appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

8 Flea Home Remedies You Should Totally Try

If you’re a pet owner, it’s likely you’ve had to deal with fleas in the past. Or, if you haven’t, don’t count your lucky stars quite yet. It’s very possible you may face them in the future.

The thing about fleas is that they reproduce amazingly fast. If you don’t take care of flea issues, they can infest your home in a short time. This will make it more challenging to get rid of them.

Whether your pet has fleas now or you just want to prepare in case they catch fleas down the road, here are some great flea home remedies.

DIY Flea Trap

This is one of those flea home remedies that require almost no supplies and works surprisingly well in getting rid of fleas.

Get a bowl and fill it with warm water mixed with dish soap. Put one bowl in every room where fleas tend to be most active. If you want to increase the effectiveness, place a lit candle in the middle of the trap. Fleas are attracted to light and will jump into it.

The fleas that jump into the bowl will get stuck in there due to the thick water/soap solution. Repeat this every day until you feel the fleas are gone or combine this method with another DIY solution.

Baking Soda and Vacuuming

flea home remedies baking soda

Did you know that the majority of flea infestations are in the carpet? This is exactly why vacuuming can help reduce the number of fleas like nothing else can. Add some baking soda to vacuuming and you’ll reduce the number even more.

Simply sprinkle baking soda onto your carpet and use some sort of brush to rub it down into the carpet fibers. Then, vacuum thoroughly.

Once you’re finished vacuuming, take the vacuum bag out of the vacuum and put it in the outside trash.

Lemons

Create a lemon spray to apply to your floor and pieces of furniture. Boil some water and add a sliced lemon. Turn off and let it soak in there for the night.

In the morning, put the citrus liquid into a spray bottle and start spraying the areas in your home most affected by fleas.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

When fleas come in contact with the powder, its active ingredient grabs hold of the exoskeleton of the flea, causing them to dehydrate.

Be sure that you purchase the food-grade diatomaceous. Wear a face mask when applying it as it can irritate your throat or eyes.

Simply sprinkle the powder over areas that have a lot of fleas. Just put a little bit of the powder down. Let it sit there for two days and then vacuum thoroughly.

Borax

Borax works a lot like DE.

Apply as you would DE, sprinkling it on the carpet, letting it set, and vacuuming thoroughly. Keep the area ventilated and wear a face mask as the powder is dusty.

Please note that you should not use Borax on your pet because it’s toxic.

Salt

Some people use salt to dry out flea eggs and kill fleas, though results do vary. Some people mix in some baking soda as well to reduce the number of fleas.

Sprinkle some table salt in areas of your home where fleas are most active. Rub it down into the carpet fibers, let it set for a couple of days, and vacuum thoroughly.

DIY Flea Solution Spray

Creating an herbal spray is a great option as well. Before you spray your home, do a thorough vacuum of each room and furniture. Get a spray bottle and combine ½ cup of vinegar, ½ cup of water, juice of one lemon, and ½ cup witch hazel. Spray the solution to your floors, furniture, windowsills, and any beds you have for your pets.

Essential Oils

flea home remedies essential oils

Some people find that the scent of certain essential oils repel fleas, such as the citric fruit oils. Try lemon eucalyptus, lemongrass, cedarwood, citronella, and tea tree for starters. Apply to various areas around your home, but be careful about applying it directly into your pet.

Most essential oils are not recommended for cats or dogs. A great way to use oils is to have a diffuser or use a spray bottle to spritz the home with the aromas. It may smell good to you, but fleas may not dig the smell at all and evacuate your home.

See Also: 10 Essential Oils You Should Have at Home

Give these wonderful flea home remedies a try and see what works for you. If you find that your flea problems don’t go away, consider calling a pest control professional. They may be able to take care of your flea problem in no time and for a very affordable price. Fleas are actually one of the easier pests to get under control in a home, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

The post 8 Flea Home Remedies You Should Totally Try appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Develop Property Listings that Make Purchasers Take Action

After discovering a property representative, preparing your home for sale, and staging the house, you and your realty representative require to create remarkable real estate listing descriptions.

The initial step that 42% of purchasers require to buy a home is to look for listings online. 95% of purchasers utilize the web to eventually discover a home in their search.

You might lose these purchasers permanently if your listing pictures and story do not mesmerize home hunters browsing online. One research study revealed that listings with one image took over double the time to offer than listings with 20 pictures.

That’s why you and your realty representative need to develop the very best property listing in your location.

Here are some of the best ways to do that:

No Smart Device Pics Allowed: Your Photos Should Be Sensational

Imagine that you’re really in the market for a brand-new home. There are two homes on the very same street, comparable flooring strategy, and rate point. However, they have hugely various pictures.

According to CBS News, homes marketed with a leading quality expert listing images offer for 47% more than homes with low-quality photos. Images can likewise assist your home sell 32% faster.

Online users invest 60% of their time taking a look at the pictures on a realty listing page, and 20% on residential or commercial property information and the listing blurb. That indicates that if your images do not blow purchasers away, then there’s a likelihood they’ll never see your home.

How to Get Great Listing Photos

real estate listing description

Whatever you do, don’t take your listing pictures yourself.

Your property representative must contract out your listing images to an expert photographer who will modify and improve every photo or take the pictures themselves.

To find the right contractor for the job, you need to do your research. Inspect websites with impartial evaluations like Yelp or Angie’s List to discover leading professional photographers near you or you can just delegate the task.

Whatever is in the image ought to be brilliant and noticeable

For interior shots, you must be able to see the view out of all windows. Professional photographers can accomplish this using specific techniques.

The picture needs to make the area look big as possible

Do the images all look cropped or was a large-angle lens utilized? All photos must be shot with a large-angle lens and the space must never feel confined.

Images need to be straight

All images must be level. Your photographer can go free-hand or he can use a tripod as long as he’s able to make every shot appear straight and perfect.

The order of your listing images is crucial. You should go first with the dining space, living space, and household space. After those areas, you can cover the master bedroom and the other rooms in the house.

Another smart method to encourage a prospective purchaser to come to see your home personally is to leave “Easter eggs” or little within jokes or concealed messages of home functions in the listing description. These should not be noticeable in pictures.

Tips for Composing the Perfect Listing Description

creating real estate listing descriptions

The listing description is your only chance to discuss anything about your home that purchasers can’t see in the images. For that, you need to:

  • Utilize words most likely to appear in search engine result
  • Display high-end and brand-name functions like your Viking range
  • Point out superb features of your community
  • Promote special services

Your representative will compose the listing blurb for you. However, you can ask to see it before the listing gets released online.

How to Compose a Fascinating Listing Title

Some property representatives will publish your home on sites like Craigslist. These sites use a “list view” which suggests that you’ll require an appealing title for your listing. Many property representatives will do this for you as part of their marketing strategy. However, it never harms to come up with some recommendations.

Unlike other marketing platforms that arrange by image, a list view sorts just by the listing title. It’s less likely that potential purchasers will click through to your listing if your claim is not as good as the other titles before and after yours.

One method to do that is to use power words in your listing title. We’ll compose 2 noting titles together, one with power words and one without.

Title A: Good home for sale in SF Bay Location.

Title B: New: Zen Retreat With Sensational Views in Laurel Heights

Can you think which listing title has the power words? That’s right — Listing B is a terrific example of what your listing title should look like.

We utilized the power word “brand-new” to get the attention of the purchaser. If a listing is brand-new, it’s most likely something she hasn’t seen before. It produces a sense of seriousness.

We utilized the power word “zen” to stimulate harmony and serenity. This power word falls in the “joy” classification, which is what every potential purchaser ought to feel when she discovers an appealing brand-new listing.

We utilized the power word “sensational” to stimulate a sense of splendor and to make the purchaser wish to click through to see pictures right now. “Spectacular” falls under the “charm” classification.

How to Utilize Buzz Words in the Listing Blurb

Buzz words or power words appeal more to purchasers than other generic words like “relaxing” or “adorable” since they paint a picture of your home. Inspect out these listing descriptions from an expert real estate copywriter if you ‘d like a couple of examples of well-written listings.

If you desire your listing to stand out in search outcomes, you’ll wish to utilize local keywords.

Prevent Buzzkill Words

Throw away words like “charming” or “relaxing” and expressions like “priced to offer.” These words have ended up being white noise in property listings and do not suggest anything to potential purchasers.

Instead, be as particular as you can about your home. Even if you do have a comfortable den, consider what makes it healthy.

Do not state: The home has a relaxing den off the living room.

State: The den is the ideal area to unwind with a cup of tea as the sun shines in through brand-new Pella windows.

You also need to check the listing blurb over and over to get rid of any spelling or grammatical mistakes. Any error in spelling or grammar can suggest that the real estate representative invested little time producing the listing.

Leading representative Caponigro informed us that terms like, “this will not last” are absolute no-nos. It appears that any listing that has 100 or more market days!

Keep a careful eye on different terms like “en suite”, “wrought iron fence”, and other similar terms. They might quickly (and incorrectly) be noted as “on suite” or “rod iron fence”. These little mistakes can send out purchasers running for worry of more significant errors in your home.

Your listing should never break the Fair Real estate Act which indicates that there shouldn’t be discrimination in gender, race, background, color or specific location.

Display Community Distance

Throughout your listing blurb, you need to make it clear that your home is located in a secure area.

Walkscore is a tool you can utilize to assist in determining what hotspots are instantly available to your home. The machine has a brand-new function called “Time Travel Map” which reveals to you how far you can stroll, drive, bike or take public transit in your location within 20 minutes. It will likewise show you how walkable the place is and the popular areas close by.

Other good ideas to keep in mind are: pure beach gains access to, fast highway gain access to, charming coffeehouse, and hassle-free shopping mall near to the property.

Reference Swanky Appliances and Cool Style Characteristics

This is among the locations in your property listing where you can best assist your realty representative. Caponigro asks all of her customers to supply her with a “function sheet” that details whatever the home needs to provide.

You can produce a function sheet for your real estate representative. It may consist of details regarding restrooms and spaces, lot size, square video, and so on. You may also want to include unique functions, like a double automobile garage, white wine cellar, kitchen area island, and any upgrades you have done.

Purchasers value high-end home appliances in a house, so you need to drop high-end brand names regularly.

If you have any high-end cooking area devices, windows, lights, home security systems or heating/cooling systems, make sure to include them in the listing.

Did a well-understood designer style your home? Current upgrades are as essential to your home’s worth as they are to purchasers. Market brand-new marble or granite countertops, a rejuvenated restroom, cooking area, yard, and any other high-end touches you included.

See Also: How to Decorate Your Home

Your Remarkable Property Listing

Above all, make sure that the listing records what you enjoy most about the home. The more distinct the description is and the more eye-catching the images are, the quicker it will be for your home to sell.

See Also: A Simple Guide to Selling A House in New York State

The post How to Develop Property Listings that Make Purchasers Take Action appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Develop Property Listings that Make Purchasers Take Action

After discovering a property representative, preparing your home for sale, and staging the house, you and your realty representative require to create remarkable real estate listing descriptions.

The initial step that 42% of purchasers require to buy a home is to look for listings online. 95% of purchasers utilize the web to eventually discover a home in their search.

You might lose these purchasers permanently if your listing pictures and story do not mesmerize home hunters browsing online. One research study revealed that listings with one image took over double the time to offer than listings with 20 pictures.

That’s why you and your realty representative need to develop the very best property listing in your location.

Here are some of the best ways to do that:

No Smart Device Pics Allowed: Your Photos Should Be Sensational

Imagine that you’re really in the market for a brand-new home. There are two homes on the very same street, comparable flooring strategy, and rate point. However, they have hugely various pictures.

According to CBS News, homes marketed with a leading quality expert listing images offer for 47% more than homes with low-quality photos. Images can likewise assist your home sell 32% faster.

Online users invest 60% of their time taking a look at the pictures on a realty listing page, and 20% on residential or commercial property information and the listing blurb. That indicates that if your images do not blow purchasers away, then there’s a likelihood they’ll never see your home.

How to Get Great Listing Photos

real estate listing description

Whatever you do, don’t take your listing pictures yourself.

Your property representative must contract out your listing images to an expert photographer who will modify and improve every photo or take the pictures themselves.

To find the right contractor for the job, you need to do your research. Inspect websites with impartial evaluations like Yelp or Angie’s List to discover leading professional photographers near you or you can just delegate the task.

Whatever is in the image ought to be brilliant and noticeable

For interior shots, you must be able to see the view out of all windows. Professional photographers can accomplish this using specific techniques.

The picture needs to make the area look big as possible

Do the images all look cropped or was a large-angle lens utilized? All photos must be shot with a large-angle lens and the space must never feel confined.

Images need to be straight

All images must be level. Your photographer can go free-hand or he can use a tripod as long as he’s able to make every shot appear straight and perfect.

The order of your listing images is crucial. You should go first with the dining space, living space, and household space. After those areas, you can cover the master bedroom and the other rooms in the house.

Another smart method to encourage a prospective purchaser to come to see your home personally is to leave “Easter eggs” or little within jokes or concealed messages of home functions in the listing description. These should not be noticeable in pictures.

Tips for Composing the Perfect Listing Description

creating real estate listing descriptions

The listing description is your only chance to discuss anything about your home that purchasers can’t see in the images. For that, you need to:

  • Utilize words most likely to appear in search engine result
  • Display high-end and brand-name functions like your Viking range
  • Point out superb features of your community
  • Promote special services

Your representative will compose the listing blurb for you. However, you can ask to see it before the listing gets released online.

How to Compose a Fascinating Listing Title

Some property representatives will publish your home on sites like Craigslist. These sites use a “list view” which suggests that you’ll require an appealing title for your listing. Many property representatives will do this for you as part of their marketing strategy. However, it never harms to come up with some recommendations.

Unlike other marketing platforms that arrange by image, a list view sorts just by the listing title. It’s less likely that potential purchasers will click through to your listing if your claim is not as good as the other titles before and after yours.

One method to do that is to use power words in your listing title. We’ll compose 2 noting titles together, one with power words and one without.

Title A: Good home for sale in SF Bay Location.

Title B: New: Zen Retreat With Sensational Views in Laurel Heights

Can you think which listing title has the power words? That’s right — Listing B is a terrific example of what your listing title should look like.

We utilized the power word “brand-new” to get the attention of the purchaser. If a listing is brand-new, it’s most likely something she hasn’t seen before. It produces a sense of seriousness.

We utilized the power word “zen” to stimulate harmony and serenity. This power word falls in the “joy” classification, which is what every potential purchaser ought to feel when she discovers an appealing brand-new listing.

We utilized the power word “sensational” to stimulate a sense of splendor and to make the purchaser wish to click through to see pictures right now. “Spectacular” falls under the “charm” classification.

How to Utilize Buzz Words in the Listing Blurb

Buzz words or power words appeal more to purchasers than other generic words like “relaxing” or “adorable” since they paint a picture of your home. Inspect out these listing descriptions from an expert real estate copywriter if you ‘d like a couple of examples of well-written listings.

If you desire your listing to stand out in search outcomes, you’ll wish to utilize local keywords.

Prevent Buzzkill Words

Throw away words like “charming” or “relaxing” and expressions like “priced to offer.” These words have ended up being white noise in property listings and do not suggest anything to potential purchasers.

Instead, be as particular as you can about your home. Even if you do have a comfortable den, consider what makes it healthy.

Do not state: The home has a relaxing den off the living room.

State: The den is the ideal area to unwind with a cup of tea as the sun shines in through brand-new Pella windows.

You also need to check the listing blurb over and over to get rid of any spelling or grammatical mistakes. Any error in spelling or grammar can suggest that the real estate representative invested little time producing the listing.

Leading representative Caponigro informed us that terms like, “this will not last” are absolute no-nos. It appears that any listing that has 100 or more market days!

Keep a careful eye on different terms like “en suite”, “wrought iron fence”, and other similar terms. They might quickly (and incorrectly) be noted as “on suite” or “rod iron fence”. These little mistakes can send out purchasers running for worry of more significant errors in your home.

Your listing should never break the Fair Real estate Act which indicates that there shouldn’t be discrimination in gender, race, background, color or specific location.

Display Community Distance

Throughout your listing blurb, you need to make it clear that your home is located in a secure area.

Walkscore is a tool you can utilize to assist in determining what hotspots are instantly available to your home. The machine has a brand-new function called “Time Travel Map” which reveals to you how far you can stroll, drive, bike or take public transit in your location within 20 minutes. It will likewise show you how walkable the place is and the popular areas close by.

Other good ideas to keep in mind are: pure beach gains access to, fast highway gain access to, charming coffeehouse, and hassle-free shopping mall near to the property.

Reference Swanky Appliances and Cool Style Characteristics

This is among the locations in your property listing where you can best assist your realty representative. Caponigro asks all of her customers to supply her with a “function sheet” that details whatever the home needs to provide.

You can produce a function sheet for your real estate representative. It may consist of details regarding restrooms and spaces, lot size, square video, and so on. You may also want to include unique functions, like a double automobile garage, white wine cellar, kitchen area island, and any upgrades you have done.

Purchasers value high-end home appliances in a house, so you need to drop high-end brand names regularly.

If you have any high-end cooking area devices, windows, lights, home security systems or heating/cooling systems, make sure to include them in the listing.

Did a well-understood designer style your home? Current upgrades are as essential to your home’s worth as they are to purchasers. Market brand-new marble or granite countertops, a rejuvenated restroom, cooking area, yard, and any other high-end touches you included.

See Also: How to Decorate Your Home

Your Remarkable Property Listing

Above all, make sure that the listing records what you enjoy most about the home. The more distinct the description is and the more eye-catching the images are, the quicker it will be for your home to sell.

See Also: A Simple Guide to Selling A House in New York State

The post How to Develop Property Listings that Make Purchasers Take Action appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Increase Productivity by Switching Off and Getting Cozy

The working world is in a constant state of flux. We have come a really long way in the last 150 years or so in terms of employment law and workers’ rights. In the grand scale of human history, we’ve barely stopped sending our children to work in factories. The 40-hour week was only adopted in the USA in 1940. Despite all this progress, why are so many people feeling burned out?

As quickly as we industrialized, we’ve digitized. We no longer work menial jobs en masse. Over 80% of Americans work at a desk, sitting down in air-conditioned buildings. Despite that, there’s still an underlying feeling of exhaustion, sadness, and a lack of work-life balance.

Technology is a double-edged sword

Computers and the internet were instrumental in securing a 40-hour week as they reduced the time it took us to do our work. 60 hours of work can now be easily done in 40 with computers. At the same time, the omnipresent tentacles of technology means that it’s harder than ever to switch off.

Being successful in your career and working hard is a virtue. But you can increase your output and your health by learning how to switch off from work properly and creating a safe retreat for yourself.

The concept of switching off is quite ingrained in some cultures, while others still promote the idea of constant work. Some people are suited to that always-on, always-working lifestyle, but for most of us, this is a fast track to burnout.

Setting Up Your Home for Success

switch off from work

To be more successful in our lives, it’s easy for us to look at productivity gurus and sleep-hacking entrepreneurs for answers. But for a great deal of the workforce, what works for these people won’t work for us. Perhaps the most important place to start is at home, because a cozy home has associated health benefits.

Unless you’re in a senior management position and above, you’re unlikely to have much say over how your office is set up. You can make suggestions, but there’s no guarantee these will be obliged. For example, lots of office workers want more ’breakout’ spaces, informal work areas, and access to green space whether that’s just a view of a park from the window or an actual place where they can take a time out and regroup.

You can make changes at home to foster a sense of belonging, calm, and restoration. You need a space to return to that is entirely separate from work.

If there are any similarities between the two places, it becomes harder to disassociate the two. We’re not talking exclusively about the interior design as it’s unlikely your home’s interior looks anything like your office. Rather, it’s how you spend your time at home and steps you can take to create a greater sense of peace.

So, How to Switch Off From Work?

The first thing you can do is to stop checking work emails outside of work. Technology has created this ‘always-on’ work culture. There are some roles where you do have to be accessible at all times, but for most roles, you shouldn’t be expected to be always on.

A good way of doing this is not linking your phone to work emails. You can only look at them when you’re at your desk. Leave the work emails at work because your personal time is your personal time. You’re not receiving extra salary to check those emails and reply to them outside of work.

This isn’t possible for everyone though. We can easily feel pressured to be available outside of work. So what else can we do?

Other countries have downtime ingrained into their cultural fabric. Let’s discuss a few examples.

Everyone knows the Danish art of ‘hygge’ now. A word to describe a unique cozy and special moment. This can be something as simple as having an open fire going, putting on your favorite pair of thick socks or playing a board game with loved ones.

The Spanish have something called ‘sobremesa’. This refers to being at the dinner table, having finished your meals, just sitting and chatting with your family and friends. Spaniards have perfected this art. This social behavior is key to their national identity with Spanish diners often talking into the early hours of the morning. The key thing here is family time.

‘Tech Sabbaths’ are being advocated by the Jewish faith and more, where all screens and tech are put away for 24 hours a week. The Japanese have an expression that translates to “too little tea,” referring to someone too busy to stop and drink a cup of tea now and then. In Croatia, they have a word — “fjaka” — which refers to the joy of doing absolutely nothing.

Some things you can do to embrace these qualities is setting some time aside to have a hot drink in the evening, without your phone or a screen. Just take 10 to 20 minutes to sit and enjoy your drink.

Candles and open fires, these foster a sense of relaxation. If you work at a computer all day, read a book in the evening. Staring at screens isn’t good for our health.

See Also: How Your Home Affects Your Mood (And What To Do About It)

How To Make Your House a Home

to switch off from work

What you do in your downtime is one thing, but the settings you do it in is another. Here’s how you can make your house feel like more of a retreat:

  • Personalize – Make your house feel like a space that’s catered to you. Lots of modern design trends have created these minimal spaces that don’t have an identity, like your home has been copied and pasted from Pinterest. Put your stamp on your space with treasured pictures, memories, and things that reflect your values and your personality. It gives more a sense of ownership and strengthens your sense of personal identity. Being in touch with yourself can improve your mental health.
  • Declutter – Organizing our homes is one of the most tangible steps you can take to decluttering your mind. It’s so easy to put off but every time we do it, we feel so much better. The Marie Kondo effect has seen people embrace a decluttered life. Let go of things you don’t need. Let go of things that serve your home no purpose. This brand of minimalism isn’t about living by your bootstraps, but only bringing things into your home that add value to your life.
  • Snuggle – Make your home a retreat. Comfort is key to this. Get candles and warm lighting to create ambiance. Pillows, blankets, slippers and warm, comfy clothes to wear create this stark difference to the office that we mentioned earlier. You want work to feel like the furthest place in the world when you get home. This helps you to switch off and reclaim some work-life balance.

See Also: 5 Features to Achieve a Peaceful Home

These are just some things you can do to reclaim your time and add value to it. This isn’t about shying away from duties and work. This isn’t about rejecting the working world, either. This is how to switch off from work so you can make yourself a better and more valuable worker.

A happy employee is a productive employee. Taking yourself as far away from the working world as possible, outside of office hours, is a way of making yourself more productive, more personable, and more satisfied during office hours.

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7 Steps to Keep Your Home Warm When the Weather Outside Is Frightful

When temperatures fall below freezing and everything is covered in ice, nothing compares to warming up in the comfort of your own home. However, keeping your home warm can be a little trickier this year as forecasters with the 2020 “Farmers’ Almanac” are predicting a particularly harsh winter.

Dubbed a “Polar Coaster”, it’s expected to bring fluctuating temperatures and frequent blasts of ice, sleet, and snow. Plus, the harshest winter weather could arrive earlier than normal.

Start keeping your home warm by taking these steps throughout the fall:

Plug up any air leaks

Air leaks in caulk or weather stripping allow frigid air to enter your house and warm air to leak out. You can save between 5% and 10% on your energy bill by simply plugging these leaks.

While the weather is still warm, check your weather stripping by closing doors and windows onto a sheet of paper. The stripping needs replacement if it slides easily around the paper. Find other air leaks in the home by holding a lit candle around doors, window frames, and wire holes. A flickering flame means you need to insulate the area.

For more high-tech, accurate results, consider using an air leak detector. Once the device is turned on, point it toward the locations where leaks are suspected. A light emanating from the device will scan the area.

If a leak exists, it’ll turn blue if the air is cold and red if the air is warm. If no leaks are detected, the light won’t change colors at all.

Insulate anything and everything

People often avoid insulating their homes because they imagine wrestling with huge pieces of itchy, pink material. Fortunately, insulation has gotten a lot easier to work with. It’s still just as crucial for keeping your home comfortable and efficient.

Look for areas without adequate insulation, starting with the attic, garage, and any unfinished spaces. Use cellulose and spray in those areas. They provide a superior thermal barrier between your home and the worst winter weather.

See Also: 5 Ways to Become More Energy Efficient with Your Heating System

Show some love to your furnace

A pleasant home requires a fully functioning furnace. Before you have to rely on it daily, a certified HVAC technician should inspect the furnace and give it a tuneup. This affordable service helps avoid breakdowns, improves energy efficiency, and fulfills the requirements of the warranty.

If the furnace is past its prime, have a replacement installed immediately. You want everything to be up and running before the first cold night of the year.

Give the roof a close inspection

inspecting roof

Heat travels upward and if your roof is full of holes, it’s allowing valuable heated air to drift outside. Inspect every inch of the roof for gaps, cracks and leaks, particularly around vents, chimneys, and valleys. Looking for missing, curled or damaged shingles is also important. Unused antennas or satellite dishes can damage your roof in a strong storm, so consider removing them while you’re already up there.

See Also: Roofing Inspection Checklist for Homeowners

Get serious about gutters

Gutters divert water away from your foundation which is just as important in the winter when you face melting snowfall and freezing water expansion. Take action before the leaves start to fall.

Clean the gutters thoroughly. Then, consider installing mesh guards to keep the next round of leaves out. Inspect the downspouts and install extenders as needed. If anything is seriously damaged, replace it in the fall when the work is easy to do.

Prepare your whole lawn

Unfortunately, landscaping doesn’t stop when the summer ends. Even when the grass stops growing taller, the roots are still growing deeper, making fall the ideal time to fertilize. Even more importantly, overgrown trees can be a serious liability in the winter if limbs fall into power lines and leave your furnace disabled. Hire an arborist to preemptively remove anything that could put your power at risk.

Don’t forget to decorate

keep your home warm

A “warm” home is just as much about the atmosphere as the temperature. Even if we have an early, aggressive winter, the season is peppered with exciting holidays, starting with Halloween and carrying all the way through Super Bowl Sunday. If you feel inclined, decorate inside and out. It won’t necessarily keep the cold air out, but it will help turn your home into an inviting place for family and friends to gather.

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A Simple Guide to Selling A House in New York State

Are you planning on selling a house in New York state?

Mounting up a “FOR SALE” board or doing online listing is not enough.

If you somehow get buyers with that, you’ll never know if they will agree on the price or if the condition of your property will turn them off.

Poor marketing can slow down the sale of your home. The last thing to worry about is your real estate agent. Selling a house is a stressful process, if not complicated like buying a house.

Adding to your worries, New York’s house market has been sluggish over the years.

From pricing, real estate agents to home improvements, there are many things you need to work over. And these steps will help you out.

Set the Right Price

The common way to price your home is by taking the sale price of similar units in your neighborhood. Then, divide it by the square footage of that property. Once you get the price per square footage, apply it to the dimensions of your property to figure out the market price.

However, it doesn’t mean your home will be sold for the same price as the one in your neighborhood. Other factors also come into play, such as the floor level. Keep in mind that a higher floor apartment is more expensive. Moreover, buyers may consider the new homes in your area that just hit the market.

The optimal solution is that you should assess the market prices of the recently sold homes in your area. Don’t price it way higher as it can repel the budget buyers. Pricing it too low will be a loss, too

Make Improvements for Home Staging

selling a house in new york

Chapped plaster, grimy shower door, dripping faucets, stained toilet seat and broken tiles—these things will turn you off, let alone the home buyers. Therefore, assess your house for remodeling.

Here’s how:

  • Get the imperfections like cracks, leaks and other faults fixed.
  • De-clutter and depersonalize the home by removing old rugs, old furniture, bedding, shoes, trophies, and family photos.
  • Place your furniture rightly to make your home look spacious.
  • Apply some fresh coatings of paint to make your home look new and spacious.
  • Improve the curb appeal by mowing and edging the lawn, trimming the shrubs, replacing old bulbs, painting, and getting replaced posts fixed.

See Also: 5 Practical Home Improvements To Sell A House

Market It Over Social Media

You must have put your home on sale on various listing sites. However, this doesn’t mean that you get buyers’ calls as soon as your post is published. For getting quick results, why not take it to your social media?

This technique can work. Posting it over social media outlets, like Facebook, can give you an instant response as you have hundreds of friends who stay online. Drop the posting of your home a few times a week. Make sure to mention your property. Join the local real estate groups to create a buzz about your home.

Choose the Right Season to Sell Home

Timing also does matter in the sale of your home.

According to several studies and data, the right time to sell a home in New York is around September and November. Spring and summer are usually considered the best season for sellers due to parents waiting until summer to move school-aged kids.

However, nearly half of the New York population has never been married, so their decisions aren’t based on the kid’s schedule. Besides, buyers also purchase a home late in the year to deduct home purchase costs on their taxes.

Work with the Right Realtor

selling house in new york state

Realtors are professionals who know the market better and can help you get the correct price for your property. It is important to choose the right one. Make sure the agent has a wealth of experience in the industry and a proven track record as well.

Here’s how:

  • Interview them to know their experience, marketing techniques, and strategies.
  • Contact their past clients.
  • Talk about their commissions.

These tips will help you start selling a house in New York state fast and at the right price.

To conclude, price your home right, market it right, make some improvements, and team up with an efficient real estate agent. What do you think?

Let us know by commenting below.

The post A Simple Guide to Selling A House in New York State appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How WiFi6 Will Make Your Home (And Business) Better

Do you remember the first time you got a WiFi connection in your home?

The possibilities seemed endless, and suddenly they were. A whole new set of gadgets started to emerge, from connected doorbells to connected thermostats. There was an increase in connected gadgets per person, too.

Where the internet was once only available from a shared home computer, people now have multiple devices each, including phones, laptops, e-readers, gaming systems, and more.

Unfortunately, the older generation of WiFi has struggled to keep up. While speeds have increased, it still has a fatal flaw. Many current WiFi routers only connect to a single device at a time, sending and receiving information from just that device before moving on to the next.

More recent WiFi5 routers can connect to 4 devices at a time. WiFi6, meanwhile, will be able to connect to multiple devices at a time, revolutionizing our connected homes and businesses.

Old Technology Leads To Lag Time

old technology lag wifi

Your old WiFi router is getting the job done but sometimes, it struggles to keep up. You can watch streaming video just fine, but when the kids are all playing Fortnite with their friends, your video might buffer more.

That’s because the more devices there are connected to a single WiFi router, the longer it takes for the signal to jump back to your device. Every time you add a new device to your old network, it bogs the signal down even more.

The History of Signal Hopping And WiFi

In 1941, Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr patented Frequency-Hopping Spread-Spectrum as a way to guide torpedoes in WWII without being detected. The technology skipped signals across different frequencies in a predetermined pattern, much like how WiFi works today.

In fact, this invention is also used in Bluetooth and Zigbee, as well as many more technologies. Its importance wasn’t discovered for decades after its invention. Then, Lamarr finally received recognition for her work in 1997. That’s three years before she died.

ARPANET was the first network of multiple computers, hardwired together to communicate with each other. It’s thought of as the predecessor to the internet. The first wireless network was developed in 1971 at the University of Hawaii using radio communications.

Then, TCP/IP was invented in 1983 to grow a single network to a network of networks. The World Wide Web followed in 1990. Multiple technological advances before, during, and after these major milestones had been stitched together to give us today’s modern WiFi.

Upgrading to Wifi 6: The Future of WiFi

future of wifi

WiFi5 routers upped connections from one device at a time to four. As of 2017, the average U.S. household had five connected devices, enough to slow the connection for everything. What’s more, the average number of connected devices has ballooned to more than three times that of 2017, ushering in the need for even better technology.

Think about your connected thermostat and all the auxiliary items you can connect to it, each with its own need for a WiFi connection. Then, think about your IoT refrigerator that connects to your Alexa so you can check the contents of your fridge before heading home from the office. There are all the WiFi connected televisions, gaming systems, tablets, laptops, and more, each bogging down your system.

WiFi6 is going to revolutionize the way we connect to the internet both at home and at work. Not only will the new generation of WiFi be able to connect to more devices at a time, it will also be able to handle larger packets of information from each. Think about all the laptops on your work network and how laggy the internet gets when everyone is in the office on the same day — upgrading to WiFi6 will make that better.

The Need Is Growing Greater

By next year, there will be more than 20 billion IoT devices worldwide. That’s more than 2.6 times what we already have today.

Before you buy your next IoT toaster, stop to ask yourself if your network is ready to handle yet another connected device. It might be time to upgrade to WiFi6 just to save your sanity. Learn more about the history and future of WiFi from the infographic below!

The post How WiFi6 Will Make Your Home (And Business) Better appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Garden

Your garden is full of secrets. When you know those secrets, it will help you to grow a beautiful and healthy garden. Although gardening still requires dedication and skill, there are many fun facts about your garden that could make maintaining it a little easier.

Curious to learn more about gardening? We have five interesting gardening facts you likely didn’t know about your garden.

Plants Do Respond to Sound

Have you heard (or seen) people talking to their plants? Maybe you’ve heard the old tale that is talking to your plants will actually promote growth. It may sound silly, but plants actually do respond to sound.

The vibration from sound can affect their growth. Studies have shown that sounds like music and your voice can contribute to the growth and health of your garden.

There Are Good Pests

We always think that a pest in the garden is causing more harm than good. While for many bugs and insects that is true, there are pests out there that are actually beneficial for your garden. The hard part is determining which ones to keep and which ones to get rid of.

Many good pests (including ladybugs, aphid midges, spiders, and ground beetles) feed off of other bugs and pests that can cause damage to your garden. So, if you spot some of these bugs, don’t fret. They’re doing an important job that will make life easier for you to maintain your garden.

Butterflies May Like Weeds More

garden butterfly

Butterflies are beautiful insects that flap around a healthy garden, typically. We often think it is the color in the garden that attracts butterflies. Although that may be true, it comes down to the scent and nectar of a plant that attracts a butterfly.

Due to human’s breeding plants on their own to create brighter and bigger plants, they often lose their fragrance. However, it is the weeds that tend to maintain their scent, which will attract scent-driven bugs like butterflies.

Different Kind of Composting

We know that gardens love compost. That is because they get to absorb all of the leftover nutrients from compost. However, you don’t need to be a dedicated composter for your garden to have similar benefits.

Although having a compost bin will reduce the amount of garbage you have, you don’t need to do this for your garden necessarily. Instead, directly applying to the soil items like used coffee grounds, chopped-up banana peels, and other organic matter will give the plants the nutrients they look for as the items decompose.

Gardening Can Equal Happiness

gardening happiness

Many studies have found that gardening will help boost your mood. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of gardening, spending some time tending to your plants can help the brain produce serotonin, which is the happy chemical that can combat depression. Certain bacteria strains in garden soil will contribute to serotonin production.

If you’re looking for another reason to start a garden, the five listed above may help. These secrets will not only help boost the health of your garden, but they may also help contribute to your overall health and happiness too.

See Also: How to Create an Indoor Garden

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8 Ways You’re Actually Inviting Burglars Into Your Home

According to FBI crime statistics, there were an estimated 7,694,086 property crimes nationwide with losses of $15.3 billion in 2017.

Though you certainly don’t want your home to become the next target of potential thieves, sometimes you might be unwittingly inviting burglars into your home and putting your property (your family as well) at risk.

To avoid ending up in a low-hanging fruit in the eyes of intruders, make sure you’re away from these 8 home security mistakes:

Unlocked doors, windows, and other entrances

unlocked door

The shocking fact is that 32% of homeowners leave a window open and 13% leave a door unlocked. This offers a great opportunity for thieves to sneak into your home without alerting your neighbors.

So, take a few seconds before you leave home to double check all your doors, windows, and other entry points. And don’t forget about your storage shed, basement or garage as well!

No lights on at night

A dark home at night can be a clear sign that your house is vacant. Instead of turning all your lights on when you’re away from home (smart burglars will easily see through this trick), it’s better to install timers on interior lamps. That way, you can create an appearance that the house is occupied.

Uncollected mails, newspapers, and packages

If you plan to go away for a vacation or on a business trip, ask a reliable neighbor, friend or family member to pick up your mails, newspapers, and packages in advance. You may request the post office to hold your mails and ask the newsagent to stop delivering your papers until you come back home.

Leaving ladders and tools out

Leaving a ladder, hammer, saw and other tools in open areas is practically inviting trouble for yourself. Once these fall into the hands of burglars, the next thing you can expect, without any doubt, would be forced entry into your home.

Place your tools in your garage or basement after use. Also, make sure that your basement and garage are well locked.

Untrimmed bushes and landscape

Overgrown bushes not only provide ideal shelter for burglars to hide when casing your house but also indicate that you have been away for a long time. It might lure burglars into your home.

Trim the bushes and mow your lawn regularly to make sure no one can hide in it. If you’re going away for a long period of time, hire someone to attend to the landscape during your absence.

Displaying valuable items in plain view

Are you leaving your garden furniture and lawn decorations in plain sight? Or do you just throw away the box of your brand-new TV or computer on the curb? Watch out!

Thieves select homes to break into by taking note of boxes curbed as trash, especially during holiday seasons. A safer way to dispose of the trashes for valuables is to cut them up and toss them in the trash can.

Leaving spare keys under carpet/stones

You might think it is a great idea to hide your spare keys under the carpet or stones but never underestimate the burglars. They’re good at hide-and-seek games.

Doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes, and stones are normally the first places smart thieves would search for. If you’re afraid that you might be locked out, give a set of keys to a trustworthy family member or your friend.

Showing off on social media

It is understandable that you love to share a memorable experience during a trip on social media. But take heed, posting your vacation details on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is basically announcing to the burglars that your home is unoccupied and free to break into.

So instead of posting your real-time vacation moments, wait until you come back home to share the photos online.

See Also: Home Security: Try These 10 Ways to Make Your Home Safer – Without a Gun

The post 8 Ways You’re Actually Inviting Burglars Into Your Home appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Tech Can Protect Your Home From Hail Damage

In July 2010, an astonishingly large, naturally forming hailstone was recorded in the United States. At a weight of around 22 pounds, 19 inches in circumference, and 8 inches in diameter, though this stone was large, it was quite possibly one of many.

Sizes of hailstones vary from pea-sized to softball-sized. However, any hailstone over 1.5 inches is almost guaranteed to leave some damage behind. For an unprepared roof, hailstones like this are bad news.

Hail Happens – And It’s Getting Worse

Among some of the most unpredictable of weather events, hail can happen virtually anywhere by forming within the lower levels of thunderstorm clouds.

Heavy rain and variable winds keep moisture in the clouds, forming into water droplets that fuse and freeze together. They are kept afloat in the clouds by storm updraft.

Eventually, when the winds can no longer sustain the weight of the frozen pellets, they begin to fall to the ground unmelted.

Though bouts of hail usually don’t last longer than several minutes, the damage they can leave in their wake is serious. The worst part? It’s difficult to see them coming.

Hailstones may fall at speeds greater than 90 miles per hour.

High-velocity winds can make the trajectory of hailstones hard to predict and increase damage, thus making it difficult to insure.

Climate change is pushing risks of hail into Western and Northeastern states.

Across the United States, 2017 is *hailed* as one of the worst years for hail damage, resulting in 11 million affected properties and $1.7 billion in property damage. Damage in Texas alone made up $1.3 million of that damage. In some states, more than half of their properties were damaged by hail, 57% in Kansas, and 55% in Oklahoma.

Hail Damage Is Expensive

hail storm

Nearly every state in the US has experienced at least one major hail storm and we aren’t the only ones. In 2017, extreme weather and its subsequent damage caused $330 billion in global property damage and over $135 billion in insurance paid claims.

Highly destructive and unpredictable weather events are increasing all over the world. In the last three decades, the average number of natural weather catastrophes increased by nearly 175%, hail storms hitting every seven to nine days.

In 1987, the average number of natural catastrophes was 490. Just last year, it was 850. Excluding Alaska, Rhode Island, and Hawaii, every state in the US has experienced threats and damage from falling hail.

Every year, hailstorms cause more than $10 billion in damage all across North America.

Damage Prevention And Early Detection Are Key

In terms of hail damage prevention, there’s currently only so much we can do.

For properties within areas that frequently see thunderstorms and hail, the right roofing material can go a long way. Consider 26 gauge roofing instead of standard asphalt shingles and inspect your roof regularly for damage.

After that point, it’s up to your insurance coverage to help protect your investment: your home.

Yet, compared to other types of weather damage, hail is tough to insure for. Giving consumers the right quotes takes a lot of data and reliable methods of both predicting risk and assessing the damage. Up until this point, this wasn’t always possible. Hail damage is difficult to address immediately and insurers may file claims months after the event itself.

Tech Is The Newest Solution

Further development with IoT and more emerging technologies are helping insurers and homeowners get a better idea of the regional risks for hail and other types of weather damage. As insurance agencies turn to remote AI monitoring of properties, surrounding weather, and incoming storms, homeowners are also utilizing personal home monitors to help detect and stop leaks.

At the end of the day, more and more consumers are getting the insurance coverage they need all the while educating themselves on the best practices for a truly hail-proof home.

From damaged crops to cars to properties to people, the forces of Mother Nature are unpredictable. And while we cannot stop the weather from hitting, we can be ready to withstand whatever comes at us.

See this infographic for more information on the increasing threats of hail damage, how technology is helping us see it coming, and what the next generation of weatherproofing looks like.

Please include attribution to WeatherCheck.co with this graphic.

Hail No! Protecting Your Properties From Hail Damage

 

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8 Smart And Easy Tips To Make Moving A Breeze

Regardless of whether you have few or more items, moving is one of the biggest household tasks there is. It consumes both time and effort for both first-time movers and people who frequently move. From preparations to the moving day itself, it can be a tiring job.

In this article, we will tackle some of the best moving tips and hacks I’ve gathered.

Plan

Before you decide on relocating, you should have a plan first. This will help you achieve an efficient moving experience.

Plan about how the moving should be, your new destination, and what to pack. Know where you are relocating and how you are going to move from your house to your new home.

Are you going to hire some help or can you get some help from your friends?

Make a clear and concrete plan.

Research

Assuming that you’ve already had a destination, the next step is to research about it. Regardless of whether it’s a small move or an interstate move, getting information is always a good idea. Check for schools, hospitals, markets, and other things that can help you describe what and how the area is like.

It’s also advisable to check the area’s employment rate. This is crucial for people who are looking for opportunities in other areas. This is also the right time to choose the right home for you, the right town or suburb, and city. You might also want to check the area’s road policies and other community regulations, especially if you’re moving with a pet.

After doing so, you can hire and schedule a moving service from recommended companies. Make sure to choose a removalist with cheap yet outstanding services.

Organize

Let’s say that you’re done with the research and you’re getting excited with relocating. Now, it’s time to organize. If you’re moving to another city, try to visit your new home weeks before the moving day. This is a perfect time for you to allocate and indicate the number of items you’ll need.

Remember that the fewer the boxes, the better. This is because extra moving boxes require additional payment. There are some moving services that provide a set of moving boxes but in a limited number only. Exceeding boxes require additional costs.

Make An Inventory

Make a list of everything you’ll need in your new home. This depends on how big or small your new home is.

It’s always advisable to leave items that can be bought in your new area. These items include a toothbrush, toothpaste, and other toiletries. You can also leave electrical items such as electric razor and blow-dryer.

An inventory can also help you with determining whether you’ve lost an item along the moving process. Make sure to keep your inventory list before and after moving. If you’re taking your furniture, it’s best to ask for professional help. Hire a removalist.

Pack, pack, pack

Packing also means decluttering. Using your inventory list, pack your things in their designated moving boxes. You should have several types of moving boxes designed for specific items.

See Also: The Super Easy Approach to Decluttering your Home

Here’s a list of the types of moving boxes:

Small Moving Box – This type of box is designed for small but heavy items. The idea here is to help an individual carry heavy items in a faster and more efficient method. It’s best for carrying books and small but heavy appliances.

Medium Moving Box – The most versatile type of moving box. This type of box can carry both small and medium size items. It can withstand a weight of over 60 kilograms. It’s the perfect box for clothes, towels, and other small appliances.

Large Moving Box – Don’t be fooled by its name. It might be the largest moving box but you can’t use it to pack heavy items. Large moving boxes are made to carry small and lightweight items.

Specialty Boxes – These moving boxes are designed for specialty items such as furniture, piano, pool table, antique valuables, and jewelry.

It’s advisable to pack your items weeks prior to the moving schedule. This is to prevent last-minute preparations which always lead to stress and delay.

Label Your Boxes

Although it’s not actually necessary, it’s always wise to label your boxes. Labeling your boxes can help your removalist indicate boxes with fragile items and heavy items. This could also help you indicate which box goes to a specific room for a faster unpacking process.

Move

At last, the big day has arrived and it’s time to move!

If you did not hire a removalist but had your items packed well and secured, it’s better to know the simplest way of loading your things in a van. Removalists always say that what comes in first must go out last. This is where box labels come in handy.

Most of the time, it’s the heaviest box that goes in first and goes out last. There are some circumstances where large boxes go in first.

In accordance with this, it’s also recommended to tell your removalist about the details of your area before you move. Tell them the easiest route for their van to park and the most efficient route to carry your valuables. This is to make an organized moving process and to keep it at a smooth yet fast way.

Unpack and You’re Done

 

packing boxes efficientlyEvery moving company offers a pack and unpack service that makes it beneficial for customers. However, if you did not avail this service, chances are you’re going to spend a whole day unpacking and arranging your items.

There’s no problem with unpacking your items by yourself. However, if some of your valuables got damaged in the journey, you’ll have no one to turn to.

Hiring a removalist and availing some of their services promotes a better moving experience. Insurances are present which gives you peace of mind while your items are being transported.

Whether your items got lost or damaged, the removalist will be liable to replace them or give you a refund. This will depend on the item and the type of insurance you’ve purchased.

Overview

An effective moving process starts with a concrete plan. So, it’s wise to plan ahead.

Prepare and organize your things before you start packing. Updating your removalist for assistance or certain changes can also help promote an efficient moving experience.

The post 8 Smart And Easy Tips To Make Moving A Breeze appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

4 Sure-Fire Steps That Will Make Your Home Shine for Selling

Whether you’re trying to sell your home or you want to spruce things up, a little bit of effort can go a really long way. You could either spend a lot and have someone else do it all for you or you could muster a little bit of elbow grease and do some home improvements to make before selling.

Either way, here’s a list to help you out.

Take Care of the Exterior

Not many people will start here but addressing the exterior of your home is pretty significant. Impressions matter and the outside is the very first thing visitors and potential buyers will see. Invest a little bit of time to take care of little details.

If you have a yard, this may be the best time to mow it. After this is complete, check on the overall health of the lawn.

Does it have a mostly uniform appearance? Are there brown spots or has crabgrass begun to take over?

Buyers who have maintained a lawn before can quickly spot an unhealthy lawn, so you may have no other option than to kill these weeds rapidly.

In addition to the lawn, trimming other plants like shrubs, bushes, and hanging tree branches can make a huge difference.

After addressing outside greenery, start looking into cleaning the exterior. One of the best tools you can turn to is an industrial style power washer which you can rent at a decent price.

Power washers that utilize pressurized, hot water are the most effective way of removing impressive amounts of stains and dirt. These machines are best suited for blasting away stubborn stains on concrete.

Driveways and walkways are the best places to start but be extremely careful when using a power washer on the actual exterior of the house. They are quite powerful and have the ability to cause unintended damage.

See Also: 10 Important Home Features That Home Buyers Want

Easy Cleaning Hacks

cleaning hacks

Of course, if a listing is squeaky clean, it has a better chance of selling than a “kind of clean” house. This isn’t groundbreaking but you need to visit every single room to be entirely sure that the rooms are spotless. At a minimum, every separate room should be as clean as possible to entice buyers.

Don’t go crazy with cleaning supplies. Here are a few cleaning hacks to tackle some problems you may run into:

  • Grimy showers: Residual soap scum isn’t exactly the best way to sell a bathroom. It looks terrible and is painfully apparent on showers with glass doors. Combine ten parts water to one part muriatic acid. Then, pick up some steel wool and you can wipe away soap scum with ease.
  • Cleaning mold: Mold is both unappealing and potentially unhealthy to be around. By combining one part water with one part bleach, you can effectively wipe down surface mold. If you aren’t the biggest fan of bleach, you can also try a blend of vinegar, sugar, and water to clean surface mold.
  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers: One of the most useful and innovative cleaning products ever released is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Able to scrub away stubborn stains better than traditional sponges without being as abrasive, it’s a must for any deep cleaning job. Strong enough to tackle wall stains like scuffs, crayons, and markers, they’re pretty cheap if you get them on Amazon.

See Also: The Six Best All-Natural Cleaners for Your House

Treat Bathrooms with Care

Like it or not, bathrooms are a huge deciding factor for home buyers. This may come as a shock to first-time home sellers, but it is one of the most important rooms to address.

Upgrading bathrooms is an investment of both time and funds. The good news is that there are a few easy ways to maximize your investment without sinking too much cash.

  • Replacing hardware, fixtures, etc. – A sure sign of a dated bathroom is how old the toilet and other fixtures look. Painting is easy but updating the stuff future homeowners will be using on a daily basis will not go unnoticed. You don’t have to get the best available but this investment will pay off nicely.
  • Mirrors and other small upgrades — Replacing cabinets and countertops can be an expensive, exhausting job. You can look at other cosmetic upgrades instead to save some money. Your best bet is to shop around for stylish, contemporary mirrors to replace what is in the bathroom right now. These mirrors – as well as towel bars – can be easily mounted to the wall for a fresh, modern look.

Strategic Painting & Staining

home improvement

Your ambition may get the best of you when considering what to paint. There’s no sense in going overboard when you can be strategic with your painting targets. With intelligent application and just a few coats, the impact new paint can have on a room is impressive.

Before diving face first into painting the exterior or large rooms, consider a few smaller jobs to try out first.

  • Kitchen cabinet revival: This could potentially save tons of money, removing the need to replace older kitchen cabinets. By stripping and staining old cabinets, you can spruce them up at a low cost. The trick here is to also swap out any cabinet hardware (knobs, handles) with contemporary selections.
  • Minor cover-ups: Keep your eyes peeled for areas of the house where minor touch-ups can be applied. It may seem superficial, but you never know how detail-oriented buyers might be. In particular, try to find opportunities to cover up cracked or chipped paint. Bonus tip – paint the garage door! If you think about it, this isn’t necessarily a huge undertaking unless you’re trying to take on a six-car garage. With some fresh paint, you may be blown away at how much of a difference it can make.
  • Ugly fireplace: Fireplaces can be a great feature to promote. There are times where an existing fireplace has become outdated and unattractive. One remedy for unappealing fireplaces is to slap several coats of paint to the surrounding room. Another option is to paint the fireplace with a contrasting color to make it stand out.
  • Ceramic tile painting: No matter how you slice it up, replacing tile can get pretty expensive. Not to mention it’s a labor-intensive endeavor. As a significantly cheaper alternative, consider simply painting over old tile. It does require a special technique, so make sure to do it right.

Final Thoughts

Preparing a home for sale doesn’t have to be a costly effort. By making these home improvements to make before selling, you can whip your home into shape in no time.

You could go to the extreme by taking on substantial renovation projects or buying brand new appliances since these activities will always pay off. Just make sure that you put into account what you can afford and get a feel for the local housing market.

Even if you aren’t selling your house, these tips will make your pad shine and instill a sense of pride. Putting in just a modest amount of effort will prime your home for guests, future homeowners or for your own satisfaction.

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Replacing Windows? Demand The Best Service

Knowing how to choose replacement windows and who should do it in your Colorado home can be a daunting task.

To start with, you have to figure out what kind of windows will work best for you and since you’re an expert in something other than windows, this can be a chore all by itself. You’ll get quotes from different replacement window firms, and each might come back with a different recommendation.

Wood? Aluminum?

And is the company recommending these windows because they’re really the best choice for you or is there some other motivation for the recommendation? Might they be recommending the windows for which they will get the highest markup, for instance?

(Here’s a hint: In Colorado, you want locally-made vinyl windows built and designed with our unique Rocky Mountain climate and altitude in mind.)

Then, there’s price to consider.

One homeowner recently received quotes from three replacement window installers – including a well-known “big box” retailer whose name you’d instantly recognize – and was shocked to see that the costs ran from “x” to “2x!”

How can one firm charge twice as much as another for the same job?

Another hint: Don’t pay 2x! The lowest bid isn’t always the best overall deal.

So, suppose you find two or three firms who come back with comparable bids and recommendations for high-quality vinyl replacement window installation. How do you choose among them?

Ask about service.

The best firms hold themselves to the highest standards of service quality. Go with the firm you think really aims to delight their customers.

Time Is Money

call replacement window company

If you call a replacement window company and they tell you they can have someone out to give you an estimate sometime between Thursday and April, that will tell you something about their service.

Maybe that example is a bit of an exaggeration but if the company doesn’t handle your job in a timely manner, it does say a lot about how much they value their customers.

Every business gets busy. A professional window installer’s time is valuable and so is your time.

You can sometimes tell, early in the process, whether a firm holds itself to a high service standard simply by evaluating how long it takes them to respond to your request for an estimate.

If the firm sends someone out to look at your job right away (within a few hours, or a couple of days, at most) and if the person who shows up is efficient, knowledgeable, and professional, that also sends you a message.

They care about their service levels. They care about you.

Cleanliness Is Good, Too

Say you have to choose between two firms who sent a prompt professional to estimate your job. You’ll ask each of them when they could start the work and how long the job will take.

Some jobs can be completed in a day. Others are completed over a period of two days or more.

If your job is one that will take more than a day, ask the installation firms what you can expect at the end of each shift. If they’re surprised by the question, that’s part of your answer!

The best firms not only anticipate the question but they have a procedure in place to keep things neat and tidy while they’re away from your property.

To the installation firm, maybe it’s a “job site” but the best firms think of it more as your home or place of business. And they have systems in place to ensure that they treat the place accordingly.

It’s About Respect

check reviews

Look at the testimonials and online reviews for the replacement window companies you’re considering. You’ll probably be able to tell a lot about the level of respect each firm has for its customers.

The best firms have glowing reviews from happy customers who received great products at a great price and excellent service as well.

The installers are friendly and courteous. The “job site” is kept clean and tidy during and after each shift. And the company do what they promise to do.

And if some tricky problem comes up during the installation, the firm should be able to handle it like a professional.

More than one company will say they want your replacement-window business. But if you ask a couple of questions and check out some online reviews, you’ll be able to tell which firms really do value you. They’re the ones who hold themselves to high standards of customer service.

See Also: What Would a Home Economist, an Environmentalist, an Allergist, and Your Mother Say About Your Home Windows?

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Piping Ain’t Easy! 5 Things To Keep In Mind Before Hiring A Local Plumber

Whether it’s a residential or commercial set up, plumbing emergencies can happen anytime and without any warning.

The plumbing maintenance in homes and offices is unique in that most people don’t see it as something truly dangerous or important. When a pipe bursts or some other piece of plumbing malfunctions, many homeowners try to fix the plumbing issue by themselves.

Why You Need A Plumber

What people often fail to realize is that tackling plumbing problems requires the right knowledge and skill. Not only will the issue be harder to fix if left unaddressed, the problem could cost a fortune. Besides, leaks and drips can turn into major headaches and that’s why you need a good plumber.

Professional local plumbers have the skills, expertise, and needed equipment to properly repair any plumbing problems. They can also identify problems that require your utmost attention right away.

With that said, hiring a local plumber may sound easy but it’s actually more complicated. Considering the fact that there are a plethora of plumbing companies flooding the market today, you need to be extra careful.

If you have to hire one in a pinch, oftentimes they are not as savvy as expected. To make sure you end up with the best one, here are some really great tips for hiring a plumber.

Experience is key

plumbing

Experience in any type of craft is a vital tool that an individual and business should possess and plumbing is no exception. Besides, there are obvious benefits to hiring a professional who has been in the plumbing industry for long. Not only have they handled different plumbing jobs, but they also have been able to come across different challenges and problems to solve.

By hiring an experienced plumber, you can rest assured that the work will be done with utmost perfection and care.

Check credentials

While there is a slew of plumbing companies, most of them operate without all the necessary credentials. The sheer fact that a plumber is not licensed says a lot about his professionalism.

Unlicensed plumbers are not accountable to regulators. Most of the time, they are not available whenever things go amiss.

Needless to say, make sure you check whether the plumber is licensed and insured before making the final decision. You can ask about this over the phone before you even make an appointment. If the plumber or his representative on the phone can’t provide the master plumbing license number quickly and easily, that’s your cue to move on.

Don’t break the bank

Plumbing repairs and replacement can get expensive. Make sure you have a written estimate in hand before any work begins. Furthermore, professional plumbers are able to carry out a quick survey of the job and tell how much equipment, manpower and time is needed for completing a particular task. From this survey, they are then able to provide a breakdown for what you’ll be charged.

Be sure to ask if the total at the bottom of your estimate bill is all that you will need to pay. Take it as a chance to clarify if there will be no extra charges to the service. In addition to this, check the warranty being offered by different plumbers so that you can make the right choice.

Word of mouth

It goes without saying that no marketing strategy is as powerful or as influential as word of mouth. From online searches to a quick conversation with your family and friends, you’ll be able to get an honest opinion as to who you should hire.

In addition, make sure you visit the plumbing company’s website and go through their past customers’ reviews and testimonials. As with any review and testimonial, the odds of someone taking the time to write a positive review is a lot slimmer than a competitor or a vindictive customer posting a negative review. Besides, you will almost always find occasional negative reviews and testimonials about most companies. Just beware if you find too many of them!

Ask for references

local plumber

When it comes to hiring a local plumber, make sure you ask for references. Better yet, wait to see if they offer up the information first. Generally, any reputable plumbing company will have a list of happy customers and the jobs they have done.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the plumbing system in your home or office is incredibly essential to your health and safety. This is why it needs to be properly maintained.

Any plumbing work, no matter how big or small, should always take priority. This is because even the most ordinary job can quickly become a major and very expensive project if not attended right away.

Whether it’s a leaking pipe or dripping faucet repair, make sure you use the tips above when hiring a plumber.

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Feng Shui and Wellness: What You Need to Know

The ancient Chinese thought a lot about the relationship between the body and the environment. This helped them create a holistic system that nurtured wellness. They called it feng shui.

Early feng shui practitioners studied medicine, astrology, meteorology, and aesthetics. They supplemented it with lots of practical observations of the world around them to come up with their guiding principles, many of which hold up remarkably well in contemporary times.

good feng shui

So, what are those principles? How do they affect the use of feng shui for harmony in the home?

One of the main ones is about flow or what the Chinese call chi (also spelled qi). Chi is all about movement, breath, and energy force. It is integral to the study of Chinese medicine and martial arts.

The role of chi in spatial design

For one, there should be just enough space for the energy force to flow easily and freely. A good floor plan ensures a circuitous and even flow between and within rooms. Stagnant energy (i.e., in a basement apartment or a room teeming with clutter) or overpowering direct energy (i.e., at the head of a T-junction) can have detrimental effects on your health, relationships, and/or finances.

On the other hand, imagine the feeling you get when you enter a well-designed spa. With every object chosen and placed intentionally, it captures the flow of gentle chi and immediately invites guests into a state of serenity.

About Yin and Yang

Another guiding principle is the harmony between yang (active) and yin (passive) elements.

Certain rooms should emphasize the yang (office, living room) whereas others should foreground the yin (bedroom). All rooms, however, should incorporate both the yang and yin in harmony. This could be reflected in the color scheme, proportion of different objects, and in the lighting of the room.

An example of this is a bedroom that features restful colors, such as greens and blues for the walls but incorporates enough warm colors. You can use a pop of orange or bronze in the accessories to offset too much coolness in the overall design. Most good designers can naturally harmonize the different elements to create a general sense of balance and elegance.

Finally, good feng shui practitioners showcase elements of nature throughout their designs. Feng shui recognizes and harnesses the power inherent in natural objects: the living dynamism of plants, the solidity of rocks, the brilliance of metal, the mobility of water, and the warmth of fire.

Even indoors, these elements can emit their special properties and influence the energy of a space. For example, plants and fish tanks could energize your living room and enrich your social life but might not bring about the most restful sleep in your bedroom. Metal elements, symbolizing wealth, should be sprinkled liberally near the entryway or in an office to usher in prosperity.

feng shui house

Conclusion

So, when you’re considering lifestyle changes to promote improved well-being for you and your family, consider the interior design and feng shui as much as you think about your diet and exercise. Seek inspiration in the photos of the beautiful spaces that populate Instagram or in your favorite e-magazine.

Ask yourself what feelings these photos invoke and try to emulate the designs in those projects. Think about how well your space flows, how well the various design elements work together, and how the space functions and feels.

Place natural elements throughout your house, tapping into their energy. Just like our body, our homes need consistent loving attention in order to be the soft landing place that nurtures us for our life journey. That’s the basic idea in using feng shui for harmony in the home.

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How to Prepare for the Hurricane Season: 5 Important Tips to Follow

Hurricane season officially started one month ago, but the peak has yet to come. Most severe hurricanes occur between mid-August and late September. This means you still have time to prepare your home and family by developing an effective hurricane plan.

Last year was a historically catastrophic year for hurricanes with Maria, Harvey, and Irma doing unthinkable damage to North and Central America. This is why it’s so important to start preparing for the hurricane season even before it starts. Don’t leave the survival of your home and your life up to chance.

Make sure you do these 5 things before the big storms make landfall over the next few months.

Have an Evacuation Plan

If your area is expected to be hit by a severe hurricane, you need to know where you can go, how you will get there, and what you will bring with you. When an evacuation is ordered for an area, people start to panic and don’t know what to do. If you have planned out exactly where you will evacuate to, there will be no reason for you to panic.

Start Gathering Supplies

gather supplies

One of the biggest issues people face when a hurricane is approaching is not being able to buy supplies such as basic food and water. Stores will quickly run out of water and non-perishable foods when a big storm is coming, so make sure you’re prepared by buying the supplies you need even before a warning is issued.

It’s better to be prepared for something that doesn’t happen, instead of not being prepared for something that is about to happen. You can store the supplies in a spare closet or your garage. If a storm doesn’t hit, you’ll just have a bunch of food and water for the rest of the year.

Have an Insurance Plan

If you live in a high-risk area such as a flood zone, it’s extremely important you have a good insurance plan in place. Don’t leave everything up to chance by skimping out on a flood or hurricane insurance policy for your home. Paying for this insurance is a small price to pay that will end up saving you in case of a major weather catastrophe.

Protect Important Documents and Other Belongings

protect documents

If you have documents such as a deed to your home or important family items that can’t be replaced, you need to protect them in case of a storm. Buy a hurricane-proof safe where you can put these things in so they are protected from any damage.

Protect Your Home

Make sure your home is as protected as possible before hurricane season. If possible, install storm windows so you don’t have to worry about putting up plywood when there’s a hurricane threat. Fix up any loose parts of your house because they can cause real damage in heavy winds.

Make sure your door has strong locks to keep them from blowing open during a hurricane. If a storm is about to hit, remove all loose items from around your home so they don’t fly around during the storm.

Conclusion

Taking these precautions is important, even if you think a hurricane is unlikely to hit this year. It never hurts to be prepared for the worst, but it can definitely hurt to not be prepared.

So, make sure you start preparing for the hurricane season before it hits. That way, you can feel confident in the safety of your home and your family.

See Also: Safety Tips for Natural Disasters: A Quick Guide On How To Secure Your Property

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3 Easy Yet Effective Ways to Remove Junk From Your Home

Getting rid of junk can seem like an overwhelming task if you’re not prepared. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re just clearing out years of stuff that has been piling up in your garage or if you’re taking on a major home renovation project – you’re going to need ways to declutter.

You could ask your brother-in-law and borrow his pickup to make runs to the landfill or you can get professional help from a removal service. Another option is to rent a dumpster and pile everything in it at once. Each option has its merits but it’s hard to make the right decision until you know all the pros and cons.

Rent a Dumpster

rent a dumpster

At the top of our list is a dumpster rental. There are a lot of advantages to removing junk this way that many people never consider. For them, it’s just too much of a challenge or effort and nothing could be further from the truth.

In today’s consumer-driven economy, convenience has become one of its driving forces. Having a dumpster delivered to your driveway and then removed once it’s full is about as convenient as it gets. In most cases, you can rent the dumpster for a full week and they come in a variety of sizes. It can allow you to work on your project at your own pace without any major time constraints.

There are few things more annoying than hiring a junk removal service only to realize you didn’t get everything the first time and you have to call them back – it can get quite expensive.

When you rent a dumpster, you have full control of what you put in it and when you’re done with it. Since you’re not rushed, there’s a good chance you won’t forget anything. If you look at it in this light, it may actually be a less expensive option and it’s definitely the most convenient.

Pros

  • No time pressure
  • Plenty of waste removal capacity
  • Can work at your own pace

Cons

  • More expensive than running to the landfill yourself
  • You do all of the work

See Also: 8 Reasons To Rent A Roll-Off Dumpster

Hire a Junk Removal Company

There are some real advantages to hiring a junk removal service. Probably, the most obvious is that they do all of the heavy lifting for you. That’s great if you have any injuries or health concerns. Many of these services will haul away just about anything you want – for a price.

That’s one of the most important things to keep in mind. A junk removal service can get quite expensive, especially if you have to make multiple trips to the local landfill. You also have to accommodate their schedule. The time that works for them won’t necessarily be the most convenient for you.

Pros

  • They do all of the labor
  • Most services will haul any type of household goods away

Cons

  • Can be expensive when multiple landfill runs are required
  • You have to fit in their schedule

Make Multiple Trips to the Landfill

landfill

One of the first options we consider when we have some junk to dispose of is to do it all ourselves. If you own a pickup truck, this may seem like the best solution. After all, how hard is it to make a couple of quick trips to the local landfill?

You will have to pay a small fee and there are the fuel costs to consider. Overall, however, it is an attractive option.

Where this gets tricky is when you have a lot of junk to get rid of. If you’re in the middle of a major renovation project, you may have to make several trips to the landfill to get rid of everything. It’s also going to tie up a lot of your time making those trips if the landfill isn’t close by.

Pros

  • Least expensive option
  • Convenient for small jobs

Cons

  • Time-consuming
  • Can be inconvenient
  • May not be practical if the landfill isn’t close by

The Best Solution

Each of these ways to declutter has pros and cons and sometimes, the best solution will come down to your own personal needs. If you can’t remove the junk yourself due to physical limitations, a junk removal service is the obvious way to go. When you’re not worried about any health concerns and you know you only have a little bit of junk to get rid of, a quick trip to the dump in your own pickup truck may be the cheapest and easiest option.

For the most part though, if you have a lot of junk or a project that’s going to take a little bit of time, renting a dumpster is usually the best option.

The post 3 Easy Yet Effective Ways to Remove Junk From Your Home appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Squeaky Clean: How To Clean Up The Different Types of Carpet Stains

Every awesome house has a carpet inside it somewhere. Whether it’s in the living room or the bedroom, a rug is there to provide safety, beauty, and charm. A lot of times, a carpet faces a lot of roughing up as it puts up with a lot of factors that can gradually increase its deterioration.

One of the most dreaded things that can happen to your carpet is a horrible and stinky stain. You and your guests won’t see it immediately, but you will surely notice it eventually. And when you do, it’s important that you know how to approach it.

Below are the different types of carpet stains and how to effectively remove them.

Wine Stains

wine spill

Hosting a house party is a common event that a lot of us do. A party is fun especially when it has music, food, and drinks. However, all the fun goes away when it ends, especially for those who have to clean up after.

Imagine this: You wake up and walk around the house, seeing the aftermath of an epic party. You then look down at your carpet and see the biggest stain.

How to get rid of em’:

Most wines are red or purple and are hard to miss once it stains your carpet. Time is of the essence when dealing with wine stains.

It’s better to deal with them when they’re fresh by using a small rag wet with hydrogen peroxide. Rub it vigorously, being careful not to spread it even more. Afterward, use a spray bottle with warm water and some detergent to finish the job.

Writer’s Note: You can apply the same steps when cleaning up blood stains.

See Also: A Quick Guide on How to Clean Up Blood Spills Properly

Pee and Poop

pet pee and poop

The poop that our furry friends leave behind is always a huge and smelly mess. Sometimes, poop isn’t the only problem because our pets also pee on the carpet or any furniture. When their pee dries up, it forms yellow botches and is quite pungent.

And it doesn’t stop there. Pets can also throw up on your carpet leaving a similar stain and smell behind.

How to get rid of em’:

If the stain or mess is still wet, try blotting it with white paper towels until the stain and moisture are absorbed. Be careful not to rub it in as it can quickly spread if done the wrong way.

Keep blotting it carefully until the stain is gone and the area becomes dry. If the stain is all dried up, try moistening it so it’ll become softer and smoother to clean up. Whether it’s dry or wet, a stain will smell.

To eliminate the odor, try using vinegar mixed with warm water and spray it on the stain. You can also substitute vinegar with detergent, lemon juice, etc.

Bubblegum

bubblegum stain

Most kids and some adults love chewing gums which could mean a bad sign for your carpet. When bubblegum hits your carpet, be ready for a sticky situation. Gum sticks to the fibers of your carpet, which mean carelessly removing them can damage your rug permanently.

How to get rid of em’:

One of the most popular methods of removing gum on your carpet is to put a ziplock bag full of ice cubes over the gum. When it’s cold or frozen, use a sharp object such as a knife to scrape away the gum carefully.

Another method is to use cleaning solvents and applying it on a cloth. Rub the cloth on the gum and slowly remove it by rubbing vigorously. Be careful in using solvents as most solutions will stain certain fabrics.

Takeaway

No one wants a carpet that has a large, visible stain on it. And for sure, no one wants to notice a carpet that reeks of poop and pee. However, although it may sound horrible, staining your carpet is a reality that most of us face.

Don’t lose hope. Whether it’s poop, wine or an annoying piece of chewing gum, rest assured that there are methods that can quickly remove the stain and stench away from your carpet. You just have to know the different types of carpet stains so you can properly address them.

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Tops Tips In Choosing A Place to Live

If choosing a place to live in was easy, everyone would love where they live. However, a surprising number of people do not. The Place and Happiness survey conducted by American urban studies theorist Richard Florida and the Gallup Organization found that one-third of 28,000 respondents felt either ambivalent or unhappy about where they live.

According to the May 7, 2018 USA Today article, millennials skip starter houses to land their dream homes. Millennials are making their first home their forever home.

But, what happens when these first-time home buyers discover their forever home is not in their forever location? How can millennials and others avoid the costly relocation?

millennials forever home

See Also: Here’s What Millennials Want When They Buy A Home

Choosing a place to live is the most expensive life decision many of us make. It’s a decision that gets even costlier financially and emotionally when we find out after relocating that the place we selected is a bad fit. That’s why it’s vital for everyone to invest serious time into designing their life before investing serious money into their forever home.

Place is integral to our happiness because where we live influences every other aspect of our lives. Richard Florida writes in his book Who’s Your City?, “The place we choose to live…can determine the income we earn, the people we meet, the friends we make, the partners we choose, and the options available to our children and families.”

whos your city richard florida

Choosing your location

In choosing your location, you need to assess and identify your needs, preferences, priorities and short- and long-term goals. Then, you assess the features you’ll need in a place to support the life you envision. Finally, use that information to guide your online research and evaluation of prospective locations.

What should be a straightforward process becomes complicated as soon as you go online and find “best” place lists, report cards, livability scores, reviews, and opinions. Those data are often inaccurate and irrelevant, derailing your most focused research effort.

Choosing where to live is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. It carries the same weight as choosing a partner and a job. While centralized resources are readily available to help you search and find compatible partners and jobs online, there are no resources to help you find your forever location.

Centralized resources are essential to help us find, analyze, and evaluate information online. That way, we can easily identify prospective locations that can match our needs, preferences, priorities, and goals. Without those tools, we’re left to figure out things on our own.

For millennials who are hoping to find their forever home on the first go, it’s important to be involved as much as possible in the process. Finding, gathering and evaluating the information needed to make the right decision requires the right planning and research tools. That’s why I’ve made it my goal to design and make these tools available to take the guesswork out of people’s search and allow them to find their happy place quicker and easier.

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How To Ace Your Apartment Hunt

Finding an apartment to move into is an exciting experience. Well, that’s if you’re fully prepared.

In the same way that you go shopping for clothes, you will want to find an apartment that will fit your lifestyle. Knowing the size that you need, the amount you want to pay, and where to look are the key factors that make an apartment hunt go smoothly.

To make sure you enjoy the experience, here are 8 tips to help you in finding an apartment.

Make a List

writing a list

Before you even begin your search, we advise you to make a list. Make sure that it includes two categories: your wants and your needs.

Be realistic with your list and be willing to bend.

For example, not being able to find an apartment in your chosen location is alright as long as the apartment is big enough to accommodate all your things.

See Also: Here’s What Millennials Want When They Buy A Home

Prepare a Budget

In the same manner that you made your previous list, you should now prepare your budget. Determine the highest amount you can afford, including the cost of utilities, parking, public transportation, and Homeowner Association (HOA) fees. You should also determine the highest amount you can afford without those fees included.

Then, outside of your budget, you will want to set aside some money for the extra fees. This includes the security deposit and the registration fee for your pet.

Finally, depending on where you are looking, you may even need to set aside some money for a broker’s fee. A broker is necessary when a landlord won’t deal directly with tenants.

Take note that a broker’s fee can be quite expensive. In some cases, it’s equivalent to a month’s rental fee.

One good tip you can use to lower that fee is to find an apartment in a newly constructed building. Most developers will want to fill in all the empty apartments fast that they are willing to cover the broker’s fee. Looking for a place during the winter season can also lower your rental cost.

Narrow down your preferred location

Before you begin looking at rental properties, you may first want to select one or two neighborhoods to begin looking in.

Do you have a friend or family member who already lives in the area? Or are you selecting a neighborhood because it sounds like a great place to live in?

Try and do some quick research beforehand so that you’re not running all over the city.

Create a checklist

Being ready with an apartment hunt checklist will help you keep track of what you are going to see, especially if you have scheduled multiple visits in one day. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, consider bringing a friend. Chances are he or she will want to have input on your place, too.

Second, have your previous wants and needs list attached to your checklist. Include an area where you can write down your comments.

Check off the features you are getting, such as washer, dryer, and easy access to public transit. Acknowledge the things you won’t be getting, too.

As you take a look around, make sure to also take pictures. Otherwise, when you get home, all the apartments will start to blur together and you won’t remember which one was which.

See Also: Changing Trends in the Way Families Buy Homes

Feel free to snoop

When you are looking around the apartment you want, it’s important for you to know that you’re getting your money’s worth. So, push those buttons on the dishwasher, run all the faucets to check how long it takes to get some hot water, and don’t be shy to check out each closet.

If this is going to be your next home, you don’t want to be caught off guard when you move in. And while snooping, feel free to talk with the tenants next door about what it’s like to live in the building and with the current landlord.

Know how much space you will need

Do you have a king-size bed and a large dresser? If that is the case, you’re going to need a bedroom that will fit them both.

To make sure you don’t end up guessing, include those measurements on your checklist and be sure to bring a measuring tape with you. Don’t be afraid to pull it out to verify the measurements of a room.

Sometimes, a room might look big but with the location of the window and closet, you will find that there isn’t enough wall space for you to fit all of your furniture. While you’re at it, make sure that your large couch will also fit the door.

Arrive prepared

property manager

Just because you believe that you are simply looking for an apartment doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared and be presentable. In a sense, the landlord is interviewing you in a similar way that an employer would.

It wouldn’t hurt to create a resume or file of all the necessary details your possible future landlord would need. Even if the property manager requires you to fill up a lease application form, having your resume to add to that will highlight your good character.

You will want to include all your up-to-date information, such as your contact numbers, employer information, previous landlord, and even checks for security deposits.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate a better rental price either if you think you can give the landlord something in return, such as a long-term lease. You might even be able to negotiate the security deposit if you can prove that you are a good tenant.

Get it in writing

If your apartment hunt progresses swiftly and you end up finding a place that you like, take a moment to write down the details. Make sure that it includes the rental fee, security deposit, and any visual damages that they’ll repair for you for free.

Remember to secure copies of everything that you sign. Confirm that you can make the changes you want, such as painting the walls or updating the floor. Wait for him to sign the agreement before initiating the changes.

Make it count

Being prepared is only half the battle when finding an apartment. Hopefully, this list of tips can help make the process a lot easier for you.

 

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Decorating With Area Rugs: How to Spice Up Your Bedroom

An area rug is a great way to bring out the best in any room. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and can be picked up relatively cheap, too. You don’t need to have lots of money to start decorating with area rugs. There are plenty of DIY ideas that you can do at home. If you are wondering where you can find some inspirations, here are some really handy tips.

Add some stripes to the room

Choosing a rug that’s stripy will automatically make the room look bigger. Stripes also give the room a very contemporary modern feel. However, if you’ve already got a striped duvet cover or walls, a plain area rug would be a better choice.

Fluff it up a little

fluffy area rug There’s nothing more comforting than getting out of bed in the morning and stepping on a nice, fluffy rug. As well as adding extra warmth to the room, fluffy rugs also make a nice contrasting feature against wooden floors.

Minimalism is the key

Another popular choice is minimalism. You don’t need to have a bedroom packed with lots of objects and loud colors. Plain colored walls with a basic, plain area rug are all you need to pull this look off. It’s very minimalist yet very effective.

Break up the colour

bright colored area rug Some people tend to go a little overboard with the same color when decorating their bedroom. Adding an area rug to the room that’s a different shade breaks it up a little.

Wall to wall effect

People sometimes choose wall-to-wall area rugs as opposed to carpeting. It has a really nice effect and is certainly a much cheaper option. You can get them in just as many designs. They look just as good and they’ll save you a whole lot of money in having to fit the carpet.

Blend in the greys

When you first think of grey, you may automatically think old-fashioned. That’s no longer the case. In fact, grey is making a comeback! Grey on grey is a very popular look at the moment, particularly in the bedroom. Having different hues of grey on the walls mixed with a different hue of grey on the floor makes for a very nice look.

Create the mood

Not everyone has the same taste and not everyone will want the same mood for their bedroom. So, choose a rug that matches the mood you’re trying to create. Solid colors or classic pattern rugs work well for a traditional style bedroom. They will make you feel instantly at ease. On the other hand, adding stripes and dots will make the room look more upbeat.

Careful positioning

The positioning of a rug can make all the difference to the look your room portrays. Offsetting an area rug will give it maximum visual appeal and can be done by placing the bed on just a third of the rug. This works well with heavily patterned area rugs.

Double the fun

If you have quite a large bedroom, having two distinctly different but complementing rugs in the room can have a nice effect. It can help break up the monotony in such a large area. Just make sure they are different, as too much of the same is never a good thing.

Cozy it up

bedroom area rug Laying in a warm bed in a cozy little room is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. And while you may feel that a small bedroom is already cozy, adding a nice wool area rug can make it even cozier. It will also give the room a nice, rustic look. Now that you have some ideas as to how to decorate your bedroom with area rugs, all that’s left for you now is to go and find (or make) that perfect rug!

See Also: 6 Decor Hack to Make Your House look Pretty

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Safety Tips for Natural Disasters: A Quick Guide On How To Secure Your Property

Accidents and natural disasters can happen anytime. If you aren’t prepared, they can end up ruining your property and taking your loved ones’ lives. To ensure protection, take a look at these 8 severe weather conditions and safety tips for natural disasters.

Earthquakes

If you live in an earthquake-prone area, hire an engineer to conduct a seismic evaluation. This way, you can be sure that your property can resist damage. This may cost a little more than you like, but keep in mind that earthquake damage is a whole lot more expensive.

Additionally, furniture, walls, fixtures, and vents should all be properly anchored or braced. If an earthquake hits your building, evacuating all residents and shutting off electricity and gas switches should be a priority.

Wildfires

wildfires

Wildfires are unpredictable and often destructive. If your building is situated in an area where wildfires are a reality, there are several things you can do to prevent devastating damages.

Using fire resistant materials in the construction or modification of your property is a great way to prevent damage. Another area to assess is landscaping. Make sure that there aren’t any bushes that could lead the fire right to the structure.

Keep on top of all fire prevention systems. Sprinkler systems, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers can not only save lives but belongings and buildings, too. If you have any questions, contact your local fire department.

Floods

Flooding or flash flooding can happen almost anywhere. In fact, each of the 50 states has had one of the two occur.

To protect your property, consider raising wall sockets, switches, and other electrical elements to above-predicted flood levels. Take a look at the grading outside as well. Chances are you may need to have the grading re-sloped to provide you with the most flood defense.

Consider relocating your HVAC system to a higher floor as well as anchoring fuel tanks. Assuring your building has a sewer back-flow valve will protect against sewage backflow as well. Keeping gutters and drains free from debris allows water to flow properly and reduces the risk of severe flooding.

Severe Heat

Preparing your property for heat comes down to installing and maintaining a good HVAC system. Consider systems that clean and reuse air for green solutions that save 20 to 30% more energy.

Maintaining all systems during hot months is as important as replacing air filters. Consider having a backup generator on the property to ensure cool air in the event of a power outage.

Blizzards/Extreme Cold

blizzards extreme cold

Structures built to withstand cold weather are well-insulated.

To ensure your building will stand the test of blizzards and chilly winter air, check out the insulation situation first. Next, take good care of your heating source by keeping it well-maintained and by changing filters in your HVAC.

Insulate plumbing pipes and be sure to drain any outdoor exposed pipes before the cool weather comes. Burst pipes are a property owner’s nightmare.

Make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors installed. It also doesn’t hurt to have a backup generator for the worst case scenario — power loss.

Drought

For drought, consider all the little things you can do to help reduce water consumption. One simple task to stay on top of is the plumbing. By making timely repairs and routinely checking your property’s plumbing, water conservation has already started. Replacing regular fixtures with low-flow versions and adding smart water meters are two additional ways to save on water.

Tornadoes and Hurricanes

hurricane

Although these two weather conditions are slightly different, they are both capable of causing severe damage quickly. With tornadoes, you have almost no warning.

If your property is in a tornado-prone area, investing in roof clips, cable ties, and reinforced external doors should be considered in building modifications. As well, designate a safe place to get to and stay throughout the storm. Looking at FEMA regulations is a great place to start.

The best ways to prepare for hurricanes include boarding up windows and removing and safely storing outdoor furniture and other unsecured outdoor items. Clear drainage areas and gutters and collect sandbags in case of flash flooding.

Although prevention does not mean assured protection, with these modifications and procedures in place, you will have the best chance of minimizing damage to your property. Always follow your local building codes and contact the right people before starting any work on your property.

Severe Weather Preparedness Tips for Your Apartment Community

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A Quick Guide In Designing Your Children’s Room

Adding fun to your children’s room is no different from any renovation project you have for your home. However, in choosing the right child room design, you have to make sure that it can adapt to the changing moods of your children while allowing them to develop some really cool memories.

If you are not sure where to start, here are some ideas you can consider.

Clocking The Cool Color: The Basics

The project has to start with picking the right color.

It is a myth that children love all colors. In fact, they are very picky.

To address this, you need to introduce themes along with the colors. For instance, you can associate yellow with sunshine and red with roses.

Since children have ideas, make sure to ask for their opinion. Depending on your children’s age, they can assist you in coloring the wall themselves.  For you and your children’s safety, choose paints without toxic fumes.

Thematic Tales: Every Wall Has A Story

harry potter themed childrens room
Via pinterest

Children grow up listening to stories of monsters, centaurs, and unicorns. So, it’s only logical that you design their room with those stories. Hire a professional or grab a paintbrush yourself and draw stories of David Slaying Goliath or Beauty and the Beast. This can freshen up the room while imparting values to your kids.

You also need to pay attention to the room’s flooring since it’s where your children spend most of their activities. You can opt for laminate and vinyl flooring in hardwood, stone, tile, and carpet flooring.

In choosing between laminate and vinyl flooring, consider that your child’s room is a high traffic area and the flooring has to be durable. Laminate is a durable material and it rarely fades. It is resistant to stains and easy to install.

Vinyl flooring, on the other hand, is a step up from the old linoleum types. It is also good for a child’s room as it is resilient and doesn’t take a lot of time to install.

Killing The Ceiling: The Dreamy Sky

dreamy childrens bedroom ceiling
Via Decoist

The right design can make your child’s room look dreamy. Peeling paints and plasters on the ceiling can be really depressing.

Since the ceiling is the last thing your child looks at right before he sleeps, you need to carefully plan its design. It should be designed tastefully and with care.

For the wood ceiling, you can get board planks from your local hardware store. Run them in the same direction on the ceiling. Finish the job with crown molding or wood trim. For ceiling tiles, get the adhesive ones that are easy to install. Mix and match tiles or create a pattern. If there’s an existing wallpaper, make sure to remove the old wallpaper and prepare the ceiling before you add a new design.

Furniture And Accessories: The Finishing Touch

Assess the furniture in your child’s room.

If they are still usable, consider freshening them up. Take out all pieces of wood furniture and sand them down. You can also paint them up with a shade that matches the color scheme you used on the walls. For those items that need upholstering, check if you can do it yourself. If not, make sure to hire someone you can totally trust.

Consider the layout of the room. Children move around a lot and need space. So, go for an uncluttered layout that will allow your children to move freely.

Now, go for accessories. Here is where you can make the most out of your designs. You can use accessories that can double as learning materials. For example, you can make their geometry lessons come alive by decorating the room with different shapes. A mixture of symmetric figures and patterns would enhance the imagination and creativity of your kids.

Conclusion

The best child room design idea is one that reflects his or her dreams, ambitions, and emotions. It should allow them to feel comfortable and safe, too.

By following these steps, you should be able to create the perfect room for your little ones.

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Roofing Inspection Checklist for Homeowners

Performing preventative maintenance on your roof can make your life a lot easier. Many of today’s repair orders could have easily been avoided by a simple roof inspection by the homeowner.

However, some people aren’t comfortable climbing a ladder and standing on top of a roofing system. If you are one of those people, it’s a good idea if you can get your roof inspected by a professional. It will be less costly than waiting for an actual problem to happen.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at the most common inspection techniques you can actually use.

Cracks

Sloped roofs are the most common residential structures since they easily repel rain with an associated gutter system. They are mostly required by homeowners’ associations with strict building guidelines.

The surfaces considered here are mostly composite shingles- the most common roofing surface for residential homes. Finding broken shingles can even be done on the ground, as it is really easy to spot a missing shingle from even a few yards away.

Cracked shingles may be a little more difficult to spot, so getting up close and personal may be the only way to go. You will see a dark seam on the outside. When you get up close, be sure to peel it back the best that you can and see if it has any give to it.

It should not fold or crease as you peel back; it should remain sturdy. Anything less than a solid, seamless shingle should be considered cracked or damaged and should be replaced asap.

Leaks

Another part of the surface that can be cracked is the caulk around the base of the flashing. Inspecting the flashing seals are extremely important as these are the number one cause of leaks over time. You may also notice some rusted spots on the caulk, which can result in cracks shortly so make sure to repair and replace quickly.

The rubber boots are the pieces around the vent pipes, mostly near the apex of the roof. Check to make sure that there aren’t any cracks in these pieces either, as there could be a significant leak resulting from such instances.

Replacing these parts can be a bit difficult, so consider calling in a professional should you spot any issues.

Decay

Finally, you could find organic growths on and around the roofing surface in the form of moss, algae or mold. This indicates that there is decay occurring on the plywood that supports the shingles.

moss on roof

Plywood can become decayed if exposed to too much water, so any areas with cracked or missing shingles are usually a good place to look for such decay. Decay can’t only damage your roof but it can also affect someone’s health if gone unchecked for too long.

Final Thoughts

If you are hesitant to go up and do your own roof inspection, don’t do it. The fear of being up there can paralyze your balance and result in injury. You may want to hire someone else to climb atop your home and do the roof inspection.

In fact, a great way to get this inspection done correctly is to request a roofing quote by a local roofer. This may sound a bit expensive but it’s actually not. You can actually end up saving more if you do.

inspecting roof

And if your local roofer finds a problem, he can give you an estimate of the severity of the damage as well as the overall cost of the project.

The most important thing here is that you pay attention to the condition of your roofing system and perform preventative maintenance whenever possible. This will ensure a long life and an ease of any larger concerns down the road.

See Also: Roof Issue: Why Metal Is Better Than Asphalt Shingles And Tiles

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Solar Panels For Home: Do They Make A Great Investment?

The days when solar panels used to be a rare and exotic source of energy are gone. Their popularity is growing and a lot of people are now choosing it as their main source of electricity.

Before installing this system that is supposed to lower energy bills, people are usually curious about the average efficiency of solar panels and the price. If you are one of these people, you’re probably wondering if they are really profitable and how much you can save.

Here are some of the most important facts you should know about solar panels for home.

What is the price of solar panels?

solar panels for your home

The price of solar panels might be different depending on the state you live in as well as your desired size. The more panels you need, the higher the price tags become.

The average price for solar panels is about $4 per watt. A whole system can be as big as 5 kilowatts, which means it can cost you almost $19,000. That may seem too pricey, but it is worth it in the long run.

If you fear that this price won’t fit in your budget, there are ways for you to spend less on solar panels. Government incentives, for example, can reduce the cost of solar panels.

How to Spend Less on Solar Panels?

Federal investment tax credit is a way to make the price of solar panels lower. It can also save you some money on installation. Except for a national rebate, there are also regional discounts. If you add both, the price can be reduced significantly.

For example, if you have a house in Austin, Texas and want to install a large 7-kilowatt solar panel system, it would cost about $26,000. The city’s rebate will reduce $800 per kilowatt and you will save about $6,000. Thanks to the federal tax credit, you might be able to save an additional $6,000.

All in all, you’ll probably save more than $10,000 in total. So, before installation, consider checking the government incentives you can get in your city.

How Much Money Can You Save With Solar Panels?

The main reason to install solar panels is that it allows paying less for the electricity. How much exactly can you save?

Depending on the size of your system, you can save from $150 to $200 per month. The solar system pays for itself in a period of about 7 to 15 years. It is a good result considering the fact that it can serve you for 20 to 30 years.

The competition on the market of solar panels is growing, making them more affordable. If you also use the incentives and rebates, it becomes possible to install solar panels for less than $10,000.

Is It Worth Getting Solar Panels?

home solar panels

While making a decision about solar panel installment, it is important to think not only about the cost of the system, but also about the amount of sun in your area. Both direct and scattered sunlight is good for solar panels, but there still should be enough sunny days to feel the benefits.

Before installing a solar panel system, it might be a good idea to check a specialist’s opinion and find out if your state is suitable for solar energy usage. Another crucial factor is the location of the house and the roof.

Make sure it is possible to provide panels with good exposure. Check where the roof faces, the number of trees and presence of constructions that are situated around. In case the location is not satisfying, solar panels can also be installed on a garage roof or you can use a ground-mounted system.

Solar panels installment requires a lot of time but if you pay attention to all the details it might become a great investment.

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10 Essential Oils You Should Have at Home

When an average person hears the words “essential oils”, he’d probably associate it with something that can improve the smell of a home. And though that is true, there’s more to essential oils than just bringing a pleasant fragrance.

So, if you are planning to get a new house, here’s an essential oils guide you might find useful.

Lavender

lavender oil

Widely used for its calming effects, lavender is, undoubtedly, one of the most popular essential oils. Of course, the reason is obvious. This oil brings a soothing effect when you’re stressed or irritated. Aside from that, it can also treat burns and relieve irritated skin.

To treat burns, simply put two drops of lavender oil on the affected area. In a few minutes, the swelling and pain will be relieved.

Peppermint

Having a hard time dealing with nausea? How about headaches? Do you want to improve energy levels?

You might need to have a bottle of peppermint essential oil at home. Massage a drop of this oil to your forehead and temples to relieve a headache. To relieve nausea, inhale straight from the bottle but be careful not to get it in the eyes.

Lemon

lemon oil

For those of you who have a congested chest or itchy throat, you will need several drops of lemon. When paired with honey, it can effectively soothe a sore throat!

If you want to use it in the kitchen, you can, too! Mix at least 5 drops of this essential oil with 4 ounces of an unscented liquid dish soap to get rid of grease in your kitchenware.

Eucalyptus

To add an antimicrobial effect to any DIY homemade cleaning recipe, make sure to add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Five drops of this oil added to 16 ounces of water can effectively inhibit the growth of mold. Also, 10 drops of this added to a bucket of water can help ease the job of cleaning the floor.

Frankincense

Although it is a bit expensive, frankincense essential oil can effectively get rid of stress and relieve headaches. It can even help make bath time extra relaxing!

After washing your body with soap, put a few drops of frankincense essential oil to your washcloth. Then, wipe it over your body while rinsing with warm water. The steam will instantly infuse with the oil, giving you the refreshing and relaxing feeling you need.

Oregano

Oregano might be a popular kitchen ingredient but it also has some other uses at home. It has antimicrobial properties that help the body combat illnesses. No wonder why it’s a must-have! To fight flu and illnesses, diffuse this oil in your favorite diffuser. It’s that easy!

Tea Tree

tea tree oil

Another powerful ingredient in homemade cleaners, tea tree essential oil deserves a spot in your home. Not only does it have soothing properties that heal rashes and itching, it also has properties that aid in stopping athlete’s foot.

Normally, this oil is diluted with a carrier oil, such as organic coconut oil, in a 1:1 ratio prior to applying to the skin.

Wild Orange

Apart from its pleasant smell, wild orange has got many good properties. It does not only work as a sedative, it can also be used for treating an upset stomach. Simply combine a tablespoon of coconut oil with a drop of wild orange essential oil for an instant massage oil.

Vanilla

Here’s something you might not be aware of: Vanilla essential oil has properties that can neutralize the free radicals present in your body. It can protect it against illnesses and diseases.

It also brings about a calming effect that makes it ideal for relieving restlessness and stress. Put a few drops of this oil into your bath or rub the oil on your temples for a quick relaxation.

Rosemary

If you are feeling confused or indecisive, you will need the fragrance of rosemary essential oil. It does a pretty good job at clearing your head and supporting digestive functions.

When combined with peppermint essential oil, it can improve one’s focus and insights, too! Just mix 3 drops of this oil with 3 drops of peppermint essential oil and rub on your upper neck. It should effectively improve your memory and keep you focused the whole day.

Actually, there are still lots of essential oils out there. These are only ten of them. Nonetheless, if you want your family to reap the benefits of these oils, then this essential oils guide can help you get started.

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Simple Guide To A Green Roof

Green roofs are roofs covered with vegetation. Before, vegetation growing on a rooftop was mostly due to neglect. Today, however, growing greens on a roof are making a trend.

And for good reason. Green roofs have many benefits for the environment and the home itself. Investing in a living roof can minimize storm waters, add to your home’s insulation, and provide protection for your rooftop. It can even help reduce your home’s carbon footprint and boost its appeal.

Some green roofs are easier to implement than others. It mostly depends on the size of the area you want to turn green and the slope of the roof.

There are three basic types of green roof system:

  • Extensive systems are for roof areas that are out of reach and not used for other purposes. These areas need appropriate vegetation that will make them low maintenance and self-sustaining.
  • Semi-intensive system requires some maintenance from time to time.
  • Intensive systems can make use of any vegetation and should be easy to access as it requires frequent maintenance. This type of green roof functions as a garden on your roof.

Flat roofs can become a lovely rooftop garden. Slope roofs, meanwhile, can have an aesthetic impact on your home. You can use the roof on top of your garden shed or the one on your porch.

Whichever it is, keep in mind that it is not recommended to install a green roof on a slope of over 10° or under 2° without professional advice. The roof should be in good condition and with a decent lifespan. Making sure that your roof can hold the weight of the vegetation and extra weight of saturation during rainfall is crucial to ensure that the roof won’t collapse.

sloping green roof

It does not matter whether you choose a small DIY green roof on top of your garage or if you get a professional to turn your sloped roof into a habitat for wild birds. The steps to building a green roof are the same.

How To Build A Green Roof

Step 1

The first layer should make your roof waterproof as well as root resistant. Therefore, you need to lay out an impermeable layer or root proof membrane. A single sheet is ideal for covering the whole area.

Step 2

At your local garden center, you can find a heavy duty pond liner. This is the next layer to your green roof that will require the use of an adhesive or mastic sealant. Mark all outlets as you will cut them out later to ensure proper drainage.

Step 3

Drainage is essential for your green roof as it allows excess water to escape. For this level, cut into the containment frame where the water can run into the gutter of the roof. Pebbles can be used to keep the outlets clear. You can add a layer of stones or rocks to avoid blockages or use them around the edges of the roof to stay clear of unwanted vegetation in that area.

Step 4

For DIY green roofs, the depth of the substrate is 70-200 mm. This will differ depending on the vegetation planted. The substrate should be lightweight and that is why garden soil is not okay. It tends to become very thick when wet and it may give life to other unwanted vegetation. Mix your substrate with about 70% inorganic material and 30% organic material.

Step 5

Here comes the fun part!

This is where you get to bring your green roof to life. You can plant seeds which are particularly for green roofs at your local seed supplier or by planting plug plants or plant cuttings. Another way to go is to purchase pre-vegetated mats or blankets.

With the right materials, roof angle and a solid roof, you can have your plants growing in no time. Framing around the vegetation can also be implemented if you want to ensure that the green layers stay intact.

chicago cityhall green roof

One of the disadvantages of a green roof is precisely the process of its creation which tends to be a challenge for many. Another one is its maintenance. It does require a bit more attention than a regular garden when it comes to planting choices or irrigation.

Still, have fun while putting your green roof together and be proud that you are contributing to the green movement to make this world a cleaner place.

See Also: Financial Benefits Of Going Green

 

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Changing Trends in the Way Families Buy Homes

Owning a home gives families a sense of independence and security. However, in buying a house, numerous factors influence the family’s choice. They may face economic, socio-cultural, psychological, demographic and personal issues.

In the past, all decisions related to buying a home were primarily made by the male members of the family. However, in today’s times, the same decision is now unanimously taken. All family members can voice their opinions and all needs and preferences are taken into consideration, irrespective of age or gender.

Let’s look at the some of the changing trends affecting the way families buy homes.

A Shift from Joint Family Set-ups to Nuclear Lifestyles

nuclear lifestyle

In earlier times, most family set-ups were joint, with closely-related members living in their ancestral home. But, as the population and economy of the country grew, this previously popular lifestyle saw a major shift.

Today’s nuclear family set-up created radical changes in the family’s process of buying a house. There are fewer members in a nuclear family and buying decisions have aligned in the same direction. One good example is space. Fewer family members won’t need as much space so houses tend to be smaller.

Placing children’s needs at the forefront

While making any property-related buying decision, parents and grandparents tend to consider the needs of their children to a great extent. They opt for houses which are airy, well-lit and which have a positive impact on their children’s growth, health and well-being.

Parents also put sufficient thought on their kids’ safety. They take into account the community’s recreational amenities, like parks, pools or playgrounds when buying a house. Additionally, families tend to prefer residential properties which have good schools in the vicinity along with options for extracurricular activities. Parents are more than willing to compromise on their own needs as long as they meet their children’s needs.

Compact homes over out-sized properties

Nuclear families these days prefer compact and self-sufficient homes. This justifies the large number of families opting for space-efficient apartments and flats over sprawling properties.

One good reason families prefer flats over stand-alone properties is because of better social interaction. In addition to that, maintaining a large property can also be quite a hassle, especially when the family is small. Apartments are also more secure and homey for such family size.

Accessibility and proximity

school accessibility

Most apartment complexes today offer convenience to attract more families to buy them. Malls, clubs and sports facilities are all within walking distance of these complexes so families won’t have to spend any time or money on transportation. A lot of them offer basic needs, too. Grocery stores and dry cleaning services are usually just a few feet away from them.

If a housing complex just offers apartments, then families will look for flats that are in close proximity to important facilities, like schools, healthcare, medical stores and retail outlets for added convenience. With the basic amenities within a stone’s throw from their homes, efficiently managing day-to-day activities and maintaining a good work-life balance becomes much easier for smaller families.

Properties with resale value

Families tend to move to larger homes in better locations as their financial status improves. Job changes or increase in the number of family members are also plausible reasons why families look to upgrade to a larger or better home. Thus, families prefer buying homes in prime locations that have a good resale value in the future. For instance, according to a Knight Frank survey, home buyers prefer to move to newer projects with better facilities and those that are closer to the city.

See Also: 10 Important Home Features That Home Buyers Want

To sum it up

With improvement in job prospects, purchasing power and lifestyle, families have undergone a shift in terms of how they invest in properties. There has been a considerable change in the past two decades and families have started weighing in many factors which were earlier considered unimportant while buying a home.

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10 Easy Steps To Buying A New Mattress

You’ve decided to get to bed early. You unplugged all your devices, made the room temperature comfortable and turned off the lights.

An hour has passed and you’re still wide awake, tossing and turning in a modern reenactment of the Princess and the Pea. After a couple more turns, you managed to get to sleep – only to wake up feeling crappy with an aching body.

Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t just about proper sleep hygiene. The right mattress counts, too.

Now, if you are wondering how and where you should start, here are 10 easy steps to help you find the right mattress.

Check your mattress

Ideally, you should change your mattress every 9 to 10 years. However, if you are constantly waking up with pain in your lower back, neck and shoulders, you should make the replacement sooner.

The presence of lumps and sagging are telltale signs you need to buy a new mattress. Frequent sneezing, while you’re on your bed, is a bad sign, too. Household allergens can accumulate on your mattress over time and if you don’t act right away, you can end up with allergies that can give you more than just poor sleep.

Know what you want

There’s no universal rule when it comes to mattresses. You should stick with your own preference to ensure your comfort.

Take note of what you liked in your past beds and consider the things you didn’t find comfortable. This is particularly important, especially if you’ll be buying your mattress in a physical store. A lot of salespeople can talk you into buying the most expensive mattress that’s nowhere near comfortable.

Assess your sleeping style

sleeping position

One of the most important things you should consider when buying a new mattress is your sleeping style.

  • If you are a side sleeper, you should find a mattress that can provide adequate support for your hips, shoulders and other pressure points.
  • In case you are a back sleeper, the best mattress for you is one that can support the natural curve of your back and spine. When lying flat, you should be able to insert no more than one finger between the mattress and your back.
  • For stomach sleepers, pick a mattress that can prevent your lower back and stomach from bending downward as it can cause tension and pain.

See Also: Do You Have The Right Mattress For Your Body Type?

Do your research

Before making a purchase, make sure you do your research first. Ask your friends and family about what type of mattress they are using and know their experiences. Check reviews online and see how well certain mattresses last. You can also visit manufacturer websites to know what materials they are using for their products.

Set a budget

The most expensive price tag doesn’t guarantee the highest comfort. In finding the best mattress, it’s actually more about your body type, sleeping style and preference.

You can find a lot of quality mattresses under $1000. Some of them are even priced lower. When shopping around, make sure you do your research first so you won’t fall victim to tempting sales pitch.

Shop around

Once you are done with your research, it’s time to explore. Go to local showrooms and browse mattresses online. Get a feel of the different brands and see what you like and don’t like. Take note of their prices as well as other information you might find important.

While shopping around, be careful not to make any commitment yet. You are likely to encounter a lot of salespeople but don’t feel pressured into making a purchase until you are ready and sure.

Take the time to test the mattresses

test the mattress

Your body needs at least 15 minutes to fully relax. Use this time to test each mattress.

Lie down on your typical resting position and see how well the mattress can support your body. Take note of the areas that are making you feel comfortable as well as the parts that are making you feel awkward. You shouldn’t experience any numbness or pain. Mattresses can be firm, soft, or in-between.

Don’t be afraid to ask

When you don’t have enough time to test all the mattresses or you just want to be clear about your choice, don’t hesitate to ask the salespeople. Although they are trying to make a sale, you can still get accurate information from them if you ask the right questions.

Take, for example, a mattress’ motion separation. You won’t be able to determine if a bed has good motion separation if you’re testing it out alone. The same goes for temperature regulation as well as a mattress’ foundation.

Read the fine print

Shopping for a good mattress doesn’t end with price or materials. You also have to be aware of the guarantees, returns and warranties. Be clear about what is and isn’t covered so you’ll know what to expect.

Keep your mattress in shape longer

Now that you’ve found the perfect mattress for you, protect and extend its life so you can have more nights of good sleep.

Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Routinely clean your mattress at least twice a year by flipping and rotating it.
  • Strip the cover of the bed and vacuum its fabric covering. Make sure to vacuum the entire surface area to ensure that there are no pet hair, dust or cracker crumbs left.
  • If there are any stains, wash them with a mild detergent and water. You can also use an enzyme-based cleanser. Be careful not to saturate the mattress and make sure its’s completely dry before you make your bed.
  • You can deodorize your mattress by sprinkling a bit of baking soda over it. Let it sit for a couple of hours before vacuuming.
  • Expose your mattress to fresh air and sunlight. This is one good way to eliminate bacteria.
  • Replace and wash your beddings once a week.
  • Use a disinfecting spray on the mattress as well as the box spring to get rid of bad bacteria.
  • Invest in a good mattress cover. It will protect your mattress from dirt and stains.

See Also: 10 Things You Never Knew About Bed Bugs

 

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Do You Have The Right Mattress For Your Body Type?

If you have been frequently waking up with back pains and a bad mood, it’s probably your mattress to blame.

In general, we spend as much as a third of our lives in bed so it’s only right that we invest in the right mattress. It should be able to give you both comfort and support so your spine, ligaments and muscles can relax during the only time your body gets to relax.

So, should you get a new mattress? Check out these telltale signs:

  • If your mattress is already sagging, it’s high time you give it a rest. Over time, springs can break down, fibers can wear out and foams can get softer. These things can mean lack of support to your most vulnerable parts.
  • The presence of lumps can mean uneven density and this can lead to uncomfortable pressure points.
  • Ideally, you should replace your mattress every 7 to 10 years. If yours is more than that, you’re compromising your sleep.
  • The presence of more pains and aches than you had before you went to bed is a clear sign you already need a replacement.
  • Most mattresses can accumulate allergens, particularly mold, dust mites and mildew. If you find yourself sneezing whenever you get close to your bed, consider assessing your mattress.

See Also: 10 Things You Never Knew About Bed Bugs

What Is The Best Mattress?

The best mattress is the one that will work best for your body type. As your body has its own contours and needs, you have to know exactly what your options are. There several types of mattresses you can choose from.

Here are some of them:

Memory Foam

memory foam mattress

The memory foam, particularly the visco elastic foam, is conceptualized by NASA scientists. It’s patterned from the material that was supposed to absorb the effects of G forces during the take-off process.

Compared with other mattresses, this one is special in that it follows the contour of the sleeper’s body. It helps distribute weight to eliminate pressure points. This makes memory foam great for those who suffer from back problems and other body aches.

There are different formulations when it comes to memory foams. There’s the standard memory foam that is temperature sensitive. There’s also the plant-based memory foam which is more breathable and has a faster response. The last type is the gel-infused type which is commonly marketed as a cooler.

Latex Mattress

latex mattress
Via uratex

Latex mattresses are more expensive than other types because of their materials. Despite the cost, this type has one of the simplest constructions. They are highly durable and can last for over 15 years. They feature low-pressure support and can contour to your body’s shape without the heat or chemical odors. latex mattress provide great bounce, responsiveness and cooling, too.

Waterbed

waterbed
Via waterbed-deals

Waterbeds can provide average pain relief. They are designed to mimic conventional beds but with low heat and odor complaints.

There are two main types of waterbeds: the hard-sided and soft-sided. Both feature a water chamber which can either be waveless or free flow.

Airbed

airbed
Via intexcorp

Airbeds are nothing like the ones you use for camping. This type comes with an adjustable air chamber which works as its support system. The good thing about airbeds is that you can adjust their firmness according to your body’s needs.

Specialty foam mattress

tango mattress

This type is a bit unique in that it uses one or more types of foams. It can either be latex, polyurethane, memory or gel. Specialty foam mattresses come in different densities and shapes to ensure you get both comfort and support. If you are wondering what specialty foam mattresses look like, check out this two in one mattress.

How To Choose A Mattress Properly

Know how old your mattress is

In general, if your mattress is already 8 years old or older, you should consider getting a new one. Take note that this doesn’t apply to all types of mattresses since there are some that can extend beyond that time.

If you are unsure about how long your mattress type should last, you should decide based on your sleeping patterns. If you’re restless or you find yourself frequently waking up in the middle of the night, just go buy a new one.

Determine what type of mattress you’ll need

The type of mattress you’ll need will depend on your preference, body type and sleeping positions. Consider the following:

  • If you sleep your side, you’ll need a mattress with lots of pressure relief. It should be able to support your body weight and conform to the shape of your body.
  • If you are a stomach sleeper, choose a mattress with a firm top surface. It’s the best one for support.
  • In case you like sleeping on your back, invest in a mattress that can provide support while keeping your spine in its proper alignment.
  • If you tend to toss and turn at night, go for an innerspring mattress with latex, memory foam or pocketed coils. These materials are great for isolating motions, like when you don’t want to disturb your partner with your movements.
  • If you like a lot of the features of the different mattresses and can’t make up your mind, pick a hybrid style mattress. This type can provide the motion isolation feature of memory foams and the buoyancy of a mattress with an innerspring core.
  • For allergies, stick with mattresses that are resistant to dust mites and molds. Pick foam and latex since they have inherent antimicrobial properties. If you choose an innerspring mattress, you can enclose it in an allergen-resistant cover to make sure you don’t wake up sneezing at night.

See Also: Have a Child with Skin Sensitivities? Here’s How to Deal with it

Set your budget

Mattresses don’t go cheap, particularly those in the luxury end of the market. The good thing is that there are lots of options now that will enable you to find the right mattress at the right price.

In choosing, keep in mind that expensive doesn’t always have to mean better, but don’t go ultra cheap, too. Since the quality of your sleep will depend on your bed, make sure you don’t skimp on your mattress.

 

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10 Ways to Avoid Making Your Kid Resent You

When I was younger, I worked in a nursing home. It was a sad and disheartening place to work. The people you’d normally find there are not in their best condition and it was heartbreaking on most days.

On weekends, the grown children of some of those people would come to visit. They’d sit awkwardly on the stiff chairs, obviously just fulfilling their duty. However, once the obligatory hour and a half were over, they’d quickly walk out looking visibly relieved.

The parents would be left with nothing else but to look forward to when their children would be back next. Some residents had no visitors at all. It was so sad to watch.

On occasion, there would be a special resident, one who always had visitors. The children of this person would stay the entire length of the visiting hours and show up punctually the next week. Many times, his family members would bring dinner. His grandchildren would come on weekends and the halls would turn into a family reunion every Saturday.

And I asked myself, what was the difference between these two sets of circumstances? How were these residents different?

So, I started to look at my own situation and of the people around me. I finally came up with the most important items that would ensure a long and loving relationship with your children.

Let your kid be whatever or whoever he wants to be

Identity is very important to anyone.

When you were young, you probably had a good idea of wanted you to be- a teacher, pilot or doctor. Although you did not grow up to be those things, you were pretty much decided at that time.

Kids, as they grow, change their minds almost as quickly as sand falling from an hourglass. It is what they do. If you do not allow them to be who and what they want to be when they want to be it, they will resent you.

Don’t force them to share their toys

personal toys

I know this is a sore subject for some.

When we were young, we were taught that nice people share. Our parents would take away our toys and give them to another child to play with.

Let’s look at this from another perspective.

How would you feel if your boss or your parent insisted that you give the keys to your new car to your friend just because nice people share? You would hate it. After all, it is YOUR car.

Well, if the toys truly belong to the child, shouldn’t he be the one to decide whether he should share or not? If you take his possessions away, he will dislike you as much as you would dislike someone who takes your things.

Instead of forcing him to share his toys, keep a separate basket of toys that are for everyone. This will make it easier for him to share with his playmates.

Stop finding fault

Some parents never realize that their kids grow up. They continue to correct them all their lives without knowing that it embarrasses and upsets the kids. Nobody likes to be constantly told they are not measuring up. No one wants to be corrected all the time.

If your boss did that to you, you’d probably quit. So, validate the things your child does right instead of constantly correcting the things he does wrong.

Know when there is something very important to your child

When my son was thirteen, he wanted his ears pierced very badly. His dad did not want this. So, my son, being the resourceful and totally badass kid that he is, recruited his little brother to steal sewing pins from my sewing basket and did it himself.

I didn’t realize what had happened until I noticed that he was wearing his hoody all the time- even in 90-degree heat. I pulled the hood off and there were my sewing pins sticking out of his earlobes.

Now, I could have gone ballistic, but all I did was laugh. I told him to take out the pins, let his earlobes fully heal and I would take him to a nurse to have it done right. In short, I knew I was licked.

Now, ear piercing is not a life or death thing so I could afford to be magnanimous. Some things aren’t, so make sure to choose wisely which issues to stand your ground.

Make the ratio of your time together way overbalanced on the fun and happy side

One of my biggest regrets in life was that I was so stressed out trying to work an insane job while raising my kids. I should have given myself more breaks. For that reason, the happy times were fewer.

Everything that happens to us, we will remember as either happy or unhappy.

Summer vacations and birthday parties are some of the events we consider happy. These are times we think of as pleasurable. Dentist appointments, on the other hand, are sucky so we consider them as unhappy.

Don’t give them too much

happy girl

This is a problem for many parents and I’m guilty of this one, too.

I grew up in a house with seven kids. I shared a bedroom with three sisters in bunk beds shoved against the wall. There was little money for buying clothes. It was only when I was thirteen that I could finally babysit and buy the clothes I wanted.

Because of this, I thought it was best to give my kids everything I wanted as a child but could not have. This, unfortunately, made them feel overwhelmed.

It wasn’t until later that I realized that I was making them miserable while trying to make them happy. They felt that there was no way they could contribute back.

When I finally let them work and make money to buy what they wanted, they became resourceful and happy.

You cannot make up for a hard childhood by buying things for your kids. You make up for it by being a loving parent.

See Also: What You Need To Know About Teaching Children Values

Let them make you laugh

Everyone loves someone who finds them sparkling, charming and amusing. When your child makes you laugh, have you noticed how he tries to be funnier and funnier? Making you laugh is a gift from him to you. And laughing at his jokes is a gift from you to him.

Was there ever someone who made you feel sparkling, charming and amusing? How did you feel about that person?

Touch their hair as they pass

There is nothing like physical touch to make a person feel that you really want to share your space with them. Kids love to cuddle and get close.

I have endless photos of me and my son as he was growing up. In each one, our arms are entwined. We were always physically close and that closeness has remained to this day now that he is grown.

Love and protect your own parents

No matter how much we may have resented our own parents, they loved us and they did the best they could do for us. No parents hate or dislike their kids unless they have serious issues. Our parents just got overwhelmed and upset as we were growing up, and our kids, when they grow up, will probably feel the same way, too.

Show your kids a good example and overlook all the upsets for the time you have left with your parents.

See Also: Top 10 Tips to Help Children Develop Useful Habits

Always be willing to start over

My oldest son and I used to have fights. If we had kept it up, we would both have been miserable and upset all night.

At that point, I would look at him, hold out my arms and say “Can we please start over?”. He would tear up, come to me and we would be done.

This is a great way to end an upset. You both agree that it’s the end, and you start over.

Love your kids. Tell them how precious they are to you. Use discipline with love and understanding and you will not be alone in your later years.

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5 Important Things to Check Before Buying Furniture

How much do you know about the quality of the sofa you invested your money in? Did you get what you paid for?

Let’s face it.

There are tons of things you need to consider when you’re buying a piece of furniture. With so many considerations, it’s easy to feel confused, intimidated and frustrated. In the end, we just stick to things that make sense.

Unfortunately, a lot of manufacturers and retailers aren’t really honest about their products. There are things that they choose not to tell their customers. As a result, buyers often pay more than the quality they get.

To steer clear of overpaying for furniture, you need to have the right knowledge and ask the right questions.

Aesthetics aside, the first thing that consumers should consider is comfort.

In general, there are four principal components that can contribute to comfort: frame, spring system, cushion, and tailoring. If all these four passed the standard of quality, comfort would follow.

Here are the things to look for:

Framing and Cushioning

Let’s start with the framing.

If the frame is hardwood, ask if it has undergone kiln-drying. It’s the process of removing the moisture content of timber by using heat and airflow in a controlled environment. Kiln-dried wood lasts longer despite changes in humidity. It keeps wood from buckling, cracking or weakening.

To check the quality of the frame, feel the thickness of the board on the side of the sofa at the bottom. The standard width should be 1 and ¼ inches. Thinner boards will squeak if people move around it.

When it comes to cushioning, the heavier, the better. This is regarding the relationship between weight and quality.

For the spring system, sinuous wires or S-type springs are the standard and should run from front to back. You should be able to feel the spring when you push down on the sofa.

The Tailoring

Checking on how well the fabric of the sofa is tailored is equally important. Check if the seams are even and the piping ( tube-shaped edging ) lines up.

For printed sofas, the patterns should match both on the sides and front. For high-end pieces, the fabric should wrap the entire piece, including the back skirt. Patterns should start from one segment and continue to the next. There should be a seam in the center of the sofa’s back.

Quality of Leather

quality of leather

It is important for the buyer to listen to the salesperson when buying leather pieces. If he says that it’s a leather-match or leather-like, it’s not leather at all. The way to tell the difference is to look at the base of the sofa and see if it is dyed all the way through.

Next, ask if the leather is top grain. Top grain is the highest quality of leather, and furniture pieces made from this material are really expensive.

Non-top grain leather pieces could be split and they don’t wear much. They need to be moisturized and be kept away from the sun.

Drawers and Veneering

Dining sets, bedroom sets, tables, and lounges should be proportional to each other.

For pieces with drawers, check how they are hung. If drawers are tilted, the buyer will have an idea right away about the quality.

To check, take out the top drawer and check if its interior feels rough. Rough drawer interior means low-quality. Furniture pieces with excellent craftsmanship usually have dust panels that stop you from looking onto one drawer from another.

Check also the corner of the drawer and see how the veneers match. Veneer is a decorative covering of fine wood applied on top of a solid material, like plywood.

Good quality drawers are made with binders while cheaper ones are made with rollers. Checking the drawer on the upper left-hand part, where the manufacturer’s name is stamped, can give you a feel of the furniture quality.

Manufacturer’s Warranty

manufacturers warranty

The warranties on wood furniture typically cover cracking and splitting for one year. As for upholstered furniture, warranties generally include the frames. High-end types of furniture, meanwhile, should have five-year warranties on spring systems and cushions.

Consumers should check if they have a manufacturer’s warranty or retailer’s warranty. If it only shows the original address in tiny print at the bottom of the contract, the warranty will be void if they will move.

Takeaway

Consumers should be prudent when it comes to furniture shopping. The bits of advice above will help in finding the best furniture at the best price. So, go out and look for good furniture that you and your family will enjoy for many years to come.

See Also: Top 10 Tips for Buying Stylish Furniture on a Budget

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Home Inspection and Its Powerful Benefits

A celebration is typically in order when you finally get to buy that dream house of yours. It’s a huge prize and achievement after so much hard work and saving. But, what if you open that door only to see occasional power surges and broken pipes?

Opening your doors to those things is the most horrible way to start that next phase of your life. One way you can prevent those things from happening is through a home inspection.

Doing a home inspection is an excellent way to find problems that you didn’t get to see during your first visit to the property. By doing a home inspection prior to making a purchase, you’ll be saving yourself tons of headaches, frustrations and the high cost of repair.

Still not convinced? Here are some home inspection benefits you should know about.

Peace of Mind

home inspection

When we notice something out of place, it bothers us and makes us want to know what’s making us uneasy. A home inspection is one way of understanding that kind of problem.

See Also: 10 Important Home Features That Home Buyers Want

Safety

One of the main reasons you buy a house is for safety. It can protect you and your loved ones from the weather, dangerous elements, and other things that can compromise your safety. Doing an inspection can and will provide the security you need, like preventing personal injuries from happening.

A slight power surge may mean that some wirings are rotting or rats have begun chewing on the wires. You can already consider that as a fire hazard, and lots of tragic stories have been born from that.

Water dripping from the ceiling can be solved temporarily by a bucket, but what if it becomes full and turns into a slipping hazard? Never underestimate what a simple home inspection can do.

Savings

home inspection savings

A lot of homeowners disregard home inspection due to its cost. This way of thinking should be completely changed if you want to save a vast fortune. Knowing what needs repairs or fixing as soon as possible can prevent disasters, not only physically, but financially as well.

Having to face an abysmal ton of repairs in the future is a real headache. With home inspection, you can sort out what needs to be fixed immediately to prevent it from causing, even more, problems.

Why wait for that rusty and leaky pipe to fall and break that expensive bath tub upstairs? Why wait for that wire to burn down the house when you can change that wire for a small fee?

A home inspection can save you from that headache and that financial drawback that you were so desperately afraid of in the first place.

See Also: Warning: 7 Home Inspection Pitfalls That Can Cost You A Fortune

Takeaway

It’s normal for people to feel euphoric when they get to purchase their dream house. Because of the overwhelming emotions, they can inadvertently skip home inspection. They tend to disregard the idea, thinking that newer properties are impossible to have defects and damages.

Home inspection can provide us with a more comfortable life in the long run. From significant savings to saving the entire house we own, early assessment of our property is the next best thing we can do after popping that bottle of champagne.

The post Home Inspection and Its Powerful Benefits appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Living After The Death Of A loved One

I’ve been thinking about death.

My Dad died last year. Diagnosis to death in 5 weeks. A sharp 3-week decline and a 2-week hospital stay. A surgery that was never finished. Cancer had its day.

My friend is fighting off death, just. The big C again. It gets a lot of us. The NHS washed their hands off him. But in his words, “I am not a willing candidate to die.” He’s found advanced treatment in Germany at a cost of £150k.

We’re trying to raise money for him now.

So naturally, death is on my mind. In fact, since my Dad died, I don’t think it’s ever left. Grim has been hanging around, trying to entice me into his home, wanting to add another one to his ledger. He’s wasting his time.

I wish I could say it’s transformed me. That the smell of death has been a timely reminder that life is for a brief sneeze of time. That every second is precious. That life should be seized.

It has, kind of. Lately, it’s sent me to the recesses of my mind to the primeval dwellings where loss, pain and love reside. Like an indefinite Airbnb stay, I’ve been hanging out here.

death hit by a train

And I think loss does that to you. I think it’s like being hit by a train, but not realising you’ve been hit until you wake up from the coma you’ve been in for the last 6 months. And then you hurt. Basic function for 6 months, just about connecting with reality, and then massive constant pain.

The sort of pain that induces lethargy in the day but keeps you up all night. The sort of pain that makes you relive conversations and edit them for better outcomes. The sort of pain that blunts your reality, right here, right now.

And, like climbing out of quicksand, dealing with it can be hard. The first step is to acknowledge you’re in quicksand. Acknowledge the emotional pain you’re in, and then be still until you understand what that means. Only then can you begin to deal with it.

I’m writing this to say that struggling to deal with loss is okay. That you are not alone. That, you are suffering along a journey that millions of others before you have dealt with, and you can take comfort from that. They got through it, and so can you.

It’s hard, yes. If you acknowledge that, instead of carrying it with you, it gets easier. Realise that you’re human, that it’s okay to hurt, and that even the tiniest pitter patter of steps forward is progress.

In fact, largely, you soon realise that dealing with loss is hard, not just because of the loss itself, but because of the expectation you place on yourself that you should be fine about it.

“Just get on with it.” “You’ve got to keep living.” And so on. You find yourself comparing daily to the imaginary measuring stick you’ve set for yourself. “I should be doing better by now.” Like we do with our careers, or comparing with our friends. But worse, because this is pure loss.

So you’ve got to get rid of that measuring stick, and realise that it will take as long as it takes. Sure, there are ways to deal with it better, but time is the ultimate judge.

In fact, some loss never leaves us, and that’s okay. Do I think my Mum will ever fully heal from losing my Dad? No, because it was a 48-year old love. A deep-rooted, soulful kind of love. And the loss of that is the reminder of the love that was there. And so it can’t fully heal because of how deeply they loved each other.

coping with loss

And that’s fine. Because we can take that loss and use it daily as a reminder of how capable of love we are. We can say, “Today I hurt from loss, and I am going out into the world and expressing love. In my interactions, in my relationships, in my career.

Sharing is also liberating. Talking to others, sharing your pain. It gives the other person the chance to express their love and it helps to fill your empty cup. It creates new connections and new possibilities.

See Also: How To Get Back a Normal Life After a Loss

My friend who is battling death is a wonderful example. Stoic-like, he says to me, “I can acknowledge this is what happened (getting ill). Then I have two choices. I can either let the pain I feel own me and overwhelm me, and I’ll die. Or I can use it, acknowledge it, and solve the problem in front of me (getting better).”

So dealing with pain means acknowledging pain and going into the world anyway. It’s not pretending it doesn’t exist. That’s the same as being shaped by it. Instead, it’s saying, “Hello pain, hello loss, I see you,” and then getting from your day anyway.

See Also: 8 Tips for Coping with Pet Loss

 

The post Living After The Death Of A loved One appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Have a Child with Skin Sensitivities? Here’s How to Deal with it

To provide the best for a baby, parents make sure that the child is always cared for and nurtured in the best possible way in a secure environment. However, when their child is affected by any kind of disease, then the parents’ role becomes even more crucial. They are then required to put more effort in caring for their children which makes parenting a job harder than it already is.

Different allergies can make the child’s and parents’ lives problematic just as much as a fever or a disease. The sensitivity or allergy can range from a red rash, dry skin, red skin, rubbery patches on the skin and itchy skin. These complications arise due to different conditions but can be treated with care and caution.

Here are certain guidelines to help you deal with your children’s allergies.

Clothing Items

clothing tags

Some clothing items or fabrics with embroidered characters can be a reason for itchiness and rash on the skin. Several tags can also produce itchiness and make the kid irritable if the tag is touching the kid’s skin directly. Elastic bands that are exposed on trousers for kids can also produce rashes and have an itchy effect after being relieved of the elastic garment.

When shopping for your child’s clothes, run your hand through the article of clothing before purchase. If it feels slightly irritable then refrain from buying it.

Remember, all kids’ skins are softer than adults therefore making your child more inclined to having skin irritation. Also, opt for softer clothes that are light and don’t stick to the body too much. If the kid has an elder sibling, then use hand-me-downs as they are softer in comparison due to numerous washings.

Shoes and Outdoor Activity

Outdoor activities are great for kids with sensitivity problems. Camping outdoors, cycling, playing in the local park are few of the many activities that your kids can do to keep them occupied outside.

A kid boxed up in the house is likelier to worsen in condition if he is not exposed to the sun and natural environment too often. Sweat can also be a factor to irritation and itchiness so children are best dressed up in loose clothing and strappy footwear instead of enclosed ones.

Playing outside with sandals or slippers is a much better decision than having your children wear shoes all the time. This way, kids can take them off anytime they feel uncomfortable. There are also no shoelaces that need tying all the time and feet can get sweaty and grow at a healthy pace.

See Also: Five Clever Tips for Stress-Free Family Camping

Detergents, Lotions, and Soaps:

Personal care and cleaning products such as soaps, lotions, and detergents contain chemicals. These chemicals can be harmful to a kid with sensitive skin. They could be even more harmful if a child has an exposed wound or rashes. It worsens the condition and can produce a more complicated wound or sensitivity.

To minimize the effect, keep track of the product that you buy and use products that are made from organic materials rather than using products made from chemicals. Fragrance-free products also have minimal skin sensitivity effects and are better than their fragrant counterparts.

Food Allergies

food allergies

Allergies related to food can also be the cause of some serious skin problems for the kids. It is always favorable to switch to foods that are organic as opposed to chemically treated inorganic foods.

Similar to personal care and cleaning products, the chemicals in foods are known to cause skin-related problems. Design your grocery list in a way that caters to your child’s nutrition just as well as it caters to your child’s allergies. If the problem persists even with your changes in the kid’s diet, then consult a pediatric dietitian. They can pinpoint the food that is causing the allergy and making your kid’s skin sensitive.

See Also: Shifting Your Family To The “Real Food” Diet 

Vitamins

Vitamins are a huge source of nutrition and can be helpful in the proper nourishment of the kids. The lack of these vitamins can be devastating for a child’s health. Health-related problems can also lead up to skin sensitivity. These problems can be avoided by simply keeping track of your kids’ vitamins intake. Your pediatrician can help guide you in making sure that your child’s nutritional needs are being met.

It is always a good idea to listen to your kid if they are telling you about a certain rash, patchiness or dryness in their skin. It will be beneficial for you and your kid to tackle the problem in its earlier stage instead of having the condition worsen over time and causing the child suffering.

 

The post Have a Child with Skin Sensitivities? Here’s How to Deal with it appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Ways To Avoid Bringing Bedbugs Home From Your Vacation

You’ve probably heard, ‘Don’t let the bedbugs bite!” But that’s easier said than done. You really can’t stop the pesky little blood suckers from biting and leaving you with itchy reddish welts.

If you’ve gone on vacation, you can only hope that the hotel you billeted into is bug-free or that no bedbug took up temporary residence in your clothes or luggage. Otherwise, you’ll end up bringing home a little bloodsucker souvenier from your two-week vacation. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to unknowingly infect your home with bedbugs after a bout of traveling.

But don’t fret since there are ways on how one can avoid bringing bedbugs home. Here’s how.

Pack for protection

travel luggages

A plastic trash bag or a sealable plastic container will help your clothing and your luggage bedbug-free. Cover your luggage with a large plastic trash bag to keep the bugs from entering your suitcase.

Store your belongings safely

If you want to put your clothes in the hotel drawers or clothes cabinet, sealing it in a plastic bag or container will help you make sure that no bedbugs hide in your fashionable ensemble. And if you are putting them back inside your luggage, make sure to inspect your clothing that no critters are hiding away. Also, always keep your luggage close at all times.

Head straight for the bathroom

hotel bathroom

The least place that bedbugs hide and dwell is the bathroom, especially the bathtub. So, directly bring your luggage in the bathroom to avoid those little critters. In case you will leave your suitcases in the room, make sure they are placed in sealable plastic containers that are closed at all times.

Play detective

Once you arrive in your hotel room, inspect all crevices of the room, especially your bed. Check the bed, under the covers, and even pull back the beddings.

If needed, remove all pillowcases and check the seams and crevices. You may think this is a bit extreme especially since enjoying your vacation should be your top priority. However, taking a few minutes to play detective and being meticulous in checking your bed, beddings, pillows, pillowcases and headboards will help you make sure that you won’t get bitten and suffer from bites later on.

See Also: 10 Things You Never Knew About Bed Bugs 

Teach kids hotel protocol

Teach your kids how to pack properly for protection, store the luggage in the bathroom and to check the beds and beddings inside and out, including the headboard’s creases and crevices.

Following these tips will surely help you avoid bringing home bed bugs as well as teach your kids some useful and practical life skills. But in case you suspect that some critters still managed to get into your luggage, directly store away your suitcases in the basement or put it in a large plastic trash bag and leave it inside your car outside. The heat of the sun can kill bedbugs for good.

More so, it is best to unpack your clothing, used or not, directly to the washing machine at 120 degrees temperature or more. Also, make sure to spin it dry since this will ensure that you are killing all bed bugs and its eggs.

To further make sure that you are protected, take the time to read up on our bedbugs protection plan. This way, our post-vacation plan won’t be wasted on killing and disinfecting your home with these bloodsucking critters.

 

The post 5 Ways To Avoid Bringing Bedbugs Home From Your Vacation appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Ways To Avoid Bringing Bedbugs Home From Your Vacation

You’ve probably heard, ‘Don’t let the bedbugs bite!” But that’s easier said than done. You really can’t stop the pesky little blood suckers from biting and leaving you with itchy reddish welts.

If you’ve gone on vacation, you can only hope that the hotel you billeted into is bug-free or that no bedbug took up temporary residence in your clothes or luggage. Otherwise, you’ll end up bringing home a little bloodsucker souvenier from your two-week vacation. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to unknowingly infect your home with bedbugs after a bout of traveling.

But don’t fret since there are ways on how one can avoid bringing bedbugs home. Here’s how.

Pack for protection

travel luggages

A plastic trash bag or a sealable plastic container will help your clothing and your luggage bedbug-free. Cover your luggage with a large plastic trash bag to keep the bugs from entering your suitcase.

Store your belongings safely

If you want to put your clothes in the hotel drawers or clothes cabinet, sealing it in a plastic bag or container will help you make sure that no bedbugs hide in your fashionable ensemble. And if you are putting them back inside your luggage, make sure to inspect your clothing that no critters are hiding away. Also, always keep your luggage close at all times.

Head straight for the bathroom

hotel bathroom

The least place that bedbugs hide and dwell is the bathroom, especially the bathtub. So, directly bring your luggage in the bathroom to avoid those little critters. In case you will leave your suitcases in the room, make sure they are placed in sealable plastic containers that are closed at all times.

Play detective

Once you arrive in your hotel room, inspect all crevices of the room, especially your bed. Check the bed, under the covers, and even pull back the beddings.

If needed, remove all pillowcases and check the seams and crevices. You may think this is a bit extreme especially since enjoying your vacation should be your top priority. However, taking a few minutes to play detective and being meticulous in checking your bed, beddings, pillows, pillowcases and headboards will help you make sure that you won’t get bitten and suffer from bites later on.

See Also: 10 Things You Never Knew About Bed Bugs 

Teach kids hotel protocol

Teach your kids how to pack properly for protection, store the luggage in the bathroom and to check the beds and beddings inside and out, including the headboard’s creases and crevices.

Following these tips will surely help you avoid bringing home bed bugs as well as teach your kids some useful and practical life skills. But in case you suspect that some critters still managed to get into your luggage, directly store away your suitcases in the basement or put it in a large plastic trash bag and leave it inside your car outside. The heat of the sun can kill bedbugs for good.

More so, it is best to unpack your clothing, used or not, directly to the washing machine at 120 degrees temperature or more. Also, make sure to spin it dry since this will ensure that you are killing all bed bugs and its eggs.

To further make sure that you are protected, take the time to read up on our bedbugs protection plan. This way, our post-vacation plan won’t be wasted on killing and disinfecting your home with these bloodsucking critters.

 

The post 5 Ways To Avoid Bringing Bedbugs Home From Your Vacation appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

5 Ways To Avoid Bringing Bedbugs Home From Your Vacation

You’ve probably heard, ‘Don’t let the bedbugs bite!” But that’s easier said than done. You really can’t stop the pesky little blood suckers from biting and leaving you with itchy reddish welts.

If you’ve gone on vacation, you can only hope that the hotel you billeted into is bug-free or that no bedbug took up temporary residence in your clothes or luggage. Otherwise, you’ll end up bringing home a little bloodsucker souvenier from your two-week vacation. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to unknowingly infect your home with bedbugs after a bout of traveling.

But don’t fret since there are ways on how one can avoid bringing bedbugs home. Here’s how.

Pack for protection

travel luggages

A plastic trash bag or a sealable plastic container will help your clothing and your luggage bedbug-free. Cover your luggage with a large plastic trash bag to keep the bugs from entering your suitcase.

Store your belongings safely

If you want to put your clothes in the hotel drawers or clothes cabinet, sealing it in a plastic bag or container will help you make sure that no bedbugs hide in your fashionable ensemble. And if you are putting them back inside your luggage, make sure to inspect your clothing that no critters are hiding away. Also, always keep your luggage close at all times.

Head straight for the bathroom

hotel bathroom

The least place that bedbugs hide and dwell is the bathroom, especially the bathtub. So, directly bring your luggage in the bathroom to avoid those little critters. In case you will leave your suitcases in the room, make sure they are placed in sealable plastic containers that are closed at all times.

Play detective

Once you arrive in your hotel room, inspect all crevices of the room, especially your bed. Check the bed, under the covers, and even pull back the beddings.

If needed, remove all pillowcases and check the seams and crevices. You may think this is a bit extreme especially since enjoying your vacation should be your top priority. However, taking a few minutes to play detective and being meticulous in checking your bed, beddings, pillows, pillowcases and headboards will help you make sure that you won’t get bitten and suffer from bites later on.

See Also: 10 Things You Never Knew About Bed Bugs 

Teach kids hotel protocol

Teach your kids how to pack properly for protection, store the luggage in the bathroom and to check the beds and beddings inside and out, including the headboard’s creases and crevices.

Following these tips will surely help you avoid bringing home bed bugs as well as teach your kids some useful and practical life skills. But in case you suspect that some critters still managed to get into your luggage, directly store away your suitcases in the basement or put it in a large plastic trash bag and leave it inside your car outside. The heat of the sun can kill bedbugs for good.

More so, it is best to unpack your clothing, used or not, directly to the washing machine at 120 degrees temperature or more. Also, make sure to spin it dry since this will ensure that you are killing all bed bugs and its eggs.

To further make sure that you are protected, take the time to read up on our bedbugs protection plan. This way, our post-vacation plan won’t be wasted on killing and disinfecting your home with these bloodsucking critters.

 

The post 5 Ways To Avoid Bringing Bedbugs Home From Your Vacation appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Foods That Will Help You Keep Your Family Healthy

Let’s face it – keeping your family healthy is a full time job.

Even when we want our spouse and children to eat healthy meals, we struggle due to lack of time, tempting food commercials, and the downright convenience of processed meals.

But we can still make an effort to provide better meals. We can do this by simply championing whole foods and having our meal plans revolve around them.

Best Healthy Foods for Your Family

• Oatmeal

oatmeal

If you want avoid any 10 AM cravings, you should give your breakfast a nice fiber boost with a bowl of oatmeal. Furthermore, oatmeal also contains soluble fiber that will help you control your cholesterol levels and insoluble fiber which will keep your family satisfied throughout the day.

• Raspberries

raspberries

Raspberries are really dark fruits, but did you know that this means that they are laden with fiber and antioxidants? They also possess a good amount of Vitamin C. A cup of the fruit contains around 8 grams of fiber.

• Barley

barley

Barley has the highest fiber content of all whole grains. Your average pearled barley pack has around 6 grams per cup after cooking. And that’s why you should start serving it as a side dish with almost every meal.

• Broccoli

broccoli

Last but not least, we have a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables. And if you are not aware, cruciferous veggies are full of nutrients. Broccoli, for instance, packs a ton of antioxidants that have certain cancer-preventing benefits. Also, a single cup of broccoli has more than 5 grams of fibers.

Junk Food Alternatives

junkfoods

Fast food restaurants in the United States serve roughly 50 million customers every day. Furthermore, according to CDC’s newest findings, more than a third of (around 34% to be exact) of children between ages 2 and 19 eat fast food on a daily basis.

As we all know, fast food is extremely high in fat and sugar and awfully low in nutrients. Nevertheless, we cannot deny the fact that junk food still is tempting for young children.

You can try to cut down on the number of times you and your family go out for meals. Alternatively, you can serve these healthy alternatives instead:

French Fries – Try preparing some baked grits on your oven with a dash of salt.
Fried Chicken – Grilled chicken is a great, low-fat alternative to KFC.
Ice Cream – Yogurt and fresh fruit smoothies should satisfy your children’s need for sugar.
Potato Chips – For younger children, try baking vegetable chips, and for older ones, buy some nuts.

See Also: Four Simple Ways to Teach Your Kids to Say “NO” to Junk Foods

How to Help Your Family Eat Better

Now, for our spouses and parents, keeping loved ones on a healthy diet will always be a full time job. But even when you’re armed with the healthiest fruits, veggies and meats, making sure that your family sticks to a healthy diet isn’t always an easy task. But you shouldn’t feel discouraged at all.

You see, even small, seemingly insignificant changes to your daily routine can have a huge effect on your family’s overall health.

  • Mix Things up As Often as Possible

Who says that a healthy diet has to be boring? For instance, did you know that it can be beneficial to eat something sweet in the morning to hold back carvings later in the day? Well, according to Tel Aviv University research, if you have a little chocolate in the morning, you won’t feel so tempted to eat something sweet during the day.

Nevertheless, you should limit your children’s sugar intake to about three teaspoons a day; and don’t worry, many recipes taste just as good with less sugar. Pinterest is a wonderful companion at this time as you can pin numerous healthy recipes and ideas onto your boards.

And if you feel like it, you can consider using a meal delivery company that deliveries fresh recipes and groceries on a weekly basis for that little bit of help.

  • Stop Eating in Front of the TV

Who doesn’t eat in front of TV from time to time? Most of us are guilty of it. But did you know that eating while watching TV or YouTube clips can directly impact your awareness and memory and make it harder to recall the amount of food consumed? In 2013, a group of UK scientists discovered that people who eat while distracted consume up to 25% more calories, according to Daily Mail.

The bottom line is – if you’re paying too much attention to the screen in front of you, you are not really paying any attention to what and how much of it is going into your or your kids’ mouths. A nice family meal, centered on the dining table will not only provide a great platform to your family to connect with each other, but it also gives you an opportunity to eat more mindfully.

Final Thoughts

Finally, in order to influence your kids’ eating habits, you have to make sure that every member of family sits down to eat together at approximately the same time every day. Not only will you be able to monitor your family’s eating habits, you’ll be able to identify possible problems and deal with them early.

Family meal times are a great opportunity to catch up on your children’s’ daily lives, and talk and listen to your loved ones without the distraction of smartphones, computers or TV. The simple act of talking to a parent over dinner will play a big role in boosting your children’s morale and self-esteem later on.

See Also: Shifting Your Family To The “Real Food” Diet 

 

The post Foods That Will Help You Keep Your Family Healthy appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Ways to Cut Down on Your TV Costs

I was looking at my cable bill this week and I can think of a million other things I would rather spend my money on. What happened that television is all of a sudden so expensive? Not to mention all the fluff channels you pay for but never watch.

As I move towards a healthier, more frugal lifestyle, I mainly watch television for the news in the morning, and maybe one or two shows at night. So why am I paying $100 or more every month? And there are so many commercials!

I’d rather use that money to invest, or even for a vacation. So I researched some other options for watching my favorite shows. Bonus points are added for everything that is commercial-free!

Netflix

netflix

Everyone’s favorite movie-watching system seriously just keeps getting better. Netflix’s original TV series and movies are absolutely amazing, captivating, and interesting. They recently signed a deal with Disney to get all of their previous and new releases, so you can get movies and TV shows that bring back nostalgic memories and share them with your little ones!

If Disney isn’t your thing though, no worries, because Netflix has tons of movies and TV shows from all sorts of genres. As long as you don’t mind waiting a few months for everything to show up on their streaming service, they have just about everything.

Once a movie or TV show comes out on DVD, that is about the time that it will arrive on Netflix. Bonus- everything is commercial free. Yes!

Hulu

hulu

Hulu has the option to get more recent television shows than Netflix- as early as the current season the day after an episode appears on the air. Hulu also boasts its own original content (which doesn’t quite match up to Netflix’s at the moment, but it will get there!).

It is definitely more of a television service, as it doesn’t have quite as many movies, but being able to watch your shows almost immediately is pretty awesome. Plus, it has two monthly payment levels. The less expensive will force you to watch commercials, but the more expensive option is commercial free. In my opinion? Worth it.

Sling TV

sling tv

If you want to watch your shows live, you can look into Sling. This is a live, on-demand version that is just celebrating its second birthday. It has different pricing levels so you can choose which television stations you would prefer to pay for.

If you don’t want to pay for Bravo Tv or Nat Geo, you don’t have to! If you aren’t a sports fan, don’t worry- there’s a plan for you too. The price is a quarter of the price of regular cable television programming.

Okay, so if you have chosen which program you want to use, how do you get them onto your tv? The days of the cable box are over. If you have a Smart TV, you don’t have to worry about getting a separate device. You can just load up all of your programs onto the television itself.

However, if you have an older or non-smart TV, you can buy a separate device that just plugs in and lets you watch your shows. You pay one price for the device and then you don’t ever have to worry about it again! 

Roku

roku

The Roku streamer has gone through a few different iterations, but it is a great all-around option. It even has a 4K streamer option to give you the best quality picture for the price. It can stream almost anything, with the big exception being Apple products. It also has a physical remote that is pretty small but works just like a regular television remote for a “normal” tv-watching experience.

Chromecast

chromecast

Google’s streaming option is a love-it-or-leave-it choice. If you really want a physical remote, you won’t like this option as it is controlled entirely through your phone or computer. If you prefer this option, it can actually be much easier than bumbling around with arrow keys trying to search for your favorite TV show.

It also has a super cool feature that as soon as you select something from the app, the Chromecast box will turn your television on and switch the channel to the right input to begin playing your show immediately!

Amazon Fire TV

amazon fire tv

The Amazon option is similar to Roku with a physical remote and plenty of programs available for you to watch! It does have some problems with being sluggish, but as Amazon releases new versions they will keep fixing this problem. The remote also comes with Amazon’s “Alexa” feature, which allows it to be voice activated!

Conclusion

I’m not sure it really matters which faux-television box you go with. They will all be so much less expensive than a traditional television service. Plus, you can watch movies without paying extra for them or turning on your clunky DVD player.

I know that all the money I save switching over can be used for much better reasons. Maybe a steak dinner once a month? No, lets just put it to a fancy vacation on the beach in Florida. Yeah. That is much better than paying for a bunch of television

 

 

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12 Colorful Ways to Dress Up Your Home (On a Budget)

Take a look around. Yes, right now. Pause the movie, save your place in your book. Put down that glass of wine and that cupcake and look around at your space. Is your home looking a little dull, a little less you, these days? Maybe it’s time for some changes, time to express your colorful self.

Interior decorators are expensive. Painting the whole place would be both expensive and complicated. So how do you make changes to showcase your rainbow personality?

You can always add or switch out accessories to make your place in the world more colorful. Color is an excellent tool to help inspire mood and atmosphere in a home.

bright colors

For instance, red is warm, and depending on shade and depth, this color can represent intense emotion. It can also increase appetite. But red can also be irritating, and can raise blood pressure, so don’t overdo red.

To create an aura of peace and tranquility, add some cool shades of blue to dissolve tension and stress.

Shades of green are currently the most popular colors in today’s homes, and are restful to the eye. Green represents nature, and can add calming, healing touches to a room.

Yellow is sunny and happy, and can increase focus and energy.

Orange is gregarious and social-minded.

Lavender is restful, but purple can overwhelm. However, as a bright focal point, purple can be paired with yellow for a pop of color in certain accessories.

Eggshell and other shades of white such as antique and ivory, are elegant but can come off as bland if not paired with a splash of color.

Brown represents natural wood and leather. Too much of this color leans toward the masculine, but varying shades can be combined with brighter colors for an interesting balance.

Black is often difficult, sometimes gloomy, but in controlled amounts can be sophisticated, especially paired with grays and bright whites.

So now that you have your colors in mind, go out and find those things that speak your language. Hit thrift stores to find those special items that beg to go home with you. Search yard and garage sales for that something different that fits your colorful personality. Of course, second-hand is not the only way to go, new is not a bad thing, but people’s castoffs are often more interesting.

See Also: Top 10 Tips for Buying Stylish Furniture on a Budget 

Here is a list of ideas to brighten every room in your house or apartment.

colorful furnitures

1. Throw pillows. Mix and match with your furniture and existing color scheme, or go splashy with a variety of unexpected hues and patterns.

2. Add colorful throws to the backs of sofas, chairs, and love seats.

3. Put a few simple silk flower arrangements in unusual or unique containers. Check out Pinterest for imaginative vases, jars, cans, and baskets. Real cut flowers are naturally great for adding color, too, but, of course, they are temporary.

4. Living green plants bring soothing touches to a room. And there are many flowering plants that flourish inside with proper lighting. Use colorful planters or baskets, and remember that planters don’t always have to be round.

basket of colorful flowers

5. Find some small wicker tables and footstools and paint them unexpected colors.

6. Look for rugs, new or old, in patterns and colors that complement your furniture arrangements, or which stand out on their own.

7. Fill a focus wall with paintings, posters, or photos of things and places that are dear to you. Or find wood carvings, metal designs, or even pieces of bright fabric to add wall color.

important photos

8. Dress up photo frames with paint or unusual decorations such as sea shells, buttons, or other small items like raffia, ribbons, or twigs. You can also frame small mirrors and add paint or decorations to the frames.

9. New curtains or drapes can change the look of a room. Use unusual fabrics for curtains instead of buying ready-made. You can even dress things up by painting curtain rods or using quirky objects such as branches, small-link chains, or rope to hang curtains.

10. Change your kitchenware. Old plates, bowls, cups and saucers, found in antique stores and thrift shops can be charming colorful dishware for your table, or they can even double as wall and shelf decorations. If you buy new dishes, go for the square plates and platters in cheery colors. Hint: Remember that red increases appetite.

11. Buy new bed linens in a multitude of colors and patterns. Don’t forget colorful towels for the bathroom.

colorful towels

12. Collections of teapots, ceramic figures, bottles, unusual coffee mugs, hats, and other items that catch your fancy, are great for adding colorful touches.

See Also: 6 Decor Hack to Make Your House look Pretty 

So. Color. It’s as simple as that. Surround yourself with the colors of the sea. Or a sunset. Or pumpkins or sunshine, green leaves or red apples. Or all of the above. Get out of the house tomorrow morning and find those things that say You. But first, finish your wine and that cupcake.

 

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7 Ways To Make Your Home One You’re Excited To Come Back To Each Day

When you think of your home, does it evoke a welcoming, cozy, happy feeling? Our homes are a personal extension of ourselves. When we walk through the door, we should feel joy, contentment and peace. Although most of us want these things for our homes, we don’t always know where to start in creating this atmosphere.

Below are must-know design ideas on how to make a happy home.

Use Soothing Colors and Textures

cozy home

Look around your home and take in your surroundings. Does it exude soothing colors and textures that are both welcoming and inviting?

A home with soothing shades and soft textures set the overall mood. Think tranquil blues, greens, greys, whites, and beiges. Choose soft furniture with rounded edges and hardwood floors with soft area rugs. Use soft lighting and candles to produce a calming ambience.

The idea is to create a space that looks and feels softer, calmer and more relaxing.

See Also: 6 Decor Hack to Make Your House look Pretty 

Channel Your Inner “Hygge”

Hygge is the Danish concept of creating a cozy atmosphere in your home. It’s a choice and way of life.

Find a gathering space in your home where your family can congregate. Put on your wooly socks and warm sweaters and add a few blankets. Light a fire in the fireplace, invite a few friends or family over and play board games or watch movies together, nestled up and snug. Keep a good stock of board games nearby so it’s easy to grab a few family members and start up a game.

Think Minimalism

Minimalism doesn’t have to mean stark surfaces and owning very little in terms of belongings. It can simply refer to decluttering the piles on the counters, getting rid of items that aren’t special or of importance, and getting your home organized.

It’s well-documented that clutter causes stress but order creates calm. When piles aren’t building up and everything has a home, clean-up is easy and quick.

When it comes time for gift giving or buying something for your home, consider how the item will fit into your home. Will it create more clutter or will it be an investment in your home and family? No matter what the item is, consider quality over quantity.

Cook Meals at Home

Home cooked meals are positive for so many reasons—it saves money, provides a healthier nourishment for your family, and brings the family together at the dinner table. Encourage family participation in meal planning, food prep, and cooking. Whenever a child has had a hand in meal preparation, they are more inclined to want to eat what they’ve cooked. Have your family take time to discuss the day, including positives and negatives and bring in conversation starters/prompts for fun.

See Also: 8 Ways to Make Family Meal Times More Fun

Surround Yourself with Things That Bring Happiness

Material items don’t bring us joy, memories and experiences do. Display sentimental items around your home that evoke happy memories and are reminiscent of good times you’ve had.

Think framed photos or artwork, a vase with seashells, a beautiful rock collected from the ocean, a bowl of your great grandmother’s, or something you picked up on your travels abroad. Aim for simple displays and not dust-collecting clutter.

Promote Relaxation in the Home

home relaxation

Make home an escape from the world outside. Relaxation and family time is important to decompress and should be included in every family member’s day. Encourage art together, play music, provide plenty of outdoor time, cook meals together, read, play games, watch movies, and make downtime key.

Live Intentionally

When you walk through the door of your home, put a stop to the craziness of the outside world. Leave the stress at the door mat. Make time for yourself and for your family, make time and room for love.

Don’t forget to say good morning and good night to your loved ones, remember to ask them about their day or to say “good luck” on that test. Give hugs when you leave and come back home. And take breaks to disconnect from electronics, social media and Netflix.

 

The post 7 Ways To Make Your Home One You’re Excited To Come Back To Each Day appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Common Mistakes Making Your Home Prone to Burglary

Did you know? An incidence of burglary happens somewhere in the USA every 18 seconds, adding up to 200 per hour, and nearly 4,800 burglaries every day.

And the shocking fact is that 30 percent of these burglaries are done through unlocked windows and doors while over 50 percent take place during the day when homeowners are at work. Many of these burglaries could be prevented by following simple home safety measures.

Don’t let your home to be the next target. Instead, reinforce your home security by not making any of the common home security mistakes given below:

Leaving Your Doors and Windows Unlocked in Your Absence

unlocked door

Given that 30 percent of burglaries happen because of unlocked doors and windows, make sure to lock these entry points every time you leave, otherwise, a burglar won’t even have to try very hard to get into your home.

Additionally, get your old and malfunctioning door and window locks replaced as soon as possible with quality locks.

Hiding a Key Under a Doormat

This old trick won’t work anymore as today’s burglars are more sophisticated and smarter than you think. A burglar knows well where a homeowner is likely to hide the keys—either under the doormat or the plant pot. This is why you should keep the keys with you or hand over them to your reliable neighbors (if you have any) after locking the home.

Not Stopping or Forwarding Your Mail and Newspaper Delivery

Mails overflowing from the mailbox or newspaper piling up at the front of your door hint of the home owner’s prolonged absence. Therefore, stop the delivery of mails and newspapers or ask your neighbor to collect them from time to time.

Not Having a Home Security System Installed

Homes without security or alarm systems are up to 300% more likely to be targeted by a burglar. Therefore, you must invest in a home security system to avoid the potential break-ins.

They let you monitor the property from a distance, send your home status via messages and alert the police in the case of a break-in, thereby ensuring your peace of mind.

Apart from burglary, they offer protection from fire breakouts, electrical faults, and other accidents. Remember, you might find them costly, but not installing one may cost you even more.

See Also: 10 People in Urgent Need of Smart Home Security Systems

Leaving Tools and Ladders Out

leaving ladder out

Do you leave the ladder outside? Is it in the backyard or placed under the window? Is your ladder leaning against the wall?

If yes, you are making the task easier for a burglar. An intruder can use your ladder to get inside your home through the windows or the rooftop. Similarly, the tools you leave outside may come handy for a burglar to remove the hinges of the gate or the bars of the windows. Secure and store your ladder, hammers, lawn clippers, and saws inside when not in use.

Announcing that You are Not at Home on Social Media

Sharing your vacation plans on social media alerts the burglars that you are away from home. No wonder 4 out of 5 burglars use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to pick targets. Be careful to update about your holidays on social media when you’re away, especially on Twitter and Instagram which are easily accessible to everyone.

Leaving Hiding Places Outside

Tall shrubs along your homes and dark areas in your yard are the perfect hiding spots for burglars. That doesn’t mean you have to cut down all the trees and shrubs in your yard. Simply trim larger bushes and tree branches regularly to minimize the dark shadows and shelters that cover intruders.

Remember these tips to make your home safer for yourself and your loved ones.

See Also: Home Security: Try These 10 Ways to Make Your Home Safer – Without a Gun

 

 

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Penny Packers: How to Move on a Budget

Whether you’ve relocating out of your parents’ home, across town, or across the country, moving can be a challenge. With a few steps, you can make this life journey less stressful and the start of the exciting new adventure it should be. A significant consideration of moving is cost. Let’s face facts, it’s expensive. Here we’ll look at some money-saving tips to make the transition easier.

A significant consideration of moving is cost. Let’s face facts, it’s expensive. Here we’ll look at some money-saving tips to make the transition easier.

Make a Budget

The key to saving money is making a budget. Start planning your move well in advance and decide how much you’re willing to spend.

For a short or local move, start by calling companies to get quotes on truck rentals. Make sure the truck you’re renting can accommodate your belongings. It doesn’t make sense to save money by renting a small truck, or one that’s too large, only to find that your belongings won’t fit properly. Remember to factor fuel costs into the moving equation since this can also add up.

Delegate

budget moving

Enlist the help of dependable friends and family in advance of the move so everyone has the date scheduled on their calendars. You don’t want to find yourself stranded on the big day because someone did not show up.

See Also: 5 Smart Tips to Get More Organized For Your Moving Day

Budget the Distance

For long distances, make some calls to reputable moving companies and get quotes. Try to get price quotes from at least three moving companies. Talk to friends, neighbors, and family about movers they have used in the past. Check reviews online. Research about hidden fees, such as extra costs for moving to a building without an elevator. 

You may find yourself in the situation of having to ship a car. Again, do your homework. There are specialized shippers for this. Costs are determined by distance, make of car, time of year, whether your car ships covered or uncovered. It can take up to a month for your car to be delivered so plan well in advance.

Insure

Ask about insurance for the protection of your valuables. Most moving companies offer some basic coverage against damage. If you have very valuable possessions, you may want to consider adding some additional insurance to cover potential damages.

Look for Help

If you’re moving because of a company relocation, ask your employer about recommendations. In this scenario, your new employer may pick up some of your costs. You might also be able to get a break on your taxes because of the move.

Clean Your (Old) House

Moving is a great chance to clear out all the old stuff you no longer use, things that are worn or broken, or things you have outgrown. You’ll have less to pack and make room for all the new things in store for you. You may want to sell some things. Better yet, give them away to a local charity. At the end of the year, you’ll get some tax credit for your in-kind donations.

Packing

packing

This is also the time to begin collecting packing materials such as boxes and bubble wrap. Scour local stores for boxes and wrap. It’s cheaper to find packing supplies yourself rather than buying them from a moving company.

Use blankets and sweaters to wrap delicate items. Allow yourself plenty of time to pack so when the day of the move comes you’re ready to go. Many movers will pack for you, but you’ll end up paying for this service. You’ll save time and money by doing the job yourself. 

See Also: Protect Your Breakable Items By Following These Packing Tips

Moving does not have to be stressful with ample preplanning. With some advance work, you can make the transition smoother and easier on yourself, your family, and your budget. 

 

 

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8 Time-Saving Hacks for Busy Moms

The homemaker has the ultimate career of all. She has regular work hours, makes each day both useful and pleasant, and proves the worth of time by employing it well. Whoever is stuck on the myth that a housewife has no other work to do than cooking for her husband and kids and watching daily soaps has never seen a homemaker for an entire day.

People like you and I, who go out to earn and come back to the comforts of a ‘home’, should not forget that it is a homemaker that makes the house a comfort zone. She is on duty 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. She’s an alarm clock, a cook, a maid, a teacher, a waiter, a nurse, a security officer, a counselor, and a comforter. She doesn’t get a holiday the entire year, and still gets asked, ‘What do you do all day?’

She doesn’t get a holiday the entire year, and still gets asked, ‘What do you do all day?’

Here’s to all the hard-working homemakers. Here are 8 ways you can save your time and energy, and work efficiently.

Have a To-Do List

to do list

Like every other profession, homemaking in itself is a profession that demands perfection, and nothing less. As much as being organized in any other profession is important, homemaking too, should be done in an organized manner. The first step to this is to keep a to-do list ready for every day. Keeping a list ready helps you sort between important and unimportant, urgent, and not so urgent work, and you can plan your day accordingly.

The first step to this is to keep a to-do list ready for every day. Keeping a list ready helps you sort between important and unimportant, urgent, and not so urgent work, and you can plan your day accordingly.

See Also: Todo List Apps for People Who Don’t Like Todo Lists 

Keep Important Things Handy

This is yet another important thing that all homemakers should implement. Keep a copy of your important documents ready, a first aid box readily available, a list of emergency contacts and some extra cash for those contingencies. After all, it is better to be prepared than to panic.

Learn From DIY Lessons

Social media is not just a waste of time. Nowadays, with YouTube, Instagram and Facebook streaming with hundreds of DIY videos and hacks, there are so many lessons that you can learn and put into use immediately. There are cooking hacks, home décor ideas and time-saving tricks that are easy to learn and implement.

Do Easy Cooking

I see people who think that the only thing that a homemaker does is cooking. False. There are so many other things that she does daily. It is just that cooking occupies most of her time.

There is always a solution to a problem. Homemakers should learn easy cooking tricks, start using the microwave often, and learn quick and healthy recipes. These cooking hacks will save you enough time for your hobbies.

Storage Ideas

I’ve seen people who spend a large chunk of their day just cleaning the mess around. This especially becomes tedious when you have kids and guests visiting you very often.

Mums have a tough time keeping things in place and maintaining the house well. This is where storage ideas come into play. Keep light-weight baskets and bins around the house where you can quickly dump the mess when a guest is expected, or a toy basket to stuff all your kids’ toys once they’re done playing. They’re quick as well as less tiresome than cleaning the entire house twice or thrice a day.

Hire Domestic Help

Depending on where you live and if you have the means, you can hire domestic help or outsource some of your daily chores. You can employ a helper or a cook, or even hire an assistant to help you with household tasks.

Shop Online

With so many advances in technology, it is only fair that homemakers also update themselves with the latest advancements in e-commerce and shopping. Instead of standing in long queues at the supermarket or traveling to stores, you can try the convenience of online shopping. It is easier, more reasonable, and you get to choose from a range of products without even moving an inch. This also saves you the extra bucks that you spend on in-store compulsive shopping.

Take Power Naps

power naps

Homemakers work a 24×7 shift especially when there are sick kids. There’s no pause button to their routine. They keep working from dawn to dusk and hardly get any time to stop and relax. This affects both their mental and physical health. It is important that they take at least one power nap, or relax for a short time in the middle of the day. This little break or power nap helps reduce stress and rejuvenates them for the latter half of the day.

See Also: 7 Easy Tips on How to Get the Perfect Nap 

Homemakers work harder and longer than any other class of worker. They go through stress and anxiety just like anybody. By applying these time-saving hacks, the busy homemaker earns some precious “me” time for much-needed rest and relaxation.

 

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Jack Daniel's wants to fill your morning with whiskey-infused coffee

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Ever since Ke$ha sang about brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack, Jack Daniel’s has become inextricably linked to things we do when we wake up in the morning.

Now there may be an actual reason why Jack Daniel’s would make an appearance in your daily morning routine. The distillery, in partnership with the World of Coffee, has released Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Coffee.

Image: Jack Daniel’s/World of Coffee

According to a press release announcing the product, the coffee is made of “premium 100 percent Arabica coffee, roasted medium and infused with Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey.”  Read more…

More about Coffee, Whiskey, Watercooler, and Home

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How to Make Your Bathroom Truly Unique

There are so many ways to design and decorate your bathroom nowadays. It is no longer about the fixtures but also the visual appeal. It’s how you feel from the moment you step into the bathroom. Other than the physical design of the bathroom shape and size, you can do many things to transform this commonly overlooked room in your home.

Here are some bathroom design ideas that can transform your bathroom.

Printed tiles

printed tiles
Via freshome

You can dress your bathroom with a large format image of whatever you want. These are modern designs printed on tiles to turn your bathroom into a uniquely marvelous personal place. You can even have full images of places like Venice to give you a feeling of actually being there.

Walk-in shower

walk in shower
Via timberlinebend

Nothing makes a bathroom unique like a free-standing tub and a walk-in style shower. A free-standing tub is an attractive centerpiece for your bathroom and gives it a relaxing atmosphere.

By adding these pieces, you give your bathroom a luxurious spa-like feel. This design gives a bathroom a functional and modern appeal in every aspect.

Wood clad tubs

wood clad tubs
Via timberlinebend

Who would have imagined that wood would be used in a modern bathroom? Imagine a lovely bathroom with the tub clad in timber to match the sinks. All the walls are covered with wood which gives a natural appeal and relaxing ambiance to your bathroom.

Use big tiles to enlarge your bathroom

Whether you are building a new bathroom or renovating, you can choose big tiles for your bathroom. Big tiles are excellent at creating long lines without visually breaking up space.

If you can, use the same tile throughout the entire bathroom. This will make even a tiny space appear large. Opt for a cool-toned tile to provide a relaxing atmosphere.

Shell-filled bathroom

shell filled bathroom
Via elledecor

Adorning your bathroom all over with shells can make it look like you are at the beach relaxing. Bathrooms don’t have to be boring and traditional; you can make yours a fun place to spend time and even meditate in.

Build holding racks with narrow molding strips, plastic or wood to beautifully display the variety of shells all around the bathroom walls. This will give you visual satisfaction as you lie soaking in your tub.

Roadmap bathroom

roadmap bathroom
Via elledecor

If you love to travel, showcase it in your bathroom! Placing a large, high-quality waterproof map on your bathroom can make it look unique as well as providing you with a map to dream about and plan your next road trip out of town. By replacing your plain walls with a map of the places you want to travel to, you add excitement to an otherwise ordinary room.

Double shower bathroom

double shower bathroom
Via elledecor

Why not do a double shower for your next bathroom renovation? It can be both fun and functional since two people can easily shower at the same time and even swap mid shower.

This design is suitable for a large bathroom that allows for free movement and provides spatial freedom to install additional facilities like a standalone tub. If you have at least one round corner in the bathroom, it will be unique to a level not easily matched.

Wet room

wet room
Via dynastypartners

This design gives no discernible space for showering like most bathrooms; your shower place is decided the moment you choose to shower. With a tub at the wall, you have enough space to move around with the partially portable shower heads. This creates a sense of freedom to relax your mind after a stressful day or a long trip.

See Also: 5 Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Original 

Having a functional bathroom doesn’t always mean enduring the boring designs from the past century. Creativity in the bathroom gives you memorable details that inspire you every morning before going out and rejuvenates you when you return exhausted from the day’s work. Pick from any of these ideas of even more crazy designs that break all the rules you have ever known when it comes to the bathroom.

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