Organize

Backyard ‘Staycation’ Safety Tips


Summer brings more opportunities for outdoor activities around the house.  Why not plan a “staycation” in your own backyard; but play it safe:

  • Keep your grill on a level surface away from your house, garage and any flammable objects.
  • Don’t step away from a grill while it’s on, and keep children and pets at a safe distance from the flames.
  • When using charcoal, extinguish properly by breaking up the embers with a long stick or grilling tool, then covering the grill to cut off the oxygen.  Or, slowly sprinkle the coals with water.  Once the coals are cooled completely, dispose of them in a metal container.

 

 

  • Before mowing, clear the yard of any loose objects that could fly out from under the lawnmower.
  • When using power tools for yard work, wear protective gear and cover your eyes with goggles.
  • Wear protective clothing when using pesticides etc and don’t spray around children or pets and precisely follow directions.
  • Before you dig a hole in your yard for any reason call your local utility company to avoid underground gas or power lines.

 

  • Install four foot high fence around the pool area and include self-closing gates with latches out of reach of children.
  • Keep the pool area clear of toys and other objects that someone may trip over.
  • Never allow children to swim without adult supervision.
  • Place a sturdy pool cover over the pool when it’s not in use.

 

  • Place swing sets and other play equipment on level ground, and make sure legs are properly
    anchored.
  • Inspect play sets regularly for any sharp bolts, screws, nails or rot.
  • When celebrating with fireworks, wear safety glasses when handling fireworks, and have water handy to soak spent fireworks before disposing of them.

Be careful of becoming over-exposed to the sun.  Drink plenty of fluids, and seek air conditioning if you become overheated, and have fun!

Ideas taken from: https://www.horacemann.com/insurance/property-insurance/summer-backyard-safety-tips
Categories: family, holiday, Home Safety, Home Tips, Organize, Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting Rid of Stuff Feels Good … Why?



7-General-Action-Plan-for-Decluttering-Your-Home-Successfully-1
7-General-Action-Plan-for-Decluttering-Your-Home-Successfully-2Many of us strive for a more simplified life, in which what surrounds us are things we either truly love or truly need, preferably both. To arrive at — and to maintain — such a lifestyle, we have to get rid of things, whether it’s in one fell swoop or in small doses. While it feels like a big mountain to climb, getting rid of things ultimately feels sooo good. Here’s why.

Physical space and mental space go hand-in-hand. Clutter is visual noise, and the disarray creeps into our mental faculties as well; for some of us more than others. So it stands to reason that clearing out our physical spaces, making room for air and light and growth, would be mirrored in our psyches as well. Just think how much better you work when your desk is cleaned off — now extend that to your life.Kitchen-Counter-Declutter-Before-After-Only-Took-10-Minutes

Separating from the past can heal us. We hang onto so many things because of the memories tied to them. When we de-clutter, we have the opportunity to interact not only with our physical possessions, but with the memories and feelings they trigger. This can be negative but cathartic, as when we let go of things we’ve held onto out of fear of letting go or of not being in control. The act of getting rid of these things can be painful but is nevertheless triumphant, inspiring a feeling of this has no hold on me!! as things are discarded. I think watching this interplay between our things and our personal histories is what had me hooked on Hoarders for a time.

Making decisions makes us strong. When we make a decision about something, even something as small as whether to keep those curtain rods, we dogain some control, and the feeling is addicting and self-perpetuating. If you can donate years’ upon years’ worth of children’s clothes, for instance, you’re not only making room mentally and physically. You’re also empowered to tackle that next thing that’s been hanging over you or crowding your consciousness: exercising, asking your boss for a raise, copying your pictures off your phone, whatever.

You have less stuff to deal with. This is the most obvious reward of getting rid of stuff, and most definitely not the smallest. Each thing that goes out your door is one less thing you have to find a place for, organize again and again, or clean. That, my friends, is freedom and boy does it feel good!

I found this interesting and thought you would too; I shared from: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/why-does-getting-rid-of-stuff-feel-so-good-223176

Categories: family, Home Safety, Home Tips, Organization, Organize, Real Estate | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Prepare to Sell Your Home With Professional Photography


4downloadYou only get one chance to make a first impression.  most buyers utilize technology in search of the perfect home long before they ever see it in person.  That’s why I use professional photography by Showcase Photographers to highlight your home’s best features and impress potential buyers right from the start.  Before the photographer arrives, it is important that everything looks inviting, comfortable and simple.

As your Real Estate Professional I will guide you through the selling process and staging your home for professional photography and for potential buyers touring your home.  Following are some easy tips to help you get your home ready for showcase.

EXTERIOR: 

  • Remove all cars (parked vehicles in front of the home can be seen through windows on interior
    photos), 
    bicycles, boats, garbage bins, hoses, alarm signs , empty pots or pots with dead plants.
  • Sweep off patios, decks and walk-ways.
  • Remove fallen limbs from the yard.
  • If you have patio cushions, please arrange them neetley on the furniture.
  • Remove grill covers.
  • If yu have a pool, make sure the Polaris or cleaners has been pulled out.


Marvellous-Interior-Of-Homes-Decorated-For-Christmas-With-Interior-Of-Beach-Homes-And-Interior-Homescapes-Also-Interior-Of-Timber-Frame-HomesINTERIOR:

  • Open all blinds, curtains, sheers (including in the garage)
  • Turn on all ceiling lights, lamps, under counter lights, and turn OFF all ceiling fans.  Replace any non-working bulbs.
  • Kitchen: Remove all soaps, sponges, drying racks, dirty dishes, food,off ofimages (1)dounters and top of refrigerator, hide the garbage can, take towels off the fronts of appliances, and remove everthing from the exterior of the refrigerator.
  • Bathrooms:  Remove all personal items from countertops (razors, toothbrushes, soap, perfumes, personal
    photos, etc.
    ) In the shower, hide shampoos, razors, sponges, soaps, squeegees, etc.
  • Picture-150All pet beds, toys, bowls, food and supplies should be hidden.  Also, plan to confine your cats or dogs in a room.
  • Attempt to hide cords from you electronics as best you can — if you don’t wish to unplug them, move a big plant or some other decorative item to help do the job.
  • Clean mirrors and shower doors, removing any smears. Clean windows go a long way when potential buyers are touring your home.images
  • Assess lighting in each room.  If you feel a room is too dark, bring in a few lamps to compensate.
  • Remove small area rugs.  If you have wood floors or nice tile, it is better to show those then “hide” them with rugs.
  • Put all remote controls in drawers or under pillows
  • Please make sure items hidden under beds do not show at a distance.

 

© Showcase Photographers 2014

Categories: family, Home Tips, Landscape, Organization, Organize, Real Estate, Technology | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Freshen Up Your Home Decor and Lift Your Spirits


Your mind can’t help but flood with images of blooming tulips and daisies, gleaming sunshine and a home bursting with spring flavor.

You’ve already got the fever, my friend, the fever for a change in décor. Weary of the dark, drabness of the winter months, you’re itching for the light, energetic mood of the spring season. But who has the bandwidth or the bucks?

I felt compelled to share these great ideas from three interior design pros – Lauri Ward, Lisa Turner and Candace C. Peters – whipped up dozens of quick, easy and dollar-conscious ways to freshen up your living space before the flowers start to bud. Here’s what you can do in no time:

Here’s what you can do in no time

Rotate art

Are your walls all cluttered with stagnant artwork? Then it’s time for a change. “Some people hang everything they own on every wall,” says Ward, the pioneer of “one-day decorating” and author of “Home Therapy: Fast, Easy, Affordable Makeovers”. “Look at it all the time, and you start taking it for granted.” Try this: Separate art into summer and winter piles. Hang the lighter, pastel colors for spring and summer, and put the deep, oil paintings in storage. Every six months, rotate your pieces. “This way, you enjoy your art with a new vigor, and it’s something you can do in minutes.” Ward also suggests art collectors leave one blank wall in each room. It gives visitors a place to rest the eyes.  or simply just move your art around or to different walls 

Soothe the senses

Spring is not only a colorful season, but a fragrant one, too. Bring the aroma indoors. “Scents have a profound effect on mood,” Peters says. “Infusing scent into your décor with diffusers, candles, fresh cut plants/flowers, or incense can change the overall feeling of a space.” Ward offers this quick, floral tip: Purchase an inexpensive bouquet of flowers. Split flowers up by color, and place each bunch in small vases around your home.

Beautify your boudoir

Bright, new bedding can do wonders for your personal space. Tuck away the heavy, winter flannel comforter and pull out crisp linens with coverlets for color, Turner says. Bring in the spring with floral-designed spreads or colorful solids. Don’t forget accent pillows for added style and comfort.

Buy new bulbs

You’re thinking flower bulbs, right? Not a bad idea, but we’re talking about light bulbs. Ward says many of us aren’t using our lights properly. “In the winter, you need more light,” Ward says. But in the spring you can get away with less. Swap your 60-watt bulb with a 3-way bulb to allow you to soften light in a room, she says. “It really makes a difference to have the flexibility.” Look into energy-efficient bulbs, which may cost more than a standard bulb, but last longer and can cut down electric bills.

Let the sunshine in

In the winter, dull, dusty windows can go unnoticed. Shorter, darker days give us an excuse. But in spring, take advantage of the sunny season by giving the windows a wash. “People tend to let the windows go, and they don’t get as much light,” Ward says. “You can have a gorgeous room, but if the windows are dirty, it won’t look as beautiful or as bright.” For an added tip, Turner suggests pulling back dark window treatments and adding a shade or valance for a touch of color. Or, you can also replace window treatments with ecru or white sheers for an elegant look.

Update accessories

Just as you’d add a scarf or necklace to enhance an outfit, do the same with your home. “Dress your home like you would yourself,” Turner says. “Look for great accent pillows in bright colors. Put away the winter throws and drape light, bright throws on your sofa. Pick out spring-hued vases or candles to boost a cocktail or dining room table.

Show off your collection

Everyone knows you love elephants. You’ve got an assortment of statues in every room! Experts say to centralize your collection in one spot so your space looks organized and your visitors can truly enjoy it. “It gives a more dramatic effect,” Ward says. “If it’s a small collection, anchor it on a tray. Then people will notice.”

Lose the magnets

In just minutes, you can tidy up a kitchen by getting rid of the scraps of paper, business cards and take-out menus stuck to the fridge. If you have odds and ends everywhere, it looks messy,” Ward says. “If you clear it, your kitchen looks neat.”

Keep out things you use on a daily basis, the expert says. Invest in a pretty bulletin board to take care of important items.

Taken from HGTV by Stacy Gillman / filed under Spring, Color  / to read this article and/or for more tips link to: http://www.hgtv.com/organizing/ten-minute-tricks-to-freshen-your-space/index.html
Categories: family, Home Tips, Organization, Organize, Real Estate | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Backyard Living


Bring the elegance of the indoors to the wonders of the outdoors with these simple decorating ideas.  Look at your exterior space and design it with the same principles with which you approach interior rooms. Try treating the natural environment as your own décor inspiration—it can help dictate color, texture and scale.

201207-orig-backyard-neutral-284x426  201207-orig-backyard-screened-284x426Back to Basics

Select neutral colors and natural fibers. They consistently feel clean and will help create a peaceful environment.

Seamless Transitions

Connect indoor and outdoor spaces by using the same color scheme in both.

Breaking Barriers

Erase the barrier between indoors and out. Furnish your deck, porch, or patio as if it were your living room. Then you can’t help but enjoy the good weather.

Try lining your garden with rope lighting and adding window mirrors to the fence to make your garden look larger

grid-cell-27288-1400858783-22  enhanced-16740-1400857143-20

With outdoor space, more is better. There is no good reason to want less space to work with. Yet some people are overwhelmed by the size of a yard or patio and simply choose a corner to stick a grill and a bench, end of story. A better way to approach open space is to create zones, just like you would with social spaces indoors.

Think first about what outdoor-only features you definitely want, such as a fire pit, a sheltered area, a walkway or patio, a fountain, a pool or a spot for lawn games like horseshoes. Essentially, anything that you’ve already placed in your outdoor space can be a center that you position seating and décor vignettes around. After those focal centers are determined, go about decorating and positioning as you would indoors. Don’t be afraid to combine several seating and table vignettes into a larger social cluster.
DHMY105_backyard-fire-pit-seating-area-orange_s4x3_lg chic-backyard-shed-office-0211-l chic-backyard-outdoor-living-area-0211-l

shopping

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These shady book nooks require just a hula-hoop and a curtain.

 

a portion of this post taken from http://www.oprah.com/home/Backyard-Decorating-Tips-Patio-Design-Ideas
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A Few Tips to Get You Organized


Piles Away

 A FEW TIPS TO HELP YOU GET STARTED IN ORGANIZING YOUR HOME

Being organized doesn’t mean everything is in its place; it means everything has a place.  If you can get your house ready for a surprise guest in 30 minutes, then you are organized. 

 

 

  • To begin, unlock all the reasons that are preventing you from de-cluttering. What do you keep, how do you keep it and why do you keep it?
  • Set some goals – what would you like to be different?
  • Make a plan. The best way is to set small, attainable goals. Focus on one room at a time. Set aside 15 minutes a day dedicated to getting rid of stuff.

DSC00189    cleaningclosets-bins
# 1 TIP 
Sort everything into 5 piles 1 move to another room 2 donate 3 give to specific person 4 throw away 5 marinate– pack your items and label the box with a date 6 months to a year later.  If you never open the box before that date, discard those items.

 

 

table mess2 white-house-mess-table#2 TIP Watch out for flat surfaces.  If your dining table is becoming a “catch all” clear it off and put a flower arrangement in the middle and set it with place settings.  This will help break the habit of parking stuff there.

 

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#3 TIP Anything that needs to go somewhere should be in your car, not in your house.  Keep your coupons there in a clear folder so you have them when you need them.  Get an errand basket to hold items that need to be returned, or kept in the car to hold items in transit or need to stay in the car for continued usage ie sports items etc

 

img_3523Free-shipping-the-sweet-font-b-plastic-b-font-font-b-storage-b-font-box-font#4 TIP   Name a pest and it probably loves cardboard; especially cockroaches.  If you must store stuff in boxes consider plastic.

 

 

 

1070360-image#5 TIP  If you have a storage unit that is storing stuff long term, consider getting rid of it.  You could most likely buy all the stuff that’s in there for the price of the annual rental fee.

 

 

 

donate-clothes#6 TIP  Stop yourself if you start thinking you need to add more storage space for your stuff.   That’s just backward.  Your goal should be to remove the clutter, not create more storage space.

 

oval-wicker-laundry-basket-item000349_1_01

# 7 TIP Avoid lids on laundry baskets, bins, and other containers.  They just make it harder to put things away by providing a convenient  landing place for clothing and stuff.

 

 

How-to-Organize-Your-Kitchen-Strategically #8 TIP Have things that you use most often in the kitchen handy and easy to reach locations. The items you rarely use can be stored out of reach at the back of the top cupboard. Don’t let stuff you rarely use take up good cupboard space

 

 

 

 

mail and paper clutter#9 TIP Paper piles tend to grow. Don’t bring paper in the house that you will not read. Once you bring paper inside the house, give it a home immediately. File your photographs, your recipes, children’s school papers, forms. Establish categories for anything that you use on a regular basis. Have a separate “to do” basket for anything that requires your immediate attention.

… I’m sure you have a lot of ideas and tips you could add to this list; Please feel free to share them.

ideas compiled from articles read in Readers Digest 
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Spring Clean Your Home in 8 Hours


Spring-Cleaning That Won’t Take Over Your Life: 8 Hours, Start to Finish

Go beyond the weekly dusting, sweeping and mopping to get your home deep-cleaned—all in just one day. By Lynn Andriani

9 A.M.–10 A.M.: Bathroom 

4ZYMG00ZVacuum and wipe the walls and ceilings. If you clear them annually of the almost imperceptible grime that builds up, then you won’t have to deal with the impossible-to-remove kind that can accumulate if they’re left untouched for a few years. Vacuum first, using the brush attachment. Then, wipe them with all-purpose cleaner, which is fine for painted walls. Don’t forget the wall that’s behind you every morning when you do your hair and makeup; it could be coated in hairspray, perfume or other beauty products.

Toss any throw rugs into the washing machine.

Wash mirrors and the insides of windows. Use microfiber cloths (they won’t leave lint).

Spray and soak. Steve Mulloy, director of housekeeping at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, recommends rubbing strong cleaning agents into shower walls, tubs, floors and sinks and then leaving to handle a task in another room. Fifteen or 20 minutes later (you can go move the rugs from the washer to the dryer), come back and rinse everything from the top down, starting with the showerhead. Take the same tack with the toilet, moving from the top of the tank to the rim, bowl and base. And don’t use the cloths you used in the bathroom anywhere else before laundering them in very hot water.

Rinse the floor. After you’ve let the cleanser soak, as mentioned above, wipe the floor with a water-soaked mop on your way out.

10 A.M.–12:30 P.M.: Bedrooms 

ApronMakingBed2Vacuum and wipe walls and ceilings, and dust all surfaces. Pay special attention to switch plates and the outside edges of doors, where people tend to grab.

Let it breathe. A good airing will reduce the allergens and germs in mattresses, even if you can’t lug them outside. Follow the advice of the Victorian era’s go-to guide, Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management: “Throw the bed open, by taking off the clothes; open the windows (except in rainy weather), and leave the room to air.” In Mrs. Beeton’s day, housemaids left the windows open for a half hour, but if it isn’t too cold, a few hours is even better.

Head to the washing machine. Once all the linens—sheets, pillowcases, quilts, duvet covers, mattress pads, dust ruffles, shams—are off the beds, wash them in order of what goes on the bed first (i.e., start with dust ruffles and mattress pads; end with shams) so you can put them back on the beds as they come out of the dryer and not have to worry about them sitting in a heap and getting wrinkled. If you’re switching over to lighter quilts, wash the winter bedding before putting it away, because moths and other insects are attracted to body oil, perspiration and perfume.

Clean window treatments. For heavy drapes, use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum, or have them dry-cleaned; light drapes can go in the dryer on the fluff cycle with a dryer sheet.

Wash mirrors and the insides of windows.

Bedroom Closet: Reverse Clothes-Hanger Trick

Turn all the clothes hanging in your closet so that the hangers face back-to-front. For the next six months, if you wear an item of clothing, return it to the closet with the hanger facing the correct way. If you try it on but decide not to wear it, make sure you put it back with the hanger turned backward—no cheating. Be prepared for a shock; you are going to find you own lots of clothes you have no use for. You should seriously consider getting rid of anything you don’t wear regularly.

Shampoo or steam-clean wall-to-wall carpets and area rugs.  Either buy a professional-grade carpet cleaner (which costs around $400) or rent one (many supermarkets now offer this service).

12:30 P.M.–2 P.M.: Kitchen 

16622411-spring-cleaning-in-the-kitchenClean the refrigerator and freezer. Empty the contents, store them in a cooler, turn off the fridge, and let the shelves and drawers come to room temperature before you wash them, since glass and ceramic parts could crack if they come into contact with hot water when they are cold. (You can move to the next task while you’re waiting.) Once they’ve warmed up, wipe with a mixture of 2 tablespoons baking soda and a quart of hot water. Rinse and dry. Go over the door seals with hot water and mild dishwashing liquid, and pluck out crumbs and other debris. Dry them well.

Degrease cooking appliances. Take off stove grates and other removable parts, and scrub them with soapy steel wool pads (if the grease just won’t come off, try letting them sit overnight in an airtight bag with a quarter cup of ammonia; the next day, wipe them with a clean cloth). Clean the oven. To get stuck-on food particles off the inside of the microwave, put a microwave-safe bowl of water with some lemon juice inside and heat it to boiling for 2 or 3 minutes. The steam will loosen gunk, and the lemon’s acid will help lift grease.

Clean window treatments and wash the insides of windows.

Wash surfaces and cabinets. The tops of cabinets and the fridge may be sticky from grease, so a solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid will work best. You can also use the mixture in drawers and on shelves (and spray antibacterial cleanser inside the cabinet where you store trash). Pay attention to the utensils drawer and the pantry, since they collect the most crumbs.

Sweep, vacuum and mop floors.

Kitchen: One-Month Cardboard Box Test

Not sure what you use and what you don’t in your kitchen? Here is a tried and true way to find out. Empty the contents of your kitchen utensils drawer into a cardboard box. For one month, put a utensil back into the drawer only if you take it out of the box to use it. If it’s still in the box after four weeks—you don’t need it. Pass it on to charity.
2 P.M.–5 P.M.: Living Room, Family Room and Dining Room 

article-1213475-066F1D9E000005DC-440_468x298Dust ceiling fans. Donna Smallin, author of The One-Minute Cleaner, prefers an extendable duster with a microfiber head that bends to a 90-degree angle so she doesn’t have to get on a ladder. It’s also useful for the tops of bookcases and shelves.

Vacuum and wipe walls and ceilings.

Care for your couch. Sofas and upholstered chairs get tons of use. Yet, says Sim Fern, co-founder of Mod Restoration, a furniture-repair shop in Brooklyn, some people never clean them. Just because you don’t see stains doesn’t mean there aren’t dust mites present (they feed on skin flakes shed by humans and animal dander). Many Lowe’s and Home Depot stores rent upholstery-cleaning machines or carpet-cleaning machines with upholstery wands, which will give your sofa and chairs a deep clean.

Wash your lightbulbs. Give them a wipe with a damp microfiber cloth, since a dirty bulb emits 20 percent less light.

Clean window treatments and wash the insides of windows.

Clean and dust electronics. Spray compressed air into crevices. Then, moving from top to bottom, use microfiber or electrostatic cloths. Clean underneath speakers, stereos, computers, DVD players and TVs too. Wipe away from ventilation areas so you don’t push dust back in.

Sweep out your fireplace, storing unused logs.

Clean the carpets.

Order pizza for dinner.

20060830_063915_hm21myhouse_400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taken from: 
http://www.oprah.com/home/Spring-Cleaning-Checklist-Room-by-Room_1

Categories: family, Home Tips, Organization, Organize, Real Estate | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

10 Tricks to Freshen Your Space for Spring


Your mind can’t help but flood with images of blooming tulips and daisies, gleaming sunshine and a home bursting with spring flavor.

You’ve already got the fever, my friend, the fever for a change in décor. Weary of the dark, drabness of the winter months, you’re itching for the light, energetic mood of the spring season. But who has the bandwidth or the bucks?

I felt compelled to share these great ideas from three interior design pros – Lauri Ward, Lisa Turner and Candace C. Peters – whipped up dozens of quick, easy and dollar-conscious ways to freshen up your living space before the flowers start to bud. Here’s what you can do in no time:

Rotate art

Are your walls all cluttered with stagnant artwork? Then it’s time for a change. “Some people hang everything they own on every wall,” says Ward, the pioneer of “one-day decorating” and author of “Home Therapy: Fast, Easy, Affordable Makeovers”. “Look at it all the time, and you start taking it for granted.” Try this: Separate art into summer and winter piles. Hang the lighter, pastel colors for spring and summer, and put the deep, oil paintings in storage. Every six months, rotate your pieces. “This way, you enjoy your art with a new vigor, and it’s something you can do in minutes.” Ward also suggests art collectors leave one blank wall in each room. It gives visitors a place to rest the eyes.  or simply just move your art around or to different walls 

Soothe the senses

Spring is not only a colorful season, but a fragrant one, too. Bring the aroma indoors. “Scents have a profound effect on mood,” Peters says. “Infusing scent into your décor with diffusers, candles, fresh cut plants/flowers, or incense can change the overall feeling of a space.” Ward offers this quick, floral tip: Purchase an inexpensive bouquet of flowers. Split flowers up by color, and place each bunch in small vases around your home.

Beautify your boudoir

Bright, new bedding can do wonders for your personal space. Tuck away the heavy, winter flannel comforter and pull out crisp linens with coverlets for color, Turner says. Bring in the spring with floral-designed spreads or colorful solids. Don’t forget accent pillows for added style and comfort.

Buy new bulbs

You’re thinking flower bulbs, right? Not a bad idea, but we’re talking about light bulbs. Ward says many of us aren’t using our lights properly. “In the winter, you need more light,” Ward says. But in the spring you can get away with less. Swap your 60-watt bulb with a 3-way bulb to allow you to soften light in a room, she says. “It really makes a difference to have the flexibility.” Look into energy-efficient bulbs, which may cost more than a standard bulb, but last longer and can cut down electric bills.

Let the sunshine in

In the winter, dull, dusty windows can go unnoticed. Shorter, darker days give us an excuse. But in spring, take advantage of the sunny season by giving the windows a wash. “People tend to let the windows go, and they don’t get as much light,” Ward says. “You can have a gorgeous room, but if the windows are dirty, it won’t look as beautiful or as bright.” For an added tip, Turner suggests pulling back dark window treatments and adding a shade or valance for a touch of color. Or, you can also replace window treatments with ecru or white sheers for an elegant look.

Update accessories

Just as you’d add a scarf or necklace to enhance an outfit, do the same with your home. “Dress your home like you would yourself,” Turner says. “Look for great accent pillows in bright colors. Put away the winter throws and drape light, bright throws on your sofa. Pick out spring-hued vases or candles to boost a cocktail or dining room table.

Show off your collection

Everyone knows you love elephants. You’ve got an assortment of statues in every room! Experts say to centralize your collection in one spot so your space looks organized and your visitors can truly enjoy it. “It gives a more dramatic effect,” Ward says. “If it’s a small collection, anchor it on a tray. Then people will notice.”

Lose the magnets

In just minutes, you can tidy up a kitchen by getting rid of the scraps of paper, business cards and take-out menus stuck to the fridge. If you have odds and ends everywhere, it looks messy,” Ward says. “If you clear it, your kitchen looks neat.”

Keep out things you use on a daily basis, the expert says. Invest in a pretty bulletin board to take care of important items.

Taken from HGTV by Stacy Gillman / filed under Spring, Color  / to read this article and/or for more tips link to: http://www.hgtv.com/organizing/ten-minute-tricks-to-freshen-your-space/index.html
Categories: family, Home Tips, Organization, Organize, Real Estate | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s the First Day of Spring … Really?


For many of us March 20th sure doesn’t feel like the first day of Spring, but that is no reason not to act on our Spring fever!

Spring Cleaning Tips

photo_spring-cleaning1Whether you’re planning to move or just want to organize your household, now is a good time to “weed out” unwanted items.

As a rule of thumb, discard anything you haven’t used in 12 months, especially clothing you don’t wear or items your children have outgrown.

Throw away broken-down, worn-out items. Get rid of old magazines by offering them to a hospital, school, nursing home or daycare center. Recycle newspapers or use them for lighting fires or covering things while painting or cleaning. Dispose of all expired medications by pouring them down the toilet.

Call a local recycling center if you have paints, chemicals or other toxic materials to dispose. Items that are in good, clean condition – clothing, furniture, accessories, and appliances – can be sold at a garage sale or donated to a charity. Some agencies will even pick up donated materials.

Cleaning Blinds and Shades

CleaningBlindsAndShadesPurchasing window treatments can be a major investment. You can protect this investment by engaging in proper maintenance for your blinds and shades. Blinds and shades will stay in shape if you dust them monthly with a soft cloth or vacuum’s brush attachment. For heavier dust on mini-blinds, use a finger-like brush designed to clean five slats at a time.

Clean stained-wood blinds with furniture polish.

When metal or plastic mini-blinds need a more thorough cleaning, take them outside and wash the slats with a sponge and soapy water. Then, hang the slats from a clothesline and rinse with a hose. Shake off excess water, drain rails and towel dry to avoid water marks and rusting.

If you can’t take your blinds down, fill one bucket with a solution of grease-cutting household detergent and another bucket with water. Working from the top down, wash both sides of each slat, then rinse using a second sponge dipped in plain water. Dry slats with a towel.

Fabric roller shades should also be taken down for a good cleaning. Place the unrolled shade on a flat surface and sponge with lukewarm water and mild soap, trying not to soak the fabric. Work in sections, removing excess moisture with a dry cloth.

Hang the shade at the window, pull it down to full length and let it dry. Then, roll the shade to the top and leave it for a few hours to give a crisp, ironed look. Some non-washable shades can be cleaned with wallpaper cleaner, others need dry cleaning.

Conquer Closet Clutter

When you’re trying to sell a home it’s not the skeletons in the closet that will hurt you – it’s all the other stuff you have jammed into them.

closetclutter   organize-closet-clutter-mdn

Adequate storage space is one of the first things prospective buyers look for when they inspect a home. You can be sure they’ll open all of your doors and drawers – checking to see if your home has room for their belongings. There are many tricks to making your storage space seem more adequate:

  • The easiest one is to simply move some of your possessions out.
  • Remove out-of-season clothing, sports equipment and other miscellaneous items from your front entry closet. Try    to take out half the items in your bedroom closets to make them appear roomier. Prospective buyers want to see how much space is in your closets, not how much you’ve been able to cram into them.
  • Keep in mind that the more things you give away, throw out, sell or store now, the easier your move will be later.
  • To increase the storage capacity of your closets, add an extra pole, shoe racks, wire baskets or shelves.

You can also make closets appear bigger by applying a fresh coat of white paint and putting in the highest-wattage bulbs allowed. Other important storage areas to reorganize include kitchen cabinets, garage and attic. The use of dividers and hanging racks in these areas will make things easier for you to find, and make your home more appealing to buyers.

Housecleaning in Record Time

imagesCleaning – really cleaning – your entire house was once a springtime ritual. Now laborsaving equipment and products make it easier to clean year-round.

Regular “as needed” cleaning is the best method because it’s the most efficient. Saving jobs for one big binge in the spring or fall takes more time in the long run. Following these daily and weekly clean-up guides will help keep your home in tip-top shape year round.

Daily

Clean up clutter as you go and wipe up spills as they happen. Encourage family members to pick up, hang up, put away and clean up after themselves. Wipe sinks after every use and clean the shower or tub.

Load the dishwasher as soon as possible, or put dishes in the sink to soak until you can wash them.

Get rid of rubbish. Place a trash compactor in the kitchen near recycling bins or in the garage to save on trips to the curb and reduce the volume in landfills.

Weekly

Clean your own way, but do it regularly. Your schedule should include dusting and vacuuming of walls and woodwork. Wipe door jambs with a detergent solution, dust windowsills and remove fingerprints with a spray cleaner.

While vacuuming, clean up any spots and stains you may see on the carpet. Use a disinfectant in the kitchen and bathroom.

Try to clean one large appliance and one out-of-sight storage area once a month.

 

Categories: family, Home Tips, Organization, Organize, Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Try These Tips


Here are just a few great ideas you ladies might want to try:

Categories: Home Tips, Organize | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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