Jeffrey Harrington's Blog
Sweeping, dusting, and moppingLet's face it, the Swiffer is a great invention. It mops, sweeps, and dusts without the mess of a bucket of water. Plus it's lightweight and versatile making it useful for many surfaces around the home. The down side? Having to buy all of those expensive replacement pads. If you're like me, you feel a twinge of guilt whenever you throw out at item that seems wasteful. For me, cleaning supplies are the epitome of wastefulness. So, instead of using the throwaway pads you could do a a few things. First, you could buy a reusable pad online. Some are designed to fit various sweepers. Alternatively, there are some cloths that you can buy at your local dollar store that will fit onto your sweeper just fine. Once one gets dirty, put the next one on and sink wash them all when you're done. The other option is to knit or crochet your own sweeper cover. There are lots of patterns online that will help you get started, plus a hand-made cloth adds more meaning to the mundane work of sweeping the house. For those spots you don't dust with your sweeper-duster (like a TV, or the tops of picture frames), you could always dust with your used dryer sheets that you'd otherwise just toss in the trash. Keep them in a bag in your cabinet so you remember to use them.
Go paperlessPaper towels and napkins are always expensive and seldom on sale. Plus, all that paper usage does a number on the environment. Instead of reaching for a paper towel at dinner, keep a stack of microfiber cloths, handkerchiefs, or hand towels. When this isn't possible, like in the case of a big cookout, use choose-a-size paper towels to get more usage out of a roll. And speaking of choosing a size, the next time you buy sponges or "magic erasers," cut them in half to double the length of time you can use them.
Cleaning solutionsMaking your own cleaning solutions has many benefits. First, you get to save money because the supplies tend to be cheap, household items. Second, you get to avoid all of the harsh chemicals that are often added to commercial cleaners, helping your health and the environment. Third, you can make them in bulk and not have to worry about them running out. Recipes for homemade cleaning solutions and air fresheners are abundant online. In general, however, they rely on a few simple ingredients: water, vinegar, baking soda, and some type of citrus like lemons, limes, or oranges.
You may have been thinking that you’d like to sell your home. You probably want to sell it at the right time and you want to go about it for the right reasons. There’s so many different that you may want to sell your home that you probably haven’t even thought of.
There’s Not Many Homes To Choose From
If there’s a lack of inventory on the housing market, it’s a great time to put your home up for sale. Certain times of the year have lower inventory than others, so you may want to consider the fall and winter as a prime time to sell. If you know your home is in a great location, or has little work to be done in it, you’re probably going to want to sell sooner rather than later if you have been contemplating the idea in a low inventory market.
Remember That Spring Starts Early
Especially in warmer climates, “spring” is a relative term and can start as early as January. People will start their searches online early in the year and the demand for homes only becomes more crucial as the year goes on. The earlier the listing, the better chance the home has to stand out on the market, even if it doesn’t sell right away. In fast moving real estate markets, it may not matter what time of year you sell your home. If the demand is there, you have a great chance to sell the home.
The lower the price point on a home, the faster it will generally move off the market. First-time homebuyers want homes and they want them fast. when your home is priced lower, it’s probably going to move a bit faster no matter when or where you’re selling it. Buyers are always looking for a good deal.
Interest Rates Affect Home Sales
If there’s rumors that interest rates will rise in the coming months, buyers will be on the hunt for a home. That’s when it’s a good time for you as a buyer to put your home on the market. When buying power for those searching is high, you’re better off selling because you’ll get a lot of interest. Your home will leave the market much faster as well.
The Decisions Is Yours
Selling your home is not a small decision. You’ll need to find another place to relocate to. Your kids may have to switch schools, and your lives can be a bit disrupted in the process of moving. If you think the time is right to move, you can keep the above suggestions in mind in order to make the entire process a bit more seamless for you.
Moving into a new home can be an overwhelming time. You’ll be trying to match what you already have with new pieces, meticulously decorating the blank canvas that is your new space. Every task that you complete, you do to make your home your own.
One part of decorating your home that you’ll definitely want to take your time with is that of choosing artwork for the walls. You don’t just want to take any piece of art to fill up the blank spaces. Choosing artwork should take some thought and time. Below, you’ll find tips on picking the right artwork for all the rooms of your home.
Use What Inspires You
The artwork in your home should remind you of what you love and jog your creativity and motivation. A picture or piece of art can bring you peace and joy just by viewing it. That’s why you wouldn’t want to put just anything on your walls. You’ll be looking at whatever kinds of pictures and statues that you put up each day, so make sure that it’s not something that bores you!
Art Is More Than A Museum
When the word “art” is mentioned, it’s more than being about paintings or classic versus contemporary. Art can be a photograph that you have taken or a small figurine that you bought while on vacation. These are the things that bring you joy after all! The bottom line is that artwork in your home doesn’t need to be fancy, it just has to represent you.
Take The Time To Shop
You may be tired of shopping after looking for the perfect sofa or bedroom set for your new home, but the shopping should continue. It’s best to take your time and not make impulse buys when it comes to buying artwork. Consider where a picture will go before you purchase it to place in your home.
Know The Focal Points In Your Home
It’s much easier to choose artwork if you know where the focal points are in each room of the house. A room with a fireplace, for example, should have the fireplace as the center of attention. Any art that is placed in the room is complementary to that main piece.
Go With Your Theme
If you have a theme going throughout your home, you’ll want to find art to match. A western sunset might not match too well with your mid-century modern styled dining room.
The key to finding artwork and decor for your home is to know what you like. Knowing the scheme and makeup in each room is a great start to decorating right.
If you've bought a home that includes kitchen appliances, you may need to sell your current appliances before moving day. Fortunately, if you host a garage sale, you can sell a wide range of kitchen appliances in no time at all.
Some of the most popular kitchen appliances to sell at a garage sale include:
In many instances, a homebuyer will request a refrigerator in a home offer. And if the seller accepts this proposal, a property buyer may need to get rid of his or her current refrigerator quickly.
Selling your refrigerator during your garage sale offers several benefits. First, you may be able to earn several hundred dollars for your refrigerator if it looks and performs great. You also can sell your refrigerator before your move, thereby eliminating the risk that you'll have to relocate this large, heavy appliance to your new address.
Evaluate the age and condition of your refrigerator prior to pricing it. That way, you can establish a competitive price for your appliance.
In addition, spend some time cleaning your refrigerator's interior and exterior. This will increase the likelihood that your refrigerator will stir up interest from garage sale shoppers.
Although your kitchen microwave has served you well for many years, you likely have no need for two microwaves at your new address. Luckily, you can sell your current microwave now to earn extra cash prior to moving day.
Many microwaves are available, and as such, you'll want to learn as much as possible about your microwave. This will enable you to provide garage sale shoppers with plenty of information about your microwave's features.
Don't forget to test and clean your microwave before you add it to your garage sale inventory. By doing so, you can guarantee your microwave performs correctly and looks outstanding when you try to sell it during your garage sale.
Your toaster has been a mainstay in your kitchen, but there may be no time like the present to sell it.
Remove crumbs and other food particles from your toaster as soon as possible. These particles can affect a toaster's performance, and in some instances, create fire hazards.
Furthermore, wipe down your toaster's exterior. An in-depth toaster cleaning will help you generate interest in your appliance during your garage sale.
Kitchen appliances usually are in high demand among garage sale shoppers. If you dedicate the necessary time and resources to clean and maintain these items, you should have no trouble selling them at a garage sale.
Lastly, if you plan to buy a home in the near future, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can keep you up to date about new homes as they hit the market and help you submit offers on houses. Plus, a real estate agent will make it easy to plan ahead for a pre-moving day garage sale and ensure you can enjoy a seamless transition from one address to another.
When pests come into your home, there’s no creepier feeling that you may have as a homeowner. You may turn to your house insurance for assistance if the problem gets really bad. Let’s say that termites have taken over your home and gotten into your walls or foundation. Maybe mice have gotten into the walls of your home, or a squirrel has caused some major issues in the attic. Whatever the problem is, you want to remedy it quickly. It might be an expensive fix no matter what, but it has to be remedied for you to continue to live comfortably in your home.
The Truth About Homeowners Insurance
Unfortunately, homeowners insurance doesn't cover pest infestations. It doesn’t matter if the termites have literally eaten you out of house and home, the insurance companies consider pests to be an avoidable problem. Even though you may wonder how bugs can be considered “avoidable,” it’s simple. The insurance company believes that regular maintenance and checking of your property can help to prevent bug infestations. This is why it’s so important to take care of your property and not neglect it.
There are a few exceptions to the rule. If your ceiling caves in and it was caused by some of the pest damage, your insurance may cover the cost of the repairs to the ceiling. They may not cover the materials that are needed to repair the ceiling itself. Insurance claims can be tricky, so you’ll need to ask a lot of questions if these problems do occur for you.
What Homeowners Insurance Covers
There’s nothing more frustrating than paying an insurance premium to find out that it doesn’t actually cover anything that you need at a certain point and time. As a general rule, homeowners insurance policies cover things that are considered accidental. This would include natural disasters like hurricanes, hailstorms, or high winds. If a tree falls on your home due to a windstorm, there was really no way of preventing that from happening. Your insurance would cover this. Damage that happens over an extended period, like that of a pest infestation or an aging home generally is not covered by house insurance.
Some insurance companies do offer separate policies to cover damage from certain types of pests like termites. There are several varieties of insects that cause damage to wood structures, so these policies may be more general stating that they provide “wood destroying insect” coverage. If you live in an area that’s prone to termites, there’s a few options available to you including something called “termite bonds.”
Your best course of action as a homeowner is prevention. Keep up with regular maintenance around your home and inspect your home regularly for any problems that you may find.