Time For A Healthier Kitchen!

We are always trying to ensure our family stays nice and healthy. And one place in the home which is the hub of health is the kitchen. After all, it’s where we prepare food and drink. And the way we cook in the cooking quarters can affect our kid’s health too. Therefore, it’s a good time to make some changes for the sake of our family. Here are some things you can do to the kitchen to make it healthier for your family.

 

Give it a good clean

 

For starters, you need to get your cleaning gloves on and give the whole kitchen a good clean. After all, a lot of people don’t realize how many old food particles are actually sitting on the sides in their kitchen. And if they aren’t removed quickly, they will turn into bacteria. Therefore, the next time you are preparing food on the side, it might get contaminated. And then your kids could potentially get ill after you have cooked dinner. Therefore, it’s time to give the kitchen a good clean to ensure it stays healthy for your family. Remember to clean inside the cupboards at the same time. After all, these often get left and then food goes out of date and starts to rot! Therefore, give these a scrub down to ensure your kitchen stays a healthy haven. And you can read my previous blog for more tips on cleaning your kitchen.

 

Invest in a good water filter system

 

Getting your kids to drink water can be challenging enough. But you need to make sure it’s the right kind of water. After all, the regular water that comes through the tap can often be full of toxins and dirt which it picks up in the pipes. Therefore, to ensure you don’t spend a fortune buying healthy bottled water, you might want to consider looking into some form of a home filtration system. You can get ones similar to Sweetwater’s whole house filter system which can live under the sink and ensure your water gets purified. That way, you can ensure the kids stay healthy when drinking water in your home!

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Get rid of that junk cupboard

 

We all have that one cupboard which is filled with junk food. In fact, mine is now full of the Christmas chocolate I haven’t managed to tuck into yet. And while it’s okay to have the occasional treat, a junk cupboard isn’t the healthiest thing in the world. After all, your kids are more inclined to head to that cupboard rather than going for a piece of fruit as a snack. And as this feature reveals, having these high-fat snacks in the home can be a temptation. Therefore, get rid of all the junk and encourage your family to have healthy treats by filling the cupboard with fruit and nuts instead.

 

And you might be surprised to know that the oven can be one of the unhealthiest areas of the kitchen. After all, if it doesn’t get cleaned often, old food might start rotting in there and ruin your food. You might want to opt for a self-clean oven. That way, it will clean itself, and you can ensure it always stays healthy for your family!

 

Protect Your Home, Protect Your Assets

Being able to look after our home and family is really important to most of us. Our homes are our place of respite and shelter, and they are full of our investments – furniture, technology, appliances, expensive artwork – and because of how much money is involved in the purchasing of our home and the things we fill it with, we obviously feel the need to protect our assets and ensure that our homes are protected, safe and there are measures in place to deter any potential threats such as burglaries or trespassers. The same goes for our family – especially when they are in the home. Their safety is paramount.

 

If a burglary does take place in your home, it can be a terrifying and traumatic incident. A common misconception is that a high percentage of burglaries take place when you are not at home – for example, if you are on vacation or are at work. But, more and more burglaries are now taking place during times when people are at home. There are gadgets out there which thieves use to break into homes, or they watch your routine and then try to get into the house late at night or very early in the morning. If a burglary does take place while you are in the house – like if you were asleep upstairs – the result can be terrifying and can leave you shaken up, with a constant awareness that you are not safe in your own home. If you have been subjected to a burglary, contact the authorities and a professional company who are based on law, like Pearce Webster Dugdales lawyers.

 

Of course, there are measures you can put in place to put an end to the risk of any potential burglaries. A good and stable investment could be a security system, such as CCTV cameras. If you are going to purchase a CCTV system, ensure a professional fixes them in a secure area which has good visibility. As soon as a thief sees cameras fixed to your home, they will not be so eager to break in. A security camera system also allows you 24 hour access, and it is also possible to access the recordings anywhere with WiFi, as some corresponding apps can be downloaded to your phone or laptop.

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A burglar alarm could also be a good choice – now it is possible to get miniscule alarms that are hidden from general visibility so you can hide an alarm where it would be hard to see. The good thing about burglar alarms is that they can be fixed anywhere, and can also be set to timers. If someone was to break into your home, as soon as they hear the loud, perilous screech of a burglar alarm they will run away and know that your home is safely secured.

 

There are plenty more systems available out there, and whichever one you decide on will definitely mean your home is more secure than if no security measures were fitted.

A Strategic Spring Cleaning Plan Of Action

Spring is just around the corner, and that can only mean one thing – it’s almost time to start spring cleaning! Lots of homeowners like to blow all the cobwebs out of their house each spring and get everything in order. After all, you probably haven’t done much to your home over winter so it could be starting to get quite dusty and stale!

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When you are spring cleaning, it is important that you attack all the cleaning and tidying in a very strategic manner. Otherwise, you may end up going around in circles, and your big clean could take you a whole lot of time! So, if you don’t want your spring clean to eat into too much of your free time, you need to come up with a strategic plan of action. Thankfully, I’ve done all the hard planning for you! Follow this plan for a very effective and efficient clean!

 

Clear Out Your Trash

 

First of all, you need to get rid of all the rubbish that you have collected over the past year or so. There is no point trying to clean around it – you will work a lot more efficiently if you get rid of all the trash from the start. Of course, when I talk about trash I don’t just mean all the waste that your household produces. I am also talking about all the old clothes and belongings that you don’t need anymore and rarely use. You should have a good sort out of your closets and storage space before you start cleaning. If you have any broken items, very old clothes, and things that no one else would want, you could contact a rubbish removal company to come and collect all of the trash for you. If you have a lot of stuff that is still in good quality but you don’t want it anymore, you could try selling it on eBay or other online sale sites.

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Take Care Of Cabinets

 

While you are spring cleaning, you will certainly be getting everything out of all your cabinets and giving the insides a very good scrub indeed. After all, quite a lot of grease and grime will have built up inside the cabinets, especially in the ones in your kitchen. However, it is important that you don’t forget to clean the outside of the cupboards as well. Lots of grease can cling to the exterior of your cupboards. This can often be quite bad if you don’t always turn on the fan above your range. You can buy special wood creams and cleaners to clean wooden cabinet doors.

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When I’m Cleaning Windows!

 

While they are busy spring cleaning, many homeowners simply wipe down the inside pane. However, you should make an effort to go outside and clean the outsides of all your windows as well. Don’t try and clean the outside of any upstairs windows, though, as you might end up putting your safety at risk by balancing on a window ledge or on the top of a ladder! You can always hire some window cleaners to come and clean your upper windows for you. Need a pro tip to stop your windows from smudging when you clean them? Well, one fantastic trick is to wipe them with newspaper instead of a cloth. I’m not sure why it works so well, but it does!

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Polish Up Your Stainless Steel

 

Stainless steel is a very on-trend material for kitchens, and many houses now use copious amounts of it. However, there is one major downside to this type of metal – it can be very difficult to clean! You will have probably already tried to shine it up, and might have just made lots of smears and smudges! To make all your stainless steel sparkle again, you should use wax-based aerosols. Just be careful that you don’t spray on too much product, as this could leave the steel quite grimy and greasy, making it even harder to clean properly!

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Clean The Dishwasher

 

There are many great appliances in our homes that make our lives incredibly easy. And one of these fantastic appliances is the dishwasher. But have you ever wondered how the dishwasher stays clean? Well, the simple answer is that it doesn’t! You will need to make sure that it is clean yourself. Otherwise, it will get quite dirty and won’t clean your pots and dishes to quite a high standard as it once did. You should first check the bottom of your dishwasher and remove any large bits of leftover food. Your machine will have a special cleaning cycle that you can then run. Make sure there are no pots left in when the cleaning cycle is on! This cycle isn’t just for your spring clean – ideally, you need to do this once a month.

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Deep Clean Carpets

 

Lots of people attack their carpets during their big spring clean. These often require a heavy duty clean as they will suffer a lot of wear and tear through the year. You can bring in professional carpet cleaners to take care of them for you if you wish. However, these can often be quite costly. The cheapest option is to take care of your carpets yourself. Don’t worry; this will still leave your carpets cleaned to a very high standard! First of all, clean them with a vacuum cleaner to take up any excess dirt. You can then use carpet cleaning products that you can find in your local supermarket. These are just as good as the ones that the professionals use. You can always spot clean stains and dirty spots with some homemade cleaning solutions. One great idea is to mix white vinegar with fresh water. You should dab this on any stains. The dirt should disappear before your eyes!

 

You might not be looking forward to your annual clean, but one thing is for sure – it will be so much easier now that you have all of the above tips! Time to roll up your sleeves and get to work!

Fixing Up Your Home For Spring

There is nothing that says you need to wait for spring to give your home a spring clean, of course, but this is a good time of year to think about what your home might need and what you can do to improve it. As we start to get out of the depths of winter you might begin to notice certain things around the home which could do with a little improvement. With any luck, these will just be small things, the kind of job that should only last an afternoon, but if you should find anything bigger, then that is another story. No matter the size of your home, or of the tasks you might find in them, here are some essential pieces of advice for fixing up your home in time for spring.

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Declutter

 

Often, before you can do anything else, it is necessary to declutter. Getting rid of the clutter lying around the home frees up space, and space in your mind, and makes it much easier to be able to face the fact of fixing up the entire home. In short, decluttering makes the whole thing much more manageable, so make sure that you are keen to get rid of the rubbish that is lying around first. Fortunately, this is one of the easier tasks, so it is just a matter of setting aside maybe a weekend for getting all the clutter out of your home. Of this, see what you can sell and what you might be able to give to charity. There is no sense in throwing away items which might be useful to someone else.

 

Get The Professionals In

 

When it comes to certain aspects of fixing up your home, it really does pay to get the professionals in to help you out. A good example of where this might be the case is if you have anything larger that need repairing. Alternatively, it might be that you have something electrical which needs attending to, in which case you definitely need to find someone who is trained in electronics. For the rest, general handyman services should do the trick, and their presence while you are trying to get your home into a better state can often spur you on too.

 

Focus On The Outside

 

One of the things about the colder months is that that is when the outside of the home in particular normally suffers. This is an ideal time, therefore, to check places that you normally wouldn’t think of checking. It is worth taking a look at your gutters, for example, as they are likely to be blocked in a few places with dead leaves and the like. You might also want to think about preparing your garden for spring while you’re at it, as this is the one area that could probably do with a bit of love at this time of year.

 

Fresh Lick Of Paint

 

Last but not least, never underestimate the power of giving the home a fresh lick of paint. No matter what, this never fails to dramatically improve the overall look, and if you are looking for a way to quickly make your home look like new, then this is how to do it.

Love a Move, Move your Love

Moving home is a big deal whether you’re moving across the street or across the country. It is a huge effort, often involving a lot of people – friends, family, whoever you can get your hands on. It’s not a bad thing to take help offered, but it is essential to make sure that you have everything covered to eradicate risks of irritating those who have given their time up for you.

 

Shorten the amount of trips

 

If you are going back and forth between houses, this can start to wear people down – especially if it’s over silly things like going back to get stuff that could easily have fit in the carload beforehand. Try and put as many things as physically possible into whatever transport is available to help move it – and don’t spend time trying to empty it all when it gets there, either. Set someone up as the emptier (or both empty but they have to put it into the house) so you can get back to your old property as soon as possible to load up again. Likewise, if you have a van hire for long distance moving, move as much as you can in one go to save further fees and stress.

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Keep up the motivation

 

Nobody wants hear that they’re doing a rubbish job when they’re the ones that offered to lend a hand – ever heard the phrase ‘don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’? It’s exactly the same concept. If you’re getting something for free, never look down on it or be too critical – else you’ll be left alone and never be offered help again. Offer snacks, drinks and tonnes of encouraging words – and don’t be short on the thanks and praise! Think of how you’d like to be treated.

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Label everything clearly

 

Make sure that you know exactly what is going in which box. Keep them in categories so you’re not confused, and try to keep them confined to the rooms that they are meant to go in – else you’ll be unpacking the kitchen boxes and realising that you’ve got to do three trips upstairs to unpack the bathrooms bits that were in with it. Again, let your friends help – they may place things where you will not have thought have putting them, but fresh perspectives can be a good thing when you are moving home. Space can be utilised that you hadn’t given a second thought to filling. Make a note of everything that is in a certain box so that it doesn’t go missing along the way – it can be easy to accuse somebody of stealing or misplacing an object in the heat of hte moment, but if you have everything covered on your end then the stress won’t show through and you won’t end up embarrassing either of you.

 

Now, go and make a note of what your pals like to eat before you end up buying the wrong chips for them – nobody likes working on an empty stomach!

Give Your Home A New Lease On Life On A Budget

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When your home gets tired and drab, it can be easy to fall out of love with it. We like our homes to feel clean, modern, and well-kept, but when we’re living on a budget, it can be tricky to give them the lease of life they deserve. Well, don’t despair, it’s totally possible to make your home feel as good as new, without breaking the bank.

 

Let the light in

Dark and dingy spaces can really drag us down and don’t exactly contribute to a home feeling particularly homely. For bright, energy-giving room, the natural light needs to find its way in. Clean windows, white window surrounds, and light curtains are the best way to invite light in, but if you’ve got small windows, it might need a helping hand. Using mirrors tactically placed around the room really help to boost the natural light in the room, and help to make the space look bigger as a bonus.

 

Don’t redecorate, accessorize

Rather than stripping the whole room back and starting from scratch, think about what you can add to the space to bring more light and energy. Fake flowers, brightly colored curtains, patterned fabrics, and glass ornaments help to bring some fun to the room and make it feel like it’s got a new lease of life. And they don’t have to cost the earth. Check out websites such as Everything 5 Pounds discount codes and see what bargains you could fill your home with to bring it up to date.

 

Make money from your unwanted things

If you’re planning on scrapping anything, even old electronic items, make sure you get some money back for it – every little helps to go towards the new items you want to bring in. Sell things on eBay, or even repurpose or upcycle old unwanted furniture to sell on Etsy, it depends on how creative you want to be.

 

Repurpose old furniture

Speaking of upcycling, rather than selling or disposing of old furniture, why not turn it into something you’d actually like to own? With old seating or couch cushions, reupholstering them in bright new fabrics can make it feel brand new. With old tables, wooden sideboards, or hardwood chairs, all it takes is a sander and then a lick of paint or varnish, and the result looks like you spent some serious money on new rustic furniture, but it only cost pennies in reality.

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Give it a lick of paint

Replastering and wallpaper a home can be really costly, so if you think your walls need refreshing, it’s best to look at the paint options. Going for bright neutral colors can really help to open a room up, while giving it a modern feel in the process. Keeping it neutral makes it so much easier to accessorize with your favorite colors, and it makes touching up imperfections a whole lot easier too. If you want to create a fun focal point, a bright feature wall can really help to add depth and dimension to a room.

 

Giving your home a new lease of life doesn’t have to cost the earth, it’s just about smart spending and planning.

 

Can’t Move, Won’t Move: Upsize The Home You Love

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You have bought you perfect house and then, you had kids.  So you searched around to find something that you love as much as your home but has a little extra space for the children to grow in.  Problem is, there is nothing that gets you excited.  Maybe it’s time to upsize your home without moving.  It is possible you just need to get creative.

Using loft space to give you an extra room is a great idea.  Whilst conversions can be expensive they will add value to your property.  Get some good financial advice and see if there are any ways of reducing the cost, perhaps there are some schemes on eco or sustainable builds which will help you create another level to your home whilst bringing the price down a little.  

Whilst it’s common for a loft conversion to deliver a haven for parents, a bedroom tucked away from the hustle of the house, with a beautiful ensuite bathroom away from messy children there are other ways you can use this space.  Imagine a whole floor dedicated to kids.  Their own playroom which could grow with them into a trendy teenage den.  When they fly the roost you could retask the room as a guest suite.  

Structural changes to your current space could also maximise the livability of your current home. Taking out the wall divide between kitchen and living room will open your house up, increase natural light and become a natural hub for the whole family.  Installing a breakfast bar gives children a place to work whilst you are busy prepping meals.  It also allows you to keep your eye on what is going on, making a safer environment for your kids.

What about your garden? Outside space doesn’t have to be about grass and games of football.  There is a lot of maintenance involved in keeping a garden attractive and useable.  Take a look at your space and consider a swimming pool design that fits with what you have.  Having somewhere the kids can play and you can keep fit will not only give you great family time together, it will also add value to your home.  You can still have plants and shrubs, potted plants look really awesome on decking and including a living wall will ensure you still have plenty of lush green to admire.

Finally, if you have a garage at home maybe it’s time to think about how much you really use it?  A garage conversion could give you a really cool space for teenage children to hang out and feel independent.  They could also have access to it without heading in through the main door.  This will make them feel trusted and will help you keep on top of the footfall through your main home.

So before you consider moving from a home you adore, take a look at the ways you could change the space you have.  Get loads of advice from the professionals and see if what you want is realistic.  Then, get ready for the invasion of builders!

Ways Your Home Could Be Safer From Intruders

Nobody ever wants to think about somebody breaking into their home. It’s your home. This isn’t just any old house. Somebody would be choosing to break into a place which means much more than bricks and mortar to you and your family.

 

Of course, to somebody breaking into your home, there is no great sentimental value to the place. If there’s an opportunity or a vulnerability, they’ll exploit it. That’s why you need to accept the possibility of a break-in occurring in order to avoid such a possibility ever occurring. You may think your house is quite secure already, of course, because you lock the door and all the windows at night. However, there are things many people easily miss which you could benefit from doing around your household.

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Make sure everyone in the home knows about security.

Maybe you live alone, maybe you live with a partner or maybe you have a family with five children. Whether you’re living in a busy household or a one-person flat, it’s important that everyone knows how to keep the place as secure as possible. Of course, if you live by yourself, I suppose it’ll be a very short meeting.

 

Whilst you may know how to keep your home secure, there’s every chance that your children may occasionally leave their window open or forget to lock the door behind them. These are basic things, but they could easily leave your home open to intrusion if you don’t discuss them with your family now.

 

Ensure that everyone knows never to allow anyone into the house that they don’t know, and also ensure that people don’t leave the door wide open during the day, because burglaries often take place at hours during which few people are home. During the day, when kids are at school and perhaps only one or two of your family members may be at home, they need to be keeping the house more secure, not less. If you’re wondering where to begin, you could look at alarm system reviews for an idea of the best ways to secure your home.

 

Ask the police for an inspection.

Many homeowners are unaware of this, but the police can offer great help when it comes to home inspections. They deal with burglaries every day, so they’re the biggest experts in terms of home security. If you were ever worried about whether your home was properly secure and safe from intruders, the police force are the people to ask.

 

Forget about clever hiding spots.

There are only so many places somebody can hide a spare key. Guess what? Burglars know all of them. Don’t keep your house key under the mat, or a suspicious-looking nearby “stone” which just so happens to be neatly placed nearby the door. Trust a neighbour instead, because you’ll know, at least, that they’ll only give the key to you and not some stranger trying to break into your house. The mat, on the other hand, will let you down.

 

Of course, if your home is burgled, you need to leave the property and call the police straight away. Hopefully it’ll never happen to you, but the most important thing is always the safety of you and anybody else living in your home.

Do Spiders Put You In a Web of Fear?

It is common for a lot of people to be scared of, or have a phobia of, spiders. But, actually, spiders are beneficial insects, feeding on other insects that are of greater hazard to homes, families, and pets than spiders actually are. They may look scary to some of us but spiders are actually useful to us.

 

For those of us petrified of the eight-legged creatures, we can’t stand being around them and resort to getting rid of them however we can. If you want spiders out of your home, there are things which you can do:

Indoor Spider Control

Try to vacuum in corners of floors and along window sills, your gas fireplace, and in the attic, and basement to get rid of spiders, eggs and webs. Empty the vacuum and discard contents outdoors.

Sweep (or vacuum) cobwebs from ceilings, corners, and other areas on a regular basis.

Clear unwanted, unnecessary items such as unworn clothing, papers, and other unused items.

Keep stored boxes up off the floor, away from walls, and seal with tape to make them less attractive.

Check outdoor items before bringing them indoors.

Outdoor Spider Control

Regularly brush or vacuum spiders and webs off the outside of the home. This will not only help to eliminate spiders but will keep egg sacs from hatching and baby spiders from moving indoors.

Remove all waste, and leaves from around the sides of buildings.

Examine for any holes or gaps in the foundation, around doors and windows, and around plumbing and utility lines. Close up cracks and crevices around windows, doors, and foundations, and fix and preserve screens to bar spider entry. This will also help to keep out other insects which are pests themselves and/or attract the spiders as food.

Check crawl spaces for humidity which can be a breeding ground for spiders. Placing plastic over uncovered soil or rising ventilation in the crawlspace can help correct a moisture concern.

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Chemical Control of Spiders

Indoor use of insecticides hardly ever provides much rule of spiders because the spider must be sprayed directly to be affected; walking over a sprayed area at a later time will seldom if ever, cause a spider to die. If you choose to use an insecticide, decide on one that is specially labeled for spiders and read and follow all directions.

Outdoor use of insecticides does not supply long-term control. This is because, again, the spider must directly make contact with the pesticide, and other methods (as listed above) are preferable to use of pesticides. If you do use an insecticide, select one that is specifically labeled for spiders and read and follow all label directions.

Pest management professionals have access to other pesticides, that can supply long-term control when necessary. The dust particles will cling to spiders and insects that crawl across it, and cause their bodies to dry out. These are used for the most part in, cracks, wall voids and other sheltered, undisturbed areas where the spiders are likely to move.

 

Say Goodbye To The Nursery And Create A Bedroom Your Young Child Will Love

One of the responsibilities of being a parent is creating a nice home for your children to grow up in. Everyone wants to bring their kids up in a pleasant environment; one that enables them to thrive and feel comfortable too. This can sometimes mean taking various safety measures when they are young, such as a safety gate on the top of the stairs, for example. But it also means creating them a room of their very own. In your child’s eyes, their bedroom will be the most important part of the house. It is where they will spend a lot of their time playing, and the first place they will show off should they have friends over. Having a space to call their own is very important to the developing child, as it gives them their first taste of independence. So how can you, as the one who is buying, put together a bedroom that you know your child will love?

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Decor

Kids don’t tend to be bothered at all about the functionality of a room – they are purely interested in how it looks. First things first: don’t go too overboard with the decor. Children’s tastes change rapidly as they grow up, and a style they love at 4 may have completely changed by the time they reach their 6th birthday. Redecorating every year or so can cost a lot of money, so try and do it on a budget. That way, when you do have to change it up, you won’t feel as though you have just wasted a lot of money. Keep the walls neutral and brighten up with stickers and pictures – after all, your little girl isn’t going to love pink forever! Buy them some cute accessories such as a funky lampshade or a wall clock – all are little details that can really help bring together the ‘look’ of a room.

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Soft furnishings

When your child is upgraded from a crib to a bed, it is a very exciting time for them – almost a rite of passage, if you will. Make the most of the big occasion by presenting them with a brand new bed. This will probably be the most expensive thing you get for the room, but remember that it is an investment and it will last for a good few years at least. Ensure you make it comfy for them with a duvet. You might find yourself asking ‘What’s a duvet?’. It is just another word for a down comforter, and means they’ll be warm in every season. Plus, you can accessorize the bed with cushions and throws.
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Educational materials

Your child’s bedroom should be somewhere they can come to relax. But when kids are young, they are always learning, whether they realize it or not. If your child has a naturally inquisitive mind, encourage this by placing educational yet fun tools in their room! Blackboard paint is great for them to scribble on, and stock up their bookcase with plenty of texts to help them with their reading journey. Even old-school products such as an abacus can be a great addition – and if they don’t use it, at least it looks good!