Downsize Me! Is It Time To Move To A Smaller Home?

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Currently, there is a lot of emphasis placed on upscaling your home. Avoiding clutter is important, and families tend to grow rather than shrink. So eventually, we move from our starter home into one that can better contain our families and us. It’s what we save for and what we work for.

Less attention is placed on moving into a smaller home. It is almost as though the idea of “downsizing” is a kind of defeat. Bigger is better. That can be people’s opinion even if – as for many of us – the home we live in becomes too big for us after a while. Kids grow up and move out. It costs more to heat and keep a bigger house. Why not downsize?

There are some definite advantages to doing so, and not just for the reasons above. While a bigger house is a laudable goal, the same money will get you a better small place. When you’re thinking about selling your home, it’s worth looking at what you can get for the same price.

How To Go About Downsizing

The first thing to consider if you do think about downsizing your home is your reasons for doing it. For example, if one child has moved out and another is about to, it means you don’t need as many bedrooms. If you’re moving for financial reasons, then you need to think about where else you can lose space.

Bear in mind which of your possessions you will need to bring over, and which can be sold, disposed of or passed on to other people. If you have a son moving out, then they may need furniture and appliances to get them started. You don’t want to move from a home with too much space to one with too little.

Looking For A Smaller Place

Again, this issue depends on your reason for moving. If you don’t need all the space you have, this is where real estate can get interesting. Whatever you make from the sale of your current place, you can look at a smaller one in a more pleasant location. You could, alternatively, find a similar location but add luxury and/or appliances.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to pay less for a new place, or have smaller mortgage payments, then there will be options available to you. It makes a viewing all the more necessary, however – you’ll need to know that you’re comfortable in a smaller space.

Other Things To Consider

If you’re moving out of your current home because the number of people in there is decreasing, then bear in mind the fact that some moves don’t stick. If a son or daughter calls you to say they’re too homesick at college, or the new job in the city is not working out, can you fit them in in the new home?

For reasons like this, it is worth considering that if you lose a bedroom, you at least get one of a bigger size in the new home. That way you can set up a single bed in there for returnees. Whether they are temporary or permanent!

 

What To Do If You Suspect You Have Mold In Your Home

Mold naturally occurs in nature, and it’s only really a problem when it begins to develop indoors. If this happens, the people living in the property can experience an allergic reaction. Mold can also cause breathing complaints, such as asthma, to worsen. You can see why it’s important to take action as soon as possible if you suspect you have a problem with mold in your home.

The best way to prevent mold in the first place is to control moisture levels in your property. You should make sure that any leaks are fixed and that humidity levels are kept between 30% and 60%. If mold does develop then it’s often a good idea to seek professional assistance. We are going to tell you about some of the signs of mold you should look out for. We are also going to explain what you should do if you think you have a problem with mold.

Signs of mold that you should look out for

Firstly, it’s not always apparent that there is mold in your property so the first sign might be if it has an effect on how you feel. You may find that you feel congested or your eyes water. If you only start feeling this way when you are inside your own home then mold could be present.

If mold develops in areas which you cannot see then the strong smell might be the first clue that you get. Of course, you may also be able to see mold that has developed; this happens in areas of your home where there is moisture present.

What should you do if you think there is mold in your home?

If the problem with mold is only a minor one you may be able to remove the mold yourself, and deal with the moisture issue so that it does not return. However, if you have a more extensive problem with mold you should speak to an Indoor Environmental Professional about the issue. They can carry out testing to determine the nature of the problem and to recommend mold clearance work which needs to be carried out.

Once you have established that you have a problem with mold which needs to be addressed you need to speak to a specialist in mold removal New Jersey who will carry out the recommended mold removal work. These professionals put their experience and expertise to use clearing away the mold and treating the area in order to restore your property to a mold free condition.

As you can see, mold does not just look unsightly; it can also lead to health problems for you and your family. Left to spread, mold can also eventually have an adverse effect on the structure of your property. As soon as you suspect there may be mold present in your home you need to take steps to alleviate the problem.

How Can I Prevent Termites in My Home?

How can I prevent termites in my home?

Each year, termites cause billions of dollars’ worth of damage to homes and businesses.

Left unresolved, a termite problem in your home can be more than just annoying. It can cause costly repairs or even irreversible structural damage, leading to an unsafe environment for you and your family and even the need to relocate.

With so much on the line, it’s easy to see how important it is to know how to prevent termite infestations from happening. Since termite colonies can number in the hundreds of thousands and queens can live for 30 to 50 years laying thousands of eggs per day, prevention is much better than treating an existing infestation.

Luckily for you, there are a lot of preventative measures that you can take.

Landscaping

One of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of termites is to be mindful of the landscaping around your house.

Be sure to get rid of any dead trees, brush piles, excess vegetation, or other food sources that might attract termites to your property. While they might be happy feasting on these items for the time being, their numbers will only grow, leading to them seeking food elsewhere — like your home.

Another great way to ensure your landscaping is not causing problems is to make sure all plants and trees are far enough away from your home’s foundation. Plants like shrubs, small trees, or bushes can serve as shelter for termites and having them close to your foundation only serves to invite them in further. Another thing you can do is ensure there is a gap between any landscaping mulch you use and the exterior walls of your home.

In addition to adding shelter for termites, having trees close to your home also means you risk the possibility of their roots causing cracks and fissures in your foundation that termites can find their way into.

Seal Cracks and Holes

In addition to ensuring you’re not attracting termites through food sources on your property, it’s also important to seal off any ways that termites can enter your home.

One of the most important places to look is in your foundation. Any cracks or fissures should be sealed to prevent entry, especially since termites are subterranean and live underground.

Another place to look is around doors and windows, where cracks and holes are more prone to occur.

Remove Water Sources

Like most living beings, termites need water to survive. By cutting off any potential water supplies for termites, you limit their ability to thrive.

To do this, search around the base of your home for any leaks, poor gutter and water spout drainage, or standing water. If you find any sources of water, get rid of them if possible.

Call the Professionals

If you’re not sure you know how to do these preventative measures on your own or you’re afraid you’ll miss something important, call in the professionals like exterminator Connecticut to do an inspection.

In many cases, pest control companies will even do an inspection for free and then offer estimates for preventative measures and solutions if they find any existing termite problems.

Rats! What To Do If You Suspect There Are Rodents In Your Home

Flickr Photo From: jans canon
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During the winter months, your house is automatically more susceptible to being frequented by rats and mice as they look for shelter. Mice tend to look for ways into your home through cracks in the walls, floors, and skirting boards, while rats which are often bigger and stronger will live in the garden until they spot an opportunity like an open door, window or even sneak in using the sewer system up through the drains. It may seem horrifying, knowing that you’re possibly sharing your home with these furry fiends, but there is, excuse us, light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Figure Out How They’re Getting In

 

The first thing to do is don’t panic. Seriously, don’t, it doesn’t mean your house is dirty, messy or unhygienic in fact it actually means that it’s probably lovely, clean and cozy and full of hidey holes like a pantry, loft, basement that rats and mice love. Rodent infestations are pretty common, so you aren’t alone, but you do need to consider how they may have gained entry. Typical places you’ll find rats and mice are in roof spaces, garages, cellars, and cupboards as well as, gulp, in the walls themselves. These are your first port of call to see if anything is loose, cracked, been broken or chewed or if there are other signs that you have some extremely uninvited guests.

 

Look Out For Tell Signs

 

Wood, or house mice have an unfortunate habit of urinating everywhere and frequently so if they’re about your nose will smell it first. A rodent removal company can detect mouse urine as it’s strong, acidic and smells like ammonia while droppings are small, round and each mouse produces up to 50-60 droppings per night. If rodents are present things may contain tiny claw and gnawing marks as rodents must constantly gnaw stuff to keep their ever growing teeth short. Rats have much stronger teeth than mice and can even chew their way, over time, through soft metals such as lead, aluminium and copper which can obviously play havoc with your wiring. Finally, check for greasy, black marks these are where greasy, unkempt fur has rubbed against certain walls or floors.

 

 

How Can I Get Rid Of Them Humanely?

 

There are a variety of methods you can use get rid of rats or mice and some are more pleasant than others. The first is using a traditional snap trap, it won’t be nice and the poor animal will most certainly suffer so it’s best to avoid this. Modern traps are much more humane, simple place a small piece of peanut butter, mice love this, in the trap and when it goes in the box it’ll be trapped there until you can release it far away from the house. Rat poison, when used properly, can be highly effective but often rats are eaten by predators before dying meaning the pesticides harm owls, weasels and foxes as well. One of the best ways to avoid having to do any of these is to keep your house clean, clear and well maintained to stop them moving indoors in the first place.

 

Sick of Spending a Fortune To Run Your Home? Three Things You Can Do To Cut Costs

There are so many things that we need to pay for as parents that run a home. It can seem like we spend money daily and for a lot of it, there is nothing to show for it. It can be easy to set a budget and stop yourself from spending on unnecessary things. But what about the things that we need to buy? We can look for ways to be more savvy when we shop, especially with all of the essentials like food. We can always be better at it, though, right? So here are some ways to save the on the cost of running a family and a home.

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Meal Plan

 

When it comes to food, it can be hard to make too many cuts. We all have to eat. But we can all waste less and in wasting less, we will spend less money. So one of the best ways to do that is to plan your meals. You could just plan the family evening meal, or plan every single thing that you will eat, from breakfast to snacks. However you do it, just make sure you stick to what you have. It can take a little time to prepare your list, but you will be making plenty of savings in the long run. The key is to also to not plan meals with ingredients that you don’t have in the house. Use things that are in your cupboard, fridge or freezer and just buy things to supplement the meals. Then you’ll be the most efficient when you meal plan. You can find meal planners online, somewhere like goodhousekeeping.co.uk/food/weekly-meal-planner.

 

Change Your Lightbulbs

 

We all need to light our home in one way or another. At different times of the year, we will need more light than at others. But if you have light bulbs to make your home cheaper to light, then it will make a massive difference. LED light bulbs are the best on the market for energy efficiency and for being long lasting. You don’t have to sacrifice on light brightness or quality as you do with other energy efficient bulbs. So they are worth getting. You could browse somewhere like ledison-led-lights.co.uk to see the kind of price that you might be paying. They can be very worth it, though.

 

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

 

One of the biggest costs of running a family home is the heating and electricity. When we have teenagers charging cell phones or kids watching TV, it can make the bills higher and higher. So if you can make your home more energy efficient, it will help you to save. You could wash your laundry at low temperatures for starters. The low temperature means that you don’t have to pay to heat the water that will need to get really hot. But as it is only for a short amount of time, it is really inefficient and wastes a lot of energy, but costs you a lot. So wash on cold and only use the dryer when you have to; roll on summer and warmer weather!

Simple But Stunning Rural Chic Design That Can Transform Any Space

Our homes are a reflection of our lifestyle and taste. So it is crucial to make sure that they are decorated and kitted out in the best possible way. But sometimes the opulent look can send the wrong style message. In fact, it is often adopted chair to decorate in a high-end rural style. Below you will find suggestions on how to achieve this trendy and classy look.

 

The Walls

Sometimes when you conjure an image of rural property in your mind, it has rough plastered walls and a low roof. But this is the sort of thing you need to keep away from.

Rough plaster may seem quaint, but it is neither practical or attractive in most cases. So no matter what the age of the property that you are decorating is, it is always best to get walls skimmed and install new skirting boards. This will give the finished room a spacious yet country feel.

 

Colours

Colours for a chic country style home need to be considered properly. Bright shades and very dark shades are out for this look. Instead, consider shades green, or duck egg blue, which are popular choices. As are the warmer cream colours.

Or, if you are looking for a little more drama in your home, why not choose some bold feature wallpaper with pastoral scenes? Done right this can lift the look of your home, and create that delicate balance between country style and classy chic.

 

Furniture

Choosing the right furniture is another aspect of getting the rural chic look spot on. Obviously,  your main focus should be on pieces made from visible natural wood.

It is important that you steer clear of more modern material like glass and plastic. This is because these will seem incongruous in the space and ruin the simple look.

Instead, go for dressers and bookcases with additional adornment. Use these to display theme relevant ornaments and items such as cut logs, vintage farm equipment, and rustic style crockery.   

 

Accessories

The final touches a room that has a rural chic theme to be considered are the accessories and the pictures that you will display.

The accessories should be in keeping with the theme, so hide radiators behind covers or use a pellet or wood stove for you heat source.

In fact, pellet stoves make a particularly good addition to a classical rural room because they evoke a time gone by, but do in in a modern and efficient way. They are also easy to fix and maintain as you can get Pellet Stove Parts 4 Less easily online.

 

Pictures

Lastly, the pictures that you choose can really make or break the rural chic look. You really have two choices that are appropriate in this case. The first is pictures of rural scenes either originals in oils. Or good quality giclee prints in frames.

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Or, you could go for the reproductions of the animal paintings that were so popular in England at the time of the agricultural revolution. These images are not only theme-appropriate but also show excellent artistic taste.

 

Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

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Image 1 source: pixabay.com

No matter how iron-clad you believe your home to be, come winter you will have a lot of work to do. You see, what works well during summer is not necessarily durable enough to withstand the winds of winter, which is why you need to make sure your home is in a great shape. In order not to miss out on anything, you may want to compose a thorough checklist and run by it every now and then. With this in mind, here are a few issues that you should definitely have in mind when composing the list.

Dealing with the Attic

Sure, it would be most symbolic to start from the foundations, but when it comes to your home’s insulation, the attic is the first place you should take a look at. You need to make sure that your attic insulation is sufficient. In warm climates you can get by with as little as 12” but in the colder regions you will have to go with at least 16”. The most cost effective way to do so is to use fiberglass rolls. You also need to think about the attic doors since this is one of the main escape routes that hot air uses to leave your home. Fortunately, this is nothing that a bit of foam weather-stripping won’t be able to fix.

Check Drains and Pipes

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Image 2 source: pexels.com

Frozen pipes are one of the greatest hazards that every homeowner faces during the colder part of the year, so here are some ways you can make sure everything runs smoothly. First, you should insulate water pipes beneath your home with a simple foam pipe insulation. All you need to do is tape it across the pipes, but pay special attention to joints. Next, you need to make sure your drains are in working order. According to people dealing with blocked drains in Sydney area, the number one cause of more serious drainage problems are the DIY repair attempts. The main reason for this is the lack of knowledge and adequate tools to apprehend this problem adequately.

Outdoor Maintenance

As for your outdoors, this is something that should be done before the winter actually begins. This means disconnecting your garden hose, draining all the water from it and storing it safely. It also means removing any cushions or mattresses from your outdoor furniture and covering the parts you won’t move. Finally, it goes without saying that cleaning your driveway regularly improves its functionality a great deal and reduces the slip risk.
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Image 3 source: pexels.com

You should also worry about the ice and snow. You see, ice on your external vents can increase your moisture problem. Luckily, this is something that can be solved in under two hours. Next, you should focus on removing ice dams from roofs and gutters in order to remove the risk of them hurting someone. Finally, cleaning snow from any concrete areas of your home can help protect it from the water damage and it will only take half an hour of your time.

Winter Cleaning

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Image 4 source: pixabay.com

While so far we mostly focused on the negative aspects of winter, it has one great advantage maintenance-wise. You see, during winter you are practically trapped indoors, which means you won’t have to waste your time on backyard maintenance. Instead, you can spend some time on your indoor cleaning and reorganization. This means dealing with home inventory, closets, rearranging items in your kitchen cabinets and much more. Furthermore, you can also take a look at your bathroom drains and see if they need some fixing. All in all, you have plenty of work to do, but for once the time is on your side.

Winter home maintenance is not as scary as some might think. In fact, nine out of ten problems you will encounter are easily solvable with a shovel. For the rest of the list you may be forced to hire professional help, but even this isn’t that expensive seeing how you will need this kind of intervention only a few times a year.

 

Simple Tips For Moms To Ensure Their Kid’s Bedroom Is A Healthy Sleeping Space

As moms, we always try to ensure our kids stay in good health. And while we can’t always protect them when they are out and about, we can make sure they remain healthy while they are at home. And one good place to start would be their bedroom. After all, they spend so much time in this room. Therefore, it needs to be a clean environment to ensure they stay healthy. Here are some simple tips for moms to ensure their kid’s bedroom is a healthy sleeping space.

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Paint it in a calming color  

A lot of moms don’t really think about the color of the room when they paint their child’s bedroom. But it could have an effect on their health if you don’t choose wisely. After all, colors like red could cause a significant impact on their mental health. In fact, you might have an angrier child who misbehaves. And lively yellow could stop them from getting enough sleep at night which could jeopardize their health. Therefore, go for a nice calming color such as a blue or a green which will help them sleep at night. And as we said before, feng shui believes bedroom colors should be neutral and natural to ensure your child has a good night’s rest. Therefore, go for these colors for the sake of your little one’s health.

 

Wash the bedding regularly

It can be hard to keep up-to-date with your washing when you are a busy mom. But if you want to keep your child in good health, you need to ensure all their bedding is washed regularly. That way, any dirt and dust can be removed sooner rather than later. And it can ensure that any bed bugs are killed off before they become a nuisance. If you do suspect there might be bed bugs in your kid’s room, you could always get an inspection carried out. And if you are wondering what can you expect from bed bug inspection, you can easily find out information online. That way, your child’s bedroom can stay a pest-free zone!

 

Keep it at a good temperature

You would be surprised how much of an effect the temperature in the room can have on your child’s health. If it’s too hot in the night, they could end up with a fever the next morning. And if it’s too cold, your child will shiver and could potentially pick up the flu! Therefore, to ensure your little one stays healthy, you need to make sure you keep the room at a good temperature. It might be that you opt for a fan to keep the room cooler at night. Or if it’s too cold in the room, you should get them a warmer duvet to ensure bugs stay away. You can also get a room thermometer which will allow you to keep an eye on the temperature. That way, you can make adjustments as necessary.

And remember to clean their room from top to bottom regularly. That way, you can ensure it remains a healthy and clean area for your kids.

 

Get Your Home Ready For Autumn With These Refreshing Tips

Now that Christmas and the new year are out of the way, we don’t have many months of nice weather left! We will certainly have a couple more months of hot weather before things will start to get a lot colder in time for winter. It’s worth putting in a little effort to your home over the next couple of months to make sure that it is all ready for these upcoming colder months. After all, once the weather turns, you will want to be all snug inside your home enjoying yourself rather than having to spend the time decorating! Ready to roll up your sleeves and get your house ready for autumn? Here are some of the jobs you should do now.

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Redecorate Whole Rooms

 

Have you been thinking about decorating a specific room? Maybe your kitchen or living room is slightly outdated and needs some new decor? Well, if so, it is a very good idea to get it done now while the weather is warm outside. That’s because you’ll be able to have all the doors and windows open to freshen out the room as you decorate, and will get rid of all the paint fumes a lot quicker. If you need some interior design ideas, it could be worth looking on Pinterest or flicking through a home interiors magazine.

 

Don’t Forget The Garden

 

Your garden will have no doubt been blooming throughout the past few months thanks to the great weather we’ve had. You will have probably been able to leave it to just flourish on its own. But now that autumn is just a couple of months away, there are some jobs you will need to carry out to ensure it continues to flourish through autumn and winter. You still have time to plant some hardy plants, so make that your number one priority if you want some new plants to bloom over winter. You should also take some time to prune all your climbing plants, especially climbing roses.

 

Check For Draughts

 

Over time, buildings can slightly change their shape and door, and window frames can every so slightly shrink or bend. All of this movement creates spaces in the walls and entryways, so even if all your doors and windows are firmly closed, you could feel a draught through your home. If you notice one, you should try and fix it before the temperatures drop. You can easily replace the caulking and seals around doors and windows. That should be enough to fix your draught problems.

 

Sort Out Air Conditioning

 

Many people find it necessary to cover their outdoor air conditioning unit over winter. If your units are on your windows, you can remove them for a few months. However, if you don’t want to go to all that bother, they can simply be covered up to prevent the bad weather from affecting them too much.

As you can see, preparing your home for autumn won’t be too much hard work. It’s best to get it all over and done with right now!

 

3 Surefire Ways to Make Moving Easier and Bond with Your Family

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Moving is a hassle. Many people report staying in their current home, apartment or condo much longer than they planned solely because they dreaded moving. The logistical headache is bad enough. Even if you hire the best movers in the world, the process of boxing up your more precious items personally, let alone deciding which things that you have accumulated won’t make the trip, is never easy.

Then there is the emotional strain. If you’re moving just across town, at least you won’t be changing your whole life. But if you’re moving somewhere far away, you will have to get used to a new community, new job, new school, new grocery stores and new salon — the list goes on and on. Fortunately, there are ways to make it as painless as possible. A few key pointers will take some of the pain out of relocating and can even bring your family closer together in the process.

Finding a New Apartment

You are likely moving to a specific location for a specific reason. Whether it’s a new job or family commitment, you may not be able to choose the city or town that will become your adopted home. But especially in bigger cities, like Los Angeles or New York, there are many neighborhoods to choose from. Let your kids be involved in the apartment hunting process. Show them photos online of some apartments for rent, using a site like ForRent.com, and see what features seem to be most important to them. Whether it’s having a pool, finding a nearby park or something else, there will likely be one thing that they can get excited about.

Naturally, the final choice will be up to you and probably come down to price, square footage, condition, school district and proximity to work or family. Making your kids feel like they are part of such an adult decision-making process, however, will do wonders to get them eager — not fearful and tearful — about the change.

Packing Pain

Your kids, particularly young kids, will be an emotional wreck if you make them throw away a single possession. Even old items they haven’t touched in years will instantly turn into treasured goods. This is generally more about anxiety over change than it is about an old Teddy bear. But rather than simply putting your foot down, treat them like grown-ups. Give them a quota — maybe 10 toys or lesser-used items — that they must elect to throw out. Offering incentives in the form of small rewards or making it into a contest can help.

Tell them that life is about making tough choices and that they must decide what things are most important to them. If they are convinced that their selection process can really help the family during a challenging transitional time, they will feel more connected to and accepting of the entire experience.

Moving In

Choosing rooms in a new home is never easy. Multiple children always end up wanting the same room — and usually only because their sibling said they wanted it first. This must be handled diplomatically at the outset. Eventually, they will not care, but in the first weeks of the move, they will be looking to lash out at any perceived problem with the new apartment.

If they won’t back down, you’ll need to make a choice. Start with having the kids explain fully, with actual reasons, why having a specific room is so important. Then ensure that they understand that someone is going to have to make a sacrifice. Let them know that whoever steps up to make their sibling happy can be rewarded with other benefits. The selection process can be a good learning experience about how people must sometimes make concessions. In order to move, the whole family needs to help each other adjust. Be thoughtful and truthful about how this needs to be handled. Tell them how change is never easy, and that you also had to leave things behind when you made the decision to move.

If it all goes perfectly, this part of the move can teach them a valuable lesson. When the hassle is finally over, your children may come away understanding that their willingness to help each other out and put their loved ones first is what makes families so special.