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September 2017

4 Things to do when preparing your home to be listed for sale

Preparing Your Home

Listing your home for sale is not an easy task. While it may seem that all you have to do is slap a for sale sign on your property, there is much more that goes into preparing a property to be listed on the open market. You will need to hire a realtor who can give you professional advice as to how to stage your home, update areas, and give you advice on the homes that are comparable to yours that are selling in your zip code. This article will provide more detail that will help you prepare your home to be listed for sale.

preparing your home for selling
paulbr75 / Pixabay
  • Paint

    A fresh coat of paint on your walls will go a long way. A fresh coat of paint makes the space look brighter and hides some imperfections in the walls such as scuff marks or tiny wear and tear marks that are prone to happen in a home that has been lived in. When selecting the paint for your walls, be sure to choose a neutral colour and one that will appeal to home buyers. Beige, ivory, grey, and the like are popular colours currently so try to select one of those. A fresh coat of paint will look great and won’t break the bank.

  • Curb appeal

    Upon arrival, the first thing a potential buyer will see is your front yard, mailbox, walkway, and front door area. You will want to make sure that this area is pristine and that it is welcoming. Weed your flower beds, plant some new flowers, mow your lawn, sweet the front porch, and put a pot of flowers on the front porch. Your home should appear welcoming and give the potential buyer a good feeling when they pull up to your home. You want the potential buyer to be able to envision themselves living there and their first impression of your home is from the curb. Make sure that it is appealing to the eye.

  • Clean your home thoroughly

    It goes without saying that you will want to give your home a good clean. This means clean the floors, baseboards, and stair bannisters. If you have pets or your home smells musty because you no longer live in it, consider having the air ducts and vents cleaned professionally so that fresh air is filtering throughout the home. Residential duct cleaning experts are relatively inexpensive and can help remove dirt and grime that could be adding a musty smell to your home. A potential homebuyer will be turned off by an odd smell so this will want to be taken care of promptly.

  • De-clutter and put away toys

    If you live with children or you have an in home daycare facility, it is important to pick up and put away toys and other belongings. Make sure that the toys are put away in an organized fashion and that they are not just in a heap on the floor. Keep your home free of clutter and make sure that everything has a place.

 

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5 Tips to designing the ultimate garage storage space for the handyman in your life

If you live with a handyman, you know that having the ultimate garage full of storage space and places to put tools, equipment, and gadgets is a dream. Often times a family has so many expenses and other priorities that the garage is left unattended. Over time the garage becomes the dumping zone for unwanted items, trash, and other things that are no longer viable for inside the home. This can create a chaotic garage and a waste of valuable space. This article will identify some tips to designing the ultimate garage storage space for the handyman in your life while adding more value to your property.

handyman tools


  • De-clutter.

    The first thing you want to do is to de-clutter the garage. Get rid of trash, recyclables, and other items that your family simply placed in to the garage as there was no other place to put things. By de-cluttering the space, you can get a good idea of the area in which you have to work your magic.

  • Donate unwanted items and old toys.

    Ask your kids to help you gather up a pile of old toys and unwanted items that are in the garage and take them to the local Goodwill or Salvation Army. After all, while it will clean up your garage, teaching your kids to donate to those who are less fortunate is a valuable life lesson.

  • Create a budget.

    Cleaning up the garage and updating it does not have to expensive. In fact, you can find shelving for your garage that really makes a difference at a great price. Before you begin shopping for storage solutions, make sure you have outlined your budget. Take into consideration things that you may want to purchase to help with the upgrade such as a work table, standing tool box, or other shelving units. When you have determined the amount of money you can spend on the renovation, start to shop around. You will be amazed at the deals that you can find online or during special holiday sales.

  • Add storage space.

    Now that your garage is clean and you can see the space in which you have to work, you can then begin to evaluate where you want to place storage cabinets or shelves that will help your handyman organize his belongings. Being organized and tidy is a great way to show that you value your belongings and by creating a space such as this for the man in your life, you are showing him great appreciation.

  • Use the ceiling.

    If you have bikes and garden tools that are standing on the side of your garage, utilize your ceiling as a way to store items that are big and bulky and would otherwise take up valuable room on the floor. You will be amazed at how much space you will find when you hang up some bikes on the ceiling.

 

In no time at all and with very minimal money, you can create a great, usable workspace for the handyman in your life.

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What Is Going On With Air Travel At The Moment?!

Air Travel

Air travel seems to be in the news every day just lately! Yesterday, some airport computer software malfunctioned and caused many flights to be delayed. Passengers said they had to wait for hours because of the knock-on effects. It affected airports in London, USA and other major airports.

air travel
Gellinger / Pixabay

Ryanair

The Ryanair fiasco is on the news daily and now we’re going to be hearing even more about it; the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) has said that Ryanair has been misleading its passengers about the option to be re-routed with another airline. It has also said they need to reimburse any out of pocket expenses that had been incurred and pay compensation where necessary.

Last week, Ryanair boss, Michael O’Leary said they wouldn’t be re-routing passengers on rival airlines because of the cost. The CAA said this goes against EU rules and has put deadlines in place for them to sort everything out.
They not only have to give the correct information for future passengers, they must also contact passengers from the last 2 weeks and rectify any misleading information they may have been given.

The EU rules state:

If your flight has been delayed by at least three hours or cancelled then you have the right to compensation under European law. Under EU Regulation 261/2004, passengers are entitled to up to €600 (£509) in compensation when their flight lands at their destination more than three hours late.

Family Holidays

My step-daughter, her partner and my mother-in-law flew to Portugal yesterday. They’ve been before and really enjoyed it so decided to go again for the week.
My step-son and his fiancee also went on holiday yesterday. They flew to Santorini to check out their wedding venue. We’re all very excited about the upcoming nuptials and can’t wait to see photos of the venue.

Santorini
Pixabay

I’m not sure who they all flew with but thankfully, none of their flights were cancelled. They all arrived on schedule and are having a wonderful time 🙂

If you’re due to fly anywhere with Ryanair over the next few months, make sure you’ve done your research and know your rights so they won’t be able to fob you off with incorrect information.

This is a collaborative post

 

Your Autumn Home Checklist

This time of year can be the perfect time to make changes to your home and get things ready for winter. The temperatures aren’t too cold yet, and making some much-needed improvement or changes in and around the house can be well worth it. But what are some of the best things to be doing? Here is your essential autumn checklist for the home.

house in autumn with trees in front - autumn home checklist

image

 

  • Clear Gutters – Keep an eye on your gutters as the leaves are now starting to fall. Clear them of debris and leaves, especially as the temperatures drop. Otherwise, when frozen, they can cause blockages and leaks.

 

  • Check the Home’s Exterior – if there are any cracks or gaps in the walls, then they will become much more obvious as winter approaches. So seal any up or get professionals in if needed.

 

  • Check the Roof – the same goes for your roof. If any tiles have come loose, then during the wetter and colder winter months, it could lead to leaking in your home, as well as mould growing on the walls. So have your roof checked and sort any issues that arise.

 

  • Look at Your Energy Bills – over summer your bills should have been nice and low. But now that you’ll no doubt be using more and more energy than you have over the past few months, then you’ll want to do an energy comparison to make sure that you’re getting the best deal. Why pay more if you don’t have to?

 

  • Run Your Heating System – if you are yet to put your heating back on, then it is a good idea to run it and check that after the summer, all is in good working order. Check radiators, taps, and pipes, to check that everything is heating up as it should.

 

  • Check Alarms – smoke alarms and house alarms need to be checked regularly as it is. But at a time when there may be more open fires in the home, candles lit, or decorative lights, checking that your smoke alarm is still working has never been more important. Darker nights mean you want to feel safer at home too. So burglar alarms are a must too.

 

  • Repair Driveways – if you have a driveway and it is in need of repair, then doing so before the cold weather arrives is a good idea. Cold temperatures and ice getting under cracks in the driveway, can lead to larger cracks and holes; one of the reasons our roads are full of potholes!

 

  • Stock Up For The Winter – if you have an open fire or a log burner, then getting some logs in and ready is a great idea. You can also batch cook some freezer meals, for example, too. Then you’re all ready to get cosy and snug over the coming months.

 

  • Have a Deep Clean – this is pretty obvious, but having a deep clean is a good way to know that you’ve got a clean home to start the season off with. Over autumn and winter, cold and flu viruses are much rifer. And if we’re living in an environment full of germs, it isn’t going to be helping us at all.

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5 Tips to selecting the perfect wood burning stove for your home

Wood Burning Stove

One of the most sustainable and stylish ways to provide heat to your home is by using a wood burning stove. You can either go for the contemporary chic design or a traditional-looking one to provide enough insulation and heat in your living space. Either way, having a wood burning stove is a win-win situation. It can make a great and appealing focal point in your home and at the same time provide you proper heating that few appliances can match.

wood burning stove
Trinck / Pixabay

In order to find the best one for you, here are five tips to selecting the perfect wood burning stove for your home.

 

  1. Choose a durable wood burning stove.

 

You would want your wood burning stove to last as long as possible. Whatever design and style options you choose, it is important that it has solid legs that could withstand in any surfaces and constant stacking of firewood. When purchasing a wood burning stove, do not just look at the exterior. It is pretty attractive to look at either eye-popping designs or classic ones that gives an aesthetic appeal to your room, but always check its durability as well.

 

  1. Determine how much heat you can get.

 

The whole purpose of getting a wood burning stove is to get as much heat for your living space. The size of the wood burning stove should be directly proportional to the room where you will place it. In general, you can get it by measuring your room in cubic meters and dividing it by 14 to get a rough estimate of the kilowatt output needed. If you are unsure, ask a store expert prior to purchasing one. This way, you will have more information needed and to avoid extra spending in the future in case you need replacements.

 

  1. Look for wood a burning stove that has Airwash technology.

 

It is important to look at the features of a wood burning stove so you can determine if it is the perfect heater for your home. Airwash technology, which is pretty much the standard feature you can get for a wood burning stove nowadays, can draw the air down inside of your window in order to keep it clean. It also allows it to be free of residues that can affect the performance of the wood burning stove.

 

  1. Determine if you can get stove maintenance for it.

 

As much as we want our stuff to last, a wood burning stove may have potential problems in the future, so you will need to have it properly repaired. Most of the time, you can get a free or low-price stove maintenance for the first few months, depending on the provider. Either way, consider getting a professional service to maintain your stove.

 

  1. Make sure that it is cost-effective.

 

Depending on your preferences, the prices of wood burning stoves could also vary. Even if you will not choose a high-end model, check if the cost of the wood burning stove you are getting is worth the money in the long run.

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Slow Cooker Beef And Broccoli Recipe

I love being able to put everything in the slow cooker, leave it on all day and just serve it at night when we’re ready to eat 🙂 This slow cooker beef and broccoli recipe is Slimming World friendly and works out at only 2 […]

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What To Revitalise In Your Home For Autumn

So spring and summer have left us, and now we’re well on our way to winter. You’ve got the cleaning out of the way, task one is down. For the changing seasons, there are a few things we can hang up or change in our homes to make them more cosy for the colder and darker periods. Sometimes it can feel too bright on the inside when it’s a little grungy outside. So what can you revitalise in your house for autumn? What’s easy enough to switch out whilst you save your money for Christmas?

Apples on a table - revitalise your home for Autumn

Pexels

Change Your Curtains

Curtains don’t even need to be switched out for new ones if you don’t fancy that. Just take them down, give them a wash, and hang them back up. Usually, this means they hang straighter and have a lot more durability for the wear and tear of moths in the autumn, and against the cold winter breezes when you open your windows.

 

If you need some made to measure curtains at your ease, then you can check out montgomery.co.uk as they have a huge range. You can also just buy some lining for the curtains you already own, and this can often work out cheaper. Fit the extra material onto the back of the curtains for greater warmth and better insulation. It isn’t all just double glazing after all.

 

Change The Sofa And Pillow Covers

 

For summer you were likely to use some thin covers that were lightweight and breathable and probably needed changing a few times because of propensity to spill drinks during summer parties.

 

You can help the seasonal transition outside by incorporating it on the inside as well. Change your sofa throws to something darker and more heavy weight. A nice burgundy or dark orange would work well, and pairs nicely with cream or white walls and carpets. Anything goes well with a hardwood floor, so choose whatever colour puts you in the autumnal or Halloween mood.

 

Throw Down Some Rugs

 

Rugs make great decorative features as well as something warm and soft to walk on. Using them in this dual purpose means your home will definitely have that soft umber feel and look to it. If you want to check out rugseller.co.uk they have some pretty good ideas on what to lay down and pick up based on the seasons.

 

Throwing down a white rug in the muddy season isn’t the best idea, but if you’re willing to keep up its maintenance then go ahead! Something that has more of a soft brown or dark cream to it will better hide stains and also suit the tone of your living.

 

You can use your fireplace if you have one, as a focal point and put the rug in front of the grates for an extremely cosy setup that will allow you to throw your feet up with a hot chocolate in some lounge pants. What could be better for a season when you can’t head outside?

 

Place Some Candles Around

 

The air in your home can sometimes feel a little stale, so why not just up and change how it smells? Nothing has more of an autumnal feel than having a good ol’ candle on a dresser or coffee table. Place down any fragrance you like, but don’t let them be too overbearing a smell. Constantly being surrounded by summer fruits or vanilla cupcake can make your head swim!   

 

Try something a little more subtle, like a rum-based scent, or a woody smell. These remind us of firesides, crackling flames, and the idea that winter is coming. That’s something to get at least a little bit excited about, right?

 

Something like apple is good for the nose as it has both elements of sweet and sour, and hey, may even make you more likely to eat healthier. Being reminded of the fruit through your other senses may just hop up the cravings slightly. You can have you candles set out in decorative displays, like assorted heights and inside mason jars, if you like to go the extra mile, and it’s a great way to break out your creativity.

 

Revitalising a home doesn’t have to be expensive. When it comes to preparing for autumn, and winter, there are lots of things to do inside as well as outside. Make sure you sweep up your leaves and get your roof checked for holes and leaks, and then relax on the inside of your perfect autumn den.

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A Love For Vegetables: How to Enjoy Gardening With Your Children

Children may very well like vegetables – they just don’t always enjoy eating them. Parents all over the country are pulling on their gardening gloves after the summer, so get your kids involved this year and plant the first seeds, so to speak, by teaching them a love for gardening. It takes a bit more than making them rake up all the leaves, though, and try not to make them de-weed your entire garden in the spring either.

2 girls hugging - gardening with children

Image link: Pexels

 

Give them tasks they enjoy doing, and they’ll soon come to realize that vegetables are not that bad, after all – they can be fun and even a bit pretty.

Here is a handful of the best tips from gardening experts with children, giving you a companion in the garden for life.

Give them a plant of their own

No matter how old your aspiring gardener is, you should treat them to a bed or a plant of their own. Many grandparents seem to get this right, in comparison to the parents, and they’re generous in assigning the ownership of whatever garden creature they have to their grandchildren.

Give them an apple tree of their own to care for; even if your five-year-old child is unable to actually care for the tree, they’ll rejoice in the fact that they ‘own’ something in the garden, something to care for and admire – something to tell their friends about. Have a look at https://www.chrisbowers.co.uk/ for some incredibly handsome trees, by the way.

Treat them to a garden bed

Consider giving them a little square in the garden to plant the kind of vegetables they’d enjoy looking after. You need to supervise them a bit, though, and make sure they don’t plant anything too deep or too shallow.

The same goes for watering schedules and, even more importantly, proper handling of the gardening tools. You’ll find cute tools for young children, by the way, so give them a gift and keep an eye on them to ensure their safety.

Just remember that the love and care they give needs to come on their own initiative – and if you notice that they’re not giving the plants as much attention as they should, take care of it quietly on your own.

Make something out of it

Autumn is the perfect time to show your children all the wonderful things you can do with the plants in your garden. If you’ve been clever this year and planted pumpkins in advance, you can enjoy a good session of pumpkin carving before Halloween. This article on www.goodhousekeeping.com has some great ideas for carving those pumpkins.

Make the whole family help out with harvesting apples as well and look up a mean recipe for apple juice – it’s the perfect way to amaze your children for good.

Everything you plant and care for in the garden can be used to teach your kids about plant life and vegetation; even if they don’t grasp everything right now, the knowledge will be stored in there somewhere.

They will grow up with a solid foundation of understanding food and nature – and you can lean back, have a sip of apple cider, and consider it a job well done.

Gave My Second Blood Donation Yesterday

Gave Blood Again

I reckon it’s totally worth an hour of my time to help save lives 🙂 I gave my second blood donation yesterday and unlike my first time, I was a lot more relaxed. Ant was even allowed to go off to B&Q while I went in by myself!
As before, everyone was lovely and I was made to feel very appreciated.

second blood donation

My next appointment was made for me while I sat and had a drink and a biscuit. It’s not until January next year, which feels an awfully long time away!

I would totally urge anyone thinking about giving blood to stop thinking and just do it. You can make an appointment online for a time and place that’s convenient for you.

Forget Spring Cleaning, I Need Autumn Cleaning!

Autumn Cleaning

A good Spring clean leaves the house feeling wonderfully fresh and new after the long, dark months of Winter.  At this time of year, I get the urge to do the same deep clean but for a different reason; Winter and Christmas are on the horizon. Autumn cleaning gives me the chance to get rid of items we don’t need anymore and make space for all the presents we’ll be receiving (which sounds a bit wrong but we have a huge family who always put lots of thought into gift giving 🙂 ).
I also like to spruce the place up so it’s nice and clean when the decorations go up.

autumn leaves
ejaugsburg / Pixabay

Stairs and Landing

Our hall, stairs and landing are in need of a fresh coat of paint. It hasn’t been done since we moved here in 2014 and it’s now very grubby. Ant painted the stairs and wallpapered the fronts a couple of years ago. At the time I loved them but now I wish I hadn’t picked red!
On the middle landing of the stairs, we have a big window that starts at the ceiling. We have curtains up there at the moment but they’re not at all practical.
It’s hard to reach high enough to pull them over all the way so I’m thinking of getting a blind put up instead.

painted and wallpapered stairs - autumn cleaning

Living Room

The living room is the place I feel the need to clean and rearrange the most because I don’t know where I’m going to fit my Christmas tree! Christmas is my most favourite time of the year. From September onwards I start my planning and preparation.
Every year the tree has gone in front of the patio window and I love it there because it’s next to the fireplace. All the lights on the tree and fireplace look wonderful together and I don’t want to have to put my tree anywhere else.

Awkward Space

The problem is, though, that I now have my little workstation where my tree usually goes. It’s just a chair, side table, storage basket and laptop table but I have no idea where I can move to while the tree is up.

I need to try and move the furniture round to fit everything in and make space for my tree and my workstation but I don’t know where to start! It’s an awkward room because it has a door in the middle of one wall and the patio doors in the middle of the other. We also have to fit in the sofa, chairs, bookcases and 6 seater dining table.

I’ll have to see if Ant has any ideas how we can fit it all in when the time comes.

Christmas tree bauble

Bedroom

Our bedroom is tiny and there’s not much can be changed in there. I have decided, though, that I’m going to buy some Christmas bedding this year. I’ve wanted some every year but there was always something else to spend the money on. This year I’m going to treat myself!

I do need to sort out under the bed, though. I have no idea what’s under there and I reckon that means we probably don’t need most of it!

Do you get the urge to do Autumn cleaning and re-organise or is it just me?

 

This is a collaborative post

 

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