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Home Improvement

The clutter is a menace that does not just get in our way, for its negative effects spill over in our mind as well. Once it piles up, it impedes our ability to concentrate and think clearly. Luckily, we are not short on ways of summoning tidiness out of this pitfall, and equipping ourselves with creative ideas and low-cost tools. So, take advantage of smart organization hacks in order to transform your abode into the sanctuary of order. Make every inch of space count, and do away with hoarding habits.

toys on the floor

Fit it together

The magnitude of the problem may seem intimidating at first, but let us go step by step, and use the good old divide and conquer tactics. Apart from the willingness to face the mess and chaos, you also need a strategy to defeat them. You should be able to utilize various household items for the task, or create some DIY storage. Think outside the box: Place things not where they are expected to be, but where they fit.

So, why not put some kitchen supplies in a magazine holder, stack hair products in wine rack, and pile up vintage suitcases to form a DIY side table. Also, remember that there is no need to purchase expensive organizers when kitchenware, cookie jars, and bags can be employed as efficient home organisation tools. Versatile furniture is a true blessing, especially if you get your creative juices flowing.

vintage suitcases turned into a DY table

Image credit: Popsugar.com.au

For example, I have seen some amazing work spaces assembled by cobbling together IKEA shelves and installing a tabletop on top of them. Just find a matching chair, and you got yourself a nice table with plenty of storage space. Moreover, one should make an effort to maximize hidden storage. The visible one, when jam-packed with frippery, can still induce a sense of frustration. An awesome trick for maximizing your space is also playing with lighting. It will definitely make your space management more effective and give the spotlight to your shelves.

Gain the breathing space

Walls are potent instruments for combating clutter, and it is high time to mount some cool storage solutions on them. Hang the metallic equipment such as bobby pins on the magnetic strip, which you can hide on the backing of the medicine cabinet. If you have some spare PVC pipes, turn them into wall holders for hair dryers and other beauty tools. At last, keep the shopping bags and hang them in order to store items you need on a daily basis.

DIY PVC pipes turned into holders

Image credits: Etsy.com & Bobvila.com

Furthermore, the entangling wire disarray is a nuisance which clutters the area which we require for work or entertainment. Fortunately, you may use labelled bred tags to mark the cables for different devices, and tell them apart in an instant. A cord organizer can also come in the form of toilet roll: Feel free to decorate it with a washi tape and be stylish about organizing.

Finally, bear in mind that it is often those little knick-knacks that put us at our wit’s end. Well, rise up to the challenge with a DIY approach, and create Jewellery Stand: Cut the bottoms of plastic bottles and thread them together. Another option is to find an unutilized frame and put some wire mesh, fabric or burlap in it. This frame organizer will also serve as a unique piece of wall art, adding life to dull surfaces. Little by little, your home undergoes a positive transformation, and with it your domestic life.

DIY make a frame for organizing accessories

Image credit: Themakeyourownzone.com

Falling into formation

It may seem like a mountain to climb, but with smart organization hacks it is possible to get your living environment orderly in no time. Conceal your unsightliness and tone down on the clutter. The art of planning and marshalling your army of household objects is the best strategy to infuse your home with comfort, gain extra space and add some visual appeal. Your life will suddenly become easier, and the time it costs to get organized is nothing compared to accumulated stress and waste of space.

Feeling completely safe and secure in your home and out of it is something that starts becoming a priority as years go by. Especially when you do not have to think about yourself only but your family as well. Therefore, doing everything in your power to protect your home and loved ones is a must if you wish to have some peace of mind. One of the things you need to address is your emergency plan. Here are some pointers:

Make the outside of your home safe

If you live in a house like I do, you might want to secure your outdoor premises. Basically, first thing I did when I started feeling more aware of possible theft dangers is that I got a nice fence around my yard. It is not too high so it does not look like I am trying to hide something. But, it is still high enough that it would be fairly obvious if someone tried to jump over it. We got motion detecting lights outside and these always light up in the evening when someone walks around the yard. Even though our family dog Henry is getting old, the sign ‘Beware of the dog’ and his occasional barking are in my opinion great additions to the general home security.

Beware of the dog sign

Locks and alarm system

You must never neglect the protection of your house or flat itself, even if you think that there is no way for uninvited guests to step into your yard or building unnoticed. Combining the locks of my house with good security system was the best thing I ever did because it provided me and my family with good nights of sleep and made us completely relaxed when we are going out, thanks to different modes and settings such as Home Mode and Away Mode, that can be further customized and accessed from any device as long as you have Internet connection.

Safety codes and words

It is extremely important to be able to actually remember your alarm code easily, especially when in danger and hurry to quickly leave the home. Therefore, we as a family decided on the combination of our birth dates which involves one number from each member and therefore it is really easy for us to remember it but it would not be an obvious guess in any way to an outsider. Moreover, we came up with a safe word that we could give to the security center in case they need to check our identities fast as well as the unfortunate possibility when we would have to call each other for help. Simply texting a safe word is quicker and more efficient than trying to make a call.

family safety - a man holding a baby's hand

Prepared for the worst

We had long talks as a family about worst case scenarios that could happen. It is of utmost importance to stay calm if you find your house burgled and leave immediately without touching anything to call the police. If you have kids, explain them that in this case they should run to the neighbors and talk to the neighbors about this as well so they would know what to do and who else to call beside the police. Also, thefts might not be the only lurking danger and I always keep the bag filled with necessities and emergency kit ready in the car in case of fire, with our most important personal documents safely stored away in a hard cover folder that can be taken with us in a second.

If you are a responsible adult you would not find it difficult to tend to all the necessary actions for home security. Also, remember to keep your home’s layout neat so that you would not trip in the dark when you have to leave quickly.

If you still fear you missed something and you are not sure how to behave in case of an emergency, I found this infographic by SimpliSafe to be quite useful.

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Who would have thought that some of the brightest stars of the celebrity heaven sometimes need an additional income? It is not like they need a side hustle to pay the bills. As it turns out, these celebrities are quite handy businessmen, earning money not just for need but for having some side savings. Some of the successful celebrity flippers can make more money for one house sale than for a leading role in a major blockbuster, for instance. So, let us see who those wise money makers are and how that second career is working for them.

Courteney Cox

Courteney Cox

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Turns out that Monica from “Friends” is very proficient in making her earnings from buying and then reselling houses. We can even call her one of the most successful celebrity real estate flippers. Cox is not only buying plane houses and then selling to the best bitter. She is purchasing serious pieces of architecture and investing in their renovation without destroying the present historic qualities. For instance, back in 2004 she purchased a house in the Trousdale Estates for $5.45 million, added a few features and sold it for almost five times larger sum.

Jeremy Renner

Jeremy Renner

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When he is not busy saving the world as Hawkeye, Jeremy Renner is flipping houses. Joining forces with his friend Kristoffer Winters, he is flipping everything from a Nichols Canyon home to a Hollywood located house formerly owned by legendary filmmaker Preston Sturges. Renner himself claims that he has actually earned more money from flipping real estate than from acting.

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston

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Another member of the “Friends” team finds her extra income in flipping real estate. One could say that as always she is following the footsteps of her more responsible friend, Monica (Courtney Cox). In fact, the actress’s house flipping career is equally as bright as her on-screen one – if we might add. Back in 2011, Jen sold her Beverly Hills mansion for $38 million and a year after she purchased a $21 million Bel Air mansion.

Diane Keaton

Diane Keaton

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The Oscar winner and Hollywood royalty has a very lucrative side gig purchasing, fixing up and selling properties. She has undertaken several renovations of historic houses in California and flipped some of them with great gains. Her latest project is listed for listed for $6.995 million was purchased in 2012 for $5.6 million. Therefore, the actress stands to profit $1.395 million. Not bad at all, right?

Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep

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“Here, hold my Oscar, let me sell this house” – Meryl Streep. No, the famous lady did not actually pronounced these words, but we wonder how does she find time to buy, renovate and sell houses, when she is constantly being busy getting herself showered in Oscars. To be honest, her flipping career is not as bright as her acting, but it works. She and her husband might have hoped for larger profit when they listed their house for $6.75 million, but they did still earned $300, 000. Better luck next time Meryl.

Michael C. Hall

Michael Hall

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The star is surely not as cold hearted as his alter ego Dexter, but he does know how to think straight and use his head to earn some money on the side. And it seems that just as with his movies and TV career, Michael has a killer career on the horizon – no pun intended. The “Dexter” and “Six Feet Under” star has sold a Los Angeles house in 2013 after owning it for just one month. True, the profit was not large, but it is a start. Now, he has listed his California home for $4.85 million, and it is expected to profit almost $700, 000.

These celebrities are a clear proof that everyone needs a side gig sometimes and an extra cash influx has never been a bad thing.

Feature image source: Hauteresidence.com

So, you want to live on your own; you are too old to share the place with roommates or your parents any longer, but you haven’t decided where to live. Choosing a real estate property is one of the most important and difficult choices in everyone’s life. Everyone has a different lifestyle, habits, wishes… In accordance with our wishes, interests and abilities we are trying to create and organize our own lives in the best possible way. But, should you choose a house, apartment or condo? Check out the pros and cons.

Regardless of which of the three options above you chose, each of them has its pros and cons. To realize which option is the best for you, smart thing would be to compare them through several universal parameters.
Apartment

Maintenance

Condo: Living in a condo doesn’t involve a big commitment when it comes to keeping your living space well maintained. Keeping your condo clean and tidy is easy, fast and convenient. However, living in a condo involves dealing with other tenants when it comes to maintaining the mutual parts of the building (hallways, lights, heating  …).

Apartment: To maintain your apartment, you will need as much time and money as for maintaining the condo. But the big difference between condo and apartment is that you wouldn’t have to worry about the common parts of the building, if you chose the apartment, because there are none. The building is owned by one owner, who is leasing the apartments and taking care of its maintenance.

House: Home maintenance requires more time, especially when it comes to gardening; but many homeowners consider everyday chores as an excellent relief from everyday stress and other obligations.
House

Comfort

Condo and apartment: Your financial possibilities and individual choices are crucial for the level of comfort in the apartment or a condo. However, given that residential buildings are mainly located close to all necessary facilities, a gym, shop, park, market and other necessary facilities will be at your hand which is great comfort is to have. Bear in mind that if you chose the apartment or a condo, you will need to have consideration for other tenants and will have to reduce the noise and partying to a minimum.

House: The house is definitely the queen of comfort. Besides the fact that you can customize it and adjust it to your own requirements and preferences, you will be able to fully enjoy the privacy and peace. Also, you can enjoy the fresh air in your own backyard, save money if you make your house earth friendly and have any pet you want.
Condominium

Lifestyle

Condo: Condo is an ideal choice for those who lead an active life, regardless of whether it is a family or a single person. People who choose to live in the condo are usually those who spend a lot of time outside, working, traveling or enjoying the various events and outdoor activities.

Apartment: Ask yourself: ”How long am I going to stay in this city”? If you buy, you are attached to the location and it is important to know for how long you are planning to stay at one place. The real estate market is characterized by low flexibility lately and buying a real estate to own it for a few years is not a profitable investment. You should know that buying a property includes a number of other costs, taxes, real estate agency fees, etc. Overall, in the short term, that is less than 10 years (especially if your property is financed by loans), renting an apartment is always cheaper and smarter option.

House: The house is the ideal choice for people who like to spend time at home with maximum privacy. House gives a lot of freedom. Large spaces, privacy, nature, doing your favorite hobby in a workshop or a garage, uninterrupted playing or listening to music are just some of the privileges that homeowners have. If you’re thinking about starting a family, this is definitely the best option for you.
House, Apartment, Condo

With such important decisions, you need to realistically and objectively view the situation, evaluate your own capabilities, your lifestyle, needs and goals in life. If you think it through carefully, I’m sure you will make the right choice, if you are not sure – lease the apartment.

The smell and the sight of freshly cut neat grass is a paradise for any homeowner’s senses. It’s not an exaggeration. If you are a fan of minimal landscaping approach, then a simple lawn will do the trick. The fans of lavish landscaping, stop here, this is not a place for you. You reader, who is redoing your lawn for the first time, there are some, mind you, easy things you can do. In order for you to have a great overview of what is needed to keep your backyard and front yard grass under control, we compiled some elementary tips. Let’s start.

Following lawn care tips and mowing regularly

The colours of grass

First step to consider is, of course, the type of grass. Since you’ll be growing from scratch, you will need to consider pros and cons for every grass type. One of the things beginners need to know is to determine the region they live in and buy the grass they feel would fit nicely into their lawn. Some of the types of grass that “enjoy” cooler climate are: Bluegrass, Fine fescue, Perennial ryegrass, & Tall fescue. On the other side, there are those who fall into the category of “warmer” grasses. People in this region should opt for either one of these: Zoysia, Centipede, Bahia, Common Bermuda, & Hybrid Bermuda. Keep in mind the function of your lawn. If you plan on having family activities, then you need a more resistant type so that it doesn’t wear or tear to fast. Kentucky bluegrass, for example, is a great choice for “active” lawns. It is durable and it can self mend.

From soil sprout thee, I command!

This is a really important step, so think carefully how to approach it. Setting the soil is the key component for a successful grass growth. Don’t forget to test the soil. You can get a soil test kit from local experts (cheaper) or you can have them do the gathering of samples. It might take some time to get through this step, but it will save you a lot of money in the long run. You’ll know exactly what to spend on and how much. Next thing you need to take care of is weeds. You need to make a thorough inspection and banish every single trace of it. This process often includes stripping the land of the top surface, usually six inches (roughly 15 centimetres) will do the trick.  Then it’s time to fertilise the ground. Naturally, there isn’t one way to do this, so inform yourself of different composting techniques.

Preparing the perfect soil for your lawn

The best haircut

One thing you should never ever do is cut your grass the shortest you can. Why? It can stress out the grass and make it weaker. Basically, you’ll end up destroying all the effort you put into it. It’s way better to cut it often and a bit longer.

We are great believers in doing everything with your own two hands, so that you can feel the process. However, when it comes to maintenance tips, cut your losses (literally) and use a lawn mower. Why? Go through these advantages and find out:

  • Ease of use – You can have many benefits starting from accommodations to attachments, if you choose ride on lawn mowers. But one of the most important advantages is ease of use. Especially If you cannot strain your body to push things or stand for long. You can drive it like a car sitting comfortably while cutting the grass as per requirement. It is not just that these mowers reduce your physical strength, but these mowers also help you to cut the grasses in an even manner.
  • Easy to start – The ride on lawn mowers are started like a car. Therefore, you do not have to use your body strength to pull chord to start your lawn mowers.
  • Sun shade design – You may be sensitive to sun exposure and so, you feel really exhausted while choosing push lawn mowers under sun. These models can come with sun shade designs where you can rest and relax.
  • Work with precision – If you have ride on lawn mowers, you can cut large trees and shrubs with ease and precision on the first pass. They also come with several attachments which collect the fallen leaves of the trees and turn them into manure through their grinding features.

Apart from the above-mentioned features, you also need to keep comfort features in mind when purchasing ride on lawn mowers. A few important comfort features found in these lawn mowers are:

  • Cup holder
  • Lumbar support
  • Rubber foot pads
  • High back seat
  • Extended leg room
  • Armrests

ride on lawn mowers

The fountain of life

Again, depending on the region you are in, i.e. the amount of rainwater your soil can receive, you will need to water your lawn in order to keep a steady grass grow. What also plays an important role is the soil type. Not every grass requires the same amount of water. Don’t over-do it but also, if you don’t water it regularly it will wither. At the very beginning, be sure to water your grass on a daily basis. As for the watering schedule, the best time to do it is in the morning. Doing it in the evening just won’t cut it, since you will be left with mildew and fungus.

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These are just some basic tips. There are even some special grasses that require special watering schedule or a very particular soil type in order to succeed. Take into consideration what you read here and always go a step further with your research.

Living in Australia ensures social security, economic prosperity and a relaxed lifestyle. On top of that, being exposed to trends that dominate the Australian real estate market gives you a chance to grasp some of the most beautiful interior design solutions in the world. Since our continent-country is mostly situated on the coast, it is no wonder that most Australian homes are decorated in accordance in a laid-back, beachy way.

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Let the sunshine in

If you want your place to look like an average Australian beach home, one of the key features is to let the sunshine in. There is nothing more typical for a beach-oriented Aussie home than soft, light, white curtains. They prevent your home from excessive exposure to the sun, while still keeping it light and warm at the same time. After all, Australia is among the countries that receive a lot of sunlight, which should be used, but in a careful way.

In addition, if you live in a warmer climate, adding nicely varnished shutters is a great contrast to washed-grey or white curtains. Together they make a perfect combination for every home whose owner wants it to look like a beach house in Melbourne.

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Abeachcottage.com

Beach in colors

One of the most effective ways to evoke an Australian beach in your home is to enrich it with some typical beachy colors. Probably the first thing that depicts a typical beach near Sydeny or Brisbane is that gold-like sand. That can be the color of your furniture covers. When you lounge on your sofa, you will have a feeling that you are lying on Bondi Beach. Moreover, you walls should be painted in vanilla and peachy shades. Also, going for gentle vintage azure blue tones in your kitchen could is a great choice, too.

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When it comes to wooden furniture items, they should definitely be whitewashed. This color reflects the sun, preserving the furniture from ruin. Check some creative ideas for whitewashed, Australian-style beach furniture on Pinterest.

Accessories for sea feeling

If you want to make your home look like one of those beach bars near Sunshine Coast, you have to equip it with proper accessories. First of all, the materials you choose for your home accessories play an important role. You can’t miss with placemats or terrace chairs made from cane or bamboo. You just have to install a surfboard somewhere in your living room. It is one of the trademarks of Australian beaches.

Also, you can decorate your walls with some beautiful paintings or photos of Australian beaches. For example, printing a photo of an Australian beach in high resolution on a vintage paper could give that rustic, beachy look to your living room. Have a look at a gallery of photos with beaches selected by the Guardian. However, go easy on seashells and similar features. They are common-place decorations, which is why they should be avoided.

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David Moore

Plants for tropical heaven

What makes you aware that you are on an Australian beach is definitely those large tropical plants that are usually lined along beaches and placed in beach cafes. That is why you should go for a small palm tree or other similar tropical plants to make your living space look like a beach home. Moreover, you can also put the plant pots in open-weave baskets, which will perfectly match other beach-like accessories. But first check what tropical plants can live indoors.

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Decorating your home so as to make it radiate positive beach vibes is neither expensive nor demanding. It just takes some time and creativity. We have offered some ideas that can give every home a nice touch of beach homes Down Under.

Are you planning to renovate your home?  You want new curtains but you are worried about the maintenance. If your answer is YES, then you are in the right place 🙂 The days of traditional curtains are gone, as homeowners often switch to window blinds. They have become the latest interior trend, as they are not only easy to maintain but accentuate the overall look of the house. In fact, your home will get that modern look you are looking for. Aside from protection from sun rays, frost and biting wind, these blinds also help protecting your privacy.

Advantages of installing window blinds

  • Easy to clean

The advantage you’ll probably like is that they are very easy to clean as compared with the traditional curtains. You can clean the blinds without any complications. All you need is a damp cloth.

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  • Durability

The durability of blinds come into focus especially if you keep pets. They can easily tear apart the curtains. With blinds, this is not such an easy task. Blinds made of wood, steel, aluminum and even PVC are very durable and they cannot be easily destroyed by your companion.

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  • Easy to use

With just one easy hand motion, you can open and close the blinds without any hassles. This is very handy if you have children, as they cannot be confused with the blinds’ simple mechanics. The most fascinating part about these blinds is that they do not retain any smell and are perfect for kitchens. If you want to incorporate blinds into your kitchen, go with plastic ones.. Thus, your kitchen will never smell like rotten fish or french fries.

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  • Protection from sun

Blinds offer complete protection from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Once you have installed them your eyes will not be strained with bright sun rays. Now your afternoon naps (we all know you like having them) will be uninterrupted.

  • Aesthetic appeal

Without any doubt, window blinds add to the entire appearance of the house. Since they look neat, less messy and classy, they are perfect for modern homes. Additionally, you can get these blinds for your home in various colors and designs that can complement the interior style of each room. You can choose to buy different types of blinds for different areas. For instance, you can go for horizontal blinds for your study and vertical blinds for your living room.

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Maintenance 

  1. Regular dusting – Regular dusting helps keeping them look like new. Make sure you use a clean cloth for dusting though.
  2. Vacuuming them – Every couple of months, you can vacuum your blinds gently. Almost all vacuum cleaners come with brushes for curtains and blinds. Vertical strokes should get the job done.
  3. Spot cleaning – If your blinds got stained, use a soft, wet cloth to spot clean them. If need be, you can add some mild detergent soap to lukewarm water for cleaning purposes. However, stay clear of abrasive cleaning agents, as they can damage your blinds.
  4. Blinds cleaning products – If nothing works, your last bet is getting over-the-counter cleaning products especially made for blinds. However, when cleaning wooden blinds, stay clear of water. Instead, use lemon oil or a wood preserving cleaning agent for the job.
  5. You can also reduce static electricity in vinyl blinds by coating them with a thin film of a mild detergent.

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There you go, a short, albeit thorough, blinds review. If you have a trick up your sleeve for keeping the blinds new and clean, let us know in the comments.

Do you sometimes feel like you are drowning in garbage? Or that you cannot simply rid your home from all the unnecessary things? I, for once, had an issue with hoarding all kinds of things that were only piling up and making a huge mess in my home. After I have decided that it is truly time to make some changes in my life, I realized that the first step towards a clean mind is a clean house. If you too have an issue with a cluttered and messy house, I recommend taking a peak at these miraculous rules for a clutter free life:

Declitter 1

Do Not Put Off Until Tomorrow…

…what you can do today, right? Train yourself to be a responsible adult and do not procrastinate when it comes to cleaning and putting things away. No matter how tired you are, make sure not to hold off your duties until the next day, as this can quite simply turn in a regular routine.

The Best Memories Are Kept…

…inside your head and not inside your home. I had quite a trouble with grasping this idea, until I realized I cannot hoard every little object someone has given me. As hard as it was, I decided to make a photo shoot of all my precious belongings and memories and I keep those photographs in one photo album, that takes just a small amount of space in my bedroom.

Declutter 2

Categorization Is The Key

If there is one rule you should follow thoroughly then it is this one. The key to a successful organization is categorizing everything. Group things according to relevance, priority, similarities or whatever suits you and do not forget to mark them. See-through containers and labellers saved my life!

Keep It Functional

This rule is based on one simple question: “Do I need this?” Sometimes it becomes quite hard to part with certain items, but in order to live a clutter free life, it is important to think in a practical and functional way. So before you decide whether you should keep it or not, ask yourself does it really serve any purpose to you.

Declutter 2

Use Your Storage Wisely

There should always be a specific space in your house reserved for storage. Of course, make sure to make the most of this space. There is no point of having a storage facility that will not be functional. So keep in mind that even your storage space needs to be organized and tidy.

Minimalism Is In

One thing that helped me a lot when I started organizing my life was all the modern and contemporary designs that were becoming quite popular in the world. So I decided to try this new minimalistic trend, so I asked the local rubbish removal experts for some advice of ridding my house from all the unnecessary trash. And you know what? It works like a charm!

Declutter 4

Go Digital

Another great thing about this internet era is that it can help you a lot when it comes to storing files, documents and all other important paperwork. Before, there were papers scattered all over the place. And now, I simply rely on the good old digital storage to keep my files organized for me.

Be Charitable

In the end, it is important to ask yourself if perhaps there is someone out there who needs those things more than you. Be charitable; do not hesitate to do a good deed and help someone who needs it.

So these are my magical rules of leading a clutter free life. They worked for me, so I surely hope they will help you organize your life as well.

Renting a home shouldn’t make you care less about it. If you don’t look after your space, you can’t expect the tenants to do the same. Empty property and a loss of income is something no landlord wants.  A well-kept one is not likely to receive such fate, and aesthetically pleasing homes will make it easier for tenants to accept the rental price. Hence, go ahead and decorate with style, aiming at those groups who might be your most likely customers.

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Image source: www.houzz.se

Rental facts and figures

More and more people are giving up on owning a property, and rents have risen rapidly in recent years.  It is estimated that there are 11 million private renters in England alone and by 2032 private landlords will own one in every three homes in the whole UK. Half of the 25 to 34 years-old population rent their homes, which is why the university towns are a fertile ground for investment. There, tenants often bid against each other and push the rents up.

Being a landlord comes with both many benefits and responsibilities indeed, and you need to be aware of your legal rights and obligations. Rental property must be, for example, safe to live in and free from potential health hazards. Still, many landlords fail to give accurate information on things like decoration to tenants and this gives rise to redecoration disputes. On the other hand, a thorough account of the décor and a clearly defined tenancy agreement prevent disputes and other unpleasant situations.

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Image source: homesick.nu

A long-lasting investment

According to industry guidelines, the landlords should make an effort to redecorate every three to five years. The responsibility, at least the financial one, lies with them, unless a tenant has caused damage that calls for redecoration. Keep in mind that what many students and younger generations want is a neutral blank canvas they can add their own personality to. It means that you should refrain from turning the place into your personal retreat full of statement pieces.

The focus should be on practical and durable solutions. A long-lasting property that endures all the trials and temptations of tenants is the best investment there is. Thus, a healthy balance between durability and visual appeal spurs best long term benefits for landlords.

Don’t go overboard with furnishing and stocking the property, because it won’t add much value to it. Your decorating budget should depend on your monthly income from rents. Yet, don’t get discouraged by high up-front costs and avoid things like shinny but cheap fittings- they are a false economy. The same goes for bathroom fittings- this is not the area where you should try to cut the costs.

A bulk of landlords tends to ignore the flooring because it’s costly, but it’s the part of the home that is most prone to damage due to physical contact. Bear in mind that floor tiles are sturdier than paint or laminate, and should be the only solution in moist rooms like bathrooms and kitchens. They are also easy to maintain, even more so if they are dark-coloured.

Furthermore, note that unlike most families, students don’t bring their own furniture. It should be in a good decorative order and kept clean. Not every piece can be trendy, but try to replace the unfashionable ones. It’s best if the furniture is versatile and can fit in a variety of places. Also, don’t forget that as a landlord, you are responsible for the fire safety of all the furniture and furnishings. If it was made before 1989, it probably doesn’t meet the safety regulations.

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Image source: decoholic.org

United colours

Light paints and carpets might give the illusion that the space is bigger and cleaner, but this trick has a short lifespan. It’s quite difficult to keep light walls and carpets clean, and they are most likely to become murky in a matter of months. Then you would have to come up with some money for repainting or replacing, something your budget could do without.

Go for mid-toned greys or browns which go excellent with most of the other colours, and remember that natural lighting complements them well. Apart from the blessings of the Mother Nature, make good use of other sources of light. Proper lighting is crucial for every living space, so invest in lamps and funky lampshades, or brighten up your space with some pendant light. Led lighting products are always a smart solution, since they are economical, yet trendy.

An alternative for bringing life into outdated rooms with poor colour palette is fabric. Use wall coverings to give a fresh look to the place, and you can easily remove them if you are not overly satisfied with the results.  This inexpensive solution sure can save landlords the headaches and provide tenants with a more pleasing living environment.

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Image source: decoholic.org

Safe and sound

Rising house prices create a great demand for rental spaces, but tenants still want to see some style and substance. Spend your pennies wisely, and stick to your decorating budget. At the same time, have in mind that redecoration increases the rental’s property value and makes it easier to rent the space. It’s thus in every landlord’s best interest to treat the rental space as his own living area. Create a safe and visually appealing living environment that will please your target audience and make sure you enjoy the perks of being a landlord for many years to come.

Your older home may be full of charm with its original woodwork, stunning light fixtures, leaded glass windows, and built-in seating in the dining area, but what your beloved home doesn’t have is space. For many modern homeowners, who love the look of classic early to mid-century 1900’s architecture, the obvious lack of storage space and the small bathroom or kitchens leaves many homeowners considering a big home improvement project. As with any remodeling project, it’s important to know what (or if any) dangers lurk behind the walls or beneath the floorboards. One of these dangers is asbestos.

If you live in a home that was constructed between the 1930’s and 1970’s, there’s a good chance that some of the materials contain asbestos and can be found throughout your home. While the mineral fiber, used for its heat and fire resistant properties, is no longer widely used in home construction materials, it can pose a threat to your health if it is in poor condition. Before you begin tearing out a wall or ripping up some flooring, make sure you’re not disturbing materials that contain it.

Asbestos fibres
Asbestos fibres

Where is Asbestos in Your Home?

Asbestos can be on your roof, in your attic, in your ceilings, on the walls, in the kitchen, and even in the basement. Before you panic, halt your home improvement project, and put the house on the market, it’s important to know where to look for asbestos and how to identify if it’s hazardous or not.

While asbestos exposure has been known to lead to deadly lung diseases like mesothelioma, The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that asbestos is typically harmless if it is in good condition and left undisturbed. Here are some of the places where asbestos may be located in your home:

  • Blown-in attic insulation, such as vermiculite
  • Vinyl or linoleum floor tiles
  • Window caulking
  • Roofing material, such as tar paper
  • Heating and Cooling duct insulation
  • Siding materials
  • Acoustic ceiling tiles
  • Textured paints
  • Artificial embers in gas fireplaces
  • Door gaskets in wood stoves or furnaces

The best way to determine whether or not the materials are damaged is to look for tears, abrasions, or water damage. If you suspect damaged asbestos materials in your home, don’t disturb them or try to remove the material on your own.

The beginning of a renovation project
Renovation

Call Professionals Before You Start the Renovation Project

Even if you are certain that asbestos is located in your home, but is in good condition, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional asbestos inspector before making any changes to your home. Failure to seek professional advice can increase your chances of unintentional and potentially dangerous exposure to asbestos. Upon inspection, he or she will determine the condition of any asbestos in your home and will advise you if you can go ahead with the home improvement or hold the project until you have the asbestos removed.

Before you go ahead and try to make the most of your attic space or rip up the old linoleum in your kitchen, make sure you’re given the “go ahead” by a professional for the safety and health of yourself and your family.

 

About the author: Landon Biehl is an avid writer, and enjoys spreading awareness for health issues on a global level. He enjoys informing others on potential health hazards that are not always speculated. In his free time, Landon enjoys kayaking, running, and being outdoors. Landon also enjoys spending time at his local beach when time permits.

Feature image credit: Flickr