Category Tips From the Pros

8 Ways to Reduce Clutter

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this month’s Tips from the Pros about ways to reduce clutter.

Everyday habits can drastically reduce clutter if you stick to it. By doing some simple tasks that take only a few minutes each day you will be able to get rid of the piles of laundry, stacks of dishes and towers of mail.

reduce clutter in bedroom

Let go of the idea that everything needs to be perfect. A home that is manageable is not only achievable, but much more realistic.

  1. Write out a to do list for each day, preferably the night before, with everything you need to do. Prioritize everything so even if you don’t get through the list, you at least do the most important tasks. Check the list throughout the day. Cross off things you did and watch how productive you are...
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Fake it ’til you make it

fake it 'til you make it

Thanks to the Toolbox Tomgirl for this issue of Tips from the Pros, about how long appliances typically last.

“Fake it ’til you make it.” I have no idea who said those words to me first. I remember hearing them when I was a kid and thinking they were so stupid. Some adult must have made them up to make me feel better about some sport I was trying to play. I always sucked at sports. I had no skill and was the sister of the captain of the football team. That should tell you enough.

When I became an adult and wanted to become part of the man’s world of construction those words were REALLY important to me. I had to fake it because I had a lot to learn and I didn’t want to look like an idiot. I knew I had to at least “look” like I knew what I was doing...

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Staged to Sell

Thanks to Rachel Wiederhold, ASP of 5 Star Staging, LLC for being our guest blogger!

before and after home staging

Images courtesy of 5 Star Staging, LLC.

So you’re selling your home. It’s a great house, perfect location, wonderful neighborhood, highly rated school district, there’s no reason to do anything more to do to place it on the real estate market, right? WRONG!!

Factors to consider

Does your home look like it could be in a magazine? If you said yes, then I’ll take back my WRONG.

Take a picture of your living, dining, kitchen, and bedrooms. Do they look picture perfect? Do they look spacious? Does the furniture arrangement look open and inviting? Is there any clutter? Are there too many pieces of furniture? Is your wall color and décor neutral? Are there any personal pictures, awards or religious symbols?

Depe...

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How long will it last?

appliances and how long they last

Image courtesy toolboxtomgirl.com

Thanks to the Toolbox Tomgirl for this issue of Tips from the Pros, about how long appliances typically last.

This time of year we find out about leaking roofs, HVAC systems that don’t want to cool, and if luck has it and we had a great tax refund, we buy new appliances. I remind you to buy quality products from a reputable company. Remember to check licenses and warranties.

If you do your homework you can expect your money to be wisely invested. Below is the list of common “major” expenditures around your home and how long you can expect them to last.

Heating (let’s hope you don’t this now that spring is in the air)

  • Forced air furnace – 10 to 25 years
  • Water boiler (welded steel) 15 to 30 years
  • Water boiler (cast iron) 30 to 50 years

Ai...

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Your parents’ stuff

Last month there was an article published about how “no one wants your parents’ stuff.”  I’m not sure I agree with that. Often, when a loved one goes into assisted living or passes away, the heirs must go through the home and figure out what to keep, sell or donate. Many times people DO want objects that come along with cherished memories.

You might not be able to use these things or have space for them. Objects that are unwanted can go to a variety of places. Donating furniture, clothing, tools and even cars can be thoughtful gifts as well as tax deductible.

Pieces of art, furniture, silverware, china, jewelry, fur coats an...

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Easy to follow painting tips for painting a room

Thanks to the Toolbox Tomgirl for this episode of Tips from the Pros, about painting a room.
Comfortable marriage bed in luxury elegant bedroom

Have you ever walked into a room and saw, black…if not a very deep burgundy wall color….what was your first reaction!?!? Maybe, scream…run away…thinking – “How will I ever be able to cover this up!?!?”

First, let me start off by saying that if you are going over a dark color you will need to use a primer to cover the old color, or you will get a blend of the two colors (old + new) and it may not look like what you were expecting. (And yes, I know this from experience – the wall turned out like baby throw up….yuck.) Also, spackle and fill any nail holes or imperfections. Be sure to sand smooth your areas and use a tack cloth to remove the drywall dust)...

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organize your power cords

Untangling power cords

Thanks to Aim4Order for this month’s Tips from the Pros about organizing the many power cords around the house. Gain some organizational skills to help you keep your home in order.

There is no escape from the technology these days. We all have a lot of electronics in our homes. Keeping the power cords from becoming a tangled mess can be a challenge.

A television with a cable box and DVR or Blu-ray can have a mass of intertwined wires coming from the back of it. Same with a desktop computer. It can have a wire for the printer, external devices and modem. Game consoles have cord issues as well.

Display the wires in an organized way, hide or disguise them or else you will have an eyesore on your desk or behind your tv...

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Products made in the USA

made in USAThanks to the Toolbox Tomgirl for this episode of Tips from the Pros, about buying products made in the USA.

As a handywoman I am always reading various magazines on new products and trends in building and construction. Recently I was surprised to read in my Green Builder magazine about how rare it is to find a green building material made in America.

Green Builder magazine sent out an invitation to over 2,000 companies encouraging them to share information about their American-made green products, receiving only a few dozen submissions. The conclusion is that U.S. made green products are a rare and special breed, even though they are making use of the triple advantage of creating domestic jobs, reducing the impact of overseas shipping and making use of locally sourced raw materials...

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Tips from the Pros: Organize your refrigerator

Thanks to Aim4Order for this month’s Tips from the Pros about organizing for disorganized people. Gain some organizational skills to help you keep your home in order.

organize your refrigerator

Your refrigerator is an important part of your kitchen and your life. Keeping it organized is something that will help your days go more smoothly because you will be able to find whatever you need.

Refrigerator basics

Different areas of the fridge are warmer or cooler. The temperature of the door fluctuates, so the most sensitive items should never be stored there. Jars of mayo, ketchup and beverages do well on the door where meats and milk never go there. The bottom shelf is usually the most constant and cool location although checking the temperature in different areas will let you know for sure.

Meat and seafood wor...

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keep your home safe and warm this winter

Tips from the Pros: Staying Warm Safely

Thanks to Toolbox Tomgirl for this episode of Tips from the Pros staying safe while keeping warm this winter.

Although I personally have converted my wood burning fireplace to a pellet stove to supplement my electric heat, I want to offer some safety tips to those of you that are still using wood stoves and fireplaces. Because more than one-third of us are using wood burning stoves, fireplaces and other fuel burning appliances as a primary heat source, I feel it important to know some basic rules. Also, statistics show that heating fires account for 36 percent of residential home fires in rural areas every year.

With that said, please consider the following:

  1. Have your chimney, wood stove (and pellet stove) heating flues inspected and cleaned annually by a certified and licensed chimn...
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