Carla Ness' Blog
Houses today are built larger than ever. In spite of all the extra rooms, homeowners still have one common complaint: not enough storage space.
When house hunting, buyers often name storage space as one of their key concerns. As nest-makers, we often find it difficult to part ways with toys for our kids, exercise machines that are collecting dust, or old appliances that “still work” but no longer worked for us. That leaves homeowners with two options: rent a storage facility or make room.
Taking on an extra monthly bill just to store things that you aren’t using isn’t an idea that sits well with most homeowners who are already inundated with monthly expenses. But how can you create more space in your home than you already have? The answer lies somewhere up near the ceiling.
In this article, we’ll talk about the vertical space in your home and how to take advantage of it without making things appear cluttered.
When and when not to use vertical space
Before we give you vertical storage tips, first let’s talk about where you don’t want to stack the boxes high.
Rooms where you have guest and the places in your home where you spend the most time aren’t the ideal place for vertical storage. The living room, bathrooms, and bedrooms are all places where you need room to breathe. We often recommend light colors, open windows, and mirrors to improve the usage of space in these rooms. However, there are other places in your home that aren’t frequented as often.
“Where am I going to put this thing?”
That’s a questions many of us ask ourselves when we make a new purchase. Let’s start outside the house and work out way in, hitting all of the best areas to store things.
The garage or shed
If you have a shed or garage, odds are there’s a lot of space up toward the ceiling you aren’t using. A good way to take advantage of this is to use shelving and hooks for your tools.
If you’re a cyclist but can’t figure out where to store your bikes during the winter, consider buying hooks so that you can store them up out of the way of the more useful winter items like shovels and snow blowers.
Kitchen cabinets can get cluttered easily. Inside your cabinets, try using stacking shelves to make it easier to stack high things like plates and bowls. For frequently used utensils, pots, and pans, and knives, consider installing a hook board on the wall above your counter. This will open up room in your cabinets and make your frequently used kitchen tools more accessible.
The bathroom closet can be a scary place. It is often home to countless cleaning objects, dirty laundry, towels, and more.
One great way to open up a lot of space in the bathroom closet is to hang laundry baskets on the interior of the closet door, or to hang mops, sweepers, and vacuums on the interior of the door for easy access.
Now that you know the benefits of vertical storage, think about how you can use it in your home to save space.
We live in the 21st century and the age of technology, this we know. But, what some sellers still do not realize is the importance of properly staged and well taken photos. The photos that you place online with your home’s listing can make or break a buyer’s interest. If you do not feel confident in your own ability to take the photos then you may want to consider hiring a photographer. However, if you feel capable of taking the photos that will be a buyer’s first look, then review the pointers below.
1. Proper lighting: Proper lighting when taking photos is essential. The lighting can completely alter the look of a home; a poorly lit room can look older and smaller than it actually is. To avoid this, try taking photos during the daytime when there is plenty of natural light, but when the sun is not beating into the room as it can cause shadows. The natural light is an ideal situation, as different lightbulbs give off different levels and color of light.
2. Avoid blurry photos: Posting out of focus photos to your listing is asking for a buyer to overlook your home. They are not only uncomplimentary but detrimental to a buyer’s interest. Make sure to keep the camera or phone (only high-end phones) steady and have proper lighting when taking the photos. It would be best to utilize a tripod or a stabilizer, if you have access to one.
3. Choose your angles wisely: All too often photos are shot up close on a feature in the room. This does not give the buyer an accurate depiction of what the room truly looks like. It’s hard to tell its size and its shape. Try standing in a doorway or inside of a closet, so you are able to photograph most of the room. But, be sure not to use a wide-angle camera lens, as it can distort the room and give buyers a false pretense of its size.
4. Remove clutter: Taking photos of your home for your online listing while there is clutter all over is not the best way to showcase your home. It will make your rooms look smaller and be harder for one to visualize his/her belongings in that space.
5. Remove personal items: When selling your home, you want buyers to be able to envision themselves living there. It’s important to remove overly personal items for open houses and it’s also important to do so when taking photographs of your home.
These are just a couple pointers for taking photos that peak buyers’ interests in your home. If you are very inexperienced in photography,be sure to do additional research, so you are taking the best photos possible.And again, if you’re unsure of your ability, it might be best to leave it to the professional—as a first impression is everything.
For those of us looking for small ways that we can contribute to an eco-friendly society, recycling is one of the best places to start. Since its inception in the 1970s, recycling technology has come a long way, making it easier than ever for consumers to recycle their household waste.
Although the excuses for not recycling are dwindling, there still can be a learning curve. Depending on where you live, there might be certain requirements you have to meet for your recycling to actually make it to the plant. And, in spite of the fact that we can now effectively recycle more materials than ever, there are still some items that you shouldn’t toss in the recycling bin.
If you’re new to recycling or just want to learn more about what you can and cannot recycle, read on.
Rules and regulations may vary
Let’s begin with a disclaimer: recycling isn’t the same everywhere. While many cities have free recycling and curbside pickup programs, some smaller towns and suburbs do not. In these instances, recycling is often a service provided by waste management companies in your area at a small added fee to your monthly garbage pickup bill.
What is single-sort recycling?
If you’re new to recycling, odds are you’re imagining having to sort out paper from plastic and metal and so on. However, due to single-sort recycling (also known as “no-sort” and “zero-sort” recycling) you don’t have to worry about putting different items in different bins.
With single-sort recycling, you can put everything in the same container and it will later be sorted automatically at a recycling facility using complex machinery.
What can I recycle?
Generally, the following items are now able to be recycled. However, you should follow the guidelines provided by your recycling company or municipal recycling facility.
Aluminum cans and foil.
2.7 million tons of aluminum is discarded each year, half of which gets processed at a recycling facility. The benefit of recycling aluminum is that it is 100% recyclable, so nothing is lost in the process. At the facility, aluminum cans, foil, and other products are shredded up and turned into small chips of aluminum that can be sent back for production and reuse.
Paper and cardboards.
Magazines, newspaper, cardboard, office paper, and juice cartons are just some of the paper goods that can be recycled. In the U.S., we recycling a large percentage of our paper goods due to the collection of newspapers. One item that people often toss in the recycling bin that isn’t able to be recycling is food containers that have food and grease seeped into them.
Most glass items are recyclable. However, crystal glass, heat-resistant glass, and ceramic items (like plates and mugs) are not able to be recycled at a facility and should either be repurposed or tossed out.
Electronics and batteries.
While you might not be able to toss most of these items in your recycling bin, there are several simple ways to recycle electronics and batteries. Calling your local appliance store, automotive retailers, and electronics stores like Best Buy often will take certain items for reuse and recycling.
Before you sell your home, you may want to invest in property upgrades. That way, you can enhance your residence both inside and out and boost your chances of enjoying a fast, profitable house selling experience.
Ultimately, there are many questions to consider prior to investing in home improvements. These questions include:
1. Which home improvements should I prioritize?
It may be beneficial to have a professional home inspector evaluate your residence. Because if you receive a home inspection report, you can learn about your residence's strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps most important, you can use this report to establish home improvement priorities.
There is no shortage of qualified home inspectors available in cities and towns nationwide. If you reach out to a home inspector today, you can take the first step to identify and address various problems throughout your house.
2. How much should I spend on home improvements?
Although you would like to improve your residence as much as possible, there is only a finite amount of money at your disposal to allocate to property improvements. If you create a home improvement budget, however, you may be better equipped than ever before to get the most out of your available funds.
Also, it is important to remember that some home improvements are quick and simple to complete. If you can perform home upgrades on your own, you may be able to save money in comparison to hiring a professional contractor to complete these tasks for you.
3. How much time should I commit to home improvements?
Think about when you want to list your home. Next, you can craft a home improvement timeline that allows you to determine which property upgrades you want to complete and when you want to finish these projects.
Generally, it is helpful to give yourself as much time as you can to perform home improvements. And if you have sufficient time to complete home upgrades, you'll ensure that these tasks are always finished correctly.
As you get ready to list your residence, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can examine your house and offer home improvement recommendations and suggestions. Furthermore, a real estate agent may be able to put you in touch with the best home improvement professionals in your area.
A real estate agent provides comprehensive assistance throughout the property selling journey as well. He or she will help you list your residence and promote it to the right groups of buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you analyze this homebuying proposal and determine the best course of action.
Ready to transform your ordinary home into an attractive option for buyers? Allocate time and resources to perform home improvements – you'll be glad you did. If you upgrade your residence, you can show off the true beauty of your house and increase the likelihood of a successful property selling experience.
Doing a home improvement or renovation is a great way to add value to your home while learning something new. If you decide to DIY, you can enlist the help of your family and learn together.
But, when you’re taking on a task you’ve never done before, there’s a lot that can go wrong. You might go over budget, or the project might take significantly longer than expected. Sometimes we start jobs that we don’t have the expertise (or permits) to finish and have to call in a professional sinking more time and money into what was supposed to be an inexpensive renovation.
To help you avoid some of these common pitfalls, we’ve provided these tips for running a successful home improvement project so you can focus on your renovation and not on the headaches that come with it.
1. Know when to call the experts
Undertaking a do-it-yourself project can be fun and rewarding. However, some tasks are better left to the professionals. Plumbing and electrical mistakes, in particular, can be dangerous and costly if you get it wrong. You don’t want to disregard the safety of you, your family, and your belongings just to save money on hiring a professional.
2. Call the best expert for the job
Call multiple professionals for a quote before accepting an offer.
If you received what seems a very low quote for a job, make sure to call other experts in the industry to see how much they would charge for the job. Getting an unusually low offer could be a sign that the contractor will rush the project or use cheap materials.
Alternatively, if you receive a quote that seems too high, the contractor may have a busy schedule or might not really want the job, so they’ve offered you a price they don’t expect you to take.
Regardless of who you choose, see if you can find reviews and testimonials to make sure you’ve selected a contractor who is professional and has good customer feedback.
3. Aim high with your budget
When homeowners take on a renovation, they tend to underestimate the costs. To avoid being shocked by going over budget, estimate what you think the total costs would be and then at another twenty percent. That twenty percent could account for damaged building materials, mistakes, or last-minute changes and customizations--all are frequent on DIY projects.
4. Don’t work without a design or blueprint
Even for simple home improvement projects, it’s best to start out with a plan. Having detailed measurements and drawings to refer to will help you avoid costly mistakes. We’ve all felt the temptation to “eyeball it” when working on a project--taking the extra few minutes to measure and refer to your plan will save you time in the long run.
5. Relax and focus on the results
Home improvement projects can be a source of frustration for many families. If you aren’t an expert, it’s easy to get angry when things aren’t going as you planned. If you find yourself frequently hitting a wall-literally or figuratively--step back from the project and refocus on the end goal, improving your home for years to come.