Effective Home Organization Tips to Get Rid of Clutter

Are you at the end of your rope with the clutter around your home? Don’t let it get the best of you. Here are some organization tips to help you de-clutter your home.

Clutter tends to build up gradually, and before you know it, a molehill has turned into a mountain. But don’t fret. The best way to tackle
b2ap3_thumbnail_clutter-150x150clutter is in manageable chunks. Try doing a little bit every day; this way it won’t feel like such a chore.

Start by picking one room, preferably a storage space, and work in this room for your daily de-cluttering sessions – it’ll be clear before you know it! One logical reason why you’d want to start with a storage space is that then you’ll have somewhere to put other items you’ll undoubtedly find around your house.

Try to look at objects impartially and without so much emotion. Do you really need that Christmas ornament from 1992? How many similar objects do you already own? Remember, you’re trying to get rid of clutter, so if you have a tendency to hold onto stuff, you have to be a little ruthless. Why not donate unwanted clothing or items to charity, recycle, or sell things online? And for the items you are donating, recycling or selling, make sure you keep them in a designated spot where they won’t get mixed up with the stuff you want to keep. Furthermore, make sure you carry out your intention to find a better home for them.

One of the worst clutter culprits is paper. Organize your documents with paper trays – outgoing and filing (the latter of which, you’ll
b2ap3_thumbnail_paper-trays-150x150need a decent filing cabinet for). Pay bills on time by using a calendar and journal. And by far the most important step to eliminating clutter – recycle the paper you don’t need (taking care to shred any sensitive documents).

When you buy something new, find a good home for it – a place where you know it fits, and where you’ll be able to find it. Is it to replace something? If so, get rid of the old one, don’t just store it somewhere with the intention of taking care of it later; you’ll most likely forget or put it off, creating more clutter.

Hopefully with these quick and easy-to-remember home organization tips, you’ll be able to keep your house free of clutter. And once you’ve freed yourself from the confines of clutter, you won’t want to go back.

Simple Home & Garden Decorating Ideas to Spruce Up Your Home

Home and garden decorating is a hot topic and growing … as evidenced by current television programming. Not only are there more and more home-related television shows on the air than there were 10 years ago, there are even entire channels dedicated to the home – HGTV and DIY Network, to name just two.

Television shows dedicated to beautifying the home are both interesting and helpful for people who are looking for ideas for their home and garden. These shows take everyday living spaces and transform them into attractive and inviting places. And because many of these programs work with a limited budget, they further help people realize that home and garden decorating can be accomplished without going to great expense. They also demonstrate that even small changes can make an enormous difference.

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Home and garden decorating usually involves many different materials – paint, fabric, wood, tile, furniture, accessories – and can often intimidate homeowners who don’t feel as though they are “creative” enough to pull it all together. However, with so many home and gardening programs, magazines, books and catalogs available, homeowners are starting to understand that they don’t need to have a lot of creative skill to pull off a room makeover. In fact, some of the best changes you can make to a room are the simple ones.

Here are a few simple home and garden decorating tips that produce big changes:

  • The home and garden should complement each other. If a beautiful garden exists outside, why not bring that beauty inside by displaying fresh-cut flowers from your garden throughout your home. Flowers provide a lovely, fresh scent and add color to any space.
  • Bring the warmth of your indoor living space outside using luminary candles, or string white lights around a decorative patio tree. The soft glow of light is always welcoming on a warm summer evening while you entertain your friends and family.
  • If you have a collection that you have spent years gathering, dedicate a place to tastefully arrange and display them – for all to enjoy. Conversely, if you have a lot of “clutter” in a room (such as hundreds of DVDs, CDs or magazines), you may want to find new homes for them). Something as simple as removing the unneeded items from a room can greatly improve the look of it.
  • Outside, if you have overgrown bushes or invasive trees, consider relocating them or cutting them down. You can also add window boxes to the front of your home for added charm.
  • Walls looking dingy? Brighten them up with a fresh coat of paint.
  • If you have a wooden deck, replace wooden planks that are warped or splintered. Give your deck a good power-wash to remove all the mold, dirt and mildew, and then finish up the job by giving it a new coat of stainand/or weatherproofing that complements the exterior color of your home.
  • Change out the accessories around your home – light switch plates and electrical socket covers, kitchen knobs, door handles and hinges.

Remember, there are many simple home and garden decorating ideas that you can do – in just a few hours. These simple changes will greatly transform the look of your yard and enhance the curb appeal of your home.

Under Cabinet Eco-light Fixtures

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Every homeowner wants to find that one must-have feature – a product for the home that both saves money and increases appeal. If this describes you, perhaps you should look into under cabinet eco-light fixtures.

What are under cabinet eco-light fixtures?

Just as the name implies, these fixtures are placed under cabinets for optimal location and projection of light, and rather than using halogen or fluorescent light, they utilize an eco-friendly LED lighting. You’ll most often notice under the cabinet lighting in the kitchen – where lighting is essential for safety.

What are the advantages of under cabinet eco-light fixtures?

Businesses have been using this type of light fixture for quite some time, but homeowners are quickly realizing the wide range of advantages that can help save money and increase a home’s appeal.
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  • Low Energy Requirement – Although the cost of LED illumination is roughly the same as other options, these lights require a low amount of energy to own and are, therefore, eco-friendly.
  • Cost Effective –These lights can be used at nominal temperatures.  This low amount of energy use, as illustrated above, translates to a lower cost.
  • Minimal Repair – LED lights are extremely stable, so there is little chance that any kind of repair will need to be done.
  • Aesthetically Pleasing –These eco-friendly fixtures are painstakingly constructed to provide an attractive, welcome addition to any home.
  • Comfort – The LED lighting utilized by these fixtures matches that of sunlight. This natural lighting makes people feel at ease. Just as real sunlight releases pleasurable hormones, so do these fixtures.
  • Sharp Details – Due to the natural white lighting, everything in the surrounding area is illuminated. Unlike other lighting options, such as halogen or fluorescent, this illumination improves the clarity of every object in the room, bringing everything into sharp focus.

As you can see, under cabinet eco-light fixtures offers a lot of appeal and is also a cost efficient ways to improve your home.

5 Steps to Organizing Your Garage

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The garage is that one place where all of the clutter seems to gather. It is a convenient location to store things – rakes, bikes, dog food – and they get pushed into a corner or against the wall. But before you know it, you have an ill-functioning area that is full of clutter and disarray.

When you start to organize your garage, you should keep in mind that this activity means designating a place for everything while keeping your goods available for everyday use. The following are five steps to help convert your garage from clutter to clean.

#1 – Sort your items.
To begin, sort and categorize all the items in your garage. The easiest way to do this is to completely empty your garage so you can see everything you have. Separate the tools from the sporting equipment, and the garden supplies from the household goods, and you will quickly realize how much stuff you have. Only then will you be able to determine the best ways to organize and store everything.

Misplaced items in your garage should be returned to their proper place. Also take note of the things that don’t belong in the garage – and find a new home for them (by relocating them to the basement or attic). For the items you no longer want or need, you can recycle them, donate them or set them aside to sell at the next community yard sale.

#2 – Separate seasonal items and equipment.
To keep lawn maintenance tools accessible yet out of the way, install a special rack on which to hang them. Near the beginning of every season, rotate out the equipment that you’ll no longer need and bring in the tools you will need. For instance, if winter is coming, it is good to have snow tools like snow blowers, ice scrapers and snow shovels handy (and the fun toys like skis, snowboards and sleds close, too). The basic principle is to store the items that you use on a regular basis in a way that makes them accessible every time you need them – without creating clutter.

b2ap3_thumbnail_clutter-free-garage#3 – Add shelving units and cabinets.

When organizing your garage, consider adding additional storage space to help keep the garage tidy. Shelves and cabinets can be mounted on the walls. Also, think vertically: shelves can be mounted above where the hood of your car gets parked to store those less-used items such as camping equipment, Christmas decorations or partially used cans of paint.

#4 – Create a workshop.
If you regularly use your garage as a workshop, why not dedicate an area just for this purpose? Install (or build) a workbench or table, hang a pegboard for tools and keep a sturdy toolbox easily accessible.

 

#5 – Relocate trash and recycling bins near the garage.b2ap3_thumbnail_work-bench

To easily dispose of unwanted items from your garage, relocate the trash and recycling bins to near your garage entrance. This way you won’t be tempted to keep certain items simply because the trash bins are too far away.

When organizing your garage, keep in mind that there are many pre-fabricated storage options available at home improvement stores. However, if you want your space customized, hire a handyman to custom-build storage to your specific needs. Although it might be an investment, the long-term benefits of having a fully-functioning garage will be well worth it

Energy Guzzlers: Your Home’s Big Three

It may feel like a lifetime ago, but there was a time when the electric bill was referred to as the light bill. Those were the days when electricity was used mainly for lighting because there were few other appliances in the home that consumed a lot of energy.  Not so today. There are too many conveniences that we have come to depend on today that make our lives easier.

However, the price we pay for these modern-day conveniences comes in the form of an electric bill that seems to get higher every year. Part of that is the age we live in; fossil fuels cost more today than they did even just a few years ago. But the other reason is that we are simply using more electricity than ever before.

The biggest energy user is our heating and cooling system. In fact, in warmer climates, air conditioning alone typically accounts for more
b2ap3_thumbnail_AC than half of a household’s total electric bill. Both your heating and cooling units have “lifespans” and if you home is creeping up on 10 years or more, you may want to consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient one. Although the investment of a new system can seem (at first) difficult to swallow, over time, the energy (and money) you save with a more efficient unit will exceed the up-front costs.

If you decide to invest in a new furnace and/or air conditioner, consult with a professional. Not only will they be able to properly size the system to your house, but they will also be able to address any “cold or hot spots” in your house and make those fixes at the same time as the install. Remember, it isn’t just about conserving your energy bill, it is just as important to keep your family comfortable, too.

Another way to conserve energy is by installing a programmable thermostat. The thermostat can be specifically programmed to fit your family’s lifestyle. During the weekdays, you may have one routine that you program (so you are not excessively heating or cooling your home when no one is home) while you may select a different program when you are home on the weekends.  This is also handy to have when you are away on vacation. You can set it more appropriately when you are gone and then set it to return to “normal” when you are scheduled to return home. Again, these little tricks will conserve energy and save you money over time.

Another electric guzzler is the electric water heater. A traditional tank, whether it is gas or electric, keeps the entire tank of water
b2ap3_thumbnail_water-heater-300x221heated 24/7/365 whether you use the water or not. Today, there are several alternatives to the traditional model. Tank-less water heaters are available and can be installed for the entire house or smaller on-demand models can be installed under the kitchen sink, for example.

Other options for water heaters include high-efficiency gas water heaters, such as A.O. Smith’s Vertex™ which provides continuous hot water shower after shower. There are also solar water heater options.

Refrigerator and freezers are both guilty of guzzling electricity, especially if it was manufactured before 2001. Be sure to replace your old model with a more energy efficient one by looking for the Energy Star® label. Top freezers use less energy than the side-by-side or bottom models. Save even more energy if you can skip the ice maker and dispenser.

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