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How To Organize Your Home Office

How To Organize Your Home Office

A home office can be a great idea for your house, especially if you or your partner work from home. It’s important to keep your office welcoming, organized and clutter-free. Here are some tips to keep your productivity flowing and your home office organized.

Sort Paper

Clear your work space and keep it de-cluttered by sorting through the papers currently on your desk. Separate your papers into three piles: toss, file and to-do. Review the papers in your file pile to see if you can scan and store them digitally. If not, label a file folder and store them physically in an organized manner. For your toss pile, make sure to shred any papers containing sensitive information. For the papers in your to-do pile, make sure they are orderly and within easy reach.

Organize Your Bookshelf

Take inventory of all your books, returning any you borrowed from the library or from friends. Take this chance to decide which books you wish to keep and which ones you can give away or donate. For an attractive design look, try sorting your books by colour.

Create A Colour-Coded Filing System

It’s a good idea to adopt a colour-coded filing system for all the papers you can’t digitize. Some useful filing categories are financial, medical, personal, insurance, pet, auto, home and manuals. On your computer, sort your files using the same categories and colours to keep things simple.

Get Creative

Some home offices have limited space, so it’s important to use every inch. For extra space, look above and behind items. Use wall space to hang calendars, whiteboards and shelves. Hang a rack behind the door for extra filing space.

Try Wireless

Too many cables can become challenging, so try wireless electronics whenever possible. This can include a wireless printer, mouse and keyboard. This means you can also put these electronics anywhere in the room, giving your office more flexibility.

Functional Furniture

Another way to maximize space and efficiency is to have functional furniture. Tables, chairs and filing cabinets with wheels provide lots of flexibility. Try and think about what furniture appeals to you and can keep you organized every day.

Keep It Labelled

Labelling files, boxes and containers is key to office organization. Also remember to keep it specific, as this will make sure you remember the information. For example, when labelling a box, if possible include a name, date and location.

Keep Your Desk De-Cluttered

A cluttered desk can hurt creativity and keep you from finding what you need. Make sure there is space on your desk and everything is put away in a neat fashion, including papers, books and office supplies.

Stay Cozy

Although your home office may be a practical and professional space, it’s important to keep it styled to your tastes. You want to feel comfortable in your office, and making it look its best is a good step. Choose neutral colors that are soothing, such as blue or white, and add decorative items that inspire. This can include framed photos, stylish wicker baskets, or textured pillows and throws.

Set Aside Some Time  

One way to keep your office organized is setting aside ten minutes at the end of each day to straighten things out. Take this time to recycle paper, update your schedule and to-do list and tidy your desk. Keeping this small commitment to yourself is an easy way to maintain an organized home office and set yourself up for success tomorrow.

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5 Features That Matter To Home Buyers: A Seller’s Guide

5 Features That Matter To Home Buyers: A Seller’s Guide

If you are thinking of selling your home, there are many factors to consider. You want your property to make a good impression on potential homebuyers, so it’s important to know what matters most. Here are 5 property features that matter to potential homebuyers looking for a new home.

Bathroom

Bathrooms are important rooms in any house, so it’s best to make sure the bathrooms in your property look their best. Potential homebuyers can be very critical of the details, such as the brightness of the room, design of the bathtub, and amount of counter space. Some ways to make your bathrooms present a good image are to make sure they are extremely clean and staged. For example, making sure the grout is clean in the shower and bath, the amenities are unused and there is fresh soap by the sink. These little details will keep the room feeling fresh and give potential homebuyers the opportunity to imagine the space as their own.

Kitchen

The kitchen is considered by many to be the most significant space in the whole house. This room can be used for cooking, entertaining and everyday life, so it’s crucial that it appeals to potential homebuyers. Functionality is important for any kitchen, so it’s best to make sure potential homebuyers can see how well the space works. To do this, make sure to declutter the entire space and put any small, miscellaneous appliances out of sight. Ensure the kitchen is clean, including inside appliances like the fridge and oven.

Space

The overall space of the house is a crucial aspect for any potential homebuyer. To effectively showcase your home’s space, remove extra clutter or furniture to keep rooms open for easy mobility and a cleaner look. Make sure every room is clean and tidy, so that potential homebuyers are not too distracted to appreciate all your home’s good features.

Smell

The senses have a huge impact on what a potential homebuyer may think about a house. Make sure there are no overwhelming scents, such as perfume, cologne, paint fumes, cigarette smoke or pet odour. Some ways to make sure your home smells fresh are to air the house out by opening windows, using odour eliminators or scented candles, or putting a dish of vanilla in a warm oven to create a welcoming smell.

Curb Appeal

One feature that potential buyers will notice about your property instantly is your home’s curb appeal. How your home looks from the street can’t really be changed, but there are ways you can make your property look as attractive as possible. Make sure the front yard and entrance to the property are tidy. Some ways to do this can include cutting the grass and putting away any extra toys or equipment. If there are any obvious features that can be easily repaired or updated, such as broken steps or chipped paint, it’s also always a good idea to fix them. Overall, if your home looks clean and presentable then it will most likely make a good impression on potential homebuyers.

 

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How To Decorate Your Outdoor Space For Summer

How To Decorate Your Outdoor Space For Summer

With the season of patio time and outdoor barbeques coming soon, it’s a good idea to refresh your outdoor living space. Whether you have a backyard, garden, patio or porch, here are some ideas of how to decorate and update your outdoor space for summer.

Grow Your Own

No outdoor area is too small to enjoy nature. Whether you are interested in cultivating your own produce or simply growing some beautiful flowers, summer is the perfect time to experiment with gardening. Some good ideas to try could be vegetables like tomatoes or a herb garden with plants you can use for cooking, such as rosemary.

New Greenery

Plants are always a fresh idea for outdoor design. Shrubs, hanging flowerpots and potted plants look great in any outdoor space. Arborvitae and hydrangeas are excellent low maintenance shrubs for suburban yards.

Try Natural Materials

Natural materials like wood, wicker, rattan, teak and terra cotta create more visual interest, as well as adding a more comfortable feel than other materials, such as concrete. For a bold look, try outdoor furniture in these materials painted in bright colours. For example, a wicker chair painted green or a wooden stump painted white that serves as a side table.

Don’t be Afraid To Accessorize

This can include anything you want to use to give your outdoor space some personality and charm. Art, sculptures, rock gardens, birdhouses and even wind chimes can add a whimsical feel to any outdoor space.

Remember Some Shade

With the hot summer sun, remember to have some areas of shade for rest and relaxation. This can include a table umbrella or even a separate covered area.

Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting not only illuminates your outdoor area in the evening, it also adds an attractive element to the style of your property. Some simple lighting ideas can include rustic lamp posts, lanterns, positioned spotlights or fairy lights.

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How To “De-Pet” Your Home Before Selling

How To “De-Pet” Your Home Before Selling

When you’re preparing your home for sale, you need to think about how to deal with your lovable pets. Here are some simple ways for pet owners to get their homes ready for viewings.

Keep Pets Out Of The House During Viewings

It’s always best to keep your pets out of the house during viewings, as even if your pet is friendly, some potential homebuyers will be uncomfortable around them. If you or someone you know can’t take them out during the viewings, consider a local kennel or pet day camp that will look after them.

Get Rid of Pet Odour

To get rid of pet odour in your house, try airing the house out by opening windows, using speciality air sprays, odour eliminators and scented candles, or putting a dish of vanilla in a warm oven to create a welcoming smell.

 Remove Any Extra Toys

Another way to help clear the clutter in your home for viewings is to remove any extra pet toys, beds and equipment so that there is easier mobility for potential homebuyers and they have a chance to fully appreciate your home.

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5 Budget-Friendly Remodeling Ideas

5 Budget-Friendly Remodeling Ideas

Whether you are trying to remodel a new home you just bought or prepare your house for sale, remodelling can be a great plan. Massive remodeling can take a lot of time and money, but there are always smaller steps to take that can also benefit your home. Below are some more budget-friendly remodeling ideas for your home.

The Bathtub

If you have a porcelain bathtub, an alternative to buying a new bathtub is refinishing your current one. This can be a long process, but it’s more cost effective than a brand-new bathtub. The refinishing process involves cleaning and then sanding the bathtub, before putting on new layers of paint and primer. This process will leave your bathtub looking almost new, if you have the right tools and the time to do it.

Wood Flooring

Instead of replacing wood flooring, one option is to simply refinish it. Wood flooring can often get scratched and worn down, especially in kitchens, living rooms and hallways. While replacing parts of the whole wood floor is an option, refinishing the wood is also a good idea. The most common approach to refinishing is to sand down the wood floor and then re-stain it, which requires a lot of effort and time to complete. If you want to have a flooring professional do the work, the price will depend on the square footage.

Paint

Whether you are painting walls, cabinets, doors, window sills, or appliances, a fresh coat of paint in an updated colour can make a huge difference in the appearance of a room. Make sure you carefully paint over, or fill in, any scratches or chips. It is also a smart idea to use good quality paint and primer, so your remodeling will last longer.

Update Lighting

One way to update the appearance of your home is to update your lighting. This could include adding new light fixtures or simply changing them, such as switching hanging lights to recessed lighting. Another way is to replace old light bulbs or add lamps and other lighting décor.

Replace Handles

One easier remodeling option, instead of replacing whole cabinets and drawers, is to replace the handles. If the handles and hinges are worn or squeaking, simply replace them with new, more stylish options.

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How To Brighten Up Your Home

How To Brighten Up Your Home

No one likes to live in a dark home, especially during the colder winter months. By brightening up your home, you make it more inviting and comfortable for your family and any guests who might stop by. Below are some tips on how to brighten up your home.

Try New Paint

New paint can definitely add some brightness and colour to the interior of your home. The best option is to use lighter colours and hues, such as white, yellow or pale blue. White will be the best choice to illuminate your surroundings, but any lighter colour will work.

Add Windows

If it’s in the budget, adding more windows is an excellent way to create more light in your home. This can also work well if you have a lovely view you want to see more of. Another option is adding a skylight, which creates additional brightness for larger rooms.

Hang Up Artwork & Photos

Another way to add brightness to your home is hanging up large-scale artwork and photos on your walls. This is an easy way to add colour to your home, as well as adding personality to every room. An additional tip is having photos framed and matted with white so that they seem even brighter.

Mirror, Mirror

Using a mirror as part of your room décor is both stylish and practical. Mirrors bounce around the light in a room, as well as making the room seem bigger and more open. This also makes it even easier to check your outfit on the way out of the house!

Light Bulbs

Do a regular check to make sure none of your light bulbs have burned out and replace them when necessary. Another way to enhance light is making sure you have light bulbs that give off white light, instead of a slightly darker, yellow light.

Bright & Light Décor

Choose furniture and décor that is light in colour and has clean lines for less shadows. This can include décor such as colourful throw rugs, white curtains, and pale-coloured wood furniture.

Add More Light

If your home still feels dark, try adding more light sources. This can include lamps, recessed lighting, and pendant lights. If you’re looking for a different approach to more lighting, try salt lamps, night lights or even an electric fireplace.

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Are You Ready To Buy A House?

Are You Ready To Buy A House?

Buying a new home is a big decision. There are many factors to consider, including where you’re going to live and how you will afford all the costs of purchasing the property. Below are some tips to consider when you feel ready to begin looking for a new home.

Get The Right Mortgage

Finding the right mortgage for you, and making sure you get pre-approval, will make the home-buying process much easier. There are many different types of mortgages and loans to consider, including adjustable rate mortgages and lower down payment loans. Go to your lending institution of choice, such as a mortgage broker, bank or credit union to discuss what mortgage is right for you.

Think About the Future

When buying a home, it’s important to think about how long you plan to own the property. Are you getting married? Planning on having kids? Will you have elderly relatives to support in the future? These are all questions to ask yourself and will possibly change the desired size and location of your future house.

Estimate Your Budget

Your estimated budget is especially important when deciding if you should buy a house. Can you afford all the costs of buying a property and moving? Consider the extra closing costs such as insurance, property taxes, home inspections, appraisals and lending fees.

Find The Right Place

Make sure you’ve really thought about where you want to live. This can mean the city, area or even neighbourhood where you want to buy a house. Is it close to your work or school? Will you want to commute? Are there nearby amenities? Do you like the area? These are all questions to ask yourself when deciding if you want to buy a house.

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Why To Buy A House In the Spring

Why To Buy A House In the Spring

Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution or a long-term plan, buying a new home in the spring can be a smart decision. This is for many different reasons, not only because of the time of year but also to do with the current real estate market. Overall, the reasons for buying a new home differ for each person and family. Below are some reasons why springtime may be the right time for you to become a homeowner.

Tax Refunds

Usually no one is excited to file their taxes, with all the collecting of documents and extra paperwork. For those who end up getting a refund in the mail, tax season can be beneficial for entering the housing market. Whether you are making sure you have enough for a down payment or enough for after you purchase a property, a little extra from your tax refund will help.

School’s Out Soon

If you buy a new home in the spring, it is highly likely you will be moving in the summer. This means that not only is it good weather for moving, but children will be out of school.  Depending on your child’s situation, this makes the move to a new home and school a much easier task than it would when school is in session.

Good Moving Weather

Moving during the spring can include rain but it can also include clear skies. Although it may not be hot, moving is much easier when there is relatively pleasant weather and no extreme amounts of rain or snow.

Spring Cleaning

Nothing says springtime like cleaning, decluttering and organizing. If you are planning on buying a new home and moving from your old one, organizing your belongings is a vital step. Consider going through your personal and household items to decide what will make the move with you and your family. One way of categorizing your possessions is making separate piles for keeping, donating and throwing away.

Market Inventory

Spring has traditionally been the best time to enter the housing market because inventory is usually high this time of year. However, demand is still strong with buyers. Over the past several years, there has been a strong seller’s market but inventory is now increasing, making this a good time to purchase a property.

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Get A Move On: Tips For A Successful Move

Get A Move On: Tips For A Successful Move

Moving can be a challenging process, whether you are moving into a new home or leaving an old one. There are a number of tasks to complete, from packing up your belongings to preparing the property for new owners. For a successful move, organization and preparation are vital. Below are some tips on how to make moving easier and more manageable for you and your family.

Know Your Deadlines

When you’re moving, it’s crucial to remember when the important dates are. Important dates related to buying or selling a house include the subject removal date, completion date and possession date. The possession date is especially important for moving, as it is the day that the buyer is entitled to receive the keys to the home and take physical possession of the property.

Have Enough Packing Supplies

With so many items to pack, it’s important to have enough supplies. Boxes, bags, coolers, suitcases and packing tape are all items to remember. A good organizational strategy is to label boxes and packing as best you can either by contents or room.

Be Prepared To Clean

Whether you are moving in or out, a clean house can make a huge difference for your moving experience. Make sure everything is packed well and that the space is clean, including floors, carpets, walls and windows.

Try Decluttering

As you pack, try going through your belongings to see what you might want to donate or get rid of. This can not only help you minimize the number of boxes you need to carry but will also help when you need to unpack in a new home.

Lift With Your Legs

Moving can be hard, physical work so make sure you aren’t hurting yourself as you carry your possessions, including heavy furniture. The best option is to hire a moving company to do the hard work or enlist friends and family to help.

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Spring Into Action: Household Advice

Spring Into Action: Household Advice

Did someone say spring cleaning? This season is often known for its high ambitions of cleaning, decluttering and organizing. Are you preparing to move? Need to get ready for an open house? Have to show your house to potential buyers? Perhaps you’ve just moved into a new home and don’t know where to start? Now is the right time to get your house in order, one step at a time. Below is some advice on spring cleaning for anyone deciding to take the plunge.

Take It Slow

Your house does not need to be perfect immediately. Give yourself enough time before a deadline (such as a moving date) to clean, declutter and pack. Going through the house one room at a time to clean and decide what to keep, donate and throw away is a good strategy.

Get Inspired

Spring cleaning feels much easier if you feel inspired and energized. Try not to burn yourself out all at once, leaving time to take the cleaning and decluttering at a manageable pace. Find some inspiration to keep you going, whether that’s the image of a spotless kitchen or someone you know who will help you reach your cleaning goals. A good inspiration is Marie Kondo, Japanese organizing consultant and author. Check out her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and her new Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

Remember To Deep Clean

Although it may be easier to just clean the surface of your home, making sure you thoroughly clean is very important. Cleaning every nook and cranny can be a challenge but a beautifully clean home is the perfect reward. Deep cleaning can include washing carpets and upholstery as well as cleaning walls, doors, cabinets, windows, lighting fixtures, fridges and ovens.

Update Your Décor

Sometimes all your home needs is a little update to feel fresh and re-energized. This can include anything from new furniture to little touches like new doorknobs, cabinet handles, lamps, throw rugs or welcome mats.

Finishing Touches

To keep your home from looking tired and worn, sometimes it only takes a little effort. Some tips include paint retouches, fixing broken steps and rails, or even replacing old lightbulbs.