7 Things to Do After You Move Into Your First Home

You are about to buy your first home – how exciting! Once you have the keys to your new home in your hands, make sure to do the following things:

  1. Clean

First thing you will want to do is clean your entire house. Start at the top and work your way down and don’t forget to clean light fixtures, door handles and such. Everything should be dust-free, polished and shiny. That also counts for windows!

  1. Locate Your Home’s Main Water Shutoff Valve

Make sure you know where the main water valve is located in case of emergencies, or just in case you are about to fix a water issue and need to cut off the water supply. You should know how the main water stop valve works and see if it functions properly by checking for any running water after the valve has been turned off. Replace it, or get it replaced, if it’s not working the way it should.

  1. Locate the Circuit Breaker Box

Besides the main water valve you also want to know where the electrical panel is, so you know where to shut off the power to your whole house or an individual circuit if necessary.

  1. Check Smoke and CO Detectors

Make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and that they are functioning. Learn here and here where they should be located and how to install them. Have an escape plan out of the house in case of emergencies and practice it with your family members.

  1. Start a Sample File

Get a small box or accordion file ready and use it for samples of paint, tile, fabric etc. Put any physical sample in there that you might need for accessory shopping later.

  1. Hide a Key

When you’ve locked yourself out or need to let someone else into your home when you are not around, it is convenient to have a spare key nearby. Just make sure you don’t use the common hiding spots like under the doormat or flower pot. A quick search will give you tons of better ideas.

  1. Meet the Neighbors

Reaching out to your neighbors is not only a friendly gesture but also great for getting to know more people in your neighborhood. Your neighbors can give you access to inside information (which landscaper to use and which plumber to avoid) and if you have become good friends with them you may even give them a spare key. Neighbors can be your greatest allies in times of trouble, so be in good standing with them.

By: Patricia Madigan

5 Home Maintenance Tips for Fall

When you are putting away your shorts and pulling out your sweaters instead, you know it’s time to get a few chores done to prepare your house for the colder season of the year.

Here are 5 things you should be doing now:

  1. Clean the Gutters

Gutters are essential in preventing water damage and other costly repairs, so be sure to clean them out in order for water to properly drain. Remove leaves, twigs and gunk. Tighten gutter hangers and downspouts brackets and replace any damaged or worn gutters and downspouts.

  1. Check the Roof

Inspect the roof for curled, buckled or cracked shingles and other deformities before winter. Make sure to also check the flashing around skylights, pipes and chimneys. If you have a lot of damage, it is time to replace the entire roof. If you don’t want to examine the roof yourself, hire a licensed professional to do it.

  1. Examine the Fireplace

Look up inside your fireplace flue and check if the damper opens and closes properly. Sweep the chimney and keep it clean for winter use, so there’s no blockage. If you see any cracked or missing bricks and mortar in the firebox, order a professional inspection.

  1. Seal Air Leaks

This is one of the least expensive yet most important must-do fall maintenance tip. Check any weather stripping and caulking to assure that windows and doors are sealed and no moisture can get inside your walls.

  1. Prep the Outdoors

Turn off the valves to any exterior hose bibs to prevent exterior water pipes from bursting when the weather gets below freezing. Run the water until pipes are empty and all water is drained from the pipes. Prune plants and trees and rake up the thick layers of leaves that settle on lawn surfaces. You can put the raked leaves in a compost pile or use it as a mulch as they are an excellent source of organic matter.

By: Patricia Madigan

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Window Treatments

Window coverings can either make or break a space. The right window treatment can complement your windows and enhance the look of a room, while the wrong one can make a room feel bare and incomplete. But with the extensive amount of styles and types available, shopping for window treatments can be overwhelming. With the numerous options, how would you know what to choose for your space?

Before anything else, consider the windows themselves, as well as what the role of the window treatment you are going to purchase will play. Understanding such factors will surely make your shopping a lot easier.

Tip #1: Evaluate Your Needs for Privacy

While a sheer curtain may be suitable for a room that is primarily used during daytime, an opaque window treatment is more appropriate in a room that requires more privacy such as your bedroom and the bathroom. If you have a sheer drapery in your room but want greater privacy, you can supplement it with blinds or shades. You can also opt of heavier curtains if shades and blinds are not your thing.

Tip #2: Match It to the Interior Style

The decors and overall design of the interiors matter just as well. When choosing a type of window covering, the one you are picking should coordinate with the style and color of the room. If the room is simple and plain, matching its decor with a window treatment that has a simplistic design can work. If you want to try something different, choose a pattered curtain or a drapery in bold color to contrast the room’s simplicity.

Tip #3: Determine the Room’s Purpose

Each room in your house serves a specific purpose. Hence, each requires a specific type of window treatment. If you want your room to be noise-free and dark, opt for blackout draperies or shades for better light control and insulation.

Tip #4: Figure out Your Window’s Function

The way you use the window will determine what window treatment is appropriate for it. Will you be using it as a natural light source? Purchase a seamless non-fussy roller shades or other sheer window treatments that can easily allow natural light to fill the room. Do you regularly open and close the windows for better air circulation? Choose a window covering that is light enough to enable you to open the window breezily.

Tip #5: Know Thy Options

Lastly, find out what various window treatment types are available. Once you understand the uses, and benefits of each type, it will be easier for you to assess your dressing needs. Generally, there are five types: panels, shades, cornices, blinds, and shutters. Shades typically add light control and privacy to a room, while cornices or swags offer added features to window coverings.

Panels, on the contrary, can be made with lightweight or heavy fabric, depending on its purpose. And similar to shades, blinds and shutters provide light control and functional privacy.


By: AdobeFineLiving.com


7 Things You Should Get Rid Of Before You Move

You are about to move to a new home? Then this is the perfect opportunity to take stock of what you own and declutter. There’s no better excuse to do this than an upcoming move. Not only is packing and carrying boxes a lot easier when you are not hauling extra “stuff”, but you also want your new place to look fantastic. Best thing to do is start purging at least one month before you actually move, so you have enough time to sell items or to drop them off somewhere. In order to not get overwhelmed and get a panic attack, take it one room or closet at a time. Despite an item’s fate, separate them into “keep”, “junk”, “donate” and “sell” and never handle an item twice.

Here are 7 things you should work on:

1. Paperwork

We all have those drawers, bags or boxes full of paper, flyers, bills or receipts that we never ever touch again. Go through them and throw away what you don’t need (mostly everything). Somehow most of us still think we have to keep our tax documents for seven years. But that’s not necessarily true. This link will tell you how long you should keep certain receipts.

2. Memorabilia

This is a tricky one. We often give things a sentimental value and that is absolutely normal. Keep your wedding photos, college diploma and the first drawing of your kids. But do you really need that China that you never use or your girls’ dolls that haven’t been touched since they have been put away into the garage 15 years ago? In this day and age it’s easy to digitize, so scan whatever you can and file it away.

3. Clothes

Yes, you already know what I mean by that. Those “what if” clothes. No one says you have to become a minimalist and have to fit all your clothes into one carry-on, but it’s time to get rid of the jeans that “used to fit” or the dress that “one day might fit”. Look around your closet: do you see clothes you haven’t worn in a year? If so, put them away. You can either donate them and make someone else happy or try to sell them and make your bank account happy.

4. Old/Damaged Furniture

A move is a great time to start fresh. So sell your undesirable pieces on Craigslist or give them to someone who would appreciate it more than you do. Not only makes this the actual move easier but your new place deserves some chic furniture anyway.

5. Kitchenware

Be honest: did you ever use that bread machine? If you are on a gluten-free diet or have become a fruitarian it’s time to gift it to someone who might actually use it.

6. Unpacked or Forgotten Things

You have boxes that have never been opened since your last move? Then it’s probably for a reason and chances are high you won’t need whatever is in there. If you find something while you are packing and don’t even remember that you had it in the first place, it’s time to toss it.

7. Things that would make someone else happier

This goes basically for everything. For books you will never read again, clothes you will never wear or the blender you never used. Why keep something that doesn’t give you joy and takes away unnecessary space? Rather give those things to someone who appreciates it.

By: Patricia Madigan