Tina McManus' Blog
Dogs are a man’s best friends, but the mess they bring into your home? Not so much. Learn how you can have a clean house and a lovable pup at the end of each day. Here are ten tips below to get the best of both worlds.
1. Groom regularly. Keep less fur off your floors and furniture by brushing your dog on a regular schedule. Ideally, this would be a few times a week. Eliminate even more clean up by brushing out your pup outside when possible.
2. Sweep floors in high traffic areas with a microfiber cloth broom each day. The microfiber cloth will grab onto fur and dirt alike and can be reused. It’s also a quick and simple habit to develop and one you can easily delegate as a chore for the kids.
3. Dust often. Stay on top of fur build up by dusting a few areas of the home each night with a microfiber cloth. By just doing a room or two at a time it becomes a less overwhelming task and easier to do regularly. You can even keep a cloth stored away in each room to make the chore even simpler.
4. Vacuum furniture and drapes as well as carpeting. When you have a furry friend your vacuum is going to be working a lot harder around the house. You’ll want to vacuum drapes, furniture, and carpets frequently to stay on top of hair build up. Just as with dusting, you can do a few rooms at a time throughout the week to break up the tediousness of doing the whole house at once.
5. Lint brushes are your new best friend. You might as well fill a handbasket full of them the next time you’re at the store because you’ll never have too many. Store them where they can easily be on hand in closets, bathrooms, the mudroom and your family's’ vehicles. Where there is fur, there’s a way so be prepared to keep clothes fur free when leaving the house.
6. Take care of stains ASAP. Make cleaning up pet stains a no-brainer by putting together an easy to grab bucket filled with cleaning supplies that are made for the job. Be sure to include a pair of rubber gloves, a roll of paper towels, a microfiber cloth and your preferred cleaning solution.
And a bonus for the extra meticulous: wipe paws down with a microfiber cloth after walks. Microfiber clothes are wonderful multitaskers for household cleaners and now you can add “paw wipes” to the list. Before you let your dog run loose around the house after a walk gently wipe their paws with a dry microfiber cloth to catch any loose debris they could track inside.
We love our dogs. They are cute, funny and oh so loving. The messes that come with them, however, aren’t always so welcome. You can easily keep your home spick and span with a little preparation and a regular cleaning schedule. At the end of the day, you can admire your handiwork while curled up on the couch with your pooch.
A patio is an outdoor living space that you can get the most out of year round. It’s no surprise that a patio is a hallmark of a condo or a rental space. Love entertaining? You’ll appreciate the extra seating and dining space that you gain with a patio.
The following tips on how you can use your patio year round could help you to find space large enough to equal another room at your home. Get ready to let go of the blank patio design and welcome yourself to a world of outdoor living space wonder.
Great patio design ideas
- Add a padded wicker sofa, two padded wicker chairs and a small round table to your patio. Place the chairs along the sides of the table. Enjoy reading your favorite magazines and watching streamed videos while you sit on the patio. You could also just sit outside and chat with a friend.
- Install a screen around your patio and add a space heater, so you can spend time outdoors during colder months. You might have fun sitting outside watching snow fall out of the sky.
- Place plants or flowers on tables located at the edges of your patio. Hanging baskets filled with plants or flowers also work.
- Hang a decorative wind chime at one far end of your patio.
- Put your barbecue grill several feet away from your patio, but close enough for you to easily enjoy grilling and entertaining guests.
- Build a wood divider at one end of your patio and grow a rose vine throughout the divider.
Fun Things To Do On Your Patio
After you add furniture and décor to your patio, welcome company over to enjoy the space with you. One of the more relaxing things that you can do is to hang out with friends, chatting about recent events in your lives. Your kids might have loads of fun playing with their toys or friends on the patio. Other fun activities that you can engage in on your patio include:
- Book club meetings – Depending on the size of your patio, you might be able to host 8 to 10 book club members without having to use indoor space.
- Family get togethers – Have an overflow of guests during major holidays? Invite guests to hang out on the patio and not just inside your home.
- Cookouts – Place a record player or iPod on your patio and play everyone’s favorite music while you laugh, talk and enjoy grilled food.
- Work from home – All it takes is a laptop, a chair and a table to knock out several hours of work right at home.
- Reading – If you love to read, you’ll love spending time on your front or back patio getting absorbed in the pages of a great book.
- Meditating – Talk about getting grounded. Not only will you be stilling your thoughts, you’ll be tuning into your higher self while outside in nature.
- Exercising – A first floor patio makes for a great exercise area.
- Hanging out with children and grand kids – Use your patio as another reason to play and spend time with your children and grand kids.
- Romantic meals – Remember those two wicker chairs and table? Top the table off with a scented candle and treasure a private meal with your partner or spouse. The memories could prove lasting.
- Spend time with pets – After you take your pets for a walk, relax with them on your patio.
Clearly, beautiful patio designs aren’t your only options. How you use your patio is also important. Host one family get together on your patio and you might decide that you don’t need to pay a contractor to add another room to your home. You can,instead, step onto your screened in or open design patio and entertain,meditate, enjoy a morning tea or unwind at the end of the day.
If rain arrives on moving day, there is no need to panic. In fact, there are many quick, easy ways to protect your belongings against rain and ensure that these items can reach your new home without delay.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you protect your belongings during a rainy moving day.
1. Park the Moving Truck Close to Your Home
Ideally, you'll want to limit the distance between the moving truck and your house. This will enable you to prevent large amounts of rain from drenching your personal belongings.
You also should try to keep your home's walkways clear on moving day. Because if you're forced to deal with lots of walkway clutter, and lots of rain, it may be tough to carry your belongings from your home to your moving truck.
2. Lay Towels or Blankets Down in Your Home
Let's face it – a rainy moving day likely will cause you and your entire moving day team to walk in and out of your home with wet, muddy shoes. Fortunately, if you lay down towels or blankets in advance, you can reduce the risk of making your floors messy on moving day.
Remember, when it comes to moving, it is always better to err on the side of cause. If you have plenty of towels and blankets at your disposal, you should have no trouble keeping your home's floors clean as you move your belongings into a moving truck.
Don't forget to have extra towels available for your moving team too. That way, all members of your moving team can dry themselves off as needed.
3. Cover Your Furniture
Excess rain can quickly cause substantial damage to chairs, couches and other furniture. Thus, you'll want to cover these items before you move them from your house to your moving truck.
In most instances, covering furniture with moving pads and bubble wrap will help protect your furniture against water damage. Also, you should always ensure that there are no leaks inside of your moving truck to further reduce the risk of property damage due to rain.
If you're uncomfortable moving all of your belongings in the rain, it may be better to postpone your moving day. This will enable you to let the rainy weather pass and resume your move when improved weather conditions arrive.
Furthermore, if you need extra help on moving day, you may want to hire a professional moving company. This business employs friendly, professionally trained moving specialists who know how to move items in any weather, at any time.
Of course, if you need help finding a moving company, you can always contact a real estate agent for assistance. In addition to helping you buy or sell a residence, a real estate agent can help you get in touch with the top moving companies in your area.
Take the guesswork out of a rainy moving day – use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the process of transporting your belongings to your new house.
In times of rising temperatures and growing concerns of climate change, many of us are looking for small ways we can make a difference in our everyday lives. What better place to start than your own home?
It can be overwhelming to plan drastic eco-friendly changes to your home. That’s why we’ve broken these tips down room-by-room so that you can make changes in just one area and then build from there. Starting small will help you see your environmentally-minded project through to the finish.
Read on for tips for each room of your home to make your life more eco-friendly.
We’ll start with a small and easy one: the bedroom. Odds are your bedroom isn’t hogging too much power or creating a lot of waste. However, there are a few small changes you can make that will help you save some money while helping out the environment.
If your bedroom tends to get chilly at night, try using insulating curtains to help keep the cool air from slipping in through the windows. Similarly, on hot days close the curtains at peak sunlight hours to keep the bedroom cool. This small change could save you from having to turn up the heat or air conditioner when you enter your room each night.
The next time you clean out your closet, bring your items to a local thrift store or charity drop-off. You can even ask for a receipt which will make your donation tax-deductible. This way your clothes can extend their lives and stay out of a landfill a bit longer, and you’ll be helping out someone who could use the clothing.
Kitchen appliances offer a lot of opportunity for energy and water waste. When shopping for appliances, seek out appliances that meet Energy Star standards.
When it comes to water, forego the plastic bottles and buy a glass or metal refillable water bottle. Tap filters can greatly improve the taste, and you might find after a few days that you don’t even notice the water tasting differently.
Consider composting kitchen scraps in a composting bin. You can later use this for fertilizing plants in your yard and garden. And, finally, be sure you’re recycling all of your empty food and beverage containers.
Is your living room your entertainment center? If so, many of your devices, like cable boxes and streaming media devices, might continue running on “standby mode” wasting electricity. To prevent this, simply plug all of your devices into a power strip and turn it off at night.
Start by using refillable hand soap containers rather than buying a new one each time you run out. This will save you a lot of money in the long run and save you trips to the store as well.
If your hot water takes a long time to heat up and you find yourself running the tap often, consider installing a recirculating water pump in your bathroom.
To save on electricity throughout the house, make sure you’re using compact fluorescent bulbs and only keeping the lights on when you’re in the room.
When cleaning, try using non-toxic cleaners or making your own from solutions of water, vinegar, and citrus essentials.
If you’re selling your home it can be frustrating when you aren’t receiving any offers. Perhaps you’ve heard that it’s a seller’s market and that the offers on your house would be flying in. However, it’s more complicated than that.
Whether or not your house receives offers is determined by a number of reasons--some that in your control, others that aren’t. But, that doesn’t mean you have to give up and sell your house at a low price.
In this article, we’ll discuss what to do if your house just isn’t selling. We’ll talk about some reasons why people may be hesitant to bid, to inquire about a showing, and to seal the deal and purchase your home.
Revisit the comparable properties
If your home has been on the market for a while, it’s a good idea to check out the other recent homes in your neighborhood to see how their prices compare to the listing price of your home. Since the market fluctuates, other sellers could be adjusting the cost to reflect the current rates, leaving yours higher than it should be.
When pricing your home, make sure you are comparing your house to those that have actually sold. Using houses that have been on the market for a while as a baseline might mean you’ve priced your home too high to sell just like theirs.
Also, make sure you are using houses that share many of the common features that yours does. This can include:
The year the house was built
Number of bedrooms and baths
The lot size
The condition of the home
Remember, it isn’t all just about location.
Getting more leads
If people aren’t making inquiries about your home, there are a few things you should check up on. First, make sure your listings are updated and accurate. The contact info should be easy to find, and you or your real estate agent should provide multiple means of contact (email, cell phone, text, etc.).
Next, ensure that you’ve given enough details about the house. If people are searching for a specific number of rooms but your listing doesn’t mention the number of rooms you have, you might be missing out on several inquiries.
Finally, make sure your photos are high resolution and well-lit. You want to make sure visitors to your listing can get a clear idea of what your home looks like. If your photos are small, dark, blurry, or if they make the house look cramped and cluttered, you should retake your photos or consider hiring a photographer.
Getting more offers
If you’ve had plenty of inquiries and showings but you aren’t getting any offers there may be a deeper, underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Usually, this means your home needs important repairs and upgrades that buyers simply don’t want to make.
If your house is priced to be move-in ready but it’s not, you’ll have to make some upgrades or lower the price.
Not working with an agent
Sellers can also have a difficult time getting offers if they attempt to sell the home themselves without using a real estate agent. If your home is FSBO (For Sale by Owner), you’re missing out on a number of listing services and connections that an agent can provide.