Tina McManus' Blog
You may be surprised to learn just how much a little DIY storage bench in your entryway can save you in time and money. Storage benches offer children a place to sit while they remove snowy or muddy shoes. That's less time spent mopping your kitchen or steam-cleaning the carpets.
Save hardwoods from years of damage and wear.
On top of that, a bench can double as storage. Never again will you be racing around your home trying to find your mittens, scarves, rain boots and other outdoor essentials on your way out the door. It's now all in one convenient place.
You can even store backpacks and lunch bags on the weekend -- whatever makes sense for your family.
You might think that making an entryway storage bench is complicated. But we'll show you the easy way to build your bench in less than a day.
What you'll need
*Pro tip* Borrow tools that you may never use again before buying. If you find you want to take on more new projects, you can buy one then.
How to build a DIY storage bench for your entryway
Here's your guide.
Gather materials & supplies
The amount of material varies by the bench size you choose the make. Be sure to measure twice and cut once so that everything fits perfectly.
Frame your bench
Your frame becomes your guide for the project. Cut your 2X4's the desired length of the bench. Then cut more for the height. Find the studs. And use that hammer drill to attach the 2X4s to the back wall. Build out from there.
Construct the front and sides
Now build around your frame, using your plywood. Be careful with any tools you use. Just take your time to get it right.
Add the hinges
Measure and drill for your hinges. Then simply screw them in.
Place the lid on the ground and drill holes for hinge screws. Then connect the top to the other side of the hinge with screws. You might need a partner hold the lid steady while you to screw in the lid.
Add your finish of choice
You can stop with a basic box. But while you're at it, it won't take much more effort to add some trim and paint it. Then place some hooks above for coats and backpacks.
And now, you have a beautiful DIY storage bench. For more helpful tips on home maintenance and improvement, follow our blog.
There are plenty of ways to make your home more organized. Whether you have a large house or some problems with cramped spaces, your home has plenty of room to give. The key is that you just need to know how to use it. Read on for some tips on how to make the most of the space your home has to offer.
Make Everything Easy To Find
The more accessible the things in your home are, the easier it will be to stay organized. If you have kids, this accessibility will be even more critical. Make sure that the items everyone uses daily have a place. Toy boxes, dressers for clothes, and places for coats and shoes are crucial for smooth organization.
Find The Right Storage Container
You need to make sure that you have the right containers for the right things. Without these tools, organization becomes increasingly difficult. Shop around and do some research before you decide on exactly what you want to use to store things in.
Organization Doesn’t Have To Be Ugly
It’s much easier to stay organized if you don’t mind looking at your home. The whole reason you want to stay organized is that the less chaos there is, the less stressed you feel. Organizers don’t need to be cold and regimented. Make sure that any organizing units match your color scheme and themes.
Electronics Get In The Way
All of the gadgets we have these days can overtake our homes. Cords, phones, chargers, video game systems, and more can really take up space in a home. Anything that you frequently use should be in open top containers, so everything can be easily spotted. Anything that you use less often can be hidden behind closed doors or in a drawer.
Think By Function
The easiest way to organize anything is to think about the functionality of items. If you make coffee every morning, for example, you may want to keep a coffee corner. You can keep coffee in the cabinet along with sugar or other essentials. In the drawer below where the coffee pot is placed on the counter, you can keep filters, stirrers, and more coffee essentials. If things are functional and flowing in your home, you’re getting close to organization nirvana!
If you have a daily routine to put things back where they came from, clutter will never overtake you! Simple things can help you to stay ahead of a big mess. Some idea for your routine can include:
Throwing away junk mail
Putting away shoes
All of these quick tasks can make a big difference on a daily basis over time!
The sky's the limit for cloud-based documents and files. Remote working is on the rise. The ranks of independent entrepreneurs are growing. For many, home is a place to live and work.
Here are three elements to consider for your work-from-home space.
1. Choose Your Workspace
Pick a bright spot. Daylight inspires!
Will you be having clients drop in? Aim to choose a spot near an entrance way, apart from your intimate living spaces.
For tax purposes, this spot can be a dedicated room, or a section of a room—as long as there's a clear division between your working and living space. Other storage areas in the home, or partitioned-off space that's fully dedicated to keeping business items, is also square footage to count in the deduction.
Take pictures each year that clearly show the partitions and the business use of the space. Keep your photos with your tax documents.
2. Furnish the Space
Decorate mainly as you would if your work space were in a corporate building. Keep your desk, professional items, and office-appropriate décor in the space. Don't have a playpen (unless your business is daycare) or a dining table in your designated office space.
Bookcases, wall hangings, mirrors, and framed art all look good, and dampen noise from outside your work space. Succulents or crocus bulbs can make excellent office plants and uplift the mood of your work area.
Protect your health while working at home by using an adjustable (sit-stand) desk. Does that sound too industrial for the look you demand at home? Never fear. Gorgeous, adjustable desks that complement your existing furniture do exist on the market. With a little searching, you'll find yours.
3. Declare Your Tax Deduction
Calculate your home office percentage. If your home amounts to 2,000 square feet and your office space covers 500, declare 25% as the percentage. The deduction may not exceed your year's net business profit.
For smaller home office spaces, the IRS has a simplified standard deduction. Take $5 per square foot, up to 300 square feet.
Speak with your tax pro about deducting a home business percentage from your homeowner's insurance, mortgage interest, utilities, and property taxes. Read the instructions, so you know how to plan your tax return.
Putting It All Together
For a tax deduction, your home office must serve as the core of your business affairs, or the place you do the bulk of your work. Whether you already have a home office, or are thinking of creating one, design your space so it fits the IRS tax deduction requirements—even while it uplifts your home, delights your senses, and inspires your best work.
When you’re searching for a place to live if you have kids, or even if you’re planning on having kids in the future, the neighborhood you choose is of concern. When you’re single, it’s easy to fill your desire for the city. You live near bars, clubs, conveniences, and more. Once you start thinking with a family in mind, your ideas shift.
So, if you’re looking for a neighborhood with children in mind, where do you start? Read on to discover the top priorities of a kid-friendly property search.
Most parents put a lot of consideration into where their children will go to school. Many resources allow you to research different school districts. You can also visit schools in person, or talk to other parents and see their opinion of the local schools for specific neighborhoods.
The Safety Of The Area
Whether you have kids or not, you want to know that the area you’re going to live in is safe. Before you select a neighborhood to live in, you’ll want to research the crime rates in the area. You might assume that individual cities and towns have better crime rates than others, but you may be surprised. Ask your local real estate agent for more information on local crime rates and how to research them.
Sense Of Community
If you are moving with kids or planning on having a family anytime soon, you’ll want to have a supportive community surrounding you. Having a community means that there are other families around with children. This way, it will be easier for you to build a network of other moms who are in the same stage as you. Some things to consider are:
Are there sidewalks in the neighborhood?
Is there a lot of traffic in the area?
Are there places for kids to play nearby?
Do you see families out for a walk together?
Answering these questions will give you an idea of how family-friendly your neighborhood will be. Sidewalks make the area accessible for kids to go and hang out with their friends safely. Parks and playground are not only a great place to play for kids but a great place to meet other parents. If a neighborhood has the things that you want for your family, chances are, many other families in the area feel the same way.
Choosing a neighborhood can be difficult, but with a little research and groundwork, you’ll be able to select an excellent place for your family to live.
Two of the most important ingredients in a successful house-marketing campaign are competitive pricing and making a great first impression on prospective buyers. Although your real estate agent can assist in achieving both of those goals, keeping your home in "show ready" condition will be up to you and your family.
When your home is actively being shown, the process is not unlike a job interview. The main similarity is that you don't get a second chance to make a good first impression. Potential buyers have a mindset that's similar to that of a hiring manager: They are intensely focused on making the right decision. Since the last thing they want to do is make the wrong choice (or a less-than-optimal choice) it's up to you -- the home seller-- to present your home in its best possible light.
Other than keeping your home squeaky clean and your lawn looking as manicured as possible, it's also to your benefit to reduce clutter. A house that's filled with clutter will definitely send the wrong message to prospective buyers searching for their next home. Clutter takes many forms, so it often requires a concerted effort to identify and remedy it. Here are a few key areas to focus on:
Furniture clutter: Having too much furniture in a room or entryway can give visitors the impression that your home is cramped, too small, or disorganized. If you've had a tendency to add furniture to your home, over time -- without putting some pieces in storage -- then you may have inadvertently created a cluttered "look and feel" to your living space
Surface clutter: Have you ever noticed how things that belong in drawers, cabinets, and recycling bins often end up on tables, counter tops, and bookshelves? If that's taking place in your home, rest assured you're not alone! However, if you're preparing to put your home on the market, you'll make a much better impression on potential buyers if you remove as much surface clutter as possible.
Storage-area clutter: Although there's a lot of truth to the saying "Out of sight, out of mind," that usually doesn't apply to preparing your home for the real estate market! Serious house hunters are pretty thorough, and are generally going to glance in closets, basements, attics, and garages. So if you simply move your clutter to another part of the house, it will still be noticed! Granted, your clutter will be less prominent in storage areas, but it will still have a detracting effect on the overall impression your home makes. The solution involves a combination of strategies, including selling or donating unwanted belongings. In some cases, you might even consider renting a dumpster or calling a reasonably priced junk-hauling service to get rid of things you don't want and can't donate, sell, or give away.
It's not always easy to be objective when staging your home or evaluating its marketability, so an experienced real estate agent can provide you with invaluable guidance, advice, negotiating help, and marketing assistance