Speed Cleaning Tips for People Who Don’t Like Cleaning

It is safe to say that people want to live in a clean environment. While this is the goal, it is can be hard to attain because of work and other constant distractions. Few people have the luxury of having a staff to clean up for them. Read on for our time-saving, speedy home cleaning tips for people with busy schedules.

There are some time-saving techniques that can be used to clean up the home. If the clutter seems a bit overwhelming, start by clearing the big items. Getting rid of visible clutter first can produce faster results. Another option to remove the clutter in the room is to pick up a little a time.

Cleaning up as you go is one of the best speed cleaning tips available. Make it a habit to never leave a room without taking an item with you and putting it in its proper place. Wash the dishes after every meal to prevent them from accumulating. Another good way of keeping the home clean is to make the bed as soon as you get up.

Invest in sufficient amounts of storage bins to help organize items. Trays with dividers are perfect for small items such as buttons and cufflinks. They can be neatly put away in a drawer to keep them out of sight. For bigger items, large plastic bins placed near the door or another convenient location makes it easy to get rid of clutter. Choose clear plastic ones so it is easy to find things without the need of opening them up.

Keeping a clean house is easier to do when the proper materials are at hand. Have a stock of rags that can be used to dust surfaces. As for cleaning products, choose multi-purpose products that can be used in different parts of the house such as the bathroom and kitchen. Having one product for several uses lessens the time and effort of cleaning.

There is also no reason why the entire house should be cleaned at the same day. Break the home into sections and tackle them one day at a time. There is no rule that says that the entire home should be cleaned in just one day. For example, bedrooms and hallways can be cleaned first followed by the kitchen and dining are the following day. Breaking up the home into sections makes it less overwhelming to clean. This frees up more time for other important activities that cannot be put off.

Cleaning the home regularly by a weekly cleaning checklist also ensures that not too much time is spent cleaning each time. It would be easier and faster to clean the area if dirt is not allowed to accumulate. For example, soap scum and mildew in the bathrooms become more difficult to remove the longer they are there. It also means we are less likely to resent cleaning our house if we do it bit by bit rather than in one allocated cleaning day.

Perhaps one of …

Creating Your Personal Contemporary Home Decor

The contemporary home décor look is achievable easily by going for a theme that uses clean lines to represent modern elements. Another good thing about contemporary home décor is that it does not require heavy decoration or richly engraved furniture. There is a huge misconception that getting a contemporary look can be difficult and expensive. In truth, you just need to know what you want to make a well rounded theme. You must remember that the goal of all contemporary themes is to make the room or house look modern, clean, and refreshing. Asian themes are the best because they make great use of clean lines and rarely on a minimal amount of decoration.

When you are planning a contemporary look for your house you must take into account things like shape, area, and color of the surroundings. These are the three basic elements that serve as the foundation for all home décor themes. As long as you start with these you are on safe ground. Things get even easier because contemporary design relationships on simplicity rather than artistry. This means that you are not going for an over the top art look but a simple look that ties on clean lines that may be complemented by a few simply geometric shapes and a few decorations.

Contemporary design relies on neutral colors like white, black, or beige. This automatically restricts your color choice and avoids confusing by throwing the whole spectrum up for choice. Of course, there is always the option of adding a dash of a bolder color, just to make something eye catching as long as it does not dominate the simplicity of a contemporary theme. You can use purples or reds and other bright colors minimally to achieve a great result. If you use more than one color than consult a color balancing chart to make sure you choose complementary colors and not ones that clash. So a few bright colored pillows in an otherwise neutral room will help create an exciting look.

Home décor is also about intelligent use of space. In most non-contemporary designs a blank space is seen as an error that must be fixed but in contemporary design even a blank space has equal design potential. The simplicity and freshness of clean lines is lost when there are no breathing spaces between decorations. While decorations are essential to avoid a completely barren look they must be used with caution to avoid being overdone.

Once you are done with color and space you must also focus on texture. Textures can take various forms like a rug, throw pillows, a single vase, and so on. If you intend to shop for contemporary home décor furniture then make sure you only choose items that are made of simple wood or metal and use natural fabrics. The main thing to avoid is antique furniture, floral patterns, and anything that may be considered frilly.

Contemporary design is one of the easiest ways to add a very personal touch …

Putting an Extra Effort on Railings

The railing design in your house says a lot about your home. A simple design or stylish design whatever your choice is portraits the lifestyle of the owner.

Many people do not think the design of the indoor railing to be important. But indoor railing is the main element of the living room and the entrance. It creates the delusion of the movement. You will naturally look up the railing and to the top of the stairs. Therefore it is necessary to add a bit more appeal and charm to the interior railing.

The main element of the design of the railings is the material with which the railing is made. Many railroads are made from wood. If you would like to make your railing of wood then you again have many different options. Woods such as maple, pine, oak and cherry are the ones most commonly used. The patterns of wood determine the style of wood that you would like it to be. If you pay more attention, then you can have a beautiful staircase. Other forms of interior railings include iron and steel, if you do not prefer wooden ones. Some people like to add new touch to the wood by adding extra feet to it which are made up of marble or stone. There are many ways that you can add a new feel to the boring, standard wooden railing.

To add class to the wooden railing you can also add some decorative elements to it. These can be as complicated as you want them to be or even a simple if that is your preferred choice. You need to check the different options that are available to you. These decorations can be placed at different locations on the wood railing to suit your taste. You can also purchase a new wood railing with complicated details and detailed carvings, which beautify the entire look of the house.

The entire shape of the railing is also very essential. A straight or a curved railing is the best option. A railing that is straight would keep the eye straight which will create a hallucination of height. A staircase, which is round, will keep the eyes to focus on the entire details.

Features, which are added to the railing, are also important. From holding a decorative item to the simple adding of steel or ironwork will make the post a luxurious entrance. Designing of the railings will be based on the feature that fits your style. The current trend is the round shaped staircase and that is why most people are opting for it. A more luxurious look to the staircase will bring more praises for you and your home. …

The Need for National Guidelines and Testing in the Home Improvement Industry

It is time for Washington to step up and put legislation in place that will force states to better regulate the home improvement industry. Up to now Washington has left the regulation of the home improvement industry up to state regulators, and for whatever reason (s) many states have fallen significantly short.

There are still some states that do not even have contractor licensing in place for home improvements. For some of the states that do have licensing, the license requirements do not include that the applicable demonstrate the ability to do any type of home improvement work. (That is like saying I will issue you a license to cut hair but you do not have to demonstrate that you know how to cut hair ……… ouch!) Then why do states bother issuing licenses if there are no requirements to demonstrate competence? Revenue? Or could it be that they need more consumer complaints for Consumer Affairs and BBB to handle? The unfortunate consequences of this problem are that homeowners are the ones who are paying the price by receiving poor workmanship and a cascade of home improvement problems.

Let's be honest, the home improvement industry does not seem to attract the most reliable, honest and competent individuals. The lure of a quick buck and the relative ease to "qualify" to do home improvement work, brings many a "character" to your door. When I was a contractor I needed to hire people for a variety of field positions. Most of the people, who I interviewed and sometimes hired, appeared to have the same type of problems with past employers. These problems consist of substance abuse issues, honesty issues, and reliability issues. The labor pool never seemed to have an over abundance of talent and employability to pick from.

I remember always reading article after article that deal with the significant manpower shortage in the home improvement industry. The bottom line of each article would always be the same, "If you can find an honest, reliable and competent person to work for you, pull out all the stops to keep them !!!! Do whatever you need to do to keep that person happy because you'll never know if you will be lucky enough to find someone to take their place. " As an owner, it was a very constant and stressful problem to deal with. You were almost afraid to try and increase project production because you knew you would have to try and find someone to do the additional work. Finding employees was always an adventure, an adventure that I never looked forward to.

For the last 10-15 years the number one problem in the home improvement industry is the lack of manpower. Many contractors are training and hiring minorities to try and solve this major problem.

If you were to talk to your state authorities about what is being done to improve regulations and screening in the home improvement industry, they will probably tell you something is in the works …

Selling Your House in Today's Market

Even though now does not seem to be the ideal time to sell your home if you can hold out, but if you must, you can take heart in knowing that small actions may make a difference in getting your home sold.

Scentmosphere is not exactly new but it is rapidly becoming a way to attempt to attract buyers. So, right now take a deep breath. What kind of smellment is your home making?

Choosing to make a positive statement in the way your home smells is just another step in helping to sell your home faster. It's the next step after curve appeal. Curb appealing buys buyers in the door but then they see and smell your home and begin to decide if this is the home for them. If it's a vacant home it can be musty. But if it's an active home it also could have odors of whatever activities that are going on in house.

Are buyers going to smell the over-sized dog that walks around the house after rolling in the newly-cut grass? Are they going to smell your son's gym bag filled with dirty socks that has been buried deep in his closet for the last five weeks? While we certainly do not all have the same preferences for scents, most would agree neither of those two things pose a welcoming aroma.

Candle fragrances such as the smell of freshly-baked cookies. Although not everyone likes to eat cookies but everyone enjoys the smell of cookies, and when I say everyone, there may be the exception here or there, but the vast majority would enjoy the baking smell. So we're always fond of fragrances that are in the vanilla family.

Fragrances such as French vanilla, butter cream, and créme brleleé that mimic baking scents are welcoming and inviting for buyers. Scents register in our brain and frequently remind us of our past experiences. Creating pleasant aromas in your home can help the buyer to experience an emotional connection with the home.

When it comes to bathrooms, great rooms, or even basements it's a good idea to try different fragrances. You may want to think of what we refer to as clean or fresh fragrances and those could be based in various fruits, so the citrus family is a really good one. However, there are some fragrances that you should avoid as they do not tend to appeal to the masses or they have too strong an odor.

Sellers should use fragrances that will instantly be winners such as vanilla, kitchen spice fragrances, citrus, and the smell of freshly cleaned laundry.

With all the tips out there about selling a home, the scent factor is often the most forgotten. If you do not have a scent that you want in there, buyers are going to smell whatever is going on in that room. So if it's been closed up or does not have a lot of air flow, there will be more of a musty, damp, …

How to Start Your Own Art Collection For Your Home

1. DE-CLUTTER YOUR HOME – Before you begin you need to start with a ‘blank canvas’; I’m sure if you had booked an art consultant or interior designer to make their recommendations you’d tidy up, so make this your starting point. It is also a fundamental feng shui principle that de-cluttering your environment will de-clutter your mind. If you don’t have the time or the job is too big call in an expert.

2. THINK LIKE A GUEST – Now walk through your home imagining you’re a visitor or guest so you can understand the logistics of entering your home for the first time and what impression or atmosphere you wish to create. Important areas from a guest’s point of view are: the entrance (this is their first impression) the path from the entrance to the main living/entertaining area and an outdoor area if you have one. Look for what you think they would notice: as you enter your home, is it obvious where the kitchen/living areas are from the entrance; are private rooms or areas such as bedrooms ‘on show’ as guests walk through the house to the living area. Can any outdoor areas be seen from the main living area?

3. DETERMINE ZONES – This time, when you walk through your home again, think from your own perspective and classify it the following zones; entrance (front garden, path, front door, entry) traffic zones (hallways, gardens) formal entertaining (dining room) informal entertaining (family room, games room) function-specific zones (home theatre, kitchen) private zones (bathroom, toilet, bedrooms) business zone (home office, studio). This will assist you to think about where to place art plus what purpose or mood you wish to create in each zone.

4. MAP WHERE YOU WOULD LIKE ARTWORK – List each zone and room and table the atmosphere you wish to achieve and the number of artwork to suit the space.

5. DO SOME RESEARCH – Through your own research you will feel more confidence to make an informed decision when you discuss your needs or view art with an art consultant, interior designer, gallery manager or artist. Plus as you regularly go back to research you will gain an increased knowledge about art and therefore a deeper understanding which will only enhance your appreciation of your collection. To begin:

‘Google it’ search online about art buying advice and tips

Browse online art galleries

Look for articles in your local newspaper about local artists, exhibitions and galleries

Visit local Art Galleries

Talk to local gallery managers and artists as you meet them

6. LIST YOUR PREFERENCES (STYLE, SIZE, MEDIUM) – Return to your planning chart again after your research to put in your preferences of style, size and medium. Style refers to if the artwork is classified within a broad category such as Abstract, Traditional (landscape) or (figures), Surrealism, Pop Art, Impressionism, Digital Art, Still Life, Realism and many more.

Size mainly described as dimensions in centimetres. Also be aware if the dimensions include framing or …

The Fifty Commands of Jesus

In many of my articles I speak about the commands of Jesus. I have found he had at least fifty so here is a list of them in an original list my mother typed up for your reference. There are many benefits to obeying Jesus.

The fifty commands of Jesus

1 Don’t call Jesus Lord when you don’t obey Him. Lk 6:46, Mt 7:21.

2 Build on the rock of obedience to Jesus otherwise you will fall. Mt 7:24-27, Lk 6:47-49.

3 Worship God alone. Mt 4:10b, Lk 4:8.

4 Follow Jesus. Mt 4:19, 11:28-30, Mk 1:17, Jn 1:43,12:26, 10:27, 21:22b.

5 Be salt and light to this world. Mt 5:13-16 Mk 9:50, Lk 11:33, 14:34. Jn 3:21.

6 Don’t call your brother a fool. Mt 5:22, 12:36.

7 Practice instant reconciliation. Mt 5:24-25.

8 Do not look with lust at another this is adultery in the heart. Mt 5:27-28.

9 Do not divorce and marry another, this is adultery. Mt 5:32, 19:9, Mk 10:11-12.

10 Don’t swear an oath. Mt 5:33-37.

11 Do more than expected, go the 2nd mile. Mt 5:38-41.

12 Give to those that ask. Mt 5:42, Lk 6:30, 38.

13 Love, bless and pray for your enemies. Mt 5:43-48, Lk 6:27-29.

14 Quietly do good for God’s praise alone. Mt 6:1-4.

15 When you pray, fast or give do it secretly. Mt 6:5-6.

16 Don’t use vain repetitions when praying. Mt 6:7-8, Mk 12:40.

17 Pray to God the Father. Mt 6:9, Jn 16:23-24.

18 Don’t be anxious. Mt 6:25-32, Lk 12:22-30, Jn14:1, 16:33.

19 Store your riches in heaven not on earth. Mt 6:19-21, 33, Lk 12:21, 31-34, Jn 12:25.

20 Judge not that you may not be judged. Mt 7:1-5, Lk 6:37, 41-42, Jn 7:24.

21 Keep asking, seeking and knocking. Mt 6:9-11, 7:7-11, Lk 11:9-13.

22 Treat others as you like to be treated. Mt 7:12, Lk 6:31.

23 Don’t waste time on argumentative people. Mt 7:6.

24 Forgive others. Mt 6:12, 14-15, 18:21, Mk 11:25-26, Lk 11:9-13.

25 Let the dead bury their dead. Mt 8:22, Lk 9:6a.

26 Don’t fear people-fear God. Mt 10:28, 16:23, Lk 12:4-5.

27 Confess Christ before men. Mt 10:32-33, Mk 5:19, 8:38, Lk 9:26, 12:8-9.

28 Take up your cross. Mt 10:38-39, 16:24-26, Mk 8:34-37, Lk 9:23-26, 14:26-33.

29 Beware of hypocrisy and greed. Mt 15:6-9, 23:28, Lk 6:41-42, 12:1b, 20:46-47.

30 Privately rebuke a brother and if he repents forgive him. Mt 18:15, Lk 17:3-4.

31 Pay your taxes and give to God what is his. Mt 22:21, Mk 12:17, Lk 20:25, 21:4.

32 Love God and others. Mt 22:37-40, Mk 12:30-31, Lk 10:27, Jn 15:12, 13:34-35.

33 Keep alert and watch for the 2nd coming. Mt 24:44,46, 50-51, Mk 14:62, Lk 12:35-40, 21:27-28.

34 Honour God with all that you have been given. Mt 25:14-31, Lk 18:18.

35 Minister to others as you would to Jesus Himself. Mt 25:34-46.

36 Preach the Gospel and teach obedience. Mt 28:20, Mk 16:15, Lk 9:60b, Jn …

10 Signs You Need New Kitchen Cookware

If you’re currently putting up with kitchen cookware and saucepans that have seen better days then perhaps you’re coming round to the idea that you should replace them.

Here’s why you should.

1. Perhaps some of your cookware is a bit dangerous, such as if you have a saucepan with a loose handle, then you might struggle to drain pans of boiling water, or to carry food from the kitchen to the table.

2. You might find that your cookware is no longer suitable for your needs. You might want new baking trays, or a stockpot for making soups and for pasta and rice dishes.

3. Modern technology means that newer pans and cookware is more efficient at cooking than ever before. This means that your food will be cooked sooner, and so cooking will take less time.

4. Another benefit of efficient cookware is that it uses less energy. This is much better for the environment and will also save you money on your energy bill.

5. You might want to have new coloured cookware to match your kitchen décor, or to go with your pans, or your kettle. Why should all your cookware be boring?

6. Your old baking trays might have warped a bit, your frying pan might have lost its non stick coating and you might have lost a lid. Struggling with broken or poor products will make cooking harder.

7. Maybe you’re enjoying cooking more than you used to, and are cooking more often, and perhaps entertaining friends and family. You might want to have more pans so that you can cook bigger and better meals and show off your talents

8. Perhaps you want to get your children involved in the cooking, so that they can help, and know why it’s important to eat meals made with fresh and nutritious ingredients. By using good quality cookware, you’ll be able to keep more of the vital nutrients and vitamins in your meals.

9. You might be fed up of cooking ready meals or living off takeaways because your pans and other cookware isn’t suitable. Perhaps you inherited it when you moved house, or perhaps you use a shared kitchen in a student home.

10. It could be that your family has expanded, and that you need bigger pans and cookware, so that everyone can sit down for meals at the same time.

Now you know more about why you might need it, perhaps now is the time to replace your kitchen cookware.…

How to Clean Attic Mold, Kill It, Or Maybe Forget Attic Mold Remediation – It Could Be Cheaper

House attic mold is one of the most “popular” items in my property inspection reports. And now is time for an explanation of how to kill mold and / or how to clean mold in the attic. But before I do that, let me give you a little advice, something to consider before you sign a few (if you’re lucky) thousand dollars contract agreement with a mold remediation company.

Attic mold remediation TIP – an alternative (to consider):

Let us assume that you are in the middle of a real-estate transaction, and the home inspector just revealed to you, that your entire house attic is contaminated with mold.

If you have a brand new roof, you can only blame yourself or try to blame the roofing contractor for not checking the attic before replacing the roof (he will laugh at you unless you’ve actually asked the guy to check the attic before the roof replacement). If you have an older roof, the importance of this advice is even greater.

Call at least 2-3 mold remediation companies for an estimate – specify to the representatives, that you not only want to have the mold removed, but also attic ventilation system corrected / installed if necessary / ask if the attic insulation requires replacement.

With the numbers from the mold remediation contractors, call 2-3 roofing contractors, and ask them for a quote on the roof replacement cost including decking boards / plywood (ask the roofer to check the attic area), attic ventilation improvement, and insulation if necessary.

Be cautious if they only suggest humidistat controlled power vent installation – without properly functioning soffit vents or any type of vents along the lower portion of the roof this might not be an adequate solution.

If the attic insulation replacement is not required (it most cases it will not be possible to tell without laboratory testing), make sure it’s sealed with plastic foil before the roof and its decking replacement. Fold the foil sealing its contents after the contaminated decking has been removed, and dispose of as a regular waste (EPA recommendation).

If you only have a small area of attic contaminated with mold, the roof replacement option would be more expensive. But with an entire attic that needs mold remediation, it might be cheaper (or even much cheaper) to remove all contaminated decking, install completely new roof and correct ventilation issues.

I have seen $3,000.00 – $10,000.00 invoices for the attic mold remediation process in approximately 1000 square feet of attic area.

Benefits of the roof / decking replacement over the mold removal:

  • roof and decking replacement might be cheaper than cleaning of an entire attic contaminated with mold
  • the real-estate transaction killing mold is gone
  • attic ventilation improvement is much easier during the roof replacement and often handled with no significant / additional cost
  • the buyer gets a brand new roof

Even if the roof replacement price is slightly higher than the mold remediation process, it is still worth to take it …

Things to Do Before Moving Into Your New House

You have just purchased a new house, done with all the payments and paperwork. You must be relaxed now that the pain of searching for a home has finally reached an end, but my friend, wait for a moment, as you have just won half of the battle. The struggle of moving into your new address is yet to be fought. You may not even realise but the D-day of shifting will come as if you just wake up from a dream. Hence, here is a bucket list of a few things to do before moving into your new house so you can remember this day, not as a painstaking one but a day filled with loads of memories.

Change the Locks

As soon as your deal is over, and you can call that new house your own, the foremost thing that you need to do is to change the locks on all the exterior doors. The reason is pretty obvious. It is really difficult to get assured that whether the last owner, the home guard, the broker or even the neighbour can have the house keys. As precaution is always better than cure, we would suggest you to install new locks before moving into your new house.

Paint the Walls and Ceilings

Though it is not really necessary that you need to whitewash the entire house, but then it’s something that we would definitely suggest you to do. With painting walls and ceilings, you get to see their actual condition. There is a strong possibility that the house may look lucrative from the exterior but it may not be the same case beneath a few layers. Also, this is a good time to repair all the holes, cracks and any other defect in the house. As it is a tedious task, so try to hire a professional who can make it perfect from inside out.

Inspect Plumbing Leaks

It is one of the most important things to do before moving into your new house. Numerous homebuyers complained that their homebuilder hasn’t given a damn to the plumbing leaks in your new house. So, before you make a shift to your new home, check if there is any seepage in the home or even in the building. For this purpose, inspect washbasins, toilets and dripping faucets, and exteriors of the building and if you find one, do get it repaired immediately. Maybe slowly, but even an inconsiderable amount of seepage can eat your entire house.

Call Pest Control

Are you still thinking why you should call a team of pest control experts? Well, you can consider eliminating it if you are buying a new home. But, in any case, if you are buying a home that was used by someone in the past or has been unlived for a long time, then you should unquestionably have to opt for pest control before moving into your new house. Who wants to stay in a house which is a playground for a …