How to keep your kids toys from taking over

I have threatened throwing all of my kids’ toys away, threatened to donate them and threatened that Santa was not bringing any new toys. Toys have taken over my house and especially as having them home all day, it seems it is much worse.

If you are in this same boat, perhaps you will find these tips as useful as I have.

  1. REDUCE THE CLUTTER

It doesn’t matter how organized you are — a surplus of toys will always ensure your house is a mess waiting to happen. Fortunately, getting kids on board with the idea of ditching their stuff is a lot easier than it sounds.

  1. CHOOSE TOYS WISELY

Since you’ll probably be stuck with them for a while, it pays to be picky when it comes to buying toys. To make toys more meaningful to your child, only buy them for holidays, special occasions and rewards — don’t shy away from asking relatives to do the same.

  1. LEAVE SOME TOYS OUT OF REACH

If you’re constantly finding play dough and puzzle pieces in the sofa cushions, it’s time to put them on the top shelf of the closet. Designating these messy toys as ”family toys” will give you more quality time with your child instead of scrubbing pen marks off the curtains.

  1. SET BOUNDARIES

If toys are already sprawled out over every available surface of your house, don’t worry! You can quickly reclaim order in your household by setting a few ground rules, such as ”no toys in the kitchen” or setting limits on the number of toys allowed out overnight.

  1. GIVE KIDS OWNERSHIP

Picking up toys doesn’t have to be boring. Babies, toddlers and big kids alike can have fun organizing and picking up, just as long as it’s not a negative experience. This means you should provide enough time for enjoyment without resorting to counting ”1, 2, 3” or shouting empty threats.

  1. GIVE EVERY TOY A HOME

Without a simple organizational system, picking up can be a major headache. Don’t throw everything into one big toy box; there’s a better way.

  1. HIT THE BOOKS

It’s not your imagination. That pile of storybooks by the couch really is getting taller, and if you wait much longer, it will likely turn into a giant heap.

Worse yet, your kid uses those books to stall and push back bedtime a little later with each passing night. That’s why it’s important to either keep the books in your child’s room, or keep a small selection of favorites in a basket for easy retrieval.

For more on these tips, and more, read here!


Posted on December 29, 2020 at 7:34 pm
Lindsay Ohmer | Posted in Homeowner |

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CARPET

Carpet. What separates us from the animals. There’s an aura of civilized living to a carpeted room. A warmth. Though wood-flooring maybe have become a more popular flooring option, you still probably prefer carpet in certain rooms like a bedroom or personal office. It’s just cozier.

But not all carpets are the same. Going from this article from DIY Network, you can break carpets into two different types: loop pile and cut pile.

Loop pile means the fibers are bent into little loops. It’s durable and stain resistant. Ideal for a spot in the house with high foot-traffic.

Cut pile carpets cut the yarn tips so there aren’t any loops. These carpets tend to be denser and softer.

You can dig deeper into the different types of both loop and cut pile, but here’s my suggestion: consider the type of room you’re carpeting. If it’s your bonus room or basement where there will be lots of foot traffic and more likely for spills, then you’re better off looking at loop pile. If the room is the opposite: low traffic and lesslikely to messy, such as a personal office, then go with cut pile.

Carpet will always be an option in our homes. It provides a comfy atmosphere. So that’s decided. Now you just want to make sure you’re picking the best carpet for your home. Read more about the types of carpet here.


Posted on August 18, 2020 at 3:04 pm
Lori Flynn | Posted in Buying, Homeowner, Selling |

CAULKING LIKE A PRO

caulking

Caulk often cracks during the first year of a house’s life, due to the house drying out and settling. Unsightly cracks in the caulk aren’t just ugly, they can lead to leakage too. Once a house has settled, caulk cracks should appear much less often and with much less severity… but we live in the Midwest and houses here typically contract and expand with the seasons, so you may need to do ongoing maintenance in regard to the caulking in your home. Luckily, fixing caulk is a relatively quick and easy task that can enhance the look of your home. Here are some quick tips to make your caulking project a breeze:

1. Choose the right caulk and dispenser
2. Remove old caulk and clean the surface
3. Tape off surfaces
4. Apply the caulk
5. Smooth the joint
6. Remove the tape

For more information, please click here.


Posted on August 17, 2020 at 6:26 pm
Lori Flynn | Posted in Homeowner, Selling |

BEST WAYS TO KEEP YOUR CARPET SPOTLESS

The room falls quiet.  Emotions run high.  SOMEONE has spilled something onto the carpet.  Your carpet.  Panic ensues.  Guilt.  Blame.  Frustration.  After the drama clears the room, you, the homeowner/carpet owner, needs to do what you can to remove that stain from your beloved carpet.

Thanks to this article from Popular Mechanics, I can provide you with a few approaches to help you keep your carpet spotless.

  • Club Soda. Of course! Over the course of my life, club soda has a played a larger role as a cleaning product than a beverage.  Pour club soda on the satin and blot it.  If the stain appears to lighten, rinse and repeat.
  • Shaving Cream. Now we’re getting weird.   Make the room react “ohhhh, I didn’t know you could that”.  Basic shaving cream is reputable to remove most stains.  Apply it and wait for it to set, blot it with a dry white cloth.  Finish the process with a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water.
  • Dish Soap. This one makes sense when you think about: dish soap is designed to remove grease.  Well, you got a greasy stain?  Hit it with the product designed to remove grease!  Place a few drops of the dish soap into a cup of warm water.  Mix it and put it into a spray bottle.  Spray and blot (hidden reward of writing this blog- how many types I’ve gotten to type the word “blot”)

Accidents happen.  Now’s the not the time for accusations, now’s the time for solutions.  Your nephew spills nacho cheese all over your carpet.  A sad waste of precious nacho cheese and an attack on the appearance of your carpet.  Apply these remedies and blot, blot, blot!  Read more approaches to remove stains here.


Posted on August 7, 2020 at 1:03 pm
Lori Flynn | Posted in Homeowner |

HOW TO KEEP A HEALTHY LAWN DURING THE HOT, DRY SUMMER

Man, it’s hot outside.  The type of heat where it feels like you have a thick blanket thrown on you the second you step into the sun.  The type of heat that immediately sends you into a sweat to cool off.  So let’s try to imagine what our lawns are going through.  I’m not a grass-ology science guy, but I don’t think our lawns have to ability to “sweat” or cool themselves down.  They just take the blistering sun all day, everyday.

Our lawns are holding on by a thread.  Losing their color and vitality.  This article from Patuxent Nursery provides us with some tips to salvage your lawn during the dog days of summer.

Of course, watering is a no-brainer.  Your lawn’s thirsty, so give it a drink.  If you see the forecast and rain isn’t coming anytime soon, water your lawn in the morning, between 6am – 10am.  This practice will help avoid peak evaporation during the day.

Keep your grass longer.  Longer grass will allow for the establishment of longer roots, which can reach more moisture in the soil.  You may be thinking that means you have to mow more frequently, but your grass won’t be growing as quickly during such desperate times.

Aerate your lawn.  Your lawn needs to “breathe”.  Aerating it will also increase your lawn’s ability to absorb more water.

You’re putting on sunscreen, drinking more water, and dressing lighter to stay healthy during this scorching summer, your lawn should be making adjustments too!  Learn more approaches you can take with your lawn to keep it healthy this summer here.


Posted on August 7, 2020 at 12:38 pm
Lori Flynn | Posted in Homeowner |

Simple Garage Storage Solutions

It’s easy for a garage to get cluttered, everything that doesn’t store well ends up in your garage with all your large bulky tools. This gets to be a problem when you can’t even use your garage to do all your fun summer projects. There is hope for you yet though, with some planning, and creative use of space you can get your garage back to it’s former glory, and with a little luck, maybe you can park your car in there too!

 

INSTALL WALL ORGANIZERS

Vertical storage is key, especially when you have several shovels, rakes, trimmers, etc. It’s easiest to figure out by laying all your tools on the ground and finding the most space efficient way the can sit next to each other, then just put a board up on the wall and hang away! We got ours organized with just a couple of wood boards and screws and it looks great!

 

HIGH CEILING STORAGE

With seasonal tools, and you rarely use, there’s no sense in storing those things in your commonspace with everything else. If you have some patience and planning you can easily build a shelf high up in your garage above the garage door. This space is always going to be occupied to the door so you may as well use some of the space above it! Just be sure to add create enough support for the shelf depending on how much weight it will need to hold, a tall beam running to the ceiling is a good way to make sure you’re distributing the load.

 

PEG BOARDS ARE ESSENTIAL

Getting a peg board is a very affordable way to clean out tool boxes and drawers. This allows you to get rid of bulky unnecessary tool boxes and free drawers up for better storage, they can even look pretty nice if you take your time laying the tools out!

 

Not enough storage solutions? You can check out even more tips here!


Posted on June 28, 2020 at 2:53 pm
Lori Flynn | Posted in Homeowner |

14 ITEMS THAT WILL MAKE MOVING DAY GO SMOOTHLY

My husband and I just bought a new home and sold our current. We are moving! Now that the excitement has worn off, it is time to get packing. As I think through packing and how I will get five years into a truck, I am also thinking through what moving day will look like. I am not gonna lie, I am not looking forward to this part. Sure, it’s exciting, but the process of moving sounds exhausting!

 

I stumbled upon these 14 steps from realtor.com to make moving day as pain-free as possible.

 

  1. Bottled water and food

You are likely be starving after hours of cleaning and moving, and won’t want to make a trip to the supermarket. Have some water bottles on hand, and get easy-to-make food, such as pasta and sauce, for the first couple of days, while you settle into your new home.

 

  1. Boxcutter

This will make it easier to open the boxes that you overtaped.

 

  1. Cleaning Supplies

You’ll want to give your house a good scrubbing before you move in. “Don’t forget paper towels and other cleaning supplies in case the house is dusty,” says Travaglini. Bring your supplies from your old home, or head to the store and buy soap, floor cleaner, sponges, a mop, bucket, window cleaners, a vacuum, bathroom cleaner, and a toilet scrubber.

 

  1. Closet hangers

You’ve made sure your new home is spotless. Now make sure your clothes aren’t wrinkled. (You’ll thank us for this one.)

 

  1. Cooler with ice

This is a good idea if the previous owner didn’t leave a fridge, and yours hasn’t arrived yet.

 

  1. Furniture sliders

Even if you have movers, you may want furniture sliders, the little things that go under the legs of chairs and couches and allow you to slide them easily without scratching your floor. You can pick them up at any hardware store.

 

  1. New front-door lock

That ceremonious moment when you’re handed the keys to your new home is exciting. But you can’t be sure who else has a pair. Plan ahead and buy a new front-door lock, and set an appointment with a locksmith to change the locks or rekey the doors. You can have them come by on move-in day or shortly after.

 

  1. Lamps

Don’t spend your first night in your new house in the dark! Pack up all the lamps and light fixtures you’re planning to keep from your previous home and have them readily available. “Some rooms don’t have overhead lighting, so lamps will be very helpful,” says Rita Patriarca, a real estate agent at Re/Max Encore in Wilmington, MA.

 

  1. Lightbulbs and batteries

These are other items you can usually buy in bulk. Most large retail and hardware stores carry bulbs in various wattage and shapes.

 

  1. Toiletries

Personal hygiene might be the last thing on your mind on move-in day, but make sure you have soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and anything else you need. Moving day is a sweaty experience, and you’ll need a shower when you’re done. Plus, your new home will attract neighbors and friends. You’ll want to smell and look nice. Right?

 

  1. Trash cans and trash bags

If you plan to keep your trash barrel outside of a cabinet and you have a pet, it’s a good idea to get one with a secure top. You don’t want Fido or Tabby getting into the trash.

 

  1. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

You never want to go a day living in a house without property smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check the house on move-in day to make sure you have enough detectors. Test each one to make sure the batteries are working.

 

  1. Sticky notes

Mark down where you want things. It’s a good idea to label where you want your furniture, TV, dining-room table, etc. You can do this by writing on a sticky note and leaving it where you want the items located. This will help the movers know where to put everything.

 

  1. Your favorite beverage

Whether you prefer champagne, Dr. Pepper, or Maker’s Mark, get yourself your favorite beverage to celebrate your new home. Toast yourself, your significant other, your kids, your friends and family, and everyone else who played a part in the move. You’ve earned it.

Thanks to MIBOR for the blog post!


Posted on June 10, 2020 at 7:38 pm
Lori Flynn | Posted in Homeowner, Selling |

5 Quick Organizational Projects

organize

 

We’ve been home for a little over a month now and while we would have loved to take on organizing every crevice inside of our homes, things have been busy! So what’s a person to do?  We prioritized a few areas in our home and it has made such a big difference! So, if you need a project (or a couple), look no further!

 

  1. Your Kitchen Counters

    Most of us aren’t used to being in our homes as much as we are now, and since we aren’t going outside for work or fun, we’re eating at home a lot more too. Try to remove everything except for cooking tools, condiments, and spices that you use every day – everything else, should be kept elsewhere in your home. Then, organize your kitchen utensil drawer so it’s easy to grab exactly what you need while cooking and serving meals.

  2. Paper Pile

    It’s a great time to get your paperwork and tax documents in order. This chore is so easy to procrastinate on, but once you have a system in place to sort tax forms insurance documents, and bank statements, it will be easier to maintain in the future. Don’t keep mail in your kitchen – especially now, when mail and deliveries should be handled with some caution, they don’t belong on your cooking surface!

  3. Your Entryway

    Most people have to go out to get groceries or pick up critically needed goods – walking in the door requires a thorough disinfecting process. To helf facilitate that, take some time to clear out extra coats or decorative items. If you have space, set up a spot to remove shoes right as you walk in the door. Leave some hand sanitizer on the entryway console or shelf so you can quickly clean hands (before washing them) and disinfecting wipes to wipe down the doorknob and handle.

  4. Your Pantry

    It’s a good time to take stock of your pantry staples. Start by removing everything from your pantry, checking expiration dates, and wiping down the shelves. Take note of any items that you may need and add them to your shopping list for your next order or trip to the store

  5. Your Closet

    You might just be wearing leggings and a hoodie but now is a good time to evaluate your closet. With a bit of distance and perspective, you can objectively think about the outfits you wear and those you never tough. And you might just find some items that you are excited about wearing again!

Thanks for the tips MIBOR!


Posted on April 26, 2020 at 12:10 pm
Lori Flynn | Posted in Homeowner |

How to get rid of ants (and keep them away)!

Ants

 

We have an ant problem. They’re surrounding Sparky’s food. They keep crawling in it and he won’t eat. They’re very small and hard to see. And’ it’s been frustrating cleaning them up, time and time again. And regular ant traps have peanut butter in them. A peanut butter ant trap next to a dog’s food bowl is not a great combination. This article from Food.NDTV.com provide some items you may already have on hand that will be effective in getting rid of ants and keeping them away –

  1. Chalk
  2. Pepper
  3. Salt
  4. White Vinegar
  5. Cinnamon
  6. Oranges
  7. Lemons
  8. Peppermint

The irony here is the display of ants’ appetite. They’ll risk their lives for a discarded Blow Pop (or dog food), but don’t want anything to do with oranges and lemons. Food is what attracts them as well as repels them… just depends on the type of food.

Read the full article here.


Posted on April 23, 2020 at 5:11 pm
Lori Flynn | Posted in Homeowner |

How to buy and sell a home at the same time

Home in Hand

 

We all believe buying a home for the first time is the hardest thing until we have to buy and sell at the same time!

If you’re looking to graduate from first-timer to repeat buyer, you know things are about to get much trickier. Unless you’re a bona fide house collector, you’ll have to sell your home in order to buy anew—adding a whole separate layer of anxiety to what you already know is a stressful home-buying process.

Realtor.com gives us some great tips on how to manage buying and selling without losing your mind.

  1. Know the market

Before you start seriously searching for a new home—or put your current home on the market—make sure you have a solid understanding of the housing market in your area (and the area where you’re planning to buy).

Ask your real estate agent: Is the market weighted toward buyers or sellers? Only then will you be able to fully strategize. In real estate, your best plan of action may depending on whether sellers or buyers are in the more powerful position.

  1. Plan your schedule carefully

You might be asking: Should you try to buy first, then sell—or vice versa? Both have their risks and rewards.

Selling first makes getting a mortgage easier, but it also means you’ll need to find a temporary place to live.

Buying first means that moving will be easier, but it also skews your debt-to-income ratio, making it harder to qualify for a new mortgage—not to mention the difficulty of juggling two monthly house payments.

  1. Know your financial solutions

For those who choose to sell first, the process is relatively straightforward: taking on the additional cost of a rental between homes.

However, you might want to consider the option of a rent-back agreement, where you negotiate with the lenders and buyers to be able to remain in the property for a maximum of 60 to 90 days—often in exchange for a lower selling price or for rent paid to the buyers.

This can relieve some of the pressure of finding a new home, giving you additional time to house hunt.

But if you’re buying first, talk to your Realtor about ways to decrease your financial burden and risk.

  1. Don’t let fear rush you

If your home has sold but you haven’t found a new place to live, don’t let anxiety push you toward a bad decision.

 

For more, visit here


Posted on January 8, 2020 at 3:07 pm
Lori Flynn | Posted in Buying, Homeowner, Selling |