7 Easy Ways to Organize Your Home

7 Easy Ways to Organize Your Home

If your home is looking cluttered, messy and in desperate need of organization, take a deep breath. There are plenty of ways to organize your home without spending a fortune. You can spend a few dollars here and there on storage products at your local home improvement store. The key is to get what you don’t need out and everything you do need in its place — somewhere that’s manageable and easy to reach. Here are some quick tips on getting your house in shape:

  1. Get rid of unnecessary items. Go through every room in your home — garage, basement, bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, etc. — armed with boxes and trash bags. Separate the necessities from items you don’t need or use anymore. Donate usable items to people who can use them. Giveaway, recycle or put everything else in the trash!
  2. Start sorting. Once everything old and unused is out, get everything else in some semblance of order. Cluster items like books, clothes, shoes, linens, etc., grouping like with like.
  3. Containers are your friend. Find ways to put smaller items like shoes, books and linens in containers, when possible. By putting them in storage bins and boxes, you will always know where to find and put them. It’s also easier to store them in easy-to-manage containers, especially if you want to put shoes in bins underneath your bed or winter clothing on closet shelves when it’s summer.
  4. Group by family member or season. If you’re sharing rooms or common spaces, color code and label areas and bins so you’ll always know where clothes, toys, and other items go. In situations where you need to label by season, you can use colors like pink for spring, yellow for summer, and so on. This is especially useful for storage bins with season-specific clothing and shoes.
  5. Use racks and holders. Racks are especially useful for shoes, spices, tools, office materials and so forth. Make use of them in the entryway, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom to hold coats, hand towels, curling irons and the like.
  6. Don’t forget about small items. Assign your small items — office supplies, keys, phones, etc. — a specific storage space.
    • Keys: Hang on hooks near the front door or by the door to the garage.
    • Phones: Store in a linen pocket on a hook by the door. (Some have a hole near the bottom for the charger to go through.)
    • Office supplies: Organize in a drawer or keep a basket atop a desk or table to fit pens, stapler, and other assorted items.
  7. Always label! This cannot be stressed enough. Labeling prevents clutter, and it should be enforced in areas like the kitchen and bathroom. Knowing where certain items go at all times puts in place a regulatory practice and cuts down on the misplacement of everything from medicine to spices and pots and pans.

This can all seem overwhelming, especially if you live in a large home and have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years. If you prefer, you can hire a professional organizer to come in and help you with the process. The main goal is to get the clutter out and turn your home into an organized, clean oasis for the whole family.

How to Transition Your Kids’ Rooms

How to Transition Your Kids’ Rooms

As your children grow and change, so should their bedrooms. However, if you were to revamp their rooms with every changing interest, favorite color or boy band, you would not only be spending a lot of time, but also a lot of money. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re looking to transition a child’s room as he or she continues to get older.

Start With Change in Mind

Designing a child’s nursery when you’re expecting is a fun and exciting experience. What parents may not plan for, though, are the unforeseen changes that the room might need as the child grows. Create a nursery with neutral wall colors and an open floor plan for playtime. It makes an easier transition that you can work with each changing year.

Consult With Them

When you’re planning to revamp your children’s room after a few years, make sure to consult with them. It’s likely they won’t hold back in letting you know what they want. You can enhance a child’s creativity and production levels if their rooms are filled with things that excite them.

Choose the Right Items

There are certain pieces of furniture and décor that can grow with a child. For example, a desk is a piece of furniture that can be added into a room and never seem to lose its importance, whether they’ll be endlessly creating works of art in coloring books or filling out college applications. Other items can include a classic bedframe and a monochromatic comforter.

Work Slowly but Surely

Make sure to try not to overwhelm your child with a lot of changes at once. If you’ve decided that it is time to “grow up” from the nursery, it may be best to do it little by little. Most parents choose to start with a new bed before gradually continuing to swap out the old with the new.

Remember Teen Tips

During the teen years, make sure to declutter (that garage sale money can go to their college fund), freshen up with a new paint job, and provide grown-up accessories. Allow room for self-expression, but with limits. For instance, you can frame posters instead of using thumb tacks or tape directly on the walls. A bold rug is fine for the time being, especially if it protects the carpet or floor from food spills or shoe marks.

Raising children can be one of the greatest joys in life, so make sure their room reflects that! Take these tips with you over the years and let the DIY project become a fun one you and your child can look back on.

How to Choose Roofing – 6 Types to Consider

How to Choose Roofing – 6 Types to Consider

Whether you’re replacing an existing roof or researching options for a new home, deciding between roofing styles, materials and costs can be complicated. To help you determine the correct roofing materials for your home, here are the pros and cons of the six most popular roofing types.

#1 Asphalt Shingle
The most common roofing material, asphalt shingles, are affordable and simple to install. Asphalt shingles are produced when a fiberglass shingle is mixed with asphalt and finished with a textured surface. Asphalt shingles come in two basic configurations: single-thickness and laminate.
Pros: Asphalt shingles are available in an assortment of colors and are the most economical material available.
Cons: Asphalt shingles have a shorter life span and don’t offer the same level of insulation as other roofing alternatives.

#2 Wood Shake
For centuries wood was a common material used in residential roofing. But, due to its flammability, modern day use is less common.
Pros: Wood offers a natural, rustic look.
Cons: Wood shingles are flammable and can potentially suffer from mold or rot. The life span of wood roofing is also limited (similar to asphalt shingles).

#3 Metal (various types)
Aluminum, steel, copper, copper-asphalt and lead are the most popular metal roofing alternatives. Metal roofs are extremely durable but costly to install in both material and installation time.
Pros: Metal is strong and offers high solar reflectance, allowing for efficient cooling and heating of homes.
Cons: Metal is typically the most expensive roofing alternative.

#4 Ceramic and Cement Tile
Rounded tile roofing products are common with Spanish Colonial and Mission-style homes. Homeowners considering tile for their roof should be aware of the cost — anywhere between $400 and $800 on average per tile.
Pros: Tiles are durable and energy efficient.
Cons: The weight of tile roofing is heavy and may require additional framing for support.

#5 Slate Roofing
Slate is extremely durable and known for its many variations in origin, thickness and color.
Pros: Slate is dependable and considered to be a sustainable, recyclable roofing material.
Cons: Slate is expensive and requires additional roofing support to supplement its weight.

#6 Synthetic Roofing
Synthetic roofing products (rubber, plastic and polymer roofing) have been developed to provide the color, look and texture of other roofing materials (without the high cost).
Pros: Synthetic roofing is durable and affordable.
Cons: Due to their recent development, some synthetic materials have been known to absorb moisture.

Conclusion
When considering a roofing material for your home, consult with a local roofing specialist to ensure that you choose the appropriate material for your home’s aesthetic (and budget).

5 Home Projects to Complete in 10 Minutes or Less

5 Home Projects to Complete in 10 Minutes or Less

You probably have a laundry list of projects you’ve been meaning to complete around your home. Luckily, there are tips to help you complete some of these tasks in ten minutes or less. Your home can feel more organized (almost) instantly.

Organize your kitchen pantry: Start by sorting out expired items. Now organize your shelves by function. Separate snacks, baking necessities, spices, and more. Take inspiration from your favorite grocery stores. This ten minute task can save you time when you’re cooking your favorite recipes or making a quick midnight snack. As an added bonus, it reduces the chance of adding salt instead of sugar or vice versa.

Make natural cleaning products: Skip the store. Make your own cleaning products using things you probably already have on hand. You can save money, have a clean home, and be more environmentally friendly.

Organize your closet: Set a timer and organize your closet for ten minutes. We recommend organizing by color, type, or function. For example, hang all shirts, jackets, sweaters, skirts, pants, and dresses with each other. You will probably end up saving time in the long run, because it will be easier to find what you’re looking for.

Peeling wallpaper: Put a drop of wallpaper paste on a sheet of paper, rub the paper on the underside of the exposed wall, then press the peeling wallpaper against the glue. Smooth any bubbles out with a clean cloth and the wall can look as good as new!

Sliding glass doors or windows: If your glass fixtures are not sliding as smoothly as they should, spray a cloth with silicone lubricant and wipe it along the tracks. It’ll make it easier to get some fresh air.

Get off your computer, turn off the TV, and get started!

Questions for Every Room of the Open House

Questions for Every Room of the Open House

Open houses provide more than the opportunity to showcase your clients’ listed homes; they also allow you to exercise your knowledge as a real estate agent by fielding questions from potential home buyers. While these questions can range from the common to the rare, most of them are focused on the house or neighborhood in general. However, as they walk through your open house, different rooms may inspire inquiries that are a bit more specific in nature. With CENTURY 21® Real Estate’s insight, you may find it easier to anticipate these niche questions and prepare for them in advance. Take a look at what questions each area of the house might elicit from potential home buyers.

The Front Door

Some, if not most, potential home buyers are already taking stock of the house before they step in the door. Just seeing the exterior of the house in its neighborhood may lead to the following:

  • When were the windows installed?
  • How old is the roof?
  • What are the neighbors like?

Structural renovations, such as replacing drafty windows or aging roofs, may be costly. Since roofs tend to need replacement every 20 or 25 years, the home buyer will want to factor in maintenance costs. Neighbors are not so costly, but they may affect quality of life. Try talking up positive aspects of the relationship between the current homeowners and their neighbors.

The Kitchen

This room is often the hub of family homes, so it’s important to know its quality beforehand. Expect questions similar to the following:

  • What are the cabinets made out of?
  • When were the appliances installed?
  • Is the countertop sealed?

Cabinets made of solid wood tend to last longer, and newer appliances usually function better. Answer honestly and accurately, but remember to focus on the positive or memorable aspects of these features.

The Bathroom

Maintenance issues with this room are often the most inconvenient, for obvious reasons. The home buyer will want to make sure that everything is functional before they commit. You might hear things like:

  • How old is the plumbing?
  • Where does the sewage lead to?
  • Has it ever been treated for mold?

While these aren’t the most glamorous of topics, they’re key to the quality of the house. Be truthful about the facts, but this might be an area where you stay away from anecdotes.

The Basement

Whether or not the basement is finished, potential home buyers are sure to take a look at it. After doing so, they may ask:

  • How old is the wiring?
  • Have you ever experienced water damage?
  • Has there ever been flooding?

Here, it’s crucial that you discuss past issues you may have had because they may pose an indication for future events that the home buyer should be aware of. For example, if the basement flooded only once during an unusually strong storm, just tell them. It might not be a deal breaker, but it may be something they’d like to know to prepare for in severe weather. Just be sure to include information on how the current homeowner dealt with the problem, and the precautions they took to prevent it in the future.

Develop answers to these questions for your next open house and you may enhance the home buyer’s experience while showcasing your skills as an agent who’s SMARTER.BOLDER.FASTER.®