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Tag Archives: Environment

PLEASE GET RID OF MY HOUSEGUESTS!

PLEASE GET RID OF MY HOUSEGUESTS!

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young”    Henry Ford 

Colder temperatures send pests, such as field mice, spiders, water bugs, and cockroaches – or palmetto bugs as they call them here in Florida, searching for food, water and shelter inside your homes. Mice are a common winter nuisance here in the south, and only need a space the size of a nickel to enter your home.
I remember as a child, my father putting steel wool around the pipe openings, or if he made a repair, in the opening before sealing that repair.  It didn’t matter if there was no way anything could come into our home once the repair was made, as long as my mother felt secure, that is all that mattered. So to help you keep those unwanted house guests away here are some tips.

  • Seal any cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including utility and pipe entrances.
  • Seal the openings where a pipe comes into your home – under sinks etc. You can use that stuff that squirts into an opening then expands and hardens or you can use the old steel wool method.
  • Put screens on vents and openings to chimneys. This will also keep birds, bats, raccoons and squirrels away.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather-stripping around the basement foundation and windows, and at all entry doors. Helps with utility bills as well.
  • Keep attics, basements if you have one, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • If you store items in totes, make sure you tape up the holes.  Those holes allow spiders, roaches and other assorted bugs to crawl into the tote and nest.  You’ll usually find those holes in the handles or the carved out spaces for your hands to carry the tote.  Yes, those holes are there for ventilation, but I for one do not like to be surprised with a spider nest when I go for something stored in the tote. I would rather seal it, than create a nesting place for bugs and mice. Been there! Done that!
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REMODELING YOUR KITCHEN

REMODELING YOUR KITCHEN
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”  –  Oscar Wilde
 

The prospect of a newly remodeled home, while certainly tempting, often ignores the requisite headaches that come with the territory. Take, for instance, the kitchen, one of the most frequently remodeled rooms by virtue of its functionality and the amount of time families spend there.

Homeowners rarely stop to consider the imminent chaos that will befall them when they decide to remodel their kitchens. For starters, you’ll be asked to remove everything in your cabinets and drawers. That means all silverware, plates, cups, pots and pans, cookbooks, and depending upon whether or not you’re a pack rat, possibly other items, as well. Before long, your kitchen is draped in plastic, your forks are sitting on your living room coffee table, your spices are in the bathroom cabinet, and now the contractors are moving your refrigerator to the dining room so that they can reach the wall behind it. Need to microwave your breakfast? You’ll have to head to the spare bedroom. That’s where the microwave is now. It’s balanced precariously on a bar-stool by the computer desk. And you’ll need to figure out where to wash your breakfast dishes, because your kitchen sink is either filled with construction dust and tools, or it’s not there altogether. Your dishwasher is sitting in the foyer, so you won’t be able to use that, either. Garden hose, anyone?

No, it’s not a pretty picture. The chaos can be exacerbated by the time of year. For families with school-aged children, it’s probably best to begin remodeling jobs during the school year. Otherwise, you’ve got the kids underfoot, and it’s a matter of time before your patience is wearing thin. If you’ve never lived through a remodeling job, and you’re about to begin the process in your own home, you’re undoubtedly experiencing some trepidation. Aside from the obvious money-induced butterflies, you may be asking yourself to what extent your home life will be turned upside down during the remodeling process, which — depending upon the project — could last anywhere from several weeks to several months.

How on earth are you going to retain your sanity during this messy period? You could go with the obvious answer, of course, and find yourself a motel room with a kitchen or even a reasonably priced corporate apartment if you’re looking at several weeks’ worth of chaos. But that’s assuming you have disposable income left, and that’s a big if with most of us who are embarking on what could very well be one of the biggest investments of our lives. If it’s within your means to stay at a motel for even a short period of time (you may want to wait until the messiest phase of construction begins if you’re on a limited budget), just make sure that you find yourself some accommodations near your home so you’ll be able to make frequent and unannounced visits to monitor progress. If you’re lucky, you might have family or friends in the area who will either volunteer a spare bedroom or two, a sofa, or at least an occasional respite from the sawing, hammering, drilling and dust.

No, you’re going to stay and tough it out, you say, and so will the kids. It’ll be a character-building experience for everyone involved. Yes, it will, but you can make it easier on everyone by attempting to carve some semblance of organization into an otherwise haphazard household. If you have a spare bedroom, convert it into your temporary living quarters. Move the furniture against the wall, and set up your microwave and a card table and chairs. If you don’t already own inexpensive shelving, purchase some temporary shelves to store your plates, cups and silverware. You may want to seriously consider using paper plates, cups and utensils for the time being, because the question of where to wash your dishes can be a hassle to solve. If you own a dorm-sized refrigerator, move it into the bedroom. Purchase bottled water. Resign yourself to eating out as much as possible within the constraints of your budget, electing to spend breakfast in your makeshift kitchen, giving the kids lunch money for school, and then heading to an inexpensive restaurant for dinner.

It’s important to note, however, that if you decide to stick around during the remodeling process, you’re going to reach a point at which your absence is required. Many paints, glues and other materials commonly used in the construction process contain fumes that could be harmful to your family if inhaled. Ask your contractors up front when they plan to use materials that emanate potentially hazardous fumes. Plan to clear the house at those times — overnight, if necessary. This may, indeed, be the occasion during which you head to a motel for the sake of your family’s safety. Make sure that before you leave, you speak to your contractors about keeping your home properly ventilated before, during and after the application process.

Another reason you should keep a close eye on your contractors — regardless of whether or not you’re going to be remaining in your home during construction — is that you’re going to have to take steps to protect your home from damage. Even the best contractors have been known to scratch or cause other damage to a wood, tile or linoleum floor or track mud onto the carpet. Cover as many of these sensitive surfaces as possible before construction begins, and check to make sure they remain covered throughout the project’s duration. In addition, your breakables and other valuables — including fine China, vases, artwork and even your television, stereo and other electronics — should be removed from the immediate area and stored until the project is completed.

While these measures won’t inoculate you from the temporary inconvenience inherent in the remodeling process, they’ll help you keep your lifestyle as normal as possible until the dust has cleared and the plastic is lifted on your brand-new kitchen. And regardless of how long you have to wait for that moment, it’s nearly always worth the headaches required to get there.

GETTING SETTLED IN YOUR NEW HOME

GETTING SETTLED IN YOUR NEW HOME

“The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want”. – Ben Stein

Relocating to a new community involves a lot of planning and attention to detail. Much attention goes into getting moved out, but getting moved in is just as important. Here are some of the things you’ll want to do once you arrive at your new home:

# 1: Unpack the essentials
With a little planning you can create an “open first” box or two that will have your essentials for the first few days. If you’re not moving everything yourself, plan for the possibility of arriving before your stuff does. Toiletries, medicine, a few changes of clothes, and basic kitchen items (such as a can opener, wooden spoon, cutting knife, one pot and one pan) are good examples of must-have items.

# 2: Help your pets acclimate
A move can leave pets excited and scared. If possible do not leave them unattended in the yard. Staying in their presence will be calming and lessens the chance of runaways.

# 3: Get the kids settled
If your things have arrived, help each child set up their bed and unpack one box of toys. Otherwise, get them excited about “camping” in their new home. Make sure you have a bag with their few favorite toys, or for teens and pre-teens some CD’s and books or magazines.

# 4: Go to the grocery store
Consider eating out the first night, and buy essential groceries on the way home. Focus on easy-to-make foods and quick snack items. Buy any cleaning supplies that you need (most chemicals should not be transported anyway). If you have a pet, buy any food and supplies not already in your “essentials” box.

# 5: Cover the windows
If your home doesn’t yet have the proper window coverings, hang sheets up to add privacy and security.

# 6: Set a finish line
Make a list specifying the order in which you will unpack and complete other moving-in tasks. Creating a time frame in advance will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

# 7: Get the lay of the land
Walk through your new home to check the heating, air conditioning, and electricity, as well as all appliances. Take your family on a walk through the neighborhood to learn your surroundings, and if possible meet your neighbors.

This is by no means everything you need to know about getting settled, but it’s a good place to start. I have more resources on relocation located on my website. If you have any questions about settling in to your new community, please give me a call.

 

CUT CLUTTER & MAKE MONEY!

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CUT CLUTTER & MAKE MONEY!

You can do it, if you believe you can!

This is a follow-up article to the article posted on Wednesday titled: “Out With The Old” .

Today’s article is titled: “Cut Clutter & Make Money”  and it will tell you the secrets to parting with stuff you can live without.  You’ll find a garage sale check list; when the best time to have a garage/yard sale is; how to e-bay items; what can go to goodwill; and the best way to run a garage/yard sale.  If you’re a novice or a pro at yard sales, there is sure to be information that will help you in this article.

Once again, if you still find you need some help de-cluttering, visit www.flylady.net it’s free!

As usual, just click on the links to read the article or visit the website!

Happy de-cluttering!

HELP, I CAN’T FIND THE BED!

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HELP, I CAN’T FIND THE BED!

If you have something you don’t need, give it to someone who needs it.  It will come back to you in one way or another.  –  Napoleon Hill

Have you ever been late for an appointment because you couldn’t find your keys? Found the potato peeler in a drawer you already looked in three times before? Discovered clothes in your attic that went out of style twenty years ago? Are you hanging on to those clothes because you think they will come back in style or you’ll lose that weight?  Don’t despair – you can de-clutter your life and stay organized.  Once you do, you’ll enjoy a new peace of mind and marvel at your own efficiency.

Following is an article titled: Out With The Old to help you cut the clutter and never look back! This article will assist you in solving one of the most common problems for Americans – how to sort through your stuff, decide what can go, and then organize what remains.  You’ll find a list for organizations that will treasure your trash, and the four B’s will help you avoid accumulating too much again.

Cutting clutter involves two main steps – weeding out what you don’t need anymore, and then making sense of what’s left.  You’ll also find questions you can ask yourself to help you decide what goes and then to determine the best place for all that remains.  When you’re done, your biggest problem will be what to do with all your free time!

If you still find you need some help de-cluttering, then I have a website for you that will hold your hand while you take those necessary baby steps to a new clutter free you! The website is www.flylady.net and best of all, it’s free!

As  usual, just click on the links to read the article or visit the website!

Happy de-cluttering!

HE’S BACK!

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The masked bandit is at it again.  This time he’s caught with his paw in the till – OK it’s really only cat food, but you get the  picture.  In the background you can see our Arabian stallion  “Sir Max-a-Million” grazing.

In a way a feel sorry for the cute little guy, he must be hungry if he is resorting to eating cat food – or is he just lazy? I don’t know.  One thing I do know is, I don’t  want this to be a nightly affair,  but I also don’t want to hurt him in the process of shooing him away.  What to do?!  If there is someone out there who could help me with this pesky situation I would appreciate it.

WAYS TO AVOID FORECLOSURE

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WAYS TO AVOID FORECLOSURE

If your home is at risk of foreclosure, you don’t have to panic. There are many ways to ease the difficult situation, and one may be right for you.

This country has seen a recent spike in foreclosures and defaults. As a result, in addition to new legislature, lenders have been more willing to work with distressed borrowers to help keep them in their homes.

If you or someone you know is in this unfortunate situation or may be soon, now is the time to act. Click on the following article titled  “Ways To Avoid Foreclosure”   for an explanation about  the ins and outs of foreclosure, how you can avoid it and what your various options are.

You don’t have to be the next victim of foreclosure. There is help available—if you know where to look.  I have been trained in short sales and if selling is your best option, I utilize the services of a lawyer who does not charge the seller for her services.  Why not do something before it’s too late!

To read the article just click on the red words above. Once there you can save it to your computer or print it for future use.

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