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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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WHAT MAKES PEOPLE MOVE?

WHAT MAKES PEOPLE MOVE?
“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” –  George Moore

Do you have a new job? Want more space? Want to own your own home? Move closer to relatives? Want a change of scene? How about – do you want to move away from your relatives? Believe it or not, moving away from relatives was the number three reason cited for moving according to a new Internet survey.

Clyde and Shari Steiner, authors of The Complete How-to-Move Handbook, compiled a comprehensive survey targeting people who pay for their own moves. The Steiners are self-styled moving experts having been through 15 relocations themselves. They gathered the information to use in their book, and it is available to read at their site, http://www.movedoc.com

“You would expect leaving friends and family would deter people from moving, but 75 percent more in our nationwide survey said they wanted to escape instead of moving closer,” comment the authors.

The survey information was self-selective, and the results were calculated on the collective data gained from a total of 432 moves. The top three reasons for moving were to take a new job (8.18%,) get a better home (7.55%,) or to move away from friends or relatives (7.55%.) Only 5.66% wanted to get closer to family and friends.

The number one reason people gave for leaving their present home was too little space (45.8%). Dangerous neighborhoods or noise prompted another 29.2% to leave, and 29.2% others blamed a long work commute for their desire to move.
The biggest advantage to moving, according to the survey results, is the change of lifestyle, with the second biggest advantage cited – making new friends.
Of the respondents, 45.8% owned their own home.

The Steiners admit that their results are far from scientific, yet the results are still intriguing.

For example, 83.3% of respondents were women. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR,) over 18% of homebuyers are single women compared to only 9% of men, a huge leap from a generation ago. Could the Intern et and the housing industry be overlooking a potentially large demographic – the Internet-surfing female nomad? Who knows? AR, over 18% of homebuyers are single women compared to only 9% of men, a huge leap from a generation ago. Could the Internet and the housing industry be overlooking a potentially large demographic – the Internet-surfing female nomad? Who knows?

According to the bi-annual home buying and selling survey released by the NAR, 42% of homebuyers came from rental situations, and 36% owned a single-family home and another 6% owned a shared wall residence, closely approximating the Steiner survey.

The NAR lists the number one reason buyers made a housing change is to own a home of one’s own (37%.) The majority of home buying appears to be voluntary. Only 15% of home buyers chose their new home because they were relocated, and no statistic exists which suggests that the move may have been forced by other circumstances such as debt.

According to other results, 16% of home buyers wanted more space because of marriage or a growing family, 8% wanted a larger home for investment, tax deduction or a more upscale neighborhood. Only four percent wanted less space. Five percent of buyers wanted to be closer to jobs/schools/relatives.
But do families buy homes to move away from their relatives? We don’t know – that question is missing from the NAR’s survey.

What’s your reason for moving?

Related Articles:
Americans Are On The Move
Rate of Moving Is Beginning To Slow

Written by Blanche Evans
March 25, 1999

    

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.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

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DID YOU KNOW?

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in life has a purpose.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D.

Moving Information

  • Did you know, that more people are moving into Florida than out?!  In fact, the ratio is approximately 3 to 1.
  • Northern Moving Companies usually charge higher prices because they go back north empty.

Most Florida Moving Companies will move you for less, sometimes 45% percent less.

Most Florida Moving Companies will beat any written quote from your local moving company.

  • Below is a list of some Florida Moving Companies who might offer discounts to those moving into the state from the northern states.  Call and ask for their estimate brochure.
  • Also, here is a Reminder List of who should be notified of your move, such as;  the Post Office, utility companies, banks, magazine companies, newspapers, credit card companies, clubs, schools, your physicians & Dentist, and relatives / friends.

Move Yourself

If you decide to move yourself, the first thing you need is to rent a truck.  Have the rental company help you determine the size of truck that you will require.   You’ll have to pay the rental fee, mileage, and additional fees if you rent pads, dollies, blankets, packing materials and boxes.  And of course, if you break anything, you pay.

Hire a Professional

For long distances, you’ll probably want to hire a professional moving company.  Get at least three estimates for your move.   Contact the movers and ask for a copy of their companies literature and the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) brochure, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”, and a copy of the company’s “Annual Performance Record”.

Professional Costs

Interstate moves are usually based on the weight of the shipment (an average residential move ranges from 5,000 to 8,000 pounds) and the distance of the move.  Additional charges for packing and unpacking, disconnecting and hooking up appliances are added.

You have the option of choosing either a binding or non-binding estimate. If you know exactly what you are shipping at the time of the estimate, you can avoid surprises with a binding estimate.  Although the fee may be higher that a non-binding estimate, the agreed upon price is final.  There is no guarantee that a non-binding estimate is final, so choose a non-binding estimate if the exact shipment is questionable.  If the cost of the move is greater that the estimate, you will have to pay the original estimate plus 10 percent.  Regardless of the type of estimate you choose, be prepared to pay the driver in cash, money order, traveler’s checks, or bank check before your goods are unloaded. The most important document to have in your possession is the ‘bill of lading’.   This is the legal document between you and the mover.

Upon delivery of your shipment, use the ‘bill of lading’ as the movers off load your household items making notations if there is visible damage.  You have 90 days after delivery to file a loss or damage claim, but it is best to do it immediately.  It takes time to settle into a new home, so unpack the kitchen first, bedrooms and bathrooms.  Try different furniture arrangements.   Go out and explore your new neighborhood.  Meet new neighbors and may be join a social club.

For more information, the American Movers Conference offers these brochures:  “Guide to a Satisfying Move” and “Moving with Pets and Plants”.  Each Brochure will require a separate self addressed stamped envelope sent to:

American Movers Conference
1611 Dukes Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

WHAT TO DO?

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WHAT TO DO?

This weekend, since it is a three-day weekend, I thought I would do a bunch of BPO’s for an investor.  But, my time seems not to be mine to plan.   The investors didn’t get back to me – they must be off somewhere for the 3 day weekend, so, I decided to get domestic.  My domestic penchant began on Friday evening when I got home at 5:00 instead of the usual 6:00 – 6:30 and my husband said “What are you doing home so early? I wasn’t expecting you this  early!”  My answer to him was “Is there some reason for the questions?  Do I need to be worried?”  Evidently not – he was grooving to some tunes in the recliner.   When Rob, my husband asked  “Did you bring home pizza?”  being in the domestic mood I was in, I told him no, but I have fixings to make our own pizza.  He helped me unpack then asked “Where’s the crust?”  I pointed to the bag of bread flour I had just unpacked, and he let out a big sigh.  “What”, I said, “I think it will be fun, making a pizza together, besides according to these directions, it should only take 30 minutes.” Well this was my first time doing anything with bread flour and yeast, but I didn’t let on.  I put all the ingredients together as if it were something I did weekly.  When the crust was done, Rob put the sauce, cheese and toppings on and put it in the oven.  Well, let me tell you, I had no idea what to expect, – but it was good! (I wish I would have thought of taking a picture of it.)

Continuing in my domestic mood today, I started with the task of the monthly hair cut for my husband.  You see, I don’t just groom the dogs, I also cut my husband’s hair.  Once that was done I set myself to the task of baking a loaf of bread from scratch.  I mixed the flour, yeast, etc. together, then kneaded it, let it rise, punched it down, shaped it and let it rise a second time.  When it had doubled in size, I placed it in the oven to cook.

While the bread was cooking, I began slicing onions for French Onion soup.  (The youth group at our church sold 10 pound bags of Vidalia onions as a fund-raiser, and we bought one.  Ten pounds are a lot of onions!)  Well, the soup is still cooking – it won’t be finished cooking until 7:30 this evening but I did put a little in a bowl to taste and it is yummy.

The bread came out good too for my very first attempt at bread making. Below, is a picture the bread, fresh out of the oven, and a picture of the bread cooling on the rack.  The bread is crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside – just perfect to put in the French onion soup.  Oh, and there are two pictures of Rob after his had been cut – one from the back and one from the front – of him protesting the pictures.

I’m not sure I can keep all this domestic stuff going all weekend long.  It’s harder than going to work!

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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!

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