Storage Hacks to Clear Clutter in Your Family Spaces

Smart Storage HAcksDid you know that clutter can actually impact your mood? At least, that’s what a group of experts at UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families recently found when then explored the relationship between 32 California families and their belongings.

Particularly for women, stress levels go up when there is too much stuff cluttered around them. On the other hand, men in the family were relatively unaffected by the mess around them. In other words, there are a lot of stressed out moms out there looking for ways to de-clutter their lives.

It’s time to get creative, kill the stress, and put your life in order with these fun and creative storage hacks that will help you de-clutter your living space.

Before You Get Started, Remember Everything Has a Place 

LifeHack recommends making sure that everything has its place even if it means buying containers for your knickknacks. The problem is that buying more bins for clutter- prone households could end up backfiring. Instead, start weeding out the things you want to get rid of first. Then find creative ways to store or showcase what is left. The last thing you want to do is purchase containers to store the stuff you don’t really need to keep in the first place.

Inspirational Storage Hacks for Decluttering 

Once you’ve narrowed down the items that you want to keep, it’s time to get to work finding creative and inspiring ways to declutter. Use these storage hacks for inspiration:

#1: Office Organizers: You know those wire mesh stacked hanging file folders you see in offices? They can have many great uses outside the office. Consider them for your mail, your shoes or flip flops, storing pot lids, hair styling tools, and more.

#2: Multi-Purpose Shoe Racks: Clear plastic shoe racks – the kind that hang over the back of your closet door – can be used to hold more than just shoes. Do you have a nail polish collection? Store like shades in each shoe pocket to create a colorful mosaic. Hang one in the pantry to keep small items, spice jars or even your tinfoil and saran wrap. They’ve even been seen on sites like Pinterest holding office and craft supplies, jewelry, children’s toys and more.

#3: Wine Racks: In addition to keeping your wine organized and your kitchen stocked, wine racks can be a great addition to your guest bathroom to store your rolled-up bath and face towels. This is a creative way to keep your bathroom organized, especially for guests.

#4: Closet Extenders: Buzzfeed gets the credit for this gem of an idea. Take soda can tabs and hook them on your hangers to add an extra loop for another hanger. You can double your closet space just like that. Or, hang your scarves from one hanger using shower rings as holders.

#5: Magnetize Things: Magnetizing smaller containers to keep them in one place can be a great idea for smaller items like hair pins, spare buttons, push pins and more. Simply attach a magnet to the small container and let it affix itself to the metal of your choice.

These are just a few of the many ideas that can be useful when decluttering your home. Remember, you don’t want to wait until it’s time to sell your home to start enjoying it. Declutter today and wipe the unneeded stress out of your life.

 

4 Bathroom Remodel Ideas That Won’t Break The Bank

Have you noticed that when you own a home, the list of things you want to “do” to your home never seems to end? What starts out as a new piece of furniture turns into two new pieces, then three! Next thing you know, you a have a new living room, new paint, new carpet and a hefty bill.

Redesigning areas in your home doesn’t have to break the bank and if done properly, can be very affordable while make your home more appealing. Take a look at some ideas for remodeling your bathroom that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, especially if you decide to do the work yourself!

1. Tile Work

Tile work can be very expensive. When you take into consideration the cost of a contractor to lay out the tile throughout the bathroom, their labor alone can be high. Consider limiting the amount of tile in your bathroom by focusing on high-impact areas such as the floor.

Another way to limit the expense on tile work is to use a less expensive tile design. The flashier the tile, the more expensive. Consider only using the more expensive tile as accent pieces alongside the other ones. You’ll be able to save some money and still use a few of the flashier ones.

2. Counter Tops

Trending bathroom designs usually include granite or marble counter tops. Since the size of most bathroom countertops tends to be smaller in comparison to the size used in kitchens, the cost seems small already. To save even more, consider looking at various color choices and slabs with imperfections.

Granite pieces that are neutral in color are more popular, which means they are also going to be more expensive. Consider alternative colors that would still look nice, but that previously you did not think about.

3. A Fresh Coat

A great way to give your bathroom a new look without spending a lot of money is giving a fresh coat of paint, re-caulking the lines around the tub and sink, and cleaning the grout between your tiles. You’ll be surprised how these three things will spruce up your bathroom and keep money in your pocket.

4. Fixture Updates

Consider updating the bathroom’s light fixtures, racks, and drawer hardware. While these changes may seem small or insignificant, they can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your bathroom. Keep in mind that you don’t have to buy the top-of-the-line fixture designs; in fact, there are several companies that make designs similar to more expensive brands for a fraction of the cost.

Reviving the look and feel of your bathroom doesn’t have to be a total overhaul. By making our suggested changes, you can refresh the look and use the money you’ve saved towards your next remodel project. Be as creative as you’d like and have fun with it!

 

How to Know If Your Homeowners Policy is Out of Date?

Your homeowners insurance policy is one of those things that you may rarely think about, but you know it’s there. In fact, if you’re like most homeowners, it’s probably the same policy that you purchased when you bought your home. When is the last time you pulled it out of the desk drawer and took a look at your coverages?

Here are five reasons why you might need to make a change:

If you’re unsure of what damages are covered…

In general most homeowners’ policies cover a standard list of damages. Some of the types of damages covered by most policies include:

  • Fire
  • Hail
  • Smoke
  • Theft
  • Falling objects
  • Freezing

It’s important to remember that threats to your home vary greatly according to the location of your home. If you live in a coastal region, flooding or hurricane damage may be of concern to you. On the other hand, if you live in California or Arizona, maybe fires and dust storms are more prevalent. It’s important to know how you’re protected if these types of natural disasters occur.

If your rates are climbing…

It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your insurance rates and to revisit the policy every year to ensure you’re still getting the best deal you can. Many homeowners often choose to consolidate several of their insurances to one carrier to get a better deal. If you’ve noticed your rates are increasing, do not be hesitant to shop around.

If you have moved to a new location…

When you move to a new location, it’s likely you’re taking out a new mortgage and, therefore, new homeowners insurance will be required. Keep in mind that the coverages that you had in your previous policy may change at your new residence. Also keep in mind that even if you move to a new home within the same city, coverages like flood insurance can change drastically from one street to the next. Always make sure you’ve consulted with an agent regarding any changes that will be needed to the policy.

If you have made improvements…

You may be capped out at a certain amount of money on your homeowners’ policy that does not take into account any major improvements that you’ve made recently. If you are upgrading or have made major renovations to your home, you should update your policy to reflect the increased value of your home.

If you are rebuilding according to new building codes…

Whenever your home is damaged and you are required to rebuild, there may be new building codes in place that were not there when you initially took out your policy. Those changes may require you to spend more than you would have previously. Make sure that you are covered for those additional costs.

Your local builders association will be able to tell you what changes may affect your homeowners’ insurance policy and the cost to rebuild. As always, you should be able to get straightforward answers from your insurance agent about these and other questions before you renew or upgrade.

It Pays to Do Your Research

As with all things in life, it pays to do your research and to never sit on the status quo for too long. Dust off that homeowners policy to make sure you’re covered. And, don’t wait until it’s too late!

 

Roll Out These 4 Water-Friendly Landscape Ideas

Water-Friendly Landscape Ideas

Everyone is being more careful with water these days. Some communities have strict rules on water usage, and even in areas where there reservoirs are full, homeowners are being careful for both environmental and financial reasons.

The move toward more water-friendly landscaping is not only smart – it is imperative. We’ve curated several ways to make sure that your lawn is healthy, vibrant, colorful, and even drought-resistant.

#1: Replace Grass with Granite

Decomposed granite is a great alternative to gravel and grass and comes in a variety of colors. Using these small pellet sized bits of rock to line your walkways gives your landscape an upscale appeal.

You can even replace your entire lawn with this material. It creates a porous landscape so that water does not run off, but rather seeps into the ground. It may sound like rough treading with a granite lawn, but it is not. The fine pebbles are soft underfoot and comfortable to walk on.

#2: Combine Native Plants with Drought-Resistant Grass

If you live in the southwest, the number of native plants to choose from is seemingly endless. If you really want your landscaping to shine while saving water, combine colorful native plants with drought-resistant grass. Here are some water-friendly grasses and plants that use half of the amount of water as a typical grass lawn:

  • Aloe
  • Buffalo Grass
  • Feather Grass
  • Fescue
  • Flax
  • Hair Grass
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Perennials
  • Shrubs

#3: Make Stone Pathways Over Grass

When you incorporate these low maintenance grasses and plants into your landscaping, you eliminate the need for constant watering or even mowing. Adding stone pathways over these low growing grasses make a perfect accent to spruce up your lawn. Use heat-resistant stone to make walking along those pathways comfortable. Flagstone is the most popular, and comes in many varieties including mosaic, milled, square pavers, slabs and veneers.

#4: Use Planters for Flowering Plants

Finally, strategically placed concrete planters enable you to maintain your flowering plants in small sectioned areas. Instead of watering an entire lawn of water-guzzling flowers, you can maintain your roses and tulips in ceramic urns or concrete planter boxes.

This adds drama and color to your earth toned pavers and decomposed granite lawn. Place a tree or two around your patio for shade. If you combine all four of these water-friendly tips, your lawn will be the talk of the town not just for its conservation, but for its beauty too!