Tag Archives: moving on up

Ready, Set, Spring Clean!

Standard
Ready, Set, Spring Clean!

Hi! Although the winter season in Ohio hasn’t been awful this year, things took a drastic turn into freezing rain and snow and it has me eagerly awaiting the warmer weather. Spring is (somewhat) just around the corner, which means that sunshine, flowers, and oh yeah – spring cleaning is near!

Is cleaning house the best part of the transition from winter to spring? Not by a long shot. But, it sure feels good once you’re all done! So, let’s go over some pro tips to get the process started:

Take Inventory:

Before you start your cleaning, take a look around your cupboards to see what you have and what you need to finish your task. You will totally lose all of the motivation you had to sweep the floors once you realize you would need to run to the store to grab more liquid for your Swiffer. Complete the chores you can do with the cleaning products you have and then set aside some time to restock your supplies as needed.

Take Your Time:

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to mean a whole day dedicated to scrubbing, dusting, and reorganizing. That’s just too much for anyone. Rather, go from one room or area at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Set aside an hour or two for each project until your whole home is spick and span and don’t forget to play some great tunes to get you grooving. I promise, it will make your deep clean go by so much quicker!

Decluttering Is Key:

In my apartment, there really isn’t much space where I can place all of my crap that I collected throughout the day. So, my kitchen table ends up being covered in paperwork, jewelry, and whatever else I didn’t feel like returning to its proper home. If this sounds familiar to you, then really try and focus on tidying up these spaces and keeping them as such. I know it’s hard but nothing feels better than not having to hunt for something you placed down weeks ago and a kitchen table to actually eat on doesn’t hurt, either. 😉

Decluttering Is STILL Key:

I find that it’s much easier to do chores once all of the unnecessary stuff has been removed. Take a look around your home and evaluate everything there. Is your Christmas decor still up? Maybe it’s time to clear that away to make room for the Easter Bunny. Is your mantle and the knick knacks on it coated in dust? Take the time to remove and clean them individually and see if there are any you could do without or replace with different decor to freshen things up.

Keep Your Cool:

Cleaning sucks but it doesn’t need to be stressful. If you create a game plan and stick to it, your home will be spotless in no time. Delegate tasks if you have any helpers around and don’t take any breaks until the chore is complete. Because, believe me, once you watch just “one episode” of your favorite show, you’ll be posted up on the couch binge watching instantly!

Ready, Set, Spring Clean with the pro tips above!

When do you start your spring cleaning? Which part of your home needs some extra love during your cleaning sesh? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Get The Best Price For Your House (Without Breaking The Bank!)

Standard
How To Get The Best Price For Your House (Without Breaking The Bank!)

If you are taking the plunge and selling your house, there is one thing that will drive the wholesale, and that is getting the very best price for your home. While there is a lot of information around on the internet telling you to spend here and spend there, there are, in fact, some remarkably cheap ways to add some value to your home.

In this post, we are going to be taking a look at some inexpensive and free ways to add value to your home, and we will even take a look at what buyers really want to see when they view a house:

Why Make Changes If You’re Selling:

The most important thing to realize when it comes to selling your home is that the market is extremely competitive. So, in order to ensure you can sell your home as quickly as possible, you will need to make some moves that aren’t being made by other sellers.

When buyers visit homes, they are looking at every little detail, and in order for you to not only make a sale but also get the best possible price, there are some things that need to be addressed. The number one thing buyers want for their money is value, and when it comes to value, they really want space. Space, however, is generally an illusion, and we will address this a little later on in the post.

You should be looking to make your house stand out above any others in your neighborhood that may also be up for sale, and doing all of these things is far easier than you may believe. We will now take a look at some of the things you should be doing and will also see why each of these can help.

Improve Your Curb Appeal:

The very first thing you should be doing for your house is to make it look welcoming. Let’s be honest; if your house looks like 112 Ocean Avenue, you may have a little trouble selling up.

If, however, you put in a little effort by taking care of the garden and aesthetics of the home from the outside, you will find you are onto an instant winner. People will often judge a house by what it looks like on the outside, so you may even consider updating the exterior paintwork a little, as well.

Another thing that will often go down well is if if your driveway is clean and paved. The best way to get your driveway looking its best will obviously be Pressure Washing, while most people would consider doing this themselves, they would very rarely have access to industrial-strength units, and this is what would be required for a job like this.

Give The Illusion Of More Space:

If there is one thing that is going to either reduce or increase the price that will be offered on your home, it will all come down to space. It’s important to remember that when a buyer comes to view your home if they are interested, they will also be looking for anything that can be used as a negotiation point. It is your job to preempt what they may deem as a problem and fix it before they ever see it.

The best tip that can be given when it comes to ensuring you get the right price for your home is to start filling some moving boxes before you even have your first house viewer. By simply boxing up items that you know you will not use, you will end up dramatically reducing the number of items in the house.

When you reduce the number of items in the house, you give natural light the ability to hit areas that it usually wouldn’t. When the light penetrates every corner of the room, you will find that every room in the house has the illusion of looking bigger.

Give Buyers The Canvas They Want:

The most sought after thing when people head out and start to view homes is something they can visualize living in. More often than not, if the house they are viewing is decorated with dense colors and items personal to the current owner, while this may be homely to you, it won’t be to the potential buyer, in fact, it will be quite off-putting.

The best possible thing you can do is to give them a completely neutral canvas. By painting the house in neutral colors, this will allow the buyer to visualize how they see the house in their own mind and is one of the best selling points that you can offer.

In Conclusion:

As you can see, these are some simple solutions for giving you the best possible price when you are selling your home. While they may all seem very basic at their core, they are all vital when it comes to what is wanted from buyers in the real estate market nowadays. When it comes to selling houses, it’s not as easy as it once was, and buyers are more easy to scrutinize than ever before.

If you are selling up and want the best possible price, you will need to put in a little effort and a little cash in order to see a very handsome return.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Dollar Tree Haul

Standard
Dollar Tree Haul

Hello everyone! If there’s one thing that Lil Red doesn’t believe in, it’s paying full price for just about anything. So, it’s pretty shocking that I really didn’t get into shopping at the Dollar Tree until this past year. One of my clients loves that store and I always end up there at least one time a week. It wasn’t until I took a closer look around until I realized that the Dollar Tree is friggen awesome and I have had much success shopping there, especially since moving into my apartment. Don’t believe me? Check out this big ol’ haul for yourself:

tree

For twenty items I paid twenty dollars altogether and I am confident that if I purchased all of this at a normal grocery store it would easily be over fifty dollars. The Dollar Tree pulled through in the clutch for me at just the right time because after all of my holiday shopping this month, my credit card bill is going to be huge. BUT, I also have no food in my apartment. This will definitely tide me over until my bill turns over in December and I can do a bigger grocery shopping trip.

Also, can we please talk about the potato gnocchi and Arizona nacho trays?! They are both SO freaking good and the only thing that isn’t pictured is the nachos that I already ate, lol. They are a perfect snack for when I get home from work and I was so stoked that the Dollar Tree that I was at had them that I just had to get six, lol! The gnocchi is also a quick, easy, and delicious meal that my boyfriend and I both love and will be a perfect, simple dinner after we’ve both had a long day.

I have never quite understood the people that considered themselves above discount shopping but I, for one, will never be. Compliments of shopping at TJMaxx and Marc’s (a discount grocery store in my neck of the woods), I am sure that I’ve saved over thousands throughout the years and that ballin on a budget train isn’t going to end any time soon!

What is your favorite discount store? How do you ball on a budget for your grocery shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Five Ways To Make Your First Apartment Feel Like Home

Standard
Five Ways To Make Your First Apartment Feel Like Home

It’s one of the most exciting milestones of adult life: moving into your first apartment. Heading out on your own is a great chance to go shopping for fun decorative items and really make a space your own. After all the stress of hunting down a place or trying to find new condos for sale, it’s a chance to get creative and enjoy your new space. Once you’ve navigated the stress of moving day and hauled in that last cardboard box, how do you go about making the place your own? Start with some of the following:

Start With A Deep Clean:

The first step to reclaiming any space is to give it a deep clean. Even if your apartment is brand new it will have been standing empty for a while, gathering dust. Wipe down all of the surfaces with disinfectant, thoroughly mop the floors or vacuum, clean the oven, and scrub the bath or shower to create that fresh start.

Repaint To Add Character:

Repainting is a quick and cost effective way to make a space your own. It immediately changes the feel of your space and adds some personality. Remember to opt for a tester pot before diving straight in, as colors can look very different in different lights and spaces. Neutral shades give a timeless, classic feel while vibrant shades make a statement. Do some research on color psychology to understand how you want your home to feel.

Sort Out Your Storage:

A harmonious home is a well organized one, and that’s easy when you have a place for everything. Invest in some clever storage solutions – freestanding shelving units are a great way to both store and display favorite items and can go with you if you ever move. Opting for sofas and beds with inbuilt storage is also a great idea – you can’t tell it’s there, but it gives a lot of capacity. A stylish storage ottoman can provide extra seating or act as an informal coffee table but it also lets you hide away items that don’t quite have a home yet.

Design A Great Lighting Scheme:

A great lighting scheme can transform the look and feel of your apartment, but most people don’t pay it enough attention. Think about the lighting requirements you have in each space – from bright LED strip lighting or spotlights in task focused areas like the kitchen or the bathroom, to lighting that creates cozy, more intimate spaces, like a beautiful floor lamp. You could also use statement pendant lights to really define a space and add a lot of drama and character.

Add Your Sentimental Items:

That collection of vintage china, the knitted throw passed down as a family heirloom, or those treasured photographs make your new space your own by giving them a great display. You may have artworks you’ve collected over time or a collection that you want to show off – these are the touches that will really make an apartment feel like yours.

With the tips above, your new apartment will feel like you’ve been there for forever and will turn it into home sweet home!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Three Simple Home Improvement Projects That Increase Market Value

Standard
Three Simple Home Improvement Projects That Increase Market Value

Unless you’re a real estate pro, you might not know how to get the best return on your investment when the time comes to sell your home. For example, did you know that your home could sell for significantly more if you spend a little extra time and money on a few simple improvements? While it may seem counter intuitive to invest money and time into a home you wish to get off your hands, a couple of choice updates and additions to your property could give you a decent return on your investment:

Invest in Exterior Features:

While a home’s exterior features such as the garden, garage, swimming pool, roof, and gutters may seem less important than the interior, ensuring that these features are both operational and attractive to the eye is a great way to add value to your home. Keeping your garden and lawn well maintained will leave a strong impression on any potential buyers who turn up for your viewings.

There may be a lot of work on the exterior of your property that you can do yourself, like painting and cleaning gutters. Larger additions will need to be handled by experts who can ensure that installations are done according to spec. For example, a high-quality water tank can be a strong selling point. Tank Direct is a fantastic option for your water tank requirements. A fresh and well-maintained exterior is a useful way to help a potential buyer imagine the lifestyle their family might enjoy, should they buy the property and move in.

Get Those Repairs Taken Care Of:

While you might imagine that getting your bigger projects done (like a bathroom remodel or retileing the kitchen backsplash) would be more attractive to potential buyers, it’s crucial to put these jobs on hold until any necessary structural repairs have been completed. These will make a tremendous difference when it comes time to put your property on the market. If you don’t, you risk your buyers being too distracted by the leaky ceiling or the odor of mold to even notice the fancy additions like new tiles. Before you get started on those more exciting beautiful additions to your home, make sure you sort out your repairs, whether it’s electrical, plumbing, or structural.

home3

Pexels CC0 Licence

Update The Heating System:

If you install a modern central-heating system in your house or give the existing system a comprehensive update, you’re almost certainly going to enhance your home’s value. Older properties such as Victorian houses are charming in many ways, but your potential buyer won’t be charmed by a chilly walk down the hallway as they try to imagine their life in their future home.

Some newer homes come equipped with somewhat dated heating systems that don’t provide enough warmth, and can cost a lot to run. Updating the old system should prove highly attractive to a potential buyer. An extra bonus you get when you add a new heating system to your home is that if you don’t end up selling the property right away, you will save money and stay warmer while you wait for the right buyer to come along.

Whether you’re listing your property in the near future or you’re planning to sell one of these days, these updates are sure to boost the value of your house!

Featured Image By: Pexels CC0 Licence

Lil Red’s Art Gallery: This Is Halloween Edition

Standard
Lil Red’s Art Gallery: This Is Halloween Edition

Howdy! So, while shopping at Walmart with a client, I went a bit too hard in the Halloween department and picked out some new wall art and knick knacks for the apartment. What can I say, I just couldn’t help myself! It may be mid September but, in my humble opinion, spooky season is officially among us and I couldn’t be more excited if I tried! And, although I still have none of the paintings that I got compliments of Goodwill in my apartment, I couldn’t say no to these beauties. Check it out:

walmarttwalmartt1walmartt2

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that as soon as I saw the skeleton pop out picture, it went right into my cart. And, it was a wonderful surprise to me to find the ghoulishly gorgeous butterflies behind the skeleton one. So, into the cart it went. These pictures combine creepy with pretty (My own personal aesthetic!) and I am deeply looking forward to eventually getting them hung up in my apartment.

Normally, I am not one to fill my living space with all Halloween everything and I liked that these pictures were a little dark and disturbing without a giant Frankenstein being plastered on it. However, I guess if it was done in the style of the pictures above, it could be kind of cool! 😉

What is your favorite holiday to decorate for? Which stores have the best Halloween decor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How A Long Haul Move Should Really Be Done

Standard
How A Long Haul Move Should Really Be Done

After all of the searching and viewing, you have finally found your new home and settled on a price. You’ve signed the contract, you’ve sent the money, and you’re just days away from being handed the keys. The only slight concern is that your new home is many miles away. It’s going to take a few hours to get there and that means one hell of a busy day ahead of you.

Long haul moves are not that common so most people tend to treat them the same as a normal moving trip. However, this is definitely not the case. So, packing certain things has to be done in a specific way so they survive the trip. You, too, have to get enough rest so that you’re ready for whatever task you’re suddenly met with. Here’s how a long haul move should be done:

Be careful of scratches:

The longer your furniture and other decor pieces are trapped in a truck, the higher the chances that one of them will be scratched. When furniture rubs together you’re bound to damage it because the weights we’re talking about are quite large. So, when you’re finally ready to pack up the largest pieces such as cabinets, cupboards, wardrobes, tables, chairs, and the couch, you need to use shrink wrap. This will protect the wood from being scratched but it’s safe to use and easy to take off. You’ll save a lot of time working in twos wrapping each item and all you need is one person with box cutters to take the wrapping off when you’re in the new place.

Use expert help:

If you’re moving a lot of things, it’s best to use the services of professional long distance movers. These long distance movers are international movers and have expertise in moving fine art, pianos, and other delicate expensive things like crystal vases. They also do all of the heavy lifting, so if you would rather not have a hand in anything, they’ll prepare your things and lift them into the trucks, then lift them out when you arrive at your home.

They also have storage for valuable vehicles, which is a big concern for long haul movers. You’re obviously going to want to take your cars with you, but managing to do all this in one day is very tricky if you’re on your own. Use expert help and don’t try to juggle everything at once, you might end up leaving something behind or not properly packing your things so they get damaged on the way.

Early birds:

You will be ripping your hair out if you’re caught in rush hour traffic with your life literally stuck in the back of multiple trucks. So get up early and plan your journey to end by early afternoon or evening and no later. Don’t avoid the main highways, just use them when they’re not packed with commuters.

A long haul move can be stressful but, plan it right, and it will be smooth sailing to your new home!