Tag Archives: spring cleaning

Spring Renovations: Are These Projects Worth The Money?

Standard
Spring Renovations: Are These Projects Worth The Money?

When spring arrives, it can feel only natural to want to get outdoors and start tending to your yard or garden. After a long and cold winter, it could really need it! Surely, you’ll want to make everything look as good as new.

That can all seem very well, especially if you are thinking of selling the home soon or just want to make it look a little different. But are some of the home projects or renovations that you have planned in your mind going to be worth it? Here are some suggestions for you, to make sure that you’d be getting your money’s worth for each project:

Yard/Garden Landscaping

If the sun shines and the flowers are blossoming, then who wouldn’t want to be outdoors? But if you want a super-styled outdoor space, rather than just a rose bush by the picket fence, then it can cost you quite a bit to get it done. It can mean some major changes to the yard, with some digging up, possibly concrete being added, and things like ponds being made. It can really change the look of the space, so you need to decide if it is going to be worth it for you.

If you are planning a move sooner rather than later, then in reality, there are plenty of other things that you can do to improve the curb appeal of your home, rather than getting the yard landscaped. Getting new plants and generally tidying up the outside space could be a much better use of your cash. If you’re not planning to move, then you just need to weigh up the pros and the cons. If you do want to landscape, then to make it cheaper, get bulbs to plant, rather than planting established trees or plants, as they can be expensive to buy.

Driveway Repairs:

If you have a driveway, then over the winter it can take a beating with the ice, snow, rain, and salt being added to it on a daily basis. The thing is, just putting a new layer of concrete or asphalt over the top isn’t always going to be that simple. You have to think about the foundations and any cracks, as they could lead to problems if they’re not dealt with. So it can involve some heavy machinery to get it looked at and repaired.

The thing is, though, is that a driveway is something that a potential buyer would be looking at right away. So if you are looking to move, it could be the thing that tips the scales for a buyer. On the flipside, if you’re planning to move, then you may not be bothered about the driveway and leave it for the new owner. So it comes down to how long you’ve got left living there and if you’ve got it in the budget.

Repainting:

Winter brings with it lots of shades of gray, and can often leave you feeling that you need some color in your life. Many experts agree that painting can change the look of a home, both interior and exterior, for a pretty low cost. So it can be worth doing, as if you do it yourself, all you are paying for are tins of paint. Professionals like Textbook Painting would be able to provide the right equipment, if you were painting the outside of the house, for example, but can still keep costs down. So if you want to freshen things up, then repainting is an easy win, and would be worth doing, moving home or not.

spng1

A bright colored accent wall always goes down well!

Repairing/Replacing Siding:

The siding on your home is what takes the brute force from bad weather. A particularly harsh winter could have wreaked havoc on the condition of it. So if yours is looking a little worse for wear, then right about now could be a good time to repair or replace it. But it is going to be worth it? In short, yes, it is going to be worth it. But the actual process can be long and quite costly.

First of all, this isn’t something that you can do easily by yourself. So really, you will be paying the cost of labor for contractors to do it for you. And that can reach into the region of around $10,000. So to justify the cost, then you probably need to ‘wait’ until the siding is looking in particularly bad repair. If it is not peeling, coming away, or there are no loose parts, then it could be worth leaving for a little longer, simply to get more bang for your buck.

If only some of it is looking bad, then you could replace just those panels rather than the whole lot. That would be a good way to save money but still improve the look and condition of things. You could also consider simply repainting your siding, if there are just a few parts that are peeling off. Get them sanded down, ready to paint, and it can look like new afterwards.

While spring is a great time of year to be making changes, think carefully and plan out any projects or renovations before you get started on them!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Advertisements

The Subtle Art Of Saying Hi To Spring

Standard
The Subtle Art Of Saying Hi To Spring

Now, we know it isn’t technically spring yet, but the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and we have a sunny disposition that we don’t want to disappear, which is why we’ve been thinking long and hard about how we can start welcoming spring into our home a little more (even though we are still deep in winter).

Don’t get us wrong, we love the cuddly-snuggly effects of the winter months. But wouldn’t it be amazing if you could embrace the coziness and get rid of some of that gloom that the long nights bring with it? With that in mind, we have come up with a few little ways you can start to introduce the spring back into your winter home. Baby-steps, of course. Baby steps.

Freshen Up With Flowers:

Nothing brightens a space up more than pretty bunches of fresh flowers dotted about. Okay, maybe lights but, other than that, nothing brightens somewhere up quite as much. The moment you add flowers to a table or a counter top you are giving it a gorgeous facelift. Bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens – they can all be decorated with flowers. Of course, you don’t want to go over the top, which is why we recommend you stick to one color (for now) and cut them short. That way it’s subtle.

The Scent Of Spring:

Scents have a huge influence on the way a home feels. Just think about it for a second or two. The smell of fall is pumpkin-spiced lattes, winter is home-cooked meals, and summer is watermelons and whatnot. Scents are powerful things, and that is why you need to buy a new scent machine. It is a really subtle way to take your home away from the colder months and into a fresher existence. It is a blast of cleanliness and yum. Basically, don’t underestimate the power of a smell. Ever.

You Can Rely On Retro:

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “what on earth has retro got to do with spring?” And it’s a valid question. But the reason it works is because the retro era was all about bright vintage hues – yellows, oranges, pinks, turquoise, and even browns. That means, if you drop little bits in, such as a retro-inspired rug, or a few cushions, or even a retro rocking chair, you can create a tidy little backdrop of color. You can add a splash of wow that brightens up your home. It’s lovely.

Eclectic Excellence:

Nothing says, “hey, spring’s here” more than a bit of eclecticism. It’s about mixing things up a bit. It’s about unleashing your inner funk and doing things that you would associate with spring. If you like what you’ve heard so far and want to know more, then try mixing a few different things together; make a display out of brightly colored vases and bold flower arrangements, mix a load of patterned cushions together on your sofa, see what cheap artwork you can get on Etsy, and go to your nearest thrift store to see if they have any books with bright covers. Eclectic is cool and it quickly brightens up any space.

Although spring is far away, there is nothing wrong with brightening up your home spring cleaning style! Smell the fresh cut flowers and get to it!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Cleaning Out My Clothing Hoard

Standard
Cleaning Out My Clothing Hoard

Hey!! One thing that I have a really difficult time doing is letting go of clothing. I have a dresser and closet filled with gorgeous clothes that are certainly pretty to look at, but some of them really just don’t belong anymore. Whether that be from the clothes not fitting the best or I haven’t worn it in years, I never know when I might need it! 😉 Hence, a massive clothing hoard that needed to be tamed.

On the day after Christmas, I spent my time going through my closet and dresser and selecting clothes to sell to Plato’s Closet. It was hard!! There were pieces that I had in mind to add to my Plato’s bag, but when the time came to remove it from the hanger and fold it, it was like my feet became super glued to the floor. I knew that I needed to purge my closet but, damnit, I really didn’t want to!

Despite massive cold feet about my closet clean out, I managed to fill a whole bag to bring to Plato’s Closet. How, you might ask? First, the clothes that didn’t fit well were an automatic toss into the bag. Then, I took a deep breath, really tried to measure how many times I’ve worn the piece in the past year, and made my decision based on that.

The first few times that I had to make a decision to keep or toss was so difficult because, of course, you want to keep everything! But, then you think about why the clothing is taking up space in your closet if you’re not using it and it just makes sense to rid yourself of it. It really seemed like a “now or never” type of situation and even though I had a hard time, I was committed to completing my project in the now.

I took my clothes to Plato’s Closet and got twenty-five bucks for the clothes that they wanted the day after Christmas. It was great, because no one was there so I was in and out in no time! Everyone, me included, thinks that their clothes are worth way more but hey, it’s better than nothing!

I wasn’t too disappointed that everything wasn’t taken from my bag, but there are two things that I wanted to throw out to the blogging world to see if anyone wanted to make an offer on them. They just seem too nice and cute for someone not to want to score a great deal!!

clothesclothes1clothes2

Both the Express blazer and American Eagle Outfitters peacoat are an Extra Small. The blazer was originally $108 with the tags still on it and the AEO peacoat was close to one hundred, as well. The Express blazer has a bit of discoloration on the collar from my hair dye, but can’t be seen when it’s worn. Both are super cute and in great condition, so if you want to make an offer, it’s all yours! 🙂

What are your tips on cleaning out a clothing hoard? How do you choose which items to keep or toss? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Year, New Home

Standard
New Year, New Home

The New Year is the perfect time to start thinking about revamping your home. Traditionally, a lot of people wait until the spring to spruce up their homes, but that just means that they don’t get to enjoy the change in the weather quite so much. No, the winter time when it’s cold, and we’ve just started a new calendar is the best time for fixing up the home and here are some tips to help you with that:

Clear Your Clutter:

Chances are that you’re entering the New Year with the aim of cleansing your body and keeping it as clear and clutter-free as possible. Why not do the same for your home? A house that is free from clutter is a house that looks great, allows you to live life exactly how you want to, and best of all, is easy to clean. So, pick a room and start decluttering. Do the same with another room tomorrow and keep going until you have no stuff in your home that you don’t expressly want to be there.

Ensure it’s Safe:

Your house is your home, your safe haven, and the one place you can retreat to and not have to worry about the outside world. So, it’s important that it is really safe. Now is the perfect time to go around your property checking that the security cameras work, ensuring that the fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in great shape, and testing the locks on your doors and windows. That way, you’ll have a safe and snug 2018.

nynh1

Is your smoke alarm working?

Keep It Clean:

A clean house is an inviting house. When your home looks and smells god, it makes you and your guests happy to be there. So, make 2018 the year when you finally get serious about chores. To make it easy for yourself, invest in the basics like rubber gloves, brushes, cleaning fluids, and dusters and store them all in one central location. Then, draw up a schedule of when you’ll clean each room or when you’ll complete each cleaning task. By grouping tasks like cleaning the windows or vacuuming the carpets together, it’ll be easier to keep your home cleaner without missing anything or spending too much time on it.

Mend the Cracks:

January is an excellent time to call in the handyman and have him do all of those little jobs like patching up the holes in the basement floor or re-tiling the roof, that you haven’t got around to yet. Why? Because handymen are often less busy at this time of year, before the spring rush, so you can get things done more quickly, and sometimes even cheaper, than at other times of the year.

nynh2

Patch it up!

A Fresh Coat of Paint:

Last, but not least, if you want to seriously spruce your home up for the New Year, why not treat it to a lick of paint? It’s amazing how transformative a new color on the walls can be, and it needn’t cost you too much money or time (Get the handyman to do it.), either!

Here’s to a fabulous ‘new’ home this year!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Cleaning Out My Closet

Standard
Cleaning Out My Closet

Hi everyone and happy Tuesday! Okay. We all know by now that I am a clothing hoarder. Everything from accessories and shoes to purses and a closet full of gorgeous duds – I have a lot of it. It’s no secret that I love to shop, BUT it’s also not a secret that I rarely do a closet overhaul because I never know when I might need that five year old cardigan!!

My clothes make me happy to look at, but even I have to admit that it was becoming a chore to squeeze new purchases into my overflowing closet and dresser. This past week, I made an effort to go through my clothing collection and take the rejects to Plato’s Closet and then donate the items that they didn’t want. I have to say – it was really hard!!

During my closet clean out, I tried to follow the “if I haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it” rule. However, this proved to be pretty difficult since I really do wear everything that I own. When I go on shopping trips, I purchase things that I know that I will get a lot of use out of. I am mindful of the quality of the piece that I’m considering and if it will still be in excellent condition one, two, or five years from now. So, with that in mind, you can see how this overhaul was a struggle. It was seriously almost like trying to decide which one of my two beloved dogs that I like the least. Lol, as you can see – I really love my clothes!!

Despite what myself and the good lord knows was a difficult task, I was able to manage filling up my vacation bag with clothes and accessories to take to Plato’s Closet. Although I do try and wear all of the pieces in my wardrobe as often as I can, there definitely were some items that haven’t been in the spotlight for quite some time. Maybe not an entire year’s worth of time, but long enough that I could picture myself without having the top, bottoms, etc. So, into the bag it went.

I would be a liar if I said that I wasn’t pleased with myself. Even though I had a hard time with my closet clean out, I still managed to purge a decent amount of stuff. With an “I just finished a marathon” smile on my face, I made my way to Plato’s Closet to see if I could get myself at least a tank of gas with my fallen clothing friends. I had a pretty good feeling about this, because I take excellent care of my clothes to the point where my wardrobe looks like it’s filled with brand new pieces. But:

APPARENTLY PLATO’S CLOSET DIDN’T THINK SO!!!

Plato’s Closet baffles me – which is why I don’t even like going into the store. They always seem to take the clothing that I wasn’t confident that they would want but threw in the bag anyways, rather than the actual nice pieces that I have to offer. Out of the lovely fall coats and sweaters that I was willing to part with, they ended up taking the random odds and ends of my unwanted items, instead.

It was just confusing to me as to how I only received seventeen dollars for clothing that I know will be marked up to an ungodly price. Does this sound petty? Yes. But it’s okay, because everyone who has sold to Plato’s Closet before has thought that so it definitely needed saying. Of course, I’m happy to be rid of some if the items collecting dust in my closet, but there’s always going to be that “wtf” confusion when an old T-shirt was chosen rather than something with the tags still on it (Gifts! I buy my clothes to wear, remember?)!

Am I bitter? I’m always bitter. But, I did get a tank of gas out of my closet cleaning Plato’s Closet excursion, which is what I set out to do, so it’s cool. (It’s not.)

Cleaning Out My Closet proved to be immensely difficult and the payoff was minimal, but I’m glad to have gotten it over with! What are your closet cleaning tips? What are your thoughts on Plato’s Closet? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: PopKey

Time For A Fresh Start? Here’s How!

Standard
Time For A Fresh Start? Here’s How!

There are infinite reasons in life as to why you might need a fresh start. A new job that you want to be a brand new person for, a big move coming up, or anything that dramatically changes your life. When that time comes, making some alterations in your life might be necessary to get the full fresh start effect. If you’re ready to commit to feeling like a whole new person, follow these steps:

Have A Declutter Session:

Having too many possessions is never a good way to go when trying to get a fresh start. That means that it’s time to go through your wardrobe, the most cluttered place in most people’s houses. Get rid of the pieces that you haven’t worn in months (and probably never will again) and try to keep as few items as you will need. The idea is only to have pieces that go together, which will save you a lot of time when picking outfits! Having fewer clothes also helps you to have a tidier mind, perfect for a brand new you. As a bonus, you get to donate your unwanted items to charity.

fresh

 #declutter

Clean The House:

Another thing that you can do for a fresh start is to have a massive clean out of your house. Now is the time when you would want to get in a house cleaning service so that you can get a thorough job done. When you are surrounded by a clean and organized house, it will feel like a brand new space. It makes room for you to add new decorations, pictures, and anything else that you think would be good for your new beginning. Just try to keep it very clean for as long as you possibly can!

fresh1

Cleanliness is godliness!

Out With The Negative:

If you have some people in your life who you feel anxious or unhappy around, you might need to change that. To have a fresh start, you need to let go of any people who aren’t enriching your life. You only want to be surrounded by individuals who add to the enjoyment of your life, without taking any away. Any relationship shouldn’t be a lot of hard work with little reward. This doesn’t mean that you need to cut all of your friends out straight away. Just try to see the people who make you happy more; it doesn’t have to happen in a horrible manner.

Focus On Yourself:

The most important thing that you can do is look after yourself during your new beginning. Spend a good few days being kind to yourself. Eat healthily and exercise a lot. Make a meal plan for yourself and try not to cheat! Get some movement in, even if that is just walking home from work or taking the long walk to the shops. If you do this, you’ll feel the best that you possibly can in yourself, allowing you to have the most amazing fresh start ever. You deserve it!

fresh3

Pexels Image

No matter how you choose to create your fresh start, be good to yourself and the rest will follow suit!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Sick Of Stuff? Smart Solutions For A Clutter-Free Home

Standard
Sick Of Stuff? Smart Solutions For A Clutter-Free Home

Is there stuff everywhere you look in your home? Are you tired of tidying up only to find that the house looks like a bombsite the day after? If so, you’re not alone. If you’ve got a guest room packed full of boxes or your bedroom furniture is constantly draped in clothes, here are some smart solutions for a clutter-free home:

Out With The Old:

Before you attempt to tidy or take a trip to the store to look for storage units for sale, unleash your inner ruthless streak and have a clear out. If you haven’t got space to store everything, there’s absolutely no point in keeping things that you haven’t even seen for years. If you’ve got an attic full of clothes and toys that the kids have grown out of, a collection of old TVs or game consoles gathering dust in the garage, or your shelves are packed with video games, books, or DVDs that you don’t want anymore, then now is the time to get rid of it. If you’ve got items that are in sell-able condition, consider listing them on auction sites or host a yard sale. You could also put a bag together and donate it to charity.

Storage, Storage, Storage:

If you’ve got shoes lying around the bedroom, clothes draped over chairs, or toys strewn all over the living room floor, investing in storage will change your life. It’s so easy to accumulate stuff and, before you know it, you’ve run out of room to keep it tidy. Buy boxes and crates to store toys and look into buying a second-hand chest or wardrobe if your closet is bursting at the seams. You could also use a clothes rail to save space or put a shoe rack in the bottom of your wardrobe. If you’re limited when it comes to floor space, make use of the walls. You can fit units and hang shelves to store everything from jars, containers, and plates in the kitchen to ornaments, photo frames, and books in the living room.

stuff1

 Cleanliness is godliness!

Daily Chores:

It’s so much easier to keep on top of clutter when you make an effort to tidy up after yourself on a daily basis. It takes five minutes to run around and put everything back in its rightful place at the end of the day. If you do this, you’ll save yourself from wasting hours on the weekend trying to tackle massive piles of stuff when you should be putting your feet up and enjoying a well-earned rest.

stuff2

That high ceiling!!

Clutter is a major bugaboo for most homeowners. It can make it virtually impossible to find things and it can contribute to stress and make it hard to keep the home clean and tidy. If you’ve got too much stuff, tackle this problem now. The longer you leave it, the worse it will get. Have a clear out, get rid of anything that you don’t want, and start organizing each room. Buy storage boxes and containers, hang some shelves, and look at furniture options with added storage. Have a quick tidy at the end of the day, and you should find it much easier to keep the clutter monster at bay for good!

Featured Image By: Flickr