How to Pack for Your Move Like a Pro


It’s easy to see why many people underestimate the process of packing – and packing well. After all, it’s easy to think of the tasks as simple; what’s so hard about putting a couple of things in a box, after all? However, anyone who’s ever had to move from house to house understands that the whole adventure is harder – and more tiring – than originally anticipated. It’s not as simple and straightforward as most would guess. On the other hand, there’s some good news. It’s not as difficult as you may fear, either, for as long as you follow some simple guidelines and do it in an organised way. Wondering what the best methods are? Here’s how to pack for your move like a pro.

Don’t delay

It’s a basic rule: don’t leave it until the last minute, because you might not make it. Often it’s fear of the project itself, often it’s laziness, often it’s not knowing where to start. The fact is that you probably own a lot more than you think, and it’s easy to get delayed because of reminiscing when you find an old album or ancient photos. Start now. Don’t delay.

Follow professional guidelines

Check with the company and see how they like to have the things they must transport packed. They may have special requirements, and these requirements are probably there for good reason. Chances are their guidelines are simple and straightforward, so make sure you stick with the rules and regulations of the removals company.

Decide what to pack first

Not everything will fit into boxes – generally speaking, large things such as furniture can be transported without packing, provided they are properly wrapped. Do an inventory and get an idea of the project first.

Get the right boxes

It’s important to get the right boxes – don’t merely get just any box that comes in handy. Be prepared to spend some money for the right materials.

Other supplies

It’s not just the boxes that are important – you should also be able to purchase other things. Proper tape, good labels, pens, things that will make packing a lot easier. Don’t forget bubble wrap, foam, and other necessities, as removals Gloucester experts like Andrews Removals confirm.

Here’s another hint – and it’s an important one for several reasons. Label your boxes and label them well. Firstly, this will ensure a smooth transportation and will help the movers identify which boxes contain breakable items and which are generally safe. Secondly, it will help you decide which needs to be moved first, and which can wait. And thirdly, it will save you lots of time when it’s time to unpack. Label them professionally – buy stickers and use colour coding. The bigger the label, the better. Happy moving! The adventure has begun!

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Home Insurance 101: Learn the Basics


It has been said that home is where the heart is. I’d have to say that I do agree. At one point of time my

job involved a lot of travelling, and whenever I was away, I would always miss home like crazy. This was even before I was married and had kids, I lived alone, so it wasn’t my family I missed – just to clarify. No matter how amazing the room is in the hotel that you stay at, it can never compete with that feeling of familiarity you get when sleeping in your own bed.

When you’re way, you realize the little things about your house that truly make it your home. The fact that you can navigate your way around without turning on the lights (or stubbing your toes – at least most of the time). You know which piece of furniture has a sweet spot where, and you can hit it in one attempt every single time.

The big one though is undoubtedly the fact that at every few feet around your home, you can just close your eyes and sink into a memory. Good or bad, happy or sad, stuff has happened there, our homes aren’t just a roof above our heads; they’re pretty much a part of our life. It makes sense to protect something that’s so important right? Which is why, it’s my opinion that home insurance is a must have, and if you don’t know what exactly you get in a home insurance policy, worry no more.

What you get in a standard home insurance policy

  • Home or dwelling coverage. This aspect of the policy covers the physical structure of your home itself. This means that if your walls fell apart or a column cracked down the middle due to something like a fire or a hurricane, or a hailstorm or even lightning, you’re set, because the insurance will cover it. This doesn’t cover all natural disasters though, if you want protection from flooding and earthquakes that’s an optional extra, and costs more.

  • Detached buildings and other structures. A home isn’t just the four walls that make up your main structure though right? There are auxiliary buildings that are as much a part of your home as your bedroom. Stuff like outhouses, cottages, garages, sheds and the like. This particular aspect of a home insurance policy refers to these buildings, and makes sure that they are also taken care of by the insurance policy on the same terms as the home or dwelling coverage.

  • Personal Property. Not just what is physically your home i.e. the roof, the floor, and the walls, are covered under a home insurance policy. The stuff that in it is also usually taken care of according to the terms of this type of policy. This means items such as furniture, fixtures, electronics, sports gear and a whole bunch of other things are protected. These aren’t just protected from the usual fire, hurricane, lightning and whatever else you opted for or is part of your policy, but also theft.

  • Coverage for loss of use. If disaster does strike, and your house is damaged to such a degree that it can’t be lived in at all, and has lost all possible chance of inhabitability, this aspect of the policy kicks in. If such a situation does crop up, the loss of use coverage means your hotel stay and restaurant bills will be taken care of until your house is in a habitable condition again, meaning during the duration of your houses repair, you won’t have to move in that one relative who you don’t really like that much anyway, or ask for favors from anyone else.


  • Personal Liability. Say you or the members of the family living with you are the cause of bodily damage or harm to someone while on your property, this policy protects you in case a lawsuit is filed in this event. This part of the policy, even covers pets! It’s a great help in case a case is filed against you in court, because legal fees can be extremely steep these days.

  • MedPay. Short for medical payments, this aspect of the policy follows from the previous one. If someone is injured on your property by someone from your family that is covered by the policy, the injured person’s medical bills will be covered by this policy. This benefit is only extended if no lawsuit is filed, however, so that factor should be kept in mind.


This is a generic, average sort of list of clauses, but certain policies offer less or more coverage than others, so the contract should be read with due diligence before you scribble your name at the end of it. For example, certain insurance firms offer limited coverage and individual add-ons, while some of the bigger insurance houses, such as The Hartford’s Home Insurance offer a more comprehensive package too.

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Window Treatment Design Ideas to Keep Out the Summer Heat


imagesIn the summer months, as the temperature climbs to extreme heats, it is often tempting to blast the air conditioning. Unfortunately, not everyone has air conditioning, and even if you do, using it too often can become a huge, unaffordable expense. No one wants to be in a home that feels as hot as the outside air does. Another way to keep your home cool during the summer months is to use window treatments to block out the warmth. Here are a few effective ways to use window treatment design ideas to keep out the summer heat all season long.

Instead of wasting money on your energy bill each month, Contacting a company such as Colorado Roof Toppers can help you with your window treatments strategically so that they are practical as well as design forward. One helpful idea is to hang long, heavy window curtains. Heavy window curtains have been used for centuries to trap heat away but also as décor. While heavy materials may make you think or warmth and heat, in reality, heavy curtains work best to trap heat that comes through your windows so that it doesn’t reach your living spaces. Closing these heavy curtains during the daytime will keep the hot sunlight out, trapping it between the curtain and the window so it is not able to impact the internal temperature of your home. Keep these curtains design forward by choosing a great color or pattern that will compliment the rest of the decor in your home.

Another idea is to purchase blackout shades. These shades are significantly more effective at keeping out light than regular, slatted window blinds. Blackout shades are neutral and discrete. They will also block out all sunlight, keeping your rooms cool. Plus, they are awesome when you want to take a mid-day nap, since you can have instant darkness!

You can also install exterior window blinds. These are typically made from a variety of materials including vinyl, wood, steel, or aluminum. They will attach to the top of the window and the channels will guide them so you can raise or lower the blinds as needed. When closed all the way, the slats fit together to block all light. When slightly closed, they allow some sunlight through without overheating your home.

Window awnings are another effective way to keep cool in the summertime, plus they add a great, unique effect to the exterior of your home. They will also provide shade on the inside and the outside of your home so they are multi-purposed! Awnings can reduce heat gain in your house by anywhere from 65-77% with proven results!

There is also a new way of preventing heat from coming into your home called Smart Windows. This still allows you to get the sunlight you desire, but without the heat. These windows are made by a nanocrystal glass that allows users to adjust how much sunlight or outside heat they want. This invention can decrease the amount of electricity used, ultimately reducing the use of air conditioning!

Clearly there are endless options available to homeowners who want to utilize windows treatments to block out heat and keep their homes cool during the warm, summer months. Window treatments like blinds, curtains, and architectural louvers are sure to present an effective as well as cost efficient way to keep cool in the summer in an eco-friendly and affordable manner without wasting energy necessary to crank up the air conditioning. Not only do these window treatment options work, but they are also design savvy, so they will look great with the decor of the rest of your home, on both the inside and the outside.


Top 5 Pest Extermination Tips for Homeowners


imagesIf there’s one thing that all of us have in common, it’s the fact that we don’t want pests in our home. Whether it’s ants, flies, roaches or mice, we all what to do whatever it is that we can in order to make sure that they stay as far from the rooms in our house as possible. And while one thing that can be done to keep pests at bay is to hire an exterminator, the reality is that they oftentimes use very harsh chemicals that can prove to be toxic. Plus, they cost money too.

That’s why we wanted to provide you with a list of pest extermination things that you can do on your own; ones that are cheap, eco-friendly and still just as effective as if you had hired a professional. Check these out below:

Vinegar. It’s pretty amazing, all of the things that vinegar can do in your home. One of them is remove pests like ants, cockroaches and even ladybugs (that tend to hibernate in homes during the wintertime). All you have to do is spray some in the areas where you see ants moving about, cockroaches climbing or ladybugs flying around. Vinegar works in a matter of moments.

Boric acid. Something that’s considered to be toxic for most insects is boric acid. The best way to apply it is to purchase the powder form, put on some gloves and then sprinkle it along the opening of your doors and also your windowsills. This will not only kill the insects that are already in your house but prevent others from coming in too.

Cornmeal. Although typically we associate cornmeal with baking, you might be surprised to know that it’s actually an ant’s enemy. That’s because their bodies are not meant to digest it and so once they eat it and it gets into their systems, it’s just a matter of time before they expire as a direct result. This is also something that you should sprinkle anywhere you’ve seen ants before.

DIY fly paper. Flies are not only annoying, they also tend to carry a lot of germs. So, if you see a couple flying around in your house, that’s your cue to make some of your own fly paper. All you need to do is mix ½ cup of corn syrup, one tablespoon of granulated sugar and one tablespoon of brown sugar into a bowl. Mix it all together and then put strips of brown Kraft paper into the mixture. Allow the strips to soak overnight. In the morning, poke a small hole into the top of each strip and then hang them on a string in the areas where you’ve seen the flies. In a couple of hours, you should notice less buzzing and more flies on your strips.

Peppermint oil. Two kinds of pests that tend to get the biggest reactions out of people are spiders and mice. And while you might feel like when it comes to both of them, it would be best to call a place like Forsyth Exterminating to get rid of them, you might be surprised by the fact that all you need is a little bit of peppermint oil. Although it does not necessarily kill these pests, if you spray some on the areas where you see spiders or their cobwebs or if you douse some cotton balls in them and place them wherever you’ve noticed a mouse, because they loathe the scent, it’s a good way to keep them from dwelling in your house. For more information on other natural ways to control pests, visit One Good Thing By Jillee and pet “pest control methods” in the search field.


Common Warning Signs of Home Foundation Damage


imagesThe foundation of your home is imperative to the integrity of your overall structure, so if anything goes wrong with the base for your house, you want to catch it as soon as possible and nip it in the bud. We all know what can happen to our homes if we don’t have a strong foundation. Not taking notice of our home’s foundation can result in a lot of damage. The unfortunate truth, though, is that the foundation on which your house is built is hidden under several layers, including a vapor barrier, insulators, concrete slab, subflooring, padding, carpeting, and so on. In short, you’ll have a hard time doing annual inspections or getting a look at it if you think something might be wrong. So you need to be sure that there is existing damage before you start tearing up the floorboards in your basement. And it just so happens that damage to your foundation will likely result in a few telltale signs and symptoms. Here are some that could give you the clues you need to take the next step.

The most common signs of foundational issues tend to present themselves as cracks, and there are several areas around the house where you might notice cracking and separating in relation to issues with your foundation. For example, the average crack you might see creeping up a wall or across the ceiling won’t necessarily indicate that your foundation is to blame. If, on the other hand, you start to notice cracks forming around window and door frames, or the frames begin separating from the walls, there’s a good chance your foundation could be to blame. Cracks in the grout between tiles or in the mortar between bricks could also indicate foundation problems, and if the siding begins to separate from the wall of your home or you see walls starting to come apart at the seams, you have a serious problem on your hands.

By the time cracks and separation start becoming apparent, you can pretty much guarantee that the foundation is the root of the problem. But there are some less noticeable signs that could offer even earlier warning, before real damage to your home begins. For example, a foundation that is sinking or shifting may do so uniformly rather than cracking and breaking. In this case, you might find that once-even floorboards now tilt to one side, something you can determine simply enough by placing a marble on the floor and seeing if it rolls. You may also find that you suddenly have trouble opening and closing windows or that doors are sticking in their frames when you previously had no such issues. Of course, these signs are not definitive, but they may be enough to prompt you to call in a specialist to take a look and render a professional opinion.

Whether your foundation is sinking or the walls are starting to lean in or out, you want to catch the problem as early as possible so you can spare yourself the time and expense of further damage, or worse, having your house condemned as unfit for habitation. Detecting the problem at an earlier stage not only will it save you money, but it will save damage from occurring. With the services of qualified professionals from a reputable company like Dura Pier foundation repair on your side, you should be able to uncover and repair any foundation issues your house may have. But first you have to spot the warning signs. So don’t be blind to the cracks and shifting that could signal problems starting in your foundation.


5 Common Repairs to Plan for When Purchasing an Older Home


For prospective homeowners that don’t like the idea of moving into a cookie cutter tract home, even if it means getting brand new construction, older homes will likely hold a certain appeal. Not only do many older homes have the character that newer homes lack, thanks to architectural details, stylistic elements of the time, and often the inclusion of a lot of wooden surfaces, but they also tend to feature amenities like large yards and distance from neighbors (although this really depends on the area and the home in question). And there’s no denying that the builders who created structures that have been standing for decades clearly did something right. That said, older homes are, well, old, and that means that you’ll likely have to deal with some level of deterioration, unless previous homeowners have recently renovated or upgraded essential systems. Here are just a few common repairs that you should probably plan for when you purchase an older home. Continue reading “5 Common Repairs to Plan for When Purchasing an Older Home”

5 Things to Consider When Fixing Up Your Home to Sell


imagesIf you’re seriously considering putting your house up for sale, being that real estate is a pretty competitive market, we’re pretty sure that you’ve been looking around the rooms of your home and trying to figure out what needs to be fixed up. After all, when you’re ready to sell your home, there tends to be a pretty fine line between what you should repair and what you should let the new owners take care of.

So, if you’re currently in this kind of dilemma, you’re in luck. We are about to provide you with five things that every homeowner should consider doing when fixing up their home to sell below:

Conduct an energy audit. The very first thing that you should do is conduct an energy audit. That will help you to see where your insulation might have holes, if you are having air or water leaks or if your appliances are not working as well as they should. By having this kind of information beforehand, you can be pointed into the direction of what things are top priorities when it comes to fixing up your home.

Paint your walls. Something you can do that is cost-effective and can also drastically change the appearance of your home is to paint the walls. Just make sure that you either go with a shade of white or some kind of neutral hue. Re-painting your home  yourself can be a daunting task, but hiring a company such as Sergios Painting can make re-painting much easier, you should choose a color that will help people to envision living in the house once you have moved out of it.

Have you floors professionally cleaned. If you’ve ever walked into a house that has dirty carpeting or scratches on it hardwood floors, then you already know just how unattractive that can be. Buyers don’t want to walk into a home that has filthy or unmaintained floors because it kills the interior look of the house. That’s why it really is worth the money to hire a professional carpet cleaning service. Oh, and when it comes to your hardwood floors, Stanley Steemer is one company that provides cleaning services too.

Make some eco-friendly additions. As more people are becoming environmentally aware, when it comes to house-hunting, something that a lot of them are looking for is houses that have eco-friendly additions to them. If you can afford to purchase a couple of appliances for your kitchen that have the Energy Star label on them, that is ideal. But if you’re on a bit of a tight budget, get a low-flow showerhead and automatic faucet for the bathroom(s). That can reduce your water bill by as much as 20-30 percent.

Deep clean your home. Before real estate companies like will show a house, one thing they will expect is for it to be immaculate. Not only does it make a house look more appealing to visitors but something else that it can do is remove all beginning signs of mold and mildew and also rid your home of any stale smells that might be lurking around due to dirty grouts, the unclean space under your refrigerator or boxes that are stacked up in your attic or basement. While you’re cleaning your home, if you’d prefer to not use commercial cleaning products, there are several ingredients in your refrigerator and pantry that can clean your house without all of the toxins. For a list of them, just go to your favorite search engine and put “homemade cleaning recipes” in the search field.


5 Key Questions to Ask Before Buying a Lakefront Home


indexYou have it all planned out: cozy nights by the water’s edge with that special someone in your life, curling your toes in the sand, hopping in your little boat and taking a sunset tour. Indeed, the fantasies about living by the water run the gamut, but do you really know what goes into owning a waterfront property? When it comes down to it, purchasing a lakefront property can allow you to live your lifelong dream of having a waterfront property, but before you sign on the dotted line and become a proud owner, there are a number questions you want to ask beforehand. Here are five key questions to ask before buying a lakefront home.

  1. Is the lake swimmable? When it comes down to it, you may end up purchasing a lake house and then realize that you can’t swim in the lake – either because of pollution or because it is too dangerous. Making sure the lake is swimmable is especially important if you will be brining your kids there to enjoy the lake’s serenity. So, you want to find out everything there is to know about the different properties of the lake: salinity of the water, loam density of the soil and even when the mosquitoes like to breed. In fact, before you visit to try and find a lakeshore property, you may want to have your lake requirements all mapped out.
  2. Who manages the lake? Some lakes are never managed, so they become murky, muddy and quite unsightly. However, some lakes have a special lake manager who maintains the lake and makes sure that the water has the perfect pH balance for fishing, swimming and boating. Not only do you want to make sure a lake has a manager, but you also want to find out what the monthly fees are. Not factoring in these fees could cause you to go over budget.
  3. Do you get to own your own dock? When you are purchasing a lakefront property, there is a good chance that you will want to go boating, kayaking or spend some time in a watercraft on the water. Most people want to have their own dock for privacy issues and also for leisure purposes. So, you want to make sure that the dock comes with your property. If it doesn’t, you may be dealing with the general public docking their boats in your front yard.
  4. Are there any creatures you should be afraid of? When it comes down to it, some lakes are full of predators that you should not necessarily be afraid of, but definitely weary. Some lakes and rivers have alligators, which can be a threat to house pets and children. Not only that, but you want to know what mosquito breeding season is like and if it can become unbearable.
  5. Can you boat on the lake? If one of your must haves is to be able to boat on the lake, it’s very important for you to do your research on which lakes allow you to boat. Some lakes have a “no motor” policy, which means that you can’t be in any kind of watercraft that has a motor. This can be a deal breaker for some people, so make sure you find out this information before committing to any lakefront home. The reason why you want to know about this policy is so that you can be prepared or not for loud and obnoxious boats. If you want more peace and quiet, you may want to find a lake experience that doesn’t allow motorboats.


Top Tips for Updating your Conservatory


Conservatories are a lovely feature of a home, and it’s easy to see why they’re increasing in popularity. However, many people do still regard them as quite an old fashioned feature, when this is just not the case anymore.

If your conservatory is looking a little dated and you’d like to give it a revamp, we’ve got a list of some of the best ideas to help you do so. Or, if you’re thinking of investing in a conservatory, we think we’ve got some tips for inspirational Conservatories when it comes to the interior design of your new room.

Go for a different theme

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We’ve all seen the wicker furniture, faded carpet and beige walls combo conservatories, yet this is so dated that it’s time we said goodbye to it for good.

Choose a different theme altogether when it comes to decorating your conservatory. Aim to keep some of the overall flow of the rest of your home’s decor when it comes to the conservatory’s design, but with a few extra details to distinguish it and make it special.

Great themes we love that tend to be everywhere right now include monochrome with winks of colour bursts, French class designs with a heavy use of greys and dark woods and your timeless shabby chic vintage look.

Make a statement with bold furniture

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Ditch the faded wicker for good and go for something truly unique and special. No one said conservatory furniture had to be boring, and recent trends are proving that daily. Go for statement chairs, colour pop tables and even hammocks to add a truly interesting and dynamic appeal to even the most traditional styles of conservatories.

Give the windows a new lease of life



Conservatories with a heavy use of glass for the windows and even walls are fantastic, especially in the summer when it comes to enjoying your garden from the comfort of indoors. However, to keep uncomfortable strong sun rays at bay, you will no doubt rely on good conservatory blinds or curtains.

Replacing this element with new ones can give a new burst of life to the whole room as it is such a main feature. Why not replace your plain, faded curtains with bold blinds to add some interest and make the whole room feel more cosy and sophisticated?

Update the floors

Again, the flooring is a main interior design aspect of any room’s interior and the conservatory is no different. Why not go for something completely different to what you’ve had before? Replace old carpet with fresh, new wooden flooring for a timeless look that will suit any decor scheme.

If real, solid wood flooring is a little over your budget, laminate floors are a great alternative to real wood as they can be a fraction of the price, and if you choose a reputable company, they can often look just as good! They’re also a lot easier to maintain than carpets and will be good for keeping things cool in the summer.


3 Signs Home Sellers are Too Emotionally Attached

Selling one’s home is usually pretty emotional, especially if a family has been there for years – decades even – and created tons of memories. Every house comes full of stories about the people who lived there, and these can actually be used to help sell the home on when the times comes. But there is another kind of seller out there who is a little too attached, and he or she will be absolutely toxic to you, the buyer. They’ll prevaricate, waste time and end up causing you equal grief. Here are three huge red flags.



The Seller is Hyper-sensitive to Changes

You turn to your spouse and suggest off-hand that you would want to paint the white living room walls taupe. The seller overhears and immediately comes over to inform you that you are wrong, insisting that it’s just perfect, because that’s how it’s always been. If a seller just can’t bear to hear of any changes you’d make, then it’s obvious they want to keep it the way it is – that is, with them in it.

The Price is Way Too High

You looked at two other houses in the neighborhood, and while this one is nice, it’s also $40,000 more for reasons you can’t quite fathom. Homeowners who price their houses way too high are either so in love with their property that they think it’s worth every penny of that inflated price, are sub-consciously trying to drive buyers away or, worse, both.

The Seller Cries

It’s an emotional time, everyone involved knows that, but tears during an open house are a good indication that no one is going to see their offer accepted. The onus is on the seller to view their home as a product, but no buyer is going to help that.

If any of these red flags appear you need to be on your guard. Proceed with caution and try not to fall madly in love with the property until you can ascertain that the seller is actually serious.