5 Life Hacks To Use Around Your Home

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5 Life Hacks To Use Around Your Home – If you own a home, you already know that there is a new or trendy idea for everything. When it comes to unique or DIY ideas, the possibilities are really endless. Add a personalized touch with a few hacks that can work for any sized home, and will also keep you organized along the way. Here are 5 life hacks that are not only easy to do, but incredibly savvy.

A Hinged Painting

Putt hinges (instead of hooks) on a painting to cover up a thermostat. Not only will you not have to worry about an unpleasant eye-sore in the middle of your wall, but you will be able to brighten up the room with a beautiful work of art.

Differentiate Your Keys

Use different color nail polish to differentiate the sets of keys on your keychains.

Magnets

Glue a magnet to the bottom of your hammer. That way, you won’t have to fumble with nails in your mouth while you’re hammering things.

Command Hooks

Command hooks are great for everything, but there is definitely one way you’ll find them more helpful. Place them on the back of your child’s highchair to hold bibs, that way you won’t have to search for one during meal times.

Stripped Screws

Stripped screws are not fun for anyone. Use a rubber band on top of the screw to help remove it from its place.

 

For more hacks to use around your home, visit here.

Tips For Hanging A Wall Gallery In Your Home

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Tips For Hanging a Gallery Wall in Your Home – Gone are the days where hanging just one photo in your home will do, having a gallery wall is a trend that is here to last. It does not matter your style or taste, there is always a way for you to make this trend your own. Here are five tips for hanging a gallery wall in your home.

 

Map it Out

Create a map of what you need your gallery wall to look like before you start nailing holes into your walls. Lay out the design you want on the ground, while thinking about the spacing and design flow. This will allow you to make any necessary changes before it becomes a permanent fixture.

 

Move Outward

Pick one piece you will likely already have it in mind and place that at eye level, making it the main focal point of your gallery wall. Once that piece is decided upon, work your way outward. Make sure to keep it symmetrical, as you want to keep your main focal point in the center and you do not want to run out of space on either side.

 

Collect at the Same Time

This step is not a necessity and more of a nice thing to have.  When you first get the idea of making a gallery wall, consider what you have and what you need to get. Collecting the large majority of your art at the same time will ensure that you have a consistent style amongst every piece.

 

Have the Right Tools

You do not need many tools to put your gallery wall together, but you do need the correct ones. The absolute necessities you will need are a hammer, nails and a level tool. It would also be a good idea to have another way to secure each piece of artwork to the wall (as a precaution).

 

Have Fun With It

A gallery wall should be an expression of things you love and the things you love to look at! It will take a large amount of time and extra planning, but the end results will be well worth it. Be odd, be unique, be whatever you want to be but most importantly have fun with it!

 

For more tips for hanging a gallery wall in your home, visit here.

Pros And Cons Of A Solar Panel In Your Home

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Pros And Cons Of A Solar Panel In Your Home – Wanting to go green with your home? If you are considering installing a solar panel, you might want to consider all the pros and cons before taking the plunge. Check out the helpful list below to get started.

Pros:

  1. Sustainability: When you install a solar panel in you home, you are installing a green and renewable energy source. Solar power is unlimited and cannot be over-consumed. Furthermore, solar power technology is always improving as engineers search for ways to use greener materials for the panels as well as increase the panels’ energy gathering potential.
  2. Lowers electricity costs: According to energyinformative.org, installing one solar panel could reduce your electric bill by $100 a month! This can add up greatly over the years. To reduce costs even more, homeowners can lease or choose power purchase deals to eliminate the upfront expenses of installing the panels.
  3. No or little maintenance: Your solar panel is at low-risk of breaking down because it has no machine parts. Panels are also relatively easy to install. The most you’ll need to do is have the panel cleaned just a few times a year to maximize its efficiency, as solar panels have long lives.

Cons:

  1. Expense: Solar panels can be very expensive upfront. There are tax subsidies and green energy programs that do help lower costs, but we still have a ways to go before prices are within reasonable range for more homeowners. Furthermore, it will likely take more than one solar panel to sufficiently run your home, depending on its size and floor plan.
  2. Consistency: While solar panels fuel energy during the day, they are not able to generate electricity at night and sometimes even on very cloudy days. Solar batteries to store energy can be purchased, but they are an additional cost on top of the already expensive panel.
  3. Pollution: Some of the manufacturing processes for producing solar panels have been known to contribute to greenhouse gases and other types of pollution. Additionally, the process of installing the panels can contribute to pollution as well. However once in place, they emit no harmful chemicals.

By weighing your options carefully and doing a little research, you can make the right choice for your home. Going green may not always be what it seems, so it is important to evaluate all your options before purchasing a solar energy panel. Furthermore, there may be other systems that are better for your home and your pocket book, but just as green and energy friendly.

How To Win A Bidding War

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How To Win A Bidding War – If the real estate market is situated so that there are more buyers than sellers, it’s easy to find yourself in the middle of a bidding war. With the real estate market heating up for buyers, it’s very possible that you might have to outbid someone else for your dream home. If you find yourself in a bidding war, here are 4 great tips to keep in mind that can help you come out on top.

  1. Be organized. Organization is key when buying or selling a home in a high demand real estate market. Sellers want any incoming offers to be easy to read and concise. Make sure you know the answers to several important questions – Is there a deadline to submit offers? Is there a specific offer format the seller wants to see? Are there any other factors that might be important to the seller?
  2. Make an offer that will stand out. If you’re buying a home in a fast-paced real estate market, make sure your offer won’t be seen as too low to the sellers. Make sure your offer is strong and is going to stand out among other offers.
  3. Sweeten the pot. When you’re competing with multiple offers, it’s key to be prepared. If you’re able to pay with cash, that’s a major plus in the eyes of the seller. Not everyone is able to do this, so show the seller you’re serious by getting a pre-approved loan.
  4. Don’t delay closing. Sellers are interested in closing quickly. When handling multiple offers, it’s advantageous to make an offer with few contingencies. Make sure you don’t skip the inspection contingency, however.

If you find yourself in a bidding war, remember these 4 tips to help you come out on top. Did we miss any great tips? Let us know in the comments!

How To Revive Your Lawn For Warmer Weather

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How To Revive Your Lawn For Warmer Weather – A long, cold winter can have some negative effects on your lawn, so it’s important to pay extra attention to your landscape this spring. With warm weather here, trees are starting to bud, and your lawn is finally free of the layers of snow it’s been under for the last few months. Check out these tips on how to revive your lawn for the warmer weather this year.

  • Rake and Remove: Haul out the old wheelbarrow to collect accumulated winter debris. Rake up old leaves that have gathered in damp piles around your yard, and remove tiny twigs that have fallen from trees over the winter. This quick sweep of the yard will result in an instant upgrade.
  • Brown Grass = Bad Grass: Once night temperatures reach 35 degrees and up, your winter lawn will slowly start turning green again. However, you may notice brown patches here and there, spoiling the look of your once pretty yard. Give the brown grass a little tug, and if it pulls out easily, that patch has got to go. Trim the surrounding areas of the unhealthy spot and yank up all the dead grass. These areas can be easily re-seeded to grow healthy new patches of green.
  • Scatter Seeds: Visit your local hardware or gardening shop to purchase new grass seeds to plant as soon as the ground thaws. Water the seeds daily to keep the soil damp, and use a high phosphorous fertilizer to encourage nourishing growth. Make sure to let the grass grow at least 3 inches before you mow it as mowing too soon can traumatize its progression.
  • Maintain your Mower: Take the time to give your lawnmower some routine maintenance. Dull blades can result in uneven grass that can lead to discoloration and unwelcome pathogens. Additionally, a change in spark plug and air filters can restore your mower’s efficiency.
  • Air it out: After particularly difficult winters, lawns can become compacted and constricted cutting off necessary nutrients. For a lawn’s ecosystem to remain healthy, the soil needs to be loose so that air and water can enter and escape. Luckily homeowners can buy or rent aerators from hardware or lawn care stores to ventilate and freshen soil.

Winter may have taken quite a toll on your lawn this year, but a little bit of thoughtful attention will help get your lawn back to all of it’s former glory. Start with these tips and for even more ways to revive your lawn this spring, click here or here.

5 Ways To Brighten and Update Your Kitchen

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5 Ways To Brighten and Update Your Kitchen

Whether you’re trying to sell your home in the near future, or you’d just like to spruce it up, there are a number of things you can do to brighten and update the space. No matter what look you’re aiming for, there are a number of resources available to you. Here are five ways to brighten and update your kitchen.

Paint The Cabinets

If your current cabinets are a darker color that don’t really match the space, consider painting them a vibrant white and updating the hardware. This is a simple, inexpensive project that can help brighten up the space.

Mix and Match Textures

Use several textures for surfaces, rugs and accents to brighten up the space. Color coordinate the extra items to make sure nothing is out of the ordinary or too dark for the space.

Stick to One Splurge

If you’re dreaming of stainless steel appliances, go for it; but that means you should fogo the marble countertops. By all means, make your kitchen exactly how you want it, but don’t let your kitchen update break the bank.

Add Lighting

Consider adding under-cabinet lighting to brighten up a dark space. This type of simple lighting is not present in many homes and it goes a long way to add value to a kitchen space in the long run.

Experiment With Open Shelving

Give your dishes some room to breath and experiment with open shelving. Create a sense of greater space in the area and give yourself an opportunity to show off some of the great ceramics pieces you’ve been hiding behind cabinet doors for years.

Updating and brightening your kitchen doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. For more ideas on ways to brighten and update your kitchen, visit here.

10 Spring Plants and Flowers For Your Garden

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10 Spring Plants and Flowers For Your Garden

Liven up your flower boxes this Spring with 10 of these beautiful early blooming flowers found on Better Homes and Gardens website.

Pansy

Pansies prove to be the perfect spring flower because they love the shade, and you can relish in the variety in bloom color for months to come.

Growing conditions: Sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 10 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Snowdrop Anemone

Snowdrop Anemone will flourish even in a slightly shaded spring garden. The plant may even put on a second bloom once the cooler temperatures of the fall season come.

Growing conditions: Full sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Redbud

Beginning in march, this tree will bring your garden or yard a wild display of pink beginning in March and lasting throughout the summer season.

Growing conditions: Sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 30 feet tall and wide

Lilac

This cottage-garden favorite’s sweet spring fragrance will fill your garden with unprecedented beauty, as it comes in all shapes and sizes. Also, the lilac usually blooms on old wood, so you might want to hold off on pruning until after the flowering is finished.

Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 20 feet tall and wide

‘Acoma’ Iris

This flower comes in all colors, making them a perfect colorful addition to your springtime.

Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 34 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Grape Hyacinth

This flower resembles bundles of grapes and make one of the most beautiful and best flowers to add to your garden.

Growing conditions: Full sun or part shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 8 inches tall and 6 inches wide

‘Harmony’ Iris

Dwarf wild iris pops with deep, wild purple or blue is a welcome contrast to many of spring’s pastel flowers.

Growing conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 6 inches tall and wide

Daffodil

This spring flower has a range of shapes and sizes, and honestly, what is spring without Daffodils?

Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 1 foot tall and wide

Tulip

The Tulip brings about native cheerfulness and beauty, making itself fit in any garden setting.

Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide

Puschkinia

Inside the blooms of snowdrift are striped flowers that offer surprising color variation. Make your garden one of a kind with these beauties.

Growing conditions: Sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 8 inches tall and 6 inches wide

Were these flower tips from the Better Homes and Gardens website helpful? Let us know in the comments below!