With spring just around the corner you’re probably starting to prepare your spring cleaning chore list! Make sure to add to the list your homes light fixtures. I’ll admit this is something that I don’t like to do often as its really tedious and time consuming but is defiantly necessary. Unfortunately light fixtures in your home are a huge dust and dirt magnet so it does require cleaning ever so often. Here are just a few easy ways to keep your lights/fixtures shining bright and looking fantastic!

 

To maintain the dust that collects on your fixtures/light bulbs it’s best to do a weekly or even daily dust. A weekly dust should be sufficient enough to keep your fixtures from drowning in dirt! First thing is first as everyone is most likely aware, you should never ever clean your light bulbs/fixtures with the lights turned on. You put yourself at risk of getting burned or even getting electrocuted depending on the type of fixture you have so please remember to turn the lights off before starting to clean. For best results I myself find Swiffer dusters to lock in the dust and dirt most efficiently. If you don’t use/buy Swiffer products then you can use a step ladder or chair whatever works for you to reach your ceiling fans and fixtures, use a microfiber cloth to dust which will do the trick just as well.

 

For a deeper clean whether you have dome lights, pot lighting or chandeliers you should remove all pieces from the ceiling and carefully place them in your sink with warm soapy water and wash them thoroughly. Don’t forget to remove your light bulbs, to clean the bulbs just wet a microfiber cloth with warm water and give it a good wash. Let everything fully air dry before putting back together and installing back onto your ceiling.


To be honest you shouldn’t have to do a deep clean often at all if you are doing a weekly dust. It really does make a difference in your home when your lighting is kept dust and dirt free. I hope that these simple steps will give you a bright new look! 

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Besides your home your car is someplace that you potentially spend a lot of time in so it is very nice to keep it clean and tidy! If you have the time and don’t want to spend extra money to get your vehicle professionally detailed then here are just a few tips on giving your car the cleaning it deserves right at home!

 

First you should start with the carpets, if you have an air compressor use it to blow out the dust and dirt in the hard to reach corners then give it a nice vacuum (do the seats as well). You will want to wash the carpets next so if you have a carpet cleaner that would be easiest to use but if not you can either rent one or simply get a strong wash brush with really good bristles and wash the carpets in a circular motion. You can use any type of carpet cleaner soap. Then before doing anything else let fully dry before stepping on them.

 

Seats, you can either steam clean them with a regular carpet cleaner or steam cleaner or do it by hand using the same method and washing the carpets and then let dry. If you have leather seats use a cleaner with aloe in it, it’s easy on the leather and makes them look really shiny!

 

Next get a bucket and fill with warm water and any kind of car cleaner for the interior (dash, doors etc.) Wash everything down completely and I would even take a dry towel and dry it yourself just so that no streaks get left behind! I like to wash everything with a microfiber cloth, I find that they really wash well and leave less marks after.

 

After all of this has fully dried I would do your windows next, this is an easier part cause all you have to do is use your classic window cleaner (Windex) and it will sure to shine. Note after washing the window I would dry right away with a microfiber cloth.

 

Lastly the outside, now you can always go to a car wash to do this but personally there is nothing like a true hand wash on your car to really make sure the job is done right! When you hand wash you can really see if there is any dirt left behind and you can get into those really tough small parts of the car easily. The most important part of washing a car is to DRY it afterward! This is important because after washing it streaks get left behind and it can make it look just as bad as the dirt looked on it. This may take you and extra 10 or 15 minutes but it is so worth it!


Have fun everyone making your vehicles look brand new again!

 

  

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No one like to look out a window that you just cleaned and see nothing but water spots all over it. Or even when using house hold cleaners like Windex this can leave water streaks. Here are just a few simple ways to reduce this problem so you don’t have to re wipe them down.


Use vinegar and water. Use an old spray bottle and mix a half and half solution of vinegar and water. Spray onto your window, if you have a few spots that are pretty bad then spray the solution on the spot a few times. Wet or soak a rough cleaning towel with the solution and scrub the windows, after you will want to let the vinegar and water solution sit and works its magic 5-10 minutes should be long enough depending on how bad your water spots are (you can be the judge of that) Then re spray the window with you solution and use a rough dry towel to wipe off.


Toothpaste. Toothpaste is so great when trying to remove tough stains. Make a paste with water and the toothpaste don’t use to much water as you don’t want to dilute it too much. Rub the past onto the spots and let sit for about 5 minutes. Then take a towel, brush or sponge and scrub the spot, then use water to wash the paste off your windows. Last step is to take your everyday glass cleaner that you use and wash normally but be sure to dry the window fully or else you will risk having those spots re appear!


Baking Soda & Vinegar. In an open container mix equal parts vinegar and baking soda, this solution with bubble and you can either wait till the bubbling has stopped to apply to your windows or you can apply while it’s bubbling this won’t affect how it works in any way. Apply to the spot with a towel, cloth or sponge personally I like using an old tooth brush for all 3 of these methods the bristles on the tooth brush help scrub the areas better. Let sit for about 5 minutes and wash away with water. Final step just like using the toothpaste method is to use any traditional glass cleaner and dry completely.


I hope these 3 easy and simple methods and solutions will help you look through a clean and shiny window spot free! 

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It is almost impossible to keep your flooring totally free from marks, scuffs or scratches! Kids, pets, furniture and shoes are just a few examples of ways scratches can be caused. Flooring is one of the most important features and looks in our homes, and unfortunately can be a costly thing to replace if it gets to out of hand. So if you do have a busy house hold and have a few scratches that you can’t bare to look at anymore try a few of these steps to minimize the look of the scratch or scuff.


Wood or Laminate – This is for large deeper scratches or scuffs the ones you really want to get rid of! First clean the area with a soft cloth and white vinegar and let fully dry. You will need to buy some wood filler from your local hardwood store, after you have left to dry use the wood filler and fill in the scratch and smooth out with a putty knife and let dry. You will need to go and also buy some wood stain closely matching the color of wood or laminate flooring that you are repairing. Apply the stain to the area that you have filled and let dry. Last step is to seal it so apple a small thin layer of lacquer.


Vinyl – When repairing this type of flooring you will want to make sure that the room is very well vented and maybe even consider opening a window. First you will want to clean the area with lacquer thinner, use a cloth and wipe the area down let dry. Remember to wear rubber gloves when handling lacquer thinner as it’s quite strong, maybe even wear a mask for extra protection. Next step is to place masking tape around the area and apply a small layer of liquid seam sealer to the scratch or scuffed spot and let dry. Remove masking tape and it’s all finished!


Ceramic or Porcelain Tile – This process is for smaller scratches in your tile or porcelain flooring. First clean the area with hot water and white vinegar and let fully dry. With a new cloth rub in a small amount of toothpaste until the scratch is completely filled, don’t use gel toothpaste. Then you will want to sand the area once it has dried until you have a smooth even surface. To seal it spray or paint a thin layer of urethane to coat and seal it.


I hope these simple easy steps save you a little bit of a headache when starring at the scratches on your flooring. 

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You usually don’t need to remove your blinds or take them down to clean them unless there are some really tough stains on them. There really is no right or wrong way to shine up your blinds but here are a few steps that I like to use when it comes time to do your cleaning.


One quick note, this method works great with wood blinds, plastic or aluminum but if you have fabric blinds or curtains you will have to take those down and either hand wash them your in sink or throw them in the washing machine.

 

First you will want to use a duster, microfiber cloth or vacuum to dust off your blinds first. If you don’t do this step then when you go to clean you will just be spreading a lot of the dust around and not really getting rid of it. If you have vertical blinds clean/dust from top to bottom, if you have horizontal blinds wash/dust from left to right.

 

Next you will want to fill a bucket with warm water you don’t need hot and add 2-3 drops of liquid dish soap. I always clean with a microfiber cloth I find that it works best to wipe away dirt and really give a deep clean but you can use whatever you like. Then using the left to right method or top to bottom method wipe gently. When you are finished you can let them air dry or dry them with a towel, I like to dry mine quickly after wiping them off just so that no dust sticks!


There you have it, super simple, fast and efficient! And unless you have fabric curtains/blinds you don’t need to take anything down which is way more of a hassle! 

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Every year things seem to go out of style or a new trend comes alone, this can either be the way we cut our hair the kind of accessories that we wear, shoes, clothes you name it, it will change. Some of you may not know this but even the way we decorate our homes change from year to year, I know this can be expensive if you are wanting to keep your home up to the new looks but if you are just looking for some new ideas or ways to copy a new look at an inexpensive price well here are a few of those trends to look for this year! 

 

Green colors seem to be the new trend of this year in your home, this can range from green throw pillow on your couch or even a nice green blanket. Something you can also add is a green painting of any sorts now this doesn’t have to be a specific color of green you can go from a nice dark forest green to even a bright lime green. You could also add something as simple as a few green glass vases to your coffee table or shelving unit.

 

A lot of new fashion trends whether it be what you wear or put in your home stem from the runway. So another fashionable look for your home this year is anything with a tropical print. This can be again a throw pillow or if you’re looking to repaint you could always do an accent wall of a nice tropical wall paper. Or anything that you have in your home that has fabric added to it, your bedding is something easy that you can incorporate a tropical print in, even a throw rug.

 

Grey colors were a huge trend in 2016 but it seems to be something that will stick throughout 2017 as well. You will see a lot of greys and whites this year or a darker tone of grey. This color is great to put up on a wall as it compliments a lot of other colors for example a darker colored couch (black or brown). It also goes with a lot of bright colors as well so if you have accents in tones like red or yellow grey would be a perfect fit.

 

Bronze this year will be a winner, it is a huge trendy hit. This one is easy to decorate with as you can get a tone of accent decors in bronze. This is something that you can even do in a less expensive way, you can go to your local thrift store and find loads of metal like objects or statues in the bronze tone. Places like Homesense and Winners also carry a lot of home accents in this color. You can get a metal type picture to put up on your wall that really warms up any space. This color also goes really well with any type of grey color, so if you are really looking to change up a room paint the walls in a grey tone and add a bronze metal type wall ornament.


I hope these trends will help you spice up your home this year and create something refreshing and up to date. 

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Did you have a little too much fun with your red wine and accidentally spill on your carpet! Not to worry it happens to the best of us. There are many people who think it’s almost impossible to remove red wine from your carpets especially a white/lighter colored carpet, but try one of these methods and home remedies, they actually work!

 

With any stain always act fast, the longer you let something sit for the more of a chance you won’t be able to remove it. As soon as have a spill the first thing you should do it grab a cloth or towel whatever you normally use to clean with and blotch the area. Don’t blotch from side to side as this could make the stain larger, use and up and down motion. Once you have blotched the spot until almost dry grab some COLD water and rewet the area again and repeat with the same blotching method until dry. This should take the stain out you may have to go over it a few times.

 

Salt. Salt draws the moisture out in the stain, so pour a lot of salt all over the stained area and let sit for a long time. If you don’t have plans for that day it’s best to leave the salt as long as you can. This method will only work if the area is wet, so if it has started to dry before you have poured salt onto it then pour some cold water on the stain to moisten the area. You will notice that the salt will eventually turn a pinkish color, this is a good thing. Once you notice that the stain has been removed simply vacuum up the salt.

 

This method I particularly love, it works on almost any stain that I have ever encountered! DISH SOAP! It honestly works, I just get the stained area wet with cold water and drop a little dish soap over the area and using the blotching method go at it. The only thing with this method is that it’s soap so you will have to get it wet a few times to get soap suds out of your carpet, but in my experience this has proven the best way to get most stains out, it work on clothes, furniture you name it. I use sunlight soap so I haven’t tested any other brands out but I’m sure they would do the same trick! Try it out and see if it works for you!

 

I hope these tricks help when your wine nights get the best of you!

 

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A huge trend now a days is to find ways to be more environmentally cautious. This can be riding your bike to work instead of driving your car, or reusing the same water bottle instead buying plastic all the time, composting instead of putting everything in your garbage that goes straight to the landfills which pollutes the air. Another easy way is to simply change certain cleaning products that you are using in your home. There are so many ways to make your own natural cleaning products instead of using ones that have harmful chemicals in them. You can also go and buy green cleaning products as well at your local grocery store, these can be a bit pricey so if you would like to make your own follow this simple process and go green!


Your oven is one of the most difficult appliances to clean in your home so the cleaners for this job tend to be very strong! Instead try this;

 

You can make a paste of baking soda and water, coat the surfaces of your over and I would use quite a bit, then leave this to sit over night to do its magic! In the morning when you wake up simply wash out with a hot damp cloth.

 

Ovens tend to have a lot of baked on grease and grime, try tea tree oil and anything citrus can also help with that mess.

 

Vinegar! Vinegar is used in a lot of naturally made products for your home as it is a very strong liquid and cleans very well. If your oven has a few really tough spots soak it in vinegar for about a two hours at minimum, the longer it sits you will get the best results. Then wipe away with a warm wash cloth.


To prevent how often you have to clean your oven try using an oven cover to prevent the splatter and spillage of whatever you are cooking. I always put a baking pan underneath my dishes in the oven and cover with aluminum foil which works just as well. This reduces the amount in which you will have to clean your oven and use harmful products if you don’t want to try these methods or if they don’t work for you!


Healthy Life Styles Make A Difference! 

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Are you tired of looking up and seeing your outdated and old school popcorn ceilng from the 1950’s? I know I am, popcorn ceilings were so popular back in the day but reality is they are almost impossible to clean, they catch and hold onto dust like crazy and are really difficult to repair! If you are looking to modernize your home start with redoing your outdated popcorn styled ceiling. Here is how to redo your popcorn ceiling!


Scraping – This is by far the most popular and used method out there when removing your popcorn ceiling. Use a large, wide drywall scraper or utility knife to chip away at the textured roof, otherwise known as “popcorn” style. Depending on how large the surface area of your roof is this will most likely take some time so make sure to cancel any plans you have for that day! It usually doesn’t take much for it to come off the roof but you will have to re-mud lots of the area after you have removed all the textured parts. Once you are done with the mudding process you will need to then sand everything down to create a very smooth surface, my advice is instead of covering furniture with large tarps or drop cloths I would completely take all of your furniture out of the room, drywall dust gets EVERYWHERE and it can take forever to try and clean up! After you are fully done with all of these steps you can then paint!


Tip – I have heard that some people like to spray water onto their ceilings before scraping them to make it a bit easier to scrape but I would not recommend you do this. First off it creates a gigantic mess everywhere and if you have carpets well… (Enough said right there). Also it potentially can absorb into the roof and make it heavy, this can then start to crack or expand which you don’t want! If you do this it will just be way more time consuming and messy for you! It’s honestly best to scrape dry!


You could always hire someone to do this for you but if you someone who likes to tackle projects on your own then I hope this super simple process helps in updating your home! 

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Your fridge is something you use and look at every day and where you store the food that you eat. I don’t know about you but this is something that I hate to look at if it’s starting to get dirty and grimy looking. Refrigerators aren’t always the most fun to clean and can be a challenge to get into all those little spots, but here are a few steps you can try to maintain its cleanliness.

 

If you notice that your fridge is starting to have a certain odor to it from the fruits and vegetables then you can try put some baking soda in a small container and placing it inside the crispers. You can also put some on the shelves as well. To give it a fresh scent you can cut a lemon in half and place it in your fridge as well. This won’t last two long as the lemon will start to dry out but it will last for a while until the baking soda has done its job.

 

It can be hard to wipe the shelves and drawers out while still in the fridge, so sometimes when I do my deep cleans I take all of this out and fill up my bath tub full of warm soapy water, I like to use dish soap than I wash them in the tub and let them air dry on a towel. This ensure that I get all the dirt build up off and it’s cleaned properly.

 

If you have glass shelves and want it to really shine and sparkle clean, then after washing everything and letting it dry fully I would take some glass cleaner (Windex) I use and wipe with that, this just gives it a little something extra!

 

You may notice that the small grate at the bottom of your refrigerator will collect a lot of dust bunnies and quite quickly as well and this tends to look a little unpleasant. For quick cleans you can just use a cloth to wipe the front off as much as possible, but I like to take the whole grate off and clean it in the tub or in your sink. I do this more often than the shelves and drawers because you see it more. It’s also not as much work and isn’t that big or difficult to maneuver.

 

Lastly the temperature, the range should be between 35-38 degree Fahrenheit. The purpose of your fridge is to just keep things cool, if you set your temperature to high then you will notice that all your vegetables and left overs etc. will start to freeze and that’s not a good thing! Or if you set it to low and it doesn’t keep your food cool enough then things will start to go bad as well. So it’s best to keep it between these numbers to ensure its doing its job properly.


I hope these little tricks and tips will help you keep your fridge looking and smelling its best!

 

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There is nothing worse than opening up your microwave door to put food you are about to heat up and eat and seeing dirt and old food from previous warm ups covering it. I’ll give you some easy ways to clean your microwave out, but to maintain this problem you can actually buy a microwave lid that goes over top of your bowls or plates to prevent splatter from happening.

 

Fill up a bowl half full of water and add about 1 tablespoon of vinegar to it, you can add a bit more than that as well it won’t hurt anything. Put the bowl inside of your microwave and turn it on for about 5 mins give or take, the water will steam and loosen any of the stuck on food or dirt. Remove the bowl and wipe out with paper towel or any cleaning rag that you usually use when cleaning, the grime should wiper away easily with no hassle or scrubbing necessary.

 

Use a lemon, sounds weird and strange but it does work. Cut a lemon in half and place it cut side down on a plate with 1 tablespoon of water. Place it in your microwave and turn on until you see it get really steamy and hot. Once you have done this simply take the plate out and wipe out, this also gives it a nice, fresh smell too.

 

Last method to try is dish soap, fill a bowl half full with warm water and add as much dish soap to it as you think you will need, really depends on how bad your microwave is. Using the same method as the other two cleaning tips put the bowl in the microwave turn it on until you see it start to steam a fair amount, then take the bowl out. With this method you may want to clean it out with a sponge or something with a rough surface to it.


I hope these few simple and easy tips will make it easier for you to keep your microwave in tip top shape

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Ever want to have a long, warm and relaxing bath at the end of a hard day’s work? You fill up your tub and go to lay or sit down in it and all you feel is the icky roughness of old and dirty soap scum. For me that is one of the worst feelings, to sit in a tub full of old soapy body dirt! Here are two very simple ways/methods that I have found to be the most effective in getting rid of that annoying and gross soap scum. 

 

This one sounds like its a little crazy but it ABSOLUTELY works and works well!

 

Powdered laundry detergent. The roughness of the powder plus the soap in the actual detergent make this so easy for you to clean! I just splash a little warm water all over the tub and throw the powdered laundry soap on the wet surfaces and start scrubbing. You don’t even need to let this sit for any amount of time you can just dive right in and start, I would recommend using a sponge or pad that has a rough surface especially for those tubs that can get really bad.

 

Baking soda. I think we can all agree that baking soda can be used in all sorts of cleaning methods and in all sorts of situations. You can really use as much as you want and it depends on how bad your bathroom is. All you need to do is get a cloth or whatever you use to clean with and sprinkle some baking soda on it and start scrubbing. If you are finding that your tub/shower is a little worse then you thought, then simply make a paste using vinegar.


A lot of the times cleaning problems like these can be a challenge and not everything always works, but these are the two ways that I find most helpful to reach your desired result! So instead of sitting and relaxing in your old caked on dirty tub try out these methods and start feeling a little more distressed.

 

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Winter time is never an easy time, it’s always freezing outside your constantly bundling up and wiping the snow off of your car it’s just not a lot of people’s favorite season! The worst part for me during the winter is trying to keep my floors dry and clean! Nothing makes me bite my nails more than wet, muddy winter boots trampling all over my nice, clean dry floors. Here are a few simple yet super easy tips to try and keep you sane and off of your hands and knee a little less this winter season.

 

An outside walk off matt. You definitely need a sturdy durable heavy matt for in inside of your entry way, but if you put an equally good one on the outside of your door as well it will act as a first line of defense for all those mucky boots! It won’t take all the moisture off of your boots but it will help with that initial mud and snow!

 

Road salt. Road salt often gets caught underneath your boots and then gets tracked inside your home and onto your floors. This is not a good thing, the salt is very course and can easily scratch even the toughest of hardwoods, if you notice that any is getting caught or trapped inside be sure to take control of that situation right away it’s best to vacuum or sweep it up.

 

Cleaner. Make sure you use the right cleaner during the winter months. You can buy some cleaners that can help with access moisture on your floors, or keep the dirt from clinging so badly and looking awful. Go out and buy yourself some good quality cleaners so it makes your job a little less strenuous.


I don’t know if this bothers you as much as it does me in the winter, but if it does I hope that these simple, easy and effective ways give you a little break from cleaning your floors on a daily basis ( maybe only cleaning every two to three days ) Happy NOT scrubbing those floors as much! 

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During the winter and summer months is when your HVAC is getting used the most, in these months I recommend changing out the filters once a month. Here are the reasons this will benefit your system;

 

It will extend the overall life of your heating ventilating and air conditioning unit. When the dirt builds up or accumulates in the filter air can’t pass through so it’s motor then has to work harder as a result and can also start to overheat. You may at that point depending how long this went on for have to get some repairs done, or worse case if you have an older unit you will most likely have to replace it and this can be very costly. To prevent this maybe set a reminder date for once a month to change out the filter.

 

Clean healthy air, does anyone in your household suffer from bad allergies or asthma? Having a dirty air filter will cause unclean air and can affect someone with these kinds of health concerns, also if you have pets pet dander can get caught in the filter and spread through your home a lot easier. Changing the filter is an easy step in keeping your overall air quality at its best.

 

Keeping a clean furnace filter can actually save you on energy costs believe it or not! When you have a clogged, dirty filter your unit has to work much harder to do it’s job resulting in using more energy which can cause a much higher bill. Simply keeping your filter clean and changed on a regular basis can save quite a bit on your monthly charges.


I hope that these few EASY and simple steps in keeping your furnace filter clean and up to date on it’s changes will keep your families air quality fresh and clean and hopefully save you a little extra a month to put toward something special! 

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Dressing for the holidays or for any party can be a hard thing especially for women. Finding the perfect outfits can be so stressful and can add to the stress levels already there from the holidays in general. Here are some helpful tips to help you get through it a little easier!


Dress to fit your body! Everyone has different shapes and sizes and the best thing to do is to fit your body and feel comfortable. There are so many fashionable looks out there for all different kinds of body types, there is nothing worse than trying to get through an evening in something that is a little to snug for you. When you go out shopping for that perfect outfit there are tons of tailors out there that can help you find it! Don’t sell your body short if you are not a size 0 dress, make your style fit you and work it!


Add the right accessories! Accessories are the best way to take a simple look and make it look red carpet fabulous! Something easy like a great pair of earrings can really spice any look up, whether they are a pair a simple yet stylish studs, or long dangles it can really help with your look. Try downsizing from you regular purse where every woman keeps their entire life and find a small sleek looking clutch, this helps by taking a little baggage off your shoulders and leaves you with just what you need, cash, cards and maybe your touch up lip gloss! Lastly make a bold statement with an awesome looking, out there necklace and embrace your neckline!


Color. I know that the little black dress is something pretty much all of tend to gravitate to but try experimenting with some different color tons! Make an entrance in a bright red dress, or even a beautiful yellow tone! Try miss matching colors with your shoe color as well. Sometimes standing out in a crowd is better than always blending in I think, so go for it stand out and be beautiful!


I hope that all your Christmas parties create fun and lasting memories for you, be sure to look fabulous and be safe! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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If you and your family love the smell and look of a real Christmas tree at Christmas time then let me help you with a few tricks of the trade in keeping that spirit and tree looking its best this year! I know that a lot of people venture into the fake trees and let’s face it, it is way easier to maintain and virtually no clean up but having a real tree does help give your home more of a Christmas feel to it!

 

When you get home remember to trim the trees trunk about one & a half inch before placing it into warm water. If you are not putting your tree up right away be sure to store it in a heated area away from freezing temperatures and snow. When you are ready to set it up you should make another fresh cut off the trunk the same size then put it up in at least 1 gallon of water.

 

There is always limited space to put up nice big trees in your home or ever small ones as they do tend to take up a lot of room, but try and stay away from any heat sources like heat vents, fireplaces of any kind or radiators. Leaving it next to any of these things will dry the tree out way faster which is what you want to try and stay away from. If your home is regularly dry then you could always try putting a humidifier in the room for the length of time that your tree will be up for.

 

Be sure to keep your pale or whatever you are using to sit the tree in is always full of water or you water it on a very regular basis. Once the water level gets to the base of the trunk it creates a resin and the tree stops absorbing water and will die way quicker, and that’s the last thing you want is a dying tree for Christmas Day!


I hope these super simple and easy tricks will help you and your family have a beautiful, fresh and green tree this Christmas to enjoy! Happy Holidays Everyone! 

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Do set a budget. Sometimes around the holidays it can be very stressful for some families/people when it comes to income and shopping. My suggestion is to take a look and what you can afford to spend and make a list of everyone you need to buy for. Then and I know it’s hard to decide who and how much you want to spend on someone but it is very important so that you don’t go over budget and put yourself in a bad financial situation. Besides it’s always the thought that counts and not how much you spend!


Don’t take your credit card shopping. Back to setting yourself a budget, taking your credit card can defer you from your budget plan. Its money that is just sitting there and a lot of the times really easy to spend, especially around the holidays where so much buying is in order. It’s never fun to receive an online bill or bill in the mail showing how much you owe back, my moto is if it’s not in your account don’t charge it, because most likely if you can’t pay cash for it you won’t be able to pay it back to your bank. Try and stick to your cash budget plan, or if you are going to use your credit card say to gain more miles or points depending on the type of card and rewards you have, then make sure you have the money in your checking’s account to repay it back right away!


Do online shopping for some things. Let’s face it, everywhere you go around the holidays is PACKED, so packed in fact that it can be stressful to think about where you’re going to park, and is what you wanted still going to be in store. There are so many things to think about when you are going into the craziness of the malls/shops around Christmas time. It can be helpful to look online first and lighten the load of your list that way, instead of worrying about long lines and pushy people! Plus sometimes you can even find better deals online that you wouldn’t necessarily find in store!


Don’t procrastinate. We all know that at Christmas time even a month before things start to decrease quickly off the shelves! So don’t wait! Go and do you shopping at least a month before December or as early as October! There is nothing worse than waiting last minute to find out that what you really wanted to get someone isn’t there anymore and won’t be back in stores until Christmas is over! You don’t want to be left with slim pickings because that will sure dampen your mood! Also another plus of shopping early is that you miss all the chaos and hustle and bustle!


Do check return policies. Make sure ESPECAILLY if its clothing or shoes that you always ask customer service what their return policy is as all stores are different. It’s never fun to receive or give a gift to someone that either doesn’t fit or isn’t exactly what they need OR maybe they got two of. It’s always best practice to get a gift receipt with your purchase and know for yourself what the return policy is so that you know they can take it back if they need to!


I hope everyone has a stress free shopping experience this year, and you get everything on your list! Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

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Kitchen garbage disposals are wonderful things, it allows you to scrape and clean dishes all at once in the same place and doesn’t stink up your garbage bags as quickly. Most garbage disposals are self-cleaning but it is good every once and a while to physically clean them yourself to prevent unwanted odor and bacteria build up. Here are a few easy steps to follow in maintaining your garbage disposal;

 

If you can physically see any large object in the disposal you should remove them right away. Always make sure before sticking anything down your disposal that it’s turned off. You can use your hands to grab large objects or household tongs, a fork or anything that will work for you to remove it safely. You may want someone to hold a flashlight for you so you can see properly, also try and avoid damaging the grinder.

 

Next fill your sink about 2-4 inches of hot soapy water, then proceed to pull the plug turning on your garbage disposal. This method will work better to get rid of grime and bacteria rather than just simply turning on tap and letting it run.

 

There may be some tougher debris and grime still stuck on the grinding elements, for this problem pour about 2 cups of ice down your disposal followed by 1 cup of rock salt. Then turn on cold water and your disposal and let the blades crush down the salt and ice. This is also a good way to maintain the sharpness of your blades as well.

 

You can also go and buy a scrub brush designed especially for disposals and manually clean it out. This should come with directions on how to do this simply just follow.


Here are a few simple tricks for maintain the smell that can occur with garbage disposals;

 

Save or peel any type of citrus fruit, lemons, oranges, limes etc. Stuff these peels down your disposal and turn it on this will leave your disposal and kitchen smelling super fresh.

 

Another easy method is to use baking soda and vinegar. Pour half a cup of baking soda down your drain and then pour 1 cup vinegar down. This will create a fizzle loosing up any bacteria that may be causing unwanted odors. Let this stand for about 15 minutes then pour boiling hot water down the drain, be sure that you turn your disposal on before you pour the water down.

 

One other easy odor eliminating agent is simply bleach. Bleach kills any bacteria and freshens things up quickly. You also don’t want to use too much bleach as it can harden up grease and make it that much harder to remove. Only use 1 tablespoon of bleach but first dilute it in 1 gallon of water. Slowly pour this solution down your drain, let sit for 5-10 minutes then turn your disposal on and flush away with hot water, let this run for a good 10 minutes washing away any bleach that may be left behind.


Hope this helps everyone! 

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It is very important to keep this kitchen appliance clean on a regular basis. Range hoods are significant to your home for many reasons, here are just a few: it keeps your air clean and filtered removing any potential toxic pollutants or gasses. When you cook there is usually smoke or grease which can be quite negative toward your health. On that note it also helps reduce any mold or bacteria that can arise from cooking. It also helps to remove any excess heat from your kitchen when cooking, this can be from heat from your stove or steam from the meal that you are preparing. A lot of the times just your regular lighting isn’t always the best in your kitchen, range hoods also offer the benefit of extra lighting directly over top of your cook space which is great for reading recipes or keeping a better eye on whatever it is you may be preparing. Lots of people in the real estate market also find this feature quite attractive to the home, so it could potentially increase the value. If you don’t have a range hood you should talk to your realtor about that value it may have whether it’s negative or positive.


Here is how to properly clean your range hood:


The best way to maintain the cleanliness is to give it just a quick wipe down every day. Just wet a cloth with warm soapy water and wipe down the exterior. The filter on the other hand should only need a monthly check up. When cleaning your filter take it out of the range hood completely and fill your sink with HOT soapy water and let it soak, for best results I would say at minimum half an hour. Then using your spray attachment (if you have one) spray in down in one direction to remove any grit and soap. If you do not have a spray attachment then use a swished up and down method in your sink, be sure to put on gloves so you don’t burn your hands in the hot water. Then let air dry until completely dry. For the inside of the range hood this can get pretty caked on with grease and grime, I would recommend a degreaser product let sit for how ever log the directions tell you then wipe off with a cloth.


I hope this helps as it is important to keep this part of your kitchen clean and free from any bacteria or greases. Happy cleaning everyone and make those hoods shine!

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There is always the why question when it comes to your windows sweating. Everyday daily activities such as showering, cooking and believe it or not even breathing all add moisture to the air. When air warms it expands allowing it to hold more moisture. It then contracts as it cools reaching its saturation point then releases its excess water in the form of condensation. The warm humid air then comes in contact with cold window glass it cools and condenses. So to help out with this problem (that most of us have) here are just a few suggestions that could help.

 

-Lower your thermostat to 66°-68° F

-Vent gas fireplaces, or limit their use, and don’t use older unvented gas space heaters

-Be sure to seal up any cracked windows

-Make sure that your clothes dryer is vented properly to the outside

-If the problem is really bad you should consider installing a dehumidifier

 

I hope these simple steps can reduce the window sweat in your home, it’s never fun or visually attractive to look out a window and see nothing but water drops and condensation so I hope this can help fix that problem for you! Especially if you have a really nice view!

 

 

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 No one wants a stinky grubby dishwasher, especially since that’s where you clean your eating utensils. Reality is that over time your dishwashers accumulate mold and mildew which can also cause a pretty horrid smell. If you follow these simple steps this will help with those issues.


Cleaning the drain filter – the drain filter will be the biggest reason for any kind of strange smells coming from your dishwasher. Food particles clog this up over time and because it’s a warm moist area it can quickly become disgusting. There will most likely be a cylinder detachable filter where all the water drains through. Remove the bottom rack of your dishwasher to access this and twist to remove. Wash this out with soap and hot water you may want to use a bottle brush to remove the smaller particles that you can’t get to with a rag.


Wash the interior of the door and walls – grime can easily build up here so you will want to scrub this out entirely.

Remove your dishwasher racks as this will make it more difficult for you to clean when trying to reach the inside of your dishwasher to clean properly.  Use a rag or scrub brush to clean this as grime can become very hard to get off over time or the longer you leave it on. If it is too difficult to wash with just hot water and soap then try using some household cleaners.


Wash the door gasket – the seals of your dishwasher can also accumulate grit and grime so it is essential to wash this out as well again using hot water and soap or any household kitchen cleaning products.


Dishwasher racks – this is mostly likely the least of the problem when it comes to a smelly dishwasher, but it is always good to rule out anything when it comes to cleaning.


These are just a few simple steps to keep your dishwasher clean and smelling fresh! There are tons of different ways out there that you can do this but this way I find is more effective and efficient.

 

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It’s that time of year for all you hockey parents out there, and let’s face it hockey equipment is defiantly not cheap whether you buy brand new or even used! It’s important to clean your kids gear properly and often so that you don’t have to keep buying replacement gear. Here are just a few simple way and ideas for helping you keep your kids protective gear looking and smelling like new!

 

The first thing that you should always try and remember to do is straight after playing or using your equipment air it out! If you have a basement or covered porch/deck/patio then lay everything out separately preferably somewhere with good air circulation. Take out the liners of your skates as well so they can get some air! Do not forget to dry off/wipe the blade of your skates and skate holders after every use to prevent rust, also on regular basis spray your skates with a disinfectant to kill all the bacteria. To disinfect your helmet, wet a small towel and apply a little amount of soap or shampoo to it. Wipe down the helmet, face cage and chin cup. Once you have applied the soap to the helmet wipe off with a different wet towel.

 

Follow these simple steps to wash your gear, it’s best to wash your gear completely at least once every week. Also be sure to give your equipment enough time to dry.

 

Step 1: Fill a bathtub or large sink (large enough to fit all of your equipment) about 1/3 of the way with hot water. You will be putting your hands in the water so make sure it is not too hot to touch.

 

Step 2: Add about ¼ cup of laundry detergent to the tub as it is filling making sure that the detergent spreads and mixes into the water.

 

Step 3: Put all of the hockey gear accept the helmet and the skates into the water. Be sure to dunk the gear so all of it is exposed to the detergent/water mixture. Let the gear soak for 30 to 45 minutes.

 

Step 4: Drain the tub or sink and clean out all of the soap. Rinse all of the equipment with clean, hot water to get all of the soapy residue off of your gear.

 

Step 5: Wring out any excess water and hang up all equipment to dry. Be sure to hang the gear in an area with good air ventilation so that it can dry in a reasonable amount of time.

 

Step 6: Spray and wipe down the empty hockey bag with a disinfectant spray. Make sure the bag and equipment are completely dry before re-packing your bag.


I hope these simple steps will save on costs for equipment purchases (unless necessary) and overall just keeps your child feeling clean when stepping onto the ice! Happy Hockey Season Everyone! 

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 People are always wanting their home to stand out from their neighbours or friends, but a lot of the time it can cost an awful lot to design your home. Here are just of few things that can make your home look on the cheaper side!

 

Furniture Sets. You may think that going to a big boxed store and purchasing a complete matching bedroom suite would enhance the look of your room, this isn’t always that case! A lot of the time these sets don’t fit into your space unless your room is a complete square, and to be honest the quality lacks from big boxed stores who sell in mass production and often you suffer from massive mark ups. Matching isn’t always better, try something new like 1 round end table and 1 rectangle end table, two different style of lamps, experiment with different types of fabrics the possibilities are endless when trying new and improved interior designs for your home.


Overdone Themes. To be honest unless it is a kid’s room you are decorating themes should probably stay out of the home. This can look very tacky and very cheap. Instead pick a style or figure out your style and decorate according to that. For example choose what color you would like to decorate around. Pick out some accents that would match/offset that particular color you picked out. Get some simple not drastic overdone art work for the walls, with colors that match the color theme for that room! Try not to put too many small art pieces on the walls as this can sometimes look a little cluttered, I personally like bigger pictures and I usually focus on 1 wall and only put 1 larger picture on it. For me it just looks a lot cleaner and sophisticated.


Cheesy Décor. Unfortunately there are so many décor pieces out there that should probably stay in our grandmother’s attics. For example things like owl clocks, bunny figurines, sail boat curtain rods, flower emblems/symbols or decals or any kind basically anything that is way over the top and on the tacky side. Try to stay on the elegant side of things and keep your home looking fresh, with simple things like solid colored vases, 1 to 2 colored area rugs and simple non patterned throw pillows. Things like these are on the inexpensive side to purchase and easily can turn your dull, tacky home décor into something that looks chic and refined!


These examples are just a few that can give you a head start on changing things up in your home and make things look a little more modernized. If you are looking for a few ideas on home décor on a budget visit our web page at www.winnipeghomeconnection.com and click blogs at the bottom of the page, here you will find a few things I have written to help home owners/renters decorate your home in ways that won’t break the bank but still look fabulous!  

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For some people it can be hard to think of new and exciting ways to keep our families entertained, it can be especially challenging in the winter months! I have made a little list here to give your families some great ideas to stay busy during the cold months ahead!

 

Something that kids and let’s face it adults love is BAKING, not only can it take up a good chunk of the day (depending how much you want to do) but it’s also something the whole family can get involved in! It’s also a great way to stay indoors when the weather is too cold to go out in.

If the kids are wanting to go outside then something really fun to do is to build a snow castle. Some people may think that it can be super difficult to make a real good one, but all you do is get a square or round bucket, fill it with snow and stack, it’s exactly like building a sand castle your just substituting with snow instead of sand but using the same method! Super easy and super fun for the whole family!

 

Another cool idea is making pictures in the snow with food coloring and water! Something super creative and looks fabulous in the snow! Kids absolutely love this idea. Just go buy or reuse water bottles fill with water and different colors! Then go outside and start creating your canvas! You will defiantly want to bring your camera out as it looks so awesome when you are all finished! You will most likely have to refill the bottles during this activity as the water tends to go fast, and kids like to go crazy which is really fun to watch them have so much fun with something so simple and inexpensive!

 

If the weather is starting to get to chilly to go out and enjoy then something really fun for the kids to do inside is a treasure hunt! You can go to your local dollar store and purchase something interesting and low cost gadgets to hide for them around the house! This is something that people have been doing for years and years and for kids it never gets old! It can also be something super fun for adults as well! You can make a list for them to follow, draw a map for in and around the house there is all kinds of ways you can do this activity, just find the most creative and fun way for your family and you will be sure to have lots of fun playing!

 

Lastly but definitely not the only thing left to do, is BOARD GAMES! Everyone loves to play board games, if you don’t have many or any at all it would be something great to start collecting (maybe 1 new one every 6 months) if you have children then board games are a really fun interactive way to get the whole family involved! There are so many great ones out there to choose from, here are a few examples of my favorites, monopoly, Pictionary, jenga, snakes and ladders and trivia games (and there are way too many out there to list!) So many great games out there, find some age appropriate ones for your family and have a BLAST!


I hope this little but fun list gives your family some really great ideas and ways to keep busy and have fun this winter! 

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It’s always nice to change up your home décor throughout the year to spice things up a little and the seasons are the perfect time to do so! I love fall, with all the trees changing color and the brisk air even the smell of fall I love. I also personally love the color scheme of fall with the reds, oranges and yellows! Makes your home super warm, cozy and bright! Here are just a few ideas that you can try to spruce up the interior of your home this fall!

 

The easiest and most meaningful way to start your decorating is with a center piece for your kitchen table and coffee table! For both tables you can use fake or real leaves of different types of colors (mix and match) and string them around some white or orange small pumpkins! If you are using real leaves then I would put a little hair spray on them to preserve them a bit! Try to find some kind of rustic looking tray or large plate to do it on! This is a simple and super neat looking way to start your fall decorating!

 

Next and one of the most popular things to decorate is the front of your door! Fall wreaths make for an inexpensive and inviting look to any season. You can either go to your local dollar store or hardware/craft store and make your own wreath or buy one! It’s a small and simple way to freshen up your fall decorating, and everyone loves walking up to your door and looking at something fabulous and seasonal before they enter your home! I know I do!

 

Something else you can try which can be a little more on the pricy side depending on where you shop is decorative throw pillows! If you are a master at sewing then this is something that can keep you a little busy as well. Throw pillows can instantly spice up any living room at any time, and let’s face it they make seasonal pillows for everything now! You can get some really cozy and colorful looking ones now. It’s something that will catch anyone’s eyes when they walk into your home! It’s also something that you can reuse as well so if you do go all out and splurge a little on pillows then you know that it’s something you will have forever and can use the following year (which is always a nice thought!)

 

Lastly something pretty easy to find is tableware! This can be anything from place mats, napkins, plates, cups you name it you can find it in fall themes! If you love having friends and family over to celebrate the holidays it always nice to serve them dinner with something that’s not the norm. So holidays/seasons are the perfect excuse to bring out the new/older seasonal dinnerware! It really is a great way to spend time with family and really get into whatever season or holiday you are currently in/celebrating!


Thanks for reading everyone and I hope whatever season you are in you are making it one for the books! I love to decorate and change things up and I look for new Ideas every year to spruce up the holidays/seasons! Hope this can give you some new and creative ways to get you decorating for the seasons! 

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First thing is to remember that stain comes in a few types; water based or oil based. Oil stains have longer drying times whereas water based dry quicker usually within 24 hours which will allow you to finish your project quicker, it also has a low odor. There are some stains you can find that are a 1 apply which can be nice so you don’t have to re-apply making your project even longer to finish! So before you start make sure you decide how much time you want to put into this project, each type of stain will look nice so you don’t have to worry about the cosmetics of the different types of stains.

 

You will want to sand your wood project before you start to stain it. Always be sure to sand with the direction of the grain with a light 180 grit sand paper! Once you have finished with the sanding part you can then start to stain. Apply the stain either with a foam brush or a regular brush (it really doesn’t matter what you use it will look the same either way) Once you have applied your stain be sure to wipe it off with a rag, or else it won’t look even and will have drip marks which doesn’t look very good! Also the longer you leave stain on the darker it will be, so if you don’t want it to be too dark do it in small sections so you can wipe off quickly.

 

Try not to apply stain too thick as it will just peel off later on. If you want a darker look to your wood project then apply multiple coasts, remembering to still wipe off with a rag.

 

Staining is one of the easier things you can do, and looks really sharp on any type of wood, it can quickly turn a dull not so great looking shelf, ladder, trim/baseboard into something modern, fresh looking that can light up any room. There is only a few steps when staining anything, so if you have never done it before and are looking for a few tricks of the trade I hope these simple steps will help you!


Happy staining everyone! I hope the outcome of your finished projects look wonderful! 

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It’s getting to be that time of year to start planning some trips to escape the cold winter months coming up! This list was made from very seasoned experts and travelers. Some of the destinations on this list don’t exactly help you escape the cold but if you or your loved ones like the winter and snowy season then some of these will still appeal to you at this time of year, for example one of the destinations is Banff, Alberta Canada (which is a very beautiful place to visit especially in the winter) it offers lots of activities including skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing etc.

Best Places to Visit in the World

  1. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  2. Paris
  3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

 

Best Places to Visit in the USA

  1. Grand Canyon National Park
  2. Maui, Hawaii
  3. Yellowstone National Park

 

Best Places to Visit in the Caribbean

  1. British Virgin Islands
  2. St. Lucia
  3. U.S. Virgin Islands

 

Best Places to Visit in Canada

  1. Vancouver, British Columbia
  2. Toronto
  3. Banff, Alberta

 

This is just a few ideas to get you and your vacation list started! If you would like more examples or ideas here is a link that you can check out that will offer more information on destinations and guidance to help you plan your perfect getaway!

 

http://www.usnews.com/info/blogs/press-room/articles/2016-06-28/us-news-reveals-the-2016-2017-best-vacations-in-the-world

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You should always make sure that your home financials are taken care of first before you think about buying another property. Things like, paying off your high interest debts, do you have enough saved in an emergency fund, do you have enough steady income, do you have anything lined up for retirement. Those are important things to review and make sure are in order before you even think of purchasing another property. It is also good to contact or have a financial advisor when making big decisions like this, they will always tell you what you can and cannot afford and overall give you the best advice for you future.

 

You should make sure that you find the RIGHT real estate agent to help you find the best income property for you. Sometimes agents can look at you just as a potential commission opportunity, find someone who is interested in developing a relationship with you, someone who maybe owns income properties themselves! If they do you can bet they will be very knowledgeable about this way of investing and can most likely answer any questions or reservations you may be having.

 

Always remember that your investment property is not your home sweet home! You don’t need the must haves such as hardwood floors, granite counter tops, garages, remodeled ANYTHING, double sinks, ensuite bathrooms. These types of things could potentially drive up your price, and if you are using this property as a rental then there is no need to go above and beyond as your renters will bring their own flare and dress it up the way they want. I think the biggest thing you should consider is the location of the property! Will it attract good tenants, is their schools, what type of tenants will want to live in the area things like that!

 

Remember that finding your income property is just the first step! You then need to find good, respectful tenants to fill your home! You definitely do a tenant screening process before you give them the keys! You can research and get forms online for these types of screenings. You should also keep in mind that you will be a landlord as well, just remember you will always get calls any day at any time for thinks like a broken toilet or cracked window, or leaky tap. Will this bother you? Will it cut into your family time? Will it interrupt your work schedule to much? There is a lot of things to consider when making this type of decision. Just don’t take it lightly, talk to professionals, do your research and talk to people who are in this type of business and see what their experiences have been!


Hope this helps and I hope that all your decisions and choices better your lives and the lives of others!

 

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Selling your home yourself will save you money. Don’t get me wrong there are some people out there that are successful in selling their home themselves. There is a lot of things/skills you need to know about getting your home listed online, marketing your home to buyers, dealing with issues when it comes to the home inspections and negotiating the contract. A lot of the times when home buyers know your selling on your own they tend to expect a discount. It’s not impossible to sell your home for the same price on your own but it’s defiantly not an easy task and may be a lot more stressful for you.


Open houses sell homes. Open houses on the average rarely sell your home to prospective buyers. If you or your agent decide not to hold an open house, it most likely won’t hurt your chances in selling your home. Agents like holding open houses to gain new customers who are looking to buy/sell. So open houses aren’t a sure thing when trying to sell your home.


You should renovate before putting up your house for sale. The thing is, with any major renovation such as your kitchen, bathroom or flooring could actually deter a potential home buyer as they may not share the same taste or décor as you, so all the money and time spent putting into theses renovations may backfire for you. When people buy a home they are most likely going to make their own upgrades and changes that suit their own style. You also will never get 100% of a return for the money you spent on remodeling the home.


You can save money as buyer by NOT using a Real Estate Agent. Unfortunately this a completely false statement, the commission of a property is already built into the price. Once a house sells all the expenses such as commissions will come out of the final sell price, if the buyers don’t have an agent the seller’s agent will receive the entire commission.


There are a lot of real estate myths out there, my advice before buying or selling your home is to do as much research as possible so you can get all the correct facts for yourself so you don’t lose or miss out on anything!

 

 

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 Dryer Sheets. Find out where your problem areas are for mice, then layout your dryer sheets flat. Make sure to check the scent and freshness of them, as they can also be used as a nesting material for mice once the scent has worn off. You can also use these as a plug where the mice are sneaking in. Mice hate the smell of dryer sheets so this can keep them away! Try and get the smelliest ones that you can buy.


Copper wire mesh/Copper Steel. All you have to do is roll up the mesh into a wad and stuff it into any holes or cracks where the mice are getting in. Use as many layers are you can to really jam it in there. You can also use a pepper spray as an extra deterrent.


Aluminum Foil. This may sound really weird and funny, but mice don’t like the sound aluminum foil makes or the taste! You can either lay it out flat for them to run across or you can bunch it up and put it in the holes/cracks where they are getting in! You can also lay it out flat in front of where they are getting in!


Furry Friends. Some people have a real mice problem in their homes/cabins. Cats are great animals to solve this problem, if you don’t have one you may want to think about adopting one at your local animal shelter and let nature do its thing! Not only are you getting rid of your mouse problem but you are also giving an animal a home!

Peppermint Essential Oil. If you didn’t know this mice have an extreme sense of smell. As we would find the smell of peppermint refreshing and pleasant mice find it offensive and overwhelming. All you have do to is add 20-30 drops of oil to every cotton ball and place then around your home kind of like you would with a trap but I would use quite a few so there is a stronger smell. Also put them in/around any hole you may have where they are getting in! 

Hope this helps deter any mice problems you may be having! It is getting colder outside so this is the time of year where these little creatures like to come in and stay warm! Happy mouse hunting everyone! 

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