Running Out Of Space? Here Are 15 Things You Can  Get Rid Of Today To Declutter Your Home

Running Out Of Space? Here Are 15 Things You Can Get Rid Of Today To Declutter Your Home

Has your home been looking a little smaller lately? If so, it may mean that it’s time to purge your place of all the belongings you don’t need. Getting rid of items is the easiest way to open up your space, whether you own a home or rent an apartment, but it can also be the hardest thing to do. After all, where do you start? How do you determine whether or not you should throw a belonging away, give it away, or sell it? Unfortunately, this may mean being honest with yourself and taking a long, hard look at your habits before parting ways with a trinket. To make the decision a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of 15 things you can get rid of today to declutter your home and reclaim some space.

1- That chair or stool you don’t really use. You know the one we’re talking about! Over time, it’s become a storage space or a dumping ground for laundry. It’s taking up valuable real estate in your home, and if it’s not being used the way it was meant to, it’s probably best to get rid of it. By doing this, you may kill two birds with one stone: you’re both freeing up space and learning to put those wayward items where they belong!

2- Books, DVDs, CDs, and other media. If you own movies, music, books, and other media that is just sitting around, ask yourself when you last touched any of those items. Surely, in your vast collections, there are some you’ve never opened, and some you don’t even like. Save yourself some space and donate to those items to charity or give them to a friend. They may get a second life, and you’ll get back some shelf space for other things.

3- Clothes, accessories, and shoes. This category can cover a lot of ground. If you pile up all the worn-down shoes, ill-fitting clothes, formal wear you’ve only worn once, and never-used accessories, how much space do you gain? It may be a good idea to give these belongings away to create more space for clothes you’ll actually wear, and they can make the life of someone in need so much brighter.

4- Kitchen utensils and appliances, and electronics you never use. Old cell phones, still-packaged appliances, and never-used utensils can collectively take up a lot of space in your cabinets and drawers. Ask yourself how essential having these things around is, and you may find yourself getting back more space than you anticipated. Just remember to dispose of these items correctly!

5- Instruction manuals, old receipts, expired coupons, and old magazines. They may not look like much sitting on the table or hiding in a drawer, but all together, they may be taking up more space than you think. Some, like the expired coupons, have no value to you or anyone else. So just throw them away!

6- Expired food and spices. You may be able to easily tell what food in your fridge has gone bad, but it can be a little harder to tell in your pantry. Check out the expiration dates of all the boxed and jarred food at home, and your spices too: you may be surprised by what you can — and probably should — throw away.

7- Meaningless knick-knacks, souvenirs, and memorabilia. These items may be the hardest to get rid of, as you may be reluctant to throw away anything with a good memory attached to it. But you may find that, in some cases, you can’t even remember where they came from! Display the ones you want to keep, but put the others in a box in storage: you may not be able to part ways with them just yet, but you don’t want them taking up too much valuable space in your house.

8- The excess of arts and crafts items. This means items like that fifth pair of scissors, a nearly-finished roll of wrapping paper, and worn down colored pencils. Even if you have kids, evaluate how often your family uses these items and throw them away if they have fulfilled their purpose. These items are generally replaceable, and you can always buy new ones!

9- Broken things you’ve been meaning to repair. Unless the item is priceless and invaluable to you, if you haven’t fixed a broken item by now, it probably means that you are going to. Remove it from your home to create more space if you feel that you’re never going to use it again.

10- Take out menus. This is a big one! Millions of people have accumulated take-out menus in various drawers in their homes. Some may be from restaurants that they don’t like, and others may be from restaurants that may even be closed! Most menus can be viewed online anyway, nowadays, so do yourself a favor and chuck the paper ones in the trash.

11- Empty storage containers and boxes. Unless you move frequently, you may want to get rid of empty plastic storage containers and cardboard boxes that are taking up space in your home, and even in your garage. If you haven’t found a way to put them to good use recently, it may be time to think about throwing out the boxes and giving away the plastic containers. Know a student going away to college? They may need these items and would appreciate the donation!

12- Expired medications, makeup, and other products. You may be surprised by the short shelf life of some of the items you have in your bathroom cabinets. Expired items used on or in your body can be harmful to your health, so you may want to make it a habit to check the dates of those products every now and then and replace them as you see fit.

13- Wire hangers. For some unknown reason, millions of people keep wire hangers they get from the dry cleaner’s, but don’t actually like the way they look. They accumulate and can start taking over your closet — and you may not even have that many clothes to hang (especially after you’ve purged your wardrobe). Throw away those unsightly wire hangers if they have no purpose, and you may fit so much more in your closet, regardless of its size.

14- Old toys, kids’ clothes, and Halloween costumes. If you’re a parent, you may be reluctant to give away your now-grown kids’ belongings. After all, they can be college-aged and you’ll likely still want to hang onto them, thinking that maybe they’ll be useful in a few years, when your children start having children of their own. But right now, they’re just taking up space. The same goes for kids’ clothes: it’s more likely that they’ll be moth-eaten before they can be used again. As for Halloween costumes, if they haven’t been worn in years, it may be a safe bet that no one will be mad if you throw them away.

15- Last year’s holiday cards. Unless there was a special message included in them, you may feel like it’s safe to throw away holiday cards from previous years. Though holidays only occur a few times a year, they may be taking up space in drawers throughout your home. Go ahead and throw them away, if you’re comfortable with that — it’s unlikely anyone will find out!

These are just a few ways you can easily open up the space in your home without committing to major changes to the structure of your house. Still need some tricks? Check out some of the ways you can make a small room look so much bigger!

Want to know more about your neighborhood? Plug an address into NeighborWho’s property finder and see what you can find!

Is Your Home’s Interior Looking A Little Gloomy? Here Are 9 Ways You Can Bring More Natural Light Into Your Rooms

Is Your Home’s Interior Looking A Little Gloomy? Here Are 9 Ways You Can Bring More Natural Light Into Your Rooms

Natural light can do wonders for the body: sunshine can help boost your mood, trigger your body’s production of vitamin D, and can even lower blood pressure and improve brain function. But did you know that natural light can also benefit your home? Not only may you be able to save on electricity bills, but it can make you more productive, happier, and calmer, even when you’re spending time inside, away from the heat.

But what can you do if your house’s rooms are always dark or shaded? Here are 9 changes you can make to your home to help allow more natural light in.

1- Make the best use out of reflective surfaces.

A mirror or two can add tons of light to your house, as long as you place them strategically. For the best effect, prop or hang them opposite windows so that they disperse sunshine throughout the room.

2- Paint the walls a light color.

If your walls are painted a dark color, you may want to consider switching things up. Dark hues can make a room look darker, whereas an off-white wall will reflect sunlight better.

3- Rethink your door.

This tip may not be the first one you think of when trying to bring more light into your home, but a door with a glass pane can allow more of it inside. If you’re concerned with safety, consider high-security glass.

4- Move furniture around.

If you have room to do it, move furniture around, a few feet away from windows. This can go a long way, especially if you have a piece of furniture blocking the sunlight!

5- Consider other flooring options.

Dark floors can absorb natural light, which may make your room look darker. Carpets may have a similar effect. Wooden, ceramic or stone floors with a polished finish are the best options to help disperse light better throughout your rooms.

6- Clean windows, replace them if you can, and change up the curtains.

This is perhaps one of the most important tips on this list. A first step is making sure that your windows are clean so that they can let the light in: grime and soot accumulate over time, decreasing the amount of light they’re letting in. If your windows are frosted or have parts that block out the light, consider changing the style of your windows. Similar to flooring and carpeting, dark curtains can absorb light more than you think, so invest in some light-colored curtains, too!

7- Add a skylight.

If you’re planning to make renovations on your home, you may want to think about adding a skylight. Not only will it let more light in, but it can add more character to a room!

8- Trim trees and shrubs.

Sure, shade may be a great thing in the summertime, but overgrown shrubs and trees in your yard may be casting a much bigger shadow than you think, preventing any sunlight from streaming into your home. A little trimming can go a long way!

9- Knock down a wall.

If you have the time, resources, and energy to make major renovations to your house, consider knocking down a wall. This is a huge step, and there are many considerations before making such a huge decision. But if the circumstances are right, knocking down a wall can do more than just let in a little more light: it can open up a room, create a communal space, and be the first step to creating your dream home! Check out NeighborWho’s guide on when, how, and why to knock down the wall if you’re seriously thinking about doing so.

Letting more light into your home can be an easy, budget-friendly way to revamp its look and style. It may take a few tries, but you may be thrilled with the results!

Want to know more about your neighborhood? Plug an address into NeighborWho’s property finder and see what you can find!

 

Don’t Let Your Home’s Beauty Fade: These 13 Budget-Friendly Tricks Can Instantly Help You Ramp Up Your House’s Curb Appeal

Don’t Let Your Home’s Beauty Fade: These 13 Budget-Friendly Tricks Can Instantly Help You Ramp Up Your House’s Curb Appeal

If you own a house, you’re likely familiar with the effort it takes to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. Many homeowners often complain that the upkeep is constant: once one problem is fixed, something else breaks. Anything can go wrong in a minute, from a burst water pipe to broken tiles. And not to mention the countless hours maintaining your garden. But while they may lament the work behind keeping their houses beautiful, many homeowners actually enjoy the process. If you’re on a budget, you may be putting off the bigger projects meant to ramp up your curb appeal, but there are a few neat tricks that can make a huge difference almost instantly.

1- Paint your front door.

Don’t underestimate the power of repainting your front door. A fresh coat of paint can make your home stand out, especially if it’s a bright and inviting color. The more polished look may come at around just $30 — the cost of a gallon of paint.

2- Upgrade your mailbox.

If your mailbox is looking a little rusty and if you want your home to look a little more glamorous, it may be the perfect opportunity to replace it with a newer, more stylish option. Whether it’s

located close to the sidewalk or by your front door, you can find the perfect mailbox to fit the look you want for your home.

3- Revamp your house’s number.

Sure, you may not be able to change your house’s actual number, but you can definitely change its font and size to better suit your style. This can easily add some extra curb appeal to your home and, by extension, your neighborhood.

4- Plant a tree strategically.

Plants can spruce up an outdoor space, but if you place them strategically, they can do even more for your front yard. A tree may provide some shade, add color to your garden, and even frame your property.

5- Try out different lighting at night.

Your house may look its best during the day, but what about at night? The right lighting can set the ambiance you want and even show off all of its best features.

6- Cut the grass — but not too short.

Some homeowners underestimate the power of a well-manicured lawn: not only can it say that you care about your house and its appearance, but it may also keep your grass green and healthy. However, experts advise that it’s best to keep the blades between 2 to 4 inches in height, depending on the species of grass you have.

7- Install window boxes or planters.

Adding flowers below your windows can drastically change the look of your home, thanks to a the pop of color they can provide. You don’t have to have them at every window — even just one or two may be sufficient to drastically ramp up your curb appeal.

8- Add a stylish door knocker.

Once you’ve painted your door, you may want to invest in a new door knocker that fits your house’s style better. Check out more interesting shapes like lion’s heads or a different material or color.

9- Power wash everything.

From the siding to the pavement to your pathway, you may want to use a power wash to deep clean outdoor surfaces. Over time, many homeowners don’t realize how much grime and dirt accumulate in those areas, and you may be surprised just how new your house looks after a good wash.

10- Get rid of weeds.

This may be a no-brainer for most homeowners, but there’s more than one reason to get rid of weeds. Not only can they be unsightly, but because they are greedy for water, they may easily take over your lawn. Take great care to eradicate them, and your may be increasing your curb appeal tenfold!

11- Rethink your garage door.

It may be a daunting prospect to totally replace your garage door, but just like your front door, all it may need is a fresh coat of paint and a few accents to make it look like like new. Go the extra mile and get some vines and a trellis and place it over the door for a romantic touch.

12- Get a new doormat.

Although people walking down the street or driving by won’t see the details of your doormat, this minor replacement can do wonders for both the look and feel of your house as you know them. Even on the most basic level, a clean doormat can make your home look tidy — remember, the outdoor appearance of your house may be considered to be a reflection of what it’s like inside!

13- Replace old mulch.

Replacing old mulch doesn’t necessarily improve the health of your lawn and flower beds, but it can make your property look fresh and well-maintained.

All these tips are just a few ways you can up your curb appeal, but your home is what you make it: any changes you make should make your house feel like a home!

Want to know more about your neighborhood? Plug an address into NeighborWho’s property finder and see what you can find!

9 Totally Doable Tricks To Make Any Small Room Look So Much Bigger

9 Totally Doable Tricks To Make Any Small Room Look So Much Bigger

For those of us accustomed to small, narrow rooms, no space to move around, and having to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation. Over the past few years, I’ve learned to fit my life in a five-by-five box, so to speak: I’ve mastered the art of downsizing as much as possible without sacrificing comfort. I’ve picked up a few decorating tricks along the way, and using them in my room made a huge difference in how I use it. And the best part? I was try them all on a low budget! Check out the 9 totally doable tips to make any room seem much bigger — and yes, even your bathroom!

1- Eliminate all furniture you don’t use.

A crucial first step in making your small room look bigger is removing all the furniture you don’t actually use. Even the smallest stool can take up valuable floor space. And yes, that means also getting rid of that chair you’re convinced you’ll sit in to read one day, but that is actually used as a dumping ground for laundry. Once you declutter your room, chances are you’ll realize that there’s a lot more space in your room than you thought!

2- Hang long, light-colored or sheer curtains, or forgo them altogether.

If you want to make your room look larger, you may want to forgo hanging up curtains. Drapes can make your space feel more enclosed, and dark-colored ones can absorb light. If you must hang up curtains for privacy, opt for sheer or light-colored ones that hang well above the top of the window to make your ceilings seem higher.

3- Strategically place mirrors.

Hang or prop up mirrors opposite of your windows. They can reflect light and disperse it around your room, making it look bigger and brighter. Mirrors may even reflect the view outside, which can make your space feel more open.

4- Invest in multifunctional furniture.

If there’s room in your budget for replacing furniture, it may be a good idea to make some swaps. For a small living room, try a coffee table that transforms into a desk, for example, or even a smaller dining table that can extend in the event that you have more guests. Combining two pieces of furniture in one can save you a ton of space!

5- Buy floor-to-ceiling bookcases.

If you want your ceilings to look higher and save on space at the same time, invest in a floor-to-ceiling bookcase. This piece of furniture can house anything from books to knickknacks, leaving more space for other items you want to keep. Like long curtains, a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf can make it seem like your ceilings are higher than they actually are.

6- Get clear furniture.

Clear furniture, like glass coffee tables, may allow you to see more of the floor and the walls. They can help the room feel more open, and items appearing behind them will seem further away, creating additional depth in a room.

7- Show some leg.

The legs of your furniture, that is. Exposed furniture legs, especially on larger items, can trick your eye by allowing you to see more floor space. They may also draw the eye upward, creating the illusion of light.

8- Pull furniture away from the walls.

This may be counterintuitive, but pulling furniture away from the walls is must when trying to make a small room seem bigger. This may create the illusion of spaciousness. The space doesn’t have to be be huge — just a few inches can do the trick! It doesn’t have to be empty space, either: place a console behind a sofa, for example, and it can also serve as great way to display smaller items like figurines or vases.

9- If you have to pick a pattern, pick stripes.

Stripes can help elongate a space, so you may want to pick a carpet or a light-colored wallpaper with that pattern. The most effective way to use stripes in your smaller room is to orient them to that they go the length of the room that is the longest.

Having a small room doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort. There are so many ways you can make the most out of that room, and it doesn’t stop at these tips!

Want to know more about your neighborhood? Plug an address into NeighborWho’s property finder and see what you can find!

8 Warning Signs Your House Is Sending You And What They Mean For Your Home

8 Warning Signs Your House Is Sending You And What They Mean For Your Home

Disclaimer: The below is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes professional advice or specific recommendations.

Owning a home is a commitment — any homeowner is likely to tell you that. Unless you own a newly-constructed house, you may have to expect for there to be constant repairs. Anything from a burst pipe to a leak in the ceiling requires your attention. You may always have an eye or ear out for the smallest of issues: anything from “knocking” in the pipes to a strange odor can be a warning sign that your house is sending you. Here are 9 of some of the most common warning signs, what they mean, and the issues that need your attention — ASAP.

Issue: Musty smells in the basement or attic.
What it means: Moisture is getting into your home.

Moisture finding its way into your house is never good news, and finding where it’s coming from may save you money, time, and many headaches down the road. Of course, moisture can foster the growth of mold overtime, which may be very dangerous to your health, but it can also cause structural damage to your house. Whether it’s rain water, ground-water, moisture sources like humidifiers, or just condensation, find the source and treat it before it causes extensive damage.

Issue: “Water hammer,” or a knocking sound when the water is shut off.
What it means: In most cases, this annoying, persistent sound means that there is variable water pressure in the main supply pipes coming into your home.

The “knocking sound” you may be hearing in the pipes is actually the sound of water hitting the sides as it’s moving violently through your home: without the air used in pressurizing those pipes regulating the flow, the sound occurs. The easiest way to try to solve this problem on your own is to shut off the main supply valve and turning it back on. Then, open all of the faucets and flush your toilets. If you still hear the knocking sound, it may be wise to bring in a plumber.

Issue: You feel a breeze even though all the doors and windows are closed.
What it means: You may just have drafty windows and doors, but the issue could be indicative of a more serious problem: cracks in your house’s foundation.

First, you may want to try to rule out that the fault is with your windows or doors before jumping to the worst-case scenario. But if you’ve exhausted every option, and you believe that your home’s foundation is indeed the problem, you may want to ask for the advice of a qualified foundation repair contractor: there may be areas that need to be sealed.

Issue: Sagging floors and warped ceilings.
What it means: Foundation issues, or structural damage to your home.

These structural changes on the upper floors of your home can signify shifting soil, and that humidity from water is seeping into your home: inadequate foundation waterproofing can contribute to flooring issues. A way you can confirm your suspicions is by placing a tennis ball on the floor and seeing if it rolls. If it does, you may want to call a contractor to examine your home’s foundation.

Issue: Flickering or dimming lights.
What it means: This may be a sign of a serious electrical issue.

If you’ve established that the issue isn’t due to faulty light bulbs or because you installed the wrong bulb type, you may want to consider the fact that there may be loose connections in light switches, outlets, or your electrical panel. Try toggling the on-off switch, and if the lights dim, then this may be the issue causing the lights to flicker.

However, you may want to consider that this may the sign of a more serious and dangerous issue: faulty connections somewhere along the circuit in your home. This may cause unsafe levels of heat in your home. Contact an electrician to address this problem.

Issue: Musky odor.
What it means: An impending pest infestation.

Pests, especially mice, will let you know that they’ve set up camp in your home through noise and smell. While they may only make noise at night, when you are sleeping, you may be able to smell them around the clock. The odor is distinct, often compared to a musky odor with a distinct note of ammonia. Track down the source of the smell, and you may find a few pests hiding behind your walls. They’re often found in the basement or in the kitchen — places that are considered high risk for these little critters.

Issue: Blisters in wood flooring.
What it means: A possible termite infestation.

Blistered, hollowed, or damaged wood can be serious issues if the problem stems from a termite infestation. Your house may already have suffered structural damage — but to make sure, hire a contractor in addition to an exterminator.

Issue: Sticking windows
What it means: Difficulty opening or closing windows can have a variety of causes, from dampness to termite infestations.

This is is a little harder to determine, as anything from expanding wood to moisture can cause windows to stick. A rusty frame, often hidden by a paint job, is another cause. If you’re looking at a house and you see a new paint job, you may want to make sure that it isn’t trying to conceal an issue like this. Termites, in addition to causing damage to the wood in your home, may also be responsible for sticking windows.

Your home has many nooks and crannies, and you may not know what hides in all of them. If you pay attention to the sights, smells, and sounds coming from your walls and floors, you may be able to discern all the warning signs your home is trying to send you.

Want to know more about your neighborhood? Plug an address into NeighborWho’s property finder and see what you can find!