Real Estate Tips


    • Brilliant Bathroom Storage Ideas

      18 August 2023

      No matter how beautifully designed your bathroom is, it won’t feel like the spa-like setting you crave if it's messy and cluttered. A streamlined and orderly bathroom can create a sense of calmness that will stay with you throughout the day and help you transition into a restful night’s sleep. Read on for brilliant bathroom storage ideas for a functional and fresh bathroom.

      Floor-to-ceiling shelving
      Bathroom storage is often limited to under-sink shelves. Install shelving up to the ceiling if you have awkward or unused corners. Mixing open shelving and closed cabinetry creates a perfect blend of function and aesthetics.

      Custom drawers
      Custom bathroom drawers create smarter storage. Building drawers to accommodate your needs means every item has its own spot, preventing it from getting too messy and full. For example, deep drawers with heat-proof canisters provide a place to store heat tools, such as curling irons or hair dryers, as soon as you’re finished using them. Incorporating USB chargers into the drawers keeps messy cords off your countertop.

      Mini refrigerator
      Whether you enjoy fresh juice as soon as you wake up or use products requiring refrigeration, installing an under-sink mini fridge can make your morning and evening routines more effortless and accessible.

      Laundry drawer
      A built-in laundry drawer will help prevent piles of laundry from collecting on the floor. This type of drawer is part of the vanity and will blend seamlessly with the vanity design. A laundry drawer can help corral dirty clothes without taking up floor space.

      Built-in linen closet
      Building a linen closet in the bathroom means easy access to your linens when needed, and they don’t take up drawer space in your vanity. This accessibility will ensure you always have a clean, fresh towel.

      Decant everything
      Decanting all your visible products into clear or uniform containers will create a clean, streamlined effect. It will help to eliminate visual clutter, helping your bathroom feel more zen and spa-like.

      Hooks, baskets and shelves
      These smaller storage solutions are a low-effort, high-impact way to help reduce clutter. Hanging a few additional hooks can help contain robes or towels, while extra baskets and shelves can store miscellaneous clothes and toiletries.

      Easy access to daily products
      While keeping everything concealed and out of the way creates a serene, calm and clean space, some items you use every day are easier to access immediately. Keeping a small tray on the counter with the few things you use daily can make it easier to access them while also keeping them corralled.

      Built-in stools
      Children’s bathrooms can quickly fill up with miscellaneous items, toys and clothes. Stools are often a must-have in children’s bathrooms, but they are one more item that takes up space. Pull-out stools that are built into the vanity resemble a drawer, but when they pull out, they become a sturdy stool for your child to reach the sink. Once your children are tall enough, these stools can be replaced with a regular drawer.

      Keeping your bathroom clean, clear and clutter-free creates a serene, spa-like space to unwind every evening and can help you start your day with a clear mind. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Staying Organized While Moving During Back-to-School Season

      18 August 2023

      Back-to-school season is a busy time and often means frantically gathering school supplies and clothes, making appointments and trying to get some organizational systems underway. It’s also a common time to move, as households move and settle into their new homes before the new school year starts. 

      With so many moving pieces, staying organized is essential to keeping your sanity as you create new routines. If you’re moving during the start of a new school year, read on for ways to stay organized and help reduce some of the chaos.

      Eliminate before you move
      When you’re moving, it can be easy to pack everything up instead of going through your items and determining what can stay and leave. While it takes more work on the front end to identify the things you can donate or throw out, it will be worth it when you move into your new home and don't have to face that task. Editing down your belongings also means fewer items to pack.

      Prioritize areas to organize
      The start of the school year often means you’re extra motivated to have organizational systems and processes in place. When you move into a new house, prioritize the areas of the home that will make navigating the school day easier. Some common areas include:

      • Mudroom: The mudroom is the first entry point after a long day of school, work, sports and activities. It’s the place that corrals backpacks, coats, shoes, boots and all the miscellaneous items that inevitably end up coming home. Establish a system in the mudroom to keep this space running efficiently. Create a space for dirty shoes, wet rain boots and muddy uniforms.
      • Command center: A command center with a calendar, dry-erase board, bulletin board, charging station and a basket or drawer to collect paperwork will help keep sports schedules, permission slips and school calendars in order. 
      • Breakfast section: Mornings can be the most chaotic time of day, so creating a spot where your older children can help themselves to breakfast can make the morning smoother. This may be a refrigerator drawer stocked with pre-made smoothies, drinks and perishable breakfast items or a low drawer filled with plates, bowls and any grab-and-go breakfast options so they can help themselves.
      • Snack station: Like a breakfast section, stock the refrigerator drawer with healthy after-school snack options, like pre-cut fruit and vegetables, and include a few easy-to-reach baskets in the pantry filled with post-activity snack options so your family can help themselves.
      • Homework area: Whether your home has a designated homework room or your family prefers to sit at the kitchen island, make sure everyone has the materials they need to tackle homework at home, such as a charger for any school-required devices, paper, pens, pencils, scissors, glue sticks, calculator, etc.
      • Laundry room: Give each family member a designated laundry basket to corral their laundry, and create a space for muddy clothing to prevent the larger messes from spreading.  
      Order all school supplies to your new home
      If you order your school supplies online, use the delivery address of your new home if you’re already in possession. These supplies often come in small packages and boxes, so having them sent directly to your new address will help lessen the number of items you need to pack.

      Do a practice school route run 
      Before the first day of school, do a dry run of how long it will take you to get to the school from your new home. Whether your child will be walking, taking the bus or driving, plan out your daily route so you can be confident of how long it will take you to get to school.

      Hire the professionals
      There is no need to do it all yourself. Hiring a professional organizer or moving team can help create the necessary processes to implement them in your daily routines. This upfront investment can pay off as you navigate the start of the new school year and settle into your new home with less stress.

      Moving is a stressful process, and the start of the school year can bring up big feelings for children, especially if it’s a new school. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Common Outdoor D├ęcor Mistakes

      18 August 2023

      Summer's end means plenty more outdoor entertaining, gathering and lounging time left in the year. From end-of-summer barbeques, family movie nights before school starts, and fall football tailgates, an entertaining-ready outdoor space means more impromptu gatherings and a more overall serene outdoor space. If your outdoor living area could use some sprucing up, take note of these common outdoor decorating mistakes.

      Not space planning
      An outdoor living space is similar to your interior living areas. If something about your outdoor space feels off, it may be the layout. Like your living or family rooms, the layout should be the top priority. The layout should include furniture that correctly fills the space, a focal point and various areas, such as outdoor dining, conversation and lounging spots. You can delineate areas with outdoor rugs or planters.

      Forgetting the accessories
      Like an indoor living area, accessories and accents can unite the whole area. Outdoor decor such as garden stools, lanterns or cordless table lamps, outdoor throw pillows, blankets and plenty of potted plants, flowers and candles all lend to the ambiance.

      A lack of greenery and color
      The best way to add charm and personality to an outdoor space is with plenty of flowers and greenery. You don’t need to be an avid gardener to make this happen. Potted flowers, shrubs and trees typically only require sun and regular watering but will significantly affect the area’s ambiance.

      Uncomfortable seating
      Uninviting seating options, such as wrought iron chairs with no cushions, don’t entice you to take a seat and stay a while. Having comfortable and generous seating options with cushions outfitted in outdoor fabric, such as sofas, swivel chairs or inviting lounge chairs, creates a welcoming and inviting relaxing spot.

      Nowhere to rest a beverage
      When you’re enjoying time outdoors, having a spot to rest a beverage is paramount. Every seat should have an adjacent table to set down a beverage and snacks. Outdoor accent tables or garden stools should be plentiful, so there’s always an easy spot to set down a drink.

      A lack of lighting
      If your outdoor area lacks lighting, your gatherings will likely end when the sun goes down. Having a layered outdoor lighting plan means your get-togethers can extend into the evening hours, meaning more time to catch fireflies, gather around the fireplace and enjoy the cooler evenings outdoors. Ensuring the walkways are lit, hanging overhead lighting, such as string lighting and lanterns and installing lighting on the home’s structure, such as a chandelier from the outdoor pergola and plenty of coach lamps on the house, will ensure that your backyard is adequately lit. Table lamps and candlelight will add additional ambiance.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Be More Self Sufficient and Reduce Your Living Expenses

      17 August 2023

      Rising costs have homeowners stretching their budgets and being forced to make tough decisions. Cutting back on what you buy and becoming more self sufficient can put you on a path toward greater financial freedom.

      Grow Your Own Food
      Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential for good overall health, but popular forms of produce can be expensive, especially at certain times of the year. You can save a lot of money by growing your own vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

      You don’t necessarily need a large area in your yard. A small space on your deck or patio can be enough. You can grow food in containers or use an intensive gardening method to make the best use of the square footage that’s available. You can even grow some vegetables indoors.

      You’ll probably get a lot more food than you can use all at once. Learn how to freeze, can, and dehydrate food to keep it from spoiling.

      Some foods are only available at grocery stores at certain times of the year. If you grow seasonal vegetables in your own at-home garden and store them, you’ll be able to incorporate them in your favorite meals, no matter the season.

      Raise Animals
      Depending on where you live, you may or may not be permitted to keep animals such as chickens, ducks, and goats in your yard. If owning livestock is allowed in your area, you can have access to fresh eggs, milk, and meat and cut your grocery bills. Before you decide to move animals into your backyard, research local laws.

      Switch to Solar Power
      For many homeowners, utility bills are an endless source of stress. Costs keep creeping upward, and fluctuations from season to season can make it difficult to budget.

      Installing solar panels on your roof can provide you with your own energy source and reduce your family’s impact on the environment. You’ll have to pay an upfront cost for installation, but the long-term savings can more than make up for it. Solar panels can also make your house appealing to potential buyers if you decide to sell it in the future.

      Use Things You Already Have
      Often, people purchase new clothing, furniture, and other items they don’t actually need. Before you head to a store or an online retailer, ask yourself if you can use an item you already have instead of buying something new. If you look through your closets or garage, you might discover something that’s been sitting there for years and realize that you can repurpose it for a fraction of what it would cost to buy a new product.

      Being More Self Sufficient Can Transform Your Life
      Reducing your living expenses can free up money that you can use to pay off your mortgage faster, take a vacation, or save for retirement. You’ll feel less stressed, enjoy the personal satisfaction of being more independent, and possibly discover some new hobbies.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Kitchen Features to Help You Navigate the Room Effortlessly

      17 August 2023

      One of the hallmarks of a luxury space is an area that is easy and comfortable to use. A kitchen serves two crucial roles—being highly functional to prepare food quickly and efficiently and also being a comfortable space to gather and entertain. Both of these roles require unique features. Read on for the kitchen features that will help you navigate the area effortlessly.

      The correct storage
      A kitchen’s storage can be highly customizable based on how the kitchen is used. This customization level can help navigate how you prep, cook and use the kitchen significantly easier. Working with a kitchen designer is essential to selecting the best storage solutions for you. Understanding how you cook, prep, clean and use the kitchen will help to determine the features you need included in your drawers and cabinets. The small appliances, utensils, dishes, pots, pans and serveware you own are all elements to consider. You may opt for customization that includes pull-out shelves on the bottom cabinets, built-in pull-out cutting boards over the garbage can, custom shelf sizes for your collection of pots and pans, a storage tower to conceal spices and oils and more.

      A sink workstation
      The kitchen sink is a spot for washing hands, dishes, prepping food and more. This hardworking spot needs more than a basin and a faucet to optimize its functionality. A touchless faucet means you don’t have to touch the handle with bacteria or dirt, and built-in prep bowls, strainers, drying boards and cutting boards transform your sink into a much-needed workspace.

      Personalized island
      A kitchen island can often be a home’s primary gathering spot. Thoughtfully considering how you use both the kitchen and the island can help you design an island that caters to your lifestyle. If everyone always gravitates to gathering around the island, perhaps you build a dining table that connects to the island. Or, if you have a busy household with different meal times and eating on the go, adding warming drawers will keep meals hot, and refrigerator drawers are an easy way to grab a quick and healthy snack. 

      Build a scullery
      A scullery is a smaller kitchen off the central kitchen that may have additional dishwashers, ovens, a sink, prep and counter space, a place for small appliances, and plenty of storage for dishes and platters. A scullery keeps the prep and cooking mess out of the kitchen and the kitchen surfaces clearer. If you love to cook, entertain or have an open floor plan, a scullery may be a home feature for you.

      Multi-use areas
      Since everyone naturally gravitates towards the kitchen, lean into the multi-use concept. Instead of letting your kitchen island become taken over with homework, projects and household paperwork, create designated areas in the kitchen. These multi-use spots may be built-in homework stations with comfortable seating and charging stations, or a household command center to corral all the mail, paperwork and miscellaneous items you need to keep your household running efficiently.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.