Hit The Head Of The Nail And Not Your Finger

Ok, I am guilty. I have hit my thump or finger multiple times over the years. Ouch, right? Here is a simple solution to make sure that does not happen again. This is a simple hair clip and they are dirt cheap. A dollar store has them for like twenty for a dollar. A great little cheap accessory for your toolbox.

My Cluttered Life – Part 1

It has come to a time in my life that I have had an epiphany to the fact I hate clutter. I hate to move it around, to look for certain items and I certainly hate it to move from one place to another. I have started a quest to rid my life of excess. Don’t get me wrong I do like my stuff, but there has to be a line drawn in the sand.

So I am going to start writing a series of articles about clutter and for some of us hoarding. I will also talk about purging and cleaning and freeing yourself of the burdens ‘stuff’ brings to your life. You can follow these articles under the category ‘My Cluttered Life’ on the side panel of this blog. I will write every now and then. Some will be short and sweet with tips and tricks. Some will be an accounting of my goals and I want you to use them to help make your life a bit more free.

So, I just moved. Not far away but we moved from a temporary townhouse into a house so everything is now in one place. We moved from Rio Rancho, NM to West Jordan, UT (think Albuquerque to Salt Lake City areas). We moved from a house to a townhouse until we got established and figured out exactly where we wanted to live and where work would be. It took us two years. Yes, that temporary housing didn’t end up being so temporary. That caused a problem.

When I moved up here thinking it was a temporary move I packed accordingly. I packed stuff for a storage unit and packed stuff to live with for a few months. I figured I would keep things to a minimum that we were living with and I would handle it. So, most of everything went into storage. But when you live in a home for two years you need stuff (Yes, that temporary thin ended up to be two years). So, instead of digging through a three car garage packed very tight we just bought new. Now everything is in one place we have duplicates and lots of them.

This was the first step to make in my series of articles I am writing. I do not need two of most items. So out went ten good sized boxes that were just literally picked up by Big Brothers Big Sisters. It feels good to pass on items that were perfectly good to someone who could use it while it benefiting a worthwhile charity and in turn freeing up space in my home. I am sure I will find more duplicates as I move through the house but that is alright. I can make another large load to donate or take a box at a time to a local thrift store.

My strategy now is to go to one tote to another. Discard things that are no longer in working condition, broken or just not wanted anymore. I am also using labeled totes to put things that are ‘I don’t knows’. When I am done going through the house I will take one of these totes at a time and everything in the tote will find a home in my home or it will go to the trash or donate. Will write another article on the flip side of doing this. See you all then.

5 Actionable Steps to Get Online Quickly When Moving Home

Internet connection is a necessity in the modern age. Some people use internet in lieu of other services, cutting the cable and streaming their favorite TV shows. Many households rely on the internet for their accounting and paying the bills. The idea of being stuck in a new home without an internet connection likely doesn’t sit well. Here’s what you can do to avoid that frustration and get online as quickly as possible after moving home.

  1. See Who Services Your New Area

Your current provider may not offer service in your new area. Some internet companies have more infrastructure in certain areas, making it difficult for smaller or newer providers to find their footing. Before moving, be sure to check your current provider’s coverage areas. If you can use the same provider, things will likely be easier. If not, you’ll have to determine which available provider offers the best service in your new neighborhood. Checking all the internet providers in your new area before you actually pack and move will save you a lot of stress. Don’t forget to do it.

  1. Transfer Your Existing Service if Possible

If your current provider serves your new neighborhood, you can begin to process of transferring the service. Service availability might mean you need to switch your plan with your provider. If they offer better coverage near your new home, that’s great. You can improve the quality of your service. If they play a limited role in the new market, you might have to settle for something less than what you previously had. A representative for your internet company will let you know what they can do for you.

Be sure to given them enough notice. As soon as you know your move-in date, let your internet service provider know. Although you shouldn’t count on it, some providers might be able to accommodate a last-minute move. They’ll typically attempt to schedule installation as soon as possible, but they might not be able to get you online right away if they only have a few days’ notice.

  1. Review Your Current Contract

Since internet is a monthly service, it typically comes with a contract. Very few internet service providers offer month-to-month service without one. If your provider utilizes contracts, be sure to review the one you’ve signed. Some providers require you to make a commitment to use their service for a prolonged period of time in exchange for a lower rate or sign-up special. If you’re going with a different provider after you move, there many be penalties for discontinuing your service before your contract runs out.

  1. Negotiate If You’re Using a New Provider

New providers are eager to pick up business. If there’s a cancellation penalty for leaving your old provider, your new one might be willing to pay the fees on your behalf in exchange for a lengthy commitment with them.

Even if you’re not dealing with any cancellation penalties, you still may be able to negotiate. Many providers are eager to outshine their competitors. You might be able to score a lower monthly rate if you ask around. Some providers will lower their asking price or add more value to a bundle package, like including home phone or increasing maximum speeds. Don’t accept the sticker price if you don’t have to – a little negotiation now can save you a lot of money over time.

  1. Plan Ahead for Installation

Some providers will give customers a quick install kit. They can hook up their own internet connection in a matter of a few minutes if the home is already equipped with the necessary co-ax cables and necessary infrastructure for connection. If you don’t want to install the internet yourself or if more extensive work needs to be done, prepare for your installer by picking an ideal spot for the equipment and a nearby electrical outlet.

Once your internet is installed, make sure you receive the necessary documents with your passwords and important equipment information. You may also want to test your internet speed to assure you’re getting the rate you were promised. If everything checks out, you’re good to go.

As long as you’re treating internet connection as an important priority and thinking ahead, you’ll be back to normal browsing in no time. Just make sure to log off once in a while to enjoy your new home.

Bio:

Ariana Williams is a pedagogy graduate with a huge love for teaching children. She is also an avid writer and, whenever not spending time with her family, she enjoys writing for blogs and newspaper from her quiet apartment. Feel free to visit Ariana on @AriWilliamsAri and say “hi”.

How To Survive A Last-Minute House Move: 5 Easy-To-Follow Steps

A house move usually requires at least two months of planning and preparation to ensure that everything is dealt with accordingly. Unfortunately, there are some instances where a quick, last-minute relocation cannot be avoided.

While it may seem more daunting to tackle compared to a thoroughly planned move, you can still succeed in the task without too much stress. The key is to know the different parts of the process and the most efficient way of completing them.

To help you out, here are five easy-to-follow steps you can use as a guide to surviving that last-minute relocation:

Step #1: Choose a Removal Company

Removal companies are experts when it comes to dealing with the logistics of a move. They can handle almost everything — from packing and transporting your belongings to helping with the unpacking at your new residence.

Because their role in the success of the relocation is huge, it is imperative that you hire the best in the business who can accommodate a rushed move. When choosing a removal company in Sydney, Australia or in any other location in the world, you should do a good amount of research and ask the right questions.

Some of the things you must learn are the cost, the type of services you require, and the standard fees so you’ll know if you’re getting the most out of your money.

Step #2: Pack an Essentials Bag

An essentials bag should contain all the necessary items that you may need on your first couple of days in your new place. This way, you won’t have to rush with the unpacking and it will help you to stay organized after your move.

Here are some of the things you need to include in your essentials pack:

  • Chargers
  • Keys
  • First-aid kit complete with all necessary maintenance medications
  • Beddings, such as pillows, blankets, and bed sheets
  • Toiletries
  • A few changes of clothes
  • Paper towels, toilet paper, and other essential paper supplies
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Flashlight
  • Meal staples and easy-cook (or no-cook) food
  • Water and other replenishments
  • Kitchen utensils and dishes
  • Coffee or tea
  • Portable tool kit and scissors
  • Identification documents and other important papers
  • Cash and/or credit cards

Step #3: Pack the Rest of Your Belongings

Now that you’re done with your essentials, it is time to proceed to the rest of your belongings. Since you’re short on time, you may need all the help you can get to complete this. This means you should also consider hiring experts to complete the packing faster.

It is also wise to follow these time-saving tips:

  1. Sort them later. If you don’t have enough time to pack, it would be wiser to sort your items during the unpacking. You can skip labeling and segregating items according to a “theme,” but never forgo the “fragile” stickers to avoid the mishandling of your breakables.
  2. Use socks and towels to protect fragile items from damage. Since time is limited, it’s likely that you have no time to shop for bubble wrap and packing peanuts. Instead, you can use soft items like clothing, towels, and even bedding to wrap stemware and other breakable items. Newspapers can work too, but be wary of the ink.
  3. Only set up boxes when you need them. Packing for a last-minute move means you need all the space you have in a room, which is why you should only set up boxes when you’re ready to put things in them.
  4. Don’t remove clothes from their hangers. When packing for a rushed relocation, it would be better to put plastic bags over your clothes while they are still in their hangers. This will also make unpacking them easier later.

Step #4: Hire Professionals for the Cleaning

It is a good idea to have your old home deep cleaned first before you move out. If you were renting, it is likely that this is necessary for you to get your deposit or bond back. You could also leave the cleaning of your new place to the professionals to ensure that it gets done before you arrive.

Step #5: Think About Storage

If you have too many items that you cannot let go of, but you cannot take everything with you on the move, it may be time to consider hiring storage solutions. This way, the stored items will remain in your possession and you can make arrangements later for having them taken out of the storage facility and transported to your new home, if needed.

Talk to your trusted removals company as they may also offer flexible short-term or long-term storage solutions.

Ready, Set, Move!

A last-minute relocation doesn’t need to be daunting. When preparing for a rushed move, it is important that you know the most important things that need to be accomplished to make it work. This way, you can avoid missing important steps and your relocation can be a success.

AUTHOR BIO

Robert Wise, Sales Administration Manager at Nuss Removals, has been a respected figure in the removals industry for over 20 years. His attention to detail and the ability to truly understand the needs of the customer have ensured the successful relocation of thousands of satisfied individuals and families. For moving and storage across Australia and around the world, Robert’s wealth of experience ensures his customers are in safe hands.

Getting Real: What’s The Deal With “Curb Appeal”?

Once you get your house hunt on, you’ll undoubtedly start hearing lots of terms getting thrown around. From “pre-approval” to “closing costs”, it can be tough to suss out exactly what all of these things mean, especially if it’s your first time looking for a home.

This time, we’re tackling “curb appeal.” Everyone kinda gets it, but really, uh…what is it? No matter if you’re just starting out or have been on the market for a bit, sometimes a little clarity can go a long way.

What is curb appeal, exactly?

Simply put, it’s a first impression.

Like it or not, the way that a home looks from the street can have a huge impact on our overall opinion of it. Similarly to how you would put your best foot forward on a first date or job interview, homeowners–especially those in the market for a buyer–often put extra effort into making their home’s exterior look good.

In real estate terms, curb appeal can be anything that adds either functional or aesthetic value to a home’s exterior. As the buyer, you’ll want to factor these types of details into your home search. As you look at listings, make sure to keep an eye out for elements of curb appeal and to make a note of how they sway your opinion on the home.

That being said, it’s important to keep a balanced perspective. Sometimes curb appeal is not indicative of what a home will look like once you head inside, so it should never be used as your single determining factor for whether or not it’s worth taking a look at a home.

Key factors to look for

Now that you know what curb appeal is, it’s time to get a little deeper into the different elements that go into creating a home that is aesthetically pleasing from the outside.

Typically, these items can be divided into a couple of different categories. They are:

  • Structural Items: Be sure to take a look at the condition of things like the home’s roof, gutters, and siding. While aesthetics are good to have, functionality is arguably more important. Evaluate if these items look well-maintained or if they will probably require some work to get up to snuff.
  • Landscaping: How does the overall landscaping look? Has the lawn been mowed recently? Are there any trees or bushes that look like they may need pruning? Did the seller put effort into decorative landscaping with flowers and plants? Landscaping upgrades and maintenance can both add up.
  • Functional Elements: If the home has any functional elements like a pathway to the front door or exterior lights, take a moment to evaluate those, as well.
  • The Entryway: The last element of curb appeal is the entryway. Ideally, the front door will look especially inviting. Has the front door been freshly painted? Are the address numbers predominantly displayed?

Again, these elements shouldn’t make or break your decision on whether or not to make an offer on the home. However, as you look at a property, it’s a good idea to take these factors into account since if you do decide to make an offer, they’ll be inputs into deciding what’s a fair offer price.

Consider the costs

At its core, curb appeal is actually a financial matter. One way or another, improved curb appeal does come with a cost.

A home that looks better from the outside will likely fetch a higher sale price than one without any of these small touches. However, if you decide to buy a property without these small touches, you may need to pay for them in the long run.

If you do decide to go with a property that’s a bit more of a fixer-upper, keep in mind that you don’t have to take care of everything all at once.

While some of the projects listed above are smaller, things like roofing and professional landscaping can end up costing thousands of dollars.

We suggest doing your research and budgeting carefully before undertaking any DIY projects.

But, boosting curb appeal also boosts equity. If you do decide to invest in some of these projects and improve the look and function of your home over time, you should see that benefit come back to you when you re-sell it. You’ll also find that you’ll take pride in enjoying your investment throughout the duration of your time in the home.

This article originally appeared on OpenListings.