Articles Tagged "home hacks"

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Happy Cat Month: Tips for Hiding Your Cat's Litter Box

Litter Box Tips

September is officially Happy Cat Month, so take some extra time to appreciate your feline friend. Cats make wonderful pets, but there's one part of cat ownership that everyone dislikes - the litter box. Its appearance isn't attractive, and no one wants to have its odor or the sounds of a cat scratching away in the box invading your home's common areas.
With a few tools, some time, and a little bit of effort, you can hide your cat's litter box while still leaving it easily accessible for them. Check out these tips to help make your cat's litter box out of sight and out of mind.

Drape Fabric Around an End Table 
Hiding your cat's litter box by draping fabric around an end table is a relatively simple project that requires just a few supplies as shown on the Dimples and Tangles blog. You'll need a small end table that easily fits over the litter box. Sew a hem into your fabric, but if you don't sew, you can use fusible hem tape. By using hot glue to make the fabric adhere to the table, you can create a nice, private spot for your cat's litter box.

Transform a Bench  
A bench can be used not only as a handy place to sit as you put your shoes on, but it can also help hide a litter box, according to Offbeat Home & Life. Start by cutting a hole at each end of the bench and sanding the edges. Cover the box with wallpaper if you'd like to change its look, and add black bar mats to the inside of this area to help your kitties clean litter off of their paws before venturing out into your home.

Conceal it in a Cabinet
The Homebody House explains how to stash your cat's litter box in an IKEA cabinet or one that's similarly inexpensive. Use a cabinet that fits your allotted space and has plenty of room inside for a litter box as well as other essential items. You'll need a drill and jigsaw to cut a hole for a cat door on one side of the cabinet's panels.

After installing the cat door, use an upper shelf inside the cabinet to store cat food and some plastic trash bags for scooping and disposing of litter. Hang a clear suction hook on the door to hold the pooper scooper, and you've not only got a great place to hide the litter box, but also a place to store your cat's essentials.

Make Use of Extra Space
After rejecting spaces such as the laundry room when they were trying to figure out a place to put their cat's litter box, Mary Olstyn of Owlhaven and her husband John found the perfect solution in their home. Her husband cut a small door in the wall under the stairs that led to an under-the-stairs closet. This served as an entrance and exit for their cat, who not only had a spot for a litter box but also a quiet haven and place to escape.

Especially consider these tips if you're planning on listing your home! 

Looking for a new home that's the cat's meow? Contact us  and we'll help you find the ideal home for you as well as your pets! 


Back-to-School Home Organization Tips

With the start of the school year upon most of us, now's a great time to talk home organization! Kids resuming their studies often results in a flurry of backpacks, textbooks, and various other school supplies that can quickly leave your home in a stressful state of disarray. Here are some airtight back-to-school home organization tips you can use to corral the chaos.

Create a Front-Door Storage Space

Give your kids a dedicated storage space where they can drop their bookbags and other essentials as soon as they come in the door. Hang a few wall hooks or utilize existing closet space near the front door to prevent a mess of items being left in the entryway.

Build a Homework Station

Tired of papers and pencils taking over your kitchen table each night? Build your kids a dedicated homework station! Give them a dedicated desk with organized supplies – understand their needs and then stage the space around them.

Prepare Your Laundry Room

Kids and dirty clothes go together like macaroni and cheese, especially during the school year. As school clothes, sports uniforms, and more pile up, having a tidy and organized laundry room will help you stay ahead. Provide dedicated laundry bins (you can even label for darks and lights) for your kids' clothes so you don't have to go digging for long-lost dirty socks, then put the clean clothes back in the same bins for your kids to take.

Operate a Command Center

Ideally, your command center should be in a central location, like the kitchen or dining room. Keep everyone on the same page with a calendar, bulletin board, or even a dry erase board where you can write the day's events and other messages for the entire family to see.

Set Alarms to Run a Tight Ship

Perpetually running late? Try setting alarms as reminders that go off at set intervals each morning. 10 minutes until breakfast, 5 minutes until the bus arrives – whatever works within your morning routine.

Create Good Organization Habits

One key to back-to-school home organization is getting your kids on board with the goal of staying in order. Try printing out an organization binder, like this free one, that your kid can use to start developing strong habits.

Store School Supplies Smartly

Often times, good organization is the result of thrifty thinking. Repurpose over-the-door shoe hangers to hold paper and notebooks and put unused muffin trays to work as miniature storage bins for easy-to-lose supplies like sticky notes and paper clips. There's no one-size-fits-all solution for home organization, so use whatever you have to make it work for you!

Stay on Top of Chores

Chores can easily fall off your radar during the school year. But you still need your child's help to keep the house running smoothly, and that means keeping track of chores even when things are hectic. Try a printable after-school chore checklist like this one to make this task easier on everyone.      

Prepare Breakfast & Lunch in Advance

Just getting the kids out the door each morning can feel like a monumental undertaking. Ensuring they're fed only makes that task more daunting. That's why you should try to prepare breakfast and lunch items in advance. There are dozens of cold lunch ideas you can make ahead of time, and you can't go wrong with a pre-made frozen breakfast sandwich. You only need a couple hours each weekend to make these tasty and nutritious meals – it will save you precious time each weekday!  


7 Things to Avoid When Getting Ready to List Your Home

Watson List Your Home

Listing your home for sale can be overwhelming, especially if it's your first time. One of the best ways to sell your home quickly and increase your sale price is through proper home staging. Home staging is both an art and a science and often takes a good bit of experience to pull it off just right. Our real estate agents are experts at home staging and are always willing to offer tips to help you through the process.

If you're planning to put your home on the market in the near future, you'll want to make sure to avoid these mistakes.

When it comes to getting your home ready for the market, the goal is to create an environment that enables potential buyers to see themselves living in the home. This means keeping things as neutral as possible. Remove pictures, abstract art, bright colors, knick-knacks, or anything that reminds your potential buyer that you're currently living in the space.

Keeping Pets Around 
Who doesn't love pets? Many potential homebuyers don't. Whether it's allergies or just personal preference, pets aren't for everyone, so be sure to keep their presence to a minimum during showings or open houses. Be sure to vacuum up any fur and keep all bowls and toys out of sight. 

Forgetting To Clean
An essential part of the home staging process is deep cleaning. This type of cleaning goes far beyond sweeping the floors and dusting. You'll need to make every corner of your home ready to impress! This includes the ceiling, windows, baseboards, blinds, carpets, and furniture. First impressions are everything, so you want to be sure potential buyers are walking into a spotless home. 

Dark Spaces
The golden rule of home staging: let there be light! Light exposure makes rooms look bigger and brighter. If a particular room doesn't have a lot of windows or doesn't receive much sunlight, buy extra lamps or artificial lighting. You want every room of your house to be bright and welcoming. 

Ignoring The Bedrooms
Many sellers make kitchens, living rooms, and bathrooms a priority during the home-selling process, but it's important not to forget about the bedrooms. The bedroom is where homeowners spend a lot of their time, so it's important to create a clean, relaxing look. Make sure bedding is fresh and clean. Adding some decorative pillows and throw blankets doesn't hurt either. 

Stuffing Your Closets
Cramming everything into your closets might make rooms look less cluttered, but this strategy can actually backfire. Jam-packed closets can actually make your storage space appear smaller. The key to making closet space appear larger is to keep them about half full.

Outdated Appliances
If your kitchen is living in the past, you may want to consider upgrading your appliances. Replacing an old refrigerator or dishwasher will not only help make your kitchen stand out among other Jacksonville homes for sale, but it will also be a major selling point for potential buyers. Because the kitchen is the most important room of the house, you may even be able to recoup your costs at the sale price.

Selling a home can be a challenge, which is why you need an experienced real estate agent in your corner. Contact us today for more tips!


14 Bathroom Hacks for Increased Storage Space, Cleaning Tricks, & More

The last time we talked about home hacks, we shared 15 tips and tricks to upgrade your cooking game in the kitchen. This time, we're dishing out bathroom hacks. Read on for everything from clever storage tips to homemade air fresheners to keep your bathroom smelling great all day long.

Transform Spice Racks into Shampoo Holders

While they may hold garlic salt and dried basil in your kitchen, spice racks can also make excellent storage shelves for shampoo bottles, soaps, and anything else you don't want cluttering your countertop.

Use Vinegar to Clean Showerheads

De-gunk your showerheads with a small plastic bag full of vinegar. Fasten the bag to the showerhead with a small elastic band and let it sit for an hour. Give it a rinse and a polish after removing the bag and voila!

A More Elegant Toothpaste Solution

If you're sick of squeezing the tube to get that last bit of toothpaste and the mess they can leave behind, try putting your toothpaste in a soap pump bottle. Just clean the soap out first.

Save Space with this Trash Can Hack

Is your trash can taking up too much space in your bathroom? Screw a couple of anchors into the inside of one of your cabinet doors and hang your can!

Smart Storage for Hair Dryers and Curling Irons

These essential tools create many a storage headache, but they don't have to. Installing a magazine holder creates a space-saving way to store your appliances.

Turn Your Bathroom into an Ironing Board

Bring your wrinkled clothes into the bathroom during a hot shower and enjoy wrinkle-free garments without the hassle of ironing!

Use Cups and Jars as Organizational Tools

Mount a small rack on the wall and affix empty cups or jars on the front, and just like that, you've got some nifty storage for makeup brushes, cotton swabs, and more.

Place Silverware Trays in Bathroom Drawers

You know those trays you use in the kitchen to organize your silverware? They can be equally as effective in your bathroom drawers to prevent messiness.

Use Magnetic Strips to Keep Track of Small Items

Tired of chasing after loose bobby pins, tweezers, and other small metal items? Apply a magnetic strip to the back of your door or wall and never lose a bobby pin again.

Add a Second Shower Rack for More Storage

Soap, face wash, shampoo, conditioner; all these bottles can take up a lot of room. Instead of fiddling with overcrowded built-in shelving, consider adding a second shower rack and hanging smaller baskets for storage from it.

Clean Soap Scum with Dryer Sheets

Give the harsh chemicals a break and use dryer sheets to wipe away soap scum easily.

Eradicate Clogs from Drains with Alka-Seltzer®

Remove the drain cover, drop in a couple tabs of Alka-Seltzer®, and wash it down with a bit of vinegar for a squeaky-clean drain.

Eucalyptus Branches Make a Great Air Freshener

Hang a few branches of eucalyptus around your shower head or somewhere nearby for a natural air-freshener. The steam from your shower will carry the scent through the room.

Amplify Your Speakers

Want to play music or a podcast from your phone during a shower but don't have a Bluetooth speaker to pump out loud enough sound? Try placing your phone in a dry sink or in a dry bowl to amplify sound you can hear even over the shower head's mist.

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