House Move Hacks

Moving to a new house is hard work. It’s actually thought to be one of the most stressful things you will ever do and the fact that we seem to do it much more often than previous generations doesn’t seem to mean that we are any better at it. In large part, this stress is caused by how long it takes to complete a move. You spend time finding a new house, packing up the old one and moving, only to find you’ve got to unpack, set up utilities and let a huge amount of people know your new address. It’s far from a one day job and can easily drag on for months. However, there are some great hacks to make your home move easier. Here is a look at some of the best.

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Lists

When it comes to a big job like a house move, lists are your very best friend. Write to-do lists, schedules and plans for absolutely everything and cross off what you’ve done. This will help to keep you on track and organised while boosting your morale.

Floorplans

It can be hard to picture your furniture in a different place, which makes it hard to know what will fit where. Measure the rooms and your furniture and make yourself small paper floor plans, with little furniture cutouts. Use these to figure out where you are going to put everything, making a move much easier.

Find Free Boxes

You can buy boxes online for a small fortune. Or, you can find free ones. Look on Gumtree to see if there are any available or phone your local supermarkets to ask if they can save you some after their deliveries. Most are only too willing to help as they just get recycled anyway.

Bin Bags

Large black bin bags are handy for packing hung clothes, bedding and soft furnishings. They are much easier to carry than boxes too.

Labels

Label every box with as much detail as you can. This way they’ll all go straight to the right rooms, making unpacking much easier.

Photos

The back of your TV and computer is probably home to plenty of wires. All of which have to be plugged into the right port to work. This can be a nightmare when you move. Take photos of everything before you unplug anything so that you’ve got a reference to work from.

Help

It’s tempting to hire a van and try to do the move yourself. But, this can make things much harder, especially if you’ve got a lot of large furniture. Shiply can help you find the right help for your job at a fair price.

First Night Box

On your first night in your new house, the last thing you want to be doing is trawling through your boxes looking for toothbrushes, pyjamas and bedding. Pack a first night box with everything you need for a comfortable night. You should also pack a separate box with any important documents and your passports so that they don’t get lost in the move.

Screw Safety

If you are taking any of your furniture apart for the move, you need to keep the screws safe. Put them in a sealed plastic bag and tape them to a large part of the piece to keep them safe.

Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to complete your move to avoid rushing or forgetting things. Then, you can focus on making it look great. Good Luck!

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Introducing Space Into Any Room

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Whenever people go house hunting, they always look for one thing – space. Whether it’s in the form of storage or room size, space is something everyone would love. But the bigger the house, the bigger the price tag. Luckily, there are ways to create the illusion of space within any room. Some of these tips are more aesthetic, and others need a bit of construction to achieve, but they all work well on their own and together.

Neutral Colours

Dark or bright colours can make a room seem a lot smaller than it actually is, so painting the room in neutral colours definitely works in your favour. If you don’t want a completely cream room, they why not create a colourful feature wall with wallpaper or paint. If the wall you’ve chosen is quite large, then break it up with a sideboard white, pale pine or dove grey. This will also help to create levels and extra storage in the room.

Glass

Glass in the form of windows, tables and accessories glass really opens up the room. Full-length windows or French doors allow in a lot of light and opens up the room to the outside, doubling your space. Glass topped tables give the illusion of having less furniture in the room, where heavy wooden furniture soaks up the space.

Spot Lights

Lights in the centre of the room brightens up the middle of the room, dimming in the corners. And where this creates a cosy space, it also makes it feel smaller. Using spot lights, or ceiling light fixtures with multiple shades lights up the entire room without cutting corners. If you still want the cosy feel, use a dimming light switch to moderate the amount of light you use.

De-clutter

Clutter is the worst thing to have when trying to create an open space. But every home has some. The trick is to use crafty storage to tuck the big stuff away and be strict with how much you put out on display. Using boxes and baskets inside cupboards doubles your storage space and lets you really utilise the space available.

Levels

Using different levels in the room makes the place look much larger. Place shelves high on the wall, and use a lower coffee table. Tall vases draw the eye upwards, as do photo frames hung on the wall. Place your pictures in various sized frames with different depths, and hang them in a mosaic fashion to make the most of the space.

Blinds

Using blinds instead of curtains will immediately create space by taking away the heavy fabrics. Removing curtains from the room can make the place a little colder, so opt for layered fabric to add an airy and light feel, rather than filling the room with heaviness, the layered look will make the window look larger and let in more light. You could also reserve the heavy curtains for the colder months and switch them out over summer.

3 Questions You Ask Yourself When You See Old People

There’s always a time when you need to sit down and rethink your life and what you want it to be. For most people, this happens around New Year’s time, but it could also be the result of a major let down or the opportunity to try something new. Whatever the reason, when you think of improving your life, it can be anything from picking a new career to starting a family. Life is the complex combination of several choices and habits that you choose to generate happiness. It’s about creating happiness in the immediate future, as most people find it tricky to think beyond the next few years. But what about old age? Let me tell you about the thoughts that everyone shares in silence when they see old people in the street. We ask ourselves three very specific questions, and the answers to these questions bring new options to define your life happiness.

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What would I look like at their age?

It’s a fair question to ask, because whether you like it or not, everyone wants to look good, regardless of how old they are. Looking good, however, has a different meaning, depending on your age. In your 20s, it’s being able to wear tight and short clothes. In your 30s, it’s about staying slim and professional-looking as a busy mama. In your 40s, it’s about hiding your first wrinkles, and so on! In your 70s, looking good means being healthy. Unfortunately being healthy in your old age starts now. You need to take care of your body and mind today if you want them to stay fit tomorrow. This means maintaining muscle mass, improving your flexibility, keeping a strong heart, eating a healthy and balanced diet, and helping your mind to stay at peace.

What if I can’t deal on my own?

If you are worried about finishing like your Great Aunty Molly who was half-mad and needed a daily carer, then you need to be reassured: taking care of your mind and body will help limit the damages of time. However, there will come a moment when you might find it difficult to deal with other issues of old age, such as loneliness, depression, and feeling of worthlessness. It’s what happens when old people stay in their homes until the end. Suddenly the home feels too big, too cold and all the shops are too far away. Will you end in one of those Porthaven care homes instead? Don’t fear! Care homes are not only for people who can’t cope physically or mentally. They also provide a peaceful and positive environment for those who don’t want to feel isolated.

How will people remember me when I’m gone?

Dying is a terrible but inevitable prospect. While nobody is ready to go, you can’t avoid the question: What do you want to be remembered for? Whether it is your kindness, your mind, your creativity, it’s obvious that you need to pick qualities that you use regularly. In other words, answering this question helps you to define your priority in life.

Being happy in life is relative. After all, life changes all the time. But thinking today of what tomorrow might be made of is the best way to build a happy future, even in old age. Keeping fit, knowing that there are options when you can’t cope on your own, and leading a life you are proud of; these are the secrets of an older happy you.

Where To Find Inspiration When Innovating Your Home

When you want to change the home in look, design, or utility, there’s a certain creativity you need to have. That creativity that leads to good decision making is powered by inspiration. Some people are just brimming with ideas at all times, but that doesn’t mean everyone is always going to have such an easy time of it. If you’re feeling like your head is an empty book when it comes to interior design ideas, it’s good to know where to find a little inspiration.

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Think needs

It’s simple enough. What does your home lack that you really need? Are you lacking a space where you can focus and get work done? Is it feeling too claustrophobic and could use changes to open up more space? Is it too dark, necessitating a new window or a brighter colour scheme? Figure out the features you really want to have in your home and start from there. There’s a good chance that your needs might not be enough to justify a full renovation, but thinking about them first is going to ensure that you don’t forget anything important, at least.

Think mood

Design needs and décor wants are two entirely different things, of course. If you know the kind of mood or the general look you want the home to attain but you don’t know the steps that are going to get you there, then getting interior design advice from someone with industry experience might be a good idea. Sometimes we just don’t know enough about the different designs, the different brands, and even the different terms out there to fully articulate our wants. Looking to the experts for help can make that much easier.

Think money

If you’re redesigning your primary residence and not an investment home, then thinking about home value first and foremost isn’t the most sensible approach. Your subjective experience should matter more than objective cash value. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider looking at the renovations that help you achieve both at the same time. For instance, focusing on curb appeal, or fitting in a new kitchen or bathroom can help you add value both as far as the market’s concerned and as far as you’re concerned.

Think exploration

If you really don’t have any ideas, then perhaps it might be time to start exploring and finding what styles really appeal to you. There are a lot of places on the internet to find inspiration for any kind of design, any kind of mood, and any room. But Pinterest is perhaps the best place to both browse and collate all these ideas at once and there are some great home decor accounts worth following. Create your own design boards that can help you put together your individual tastes piece by piece. You can pin any image you find on any site or social media network, too.

The more sources you look at, the more experts you consult, and the more you think about your needs and wants, the easier it becomes to find that inspiration. Before too long, you’ll have more ideas than you can realistically implement.

What Sets European Skiing Apart?

If you’ve ever thought about taking a skiing holiday, then you’ve probably wondered what the difference is between places like Europe and North America. European ski trips are an ever popular choice, and here we’re going to discuss what sets them apart from other choices out there. If a ski trip is something you’re considering, you’ve come to the right place!

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Fine Dining Is Everywhere

There are so many fine dining opportunities when it comes to staying at European ski resort – delicious food is gauranteed. This doesn’t mean that it’s bad everywhere else; just that it’s exceptional here. There will often be reservations from people who aren’t even skiing at a resort – that’s how good the food is!  

High Standards Are Always Ensured

Although there are many resorts suited to skiers of different ability levels, the high standards of European slopes are maintained across the board. Let’s say you want a luxury European ski experience; you can experience real Meribel luxury without having to be a pro skier. Many resorts welcome all ability levels, and you will get world class service wherever you go. The only thing you might find annoying is the queue on the way to get in a ski lift, but that can hardly be helped.

There’s A Focus On The Overall Experience

Sure, many serious skiers will visit European slopes and want to do nothing but ski. However, a real focus is put on the overall experience of visitors here. You can come with your friends and family, whatever their ability level, and have a really good time. You definitely don’t need to ski all day to have a fantastic experience!

There Are Real Mountains For You To Ski

In Europe, you’ll be able to ski on some actual mountains, rather than hills. Europeans don’t use names to make them sound scarier either; you’ll often find a less than terrifying slope in the USA called something absolutely ridiculous to make skiers feel like they’re taking on something huge. European mountains and slopes have much more elegant names.

The Parties

Because you don’t want to spend the whole time skiing, right? The parties at European ski resorts can’t really be beaten. It isn’t frowned upon if you want a drink during the day, but please take altitude into account, and stay hydrated! At night time (or once you’ve finished in the afternoon), you can enjoy a beer out of a real beer glass and some great music with like minded people.

Now you know what sets European skiing apart, it’s time to book your ski holiday! Bear in mind, you should probably do a little more research before you go right out and book your stay at a resort. Perhaps small slopes with scary names in the USA are going to be more your thing? Unless you look at a variety of sources, you’ll never know.

Have you been skiing in Europe, or are you planning a trip? Make sure you leave your thoughts, tips, and comments below!

4 Ways To Keep Your House Fresh

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Keeping your house clean and fresh can sometimes be an absolute nightmare to keep on top of. It can take hours of painstaking work to keep everything looking squeaky clean, only to get ruined the next day for you to do it over again! Cleanliness is important for not only the safety of everyone in your house, but it accentuates the look too, so here are 4 easy ways to keep your house looking, and feeling, fresh and clean!

Air Purifiers

A good emerging trend within modern households is air purifiers. Their purpose is in the name, they purify your air for you! They do so by circulating the air in a given room through itself, containing filters and additives to filter away all of the dust and odours that might be hiding around and replacing them with nice, clean air! This can uplift the whole mood of the room by having, quite literally, fresh air circulating in the room. Companies like Harvey Norman sell a huge array of different air purifiers designed for different sizes of room, all you have to do is find one that suits you! There is an added health benefit to this, and that is that air purifiers can remove any microbial beings that might be floating around in the air! Microbes are airborne organisms that often causes disease and illness, some can be fatal and others not so, regardless of this air purifiers are able to filter these nigh invisible nasties right out of your house’s air, meaning that everyone that lives with you is that little bit safer from coming down with something bad!
Waste Removal Services

One of the biggest things that can ruin the way your house looks and feels is waste. Having rubbish bags laid outside your house or even having unemptied bins makes your house look, and feel dilapidated. Everyone has them, but this doesn’t take away from the fact that they are an absolute eye sore! They smell and are not pleasant to be around, so it’s important to be able to get rid of this rubbish as soon as possible. Websites like www.dirtcheaprubbishremoval.com.au offer services to come and collect your rubbish for you, whenever you like! This takes away the problem of having bags of rubbish waiting around for too long. This also, similarly to the air purifier, has a health benefit. If a rubbish bag is sat around for too long it will start to rot and attract many different kinds of creatures and organisms, some of which can be detrimental to your health such as bacteria that is able to grow on the rotting substances, and by taking them away before they reach this point you don’t have to worry about it happening, so everyone can live in a safe, smell free house!

Contactless Soap Dispensers

This is a very modern, if not futuristic way to keep your house clean and staying that way! Most soap dispensers that we use nowadays are made out of plastic and we throw them away once we are done with them. Whilst this is fine, they often end up getting quite dirty and can harbour a lot of hidden germs on the top of the plunger! The same can be said for more permanent soap dispensers, because they are not thrown away after use, if they are not washed properly every once in awhile a lot of dirt and bacteria can build up on them which is not safe at all. This is where contactless soap dispensers make their entry, and the key is in the name. They are contactless, meaning that you don’t have to touch them for them to work! You can buy them from companies like Bradley, just find one to suit your kitchen or bathroom! This saves you touching the soap dispenser if it is dirty, removing the risk of getting ill here. They are also much less messy to use and you don’t touch them, contributing to the clean and fresh feel.

Robot Cleaners

Before you start worrying about humanoid robots stalking your house, these aren’t the kind of robots you are thinking about! These robots are small, cube like devices that can do your vacuuming and mopping for you. We are all very much aware of how much a pain vacuuming and mopping up can be, it can take hours of your time only for someone to step through the house with dirty shoes or feet and ruin your work! Robot cleaners take the work of doing cleaning the floors for you. All you have to do is set them up on a rough predetermined path by an app on your phone, and away they go! You can purchase them from companies like iRobot which offer a bountiful choice of different robots available for purchase, just decide which ones will suit you! Do keep in mind that robots are currently quite poor at traversing obstacles and will at times get stuck, so you will have to keep an eye on them, especially if you have a pet that might attack or play with it! Taking out the need for you to do this does not technically add to the feel of a cleaner home, but by having a constant automated system of robots cleaning your house you can ensure that everything is always clean!

 

So there you have it, any of these things is certain to make your house a much fresher, cleaner and therefore safer place for everyone to live in! Getting in an air purifier and getting a specialist company to constantly remove your rubbish will leave a much fresher smelling atmosphere, but not only that it will be safer too having less hidden surprises lurking around! Combine that with an automated soap dispensing and floor cleaning system, you simply cannot go wrong in making your house as clean and fresh feeling as it can be! These little things can improve your home at any of time of the year, but if you’re looking for something specifically for the summer, go no further than this.

 

Purchasing the Perfect Property

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What makes the perfect property? Whether you’re buying a new home for yourself or making a property investment, it’s a big purchase. In fact, there’s not many things bigger than real estate that the average person will buy in their lifetime. Because of this, every property needs to meet the right criteria. If you’re currently shopping around for a house or an apartment, here’s a checklist of some of the things to consider to ensure that you get the best for your money. It’s unlikely you’ll find somewhere that ticks all the boxes, however these pointers should help you get as close as you can possibly get to that dream property.

Is the location right?  

Location is probably the biggest factor to consider when buying a property. You can do up the ugliest house in the world, but you can’t change the area around it. If it’s a home for yourself that you’re looking for, you should try to do some research into the area. Is the crime rate high? Are there shops and other important services in the area? Is there parking? Do the neighbours like the area?

If you’re moving a long distance, you may then have to consider other criteria such as job prospects. Commitments such as a career, family and children could limit your options. If you have no real ties, you may still have certain preferences such as social opportunities and the general friendliness of the neighbourhood to consider. Before or after your property viewing, try to have a look around the area to get a feel for it. It can also be worth visiting at different times – sneaky estate agents may avoid times of the day when planes are flying overhead or neighbours decide to play their music loud.

Even if you’re looking for a property to rent, you’ll still need to consider the preferences of your potential tenants. A property in the wrong area might not attract anyone, such as a country cottage in an area where most tenants want the convenience of urban living.

Don’t be afraid to look afar in the case of a rental opportunity. You don’t have to handle all landlord affairs yourself and could simply hire a trusted property manager to screen tenants, chase up rent and keep on top of maintenance.

Is it a good investment opportunity?

Unless you’re buying a property to live in for the rest of your life, you may want to think about the money you can make out of it when you sell it. Certain areas will have a greater appreciation value. Buying abroad can sometimes be a great option for this if you’re not looking for somewhere to live in. There may be a brand new condo for sale that in a couple years could be worth even more. In the meantime you could simply rent it out to cover its mortgage.

You then have the interior of the house to consider – could you make any changes or renovations that could massively up its value? Those clued up in investment know the cheapest home improvements that will add the biggest value. For example, opting for a loft or garage conversion over an extension could help increase value by adding another room without having to pay for the costs of brickwork and foundations.

Is it energy efficient?

There are many benefits to going green – it needn’t even be about saving the environment. Eco-friendly properties are well insulated, preventing the need to turn on the heating and hence cutting your gas bills. Some may even have solar panels fitted, eliminating the need to ever pay an electricity bill. This can dramatically reduce living costs and has made such properties very sought after.

With laws constantly coming in to get us living greener, it also seems sensible to look for an eco-friendly property when considering the future. If your house is already insulated, you won’t have to worry if new laws come in.

Is it low maintenance?              

More maintenance means more time and money spent on that property. Old properties are likely to be more high maintenance through wear and tear. For this reason, hiring a surveyor (or checking that the current owner has hired one) can be beneficial for checking the property for any damage that could be costly later on.

This should also be considered if you’re looking for a property to rent. Laws are in place that require you to keep on top of damage for the safety of your tenants.

Also, if you’re not into gardening, think twice before taking on a property with an extensive and well-groomed back yard – if you want to keep it like that you’ll have to maintain it. The same should be considered with big houses and the cleaning that comes with them (although you may be rich enough to hire a cleaner if you can afford such a house).

Is the size right?           

The size has to be right for your needs. If you’re keeping tenants there, rooms may have to meet certain dimensions to be deemed legal. If you’re living there, don’t just think about your current needs but also what may happen in the future. If you’re thinking of having children or already have a baby, you’ll need that extra space for them to have a room. Alternatively, if the kids have moved out, consider whether you really need that extra guest room or whether downsizing would be more financially sensible.

Has it got a good history?

Suspiciously well priced houses can be worth looking into. It may have a string of previous owners that have left in short succession due to problems with the house that an estate agent is likely to avoid bringing up. The property could have a recurring problem with pests, there could have been a murder in it previously or there may even be rumours of hauntings. For peace of mind, it’s always worth checking out these details from the agent or seller if you think the pricing is oddly low – they may be desperate to get rid of it due to its notorious history.