House & Home

Dealing With A Deceased Loved One’s Belongings

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Having to deal with the loss of a loved one can be extremely stressful. You may have sorted out the will and decided what to do with the property, but how do then deal with all their personal possessions? There may be a lot of items that you want to keep onto that have a sentimental value – too many to move into your own home without upsizing. Sorting through these items can be a hugely emotional task. Here are a few ways to help you deal with it more easily.

Assess the worth of valuable items

You may already have an idea of the items you want to sell, but there may be some hidden treasures in your loved one’s home that you may be able to make a lot of money from. Have a trusted antique dealer come round and value your loved one’s commodities. An item that you may have wanted to hold onto may be worth more than you realised, making it easier to part with. Visit auctions or sell these items yourself online. Car boot sales can also be a great of flogging lots of smaller items at once.

Donate what you can’t sell

Some items you think are valuable may refuse to sell. This doesn’t mean you have to necessarily throw them away – try donating them to charity shops and charity auctions. Offer other items to friends and family members for free.

Get help from a declutterist

If you’re finding the process too hard, you may want to hire professional declutterists to help you. This can be useful for houses that are jampacked with stuff. Such teams are used to dealing with hoarders and understand the psychology behind wanting to keep onto certain things. If you feel you need someone to help talk you into parting with certain possessions, this may be a useful service to invest in.

Pay for storage

It may be worth paying to put some items in storage whilst you figure out what to do with them. There are many companies such as Canning Vale Storage Units that can rent storage out to you. This can be especially useful if you need to sell the property, but are still negotiating through all the belongings. Remember that this should only be a temporary solution, unless you are going to actively use the items you put in storage and simply have no space for them in your home (e.g. an old motorbike or sports equipment).

Photograph the possessions that you can’t keep

There will be some belongings that you only want to keep for the reminder, regardless of the fact that you have no practical use for them. For these items, it may be more sensible to take a photograph. Whilst this is no substitute for being able to physically touch these belongings, it will allow that object to live on with you. You can even create a memory book and map out your loved one’s old home – it may help you to part with the contents knowing that you’ve always got a record of it.

 

How To Deal With Sewer Backups In Your Home

Sewer backups are some of the most unpleasant things that you might come into contact with in your home. They’re also dangerous; filled with harmful parasites causing serious illnesses if not properly treated. If sewage backups are a problem in your house, it’s a much more serious issue than you might think. We’ll go through some reasons why you might be facing the problem, and what you need to do from here on out.

If you’re facing a sewage problem, it’s probably because something somewhere is clogged up. The part that is clogged depends on a number of factors. If you’re only facing an issue in the toilet or kitchen sink, for example, the problem might be isolated to one drain. If it’s happening all over the house, the main sewage line is probably the issue.

 

So, prevention is the key here. Before you ever get into this sort of scenario, do whatever you can to avoid clogs in your drains. If you’re already having problems, stay away from these ideas and call in the professionals right away. Really, you need just be careful about what you’re tipping down those drains. Food and grease can clog up easily, as can nappies or paper towels that are flushed down toilets.

There are other reasons you may have a sewage backup problem. It might just be that the sewage line has cracked and broken because it’s old. Additionally, tree roots can be the cause, and they might not even be your own trees! The professionals will be able to identify the cause and find a solution quickly.

If it’s too late, and you’ve got a problem right now, don’t try and tackle anything by yourself. As we mentioned earlier, you’ll be coming into contact with some dangerous things like bacteria. Get away from any sewage-contaminated areas instantly. Turn off the electrical power to your home if you can as a flooded area increases the risk of electrocution. Ideally, you need to get out of that house to prevent any potential disasters and to protect your health.

 

At this point, you need to call the professionals. There are websites out there will give you tips on how to solve this yourself, but DON’T follow them! You can get seriously ill if you come into contact with this stuff, so let the experts handle it. Places like Restorationeze.com will provide clean-up services so that you don’t have to worry. Don’t take this lightly; your health and well-being is at stake.

Preventing this sort of thing from happening again is usually just a case of being informed. We often neglect our drains because we don’t assume this sort of thing will occur, and then we have to deal with the consequences. You can also buy preventative tools from places like backwater-valves.com to reduce your chances of this happening again.

To sum up: if you have a sewage backup problem, get out of the house and don’t tackle it yourself. Call the professionals, let them handle it, and you’ll be back to normal in no time.

A Guide to Setting Up Home Together

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Moving in together is a big step and an exciting one to take. It signals the next stage in your relationship. Cohabiting is fun if you get it right. Living with someone means sharing your possessions. Your space and your home. Get off on the right footing and prepare to build your first nest as a couple.

Find a Place to Live

Whether buying or renting, finding your first home is ultra exciting! Search online for current and upcoming properties within your chosen location. Approach realtors for the latest affordable properties on their books. Arrange a viewing of suitable homes and decide whether they match your ideas (and your budget). Take care of the paperwork and sign on the dotted line. You are now the proud inhabitants of your first home together!

Combine Your Possessions

We all have a tendency to accumulate stuff – the bits and pieces that we become attached to. Some of it is practical while other items are sentimental. Some are just plain old garbage! Combining your possessions requires a degree of compromising on both sides. Different tastes account for many raised eyebrows between couples. Don’t turn it into a tug of war. Decide what to keep and what to throw away. Any doubling up of items are instantly halved. Put large possessions into temporary storage until an agreement is made.

Buy New Possessions

Throwing old items out is a cathartic exercise. It marks the end of your old life as you enter this new phase. Consider if there are any ‘gaps’ in your joint possessions. Make any missing essentials top priority on your shopping list.

Furniture is a key part of creating a home together. Picking out pieces jointly takes account of each other’s’ tastes. It creates a sense of solidarity from the start. Large items of furniture include a bed, sofa, armchairs, dining table and chairs, and a wardrobe. Set up a romantic bedroom and cosy lounge. Buy quality items for each of your rooms. A comfy hybrid foam mattress for your bed and a squashy leather couch for the sitting room. Attention to details such as these instantly adds a warm feeling to your home.

Decorate Your Home

Once you’ve filled your home with your new possessions, it’s time to give each room a makeover. Choose wall and floor coverings to accentuate key features. Soft furnishings add character and warmth to rooms. Personalize your palace with fine color accents that you both like. Restful colors welcome you home while neutral colors provide a feeling of light and space.

Share the Chores

You are both equally responsible for the upkeep of your home. This includes regular cleaning of the inside and maintenance of the outside. Allocate chores between you, ensuring that the division of labor is equal. Looking after a home may not be romantic, but domestic jobs need to be done. Agree who will do what and make sure you both honor your responsibilities. Rota chores when one or both of your become tired of the same duty.

Start off on a positive note and continue to live side by side in peace and harmony.

 

Great Ways To Improve Your Garden For You And Your Kids

Thinking about completing some home improvements soon? You might want to start by looking at how you can improve your garden, particularly if you have kids. Don’t forget, your garden is the perfect place for your kids to play safely outside. Or rather, it can be. As well as this, you need to think about what you want from your garden. We imagine you want it to look stylish, modern and attractive. For that reason, you should think about these garden improvements in two ways. How can you improve it for your kids and how can you improve it for you?

For Your Kids

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Your first step should be making your that your garden is always accessible to your kids. This might seem quite simple? But, what if you live in a place where the climate causes a lot of torrential rain. In the morning, you’ll wake up and your garden will be completely unusable for your children. That’s a problem, but there is a solution. You can use grass pavers to ensure that water does not flood your back or front yard. Instead the water seeps through a permeable surface beneath, out of sight. It’s not an eyesore because you can’t see it, and it will make sure your garden is usable more throughout the year, no matter where you live.

As well as this, you should be thinking about ways to make your garden more attractive to your children. Typically, children don’t want to go outside and play. They’d rather stay on the computer, games console or even their cellphones. But, you can encourage them to go outside by making some improvements. In the winter, you can buy toys like slip and slides to encourage them to go out and play. Or even a pool. With your new permeable grass solution, spilled water won’t clog up the grass and soil, you don’t need to worry.

In the colder months, you could set up a play house or even a climbing frame. These are cheaper to buy online than you would probably imagine and will keep your children entertained for hours outside.

For You

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As far as you’re concerned, you need to be thinking about ways to make your garden more attractive. As well as this, you might want it to look and feel bigger. You can do this by separating your garden into sections. By laying down patio you will have a place where you can wine and dine guests as well as an area specifically for the kids. You can also invest in some new stylish garden furniture. Again, you can buy this furniture online, and as we approach the winter season, it will be on offer.

You may also want to add one or two unique features to the front garden. This will make it stand out from the rest of the homes on your street. One possibility is a water feature. Speak to a landscaper about installing one in your front garden. But remember, a pond will eventually attract wildlife so be careful if your children are playing around it.

We hope you have fun using these ideas to improve your gardens.

Here’s What You Must Do Before Your Kids Move Into A New House

If your family has grown, you may be thinking about buying a new home. You may be after an extra bedroom or just some more family space to enjoy. Perhaps you want to be near better schools? It could be that you’re ready to head back to work and want to be near a new job. Whatever your reasons for buying a new place, there are some checks you need to make before you move your kids in:

Heating

You cannot be too careful when it comes to your kids. If your heating and hot water are from a gas boiler system, get a plumber out to certify it is safe before you move in. Carbon monoxide poisoning can kill. If the gas is leaking, you could even end up with an explosion. Open fires can be just as dangerous if the chimney or flue isn’t clean and clear. Get it checked and serviced before you move in.

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Dirt

Your new home may also be home to mold spores, bacteria and feces from rodents. This can be especially true if the property has been empty for a while. Call in pest control if you suspect you are not alone. A professional cleaner can save you the time and energy of a deep clean. You might prefer to do it yourself, so you know it is thorough, though. Replace carpets or have them washed to get rid of old dirt.

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Electrics

If the electrical system in your new house is quite old, now could be the time to rewire. A safe circuit with trip switches is best. If you don’t have enough sockets, you might be tempted to overload them. We have a lot of gizmos and gadgets, so it’s best to get them plugged in safely. After all, you don’t want to be sat in the dark wondering how to fix the fuses on your first night there!

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Leaks

Pipework is prone to drips and leaks. Take your time to check yours out and tighten any loose joints. You might also want to take a few minutes to clad the pipes for winter. Be sure all the drains and gutters are clear. Finally, check your roof isn’t letting any water in too. Water damage can be very expensive to fix.

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Windows and Doors

Security is everything when you first move into a strange neighborhood. Check all the locks work and replace them immediately if they don’t. Be sure to check the seals are good around the windows and doors. If it’s coming up for winter, you may find you are cold and miserable in your new home if you haven’t sealed the gaps.

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Neighbors

Introduce yourself to the neighbors in a friendly way. After all, they are likely to be an important source of information about your new house. They will also be looking out for you as neighbors.

Moving into a new house is scary. You never know what problems a house might have until you actually start living there. Try to get your checks done before you’ve moved in so they can be fixed more easily.

 

Thinking About An Attic Conversion? Here Are Four Things You Must Consider

If you have a house, you probably have an attic too! Most houses come with one and a lot of people let theirs waste away. A great idea is to convert your attic into another room! Attic conversions are popular these days and a great addition to the home. Does this interest you? Then read below to find out the main things to consider when converting your attic:

Function

You have to decide on the function of your attic conversion. What kind of room do you want it to be? Is it going to be like a second lounge, a place for people to go and chill out when they want extra peace and quiet? Or, will it be someone’s new bedroom? Perhaps you’ve had a new addition to the family and have to move one of your kids up in the attic to accommodate the new arrival. Or maybe the man of the house wants his own man cave or rec area. There are lots of options available; you have to make sure you pick one before you move on!

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Furniture

The furniture in your attic conversion will depend on what you decided on converting it to. If you went for an extra lounge area, then you’ll need typical lounge furniture. There may not be enough room to get a big sofa and chairs in there, so think about things like bean bags. In my opinion, an indoor hammock is perfect for an attic lounge. If you want to turn it into a bedroom, you’ll need to find a way to get a bed up there. Beds are pretty big things, so it can be difficult getting them up into an attic.

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Windows

The windows in an attic are going to be different from any other room in your house. The attic is right at the top of the house; it’s pretty much in the roof. This means you won’t be able to have windows on the walls like you would any other room. Instead, you’ll need them fitted into the roof itself. It’s pretty easy to do; you just have to buy roof windows, which you can get from any place that sells building supplies. Then, you need to get a roofing expert in to fit the window and viola! You now have an attic with windows fitted to let in the sunlight. Because they’re on the roof, it’s not possible to have curtains, so consider some roller blinds instead.

Entrance

What makes attic rooms so different is how you get in them. You don’t have a normal door; there’s usually a door on the ceiling you have to open and pull down some steps or a ladder. My advice would be to design the entrance, so that it’s easy to get in and out of the room. Some attics come with a pull-down metal ladder, this can be a bit unsafe if you’re going up and down constantly. Instead, try and get it redesigned so some stairs can be pulled down. Walking up stairs is far safer and a hell of a lot easier. Not to mention they’re much better on the eye too.

 

3 Unbelievable Tips To Make Your Home Child-Friendly!

All parents know that your life changes when you have children. One of the main things they change is life in the home. Your home before a child will be a lot different to one after. You have to change certain things in your house to make it child-friendly. Here’s how you can prepare your home for kids:

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Kiddies Bedroom

To make your house fit for children, you’ve got to make sure they have their own rooms! Transform one of the bedrooms in your house into a room fit for a kid to sleep in. Decorating a kids room is completely different from decorating your own bedroom. The whole style is different; it’s more vibrant and colourful. You want to create a room that people walk in and realise is a kids room. Think about decorating the walls with the wallpaper of their favourite TV character. Bunk beds are a great idea if you want to fit two kids in one room and still leave space!

Making the perfect bedroom for your children is a must do. It could even make it easier for them to sleep if you do it right. Think about hanging mobiles from the ceiling so they can relax as they’re getting ready for bed.

Childproof Your Home

If you have small kids, it’s important that you’re childproofing your home. Turn your attention immediately to the stairs. You don’t want your kids running up and down the stairs because it can be dangerous. Especially if they’re little and not adept at walking yet. Luckily, you can get some gates to put at the top and bottom of your stairs. This way, it will prevent your children from mucking around on them.

I think that the kitchen is potentially the most dangerous room for children in your house. There’re lots of appliances that could cause them harm, as well as sharp cutlery. My advice would be to make sure the cutlery is in a draw that they can’t reach, and any appliances are out of harms way. You can even get locks fitted on draws and cupboards to keep them from being nosey.

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Garden

It’s important you don’t forget about your garden too! You’re spending all this time on the inside of your house, so spend time on the outside too. Turn your garden into a mini playground for you kids. You can buy a small outside slide, as seen on the OutdoorKiddies website. Or you can buy them other things to use in the garden. Consider getting them some goals to play soccer in. Or maybe even a mini trampoline to bounce on. When summer comes along, why not buy a paddling pool for your kids to enjoy too?

There’s tonnes of stuff you can do in your back garden to make your home child-friendly. By the time you’re done, your kids will be running around filled with joy!

By making these alterations to your home, your children will be living happily. Your house will be ready for the arrival of children!

 

Finding The Right Place To Call Home

 

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When you start to make money in your career, and you have a stable contract, you begin to think about buying property. Somewhere that you can call home instead of wasting dead money on rent. Or, you might already own a place and begin to look at moving to a bigger house or apartment. But, when you do this there are questions that you should be asking yourself.

A Place In The City Or Country

Here is a little psychological question for you. Is it less stressful to live in the city or out in the countryside? It’s actually a trick question because the answer is both. Studies have shown that the least stressful way to live is to be in the city during the week and stay out in the country at the weekend. It’s not hard to guess why because that cuts out commuting issues while giving you a break at the weekend. But, for many of us, okay, most of us, that’s just not an option. You need to decide which place type of area is right for you. If you are a working professional, I imagine you want to be in the heart of the action. But, if you are starting a family it might be best buying somewhere out of the city lights with some more open space.

Apartment Living Or A Cosy Home?

Again it all depends on where your life is headed, but even then, it is not always a simple solution. Not when there are great luxury apartments that would be great for a family, or a working professional. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of living. If you buy a house, you are going to have your own stretch of land to shape and mould, with a nice stretch of green. But if you buy an apartment you are going to be near the excitement, and you have the chance to buy a place that has already been perfectly designed. Of course, you can design any house you buy but that is going to cost you, which brings us to the next question.

What Can You Afford?

Be careful with this one because a lot of people get the wrong idea. First, if you are buying a home, then you are not just looking at the cost of the actual place. You need to take other bills into account such as mortgage payments, energy bills, taxation and the hiring of appropriate services. You need just a little bit more money in the bank than what you have tucked away to buy your house or apartment.

Is It The Right Time?

You might be in the right place financially and have a little extra cash for any other issues that might arise. But that doesn’t mean that it is the right point to buy. If you are selling an old place, then you might have to wait for the market to pick up. If you are buying your first home, you may want to consider waiting until the house prices drop. It’s all about being patient and seizing the perfect opportunity.

But, if you can answer all those questions easily, I think you are going to find the perfect place for you to call home.  

 

Add Character to Your Home: Top Tips

A home without character is like a home without soul. You want people to get an idea of your personality when they come into your home, and to sense and element of fun. A boring home isn’t much fun to spend time in at all! Use the following tips if you’d like to add character to your home:

Use Furniture You Love

If you want to add character to your home, there’s no room for boring furniture. You need to choose furniture you love. You’ll know when it’s right, as you’ll see it and think ‘wow!’ straight away. Don’t let what other people think influence you – this is your home to with what you like. How boring would life be if everybody liked the same things? Sydney Lounge specialists know how important it is to add character to your home, and that’s why they let you design something all your own.

Include Artwork

Adding artwork to the home is an absolute must. There are multiple ways you can do this; you don’t have to commission something unique, you can simply rip a page out of a book and frame it! There’s an option for every budget. It’s especially fun to do this in children’s rooms.

Make it Practical

Your home shouldn’t just look good, it should function well too. For it to suit you down to the ground, it needs to be practical enough for you to live in. Play the piano? Make sure you have a piano. Like to read? Have a bookcase. Make sure it’s a home designed to be used by you!

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Make Use of Different Textures

Using plenty of different textures in your house will stop it from looking boring by adding depth. Try using materials like wood, suede, leather, faux fur, and so on.

Take on Some DIY Projects

When you make something yourself, you get an immense sense of satisfaction. Why not take on some DIY projects to add character in your own unique way? You could make your own art, a piece of furniture, or even just paint a mural on the wall. There are so many tutorials online to help you, so you don’t have to make it up as you go along.

Make Use of Unusual Accessories

Unusual accessories always help to add character to your home. You could use a vintage wooden crate as a coffee table, for example. You may need to customise them or do something with them first, but you’ll have something that many others don’t have.

Mix Vintage and Modern

Vintage pieces have already lived a life all their own. They always bring character to a home, so mixing them with modern is a lovely idea. People will want to know where you got all of your unique vintage finds, but they probably won’t be able to find the same!

I hope you find your home full of character after using these tips. Leave any tips of your own in the comment section – thanks for visiting!

Create A Feeling Of Space In Your Home With These Tips And Tricks

Sometimes when you have overnight guests, it can feel really cramped and unpleasant. We all love having company over, but when there’s no space in the house to accommodate everybody, it can cause you a lot of stress. People who stay over arrive with bags and jackets and need a private space to sleep. Not all of us have a spare room or a spare bathroom, so the space needs to be shared. Here are some tips to create a less claustrophobic environment and multipurpose spaces to accommodate your guests:

Storage solutions

No matter what size house you have, you will always manage to fill it! There are some great space-saving storage solutions out there at the moment. Winter coats and spare bedding can be stored in vacuum bags. They take only a moment to pack and vacuum out the extra air. Then they can fit neatly into drawers, cupboards or containers. Plastic storage boxes are very handy when you need to empty out a cupboard or closet for guests. They’re weatherproof so can be stored anywhere.

Spare beds

Bunk beds or under bed guest beds save a great deal of space when they are not in use. They are very handy when you have guests over, as they can be ready dressed too. Sofa beds are also very handy for a multipurpose seating and sleeping solution. To save space, why not choose sectional sofas for your living room that include a sleeper section? You will then always have a spare bed handy for an impromptu guest.

Bathroom sharing

It can feel a little uncomfortable sharing a bathroom with guests. But sometimes there is no choice. You can pack up your own personal toiletries in a wash bag or caddy, and supply the same for guests. A stand-alone towel rail can be very handy for putting out guest towels, or storing yours out of their way. When there are lots of people in the house and only one bathroom, you might need to get up a little earlier to get your time in there!

Space at the table

It’s not often financially practical to treat everyone for a meal out. Instead, we need to be able to fit them all around the table. Extending tables are perfect in these situations. They can stay in their smaller position during the week, so they’re not obtrusive to the room. Then when you have guests, you can pull out the ends and sit nearly twice as many people. If you prefer gate leg tables, you can even find sets with extra chairs folded into the table storage area.

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Accommodating extra guests can be a challenge in a small family home. But with these tips and tricks you should be able to find the room to make it work. Do you regularly have a house full of the extended family during the holidays? Decorating your rooms in very pale and light colors helps give the illusion of a bigger space. Open windows help ease the stuffiness, and bean bags make for excellent additional seating. Happy holidays!