5 Ways To Make Your Home Classy

Are you looking for efficient but creative ways to add a splash of refined individuality to your home? While most homeowners want a beautifully decorated home that their friends will envy, many homeowners struggle to develop a style that has simple personal flair. Many will simply “copy and paste” the styles found in local stores or even purchase an entire ensemble of pre-set furnishings found in a department store. While these approaches are acceptable (at a bare minimum), Maid Sailors wants to share five easy ways to add instant swag to your home without depleting your funds. Add an extra, visible touch of individuality. Take your interior design game to the next level with these solid plays.

1. Update Your Pantry Doors

Your kitchen pantry is one of the most visible features in your space. Install a decorative pantry door to transform your kitchen’s pantry. For example, one idea is to install a framed glass pantry door with a gorgeous etched or frosted design that is suitable for the décor in the room. The frosted or etched design can conceal the items inside the pantry while also giving the space that extra touch of character that sets it apart from your friends’ kitchens.

2. Choose Hardware Loaded With Flair

With interior décor, less is more. Often, the smallest touches can have the biggest impacts on your room’s look. The hardware on your doors will determine the look that you’re trying to achieve; thus, it’s highly effective to choose unique hardware. For example, barndoor hardware works well with homes that have a rustic or country style. It can also look amazing in homes with restored wood features, such as distressed doors, cabinets and drawers. This is just one example of how hardware can be used to add a great finished look to the space (there are obviously hundreds of examples, if not thousands).

3. Add Dramatic Arches

If you want to make a truly elegant statement in your home, replace your standard 90-degree corners in doorways and entryways with dramatic arches. These can be enhanced with rounded corners and columns can be used sparingly for extra emphasis. This method gives a grand impression of the space and sets the stage for those entering the room. They also add graceful definition in the backdrop of the room that adds a decadent frame to the space. This may seem like a major undertaking, but the technique of adding arches and rounded corners is relatively simple. A contractor may be hired to help you produce the desired results in your home (for cheap).

4. Create Display Areas in the Kitchen

Many kitchens lack the same flair that other rooms have, and this is because there is often limited space to add accent pieces to décor and style. Most of the wall space may be covered by cabinets, backsplash or appliances. While the cabinets and backsplash may have styles of their own, you can add further definition and character to the room by creating decorative display areas. Install see-through glass cabinets, open shelves or other display areas. If you choose to use glass cabinets, keep in mind that the dishes and other pieces behind them will become part of the décor. Ultimately, consider if you want to have a few accent cabinets or if you want the entire cabinetry system to include see-through facades.

5. Install Decorative Tiles

Subtle variations with your tiles can revolutionize your home’s character. For example, even the most basic tile design can exude elegance if it’s installed diagonally. Another method is to alternate tile installation designs for extra flair; for example, the lower section of a tile back splash in the kitchen may be installed in an offset pattern. Additionally, there may be a decorative border followed by tile laid on the diagonal above this. Lastly, you can install standard tiles in combination with a gorgeous mosaic. This artistic touch will truly differentiate your space and set you milestones apart from your neighbors, friends and enemies (haha!).

 

While you may be tempted to mimic the styles showcased in magazines, home décor stores, and the internet, you really need small, subtle extra touches to make dramatic improvements to your personal space. Take a shot, and then take a screenshot. Maid Sailors can come clean up the mess after you’re done.

how to clean mold in washer machine

7 Tips to Prevent Mold in Your Front Load Washer

Does the idea of mold growing in your front load washer make you cringe? If so, you’re not alone. Front load washers are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning maintenance, which can cause issues like mold to develop over time. The good news is that you can prevent this mold from developing by following these seven tips to prevent mold in your front load washer.

Air Circulation

The most important thing you can do to prevent mold from growing in your washer is making sure it is getting enough air circulation. This means opening the door after every use and ensuring there are no physical obstructions blocking the venting.
Also, be mindful of how much laundry detergent you are using, as detergent will build up on the rubber seal and cause mold growth if not washed away.

Water Temperature

An important factor of preventing mold from growing in the washer is water temperature. If you are experiencing a problem with mold, try lowering your wash cycle’s water temperature. This can be done by pressing and holding the power button for 3 seconds to enter the Settings menu. From there, select Options, then Wash Cycles and finally Water Temperature. The ideal water temperature for cleaning clothes is about 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

Adding Bleach

One way to prevent mold from growing in your front load washer is by adding bleach. I would recommend adding a cup of bleach every time you do a load of laundry and rinse it out with water before you put the next load of laundry into the machine.

Don’t Use Fabric Softener

The best way to prevent mold from growing in your washer is by not using fabric softener. Fabric softener coats your clothing with a coating of detergent and oil, which will cause the soap scum to grow and cling onto the fabric. It also makes it harder for the water to get deep inside the fibers of the clothes. Instead, opt for cold-water wash cycles and use half as much detergent as usual.

Avoid Piling Your Clothes

1. Sort your laundry into colors and only wash one color at a time.
2. Check the pockets of your clothes for anything wet or sticky before putting them in the machine.
3. Add an extra rinse cycle if you notice any residue on your clothes after washing or drying them.
4. Use less detergent and make sure it is a detergent made for HE washers.

Vacuuming, Again and Again

Many people don’t think about vacuuming their washing machine, but it’s an important part of preventing mold. If the lint filter is dirty, then water and soap can easily run down into the washer drum and create a perfect environment for mold to grow. The more often you vacuum your washing machine, the less likely it will be that mold will develop.

Use Detergent Suited to Front-Loading Machines

Front load washers are a great option for eco-conscious consumers looking for a way to minimize their carbon footprint. However, they require special detergent that is suited to the machine’s design. You can find front load washer detergent at most big box stores and local cleaners. Be sure not to use liquid detergent, as it will clog the machine and cause mold buildup.

Book A Cleaning Service in NYC

Cleaning companies in NYC tend to offer laundry services when you book them for a cleaning. Interested in getting your home cleaned (and reducing effort to keep your washer clean)? Book a cleaning with Maid Sailors Cleaning Service!

The Benefits of Having A Humidifier in Your Home

Are you thinking about having a humidifier in your home but aren’t really sure about it? Or maybe you already have one but you don’t know all the benefits of using it. Either way, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve got a list of benefits to using a humidifier in your home including the best way to clean it, and how to use it. Keep reading!

Reduce Risk of Infection

Moist air is great for killing viruses and bacteria. They don’t spread as well in the moist air as they do dry air. Keeping a humidifier in your home could mean the difference between getting the flu this winter and staying healthy. It’s also good for preventing and reducing airborne allergies. If someone in your home is prone to seasonal allergies, it’s best to have a humidifier for them.

Have Healthier Plants

Houseplants already improve your household environment in a number of ways. They provide oxygen to the air and pull out the toxins. But depending on the plant, they can be a lot of work. Humidifiers can help you keep up with them by preventing the plant from drying out and dying. In return, you get a healthier plant, and a healthier you.

Heal A Cold Faster

Humidifiers can help you heal a cold faster. When the air is moist, your nasal passage and your throat will be moister and this will allow them to heal faster and prevent them from becoming dry and itchy. I don’t know about you but if there’s one thing I hate about a cold is an itchy throat!

Improve Your Sleep

Did you know you are more prone to snore if your nasal passage is dry? It’s true. So if you or your partner snores and it’s causing your nights’ sleep to be interrupted a humidifier can help add comfort to your sleep by adding moisture to the air.

Work Wonders With Essential Oils

Using essential oils can improve the benefits of using a humidifier by a long shot. Essential oils already have their own benefits to using them, which are amazing if you haven’t used them yet. So imagine adding them into your humidifier to get double the benefits. 

Certain oils like lemon oil and tea tree oil can help kill and prevent mold in your home. Eucalyptus oil helps you to relax and improves the quality of your airwaves. And oils like Jasmine and Rose have been proven to elevate your mood levels.

Note: If you are going to be using essential oils in your humidifier make sure it’s not a warm air machine. A warm air humidifier will cause the essential oils to heat to the machine and damage the therapeutic properties of it.

If you are going to be using a humidifier in your home it’s important to. ..

Clean It Regularly

Failing to clean your humidifier on a regular basis can cause bacteria and mold buildup inside. It will also make your job cleaning it a lot harder. In order to keep a clean home be sure to clean your machine at least once every two weeks.

Use Distilled Water

Tap water has minerals that can create buildup in your humidifier which can in return promote bacterial growth. Distilled or demineralized water contains fewer minerals so there won’t be as much buildup. Using the correct water will cut your cleaning time in half. You won’t need to clean it as often. And there will be a better airflow coming from the machine.

Why You Should Get Renter’s Insurance

If you pay rent on your residence, you should have a renter’s insurance policy for your protection and peace of mind. Even if your landlord or property management company doesn’t require tenants to carry renter’s insurance, there are so many reasons to have one. By having a better understanding of what renter’s insurance is and what it covers, as well as what to look for when shopping for a renter’s insurance policy, you can make sure you’re protected as a tenant.

What is Renter’s Insurance?

Specifically, a renter’s insurance policy is designed to provide property damage and personal injury liability coverage to those who rent their homes. A renter’s insurance policy can apply to any residential rental, whether it be a single-family home, apartment, duplex, or any structure in between.

One of the most common misconceptions renters have is that it’s their landlord’s responsibility if something happens to their rental unit. And while this may be partially true, the fact remains that the average landlord’s insurance coverage does not include protection for tenants’ personal property, nor does it include liability protection for tenants and any dependents living under their roof.

What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover?

A renter’s insurance policy, then, can provide you with added protection when you’re renting out a home, apartment, or other dwellings. If somebody breaks into your apartment, for example, your renter’s insurance policy can kick in and pay to replace items that are stolen such as jewelry or appliances such as a flat-screen TV. And with bodily injury liability coverage, your renter’s insurance policy can also protect you if a visitor is injured inside your rental.

Renter’s Insurance May Not Cover…

Of course, a renter’s insurance policy doesn’t cover everything—and it’s important to be aware of the limitations of a renter’s insurance policy before you buy. For example, if you have roommates, understand that their belongings will not be included as part of your protection. Theft or damage protection only applies to your personal items and the belongings of any dependents living with you. If you have a rental with roommates, they’ll need to purchase their own individual renter’s insurance policies.

It is also worth noting that a renter’s insurance policy will not cover pest-related damage to your property. For example, if a mouse gets into your apartment and chews through one of your television cables, this won’t be covered. However, your landlord may be responsible for covering property damage caused by pest problems in such a situation.

Reasons to Carry Renter’s Insurance

Now that you have a better understanding of what renter’s insurance is (and what it’s not), hopefully, it’s a little more clear as to why you need this type of coverage. Still not convinced? Consider these key benefits to carrying renter’s insurance.

Your Landlord Might Require It

These days, many landlords and property management companies are actually requiring that tenants carry a minimum amount of renter’s insurance coverage before moving in. This is a stipulation often included in the lease agreement, so if you’re planning on renting out a place in the near future, be sure to check the terms of your lease. If this is a requirement, you will need to provide proof of renter’s insurance at the time of your move-in. In addition, you may need an end-of-lease cleaning.

Protects Against Theft of Property

No matter how safe or secure your rental may be, it’s never a bad idea to have extra protection in place in the form of personal property protection and theft coverage. Unfortunately, a theft can happen to anybody at any time—and it’s not always in the form of somebody breaking into your home. A renter’s insurance policy will protect you even in a situation where somebody you allowed into your home (such as a friend or relative) ends up stealing some of your belongings.

The main thing to remember when it comes to seeking reimbursement for property theft is that you need to be able to prove not only that the property stolen was yours, but that it had a certain value as well. This is where keeping records of the amount paid for big-ticket items (such as flat-screen televisions and other electronics) as well as their serial numbers can come in handy if you ever need to make a claim.

Includes Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

Another reason to have renter’s insurance that many tenants don’t even think about is that it provides bodily injury liability protection; this means that if somebody is injured inside your rental, you can be protected against legal action. Consider, for example, that you’re throwing a party at your rental home and somebody trips on a rug in your living room, resulting in injuries. Without bodily injury coverage through your renter’s insurance policy, you could be held legally and financially responsible for that person’s medical bills and other costs related to the accident. You will also need cleaners for your post-party cleaning!

With a renter’s insurance policy in place, you can enjoy added protection and peace of mind if an injury ever does occur on your rental property.

It’s More Affordable Than You Might Think

All too often, tenants are initially hesitant to purchase renter’s insurance because they assume it will be too costly. In reality, renter’s insurance is extremely affordable—especially when you consider all that it covers. Prices for renter’s insurance can vary based on the amount of coverage you need and where you live, but it is not uncommon to pay less than $15 per month for coverage.

Your Policy Can Be Tailored to Suit Your Needs

Renter’s insurance policies, like many other types insurance, can be tailored and customized to suit your lifestyle so that you aren’t paying for more coverage than you need. With most renter’s insurance policies, you can decide how much protection you want against theft/damage, personal injury, property damage, and more. You can also customize your deductible and other key aspects of your policy to make sure it works for you.

Shopping Around for Renter’s Insurance

Ready to start shopping for renter’s insurance? There are a few tips to keep in mind that will help you find the right policy for the right price.

Don’t Overlook the Deductible

Start by making sure you’re comfortable with the deductible you choose. After all, the deductible is the amount that you’ll be required to pay out-of-pocket before your coverage will really kick in. A higher deductible will mean lower monthly payments, whereas a lower deductible will increase your monthly payments slightly.

Know What’s Covered vs. What’s Not

Since renter’s insurance policies are totally customizable, you’ll want to make sure you have a solid understanding of what will be covered versus what may not be covered by your specific policy. For example, theft of your flat-screen TV and TV mount may be covered, but the theft of your roommate’s video game console won’t be unless he or she has purchased their own separate policy.

Calculate the Amount of Coverage You Need

Deciding on how much coverage you need can be difficult, as this will require you to roughly estimate the total value of your belongings. The good news is that there are some free tools available to help you decide on the right coverage amount for your needs, the size of your rental property, and other factors. The main thing to keep in mind when deciding on how much coverage you need is the replacement value of your most precious/valuable items. This may include anything from electronics to clothing and jewelry.

Consider Additional Policies

Not all items may be covered by a renter’s insurance policy and may thus require their own “rider” policy or additional coverage purchased. Wedding and engagement rings are common examples of types of jewelry that often fall outside the scope of a traditional renter’s insurance policy. Check with your insurance company to see if you can add a rider policy for these items so you can enjoy added protection and peace of mind.

Understand the Claims Process

Before choosing a policy with a specific insurance company, make sure you understand exactly how their claims process works and that you’re comfortable with it. Claims processes can vary from one company to the next, as can the total amount of time needed to process and complete a claim.

Compare Identical Quotes Between Companies

As you’re comparing quotes to find the best value for your money, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Check to be sure, for example, that the deductibles and coverage amounts are the same on each quote—and that they include the same type of coverage as well. Above all else, you’ll want to choose the policy that offers the best value—not necessarily the policy that’s the cheapest. Remember that you generally get what you pay for when it comes to renter’s insurance coverage.

The Bottom Line on Renter’s Insurance

If you don’t already have a renter’s insurance policy in place, now is the time to start shopping around. For a relatively small monthly cost, the right renter’s insurance policy can provide you with additional protection and peace of mind that your landlord’s insurance most likely does not.

garage

Is Your Garage Putting Your Home At Risk?

Do you live in your garage at times? Are you one of those people who has a poker table in their garage? Do you spend a lot of time out there? Or do you live in a community where people leave their doors open an smile at one another? That’s all fine and dandy until you get so busy enjoying life that you forget to take necessary precautions for keeping your family safe.

Now, this isn’t some article that’s going to make you want to call your insurance company. There’s nothing faulty wrong with your garage. It’s fine. However, there may be some things that you’re not doing out there that are putting you and your family at risk.

Here’s a list of reasons your garage could be putting your home at risk:

  • It’s Probably The Main Entrance

Most of the time the garage door can act as the main entrance to your home. You might even use that door more frequently than the front door. And maybe certain people know this about your home. If this is the case, It’s time to upgrade your security as soon as possible. Add new locks, with deadbolts. Put a motion noise detector inside, so you’ll  be able to hear anybody that walks in. And install security cameras. Nowadays you can even put up cameras that are easily accessed from an app on your smartphone.

  • Your Car Is There

Having a vehicle is a big investment. The last thing you want to do is walk outside in the morning and notice that your car is gone. Trust me, it happens more often than not. Even inside your garage keep your car doors locked and install security features. You can also try frosting any windows that are attached to the garage and then try adding motion detector lights. When those lights pop on, chances are they’ll get scared and run.

  • Expensive Items and Tools Are Stored There

Yes, your car is valuable but you probably have other valuable items in there too. Storing valuables out there is like leaving your kids unattended in a park bathroom. Just because they right outside don’t always mean they’re safe. Keep things that are truly valuable locked in a fireproof safe.

If your garage needs a little TLC we can tidy it up in an hour or less.

A Guide to Maintaining a Yard Drain

Otherwise known as landscape drains, yard drains are pretty common. Depending on the type of landscaping you do or if you have an ingrown pool in your yard, you might have a yard drain. It’s just like having a drain in your basement floor or the bathtub. In this case, it’s used to prevent your yard from flooding. But just like other drains, a yard drain can get backed up.

But the real question is what do you do when your yard drain gets backed up? That’s what you’re here for right? Let’s start by looking at the basics of a yard drain.

The Basics

As we discussed a yard drain is pretty simple: It’s a collection of water that’s carried to a termination point to prevent yard flooding. Though they often deliver collected water to a nearby street or a storm drain, they can also terminate into a dry well or a surface-drainage field. 

The Maintenance 

If you have a yard drain the best time to service it is in the fall. The fall is the time when the leaves start to fall clogging up your gutters and your drains. If your gutters happen to connect to your yard drain be sure to clear that first before working on the drain. If you don’t do that you’ll just be making more work for yourself. No need to backtrack.

When servicing your yard drain the first thing you want to do is remove the cover and remove any leaves or guck that you can by hand (a shop vac works too). You want to remove anything that shouldn’t be in there. Next, you want to check the termination area (the ending) just like you did the top of the drain and make sure there isn’t anything clogging it. Once that’s done you can take your garden hose and flush it out to ensure that it’s working properly.  You’ll want to repeat this servicing once a month during the fall.

The Back-Up

If you’ve serviced your drain and it still isn’t working properly chances are it’s backed up. In this case, there are a few things you can do.

Consider a Drain bladder

A drain bladder is a rubber bag that you can attach to a garden hose. After you put it on the hose and put the hose in the drain turn the water on. The bag will then become pressurized and seal the pipe. It will then shoot water out at pressure to remove the clog.

Try a Motorized Drain Auger

If you’re familiar with a roto-rooter (used to clear sewer drains), this is pretty much the same thing. Motorized drain augers use a rotating cutter cable with a head that cuts roots and debris from inside the drain’s pipe.

Pro Tip: Whichever method you use to unclog your drain, be sure to check both the entrance and exit of the drain. You may need to do the same thing at both ends to ensure both ends are working properly. Check out our post on mistakes to avoid in the front yard.

How To Turn Your Garage Into A Cozy Extra Room With A Solid Garage Door

Renovating the rooms in your house or apartment is not uncommon but, you may think of converting your garage sometimes. This can be necessitated for many reasons. You may decide to sell your vehicle or opt for rented garages which prove to be cost effective. Sometimes, you may feel like expanding the house, but owing to monetary and other reasons adding another room may not be viable.

Converting a garage into a livable room is certainly possible, but this conversion can be quite tedious. To ensure the conversion is done properly and you do not end up drying up your bank balance- proper planning is necessary.

Uses For a Converted Garage

You can turn your existing garage into any of the following, subject to available money and legal clearance:

  • An extra bedroom
  • A Children playroom
  • A home-office
  • A home-gym
  • A guest room
  • An additional kitchen

Step by Step Guide To Garage Conversion

Converting an existing garage to a room is never easy and you may need the services of specialized contractor agencies to get the job done in the right manner. You also need to get a certain feasibility checking done.

The converted garage will have a drainage system which will be added to the general drainage network. If the garage is part of an apartment shared with others, you need clearance from apt entities. Before embarking into the conversion-these clauses have to be checked and resolved.

  • The door– First of all, the existing garage door has to be replaced. The shutter or other types of door used in garages will not suffice if it has to be returned into a proper room- to start with! You may not actually need another door and fill the door space by setting up a wall if you want to connect the new room with the rest of the house through other sides.

Otherwise, a new door has to be set up. For aesthetic and practical purposes, the new door should resemble the existing doors in your house. A new wall has to be set up to accommodate the new door.

  • The walls – Based on the design style of the existing garage, walls may have to be set up on one or more sides to make it a room. For this, checking the foundation of the garage is very important. In many such cases, a deeper foundation may have to be set up. The soil type, nearby trees, drainage possibilities have to be assessed for that. The wall beneath the ground has to be built in the best way so that it can support the wall above the ground. You may opt for solid walls or cavity walls with thermal insulation inside. The latter may be necessary for areas with extreme climate conditions. Based on the condition of the existing garage wall, that has to be replaced with a new wall or enhanced with an outer layer of insulation.
  • The floor– After setting the walls up for converting your garage into a room, the floor has to be revamped. You may replace the floor if it is worn out or opt for timber flooring atop the concrete layer. Of course, based on your budget, you can opt for stone or marble flooring too. You have to think of the existing flooring in the house for the sake of aesthetic similarities and usage needs. If the garage floor is originally below that of the rest of the house, the floor level should be increased. It may be prudent to apply a damp proof coat on the floor for staying safe.
  • The roof– Some garages are made under a patio or have a room above it. In that case, you need not to think of altering or enhancing the roof, but in other cases, it will be necessary. Typical garage roofs are meant for keeping rain and ice off but when that becomes a room, such roof will simply not fit the bill. You can opt for a flat roof with insulation. Or, you can go for pitch roofs with added insulation between the ceiling and roof.
  • Ventilation– This is another important aspect involved in the conversion of the garage into a room. Again, the type of ventilation will depend on the intended usage of the room. Typically, a kitchen requires more ventilation than a study room. The room should have one or more window, based on the location.

Based on usage, extractor fans on the outside may have to be set up. It is better to set up windows in a way that let natural light seep in.

  • Electrical setup– The converted room will have to be equipped with the required electrical wiring. Thereafter, the wiring has to be connected to the main wiring of the house. If you plan to install any high voltage appliance in the room, suitable provisions have to be made too.
  • Cleaning tips and tricks -While converting the garage to the room, arrangements have to be made for cleanup and drainage. If you plan to cook occasionally in the room, a chimney has to be set up. If the surrounding is dusty, setting up an air purifier unit in the room can be of great help.

These simple tips can help you convert your garage into a cozy room without having to break the bank.

8 Top Home Improvement Projects For Spring Cleaning

Spring will officially have sprung on March 20, and we couldn’t be more excited for the warm weather, sunshine and cleaning potential. Americans love cleaning in the spring—about 66 percent of them say they partake, according to a recent survey—but simultaneously find it hard to get motivated. One of the very best ways you can get yourself pumped up about sweeping, mopping, dusting and purging is to make a priorities list and work your way through it. Here are some of the top cleaning and home improvement projects you can add to your seasonal bucket list.

  1. Air it Out: Rug-Beatings and Deep-Sweepings —We tend to deep clean in the spring because we shutter the doors and windows during the winter, trapping in the dust, dirt, and allergens. When it’s finally time to crack the windows, the first thing you want to do is tackle all the dust that’s settled to get rid of that dingy, stale feel. Remove any removable floor coverings—area rugs, runners, welcome mats, etc. —and take them outside for a good beating and some deep vacuuming. Inside, dust all surfaces with a microfiber cloth before giving the floors a thorough sweep.
  2. Prepare to Chill: Ceiling Fan Upgrades—Did you know that you’re supposed to change the way your ceiling fan rotates in the spring? When the weather starts to warm up and your goal is to cool your space, be sure that your fan is moving forward (counter-clockwise) to maximize the cooling effect. Now’s also a good time to clean and upgrade your fans. Add a new fan to the porch or patio or upgrade your old, energy-hogging models to save you some money on cooling. It’s always a good idea to replace ceiling fans in the spring so you’re not scrambling when it’s especially hot.
  3. KonMari for All: Part With the Excess—Are you, as much of the world, crazy for KonMari? The ultra-popular organization method—made famous by Marie Kondo in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and it’s coordinating, new Netflix show—can help you do a massive purge so that your space is prepped for deep cleaning and big DIY projects. The idea is that you keep only what “sparks joy” and get rid of everything else. Once you’ve purged the excess, you can get serious about installing new storage racks or investing in storage cabinets and closet systems.
  4. Efficiency Upgrade: HVAC Maintenance —Like the ceiling fan, your home’s air conditioning system does the vast majority of its heavy lifting during the summer months. One of the best things you can do to prepare for warmer weather is to make sure that it’s operating properly and efficiently before it kicks into high gear. This means having an expert come out for an inspection and, possibly, making some replacements and upgrades. You may want to consider repairing or replacing your economizer to ensure that your unit is running as efficiently as possible.
  5. Revel in the Ventilation: Paint and More —Now that it’s comfortable enough outside to keep the windows open for prolonged periods, you can use some of those chemical cleaners and paints that you might avoid when you’re cooped up in the house. Most professionals recommend doing any big house-painting projects in the spring because it’s warm enough to ventilate with open windows but dry enough so it doesn’t take too long for the paint to dry. You can also begin to use some of your harsher cleaners—in moderation, of course—as long as you’re in a room with open windows. 
  6. Get Ready for Rain: Basement Waterproofing—Basement waterproofing can be a huge and costly job, but it’s vital for keeping things dry, especially in old homes. Spring is the best time to get the basement waterproofed, especially if you notice water pooling or puddling after a heavy rain. If you’re not able to invest in a whole waterproofing job, which can run you as much as $10,000, at least make sure that you’ve got the moisture in-check with dehumidifiers. This will help prevent mold, mildew and gross odors.
  7. Lighten Up: Install Outdoor Light Fixtures—Of course, a big portion of your springtime to-do list will be outdoor tasks, like mulching, gardening and scrubbing down the patio furniture. While you’re thinking about fresh-air living, consider the lighting. Now is a great time to take stock and install all types of outdoor lighting—security lights, landscape lights, architectural uplighting and general lighting (and make sure they’re all LED fixtures to save you some money on your energy bill). This way, as soon as it’s warm out, you’ll be able to enjoy the porch or patio to its fullest.
  8. Cha-Ching: Focus on High-Value Upgrades —If you still aren’t sure where you should funnel your DIY dollars, consider doing a few small things that can help increase the value of your home. You might be surprised to learn the highest payoff upgrades. For example, the experts say that painting your front door black could raise the value of your home by $6,000! Other great ways to boost your home’s value without a huge spend include landscaping, painting, building a deck and finishing your basement.

 

Making the Most Out of Spring Without Overdoing It 

Spring is the perfect time to start checking off that ever-growing chore list, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t fret! Many of these jobs can be done just as effectively when the summer rolls around, so don’t try to cram them all into a few short months. Focusing on the highest priority spring home improvement projects, both big and small, will help you make the most out of your living space so you enjoy it for longer.

Kitchen Hacks

5 Hacks For Your Small Kitchen

If you live in New York City, your kitchen is probably part of your bathroom. Even if you’re well adjusted in the suburbs, you probably wish you had a Kitchen fit for Food TV. Maid Sailors wants you to know that it’s possible without cleaning out your savings account. You have to think outside the frying pan in order to make your small kitchen more spacious. Here are 5 time-tested hacks to optimize kitchen space.

  1. Open It Up

The kitchen can sometimes cause claustrophobia. Cabinets hang over your head, sleep by your feet and surround you. Sometimes it is even impossible to reach what’s inside them. Sometimes, space just comes down to the number of cabinets you have. Open up space by exchanging cabinets you can barely reach for shelves you can clearly see. Use shelves for easily accessible and often necessary items – spices, condiment, and oils. For cabinets placed above your head, replace with shelves and place dishes, cups and other utensils. Remove cabinets you don’t need and liberate your kitchen.

  1. Use Lights

It’s all about the perception. Poor lighting choices will induce a prison-feel. For example, fluorescent lighting will give your kitchen a sickish glow, making it seem miniature and stressful. Cure your kitchen by installing incandescent lighting that will introduce artificial sunlight; for best results, set it up above your countertops. Also, replace lighting on your ceiling with incandescent spot lighting directed towards the cabinetry and introduce the shadows that will illuminate and “enlarge” your kitchen. Give your kitchen some character by installing some floor lighting fixtures. If you plan on having this kind of fixtures, make sure that your flooring is on point; play with the colors to set the mood just right (but don’t get too carried away).

  1. Change Colors

Colors change everything. For our purposes, use them to transform the atmosphere. Want to make your kitchen ceilings seem higher than they are? Draw the attention upwards by painting the walls in pastel colors and add some white details; alternatively, you can pick lightly colored cabinets and countertops. Does your kitchen induce a dullness that reminds you of mayonnaise? Incorporate some bold details and repaint a few cabinets or a table with some vivid colors, such as red or purple. Also, if you have some pipes that simply cannot be hidden, try incorporating them into the whole design.

  1. Decorate

While empty walls can give away the impression of bigger space, they often facilitate unnecessary clutter all over your tiny kitchen. Those dull walls should be utilized and you can create so much more additional storage. Mount an appealing pot rack and hang all of your shiny pots and pans as decoration. Put up some shelves for your spices, decorative boxes, and bowls. Set up a small wooden rack for your favorite drinks or bottles of wine. If you haven’t caught our drift, understand this: the possibilities are endless. You can even install a small foldable wall-mounted table for enjoying a cup of coffee or cutting up some veggies.

  1. Pantry

But wait! “My house didn’t come with a pantry!” you’re probably thinking. Well, remember when we asked you think outside of the frying pan? Turn an old, unused closet in your hallway into a do-it-yourself pantry. Fill the shelves with boxes of food, flour, and cans. Organize each shelf, group items by their type and call it a day. This additional storage area will make your kitchen clutter free and leave allow you to use other parts more efficiently.

Don’t blow the bank on construction. With these simple hacks, you can allow your kitchen to evolve from a claustrophobic storage box to an open, attractive culinary shrine. If you end up getting too carried away afterward, call Maid Sailors to clean up the mess.

8 Tips To Transform Your Living Room Space

Your living room is the room that you often find yourself spending a lot of time in. It’s where you watch TV with your family, sit down and visit when you have company. Your living room is also probably one of the first areas that your guests will see when they enter your home.

You want it to be comfortable and visually appealing while making the most of the space you have. There are many different ways that you can transform your living room with spending little to low money.

Layout

Sometimes, simply rearranging your furniture can help you make the space look and feel more pleasant. This can help you make the most of your living room and give it that fresh, new, look.

When you arrange your furniture in different areas, you also want to rearrange the pictures, flat screen TV and any decorations you have on your wall too.

If you have any decor or furniture that you can bring from another room into your living room you can add a unique flare that you didn’t have before. Sometimes, using what you already have to make something new is all it takes to make it feel truly transformed.

Change the Color

If you are looking for a louder statement than simply hanging around your furniture, you can go with a whole new look by changing up the color. This can be done by painting the room or even adding wallpaper, which has made a comeback recently.

If you aren’t sure that you want to go as drastic as painting the whole room a completely different color, you can paint an accent wall and tie everything together with the new wall decor.

Decorating Your Floor

If you have hardwood floors, you can add a little flare by getting an area rug or a type of carpet that can fit underneath your coffee table or end tables.

If you have carpeting, you can also do this which is fun because you can find area rugs that tie in color from the carpeting and your furniture to bring everything together.

Furniture Covers

If you aren’t ready to throw out your perfectly good furniture and start from scratch, you can buy covers that can change up the color scheme of your living room that is tailored to fit your chairs and couch. This is a great way to make something old look new while saving a little bit of money in the process.

Lighting

Lighting can make or break your living room space. You want a light that isn’t harsh but gives you enough light to entertain or spend time reading. Certain lighting techniques can also make a small space look larger and warmer.

If you want to add smart lighting or any new type of lighting to your living room, you can hire an electrician who can rewire and get you set up with the perfect system that can create a nice mood for your living space. If you are an electrician who specializes in lighting systems for the home there are options for you to manage these projects.

Natural Lighting

Make use of the windows you may have in your living room by letting in some natural light. If you have heavy curtains up, you can switch to sheer curtains that cover your windows but make the natural light come in softly.

There are also fun window decals that you can put over your windows that allow privacy while giving a neat prism effect as the light catches through them.

Plants

Having indoor plants has great health benefits and also makes the room look fresh and comfortable. Some indoor plants act as filters against allergens and other respiratory irritants in the air. On top of purifying your air, they provide a great aesthetic environment to the area.

Decor

Sometimes, the simplest things can make a big difference. You can opt to change out all of your pictures. You can stick with a theme when it comes to your wall decor and little knick-knacks that you set out on your tablespace.

Portraits on canvas add a great pop of color and make family portraits look more colorful and lively. Tapestries are also a fun way to decorate a wall and add a little color.

There are also things you can add to any flat surface such as a coffee table or end table. Lamps with decorative lamp shades, figurines or plaques that have inspiring messages on them can all help to tie into your space and make it look new.

Transforming your living room can be fun and can add a sense of newness to something that may have felt old and tired to you. If you are uncertain of where to start, you can always start with something small. Any one of the choices above can work. Or you can do all of them and enjoy your new space.