Top Living Room Decoration Ideas To Increase Your Home’s Aesthetic Appeal

A living room is one of the many places in your home that you spend most of your time relaxing in leisure. For most, it is probably the place to enjoy themselves with a cup of coffee or a book to read. Like most of the best painting companies emphasize, one should have a comforting while an attractive living room that not only will give a satisfying ambiance but also appeal to your visitors.

Here are some catchy living room decoration ideas that can increase the aesthetic appeal for your home:

Go With Light Colors

Many of the painting services recommend light color interiors with green, gray, etc. especially for living rooms because they create a sense of openness and harmony. For some people, experiencing spacious places is relieving, and it gives them a comfortable environment to spend their time in solitude or with a company. The light colors can go well with dark-colored furniture with crème colored upholstery.

Use the Floor Completely

Another element that can make your living rooms more appealing is a renovated floor. Flooring services focus on matching the floors with the interior design and the paint you intend to go with. For most, a wooden floor or laminate floor with wooden style sheets will go perfectly with the design as well as fit your budget too. In addition, you can also choose to put a carpet or a rug that matches the theme of the furniture you have.

Install A Bold Wallpaper

One of the many trends for decorating your living rooms includes wallpapers. Wallpapers are one of the items that can easily venture with the interiors of your living room. Whether light-colored or dark-colored wall paint, you can easily install an appealing wallpaper, mosaic, abstract art, etc. can go really cool, bringing out an attractive contrast. Note that cleaning wallpaper is a bit tricky as you do not want to discolor it. 

Choose Wisely

What good are the renovations and additions if you aren’t able to put them according to the theme of your place? Although designing your home is totally at your exposure, still, you should put a perfect artwork into place. Painting services focus upon choosing the theme that you want whether traditional, tropical vibe, urban appeal, etc. Brainstorm your layout and then go for the design. Choosing trendy colors and combinations of light and dark will help arouse the appeal of your living room efficiently.

Lighting Is Good

Lighting and chandeliers are some of the many elements that bring out a cool and inspiring look in your living room design. There’s no need to install heavy chandeliers especially if you’re living room is already crowded. Although attractive, it will make your place overwhelming and congested. Install small or medium-sized lanterns or ceiling lights that come in elegant designs. Ensure that they do not block the light and find a perfect spot.

Installing Blinds

Another element that can increase the appeal of your living room is the blinds that you install. A good painting company will illuminate why blinds are an efficient way of not only controlling the light that comes in the room but also help to control the energy consumptions. You can easily go with dark-colored blinds including brown, black, charcoal, etc. with light-colored wall paint. Or you can choose to install light-colored with a dark painted background.

Get Shelves 

Shelves are an efficient way of sorting and storing stuff. You can add shelves alongside the fireplace you install or in addition to it. It is not necessary that the shelves have books though. You can choose to place a jar with fragrant leaves or add decoration pieces too. Note that if you do place shelves on your fireplace, you will need to clean your fireplace consistently if you use it to prevent soot buildup on the shelves.

Go Green

Houseplants are an efficient way of improving the oxygenation of your home. Although you would need to take good care for the plant in order to mitigate the chances of any pests or leaves dying out. If you are a fan of gardening, you can choose to install small flowerpots including anthurium, chinses money plants, coffee plant, etc. that would add to the aesthetic appeal of your living room.

Get Good Seating

What good is a living room if it can’t even give you a comfortable sitting? Although it’s not the fault of the living room but of the designer. You may think getting high-class furniture or velvet coated sofas will add to the exotic attractiveness of your living room. However, a simple rocking chair can also bring out the comfort that you want. In other words, choose furniture that would not only go best with the theme of your living room but also give maximum utility. Simple yet elegantly made sofas could do the same. Choose contrasting colored furniture, particularly if you want a carpet placed underneath it.

Stay Neutral

Just like unisex t-shirts, getting neutral-colored furniture will also add to the ambiance of your living room. A light crème colored sofa would go best with any dark-colored blinds, carpet, and walls, as recommended by many painting services. You can also choose to add linens and other items as a compliment.

Blend

It is not necessary that you keep to a specific niche of interior designing and focus on creating a theme of only traditional or modern style for your living room. Blending these both can also help provide a stunning outlook for your living room. Give some contemporary touches with patterned carpets or textured fabrics that will give out a great appeal.

Make Some Space

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you need not stuff your living room with items, furniture or extras that would make your place look crowdy. Remember you can still make a statement with a low number of articles elegantly placed. Keep your audience in mind. If you expect guests every now and then, you may want to consider adding sitting arrangements. However, is you seldom expect guests that it is ok to have a low number of sitting added with hanging or a rocking chair near the windows that would give you a relieving place to spend your time in leisure. 

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.

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 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.

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.

Marie Erhart is a Success Manager at FieldPulse, creators of field service software that lets you run your entire contracting business from a single app. She works with contractors to help them grow their business using best practices.

Plants And Colors That Go Best With A Bright Front Door

There is nothing more welcoming than beautiful, bright front doors. Painting your door a bright, bold color is among the easiest techniques to change the entire look of your outdoor and create a beautiful or a welcoming first impression.

Once you have selected a vivid shade of orange, red, purple or lime, it can be difficult to know other outdoor colors that work well with it. You can make your entryway with beautiful garden plants and paint colors that complement your bright front door. Here the main ways that plants and colors go best with bright front doors.

Color Strategies

To achieve a beautiful outdoor, you should balance your bright front doors with outdoor paint and the window trim in a neutral color that will enhance and complement your door color. Evergreen shrubs, flowering plants and potted flowers placed by your entryway provide you and your family with another opportunity to match a bright front door. You can also pull bright paint colors into your landscape with flowering plants and bright berries in a similar hue or utilize the blue-green or dark-green plants to balance the bold door.

Coral

Coral is an orange-pink paint that makes your home exterior feel cheerful, attractive and a little daring to implement or use on your front door. You should emphasize bold coral with the outdoor paint in medium grey or charcoal. In both summer and spring, coral mixes well with the tropical blooms and lush foliage such as peachy-petaled rose and creamy yellow trumpet. During winter, the coral acts as a welcome sport in the darker and sparser landscape.

Aqua

Wake up your home’s exterior with an unexpected range of light turquoise plants and flowers. The bright, spring-like color seems equally fresh both on traditional and modern homes. It pairs well with light grey or white outdoor paint. For landscapes that work well or favor foliage plants over flowers, you can pair them with a blue-green front door with Stachys Byzantine or a silvery lamb’s ear. You can also match your door and entryway with medium-green shrubs such as pittosporum and boxwood. Also, egg blue paint looks charming, particularly with mixed pastel-colored blooms and cottage-style perennial beds.

Paprika

A rich red-orange outdoor color is an essential and useful transitional color. You can use it to create stark and make your modern home feel more inviting and warm. It also provides the traditional-style homes with a contemporary edge. To achieve the much-needed beauty, you should mix it with outdoor paint colors in cool-toned grey such as weathered natural wood and charcoal. For plants and flowers, chose those with blue-green foliage and grey-green foliage such as the dusty miller or the honeybush that acts as a cooling complement for the fiery-hot paint.

Chartreuse

Lime green is a common color selection for a bright front door particularly those on the contemporary-style homes. Your home will feel modern and fresh without looking like you are trying all your best to make it beautiful. Also, it works well with various exterior paint colors like grey, white, black, navy, brown and beige. Pull your lime color into your garden beds with various accents of chartreuse foliage plants like the coral bells or Mediterranean spurge. For beauty and more drama, you can pair chartreuse with blue-green or dark plum-colored foliage plants such as the purple smoke bush.

Meyer Lemon

Meyer lemon makes your home exterior feel more fresh and beautiful. It also makes your front door feel carefree and contemporary. A yellow color also works well with a traditional-style home when you picture it with white trim or light grey siding. To achieve a modern look, you can use both yellow and stark white or black color palette which is readily available.

Variegated or dark green foliage plants, as well as yellow-centered flowers, would make excellent entryway shrubs for this look. Draw the yellow lemon into your landscape with the citrus tree in front of your yard. All the citrus fruits ripen during the winter, providing both homeowners and visitors with a welcome surprise of color in a subdued landscape. Also, a splash of punchy orange color on your front door immediately attracts or draws attention to entryways from a sidewalk. Shiny or bright shades of orange colors work well with mid-century modern-style homes with neutral color palettes or clean lines.

About the Author

Jessica Kane is a writer for Nick’s Building Supply, Inc., the best place for custom made or replacement front doors online. 

Understanding Hoarding Disorder

During the past decade, a considerable amount has been written and broadcast about hoarding. Attention to hoarding has even reached the level that more than one widely-watched television program has been in production.

Regardless of the attention paid to hoarding, it remains a largely hidden phenomenon in many situations. The reality is that you may have a person who is hoarding in your life and yet you may have no idea that is occurring.

Another factor to bear in mind is that hoarding can be challenging to evaluate. Challenges associated with evaluating hoarding stems not only from the fact that it more often than not is a fairly well-hidden endeavor but because issues connected to hoarding change over time and are of different severities. For example, a significantly disorganized person is not classified as a hoarder. Moreover, hoarding itself is classified in different categories based on a consideration of a variety of factors.

If you suspect a person in your life is hoarding, a starting point for you is self-education about hoarding disorder. A starting point for understanding hoarding is to better understand how the disorder is evaluated and rated in the first instance.

Definition of Hoarding Disorder

Hoarding is a mental health disorder. It is more than the accumulating “a bunch of junk,” as some observers remark when encountered with hoarding. Rather, hoarding disorder is defined as a persistent inability to part with or discard possessions due to a persistent perceived need to save them. An individual with hoarding disorder experiences a keen, even overpowering, sense of stress at the thought of getting rid of items. The resulting excessive accumulation of items can result in a residence becoming unlivable and making it very difficult for house cleaning services to help you.

Five Levels Associated with Hoarding

Experts in assisting people with this disorder have developed a five-tier system for classifying hoarding.

Level One

At Level One, no extraordinary issues at a residence necessitate special consideration. A person at Level One may be disorganized, but he or she is not suffering from hoarding disorder. Indeed, a person at Level One may be chronically disorganized. Nonetheless, doors, stairways, and windows appropriately are accessible. These are no sanitation issues. Pet control is obvious, both in regard to sanitation as well as behavior.

Level Two

Level Two does not rise to the level of hoarding. Nonetheless, there are significant issues at a residence. For example, at least one major entryway into a residence is blocked and unusable. Moreover, at least one major appliance or the HVAC system has not been working properly for a period of time. Clutter obstructs some living spaces. Animal control may be an issue, both with sanitation and behavior. Other odors may be present in a residence, arising from dirty clothes and dishes.

Level Three

When a situation rises to Level Three, it is considered the “pivot point” at which a person can be classified as afflicted with hoarding disorder. Signs of Level Three include HVAC devices not working for more than one season as well as damage to the residential structure itself. There is very likely to be an insect or rodent infestation at a residence. The amount of clutter has increased to the point that primary areas of a residence are not accessible or functional. Unsanitary conditions exist, including severely soiled food prep areas and uncleaned toilets.

Level Four

When a situation reaches Level Four, hoarding is considered serious. Clutter at the residence has extended to the point that things normally kept inside are outside a residence. Structural damage is more significant. Sewer issues may exist. Insect and rodent infestations are highly likely. Living space in a residence is markedly diminished. More than one room cannot be used for its intended purpose

Level Five

Level Five represents a state of severe hoarding. Some individuals seeing a Level Five hoarding situation fairly would call it “catastrophic.” All living spaces in a residence are unusable for their intended purposes or impassable all together. Bathtubs, showers, sinks, and toilets are not functional. Appliances do not function. HVAC systems do not work. Rotting food and human urine and excrement are present. Dishes and utensils are unusable if present at all. Clutter has completely taken over a residence.

Five Hoarding Assessment Categories

In determining what level is assigned to a particular residential situation, five assessment categories are utilized.

Zoning and Structure

The first assessment is whether a residence is in compliance with zoning ordinances. (A consideration of health code compliance also comes into play.) The structure itself is examined for integrity and damage.

Pets and Animals

The second assessment considers the overall control over and cares for animals that are at the premises. This also includes an examination of the presence of pests and vermin.

Household Functionality

An examination of household functions and functionalist is a key assessment. A major consideration is whether rooms in a residence can be used for their intended purposes.

Safety and Health

The safety and health assessment is an evaluation of the overall sanitation at a residence.

Personal Protective Equipment

Finally, based on an overall evaluation of the state of a residence, a determination is made as to whether biohazardous conditions exist warranting the use of personal protective equipment to undertake hoarder property cleanup. A determination is made as to whether a biohazard remediation professional must be called in to assist in remediation the hoarding situation. Professional assistance of this nature is necessary when dealing with a Level Five hoarding situation.

How To Sell, Donate Or Junk Furniture In NYC

One of the worst parts of living in NYC is moving. You can’t bring your furniture on the subway, a cab will never stop, and getting a moving truck near your front door is almost impossible. That’s why many New Yorkers simply buy cheap furniture and get rid of it when they have to move. But what exactly are you supposed to do with it?

Leaving Old Furniture On The Curb

Unlike in most neighborhoods, you can’t just leave your furniture on the curb for someone to take in New York City. To begin with, it’s illegal for someone to take items left on the curb. Anything you leave out becomes city property, and no one is allowed to touch it even if you leave up a sign saying it’s free.

You also can’t just leave your furniture out for trash collection. Bulk items require a special appointment for pickup. They’re free to schedule if you can get an appointment, but getting the right time can be difficult if you don’t want to be without furniture before your moveout date.

In addition, your landlord might have something to say about you leaving furniture out. They can set rules on how you bring furniture out of the building and where you can leave it. In many cases, they’ll simply ban leaving things out on the curb. Since they’re the property owner, it’s within their rights to do so unless you managed to have furniture disposal included in your lease.

Donating Used Furniture

New York City has a wide range of donation options available. This includes big names like Goodwill and The Salvation Army, local churches and charities, and other specialized non-profits.

If you don’t already have an organization in mind, you can check out donateNYC for a complete list of organizations that accept donations in the city. Some will come to you, while others won’t help you much because they require you to bring your furniture to them. More on that later.

Selling Used Furniture

You can also sell your used furniture on websites like Craigslist and Facebook, in traditional classified ads, to consignment shops, or directly to other people. The trouble here isn’t so much where to list your furniture but how hard it will be to actually sell.

Most consignment shops and other middlemen won’t come to you unless you have something very valuable. Even then, the pickup costs will reduce what you receive for your furniture.

If you go the private route, you could find a steady stream of lowballers, flakes, and just plain crazy people before you find a reasonable buyer. Remember, these are the same people you ride the subway with.

In most cases, you’ll be disappointed with how much you got for your furniture especially when you add up the hours it took to sell it all.

Why Is No One Willing to Pay for Used Furniture?

Remember how you took the ferry down to Ikea or just had everything mailed to you off of Amazon, Overstock, Walmart, or Wayfair? Everyone else had the same idea.

Assemble-it-yourself disposable furniture that comes in a nice little box right to your door is one of the most popular furniture buying options for renters precisely because of how cheap and easy it is. For just a few dollars more than buying used, you get brand new items with delivery included. There’s no hassle of dealing with strangers, trying to lug the furniture back to your apartment, or hoping someone’s Ikea handiwork doesn’t fall apart in the process. This type of furniture is so cheap now that it has almost no resale value.

Trying to get rid of furniture that’s a little higher end — maybe something you got from a relative? Nobody wants that, either. Traditional furniture, that’s heavier, more difficult to move, old, and brown, is out. Disposable furniture is in. Sure, some people might want your old, brown furniture but the demand is far less than the supply created by aging generations downsizing and finding out their kids don’t want their stuff. Unless your furniture is a truly high-quality antique or a top of the market piece, you’ll be lucky if you can get even pennies on its original purchase price.

Why Don’t Charities Want Your Furniture?

Charities don’t want your old furniture, either. In many cases, donations are sold through thrift shops to the same people that you’d be trying to sell to. If your furniture doesn’t sell, the charity has to spend time and money disposing of it. They also have to make enough money to cover the costs of picking it up from you — which is why many charities are now very picky about what furniture they’ll pick up for free.

For charities that directly use the furniture, they usually have better options than hoping someone’s old Ikea furniture doesn’t fall apart. This includes bulk buying new, cheap furniture or working with large estate sellers.

Simply put, charities are trying to further their own mission not provide you with a free way to dispose of your stuff. Many furniture donations would end up losing their money, so donations to charity don’t work out.

The Bed Bug Scare

Bed bugs are also another big reason why no one wants used furniture anymore. They can be almost impossible to detect within a cushion or pillow, but getting just a few into your home can mean almost literally burning it and all of your clothes and furniture to the ground. This makes it much harder to get rid of soft furniture, like sofas, and hard furniture, like wood tables, already falls into the rule of no one wants old, brown furniture.

The Risk of Damage When Selling Furniture
Whether you sell, donate, or give away your furniture, there’s the risk of damage to your apartment or the building’s common areas when someone comes to move it. Even if you didn’t directly cause the damage yourself, you’re still on the hook for it as the person who let them into your building.

When you’re dealing with a reputable furniture reseller, junk removal company, or charity, they should have insurance to cover potential damage. You should ask to see proof of insurance, and your building may require you to give management a certificate of insurance before any move or any move out cleaning.

If you’re dealing with an individual you met online, you may not have enough contact information to get them to pay up for any damage. Even if you do, it could take a small claims court case before you can get them to pay up.

If you do choose to roll the dice and hope nothing happens, you could still end up with a nosy super who is worried about damage trying to put a stop to your move — or ratting you out to management if there’s an “illegal” moving fee in your lease.

How to Stay Safe When Selling Furniture

If you do decide to sell your furniture, here are a few tips that can keep you safe.

  1. Try to deal with people you know — coworkers, friends of friends, etc. If you sell to strangers, use a third-party app that verifies the identities of people who sign up. Even if you don’t have their personal information, the police can retrieve it from the app if needed.
  2. Using a marketplace that has payment processing, like PayPal or an escrow system, can help alleviate concerns over handling large amounts of cash or getting a bad check.
  3. Never meet a stranger alone except in a public place such as a well-trafficked street or lobby. Don’t meet in a quiet side street, a lobby with everyone gone for the day, or your own apartment.
  4. Have the right number of people to lift the furniture plus at least one extra to hold doors. Don’t hurt yourself trying to lift too much.
  5. If the person taking your furniture is coming to you, have a helper so you can bring the furniture down to their truck rather than them coming up to your apartment. If they need to come up to your apartment, let your doorman or a neighbor know what’s going on ahead of time so they can keep an eye on things and check in on you if you don’t swing by to tell them everything went smoothly.
  6. If you’re dealing with a business or charity and aren’t sure if they’re legitimate, you can call 3-1-1 for assistance. You can also call 3-1-1 if you feel you’ve been ripped off or overcharged.
  7. When possible, schedule furniture removal after you’ve moved your valuables to your new home. This reduces the risk of theft during the move or if you meet with someone who decides to burglarize you.

Get Help Cleaning Out Your Apartment

If you need help getting furniture out of your apartment or just getting a final clean to make sure you get your full security deposit back, Maid Sailors is here to help. We provide a full range of home cleaning services by bonded and insured cleaning professionals. Call, text, or chat now for a quote.

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.

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.

About the Author

Jon works for Acron Garage Doors Ltd – Novoferm Garage Doors. Helping clients in complex situations is what he loves most about his job. If not working, Jon can be found behind any new romantic novel. He also loves to blog about his experiences & challenges he faces at work.

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.

Easy Spring Updates you can Make to your Home Right Now

It’s here! It has finally arrived! Spring is the season for restoration indoors and outdoors. It’s time to put away all the heavy blankets and dark colors and bring out the lightest and the brightest. Below we are sharing five easy Spring updates you can make to your home right now.

Add Bright Colors 

Adding fresh bright colors to your house is one of the best ways to get rid of the winter blues. Start your spring updates by putting away all of the things with dark colors and replacing them with fresh bright colors.  There are many ways to add bright colors throughout your home. But note that it is essential for a seasonal mood booster.

Some Style Tips:

Bring On The Sun

Springtime means sunshine. And since you’re probably going to change your curtains you might as well open up the blinds while you’re at it. Allowing the sun to shine in your home will surely bring in the vibe that Spring has arrived. 

Change The Lampshades 

Lamps are one of the coolest home decorations because most of them allow you to change the lampshade. Lampshades come in a variety of colors, patterns, and sizes. The best part is that you only have to buy them once and just switch them out each season.

Some Style Tips:

Diffuse Oils

Essential oils like sweet orange, lemon, and grapefruit are a wonderful way to bring in the Spring season. They’ll add a wonderful, mood-elevating aroma to your home and improve your air quality. 

Grab Some Flowers

Flowers are a great way to brighten up any space. Any color and combination will work in any space. You can add this spring update to your home using real or artificial flowers.

Some Style Tips:
  • Add arrangements to your kitchen, living room, and bedroom
  • Place flowers both inside and outside
  • Use artificial flowers and real flowers
Be sure to check out our Spring cleaning checklist for more tips and tricks during the Spring season.