Your August Home Checklist | Scottsdale Real Estate
From the dog days of summer to the first days of school, August is a month of transition for many. Even if cool fall nights still seem ages away, the transition from outdoors to in is already beginning. So as your vacation wraps up and dinners begin to move from grill to stove, consider putting one or more of these to-dos on your list to make that transition as smooth as possible.
- Get prepped for dinners at home. With fall around the corner, meals are likely to shift away from the grill and into the kitchen. Encourage family dinners at home by making the dining room a place you can’t wait to sit down in. Clear the table, bring in flowers or potted plants and keep stacks of fresh table linens at hand. If you want to make things even easier, consider storing silverware and cloth napkins in a caddy right on the table.
- Tidy the mudroom. Whether or not you have kids in the house, back-to-school time is a great opportunity to get a busy entryway under control. Clear the clutter, clean rugs, wipe down shelving and put back only the essentials.
- Organize family photos. Don’t let months go by after summer vacations to print and organize photos — get on top of it now, so you can enjoy your snapshots! Set yourself up for photo organizing success through the rest of the year by creating files for digital photos organized by month. If you want to have new family portraits taken in time, start hunting for a photographer now.
If you have a big backlog of printed photos to organize but lack the time to go through each one, at least get them into acid-free storage boxes to prevent damage. Label the boxes by year if possible.
- Edit your wardrobe. Sort through your summer clothes before putting them away; give away anything that is no longer working for you. Look over your fall wardrobe, setting aside anything that needs repairs or that you no longer like. Make a note of anything missing.
- Boost closet organization. While you’re at it, see if there is a better way to organize your closet. Could you use a small chest of drawers? A few baskets to collect dry cleaning and delicates? Hooks for necklaces and scarves?
- Conduct an energy audit of your house. Find places to increase energy efficiency and improve the health of your home (and save money) by conducting a home energy assessment, either on your own or with the help of a pro. This assessment will help locate air leaks and check ventilation, insulation, heating and cooling systems, appliances and more.
- Deep clean your kitchen. Take a few hours to tackle the dirtiest kitchen chores: clear the drains, clean out the garbage can and recycling bins, degrease the oven and thoroughly clean out the fridge. And when you’re done? You totally deserve an ice cream.
- Refresh the pantry. If you haven’t done so yet, invest in a set of matching, airtight storage containers in a variety of sizes. Decanting food into clear, airtight containers makes it easier to find what you need and helps food stay fresh longer.
Bonus tip: Use erasable or removable labels, so you can customize the container to the contents. If you’re storing pasta or something else with a specific cooking time, note the instructions on the label as well.
- Clean and replace caulk and grout. A proper seal around sinks, toilets, shower stalls and tubs, and between tiles, is essential to keep water from seeping into cracks and causing damage. Clean grout and caulk with a narrow scrub brush and inspect its condition. Replace caulk or grout as needed.
- Put away summer gear. As the summer winds down, inspect your summer gear for damage and clean it before storing it for next year. Scoop up a few new items at end-of-season sales to replace anything that needs to be tossed.
Ten Tips to Make a Small Bedroom Look Great | Scottsdale Real Estate
Planning a small bedroom can be fun. With the right design tips and techniques, you can turn your snug room into a dreamy retreat. From clever storage solutions to multitasking furniture, these great ideas will breathe new life into your compact scheme.
- Stick to a limited color palette. If all white isn’t for you, bring in your favorite colors, but in a thoughtful way.
- Let the light in. Keep window treatments to a minimum in a small space to make the most of the natural light and keep the look unfussy. For privacy add plain roller blinds or hang flat panels of lace or voile.
- Maximize your storage space. A floor-to-ceiling fitted unit makes the most of every inch in this bedroom. It cleverly incorporates room to display treasures, shelves for books, drawers for more personal items, surfaces that act as bedside tables and reading lights. Talk about multitasking!
- Don’t be afraid to use windows. There’s no rule that says you can’t push furniture up to a window.
- Trick the eye with mirrors. Creating the illusion of space with mirrors is a classic trick that works every time. Perfect for smaller bedrooms, a mirrored wall will visually double the space.
- Have pieces made to measure. Having custom furniture made for your space can be a very worthwhile investment. Having built-in drawers and wall-mounted bedside table and light maximize every inch of floor, and a classic transparent chair provides unobtrusive seating.
- Detract with a feature wall. In a narrow room, bring the far wall forward with fabulous wallpaper.
- Make your headboard work hard. Using a headboard for storage is a clever way to make the most of your space.
- Go for bold. As the saying goes, “If you can’t fight, wear a big hat.” Bold accents distract the eye from the size of the room.
- Wow with white or soft neutrals. All white is a fail-safe space enhancer, but there are so many ways to do it. Soft neutrals add just the right amount of warmth, while minimal wall decorations can draw the eye to the window and the view beyond.
How to Get Your Furniture Arrangement Right | Scottsdale Real Estate
Like a blank page or canvas, an empty room can be either an opportunity or a challenge. With so many ways to fill it, how do you know where to start?
Here are some of the basic rules of furniture arrangement that are distilled into 10 simple tips. They’ll help you figure out where to put things, where not to put things and how to prioritize the choices you make.
These guidelines won’t turn you into an interior designer overnight. But they’ll steer you in the right direction and help you to achieve professional-looking results with a minimum of stress.
Function. Consider how the room is used and how many people will use it. That will dictate the type of furnishings you’ll need and the amount of seating required.
Focal point. Identify the room’s focal point — a fireplace, view, television etc.— and orient the furniture accordingly. If you plan to watch television in the room, the ideal distance between the set and the seating is three times the size of the screen (measured diagonally). Therefore, if you’ve got a 40-inch set, your chair should be 120 inches away.
Priority. Place the largest pieces of furniture first, such as the sofa in the living room or the bed in the bedroom. In most cases this piece should face the room’s focal point. Chairs should be no more than 8 feet apart to facilitate conversation. Unless your room is especially small, avoid pushing all the furniture against the walls.
Symmetry. Symmetrical arrangements work best for formal rooms. Asymmetrical arrangements make a room feel more casual.
Traffic. Think about the flow of traffic through the room — generally the path between doorways. Don’t block that path with any large pieces of furniture if you can avoid it. Allow 30 to 48 inches of width for major traffic routes and a minimum of 24 inches of width for minor ones.
Try to direct traffic around a seating group, not through the middle of it. If traffic cuts through the middle of the room, consider creating two small seating areas instead of one large one.
Variety. Vary the size of furniture pieces throughout the room, so your eyes move up and down as you scan the space. Balance a large or tall item by placing another piece of similar height across the room from it (or use art to replicate the scale). Avoid putting two tall pieces next to each other.
Contrast. Combine straight and curved lines for contrast. If the furniture is modern and linear, throw in a round table for contrast. If the furniture is curvy, mix in an angular piece. Similarly, pair solids with voids: Combine a leggy chair with a solid side table, and a solid chair with a leggy table.
Ease of use. Place a table within easy reach of every seat, being sure to combine pieces of similar scale, and make sure every reading chair has an accompanying lamp. Coffee tables should be located 14 to 18 inches from a sofa to provide sufficient legroom.
Circulation. In a dining room, make sure there’s at least 48 inches between each edge of the table and the nearest wall or piece of furniture. If traffic doesn’t pass behind the chairs on one side of the table, 36 inches should suffice. In bedrooms allow at least 24 inches between the side of the bed and a wall, and at least 36 inches between the bed and a swinging door.
Planning. Give your back a break. Before you move any actual furniture, test your design on paper. Measure the room’s dimensions, noting the location of windows, doors, heat registers and electrical outlets, then draw up a floor plan on graph paper using cutouts to represent the furnishings. Or, better yet, use a free online room planner.
How to Get an Organized Bathroom | Scottsdale Real Estate
Here are some great tips to get your bathroom organized:
One of the rooms in most homes that can get out-of-hand crazy is the bathroom. Toothpaste, lotions, tissue and towels can easily get strewn out over the counter tops, or in the case of the toothpaste, stuck to the bathroom mirror.
See how following these simple storage and organization solutions can help your family stay tidy and organized in no time:
- Towels and dirty laundry on the bathroom floor is usually a pet peeve for most of us. With a laundry hamper inside the bathroom, you, your children and your spouse will have no more excuses when it comes to cleaning up.
- Placing pretty baskets on open shelving will give you the storage you need while concealing any unattractive items you may need to keep there.
- If your bathroom lacks storage space, consider adding a freestanding open-shelf cabinet, like the one shown here. Keep items like toilet paper and extra washcloths on the lower shelves and things you’d like to keep out of reach of tiny hands way up high.
- Installing a magazine rack in the bathroom will free up space on the tank of the toilet and give the room a cleaner look.
- Curling irons, hair dryers and brushes take up a lot of space and are easily tangled. If hiring a cabinet maker to retrofit your existing drawer to have specific slots for these items is not in your budget, try using plastic boxes within the drawer to get the same functionality.
- Keeping soaps and other bath items right above the tub where they are easily accessible is the best storage solution.
- Toiletries and medicines take up a lot of space and are oftentimes difficult to find when you need them. If your bathroom has a closet, why not use a plastic over-the-door shoe organizer? All of your items will be easy to see and grab when you need them. Just be sure to store medicines out of children’s reach.
- Consider storing items you use frequently, like cotton balls and swabs, on the counter in glass jars. They will look decorative and will always be in easy reach.
How to Get an Organized Pantry | Scottsdale Real Estate
Here is a seven step plan for organizing your kitchen pantry and making it easier to find your kitchen and other household items:
1. Install a spice shelf. Spices can get lost in the mix. Because they’re stacked one behind the other, they waste space, and it’s hard to see what you have. To remedy this problem, install door-mounted spice shelves inside the cabinet where you keep cookbooks. The trick will be finding a rack that doesn’t require heavy mounting hardware that might poke through to the outside of the cabinet – you will likely need to find one made of wire.
2. Keep go-to items at eye level. Organizing you pantry based on how often household members use individual items. Reserve eye-level shelves for cereal, pasta and other staples while keeping baking supplies and treats higher up. 3. Optimize containers. Use containers only for items that need to stay fresh and come in messy bags, like baking supplies. Pay attention to the shapes of the containers. Rectangular containers nestle together more neatly, conserving precious shelf space.
4. Invest in pretty labels. For labeling items that are not in their original container.
5. Use baskets for anything round. Baskets keep food organized and still allow air to circulate, preventing the food from getting prematurely moldy. Kitchen labels for these items can be made so you know when the item is ready to be tossed.
6. Keep awkwardly shaped items down low. By moving the packages of snacks and such to a lower shelf, you will be able to see how they’re shifting and prevent potato chip rainstorms and other messes.
7. Be mindful. Note what you have been purchasing too much of and avoid those things in the future. When coming home from the grocery store, think about not just where you put things away but how they’re put away, taking care to face containers with the labels out and align similar items.
These are tasks that are important to do if you are considering selling you home and plan on getting it done before your home goes on the market.
Creative Ideas for Eye Catching Walls | Scottsdale Real Estate
Looking to freshen up your walls? Why not try something new, like swapping out plain artwork mats for colorful ones or hanging floor tiles or a giant knot as art?
Here you’ll find 10 creative ways to wake up your walls:
1. Art on bulldog clips. Who needs frames? For a quick and easy solution, head to the office supply store and pick up a box of bulldog clips. Once you attach them to the wall, you can simply clip in the art and swap it out on a whim.
2. Colorful mats. Love your artwork but want to give it a fresh look? Try swapping out the plain white mats for something colorful. Pale blue is classic and looks especially fresh in summer.
3. Painted frames. If you want to fill up a wall on a tight budget and don’t mind a morning with a paint can, this could be right up your alley. Collect old frames at yard sales and paint them to match. Hung on the wall without glass here, they make a unique display for small 3D objects.
4. Colorful plate display. Update the classic plate display by mixing in a few brightly colored pieces with traditional blue and white. Using different shapes, sizes and colors will make for a more dynamic display. Test out your arrangement on the floor and snap a picture of it before you start hanging.
5. Mirror collection. Picture shelves can be used for more than pictures — why not use them for mirrors instead? A bunch of little mirrors can be much more affordable than one huge mirror, and they’ll look charming and personal.
6. Floor tiles as art. There are some amazing floor tiles out there. Why not hang a few as art? Check a tile store or stone quarry, or hunt down some vintage tin ceiling tiles (they come in the most beautiful patterns).
7. Vintage book illustration letters. Pick up some plain cardboard or papier-mâché letter forms at the craft store, and gather a stack of old children’s books — this is the perfect way to use a beautiful old book that is too damaged to read. Carefully trace around each letter onto a book page, then cut out the letter with a craft knife. Use spray adhesive or decoupage to attach the illustrations to the letter forms.
8. “Invisible” book shelves. You can find these ready-made, or you can craft your own version using vintage books with interesting covers. The basic idea is to attach a bracket to a hardback book. When you stack other books on top of it, the shelf itself becomes part of the stack.
9. Classroom maps. Old-fashioned pull-down classroom maps add a studious note to a room. Try one in the home office, study or dining room. Just don’t expect to use a vintage map as a teaching tool … they can be quite outdated!
10. Knot as art. Who would have thought an old, crusty rope could make an interesting piece of wall art? Consult a knot-making book to learn a fancy knot or just play around until you are pleased with the shape, and hang the result on your wall.
Organizing Tips for the Garage | Scottsdale Real Estate
Garages most often become the place to stash away those items that will not fit in the closets inside your home.
They are big open spaces and therefore they are easy targets for that suitcase that won’t fit in the closet, the rollerblades your daughter doesn’t want to throw away yet, the sewing machine you need to give back to your neighbor, and anything else that doesn’t have a set place.
Now is a perfect time to roll up your sleeves and dive head first into the clutter. Follow these 6 tips to clean your way to a neat and organized garage.
1. Use as much vertical and ceiling space as possible. This rule is particularly important if you’re planning to actually park your car here. Make sure that you’ll have room for your car without running into or onto anything.
2. Before reorganizing, try taking everything out of your garage. Looking at the space you have as a blank canvas can give you a better idea of what you’re working with. Working with a clean slate can help you decide which areas are best to designate for certain activities.
3. Decide what to keep, what to donate, and what to throw away. When you find yourself questioning a particular item, ask yourself :
- Do I love it?
- Do I need it?
- When was the last time I used this?
- If I donated it, could it be safely used by another person?
Clearing out clutter is incredibly satisfying, and odds are you won’t really miss that fifth spare tennis racket. When in doubt, donate or toss it. Recycle as much as possible, and be sure to dispose of paint and other hazardous waste safely.
4. Group like items together so they’re easy to find. A few coats of paint, metal shelving and some cute decals for the door completely transformed the space without spending a lot of money. A neat and tidy shoe and coat rack encourages her children to place their own clothes in the right place and makes it easy when searching for that much-loved pair of pink Velcro sneakers. Storage on the ceiling and walls saves room for larger items, and things that are used on a daily basis.
5. Decide which area of the garage is going to be used for what purpose. Think carefully about what you want your garage to be used for, and the best possible way that this space can be divided up.
6. Label absolutely everything. Taking the time to label each and every drawer and shelf can make a world of difference. Tired of drawers and bins full of a hodgepodge of nails, screws, and bolts? Take the time to organize each individual piece by type and label accordingly. Tedious? Yes. Worth it? Yes.
Easy Steps to Get an Organized Laundry Room | Scottsdale Real Estate
Doing laundry is a necessary evil and to make it an easier task, follow these steps over a week in order to get your laundry area in the very best shape.
Make a plan of attack. A fairly tidy laundry room in the main part of the house will require far less time and effort to spiff up than a dark, dusty corner of the basement that you usually spend as little time in as possible. Read over the entire plan before you begin and tailor it to meet your needs. Aim to get the toughest jobs done on a day off when you can devote several hours to them. The rest can be done in smaller chunks on weeknights.
Day 1: Deep clean the washer and dryer.
Cleaning tasks: Today is the day to get your appliances clean inside and out, so they will work more efficiently and get your clothes cleaner.
Cleaning the washer:
- Use a damp sponge or microfiber cloth to clean the exterior and inside the lid of your washer, paying special attention to rubber seals.
- If your washer has a lint trap or removable detergent dispensers, take them out and clean them with warm, soapy water in the sink. If not, use cotton swabs to get the gunk and grime from the corners.
- Pour a cup or two of white vinegar in the washer and run it on the hottest setting, without any clothes in it.
Cleaning the dryer:
- Wipe down the inside and outside of the dryer with a damp sponge or microfiber cloth.
- Remove the lint filter and use a narrow vacuum attachment to remove built-up lint from inside the space where the lint filter goes.
- Unfasten the dryer hose from the back of the machine (check the owner’s manual if you are not sure how to do this) and use a vacuum attachment to remove lint from the hose and the duct.
Day 2: Declutter and Get Rid of Grime
Cleaning tasks: You know those lint balls, empty detergent containers, used dryer sheets and random things from pockets lying all over the place? Now is the time to give them the boot. Once the obvious junk is gone, move on to these tasks:
- Vacuum the space from top to bottom. Get under and behind appliances and furniture as best you can.
- Launder or spot clean any rugs and soft furnishings.
- Use an all-purpose cleaner to get counters, shelves and doors fresh and clean.
- Mop the floor, paying special attention to corners and around the bases of appliances, where dirt and grime tend to build up.
Decluttering tasks: Do you know what all of those bottles on your laundry room shelves contain? If you’re not sure, take a few moments to look over each product and keep only those you actually use. Open up small containers to check that the product is still good.
Day 3: Get organized.
Decluttering tasks: With your laundry room clean and decluttered, it should be much easier to get organized.
- Sort products into two categories: daily use and stain fighting or specialty products. If you have a choice, store the products you use daily (like detergent) closest to the washer and less frequently used items on a higher shelf.
- If you do hand washing at a sink in the laundry room, put the soap and any other supplies you use beside the sink.
- Open baskets and trays are quite useful for corralling groups of products — not only do they look attractive, but they make it easier to grab exactly what you need (for example, the stain-fighting kit) because you won’t have to rummage around on a crowded shelf.
- Make a dedicated place for stuff that comes out of pockets, like a small bowl placed atop the dryer.
- Be sure you have a small wastebasket at hand for lint balls and dryer sheets.
Day 4: Gather resources.
Decluttering tasks: Now is the time to check your inventory of supplies and fill in any gaps. In addition to your usual detergent and dryer sheets, consider including these things:
- A clipboard or small corkboard. Hung on the wall, this makes the perfect place to display a helpful stain-removal chart and washing instructions.
- A small mending kit. So you can quickly take care of minor holes and loose buttons as soon as you notice them.
- A bottle of white vinegar. Great for removing stains naturally and cleaning the washing machine.
- Hangers. Being able to hang delicate items promptly upon removing them from the dryer will save some ironing time.
- A folding drying rack. For items washed by hand.
Day 5: Add some style.
Decluttering tasks: A vase of fresh flowers on a shelf above the washer, a pretty new laundry bag, a row of shiny new hooks on the wall and a framed photograph or art print are all great ways to personalize the laundry room. There’s no need to go overboard on decor — this is at heart a functional space — but even a small hit of color or pattern will be most welcome.
Tips for basement laundries. When your washer and dryer don’t have a room (or even a closet) of their own, and are, in fact, surrounded by boxes of old stuff, exposed ducts and concrete, it’s easy to want to completely give up on making the area a nice place. If this is your situation, here are four things that can make your space feel more inviting:
- Proper lighting. A table lamp or wall sconce is so much more pleasant than a bare-bulb shop light!
- An outdoor rug. A colorful outdoor rug will add some much-needed softness and color and is tough enough for a basement.
- Shelving. When everything around the washer and dryer looks too grungy for your clean laundry to touch, dedicated shelving and a folding surface are what you need.
- Pretty baskets. The space will look instantly more finished and organized.
Day 6: Make a wish list for the future.
Get out a pen and paper and list the things you would most like to change or add to your laundry room. New flooring, fancy fold-down drying racks or a farmhouse-style sink? Figuring out exactly what you want is the first step toward making it happen.
Day 7 and beyond: Set up a laundry routine that works.
Stay on top of laundry and keep your laundry room fresh long after this week is over with a few new habits.
- Sort your laundry before it gets to the laundry room and avoid the dreaded piles-on-the-floor sorting method.
- Keep hand washables in a laundry bag on a hook rather than in the basket with everything else, to avoid confusion.
- Leave the washer door open between loads to avoid moisture buildup that leads to mildew and funky smells. If you can’t leave it open (because of curious cats or little ones), at least try to leave it open for 10 minutes while you are around to let the warmth and moisture dissipate.
- Clean out the lint filter in the dryer before running each load.
- Schedule a regular time to clean out the dryer hose and duct — keeping it free of lint will help prevent fires.
Seven Day Plan To Get a Spotless, Beautifully Organized Home Office | Scottsdale Real Estate
Why spend time getting your home office in order just as summer is about to begin, and the last thing you want to think of is work? Because a messy home office only gets in the way of summer plans, that’s why!
Piles of work papers and to-dos are visual reminders of things you don’t want to be doing — putting in a little extra effort to button up your home office will help streamline your home for summer, so you can move on to the fun stuff.
This plan will help you clear the clutter and put systems in place to make it easier to keep things looking good all year.
Make a plan of attack
How big your home office is, and just how packed full of stuff it is will make a huge difference in how much time you’ll need to devote to get it in shape.
If you use your home office regularly, or if your home office is large or has accumulated a lot of clutter, plan to spend a few longer stretches of time on a weekend and follow up with shorter tasks during the week.
If it’s a small space or not too cluttered, you may be able to compress the plan into a single weekend — read it over before beginning and tailor it to work for you.
Day 1: Deal with paper.
Decluttering tasks: What is all of that clutter? Do you even need to keep this stuff? This is the day to find out. At the end of today’s tasks, your home office may very well look worse than when you began — consider yourself warned!
- Do some research. Sometimes we keep things simply because we are not sure if it’s OK to throw them out. Go on a fact-finding mission (call your tax preparer or search online) and figure out what you need to keep and for how long.
- Sort and stack. Work your way through your home office, pulling every loose paper out of drawers, shelves, cupboards etc. As you go, sort your stuff into categories as best you can, shredding and tossing what is no longer needed.
- Make quick temporary labels for your category piles with a marker on plain paper — it’s amazing how quickly you can lose track of what goes where.
- Set aside anything that does not belong in your home office and make a point of returning it to where it belongs (or to whom it belongs to) today.
Cleaning tasks: Keep a shredder, recycling bin and trash can nearby for obvious junk mail.
Day 2: Make some space.
Decluttering tasks: Pour yourself a big cup of coffee or tea, because you’ll need the boost to get through today’s task — but when you’re done, your workspace should be feeling significantly better.
- Pull every (nonpaper) item out of your desk and office storage and sort it into piles, placing like with like —for instance, all letter writing supplies in one pile; everything computer related in another.
- Now take a closer look at those piles, removing unneeded duplicates (do you really need three staplers?) and anything that doesn’t belong in your office.
- Armed with the knowledge gained on your fact-finding mission on Day 1, dip into your files and see if there are papers you can safely get rid of.
- If you want to move toward a paperless home office, go online today and set up paperless statements and billing.
Day 3: Get organized.
Decluttering tasks: Think outside the file box to find an organizational system that works for you. Rather than going to an organizing store first, see what you can use around your home. It’s more important to give everything that has been sitting out in piles a permanent home than it is to buy new containers. Here are a few ideas for organizing your home office:
- A grid of clipboards on the wall can make for a handy place to keep papers organized.
- Wall-mounted cups keep frequently used supplies neat and within reach.
- Cups and bowls borrowed from the kitchen make great desktop and drawer organizers.
- Labeled, open-top baskets on shelves are great for people who like piles.
- Traditional files are still useful for important documents.
Day 4: Freshen up.
Cleaning tasks: Give yourself a big pat on the back, because the hardest work is now behind you! Today is all about making your home workspace fresh and clean, so it will be a healthier, more pleasant place to spend time in.
- Vacuum your home office from top to bottom. Use an attachment to clean window treatments, high corners and fabric lamp shades.
- Wipe down shelves and surfaces with a damp microfiber cloth.
- Use monitor wipes to clean your screens.
- Use a keyboard cleaner to blow dust from between the keys or gently clean them with cotton swabs.
- Bring in some fresh plants to help clean the air.
Day 5: Consider comfort.
Decluttering tasks: How comfortable is your home office? If you use your workspace often, it’s important to have an adjustable chair with proper support, good lighting and perhaps a small stool to put your feet up on. See what you can do today to make your home office more comfortable.
Day 6: Add a personal touch.
Decluttering tasks: The beauty of a home office is that you can emphasize the home part as much as you like. Bring in family photos that make your smile or treasures from your travels; drape a beautiful textile over your chair; or store your office supplies in pretty fabric baskets and china teacups. Cut a few fresh flowers from the garden and place them in a vase on your desk. Light a scented candle while you work. Do whatever makes your office feel more like you.
Day 7 and beyond: Do daily maintenance.
- Aim to handle paper as soon as you get it, rather than letting it pile up. If you don’t have time to do this daily, set up an inbox with slots for a few broad categories (bills, work, school etc.) so papers will be easier to handle later.
- Post a note detailing what you should save and for how long.
- Schedule a weekly time to empty your inbox.
- Straighten up your home office before you are done working each day. Bring the coffee cups back to the kitchen and completely clear your desktop.
Brought to you by the Luxury Valley Homes Team at 480-363-4916 | Scottsdale Real Estate
Your Spring Checklist for Smooth-Running Home | Scottsdale Real Estate
With the weather warming and flowers blooming, spring is a wonderful time to prepare your home for a season of indoor-outdoor living. Spruce up your outdoor kitchen, boost curb appeal, do a fire safety check and more — here are 10 home tasks to consider doing this month.
1. Touch up interior paint. This is one of those tasks that sounds far more daunting than it really is. A plastic cup filled with paint and a small brush are all you need to make minor touch-ups to most rooms. A few minutes covering up scuff marks and stains can make a world of difference! If you have small holes (from moving artwork, for example), fill them with putty and allow it to dry for at least a day before painting.
2. Restain the deck and repaint the porch. Freshen up your porch and deck this month by applying a new coat of paint or stain. A once-a-year refresh will help extend the life of the wood and keep it looking its best. If the finish is looking quite worn, you may need to have the surface completely sanded down and repainted — it’s worth it to keep your outdoor spaces in good shape for years to come.
3. Check safety devices. Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, and change batteries as needed. Make sure you have both a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home and near each bedroom. Also check the expiration date on fire extinguishers and replace if needed.
4. Jazz up your outdoor kitchen. With Memorial Day coming up later this month, many of us will be taking to the backyard for a barbecue with friends. Make sure your outdoor kitchen is up to the task by adding a few fun features now — how about a work surface, bar seating or an outdoor fridge?
5. Check for outdoor fire hazards. Walk around your property with an eye to fire safety. Make sure your grill is a safe distance from your home’s siding, and trim back any plantings that could get caught in flames from the grill. If you live in an area that’s prone to summer wildfires, be sure to keep bushes trimmed back, and do not store piles of dry brush or other highly flammable material in your yard. Consult your local fire department for advice specific to your region.
6. Open your pool for the season. If you closed your pool for the winter and haven’t yet opened it up again, now is the time to fill it and set up a maintenance schedule for the season ahead.
7. Check irrigation systems. Walk around your yard while your irrigation system is on and check to make sure the entire line is working. If you are using an automatic timer, be sure to go check the first day to make sure the water is turning on and off when it is supposed to. If you do not yet have an irrigation system, consider adding one — it can save a great deal of water and make caring for your yard much easier.
8. Increase curb appeal. Make your house stand out with a big change, like a bold new front door color, an arbor with roses or new porch lights. Or, for a quick spruce-up, swap out the doormat and add a few pots of flowers.
9. Clean out the shed or garage. No one said it’s easy, but making room in your storage shed or garage will feel great once you’re done. Work on the space a little at a time, setting aside items you want to sell or give away. Once you have freed up some space, consider if there is a way to make the space even more useful — perhaps some wall-mounted storage, a work surface or extra shelving?
10. Enjoy your home — treat yourself to a simple pleasure. Bring home a lovely bottle of wine or flowers, just because. Invite friends to pop by on a weeknight to hang out in the backyard. Listen to great music while you cook breakfast. Think of a few simple ways to enjoy your home this month. You deserve it!
Article: Your Spring Checklist for Smooth-Running Home | Scottsdale Real Estate