Archives For HGTV

1. Vibrating shoe insoles that give you directions, sans map. (apartmenttherapy.com)

2. 16 mesmerizing gifs that will make you a mechanism expert. (lifehack.org)

3. Boarding passes that fit in your passport? YES. (buzzfeed.com)

4. Recently rediscovered—Andy Warhol’s digital drawings. (time.com)

5. Sushi slippers! (swiss-miss.com)

6. We can’t wait for Ellen’s show on HGTV. (variety.com)

7. Do happy people take happy photos? (ucsd.edu)

8. The yummiest natural body lotion. (sheamoisture.com)

9. Never underestimate the power of pets. (gawker.com)

10. 2014 Austin City Limits lineup! (aclfestival.com)

The beginning of a new year is a great time to make improvements or begin new habits––so why not start at home?

HGTV put together a list of 5 goals to make your home more organized, efficient, and safe in 2014:

1. Streamline. Clearing the clutter in your home is an inexpensive way to improve your surroundings. Go through each room in your home and clear anything you don’t use, wear, or love, and donate it to charity. Anything not used on a daily basis should be cleared from surfaces and put away in baskets, bins, or drawers.

2. Make it safe. To ensure their home is safe and free from health hazards and fire risks, every homeowner should consider doing the following things:

  • Check your house for radon. One in every fifteen homes has elevated levels which can be very dangerous to your health. You can purchase a test kit for about $20 at your local hardware store.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector in every bedroom in addition to fire detectors.
  • In addition to the lint trap, clean the vents and ducts behind your dryer. Lint is highly combustible and accounts for more than 15,000 building fires a year.
  • Make sure you have proper ventilation in each room––particularly bathrooms and attics––to avoid mold.
  • If your home was built or last remodeled before 1978, consider testing for lead paint and asbestos flooring.

3. Shrink your carbon footprint––along with your bills! You don’t have to buy a hybrid car or install solar panels to make a difference. Here are some easy ways to cut energy usage in your home:

  • Switch off the lights when you leave a room.
  • Turn off your air conditioner when you leave the house and dial your heater down to 55 degrees at night.
  • Install compact fluorescent bulbs and low-flow showerheads.
  • Try drying some of your clothes on the line and wait for the dishwasher or washing machine to be full before you run them.
  • Turn off your power strips and/or set your home computer to revert to sleep mode when not in use.
  • Water your yard less. Put in drought-tolerant landscaping if necessary.
  • Give composting a try. Your garden will thank you.

4. Come up with a weekly plan to keep your house clean. Jeff Campbell, author of the book Speed Cleaning and owner of the Clean Team housekeeping service in San Francisco suggests the following:

Daily: Dishes go in the dishwasher every night – no excuses! Dirty clothes go in the hamper and jackets or clean clothes are hung in the closet. Bring everything back to its assigned place.

Weekly: Clean your entire house, using these tips:

  • Keep all of your cleaners, as well as rubber gloves and spare cleaning cloths, in a portable carryall that moves with you from room to room.
  • Stash cleaning implements such as a toothbrush, scraper, sponge, a few cleaning cloths and plastic bags in a builder’s apron that you wear when you clean. Hook your glass cleaner and all-purpose cleaning spray on the loops to keep your hands free as you work around the room clockwise, cleaning from high (cabinets) to low (floors.)
  • Focus on one type of cleaning at a time. Wipe down fingerprints on all of the cabinets, for instance, before moving on to spraying and wiping counters. Then move on to windows and mirrors and appliances. Once that’s done move on to sweeping and then mopping floors.
  • For optimum efficiency, enlist the help of your family. Divide the jobs up to make the cleaning process go faster and seem more manageable.

5. Get your home ready to entertain. A bit of rearranging and a few updates can make your home much more guest-friendly. Interior designer Stuart McCormick suggests adding plants as a way to make your home feel more “finished”, selecting a new accent color to freshen up your room with a new throw pillow, add a colorful rug or runner to help anchor your space, or rearrange your furniture so it is oriented in conversation groups and not just toward the television.

This post can be found in its original form at HGTV

Photo credit: Better Homes and Gardens

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Home for sale via Househappy

Need to give your home’s exterior some pizzazz before you show it off to buyers? HGTV’s FrontDoor made a list of 8 budget projects that will enhance your home’s curb appeal.

1. Repaint the Front Door

Adding a new coat of paint to your front door is an easy way to transform your house. Try painting your door a bright color such as red to make it stand out.

2. Manicure the Lawn

Having a green lawn makes a home stand out since it covers a large portion of the front yard. Make sure to rid your lawn of weeds and have it freshly mowed. If you are in a hurry and want your lawn to be green for a showing, you can spray your lawn with a green lawn spray paint that is nontoxic and environmentally safe.

3. Groom the Beds

Showing buyers that you keep your front yard well maintained is an easy way to boost your curb appeal. Start by removing debris and weeding planting beds. Then to give your landscape a fresh appearance put down a new layer of mulch. If you need to plant some flowers consider brightly colored ones in the spring and summer, and autumn hues such as reds, yellows and oranges in the fall.

4. Wash Off Dirt

Use your garden hose on its strongest setting to wash debris off sidewalks, your driveway and the front of your home. Another option would be to rent a power washer, but be careful not to do any damage to the siding or around the windows.

5. Clear the Driveway

Buyers don’t need to see your garbage and recycling containers in front of your house, so store them in the garage or on the side of your house. Then use a sealant to take care of any cracks in your driveway. Lastly, you don’t want anything blocking the view of your home from the street, so park cars in the driveway or down the street.

6. Make the Windows Shine

Cleaning windows inside and out can make your home sparkle in the sun. Grab a ladder and get to business. First wash them with the hose to remove dirt and cobwebs. Then use a sponge with a small amount of vinegar to scrub them clean and rinse with water after.

7. Update Light Fixtures

Removing outdated front door or garage light fixtures will instantly give your home some added curb appeal. If you don’t want to buy new fixtures you can also try spray-painting your old ones a darker color.

8. Trim Trees and Bushes

Cut overgrown bushes and trees to keep your house visible to potential buyers. Also make sure to remove branches that block walkways and windows.

This article can be found in its original form on HGTV FrontDoor.