A wise rule when cleaning out that garage is: A place for everything and everything in its place.
Here are some valuable tips for organizing your garage:
Before you start to reorganize, take everything out of your garage. Have a family meeting to discuss what is there. Consider:
As much as possible, involve all family members in the cleaning, purging, reorganizing process. If they see how much work went into organizing the garage, they are more likely to make an effort to keep it organized.
Compartmentalize. Decide which areas of your garage will store specific items.
Invest in some good shelving so you can organize the stuff you and your family have stored in the garage.
Make good use of all space. Often overlooked, as potential storage is the wall and ceiling space. Put up good heavy-duty shelving on the walls and large hooks on the walls and ceiling to hang rakes, shovels, mops, bikes, and sports equipment to free floor space.
Use stackable storage boxes instead of shelves on one wall or below shelves. Group items and label these boxes clearly.
Place things like garbage bags, trashcans, and lawn care equipment that you will need often near the door. Make sure there is a path to move other items to access these items.
Practice safety. Place sharp, pointed, or hazardous substances out of reach of children and safely stored.
If it is bulky and seasonal, think about storing these items in a shed or even a rented storage space. This might include lawn mower, garden tractor, bicycles, motorcycles, luggage, the BBQ, sleds, skis, snow mobile, etc.
Think about a pegboard wall for tools and equipment. Use Mac-Tac to create an outline for each piece of equipment so it can be quickly put back in its place by every member of the family.
When the garage has been cleaned, with items discarded, shelved, hooked in place, or stored in boxes, take the entire family on a tour. Now they will be able to see where the proper place is for everything in the garage.
Some people greet the coming of spring with a thorough cleaning of the rooms, closets, basement, garage, and attic of their homes. For others, housecleaning is an ongoing activity not reserved just for spring.
No time is more appropriate for housecleaning than when you are grooming your living space for resale.
Why is a thorough cleaning and purging a good idea before you put your house on the market?
Buyers are not just looking at the layout of the house and its amenities. They try to visualize themselves living in this space. Cleanliness and lack of clutter make a house much more appealing than the “lived in” look. Pack away personal items like photos and certificates. Store or donate seasonal clothes and children’s outgrown toys and clothes. Consider packing boxes in garage, attic, or even rented storage space. You want a “bare” look that allows prospective buyers to visualize their stuff in this new space. Your house should be a blank canvas for their imagination.
Buyers get distracted if there is a lot of stuff in a room. Personal items and/or things around take away from the house itself. They make potential buyers feel as if there isn’t enough storage space in the house and garage.
Clutter and uncleanliness give potential buyers the feeling that they would have to work hard to keep the home clean. A clean house will help dispel this thought, keeping the prospective buyers focus on the space and attractiveness of the home.
If you are moving, you are going to want to do a thorough culling of your possessions before you pack things to go. You might as well use the pre-selling time to get that task out of the way and create a roomier impression in your house for potential buyers at the same time.
Homes with minimal furniture and knick-knacks seem larger and airier. This is the impression you want potential buyers to have.
Buyers will comparison shop. You want your home to make the best impression of all the homes they will be seeing.
A fresh coat of paint is not a major expense when weighed against getting top dollar for your house.
Pay close attention to your home’s curb appeal. First impressions are critical. Make sure grass is tidy, any outside clutter has been removed, and some flowers have been planted. Make sure the front door is freshly painted; the space around it is clean and attractive.
Most of us have a hard time deciding where to place furniture in our living room so the room looks inviting is always a challenge.
Here are some helpful tips:
When choosing and arranging furniture think about flexibility. Can the couches and chairs be easily moved to accommodate larger gatherings or intimate discussion groups of your book club? Being able to reconfigure the room quickly and easily is a consideration.
Most traditional living room arrangements place the couch across from a point of interest—like the TV, a picture window, or a fireplace. Other furniture pieces including chairs, tables, and lamps are angled to face the same direction so that everyone can enjoy the TV, the fireplace, or the window view. Groupings are often “circled” for meetings, conversations, entertaining visitors.
Traffic is a consideration. If you have more than one door in the room, you need to think about how people will enter and exit the room without running into furniture.
Sometimes less is more. Don’t fill your living room full of furniture. Consider bringing in extra chairs from another room when they are needed and keeping the basic living room furniture minimal to your personal family needs.
If you are tired of your living room arrangement, a good strategy is to sketch your room and use cutouts of the furniture and rearrange it on a scaled plot. This makes it easy to visualize the spacing. Try some untraditional arrangements. Don’t always think about furniture against walls. When you find an arrangement that seems appealing on paper, empty your living room, and start putting the furniture where your sketch indicates.
Don’t be afraid to store some of that furniture for use when needed and not have it cluttering your space for normal family use.
If you are buying new furniture, purchase only a few large items. A sofa, loveseat and a chair or two should be basic. Then add end tables, footstools, and lamps as necessary not just fillers. A good rule of thumb is to start small and add as needed.
Whether your living room is used to entertain or it is just a comfort zone for the family, use a furniture arrangement that makes movement easy and comfortable for all.
There are a lot of flooring choices from which to choose these days. Appearance, personal preference, practicality, and cost are all deciding factors.
Here are interesting facts that will help you decide.
Carpet gives a floor a warm feeling. It is soft for walking and in case of falls. Carpeting is quiet for multi-home units like condos and apartments.
Carpet comes in a wide price range. There is a plethora of colors and designs so you are sure to find one that suits your décor. Carpet can be installed by DIY’ers.
Carpet is likely to cost the least of the three flooring options.
However, maintenance and upkeep can be costly. Carpet wears out and has to be replaced. Replacement time depends largely on how much tracking or use the floor gets.
Hardwood flooring is elegant. It adds to the value of your home. Improvements in technology and manufacturing make installation easier. It can be installed by a professional or a proficient DIY’er.
Hardwood can now be installed over existing sub-flooring.
New hardwood floors are easy to look after. In fact, modern technology has made hardwood floor finishes more durable. This makes maintenance easier.
Hardwood flooring comes in strips 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches wide or planks 4 to 8 inches wide. Natural wood choices include oak, maple, black walnut, pecan, chinquapin, and mesquite. Each has distinctive grain patterns.
Hardwood costs between $3 and $8 per square foot. Unusual varieties could be as high as $14 per square foot. Installation costs between $5 and $12 per square foot.
Each wood and style has advantages and disadvantages. Be sure to do research to select the best option. Pre-finished floors are more practical. Unfinished floors you have finished or do it yourself provide a smooth, uniform look. Hardwood floors, over time, need refinishing, as surfaces get scuffed, worn, chipped, or cracked. Laminates and vinyl are easier to care for and yet look like wood. Laminate flooring costs between $1 and $7 per square foot. DIY Installation is possible. Professional installation runs between $2 and $5 per square foot.
While attractive, easy to care for, and durable, stone flooring is also cold. If a fall occurs, stone floors are very unforgiving. Therefore, they are bad choices for elderly and homes with small children.
Stone floors will also get condensation if temperatures are very warm or very cold. This moisture layer can be very slippery.
Stone floors are costly to buy and installation is expensive. However, stone floors can last a lifetime.
Depending on the type of stone, there are many color and pattern options to a stone floor. Professional installation is a must!
When you live in the South Bay area there is a plethora of things to do without traveling far. Here are some great stay-cation ideas:
If you love surfing, bicycling, rollerblading, wind surfing or fishing the area is perfect with its wonderful beaches and ocean currents. Hermosa Beach offers some of the world’s most exciting surfing opportunities for surfers of all abilities.
Nature lovers will be thrilled with the sea life they find on their oceanfront walks. Take a boat tour to view dolphins or whales up close.
Walk along the Strand and photograph the elusive green flash at sunset. If you are an architectural buff, enjoy the homes designed by such architects as Richard Neutra, Ray Kappe, Dean Nota, Patrick Killen, Grant Fitzpatrick, Louie Tomaro, Larry Peha and Michael Lee.
If night life is your pleasure why not take in a show at Hermosa Beach’s Comedy and Magic Club. This spot is world famous for hosting such rookie comedians as Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Gary Shandling, and Rosanne Barr. You can expect to be dazzled by little known comics and magicians who will later be famous. Take time to see the exhibits of Charlie Chaplin’s Clown outfit, Jerry Seinfeld’s puffy shirt, Oliver Hardy’s giant pajamas, Bob Hope’s hat, Mike Myer’s Austin Power Man of Mystery suit, Robin Williams’ bumper car from “Toys” and Eddie Murphy’s Nutty Professor shirt and suspenders.
Downtown Hermosa Beach also has notable restaurants and nightclubs. Try the food at Chef Melba’s, Hot’s Kitchen, Pedone’s Pizza, Mama D’s, Zane’s, La Playita, La Campagna or Sushi Sei. Rock the night away at Hennessey’s, Saint Rocke, Patrick Molloy’s and the Lighthouse.
If you fancy a shopping stay-cation then downtown Hermosa Beach offers many options. Walk or bike the streets. Browse the windows of Seymour’s Jewelers, Luna C, or Oliovera at the 200 Pier Ave. building. Check out Spyder, Pier, Jack’s, E.T., and Becker surf shops. South on Hermosa are Yak & Yeti. No shopping trip is complete without Buzz Pop Candy Shop for their pop rocks, giant gummy bears and salt water taffy. While you’re there, try Squamscot Sarsaparilla or Dr. Brown’s Diet Cream.
If you enjoy theater take in the opera or a Shakespeare play at the five-hundred-seat Hermosa Beach Playhouse or see one of Angelo Masino’s plays at Second Story Theatre.
Looking for some exercise, visitors are welcome to come and lawn bowl at Clark Stadium on Valley Drive in Hermosa Beach. Games are held every Tuesday and Thursday at 11:45 a.m. and on Saturday at 9:45 a.m. All you need are flat-soled shoes.
Spring is always a busy season in the South Bay Area. During March, April and May you can catch many activities including:
On March 3 and 4, you can catch an 8:00 p.m. small-stage presentation of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men at Norris Pavilion. The show also runs Saturday March 5 at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday March 6 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
If you feel like getting some exercise for a good cause, why not board the “Cycle for Survival.” All funds raised by riders at this indoor cycling event are used for clinical trials to find a cure for rare cancers. Cycle for Survival continues throughout March, for details on the event location, times, and how to register or donate, go to www.cycleforsurvival.org.
Another great fitness opportunity is the March 13th Annual St. Patrick’s Day 5K run/walk. The event is open to men and women of all fitness levels. Meet at Redondo Beach, with the Race Expo starting at 6:30 a.m., while the 5K race begins at 8 a.m. There is a kids’ race at 9:30 am in Riviera Village. Each runner receives a St. Patrick’s Day T-Shirt. Cash prizes are awarded to first, second, and third male and female winners. A $40 registration for adults and $25 for kids can be brought to 1811 S Catalina Ave., Redondo Beach.
If you want to network with women in the South Bay area, why not attend the annual Women’s Club of Hermosa Beach Spring Tea. Your $20 donation allows you to participate in the hat contest, the luncheon, door prizes, and jewelry sale. To reserve a spot for Wednesday March 9, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Saturday March 11 and Sunday March 12 at 8 p.m., take a musical journey back in time as Jake and Elwood perform a tribute to The Blues Brothers at The Norris Theatre, 27570 Norris Center Drive in Rolling Hills Estates. Tickets are $48-$58, with a $10 discount for children under 13. Tickets are available at the box office (310) 544-0403, ext. 221, or online at www.palosverdesperformingarts.com.
For ABBA fans, April 16 at 8 p.m. is a special night. The ABBAFAB concert will be held at The Norris Theatre, 27570 Norris Center Drive in Rolling Hills Estates. Tickets are $48-$58, with a $10 discount for children under 13. Tickets are available at the box office (310) 544-0403, ext. 221, or online at www.palosverdesperformingarts.com.
Friday, April 22 and Saturday April 23 at 8 p.m., you can see “Fiddler on the Roof.” The production will be held at The Norris Theatre, 27570 Norris Center Drive in Rolling Hills Estates. Tickets are $48-$58, with a $10 discount for children under 13. Tickets are available at the box office (310) 544-0403, ext. 221, or online at www.palosverdesperformingarts.com.
When babies arrive homeowners begin to see their house in an entirely different light. For the creeping or toddling child certain features of your home need new consideration.
The safety features and working order of the baby’s crib are often first considerations.
For all of us, regular checking of smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers should be a regular seasonal practice. You need at least one working smoke detector and one working carbon monoxide detector on each level of your house including the basement. You should also have detectors in kitchen and hall areas and near or in bedrooms.
Every family should have a well thought out exit plan that takes into account alternate exits. This plan and practicing it is even more important when you add the critical addition of getting a small child out of a burning building as well. The plan needs to be that much smoother and well-rehearsed.
Make sure emergency numbers are beside each phone for quick access for a babysitter or nanny.
Plan ahead to child proof your home for an active mobile child. Here are things to consider:
Hazards before your baby grow and find them first. Here are some things to do before your baby is crawling:
When it comes to choosing new flooring, there are many things to consider. Personal taste, your budget, and the way the room will be used are major considerations when you consider all the options. Most people look at such choices as carpet, natural wood, tile, synthetics, and combinations previously stated.
If your kitchen floor is like most it gets a lot of tracking, spilled food, dropped pans, and scraping chairs. So it needs to be durable, easy to clean and low maintenance. Good choices are tile, stone, bamboo or cushion synthetics. Natural wood and carpet are poor choices because of the traffic.
Once this is established the next decision is budget. Kitchen flooring costs vary greatly. Vinyl and linoleum are less expensive. They will last ten to twenty-five years—depending on the traffic. Ceramic or stone tile is more costly but will last long past your lifetime.
Let’s face it. Some materials wear better than others. This is a major consideration in a kitchen which can be the busiest room in your house. Vinyl looks nice and cleans easily. It is also scratch resistant. Vinyl gives you a wide range of colors and patterns from which to choose one that looks lovely with your cupboards and is aesthetically pleasing to you. (Remember: You will be spending a lot of time in the kitchen!) Vinyl, however, fades in the sun so if your kitchen gets a lot of sun, you might wish to consider tile instead.
More expensive to buy and install, tile is very durable and a breeze to maintain. However, tile—particularly stone or ceramic tile—does not have a lot of cushion. This may result in a tired back and feet if you do a lot of standing. Tile can also result in serious injuries if you fall on it.
While linoleum is resilient, its production is not very environmentally friendly. It is also more costly than vinyl. But, it provides a good cushion for walking and standing.
Ceramic tiles last practically forever but they are costly and can be cold for standing. They also provide little in the way of cushion. Ceramic tiles can be very slippery. They are not recommended flooring for seniors or young children. Accidents can result in serious injury.
While wood floors are lovely to behold they dent easily and are hard to maintain. Spills can cause permanent marks on wood floor. Synthetic wood products are a good alternative if you like that warm, natural wood look.
When it comes to choosing a kitchen floor, there are many decisions to make and a wide range of options.
Chosen carefully, the art in your living room can be the highlight of your personal collection.
If you are like most, your living room is a quiet comfortable haven where you read, watch TV, converse, and generally relax in the evening after the kids are in bed and you have a precious hour or so to kick back after a long, busy day.
But your living room is also likely the hub of your entertaining family and friends.
It follows then that the art you choose for this important personal and social space should add to the fresh, creative, welcoming ambience of your living room. The ideal artwork will be pieces that speak to you, but also are soothing and interesting for those who will from time to time share this space.
Art in your living room should be neither too loud nor too soft. As cosmetics expert Mary Kay said, “Less is more.” Your living room should not contain so many paintings and artwork that it distracts the viewer. Your focus should be quality not quantity.
The artwork you choose could be governed by any of these:
Make sure that the art pieces are neither too small nor too imposing for the room or the walls.
The art you choose should give the room the atmosphere you are looking for. Moreover, it should reflect your personality and your taste in art. When it comes to choosing the art for your living room do not let the taste of interior designers or art experts dictate what you put on your walls. Art is what speaks to you!
Stone tiling or natural stone tiling includes stone that has been quarried to be used as building material. Stone used for tiling includes: granite, marble, limestone, travertine, slate, quartz, sandstone, adoquin, and onyx.
In order for this to be used as tile, the stone must be hand selected and/or ground to shape.
There are several advantages of using stone tiling.
The stone is aesthetically pleasing. Unlike synthetic materials, which have uniformity, natural stone offers endless variations in color, texture, and tone. Stone tiling adds a touch of elegance to your room. It is a definite selling feature.
Many believe stone gives a tranquil feeling to the room in which it is used.
Natural stones are very durable and will last a lifetime.
Stone tile requires little maintenance. You do need to avoid placing hot, wet, or abrasive objects on the stone surface.
It is easy to clean. All you need to do is wipe spills.
Where some synthetics are not water resistant, stone tiling can withstand floods and overflows.
Because of its durability, stone tiling can be scrubbed. They are stain resistant, which makes them perfect for shower stalls. Cleaning takes far less time than synthetic materials. This makes stone very popular with busy people who have little time to clean.
Natural Stone does not exude harmful chemicals the way manmade products might.
Using natural stone is environmentally friendly. There is no emission from production and to date we have a large supply of stone.
Visit a stone yard where there are many choices of local stone. If you are unsure what to buy ask a stone expert. Your first consideration is how it will look in the room. Next is how the stone will be used. Each type of stone has its distinctly different appearance and use.
While there are many advantages to stone tiling, there are also disadvantages:
Stone tiling is extremely durable. It is also extremely heavy so extra supports are required. Because it is so heavy, stone tiling is more labor intense and it requires special equipment, possibly extra workers to move it.
Stone tile is cumbersome and time consuming to install. This makes the job more expensive.
Stone tiles have to “cushion” so walking on them in bare feet is difficult. Those with walking or back problems will not find stone tile very forgiving. Because stone is so hard, those prone to falls should not consider it as they could be very badly hurt in case of a fall.