Between work, family and fun, cleaning your home can feel like a drag—but most of us can’t afford to hire a cleaning crew, and so the task of weekly tidying and disinfecting is unavoidable. To help, below are three daily habits to a cleaner home.
Set a timer. Every night after dinner, set a timer for 15 minutes and have your family clean around the house: arm someone with disinfectant to wipe down the bathroom, set another loose on the living room picking up clutter, and hand out a trash bag to tackle any expired goods in the fridge. If you make this a daily task, cleaning your home will always feel a bit more manageable.
Do one room a day. If the timer method isn’t your thing (or if your family is a small one), pick a room or area each day to address: living room on Monday, bathroom on Tuesday, laundry on Wednesday, and so on. Depending on the size of your room, many can be handled in 20-30 minutes or less.
Multitask. Pair cleaning with something you enjoy doing, like listening to a podcast, phoning a friend, or watching your favorite show. Fold the laundry while you catch up on television, or wipe down the counters and surfaces while you gab with your sister or old roommate.
Anytime you move into a new home, one of the most important things to consider is the safety of your little ones. Baby-proofing your home may sound like a daunting task, but spending a little time when you first move in kid-proofing the house will save you much worry as you get the rest of your house ready.
The kitchen is possibly one of the most hazardous rooms for a young child. With all the cooking utilities and electrical appliances, this room is one of the most important rooms to have childproofed.
Oven knobs are an appealing gadget for children to play with, so make sure that they are off and protected with stove knob covers. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand in the kitchen and keep it out of reach on a high pantry shelf, mounted on the wall or in a childproof cabinet.
Bathrooms can be one of the trickiest places when baby proofing your home. Implementing safeguards is imperative for your child’s safety. In order to safeguard from slips, use non-slip mats for in and out of the tub, as well as any hard-surface floors that are near the bathroom. The chances of chasing a wet toddler around the house at some point is high, so adding these non-slip mats will aid in preventing any scrapes or bruises.
It is also important to install a toilet lock so any curious little fingers don’t get caught and smashed by accident. This will also prevent the little ones from any exposure to anything unsanitary. It’s also useful to cover the tub spout in order to protect his or her head from any danger in case they fall.
In the nursery, make sure that your crib slats are 2 3/8 inches or less apart. For those with real little ones, you may want to remove all the bumpers, blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals from the baby’s crib, as some reports have indicated that children could suffocate on them. This also includes mobiles with small hanging parts.
Rather than using the plastic outlet covers we all grew up with, consider using the new innovative sliding covers instead. This prevents children from choking on the little plastic covers if they manage to get them out.
When you think, “childproofing,” a baby monitor is a must-have. Although, you want to ensure that the cords are wound tightly and are always away from the crib. There is also the option of a cordless monitor as well.
Additionally, if you have pets, be aware that pet food is a choking hazard and should not be left unattended. Either keep the pet in a room where your child can’t get to, or remove the food bowl as soon as your pet is done eating.
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Getting out of a lease isn’t easy. But there are some steps you can take to make the process less stressful for both you and your landlord.
Breaking a lease so you can move into a new home can unleash some expensive problems. Not staying for the full term of a lease can result in having to pay the total rent for the entire period. If you’re moving out six months early, for example, your landlord can require the remaining six months of rent, or at the least a large fee to get out of the lease.
Here’s how you can avoid conflict and break your lease without hurting your tenant-landlord relationship:
Ask your landlord months before you actually want to break your lease. They may be open to it for a number of reasons:
- A hot rental market could allow them to rent to a new tenant at a higher rent.
- If your lease was going to end in the winter, the landlord might prefer a summer move out when they can find more possible tenants.
- Giving as much notice as possible gives your landlord more time to find a new tenant and minimizes loss of income.
Find a Replacement
Maybe you know a friend who wants to rent your apartment. Ask your landlord if you can sublet to them, or let them take over your lease. If not, then at least your help with finding a new tenant should allow your lease to be cancelled without a fee.
Even if you don’t find a replacement, you shouldn’t have to pay any more rent when a new tenant moves into your unit. Landlords can’t double dip on rent from you and a new tenant.
Be a Good Tenant
If you’ve always paid your rent on time, have taken care of the property and let the landlord know of any problems as soon as they happen, then you’re probably considered a good tenant and they might be willing to cut you a deal on breaking the lease.
Offer to clean the unit and move out early so it can be shown to more people, or at least keep it tidy while you’re living in it so it can be ready for showings. Work with the landlord in finding a new tenant.
Review the Lease
Carefully read the lease for an opt-out clause. You may be allowed to pay a small fee and avoid paying the remaining rent so you can move out early. If necessary, ask a lawyer for help.
Throwing on a new coat of paint inside and out can be a good start to preparing a home for sale, but there are plenty of other things home sellers can do to get their home ready to go on the market and get the best price possible for it.
Here are five things to do to help sell your house:
1. De-clutter and de-personalize. Buyers want to imagine your home as their home. That’s hard to do when your photos, knicknacks and even kitchen appliances are taking up countertop space or any other flat surface. Put away everything you can, including family photos, vacation souvenirs, religious items, stacks of CDs and as many personal items as possible.
2. Stage it. If your home is empty or your furniture isn’t in excellent condition, then stage your home by hiring a professional. This helps showcase your home in its best possible light.
3. Landscaping: Staging a home’s exterior can also help. This can include planting flowers, and painting or renting outdoor furniture for an open house. Make your back yard look like an inviting place for a Sunday brunch, and you just might attract more buyers.
4. Invite the neighbors over. As most real estate agents will tell you, some of the first visitors at an open house are neighbors looking for design ideas for their own homes. Or maybe they’re just nosy. Either way, it’s worthwhile to hold an early open house for neighbors only and turn it into a party with drinks and appetizers so they can spread the word about what a great deal your house is to house hunters they know. If nothing else, the early event might keep them out of your real estate agent’s hair when real buyers come over.
5. Post a video tour. Use your phone’s video to record a short walk-through of your home and post it on your Facebook page. Show the inside and outside of the home, and tell a few tales of what you love about the house. Your real estate agent can also hire a professional to shoot a video to place on the listing’s website.
There are plenty of other tactics you can employ to sell your home fast. One of the best strategies, however, is to hire a great real estate agent who has a track record of successfully selling homes in your area. They’re likely to have some excellent advice on how to move your home quickly for the best possible price.