MAKE YOUR HOME A BUG-FREE ZONE

As we navigate our way through this summer, many of us are likely spending more of this season at our homes than usual. While relaxing outdoors can be a great way to spend your time, you might find that you are running into bug issues. Unfortunately, nice weather usually means an increase in pesky bug activities. Here are 5 simple ways to make sure you can enjoy your space outside and make your home a bug-free zone.

Get rid of any standing water.

Make sure you clean out gutters and downspouts regularly. While you may be aware that stagnant water attracts bugs, you may not realize those gutters can trap water and become a mosquito breeding ground. You should keep kiddie pools and watering cans empty when not in use.

Add plants that bugs hate.

Mint and citrus plants are your best bet to battling bugs you may not want around. Here are some pest-repelling plants and the bugs that hate them: Some of the best additions to your garden to keep bugs out are: basil, catnip, citronella, lemon thyme, lavender, marigold, rosemary.

Keep a tidy yard.

Bugs, especially ticks, love to hide in tall grass. Make sure you are mowing your lawn regularly and making sure plants aren’t crowding your home or giving bugs easy access inside.

Don’t mulch too much (or too close)!

Mulch generates heat as it decomposes, so it gives cockroaches and ants an ideal environment to nest and end up inside your home. Try to keep mulch areas a foot or so from your home’s foundation or consider inorganic mulch options.

Install patio fans.

An easy way to get rid of mosquitos is to add a patio fan to your outdoor space. Their bites are a pain, but they don’t put up much of a defense when they are pushed away by outdoor fans.

Using Baking Soda In Your Laundry Room

That orange box of baking soda tucked away in your fridge or kitchen cabinet can also be an inexpensive, and earth-friendly, solution for your laundry needs. It’s safe to use in both standard and high-efficiency washers and is one of the best products available to reduce your dependence on chemicals. Let’s take a look into the top 5 ways baking soda can be used in your laundry room:

  1. Reduce and Remove Laundry Odor

    The body odors found on our clothing and linens are caused by different types of bacteria. These bacteria are removed when the detergent’s molecules break them up and flush them away from the clothing. Less expensive detergents generally don’t have strong enough enzymes to remove all of the bacteria, so baking soda will be a great boost to your detergent’s bacteria fighting power. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to each laundry load to make your detergent work more effectively.

  2. Boost Bleach Performance

    Bleach is often used to removed odors and stains from our laundry; however, if the water is to acidic, bleach doesn’t do it’s job as effectively. Just as it boosts detergent performance, baking powder can also help how effectively your bleach works. Which equates to less use of bleach and it’s negative impact on our environment.

  3. Use As A Natural Fabric Softener

    Baking soda is great for regulating your water’s pH level in your washer. It does this by making sure the rinse water is not too acidic or full of alkaline. 1/2 cup of baking soda to each rinse cycle with balance the mineral deposits in the water and keep them off of your clothes. It’s the minerals that make your clothing feel stiff, baking soda is a shield for your clothes from these minerals.

  4. Great For Cleaning Irons

    Baking soda is a gentle and earth-friendly abrasive. The face plate of an iron is notorious for building up starch and scorch deposits. To remove this build-up, mix a paste of water and baking soda and rub the paste over the face of the cool iron with a white cloth. Gently wipe the build-up away. You can finish with a wipe of white vinegar with a fresh towel.

  5. Controls Water Suds

    If you accidentally use regular laundry detergent on a washing machine that requires HE detergent, you’ll get a mess of suds. They might be fun to look at, but they are a pain to clean up. If you make this mistake, just grab a box of baking soda and sprinkle it directly on the suds to break them down. The baking soda is good at absorbing the moisture and will make clean-up much easier.

Save Your Home From Dryer Fires

Every year, more than 2900 home fires are started by clothes dryers. The leading cause of these fires is from a build of up lint from lack of maintenance. The removable lint filter, unfortunately, doesn’t catch all of the cloth and fabric particles, so maintenance requires a little more than just emptying the filter after each load. Whether you live in your own home or plan to purchase in the near future, it’s important to have safeguards in place for the utilities that you use that could put your home at risk. You want to make sure that the lint that gets trapped in crevices and in the hose on its way outside are thoroughly cleaned. 

Here are a few warning signs to look for that may indicate your dryer is getting clogged up by lint:

  • Clothes are taking a lot longer to dry, and sometimes not even drying all the way.
  • Clothes may be hotter by the end of the cycle.
  • The outside of the dryer starts to get really hot.
  • The outside exhaust vent flapper isn’t opening much.
  • The laundry room begins to feel really humid.
  • There is a burnt smell in the laundry room.

If this seems to be the case, then you’ll want to evaluate your dryer. The tools you need to clean it are as follows:

  • A vacuum with a long hose attachment.
  • Dryer vent brush kit.
  • Screwdriver
  • UL listed metal foil duct tape

Here are 4 steps to cleaning your dryer:

1. Remove the lint trap filter and make sure it’s completely cleaned off. You want to make sure you’re cleaning the filter after every load to help prevent lint build up.

2. Vacuum the space that houses the lint trap filter. The filter doesn’t capture all of the particles, and this is the second place the lint will begin to accumulate. 

3. Disconnect the dryer duct and clean out the duct with a long hose from a vacuum. You can also use a duct brush to help you complete a more thorough job. 

4. Make sure the duct is connected properly. You don’t want it cinched in any part of the duct, to prevent crevices where the lint can get stuck. 

No one knows the value your home has as much as this real estate pro, keep it protected by taking some simple cautionary steps to keep everything in running order. And if you’re in need of a brand new laundry room altogether, don’t forget to give me a call.

Using Paint to Enhance the Size of a Room

Paint colors can drastically affect the feeling of a room. It can make it enjoyable to be in, or leave you feeling uncomfortable. It can alter the perception of the room’s shape and size and add to, or take away from, the atmosphere you’re trying to portray in your space. The paint you use in your house can make or break its aesthetics. 

COLOR TIPS

Dark Colors:
+ Adds coziness to a room.
+ Used to make a large room feel smaller.
+ Advances the color in the room.

Light Colors:
+ Used to make small rooms feel bigger.
+ Recedes the color in a room.
+ Light colors help a space feel airier.

Lighter colors tend to recede, which makes it appear farther away, therefore making the room feel bigger. Darker colors tend to advance, which makes them seem closer, in turn making the room feel smaller. You can use colors to completely modify the size of a room by perception. You can use this concept to minimize unattractive features in your house or highlight focal points. 

If your room is too large and doesn’t make the space feel cozy, you can paint your ceiling a darker color than the walls, to help them feel a little lower. Conversely, if your ceilings are too low and make you feel claustrophobic, you can paint them a lighter shade to help them feel higher.

Add Charm To Your Bedroom

With a new season upon us, you might be wanting to spruce up your bedroom to add a little charm and “newness” to your space. Here are some tips for decorating your bedroom by adding some charm and elegance. 
 

1. BEDROOM FURNITURE

Your bedroom furniture is what makes the biggest impression on you, first thing in the morning, and at the end of each day. You’ll want to add pieces to your bedroom that you’ll love, unique pieces that add character and charm to your personal space.

Canopy Beds

A modern style canopy bed can add a lot of simple beauty to your bedroom. Use a four-poster frame that is clean and matches your current finishes. A simple design allows you to dress up the bed as you please. Keep it clean for a masculine touch, or add a soft look by hanging gauzy panels. 

Daybed

Have an empty corner in your bedroom? You can consider adding a traditional style daybed and bring it to life with an elegant French countryside flair. Add lots of layered pillows and throws to bring out the character of your set. 

Antiques

Don’t be afraid to incorporate antique pieces throughout your modern decor. Adding a fun vintage trunk or even an antique dresser with a crisp bedding set can really coordinate a beautiful theme. Antiques can give your bedroom a lot of personality and provide a conversation piece.

 

2. LUXURY BEDDING

Sometimes, all a bed need is a new bedding set. Brands these days carry an array of fabric options, allowing you a large variety of textures and patterns to fit any bedroom style or mood.

Silk Bedding

If you want to do something outside of cotton sheeting, you can add a luxurious touch with some silk bedding. It’s naturally hypoallergenic and provides less friction sleep on your skin. Silk is beautiful and really stands out in a bedding set.

Linen Bedding

If you want a more lived-in look, linen helps achieve that in a modern and classic way. Use neutral colors to create a layered look that’s simple and relaxed.

Cable Knit Bedding

Expanding beyond the typical sofa throw, cable knit blankets are soft enough to use as your coverlet and add the right amount of texture for your decorative shams. Cable knits are the perfect blend of practicality, elegance, and comfort.

 

3. BEDROOM DECOR

Your bedroom furniture and bedding have a large role in making your master functional, but it’s the little things that will really bring out the personality and charm. Consider the type of mood you want your bedroom to have and decorate to match that mood. Do you want a dark cozy room? Do you want a spa-like feel? Or do you prefer a beach theme? Whichever mood you want to go with, adding decorative pieces can bring it together.

Throws & Quilts

Piling up on extra blankets can be a great way to add decorative pieces throughout your bedroom, that can also be functional. Quilts and silks add a cozy element to the room, whereas cotton can add a modern clean feel. Drape bed scarfs over chairs to add a lived-in look.

Flowers & Candles

The aroma of fresh flowers or a lit scented candle can help you unwind and enjoy the quiet moments in your bedroom. Scents can elevate the mood, but they also help you relax. Get one that isn’t too strong, can be enjoyed long-term, and fit’s into the decorative mood of your room.

Style Your Nightstand

Keep your nightstand free of cords and electronics. Clutter can bring a negative mindset, and when it’s the first place you look at in the morning, you want to keep the electronics and mess off your tables. Add a stack of timeless books, an elegant tray, or a decorative pieces of art. Only keep the necessities, like reading glasses, a glass of water, or your favorite book.