Organizing Tips: Attic Storage

Your attic; it’s a great place for storing things that you need to keep out of the way for most of the year. Maybe a little too great. If your attic is anything like most people’s it quickly has become overridden with anything and everything you can’t quite let go of or don’t know where to put. Perhaps it’s overwhelming to even think about your attic. If you are ready to make your attic more organized or need an idea of where to start, keep reading.

If you are planning a major overhaul on your disorganized attic consider breaking up the following tips over a longer span of time than just the weekend to avoid being overwhelmed. The process of sorting through the items that find their way to the attic can be mentally draining as well as physically.

Start with a decluttering process. Create a blank slate by pulling everything out of the attic and get rid of everything you no longer want to hold onto. Holding a yard sale or donating items are both ways of giving things you no longer want a chance at a second life and keeping them out of the dump. This is also a great time to figure out what should stay in the attic and what can be moved to other places in the home. Some types of household goods are best not stored in an attic.

Once you have settled on what will be staying create an inventory of what is left and create categories for the items you will be storing in your attic. Themes should become apparent such as Christmas ornaments and nostalgic items. Group these similar items together so the next steps will be easier.

Now that you know what items are staying and what categories you have you can start thinking about storage arrangements. If you have been keeping everything in cardboard boxes or just strewn about consider investing in some plastic bins for safer storage. Plastic bins can help protect against any roof leaks or other unexpected damage. If you have enough vertical space installing shelving units will help maximize the space available in your attic and allow you to easily organize everything. Be sure to properly store things (Christmas ornaments are wrapped, documents are in file folders, etc.) and label each box accordingly.

Designing a layout plan for where containers are placed in your attic will set you up for success in the future. Place lower priority items towards the back of your attic space and/or in harder to reach areas while placing more frequently used items in easy to reach areas.

Extra steps for the dedicated: Create an inventory of what is in each box and number them, add this list to a home organization binder or somewhere handy to reference. This will allow you to know what is where in your attic and eliminate opening every box each time you want to find something. Color coding bins by their category and/or numbering them will allow for easy inventory creation and knowing which bins contain holiday decorations or seasonal clothes.

While the thought of organizing your attic might fill you with dread taking the time to do so will allow you to create a storage space in your home that is stress-free and easy to access. With a clear plan in hand and spreading out your organization project over several days planning out your attic storage might even become an enjoyable task!

Staging a Pet-Friendly Home


Staging your home for potential buyers can be quite the hassle. You may start moving your furniture around spontaneously, or become tense when your children or spouse make messes in a room that you just prepped for show. With all of the planning that one can put into making their home shine, one crucial step in home staging is often overlooked: your family pet.

For the sake of simplicity, I will outline a few things that you must keep in mind when cleaning up after your pet in a home for sale.

Pet presence – For obvious reasons, some pets can’t leave the house. Giant enclosures, aquariums, and disabled pets are hard to relocate sometimes, and a lot of people will be understanding of this. But if your dog or cat is healthy, then you’ll want to strongly consider relocating your pets temporarily. Many people aren’t pet owners, and don’t like being around an excitable golden retriever or a yippy chihuahua when they are trying to imagine their family occupying your home. Remember….You are trying to make the potential buyer as relaxed as possible. Ask a friend if they wouldn’t mind looking after your loved one for a bit, and if all else fails, look into a reputable boarding service for your pet.

Fur – Fur can get everywhere. Even in places that you, as a resident of your home, don’t necessarily notice all of the time. Be sure to give your couches, chairs, and love seats proper attention. That means taking the pillows and cushions off, and using a hand vacuum or brush to remove all of the fur you see. After you are sure that they are thoroughly cleaned, use a fabric freshener to finish it off. Try to do this well in advance of the potential buyer, as some people have sensitivities to fabric fresheners.

Litter – No matter what kind of animal you have, odds are you have do deal with some form of waste. It may sound pretty obvious, but make sure your litter beds are clean and well hidden. Even if you own an exotic pet like a reptile of amphibian, this includes you too. Many people don’t like snakes, but they’ll like a messy snake cage even less. Another important thing to remember as an exotic pet owner is this: even though you may not be able to smell anything offensive coming from your reptile’s cage, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an odor. Many people who live with reptiles get used to the subtle odors that emit from the cages, and will tend to spot-clean their animal’s cage without giving it the proper scrub-down that it needs.

Odors – Don’t use air fresheners to mask pet odor. It is meant to freshen the air…Not cover pet odors up. Instead, use powdered cleaners on carpets and rugs that your pets frequent. These can be purchased at your local pet store in the cleaning isle. Odds are, if someone has a severe allergy to animals, then they are going to be at risk of having a reaction. The cleaner the house, the less dander will be in the home.

How to Start a Compost Bin

If you keep a garden but find yourself throwing away leftover food, you’re probably missing out on the opportunity to reclaim the nutrients of that food through composting. When you compost, you’re essentially speeding up nature’s process of breaking down organic matter into fertile soil. The compost can then be used to nourish the soil of your garden or lawn. Today you’ll learn how to make a compost bin, mix the compost, and then spread it into your lawn and garden so you can make the most of the extra waste you have at home.

Making a compost bin

There are endless ways to make a compost bin. In fact, a bin isn’t even necessary to make good compost, and some people choose to just keep a pile that they turn throughout the year. Making a bin has many advantages, however: it keeps the compost pile warm and moist (two essential elements that speed up decomposition), it keeps pests out of your compost, and it keeps your neighbors happy who might not want to smell decomposing food when they go outside.

Compost bins are commonly made from wood, chicken wire or plastic. Some towns even subsidize compost bins to encourage people to compost rather than throwing their compostable waste in the trash. Old wooden pallets are a great product to build compost bins from.

Adding compost to your bin

People who are new to composting often worry about what can be composted. Once you get started, though, you’ll soon realize that almost any organic matter will break down in a compost bin. Beginners often stick to vegetables, coffee grounds, grains, and materials from your yard.

Greens and Browns

Compostable materials are often broken down into greens (nitrogen-based materials) and browns (carbon-based materials). Your compost bin doesn’t need a perfect balance to be effective, but using some of each type of organic matter will produce the best results.

Too much brown matter in your bin will be hard to decompose. Too much green matter will make the compost slimy. Here are some examples of great carbon and nitrogenous materials to put in your bin:

Brown:

  • dry leaves
  • straw
  • newspaper
  • sawdust
  • wood chips

Green:

  • fruits and vegetables
  • weeds from the yard
  • fresh grass clippings
  • flowers
  • coffee grounds

Maintaining the compost pile

To create a good environment for decomposition you’ll need three things: heat, moisture, and air. This makes compost bins relatively low-maintenance, but here are some tips to speed up the decomposition process:

Heat

In the spring and summer, nature will provide this for you, but having an enclosed bin that receives plenty of sunlight will help you out.

Moisture

The bacteria that are doing the composting in your bin require water to live. But too much water will make your bin a slimy mess. Shoot for moist, not wet.

Air

A compost bin needs to be aerated to blend the ingredients together. You don’t need to turn it often; once every two to three weeks is fine.

 

Now that you know all you need to about making great compost for the lawn and garden, it’s just a matter of mixing it in and reaping the rewards. Mix compost into garden soil and lawns early in the spring and in the fall after harvest to keep the soil healthy year-round.

Total Closing Costs

Closing costs vary based on the property you buy and where it is located. Closing costs will consist of several of the following items:

• Attorney’s fees
• A fee for running your credit report
• A loan origination fee, which lenders charge for processing the loan paperwork for you.
• Title search fees, which pay for a background check on the title to make sure there aren’t things such as tax liens or unpaid mortgages listed against the property
• Inspection charges required or requested by the lender or you
• Discount points, which are fees you pay in exchange for a lower interest rate.
• Appraisal fees
• Survey fees, which covers the cost of verifying property lines.
• Title Insurance, which protects the lender in case the title is not a clean title.
• Escrow deposit, which may pay for a couple of months’ worth of property taxes and private mortgage insurance
• Inspection fee for pests
• Recording fee, which is paid to a city/county in exchange for recording the new land records
• Underwriting fee, which covers the cost of evaluating a mortgage loan application