Roof repairs: If you can safely get onto your roof to inspect for missing shingles or other factors that may lead to a leaky roof, now’s the time to do it! If not, call in a professional organization and have them take care of the rooftop work for you. Seal it off: Inspect doors and windows to ensure that the weather-stripping is in good condition. This will keep your house warmer and cozier in the winter months. Hot stuff: Make sure that your heater and ventilation systems are in good working order! Clean out accessible ducts and replace filters where necessary. Chimney sweep: Creosote, a black substance that builds up in the chimney when wood is burned, can cause chimney fires. Inspect your chimney for creosote and call a chimney sweep to keep your fireplace safe and functional. Gutter check: Now’s the time to clean out those rain gutters again! If you want to do it yourself, make sure that you can safely access the gutters and then scoop out any debris, blast the drains clean with a high-powered hose, and repair any leaks you may find along the way. Image Credit: @maginnis via Twenty20
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Maintenance means everything: Ideally, you should clean your gutters twice per year. Maintaining clean gutters will help you to avoid drainage problems that could potentially lead to more costly repairs. Climb on up: Borrowing (or investing in) a good, sturdy ladder is the key to ensuring your personal safety and to making the task as hassle-free as possible. Make sure that the ladder is placed on a flat, steady surface, and follow the rule of two: never stand on the top two rungs of a ladder, as it becomes very difficult to maintain your balance. Protect yourself: Thick, heavy gloves are a must when performing this kind of task. Gutters may have sharp or jagged metal pieces as well as screws or nails that may pose a danger to your hands and fingers. Want additional protection? Safety glasses are also a good idea! Up on the roof: Santa might find rooftops to be a walk in the park, but for the rest of us, they aren’t generally ideal perches. However, if you have a flat roof or a roof with a low slope, you may find it easier to accomplish the cleaning by situating yourself up top. Always use extreme caution, wear non-slip shoes, […]
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First, you will need four cardboard boxes and a large trash can. Label the boxes as follows: Put Away Fix Set Free Mementos Set an alarm clock to go off in one to two hours. You don’t want to overdo things! Open the closet or junk drawer and select the first object. Now we will use the four definitions of clutter to help us decide what goes in the trash can or which box to use for each item. The trash can. You will find plenty of stuff that is absolutely unusable. Be ruthless. The “Put Away” box. Anything goes in here that is out of place and would be better off in a more convenient location. As soon as the alarm clock goes off you will take ten minutes or so to put all the items in this box where they really belong. The “Fix” box. If the item is damaged or missing a part, but you are certain you would use it regularly if repaired, put it in this box. Objects can only reside in the fix box for one week before they have to change residence! If you do not repair the item by week’s end it […]
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The first step in winning the Clutter Wars is to de-bug your own mind! Most of us don’t recognize clutter when it falls out of the closet onto our heads, so how in the world will we conquer it? Let’s start by defining what clutter is. Clutter is anything in your home: That is out of place That is broken That you have not used or worn in more than a year That you dislike Now don’t panic. I won’t be telling you to throw away everything that falls within the above definition of clutter. BUT once you get a clear picture in your head of what constitutes clutter you will be better able to deal with it! In the next installment we still start in one small place to give you some practice in sorting through all that clutter. Image Credit: @cannelle.olga via Twenty20
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Let’s look at some ways to prevent the clutter in the first place. You can call this your Homeowner’s Declaration of Independence. Garage sales are events you stage, not events you attend. Unless you are a professional junk or antique dealer, there is no reason for you to ever attend a garage sale. Think of them as the entry level drugs offered by the clutter “drug lord” to get you hooked. Discover the joys of borrowing. Let’s be honest. There are some things you might only use two or three times a year (fondue set, espresso maker, sewing machine, Super Dooper Foot Spa, etc.). You don’t need to buy these things! Your friends will be happy to dig them out from under their beds and loan them to you upon request. Throw away those full-color store ad inserts in your newspaper and the mailbox—do not browse them first. I’m talking about the good ones from Walmart, Kmart, Target, Kohl’s, etc. Those ads exist for one reason only—to make you think you need more stuff. I know, you think you are just window shopping, but that is the first step to buying a juicer with ten attachments, a second George Foreman […]
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