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Guest Blogger DIYMama Erin Reynolds: Moving in Together? Here’s How to Make Your House a Home

Home, Couple, Mortgage, Real Estate, Moving, Together

Photo by Pixabay

 

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Home is where the heart is,” and it’s true. But, if you and your significant other are taking the next step and moving in together, it will take some work to make your house a home. Two personalities, styles, and preferences are coming together—and the two of you have to find a way to make them mesh that doesn’t involve dividing the house down the middle. The following are just a few tips to get your home organized, decorated, and settled so you can enjoy this new chapter.

Purging is a Must

 

No one likes to get rid of their things, but trying to fit two people’s worth of stuff in a home can be overwhelming, at best. A pre-move purge is a must for both of you. First, start by going through each room and separating items into keep, donate, sell, and trash piles. Once you’ve narrowed down your things, the two of you can come together and decide on duplicates, such as whose cookware, appliances, bedding, and furniture you’ll keep. You don’t need six frying pans and two mismatched couches. These decisions can be difficult, so if there are a few items you can’t agree on, put them in storage until you figure out what to do with them. The overall average price of a self-storage unit booked in Los Angeles, California over the past 180 days is $144.76. This is also a great place to keep items until you figure out the layout, as well as anything you don’t have room for now, but could see a future use for.

Keep Organization at the Forefront

 

Remember, a cluttered home isn’t cozy—it’s chaotic. This should be your mantra when it comes to home décor. Be sure to measure everything. By taking measurements before you bring items in, you might find your significant other’s loveseat is a way better fit than your bulky recliner. Make a conscious effort to use every inch of space wisely, as organization is an area couples tend to disagree on. For example, kitchen counters that serve as a drop zone could be your breaking point, while your significant other can’t stand a cluttered bathroom vanity. Make rules, but be willing to communicate and compromise. It may be helpful to look for versatile items that can serve multiple purposes. For example, if you insist on having piles of throw pillows and blankets accessible, but your partner thinks they are excessive and should be out of sight, meet halfway: For only about $100 you could get an ottoman that comes with built-in storage—a neat yet convenient place for those comfort items.

Don’t Overdo It When Mixing Styles

 

Designing and decorating a new home can be stressful. You could hire a professional interior decorator, though the average hourly rate can be as much as $500, according to Houzz. If you’re on a tight budget, though, don’t worry. There’s plenty of accessible (and free) advice online about designing and decorating a new home.

 

The two of you likely have completely different styles, which is why interior designer Sara Costello recommends painting walls a non-color such as white or cream. “With those non-color colors, you can weave in a palette that is masculine and feminine,” Costello said. Then, add pops of color via wall art, accent pillows, and various decorative items. If you have your own décor you are bringing in, incorporate it slowly, and make sure you both agree on it. Taking over the space can quickly lead to an argument. If you will be shopping for new furniture pieces, décor, or even something as simple as new bath towels, be sure you make purchases together so that one individual’s style doesn’t shine through more than the other.

 

Above all else, be kind and understanding toward one another. This is a huge change for both of you, and there will likely be arguments and disagreements. But at the end of the day, you are in it together. Take your time, go slow, talk often, and enjoy the ride!

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Posted by on October 25, 2018 in Organizing

 

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Let’s Clear the Air: How Your Home Can Make You Sick & What You Can Do About It by Guest Blogger DIYMama Erin Reynolds

Bed, Sheet, Sleep, Relax, Plant, Room, House

We all want a clean living space, but did you realize that even when your home is clean, indoor air pollutants can still be hanging around? Indoor air pollution is often worse than the pollution we’re exposed to outdoors and living with poor indoor air quality can lead to immediate and long-term sickness. To improve indoor air and live better, check your home for these common causes of pollution and take steps to eliminate them.

 

Seek Out the Source

You can’t get rid of indoor pollution without knowing where it’s coming from. Some of these causes are obvious, while others are less well-known and often harder to find.

 

  • Tobacco smoke – Smoke from tobacco contains thousands of chemicals, which are trapped in your home when anyone smokes inside. In addition to being released into the air, the chemicals in tobacco settle into furniture, rugs and just about any other surface in your home. According to The American Lung Association, secondhand smoke can cause respiratory infections, asthma, cancer and even heart attacks.

  • Household chemicals Chemicals come into our homes in many ways you wouldn’t expect. They can be present in your home’s building materials and paint, as well as in furniture, carpet and cabinetry. Many people also unwittingly add harmful chemicals to their home by using chemical cleaning products, air fresheners and personal care products.

  • Pets – Many people have allergic reactions to pet dander, which can be can be mild to severe and often include asthma, sinus problems and respiratory infections.

  • Mildew and mold – According to Bob Vila, mold can grow about anywhere there is excess moisture. If you aren’t sure if mildew and mold are a problem in your home, track your home’s humidity and search for any water leaks.

  • Harmful gases – Radon is a gas that is naturally occurring, but exposure to it has been linked to cancer, so it’s very important to have your home checked to determine if radon is present. Carbon monoxide is another deadly gas that could leak into your home from gas appliances such as gas stoves and hot-water heaters. Installing a carbon monoxide detector is an easy way to keep your family safe.

Simple Steps to Clear the Air

Even though indoor pollutants and allergens are rampant, you can make simple swaps and do some easy, environmentally friendly DIY repairs to eliminate problems.

  • Choose greener cleaning products – Look for cleaning products that are free of petrochemicals, artificial fragrances and other toxic ingredients. Natural alternatives are easy to find and they are much healthier because they don’t release toxic substances into the air.

  • Avoid toxic building materials – One of the biggest culprits of harmful off-gassing comes from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in paint. Fortunately, low or no-VOC paints are easy to find and repainting your home with environmentally friendly paint is a simple DIY project. When replacing cabinets, look for ones that are made from solid wood and use only non-toxic finishes. You can also find environmentally friendly materials for all kinds of home projects such as glue, caulking and insulation.

  • Purify the air in your home – You can’t avoid all pollutants entirely, but an air purifier can clean the pollutants out of the air in your home that can cause allergies and asthma.

  • Take advantage of nature – Outdoor air is purified naturally through trees, but you can get the same effect at home with houseplants that remove chemicals from the air. And along with all of these other steps, one of the simplest things you can do is open windows regularly to let fresh air in.

It sounds a little scary to think of all the dangers lurking in our homes, but the good news is that you can easily eliminate many of them. Making these simple swaps is better for your health and the environment, so it’s a win-win. When you make these changes, you will likely notice a difference right away, and you can rest easier knowing you’re protecting your long-term health too.

 

Photo credit: Pixabay

Check out our Guest blogger Erin Reynolds at http://diymama.net/

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2018 in Health

 

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