Eight Tips to Help Declutter Your Home

Declutter your home

When spending time at home you may realize how badly it needs decluttering. Having things crammed into every corner is not an appealing way to live. (And, if you are planning on selling your home in the near future, a thorough cleaning and decluttering is a must.) Here are eight tips to make the decluttering process more bearable:

1–Paperwork
Paper here, paper there, paper everywhere. A few pieces of paper turns into piles and piles. Cleaning out paper is a page-by-page task. Have a discard pile for recycling and be sure to shred anything with sensitive info. If you have papers to keep, place them in a more organized order with a labeled filing system. Or, consider scanning important documents and keeping only digital copies.

2–Home Records
How organized are your home records? Have a binder that has your improvement records and receipts. Store warranties in those binders, too. (When it comes time to sell your home, you will have all of your documents at your fingertips.)

3–Closets
When you open the closet does something jump out? If so, it’s time to tackle one closet at a time. Be ruthless. If you have not used an item in a year, do you really need it? Why are you holding onto those 1990s clothes? Remember, even if they come back into style, color and sizes change. Be sure to donate clothing that is in good shape to a place like Good Will or another organization. Remember, less is more.

4–Pantry
Cans from the year 2010 are not a good thing. Check expiration dates and discard old items. While you’re at it, think about attacking the freezer for old items.

5–Basement and Garage
If your basement and garage are dumping sites, you made need to plan some time sorting through items. If these things are in your basement or garage and you are not using them, why are you keeping them?

6–One Room at a Time
Don’t let the clutter overwhelm you. Tackle one room at a time. Start with the messiest room first. You will have a feeling of accomplishment when that room is done.

7–Why Are You Holding onto Something?
Things can be functional and sentimental. If you are keeping something you do not regularly use, ask yourself why you need to have it.

8–Sell Items
You may be getting rid of household items that someone else might cherish. Consider selling unwanted things with Ebay or Facebook Marketplace. You will get rid of the clutter and make some money at the same time!

The Result?
By clearing out clutter now, you will enjoy your home all the more and it will be easier to maintain and clean. And, when it’s time to sell, your home will not only look more appealing to home buyers, but you will have less stuff to haul to your new home.

Need help with organizing your home? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can recommend professional vetted vendors to you.

 

 

At Home? Read about these Affordable Home Improvement Ideas

PaintWhile spending time in your home, now may be the time to think about making home improvements. (And, this does not always mean breaking the bank!) Here are 10 cost-conscious ideas to make your home an even better place to live:

1 – Tile Backsplash
A backsplash in a kitchen or bath makes that room look more sophisticated. This project can be either DIY or hire a professional if you do not feel confident. Select tile that ties in the cabinets, counters and wall color. Learn more about backsplash options here.

2 – Paint
Paint is a very economic way to update your home. Consider painting one wall in a room with an accent color to add drama and a focal point. Or, paint the entire room with a fresh, neutral color. Light tan, grey and white are popular colors now.

3 – Trees
Trees look attractive in landscaping and can reduce your cooling costs in warmer months.

4 – Bathroom Sink
Replace your old bathroom sink and make your bath look more modern.

5 – More Bathroom Updates
Consider replacing the toilet seat or re-grouting tile.

6 – Kitchen Faucet Set and Cabinet Door Handles
Replace the faucet set with a more up-to-date version. Kitchen cabinets will look fresh with new handles.

7 – Replace Appliance Facades
Some kitchen appliances have facades that are replaceable. Contact the manufacturer to see if you can order panels that will create a cohesive look in your kitchen with an all-black, white or stainless look.

8 – Lighting Fixtures
If you have old, outdated fixtures, new lighting can make a room look fresh and up-to-date.

9 – Cover Basement Columns
If your unfinished basement has unattractive support columns, you can cover them with Pole-Wrap. This way, you can still use the space as a playroom or home office.

10 – Garage Organization
Organizing your garage will benefit in more storage space and room for cars. Consider adding a few shelves and plastic bins.

Need help with any of your home improvements? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can recommend professional vendors to help with any home-related project!

 

Buying a Home? How To Overlook Minor Blemishes

Young woman painting wall at homeWhen searching for a home to buy, keep your eyes open for possibilities when touring. If a home meets your price and location needs, it may require just a few modifications to suit your taste. Here are some tips about overlooking minor flaws and blemishes:

Old Homes
“Old” does not mean “bad”. Homes built many years ago have withstood the test of time. Many are well constructed with quality materials. Newer homes may offer more modern conveniences, but might lack that charm and character that an  older home offers.

Paint Colors 
Repainting a room is one of the most economic and easiest changes to be made to a home. Instead of focusing on the colors of a room, pay attention instead to a room’s structure.

Wallpaper
If you do not care for the wallpaper selection in a home, remember this can be fixed by removing, covering over or replacing it.

Kitchen Appliances
Do not discount a home just because the kitchen’s appliances are older. A kitchen appliance such as a refrigerator can be replaced as long as the item fits your budget. You many need to live with the old appliance for a while and save up for a newer one.

Dated Decor
The decor in the home may not be to your taste, but you like the floor plan.  The home’s furniture will be gone when you move in and you can decorate rooms to your taste and style. So, forget about the flowery curtains or that funky chair.

Carpeting
There are many different types of flooring available at all price points. If you cannot afford to replace carpeting with hardwood floors, then a laminate that looks like hardwood may be the answer. Keep this in mind when you are touring a home with ugly green carpeting.

Popcorn Ceiling
A ceiling specialist can be hired to scrape off the popcorn look from the ceiling. It is best done before you move in as it is a messy job.

No Curb Appeal
Perhaps the home just needs bushes trimmed, flowers planted or the front door painted. A lack of curb appeal might need just a little TLC from you!

Need help fixing up a home? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services.Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can recommend experienced and vetted home-related vendors and services.

Get Your Home Ready For Spring Now!

Hands of worker using a silicone tube  for repairing of window

It’s been a mild winter so far this year. Perhaps now is a good time to focus on some spring-oriented house projects to prepare for the upcoming warmer months (as well as have your home staged to be “market ready” if you are planning on selling). Here are some projects to tackle inside and outside of your home:

PROJECTS INSIDE THE HOME

How are the “Holders” Doing?
Are the towel racks and toilet tissue paper holders sturdy? If not, unscrew the item and see if it needs a more secure wall anchor like a toggle bolt.

Door Hinges
If you have squeaky doors, get some powdered graphite and squirt it into the pin where the hinge turns.

Floor Boards
If floor boards make noises then you need to secure them down better. You can also add talcum powder in the seams to lubricate boards that rub against each other.

Shut-off Valves
Check your sinks and toilets to make sure the shutoff valves are not rusty. WD-40 can help.

Shower Ceiling
If the paint is not looking so great above your shower, scrape it off, re-coat it and then use high-quality exterior-grade paint. This type of paint should take the heat and moisture better in this room.

Windows
If it is warm enough, this could be a great time to clean the windows inside and out. Be sure to check for any gaps.

Loose Handles
If any cabinet doors have loose handles, you can probably tighten them up easily with a screwdriver. Or, if the screw will not tighten, stuff a toothpick (coated with glue) into the space or use a larger screw.

Safety First!
Be sure to change your batteries to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Outlets
Test your ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets found in the kitchen, bath or outdoors. Make sure the device trips and resets correctly.

Clothes Dryer Vent
Vacuum lint out of the vent pipe where it connects to the dryer. Wipe off lint from the dryer vent.

Drain Hoses
Inspect the hoses for the clothes washer, dishwasher and ice maker.

De-Clutter
Now could be a great to go through closets and drawers and de-clutter. Donated unused items such as housewares and clothing. Other items may be placed into your recycling bin. (You’ll need to check to see what is recyclable or not.) And, you may want to pass on some items to a friend, relative or neighbor who could use them.

Paint
If the paint on your home’s interior walls is out of date, chipped or in bad shape, think about adding a new coat.

A Big Clean
Now could be a great time to plan a thorough cleaning of your home. Wipe down walls and floors. Dust ceiling fans and light fixtures. Vacuum and mop floors. Carpets may need to be professionally cleaned.

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PROJECTS OUTSIDE THE HOME
(WHEN IT IS WARM ENOUGH!)

Check Gutters
See if any gutters are loose or have leaks.

Check Roof Shingles
Inspect for damaged shingles from the winter. Shingles that are cracked, buckled, loose or missing granules need to be replaced. (Use binoculars to check!)

Concrete Slabs
Fill any cracks with concrete crack filler or silicone caulk.

Hose Faucets
Check for freeze damage from the winter. Turn on the water and place your thumb over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, the pipe inside the home is damaged.

Air Conditioning
Have your air conditioning serviced once it is warm. Coils should be cleaned. Interior filters should be changed regularly.

Have a Wood Deck?
Remember the wood needs to be protected with a sealant to keep in good shape.  A thorough power wash can help make the deck look ship-shape, too.

 

Need help with any of these home-related activities?
Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They are in touch with many vetted service vendors and can make recommendations to you.

Your Winter Home-Maintenance Check List

Caulking WindowWinter officially begins on December 21st, and now is the time homeowners should take the time to perform one last check of their homes before cold, snowy, icy weather really sets in for the next few months. Doing so can help to keep everyone in the house safe and warm, while also saving money and averting potential issues.

Pipes
Perhaps the biggest financial risk homes face during the winter are burst pipes. When that happens, water can spill into the walls and cause a lot of damage long before a problem is even detected. It’s always wise for homeowners to assess where they stand with their water pipes.

Pipes that run along the outside of a home or along the ceiling in the basement and are uninsulated could be at risk. Wrapping them in an economic, specialized material or even towels can help protect them even if a home’s heating system stops working. Wrap your pipes and keep your home at 65 degrees or more. Also, know where your home’s water shutoff is located, so you can quickly shut off your water in an emergency.

Other Insulation
When insulating pipes, it’s also important to make sure you aren’t losing a lot of heat through uninsulated attics or other spaces. Since heat rises you may lose a lot more heated air through ceilings. When attics are properly insulated along floors, they not only help to save on heat, but also prevent potential ice dams from forming undetected on the roof because a warmer roof can lead to snow melting under its surface.

Up on the Roof
When thinking about the roof, it’s a good idea to make sure all tiles or shingles are in good shape; and all gutters are cleared of fallen leaves and other debris that can lead to backups and more potential ice dams. A quick trip up a ladder might be all it takes to identify problem areas before they become major issues.

Inspect Your Home’s Exterior
Inspect the exterior of your home and look for any cracks and holes along the edges of window frames and doorways. Fissures can be filled or covered with caulk, which will help keep the heated air inside this winter. While any individual crack or hole is going to be small, some experts estimate that the collective area of all of them across an entire house can amount to the size of an open window.

Need Help?
If you are not comfortable climbing onto the roof or doing other home-related activity, reach out to Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can make recommendations of vetted vendors to you.

Brought to you by Cinch Home Services. An industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click https://www.cinchhomeservices.com/partners/real-estate/overview 

 

12 Tips to Keep Your Home Warmer in Winter

Brrr. It’s getting colder outside. Here are 12 tips to make your home warmer without cranking up the heat:

1 – Ceiling Fans
Use your ceiling fan throughout winter by setting the fan in a clockwise motion. This will force warmer air down into the room.

2 – Doors 
Make sure the door frame and the space under the door is well sealed. Weather stripping can help provide an air barrier. Door draft stoppers are helpful to keep air out from the bottom.

3 – Rugs
Hardwood and tile can be chilly. Use rugs on bare floors to provide some warmth to your feet.

4 – Open the Curtains
Let the sun in by opening south-facing curtains and blinds on sunny days. Close the curtains at night to provide a barrier. Thick curtains with a thermal lining are best.

5 – Windows
Make sure windows are latched. If you do not have newer windows, you may want to consider adding window film on them to seal in the heat.

6 – Have a Fireplace?
Keep the damper closed when not in use. And if you are home to supervise, light a fire.

7 – Programmable Thermostat
Programming your home to be warmer when home and at a lower temperature when away will save you money.

8– Unused Rooms
Close off unused room to stop air from circulating into them.

9 – Insulation and Sealing
Heat escapes through the attic since warm air rises. A well-insulated and sealed home can use as much as 45% less energy for heating or cooling. (Need professional help with this activity? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services.)

10 – Cook
Cooking is a warm activity! The heated over will add warmth.

11 – Exercise
Vigorous exercise will warm you up and keep you warm!

12 – Still Cold?
Put on some thick socks and drink hot chocolate!

Winterize Your Home Now So You Can Sell This Spring

Road in snowIt’s important  for homeowners to keep their homes in the best shape possible during the winter season and be prepared as potential listings for the spring. A little bit of work to winterize properties before colder weather really sets in can go a long way toward keeping a home in great shape.

Start Indoors
There are plenty of ways to winterize a home and the simplest usually start indoors. For instance, by simply checking and swapping out old furnace filters (which are available at a relatively low cost) homeowners can both improve the quality of the air in their homes and make those furnaces run far more efficiently.

Don’t forget to drain the water pipes that run water outdoors. Whether it’s a spigot that comes out of the side of the house or an underground sprinkler system, flushing them out at this time of year is vital. Otherwise, they can burst, leading to lots of water damage and costly repairs.

Where Inside Meets Outside
Homeowners may not be aware, but a primary cause of high heating bills is cracked seals around doors and windows. These can be small, but across an entire house can add up to be equal to the size of leaving a window open. Going through the home and inspecting the frames around windows and doors for cracks or fissures, then closing them up with weather stripping or a sealant, will make a home heating more efficient.

Make sure the roof is in good shape before the first snowfall or cold rain. If there are damaged shingles, replace them, and if gutters are clogged with fallen leaves or other debris, clean them out. In a lot of cases, a small issue on the roof can lead to big problems if left unaddressed.

Owners of older homes should evaluate their insulation situation. If it hasn’t been changed out in a decade or more, now might be the right time to do it. Often, homeowners might not even notice the difference over the years, but putting in new insulation could really help them save on their heating (and cooling) costs for years to come.

Out in the Yard
This time of year is the right one to go around your yard and see if there are any hazards, such as rotting trees or big, overhanging branches. Weighted down with snow, they could fall and do damage to your house or other parts of the property. Taking some time now (before the first big snowfall of the year) to trim them back or have them removed altogether can help avoid what would otherwise be some rather costly damage.

It’s also important to have plenty of products on hand to keep walkways clear – with de-icers and shovels and perhaps even a snowblower – so guests and family members can keep their footing even when conditions aren’t ideal.

When Selling a Home
Many homeowners who plan to sell within the next few months may not think of all these aspects of winterizing as being particularly vital, but if something were to go wrong with their plumbing, roof, siding or any other part of the home, that could really hurt their sales prospects.

Following all the above steps is a great idea, and it’s also important to add protection with a home warranty on top of any and all winterizing efforts. A home warranty can protect both buyers and sellers – even before the real sales process formally begins –because it will add financial protections in case a major home system or appliances suffer a mechanical failure. That, in turn, can provide all parties involved in the sale with peace of mind, even long after it has been finalized.

Need help with winterizing your home? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services who can recommend vetted service vendors to you!

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.