How t Clean up the bath
With the amount of time spent in the often space-challenged bathroom, it's easy to understand how the bath can quickly become the messiest room in the house. Luckily, a few simple steps will help turn your bath into a sane living space and help clean up your act in the bath for good.
Merge and purge
There's no sense in finding a place for items that should be thrown away. Be conscientious while going through cosmetics and other toiletries, as some cosmetics brands offer recycling incentive programs. M-A-C Cosmetics' Back to M-A-C Program, for example, gives you a free lipstick for every six containers you return for recycling.
Be sure to trash any expired medications and sunscreen, since out-of-date products may not work properly and take up valuable storage space.
Pull it together
To carry off a pulled-together look in the bath, install accessories that coordinate with bathroom faucets and fixtures.
The Sage collection from Moen Inspirations features a simple, transitional design available in chrome and brushed nickel finishes for a coordinated look. The collection includes a robe hook, mirror, glass shelf, tank lever, towel ring, towel bars and paper holders to add instant organization to your bath -- with an added decorative touch.
Dirty walls and chipped paint can make your bathroom look messy. Don't underestimate the power of a good coat of paint.
A gallon of quality paint costs approximately $20 and is a great way to freshen up the walls, add some color or pull a room together. And most paint manufacturers now offer non-toxic paints with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to reduce gaseous pollutants in your home.
Keep it clean
Once you've organized, give your bathroom a good scrubbing with non-toxic organic soaps and cleaners to help rid all surfaces of dirt, mildew and hard-water stains.
Sites such as www.greenhome.com list the latest lines of environmentally friendly cleaning products, so it's a win-win situation for your family and the environment. Also, keeping your cleaning supplies in the bath will serve as a constant reminder to keep tidy.
Once everything in your bathroom is clean and neatly stored and the finishing touches are complete, maintain your cleanliness with periodic pitching sessions. Regularly sort one section of the bath at a time, restoring misplaced items to their rightful homes and recycling, giving away or tossing things you haven't used in a year. By following a few of these tips, you'll be sure to kiss your messy bath goodbye -- for good.
Home-Selling Tip of the Week: Choose the right broker
Choosing the right person to sell your home is one of the most important steps of selling.
The following is a list of questions that may be helpful to ask while speaking with prospective real estate brokers:
1. How many years have you been in business?
2. For how long have you sold houses in this area?
3. How many houses did you sell in the past year?
4. What is your commission?
5. If I were to work with you, how would you market my house?
6. Will you organize meetings with potential buyers and will you coordinate them personally?
7. Can you give me names and telephone numbers of other families that have used your services?
-- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Home Improvements: Add the beauty of stone to your home
Whether used indoors or outdoors, stone adds warmth and character that no other building material can deliver. And with today's manufactured stone veneer products, stone's exquisite looks are within the reach of a wide range of homeowners.
Manufactured stone adds limitless potential to outdoor living areas, from a patio, fireplace or barbecue pit to a privacy wall. Inside, add manufactured stone to a fireplace or interior walls. It can even work as siding for the outside of your home.
A variety of styles and a variety of colors are available from manufacturers such as StoneCraft.
Decorating Tip: Draw inspiration from nature
This spring, the hottest trends in home decor reflect the beauty seen as Mother Nature awakes from her slumber.
- Emulate outdoor serenity: Create a peaceful element by adding a flower or greenery arrangement. Bright colors have pick-me-up appeal, while earthy tones convey calmness.
- Make practical pretty: This spring, practical items are getting a stylistic boost with new designs and fresh ideas. One idea is to add patterned fabric to a traditional flowerpot.
- Refresh what you already have: Use polymer clay to add spring-inspired designs to different glass items you have around your house. Consider updating glasses, old vases, candy dishes, and hand and lotion dispensers.
Did You Know …
You can save up to $34 each year by cleaning the lint trap on your clothes dryer before each and every load. -- www.energystar.gov
Garden Guide: Don’t drown your plants
Did you know that the No. 1 reason indoor plants die is overwatering? We all know the signs ... wilted, yellow, droopy leaves, mushy stems and blossoms that are leaning over and falling off. Some tips:
- Choose containers with proper drainage holes and avoid letting your plant sit in water in the catch basin.
- Use a light potting soil to allow drainage of excess water and provide oxygen needed by the roots.
- Follow the watering directions on your plant's tag. Some plants like succulents and cacti require less watering than moist-soil plants such as ferns and African violets.
- Moisture meters take the guesswork out of watering. These meters monitor the water content in any type of soil and give an automatic signal of your plant's water status that's quick, easy and accurate.
Trying to make your backyard more attractive to birds? Few things are more desirable than a well-maintained birdbath.
The best birdbaths mimic rain puddles, which are nature's birdbaths. Birds seem to prefer baths that are at ground level. If you're concerned about cats, raise the bath 2 or 3 feet off the ground.
Keep the water level at 1/2 to 1 inch deep at the edges, sloping to a maximum of 2 inches deep in the middle of the bath. Put some sand in the bottom of the bath to gives the birds sure footing.
Remember to change the water every couple of days to keep it fresh and avoid the growth of algae. Clean the birdbath regularly to get rid of spoiled food particles and droppings, which may spread bird diseases.
-- Cornell Laboratory of Orinthology
GateHouse News Service