Packed In Like Sardines? Make Better Use Of The Space In Your Home!

If you love your home, but it’s starting to feel a bit cramped, what do you do? Moving seems like the obvious option, but there are lots of reasons why that might not be possible. Maybe time or money restrictions prevent you from doing so, or perhaps you’re near good schools, your work or loved ones and don’t want to be too far away. Maybe you just don’t want to move as you adore your home? Either way, there are other solutions to the problem that don’t involve upping sticks and moving to pastures new. Making the most of all of the available room is one way to go about it, and chances are you have a ton of unused space that you can work with. Here are a few options.

Bedroom Cupboard

Having a large cupboard in the bedroom is always handy. To keep it simple you could keep it as a storage cupboard. Add plenty of shelves and drawers to make the most of every inch, that way your wardrobe isn’t bursting at the seams, and it’s easier to stay organized. If you have a lot of books, you could turn it into your own little mini library! Another option is you could turn it into a walk-in wardrobe if it’s large enough add hanging rails at the sides and a large mirror so you can get dressed. Finally, you could consider an ensuite bathroom. Speak to a plumber such as http://www.plumberstives.com.au to find out if having the correct pipes installed would be within your budget. If you’re bored of fighting for the bathroom every morning, this is ideal. Your own space to get ready in and shower in peace without kids banging on the door- bliss!

Attic Space

Attics in most homes are absolutely huge, and when you’re struggling for space in the rest of the home, it’s a shame to waste this. A full loft conversion with a proper staircase to turn it into a functioning bedroom is pricey, but worth the cost if you need the space and have the budget. Otherwise, having a basic loft conversion could give you a whole lot of extra storage space. You wouldn’t need to worry about having windows installed up there or a proper set of stairs, a folding loft ladder would do the trick. Have a company come and secure the floor, and an electrician fit a light, and you can turn it into the storage space of dreams. Instead of miscellaneous boxes everywhere, buy some drawers and shelving units and set everything up neatly. No more rummaging around in the dark or walking on beams every time you need something from the attic. All of your decorations for celebrations in the year can be put away neatly ready for use. You could have decor in the home for autumn/ winter and another lot for spring/ summer, and keep the off season stuff in the attic. You could even store your out of season clothes and footwear up there giving you far more space in your wardrobe and bedroom in general.

Cupboard Under The Stairs

The cupboard under the stairs is a great little storage area but often gets wasted. If yours is full of junk, clear everything out and repurpose it. It’s a handy place to keep things like your vacuum cleaner, mop, iron, ironing board and cleaning essentials. Install a couple of shelves to maximize the room. Alternatively, you could turn it into a cupboard for coats and shoes. It gives you somewhere to take them off when you come home without them cluttering up the hall. Again on shelves, you could have baskets of hats, scarves, and gloves. Have a light fitted in there making it easy to access. Depending on the size you’re working with, you could even have a downstairs bathroom installed. Most families will be looking for two bathrooms in the home when buying, so if you come to sell later down the line, you’ll add value to the property too.

Kitchen Corner

If you have a corner of your kitchen that’s empty space, why not consider creating a pantry? You could have some stud walls put up, or even find a suitable shelving unit and attach doors. A pantry is so handy in the home, it allows you to neatly store all of your dry ingredients and makes it easy to stockpile. Digging through kitchen cabinets can be a pain, with everything neatly laid out it makes it far easier to find what you need. You’ll probably find yourself cooking more, and will save yourself some money too. Having some handy store cupboard recipes on hand using dry ingredients and flavored with herbs and spices is handy between grocery shops or during leaner times.

Unused Garden Space

If you have a large garden, you’re incredibly lucky, although most of us only use them for a few months of the year. To make the most of it, having a conservatory or garden room built means you utilize the space all year round. Since they’re fully insulated, they’re just like any other room in the house and are handy if you’re running out of space. You could create a dining room in the conservatory, freeing up space in the dining room or living room. These could then be used for something else. You could turn a garden room into a home office or a guest suite. Either way, stealing a bit of space from the garden to use as an additional room is a good move in many cases.

Basement

Another potentially huge space that’s being wasted in your home is the cellar or basement area. They often end up as dank and dingy storage areas full of spiders and miscellaneous boxes. But a basement could be transformed into another living area, a teenager’s hangout, a games room or even a wine cellar. As with a loft conversion, you could go all out to transform it into a proper, usable room. Or just do a simple conversion but turn it into a storage space you will actually use. Get a proper light fitting installed down there, kill off the pests and spiders and put up some storage shelves, cupboards, and units.

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How to Make Your Home Summer-Ready

Well, we’ve waited for what feels like forever but the summer in very nearly here! After being huddled away from the cold, feeling cozy and warm, it’s time to start getting out into the world and enjoying the sunshine. But one thing that’s important to consider is whether or not your home is actually ready for the summertime. You might think that the only important things are getting your summer body and your summer wardrobe, but you’re going to need different things from your home depending on the season, and it’s much better to sort them out before the summer is fully underway and the heat is too intense.

Let there be light

During the winter months, there’s nothing like a warm, cozy home. Sitting on the couch reading a book by lamplight on a cold night is one of life’s most simple and wonderful pleasures. However, something that might have felt warm and cozy in December is likely to feel dark, stuffy and miserable in the summer. It’s time to make the most of the longer days and start letting in more and more natural light. Throw open your curtains! Arrange your rooms to spread the light as much as possible!

Bring in some air

It’s amazing how fast a home can go from being pleasantly warm to stifling and unbearably hot. The moment you start to feel that way it’s time to open all of your windows wide. In fact, you should open up all of your windows at least a couple of times a week. It will help improve the airflow inside the house and prevent a dank, sweaty atmosphere from setting in.

Get ready for outdoor fun

One part of your home that probably ends up neglected far more than any other during the winter months is your yard. It’s far too cold and wet to go outside, so it ends up going unused and becoming overgrown. Once the sun comes out the first thing to do is to bust out the lawnmower. Then, once the yard is usable again, you can find ways to make it fun, whether it’s by setting up a place for having picnics, or this amazing lounge pool with seats! There’s no better way to spend the summertime than enjoying it in your yard with family and friends.

Change colours

Why not make a big change in your home to match the changing of the seasons? Maybe the colors of the rooms could do with a little revamping? What might have seemed nice and cozy before might make the place seem a little drab and dark now that the sun is shining? Why not go for some bright, vibrant colors to match the weather? Yellows and light blues are fantastic for bringing a sense of life and vibrancy to any home, especially when the sunshine hits them. The right color can make a room feel bigger and brighter all at once.

Luckily, very few of these things will take that much effort, and you’ll be basking in the summer sun and relaxing with a drink before you know it.

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Making Home Dreams Come True

So the time has come to own your own home.  You have had enough of renting and the thought of being able to call a place your own fills you with excitement.  If you are about to embark on the path towards homeownership here are some things you are definitely going to need to know to make sure your first home is a good one.

  1. Know your budget – let’s start with the basics.  How much can you afford to spend on your home?  We all dream of the big beach front property but for most of us this just isn’t a reality.  Be honest with yourself about how much you can afford to borrow based on your earnings and savings and stick to the budget.  Remember your budget needs to include the price of the house, any renovations if you are going for a project buy and of course all the legal fees. Do the math before you even start the search and it will avoid a lot of heartache when the perfect house is outside of your means.
  2. Be needy – really consider what you need from a property. This isn’t just the size but also how your lifestyle will work within the properties you are looking at.  Do you need a spare room for when the family comes to stay? Do you spend more time in the kitchen or living room? Do you need a bath or will just a shower work.  Is a garden a must or can you live with a balcony? All of these and more are valid questions to ask yourself so that you can steer your realtor towards those homes that are going to best suit your needs.
  3. Clean up your act – there are lots of poor credit home loans on the market so don’t let a poor credit history stand in your way of home-ownership.  However if you can clean up your credit score you have more options when it comes to the type of mortgage deal that suits you.  You can dramatically improve your score by paying your bills on time and dealing with bad debt history.  For more information and advice check out Equifax.
  4. Bargain hunt – if you want a bigger house on a budget why not consider a project buy as a way of getting more for your money. Project buys are houses that need a little or a lot of work to them but because of that are sold off at much less than they are worth.  If you have time, patience and some good DIY skills you could save a fortune and add value to your home just by fixing it up.
  5. Plan ahead – unless you have a really good income or family money a mortgage is normally taken over a very long period of time, which means you need to consider your future earnings as well as your cash flow today.  Plan ahead as best you can for a financially sound future.

Home ownership dreams – image from sheknows.com

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Home Is Where The Heart Is- So Choose a Good One

There are so many things to think about when you’re buying a house. The size, location, budget and a million other things will all come into play. We all have a wishlist of the kinds of things we want in a home, here are some of the things you could add to yours when you’re going to viewings.

[Photo courtesy of /pexels.com]

A Good State of Repair

While properties which show signs of disrepair will hugely lower the price, don’t be too tempted by this unless you’re planning on doing a full renovation. Keep an eye on signs of pests, structural damage or other issues that will be very expensive to put right. Even if things look ok, it’s worth having a survey or home inspection done. Companies like Solex Group professional home inspection offer this, it can give you peace of mind and make sure you know you’ve made the right decision about a property. The last thing you want is to be stung with pricey repairs a few months down the line where you overlooked something.

The Area

You’re not just moving into a home, but an area or community. Make sure you do plenty of research on this before buying a home to make sure it matches up with what you want. You could look into things like crime rates and unemployment levels. You could see what parks and amenities are nearby, whether there are good transport links and what the schools are like. It’s easy to be bamboozled with a gorgeous property especially if you’ve found what you think is ‘the one’. But you can never change the area you’ve moved into, so make sure this is as good as the house.

The Garden

While you can landscape and change the garden itself, the size is something you’re stuck with. In fact, if you want to extend the home later down the line this will take space from the garden and make it even smaller. Therefore you need to make sure the size is something you’re going to be happy with. If you have kids and pets, is there enough space for them to run around and play? If you have a big family and like to host garden parties, will there be enough room for everyone?

Eco-Friendly Features

We all know how important it is to reduce our carbon footprint, and making changes at home is one of the biggest ways we can go about this. Therefore properties which have eco-friendly features are certainly worth considering over those that don’t. Solar panels, cavity wall and loft insulation and energy efficient windows and doors for example will reduce the amounts of fossil fuels we use. And as a bonus, your energy bills will be cheaper too. It’s something to ask when you view properties, that way if you’re tied between two and aren’t sure what to pick the eco-friendly home has an advantage.

What kinds of things are on your checklist when you’re looking for your next home?

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