Sue Revis' Blog
Most everyone would love to gain some extra room, especially those in small homes with limited space options. Here are three home interior DIY projects to help you maximize your space.
1. Transform a Closet into Workspace
If you’re lacking the room for a home office, transform one of your closets into a mini-office. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to give yourself a dedicated workspace.
- Remove the door and hinges.
- Empty the closet and give it a good wipe down.
- Disassemble hanging rods.
- Touch up or repaint the closet’s interior.
- Add two to three shelves—a deep one to serve as your desktop and additional ones for storage.
If you prefer a traditional desk and your closet is wide enough, slide one in and eliminate the need for a deep shelf.
2. Mount Your TV
Modern styles are all about minimalism and entertainment centers don’t exactly fit this look. Besides, media consoles take up a ton of floor space. An easy way to reclaim this useful space is to mount your TV to the wall or above a fireplace.
- Choose a mount for your TV—this will be a tilting mount, low-profile mount or full-motion mount.
- Select a location and determine the best viewing height—be sure you have sufficient outlets and access to cable connections you need.
- Cut out a piece of TV-sized cardboard or poster board and tape it to the wall to get a “visual” of your TV’s position.
- Locate a stud and mark it. (If mounting to a fireplace use masonry anchors.)
- Before you drill, use a level to ensure the wall mount is even.
- Drill holes, attach your mount and secure it so it doesn’t collapse.
- Add a cord cover to hide unsightly wiring.
Media consoles were useful before flat-screen TVs became the norm, but most people today can easily get by with a wall-mount and a shelf to hold cable boxes, media players or game consoles. If you need additional storage, add a small table with cabinet space.
3. Build Window Seats
Adding window seats to any room eliminates the need for extra seating on the floor, gives a cozy look and offers additional storage space.
- Buy two wall cabinets about 30 inches wide by 15 inches high. You can purchase new or, to scale back costs, check secondhand stores, such as Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, for used cabinetry.
- Use plywood (2x4 or 2x6) to serve as a perimeter base, nailing these pieces of wood into the floor to create a toekick. Be sure your outline’s depth is large enough to hold your cabinets, and leave a little extra room to pull your cabinets away a few inches from the wall beneath the window to save space for your seat.
- Place cabinets on top of the toekick and clamp the two cabinets together. Be sure your screws are strong enough to hold the units together.
- Clamp and screw cabinets to the toekick.
- Place hardwood plywood on top of the cabinets to widen your seating area. (Sand and paint, if necessary.)
- Add cushions and pillows.
Tip: Be sure to avoid positioning your seat over an HVAC vent or baseboard because you don’t block out your heat or A/C.
If you’re working with some tight spaces, you can better utilize it by transforming your existing space.
Planning to sell your house in the next few weeks or months? If so, you likely will want to declutter to improve your house's appearance and make it easy for potential homebuyers to envision what life might be like if they purchase your residence.
Ultimately, donating items may prove to be exceedingly valuable, particularly for those who want to declutter and move in the near future.
By donating items that you no longer need, you can quickly and easily remove clutter from your residence. Plus, you may be able to secure a tax credit for your charitable contributions.
Before you donate your items, however, you should take a close look at your personal belongings and decide which things to keep and which to give to charity.
Now, let's take a look at three items that you can donate to charity:
If you intend to move from Florida to Alaska – or vice-versa – there may be a wide range of clothing that you can donate before you move.
Ensure that any clothing that you plan to donate is clean. If necessary, wash any dresses, t-shirts and other apparel that you intend to donate.
Also, it is always better to err on the side of caution when you donate clothing. And if you have clothes that are faded or torn, you should dispose of these items.
For those who plan to downsize, donating electronics is ideal. That way, you can get rid of electronics that won't fit into your new home and do a good deed at the same time.
Evaluate your electronics and make sure they work correctly before you donate them. In addition, it often pays to tape any electronics cords, wires and accessories to the items themselves.
Check out a charity's electronics donations policies prior to scheduling a donation pick-up too. By doing so, you can guarantee that a charity can pick up and use your excess electronics.
In many instances, an individual may move into a new address that comes equipped with a new refrigerator, washer, dryer and other appliances. If this happens, you may want to contact local charities to see if they can pick up your current appliances.
Reach out to a local charity to find out whether it can pick up your current appliances – you'll be glad you did. If the answer is "Yes," you may be able to avoid having to move big, heavy appliances on your own.
As the aforementioned list shows, there are lots of great items that you can donate to charity. Conduct an in-depth search of charities in your city or town, and you can work with a local charity that can use your excess items.
Lastly, if you ever have questions about which charities in your area will accept donations, don't hesitate to reach out to these organizations directly. And if you're looking for extra assistance as you declutter your residence and prepare to list your home, it certainly helps to contact an expert real estate agent as well.
With few exceptions, a backyard shed is a resource that's going to provide you with an array of benefits for as long as you own your home.
If you're in the house-hunting mode, right now, a storage shed is a desirable feature that is usually worth including on your wish list. While many sheds are purely functional in nature, some can be used to dramatically enhance the landscaping and aesthetic appeal of your property.
In many cases, new homeowners don't realize how much they need a shed until after they've settled into a house that doesn't have one. When your tools, equipment, and supplies are easily accessible, your gardening, yardwork, and maintenance tasks will become much more convenient and less of a chore. Having an enclosed, protective structure to easily store your rakes, shovels, and hedge trimmers will also decrease the likelihood that they'll be left out in the yard and subjected to the elements of nature.
Although sheds are useful to any property owner who does their own mowing, raking, and snow removal, some homeowners find them indispensable.
- Gardeners: Whether you cultivate vegetables, flowers, or other plants on your property, you'll need a convenient and dry place to store everything from tools and fencing material to seedlings, gardening soil, fertilizer, peat moss, clay pots, and statues. A well-organized shed can also help you keep track of when supplies are low and need to be replenished.
- Swimming pool owners: When you consider the daily and weekly tasks that are involved in maintaining a swimming pool, it makes sense to have a dedicated space for safely storing and organizing equipment, pool chemicals, extra patio furniture, and even floatation devices. If you leave these items outside they tend to get dirty, damaged, or even stolen. Securing and storing pool chemicals away from children and pets is also a major safety consideration.
- Most other property owners: As long as you have grass that needs to be mowed regularly, bushes that require trimming, and deciduous trees that shed their leaves in the fall, yard maintenance is an inescapable aspect of home ownership. For those who live in snow-prone areas of the country, keeping shovels, bags of rock salt, and possibly a snow blower on hand are often considered necessary elements of winter survival. While some people try to cram all those items into their garage, having a separate storage building on the premises can make life a lot more organized and less cluttered.
Let's face it – clutter is an eyesore that all home sellers can live without. However, removing clutter before you list your house may prove to be difficult, particularly for those with limited time and resources at their disposal.
Fortunately, we're here to help you streamline the decluttering process. That way, you can speed up the process of improving your house's appearance and get your residence show-ready.
To better understand how to effectively declutter your home, let's take a look at three best practices for decluttering:
1. Organize Your Belongings
Old electronics, broken exercise equipment and other items can take up lots of space in your home. If you take a look at all of your belongings, you can differentiate clutter from items that you'd like to keep.
If you haven't used an item in several years or an item simply takes up space in your house, this item likely is clutter. As such, you should eliminate this item from your premises as soon as possible.
On the other hand, items that you use regularly or items that have sentimental value may prove to be keepers. With these items, you should store and maintain them properly to reduce the risk of deterioration.
2. Get Rid of Items That You No Longer Need
There may be a wide range of clutter scattered throughout your house. Although your first instinct might tell you to throw out excess items, it is important to consider whether these items could be sold or donated.
Even though a particular item no longer serves your needs, you may be able to sell this item to the highest bidder. Thus, if you post an item online or host a garage sell, you could earn extra cash by selling your clutter.
In addition, many charities will accept items that you no longer need. If you have excess items that are working properly, reach out to local charities, and these organizations may be able to pick them up at your convenience.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you plan to list your home in the next few weeks, consulting with a real estate agent is ideal. This housing market professional can offer expert decluttering recommendations and help you get your house ready for the real estate market.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you, evaluate your house and learn about your home selling goals. He or she also will explain the home selling process and ensure you know what to expect before you list your residence.
In most instances, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses, notify you about offers on your house and provide various home selling recommendations and suggestions. Plus, if you ever have questions about decluttering your home or other home selling topics, a real estate agent can provide immediate answers.
Simplify the process of decluttering your house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can remove clutter from your residence in no time at all.
If a seller approves your offer to purchase his or her house, conducting a home inspection likely will be the next step of the property buying cycle. Although you may have the option to forgo a house inspection, you should not avoid this evaluation. Because if you forgo a home inspection, you may wind up purchasing a house that fails to meet your expectations.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to perform a house inspection before you finalize a home purchase, and these reasons include:
1. You can gain deep insights into a house's condition.
A home showing enables you to get an up-close look at a residence so you can determine if a residence is right for you. Meanwhile, an inspection goes one step beyond a showing, as it allows you to work with a property expert to analyze all aspects of a house.
During a home inspection, a property expert will walk through a house and analyze the residence's underlying condition. Then, this property expert will provide an inspection report that details his or her findings.
It is important to assess an inspection report closely. That way, you can learn about a home's condition and decide whether to continue with a house purchase.
2. You can review potential property repairs.
If you want to identify potential house repairs, a home inspection is key. If you conduct a home inspection, you can find out about possible property repairs, review the costs associated with them and plan accordingly.
Of course, if the costs of home repairs are significant, you may want to request a price reduction from a house seller. On the other hand, if various home repairs are simple to complete on your own, you may want to proceed with a home purchase.
3. You can make the best-possible homebuying decision.
Let's face it – buying a home may be one of the biggest decisions you will make in your lifetime. If you make a poor decision, you may suffer the consequences of your choice for an extended period of time.
Thanks to a home inspection, you can gain the insights you need to make a data-driven home purchase. Best of all, you can use a home inspection to perform a full analysis of a house and feel good about your decision to buy a residence.
As you get ready to pursue a house, you should hire a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can help you prepare for a house inspection and complete other homebuying tasks.
For example, a real estate agent will attend a home inspection with you. And after a home inspection is finished, you and your real estate agent can review the inspection results together. Finally, your real estate agent can offer an honest, unbiased recommendation about how to proceed following a house inspection.
Ready to find and acquire your dream home? Conduct an inspection as part of the homebuying process, and you can learn about a house and determine whether a residence matches your expectations.