Homeownership

Found 133 blog entries about Homeownership.

Like this easy hack: coat paint brushes in fabric softener to keep bristles soft.

A DIY painting job doesn't have to equal crooked lines, besmirched floors, and ceramic sinks speckled with robin's egg blue.

Use these easy painting hacks, to make the process faster and less messy — and ensure a fresh, modern look for your home.

#1 Soak Brushes in Fabric Softener to Keep Brushes Soft

Every DIY painter has been privy to the horrors of a day-old brush with stiff bristles that makes round two nearly impossible. Try this painting hack instead:

To keep paint brushes soft:

  1. Rinse thoroughly (no soap).
  2. Mix half a cup of fabric softener with a gallon of warm water
  3. Swish brushes in the mixture for 10 seconds or so.
  4. Lay them flat or hang
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Your kitchen needs countertops with looks and durability. See if quartz is right for you.

The kitchen tends to be the home’s gathering place, so it's only natural you want it to look and feel welcoming. But as the hub of your home, your kitchen needs durable countertops, especially if you have little ones helping with the cooking. Quartz countertops are a trendy choice for kitchens, but before you get in touch with your contractor, it's important to assess the pros and cons and review some alternatives. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of Quartz Countertops?

Pros of Quartz Kitchen Countertops

  • Durable: Quartz countertops are highly durable, made from a mix of stones and stone-like materials bound together with resins. Makers of quartz
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Ugh. Mold. It’s ugly. It’s tenacious. It’s the uninvited guest that keeps visiting — no matter how rude you are to it. But, unwittingly, you may be setting up the perfect conditions for mold’s return: a food source, lots of moisture, and a pleasant temperature.

“You’ve got to eliminate one of those three legs of the stool so mold won’t grow,” says Pete Duncanson, director of system development for ServiceMaster Restore. “And it’s always easier to prevent than to remediate.”

Assuming you like warm showers and a comfy thermostat setting, there’s not much you can do about the temperature mold loves. But you can get rid of mold — and permanently prevent it — by controlling the other two factors: food and moisture. Here’s how.

Starve It Out

Mold is

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Guilty of buying cheap stuff? Pack-ratting? Here’s how to change your ways.

Bad habits are so easy to fall into. But in the end, we know they only make us miserable. 

They're "the opposite of what makes you happy. They're what make you miserable," says M.J. Ryan, author of "Habit Changers: 81 Game-Changing Mantras to Mindfully Realize Your Goals." Especially when they cost you money.

Here are 7 bad habits to break now for a happier you (and a fatter bank account):

#1 Taking Long, Steamy Showers

Spending 20 minutes in the steam may be good for your pores, but it's also great for mold and mildew. Run the exhaust fan while you're singing in the shower, squeegee the walls afterward, and scrub that grout every few months.

"Once you let the

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Learn how to clean 7 tough stains off your walls — and ensure a lasting paint job.

You can't wait to cover up that nasty beige on your walls, but as you take a close look at all the areas you're gonna have to prep you see a lot of grime, gunk, and stuff that looks too stubborn for your standard vinegar wash.

Any cleaning rookie can wipe off dust and cobwebs. But it takes a cleaning pro to scour grease stains, watermarks, and kids’ crayon and ink wall art.

Kitchen Grease on Walls

Grease is an occupational hazard of cooking. If only it wouldn't ind it's way onto your walls and cabinets, trapping all kinds of gunk. Yuck!

Good news. Any decent dish soap can remove grease stains on walls.

For small stains, mix: 1/4 teaspoon of soap in a cup

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A messy environment is actually good for your psyche.

Breaking news: Humans like stuff. Stuff they have. Stuff they like. Stuff they need.

But stuff just gets everywhere. Hence the trendiness of uber-organized spaces, hyper-cleanliness, and Marie Kondo-like thank-your-stuff-for-its-service-then-toss-it attitudes. But living in that state of constant tidying is exhausting.

Enough.

It is not a moral failing to have a slightly cluttered home.

And you know what? Life can be better with slightly more stuff. Here are seven reasons why:

#1 A Messy Environment Is a More Creative One

Being too tidy will stifle your imagination. Science says so.

There’s a lot of research showing messy surroundings encourage you to break the rules of

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Storage tips that’ll make packing up jollier.

Decking the halls is good fun and all, but shuffling through piles of wreaths, lights, ornaments, dreidels, wrapping paper, and stockings is nothing to fa la la about. 

Cut back on the holiday overwhelm with these organization ideas for your festive gear.

#1 Make a Holiday Closet

Instead of doing a holiday-themed scavenger hunt each November, put all your holiday gear in a single closet. You'll keep it dust-free, together, and at your fingertips. Since this closet will be all holidays, all the time, leave some of your decorations out and use them to adorn the space. Easy to find and festive; it's a twofer.

If your closet is unfinished, use the space between the wall studs to store hanging items.

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Don’t come home to a nightmare and the feeling of being invaded. Here how to stop a house burglary from ever happening.

You come home to an open front door, a ransacked house, and missing valuables. How did a burglar know you’d be gone? How did they get in? 

Here are nine tips from a burglar's perspective about how to keep them out. And try these home security tips to prevent burglary, too.

#1 Put Ladders Away

Call me a social climber if you will, but I love ladders. They make it so easy to reach a second-story window. I really love it when upper story openings aren’t wired to a home security system. 

So, if you want to keep me out, store your ladder in the basement or a locked garage. And call your security company to wire upper-story

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Steer clear of bulk shopping and other don’ts in your holiday prep.

When you’re cleaning for the holidays, you want to make every minute count. Home cleaning professionals see firsthand where mistakes are costing us nonpros. Debbie Sardone, owner of SpeedCleaning.com, shares hosting tips that will dodge some holiday prep missteps.

5 Don'ts in Home Cleaning for the Holidays

#1 Bulk Shopping

We’re not judging all those Costco runs, but maybe think twice before packing that shopping cart to the max. “Hold off on those super-duper giant size jars — at least for right now,” Sardone says. Bulk items will clutter closets and your refrigerator just when you need that space the most. So, save that purchase of a 10-pound roll of paper towels for a

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Quick-and-easy tasks that’ll brighten up your interior.

December.

The year's coming to an end. Time to do four small tasks for a bright (and money-saving) new year.

#1 Clean Light Bulbs and Fixtures

Two great reasons to clean your light bulbs: You want as much light in your house as you can get as the days grow shorter, and, you'll save money.

Dirty bulbs apparently shed 30% less light than clean ones, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Wipe bulbs with a cloth dampened by a mix of 1 oz. dish soap, ¼ cup white vinegar, and 3 cups of water. Get to it Dec. 1 so you're ready for the curtain fall on the shortest day of this year: Dec. 21.

#2 Evaluate Homeowner's Insurance

The holidays. You love them, but they do seem to eat

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