Homeownership

Found 110 blog entries about Homeownership.

It’s been proven. Clutter is a bummer — literally.

Dishes in the sink, toys throughout the house, stuff covering every flat surface; this clutter not only makes our homes look bad, it makes us feel bad, too.

At least that’s what researchers at UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF) discovered when they explored in real time the relationship between 32 California families and the objects in their homes. The resulting book, "Life at Home in The Twenty-First Century," is a rare look at how middle-class Americans use the space in their homes and interact with the things they accumulate over a lifetime.

Our over-worked closets are overflowing with things we rarely touch.

Related: Tiny Change, Big Impact: Organize a Small Closet in a

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A couple are super fun to use and may even enhance your home’s value.

Home trends come and go. But it's functionality that wins in the end. Because smart functionality almost always adds some intrinsic value to your home.

That's why these smart home products, especially the ones that make you safer, are some of our favorite home upgrades.

#1 Video Doorbell

WiFi-enabled video doorbells will let you see, hear, and speak to whoever is at your door via a smartphone, even when you're not home.

It's like Facetime but for your house. It alerts your phone and turns on the camera when someone rings the bell or comes near. You can tell the UPS guy to leave the package at the door or say, "Be there in a minute!" — whether you're in the bathroom or

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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 December 1 so you’re ready for the curtain fall on the shortest day of this year: Thursday, December 21.

#2 Evaluate Homeowner's Insurance

The holidays. You love

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Start saving those egg cartons!

Give or take a Scrooge or two, everybody loves the holidays: Decorating the tree, hanging lights, hanging holly ... all those things! But you know what nobody loves? Taking all those things down.

Because, wow, what an unorganized mess.

Before you go all Scrooge, get your jolly back with these simple holiday decorating hacks.

#1 Protect Ornaments With Holiday Recyclables

Trimming the tree should feel like the happy ending of a Lifetime holiday movie, not a game show guessing which box will contain broken memories.

Keep ornaments safe for next year by stowing them in leftover party cups, hot-glued onto a piece of foam board cut to fit inside a storage bin, recommends Lisa Woodruff, a Cincinnati-based

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Even if you think they’ve already started to freeze.

New homeowners may have heard that winterization is important, but in the hubbub of your first year living in a home you own (finally!), it can be easy to overlook the need to prepare for the cold weather ahead. After all, it's just not something renters deal with; prepping pipes for winter is often the landlord's job.

Ideally, you should winterize your pipes in the fall, before winter seriously sets in. But if you've forgotten and all of a sudden you're in the middle of a deep freeze, there's still time to prevent disaster.

Here are some easy techniques to save your pipes from bursting:

#1 Turn On Your Faucets

If the temperatures have dropped into freezing and intend to stay there, turning

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Keep the vintage wallpaper, but upgrade that time- and money-draining retro thermostat to programmable.

What may seem like a good idea, often isn't. 

Here are 17 common mistakes new homeowners often make.

#1 Get Rid of Your Only Tub

If resale value is important to you, don't get rid of your only bathtub no matter how dreamy that walk-in shower looks.

It will make it harder to sell when the time comes. You'll flat-out lose buyers who love a good soak or need a tub to bathe little ones (both human and four-legged).

#2 Leave Cabinet Doors on While Painting

Painting your kitchen cabinets pays off big at resale — it's a small investment for a big "wow." But the job's time-consuming, so it's tempting leave the doors on.

RESIST. At all

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Cubbies, squeegees, and other easy ways to keep your house clean.

Home is literally the center of your universe right now, so make sure it’s a source of minimum stress. Here’s how to keep your house clean and orderly all the time.

  1. Wake, and make your bed pronto. That’s one task down already.
  2. Keep your kitchen sink empty for a soothingly clear sight line.
  3. Clean a room a day. You know what they say about doing daunting tasks in small chunks, right?
  4. Hang a squeegee. Take a few satisfying swipes after your shower, and presto!
  5. Assign cubbies to each family member. Tidy is as tidy does.
  6. Unload the dishwasher when clean. Then you're always prepped for habit #2.
  7. Use it, wipe it. Especially high-touch surfaces.
  8. Snap it, shred it.
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All it takes is for one ember to fall on your roof. Don’t let it happen.

How do most homes ignite during a wildfire? A floating ember or piece of burning wood touches down on a roof, gutter, in a vent, under a deck, or on a porch and ignites leaves and debris, says the National Fire Protection Association. Or else, a surface fire simply takes the fast lane to your home via dry vegetation.

With that in mind, fortify your home like the castle it is with these 13 wildfire-repelling steps. But keep in mind that no product or technique is a failsafe against a raging fire.

#1 Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

If you don’t already have working smoke detectors or haven’t tested them recently, make that your No. 1 job. Now.

#2 Check Fire

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Fall’s cooler temps are perfect for deck and yard improvements.

Ah, September. The weather is changing, and we're getting back to our normal, post-summer routines.

It's also a great time to give the house a little extra love and maintenance.

Stain the Deck

Help your deck field what winter throws at it by re-staining it this month. September's cooler temps and lower humidity make it the ideal time for this project.

Check Fire Extinguishers

According to the Red Cross, fires increase in the fall and winter. Keep your home fire safe by getting your fire extinguishers checked by a certified professional. Fire extinguishers do break down and malfunction. In fact, after six years they need to be emptied and reloaded. If you haven't already, buy

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Check out the video below!

Planning your next home improvement project? Consider one of these high ROI upgrades. More like this.

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