Tag Archives: Home Improvement

Five Ways to Improve the Organization of Your Pantry

A pantry is a great way to store food and other kitchen items within the kitchen but out of your cabinets. Since pantries come in many sizes, that leaves an endless variety of options on how you can best organize the pantry for your household. In a disorganized pantry, it is easy to lose things in the pantry but with some basic organization, you can keep that from happening.

  1. Start by cleaning out items you don’t use or have expired. There is no reason to organize items that you will never use so start with this step. Moving forward, it’s a good idea to periodically clean out the pantry to toss items that you purchased but never got used for whatever reason. I would recommend during in January and sometime over the summer.
  2. Group items by the frequency you use them. There is no reason to have the rarely used karo syrup stored in the most accessible location.
  3. It’s also a good idea to group items by size. Storing a small container of spices next to a family size box of cereal will waste space in your pantry plus confuse everyone.
  4. Purchase bins and storage containers. There are lots of places to buy them, but dollar stores offer a lot of options in a variety of shapes and sizes. These can be great for small items like granola bars and other snacks, canned goods and baking essentials like chocolate chips and nuts. Some items just don’t stack well, and this will keep your pantry looking neat and help you find something quickly when you are looking for it.
  5. Don’t forget the door of your pantry. Some doors may not offer great options but many of them will allow you to add shelves that can provide additional storage for canned goods, spices and other items.

Even the best organization won’t last if you never take the time to put anything away. At a minimum of once a day, take a quick look at the pantry and make sure everything is in its place. With multiple hands in the pantry, things can get moved but a daily check will keep everything where you want it and save you time in the long run.

If you have any additional questions about updating or organizing your home, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home and/or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image courtesy of Vivian Evans/Flickr.com.  

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Remodeling vs Moving…Which is Right for You?

After a few years or decades in your home, you may discover it no longer meets your needs. When that is the case, you have two options. You can move and find a new home that meets your needs or remodel your existing home, so it fits your needs. Both options have pros and cons so there is a lot to consider when you are making your decision. Here are four questions to ask yourself before you decide.

  1. Is your location good or bad? If the location doesn’t work for you, that can’t be changed. In this case, moving is the option that will fix this problem.
  2. What about the size of your home? Do you want significantly more or less space? If you want less space, it’s time to move. If you want more space, you could add on to your home if your lot has enough space for that, your restrictions allow it and you have the money to do so. If adding on isn’t an option, moving is again the best choice.
  3. Beyond the location and if you like the place you are, do you like the area and feel comfortable in it? Did you buy your home 20 years ago and then a road was expanded, and you are closer to the highway than you would like? This is another thing that can’t be changed without moving. On the flipside, you may adore your location. It is very easy to grow attached to neighbors and your daily routine from where you live. If you love WHERE you live but don’t love the house anymore, a remodel might can help your house better meet your needs so you will love it as much as your neighbors.
  4. Are you looking for a home that will allow you to age-in-place? You may have lived in your home for 20-30 years but still love it. However, if all the bedrooms are upstairs, it may not be the place for you to grow old. Maybe you have a rarely used dining room or study that would make a great master suite. A remodel job may give you another 15-20 years in the home you love.

It’s important to think about this decision from multiple directions. Think about the financial aspect. Will a remodel cost so much that you will never recover anywhere near what you put into it? Remodeling can also be stressful. Are you up for the stress? Do you have the savings or are you willing to take out a loan for the changes you want to make? Can you remodel everything you want to at once or will you need to do it in stages so you can still live there? There are so many things to consider. Anytime you are thinking about real estate decisions, feel free to call me to answer any questions you have. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home and/or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo by Milivoj Kuhar on Unsplash

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Should You Update Your Home or Sell It As-Is?

When you decide you are ready to sell your home, there will be many decisions to make like selecting a firm and agent to represent you, determining the list price and when you want to list your home. Before you get to the listing stage, you will need to determine if you plan to sell your home as-is or if there are improvements you want to make before listing.

Improvements come in all different sizes so depending on the age and condition of your home, there may be small improvements you can make or larger improvements that can change your home significantly. If you want to sell your home for its maximum value, it will need to be updated and have all systems in working order. What if your home is not in that condition currently? Is it worth making changes? It depends on what needs to be done and how much it will cost.

If your home needs repairs (not updates) like a new roof or repairs to an HVAC system, those should be made. When homes have major components that are not working, buyers will likely offer significantly less for a home. If your home is just dated, the updates are likely to cost more than the return they will be bring so it may not be wise to proceed with updates if the only reason is to increase your value. Depending on the market you live in, it may be necessary to update your home to help it sell if you live in a competitive market. If your home is not updated, you will want to remember that you will not be able to price your home the same as an updated home that recently sold because it won’t be comparable.

If you are thinking about making updates to your home but plan to live in it a few more years, the return is likely to be worth it. Historically, homes appreciate on an annual basis, so the appreciation coupled with the enjoyment you get from the updates you make to your home, are more likely to make the updates worthwhile. There are also some updates that usually have a greater return on investment than others.

When you are trying to decide what is best for your situation, you do not have to make the decision alone. As your trusted real estate advisor, I am always willing to have a conversation about your real estate investments and offer advice based on my experience and knowledge. I am available to you before, during and after the sale for real estate advice not just when it is time to sell.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image by Jesse Bridgewater from Pixabay 

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Prep Your Yard for Spring

Spring is officially here and thanks to the Coronavirus, you should have more time at home than ever before to make your yard look its best. If your yard has been neglected throughout the winter (or maybe for years), where should you start to help it look its best?

Start with a vigorous raking of your yard. You probably raked in the fall to clear the leaves that had fallen but spring raking has a different purpose. The primary reason for spring raking is to clear the thatch that has built up over the winter. While raking, you will also have the chance to see if there are areas of your lawn that need special attention.

Spring is the perfect time of year to apply preemergent herbicides. These herbicides will help prevent the growth of weeds as the grass starts to grow. As the weeds begin to grow, you will want to pull the weeds or apply a postemergent herbicide to stop their growth.

As you prepare for your first cut of the season, do not forget to tune up your lawn mower, weed eater and other equipment so they are ready for the season ahead. After your equipment has been prepped for the season, it is a good time to give your lawn its first cut of the year. For the first cut, raise the deck on your lawn mower to its highest level to cut your yard. This will allow your lawn to look a little cleaner and give young grass a chance to grow before you start cutting it regularly.

After you have prepared your grass, it is time to give the rest of your yard some attention. Add some bright flowers, freshen your mulch and shape the bushes so your yard looks its best. If you are thinking about selling your home anytime soon, these preparations are a great first step toward increasing your curb appeal. If you would like to talk about the current real estate market and the value of your home, give me a call today.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image by aedrozda from Pixabay 

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Fall in Love with a New Kitchen

If you are planning a remodel in 2020, the kitchen is one of the most popular rooms to remodel. With kitchen remodels ranging greatly in price, you will want to take time to decide exactly what you want before you begin the process. If you are on a tight budget and can’t do a full kitchen remodel, you may want to consider waiting instead of spending money on changes that won’t satisfy you long term. A less expensive fix that needs to be changed right away will cost you more than doing it right the first time.

If your budget is large enough to accommodate the project you want to complete, the next step is to decide what you want to change in your kitchen. Here are some items that are readily available and sure to please you and any future owners of your home.

  • Granite, solid surface and butcher block countertops all have loyal followings.
  • Sleek appliances. Stainless is still popular but black stainless is showing up frequently as are some custom color options.
  • As people declutter more, open shelving has become more popular for your most frequently used items.
  • Statement sinks pop up more today while farmhouse and stainless options still maintain a strong presence as well.
  • Add a statement color in a small amount. A colorful island, painted ceiling, or bright table can make a large impact in an otherwise neutral space.
  • Select a range hood that makes a statement for a fun and functional update.
  • Technology is in the kitchen too with Bluetooth syncing to refrigerators and ovens becoming more common.
  • Integrated appliances hidden behind paneling and built-ins make your kitchen a true designer space.
  • Cabinets have seen an upgrade with new shapes and sizes like deep drawers for storing pots and pans near the cooktop.

It can be tempting to pack everything you love into your kitchen but don’t overdo it. While several of these trends can be easily incorporated in your kitchen remodel, don’t attempt them all. Pinterest and Houzz both provide great resources to search for ideas so you can determine what you like and what you don’t. Contact me today to determine what updates would be best for you. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home and/or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo by Rustic Vegan on Unsplash

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Winter Home Maintenance

No matter where you live, you are starting to see signs of winter and cooler temperatures that accompany the cooler months. As winter progresses, you are more likely to begin seeing snow and ice storms pop up and these events can cause damage to your home depending on the severity of them as well as if you prepare ahead of time and clean up after a storm. A little time and effort on your part can help protect your home and help you avoid costly repairs in the spring.

Snow accumulation on your roof can be a problem. Snow is heavy and can cause damage to your roof if allowed to build up. You can remove snow from your roof with special tools but be careful. These tools can damage your roof if not used correctly. Unless you have experience getting snow off of your roof, it’s probably better to call a roofing expert for help.

You also need to watch for ice buildup on your roof. The top part of your roof can warm up during the day and melt any accumulated snow. As water drains down to the cooler part of your roof, it can re-freeze into ice. Accumulated ice can force water into your attic and down your interior walls, causing damage. Excess ice buildup on your roof should be removed by a trained roofing professional.

While you’re checking your roof, check your gutters for debris. Blocked gutters can be damaged by freezing water and can allow melted ice and snow to penetrate your home causing extensive damage. After each snow, clear away any accumulation from doors and windows to decrease the chances of melting snow leaking through small openings and causing damage to your home.

Protect any exposed pipes in your attic, crawl space, or outside your home. If pipes are not well insulated, water inside can freeze and cause them to burst. There are insulating items you can buy to protect your pipes, but they will not take the place of daily prevention.

Finally, keep your home warm by taking care of your furnace. It is important to change your furnace filter every 30 days so it will run more efficiently and will last. When you are ready to sell your home, rely on your local real estate expert for assistance. Contact me today for an appointment to discuss how to best prepare your home for sale. For additional information on winterizing your home, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

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Renovate or Sell?

If you have lived in your home for a while and no longer feel like it meets your needs, you have two choices. You may sell your home and buy a new one that has the options you are looking for or remodel your current home so that it meets your needs. How do you know what is best? Here are four things to think about.

Is your home in the location you want? If your home is where you want to live and homes in that area are not always available, you may consider making updates to your home and staying right where you are. All changes aren’t possible, but many are. Add more space, update the kitchen and bathrooms or add a garage. All of these are things you can do. It is important to consider the impact these changes will have on the value of your home. While changes don’t always increase your home’s value, make sure you don’t over improve your property. A five-bedroom home surrounded by two-bedroom homes will be a tough sell no matter how nice it is.

Schools are another reason you may want to stay in your home. If you have kids in school, moving may disrupt the schools they are enrolled in. Some school districts are highly coveted and if you are lucky enough to live in one of those, you may want to stay where you are as opposed to moving to the perfect house with schools you aren’t happy with.

What about your neighbors? If you have lived in your home for a long time, you may have neighbors that you are very close with. While you will have new neighbors when you move, it can take a long time to redevelop the relationships you have spent years building. If your neighbors are more like family, do you really want to leave that?

Lastly, moving is expensive. If you are moving because you think it will be cheaper and easier than renovating, think again. Moving is expensive and stressful and selling your house may have its own challenges as well. Weeks of packing, hiring a mover, unpacking at the new house and lots of other things will add up significantly in time and money. If you are moving to save money, make sure you factor the cost of the move into your plan.

Any home you purchase will have things you don’t like unless you custom build a new home. No home is perfect so its important to balance everything about a home when you are trying to decide so you know what will be best for you. If you have any additional questions about renovating or selling your home, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home and/or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image by ElasticComputeFarm from Pixabay 

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How to Tame Clutter

Do you feel like your house is bursting at the seams? Are your drawers constantly open because they are too full to close? Do you have shelves stacked beyond capacity and cabinets you are afraid to open? Most of the world has been there or is there now. For some people, this is caused because you don’t take the time to put things where they belong. For others, maybe you just have too much stuff to find a place for everything. No matter the cause, clutter can be managed, and, in many cases, time is all you need to handle it. Don’t ignore it because it definitely won’t go away on its own. Use these 3 tips to declutter your home.

FOCUS

You can’t do it all in a day and probably not even in a weekend so tackle a job you can handle in the amount of time you have to work. In an hour, you can do the linen closet or a small bathroom. If you have an entire afternoon, work on your closet or the kitchen. Carve out blocks of time that fit the space you are working on then stick with it until that area is done.

DONATE

How much stuff are you holding on to that you never use or is broken? When you start decluttering, gather boxes and bags to put your donations in. If you don’t use it, you have outgrown it or it doesn’t work, find a new home for it by donating it to a worthwhile organization.

ORGANIZE

Now that you have purged, find a place for what is remaining. Hit up the store for organizers and containers to assist you in keeping things in their place and start sorting. If you can’t fit it all in your space, you have too much. If needed, purge some more then try organizing again.

Decluttering is a task you need to maintain regularly if you want things to stay that way. Whether you take five minutes a day to put things away or an hour each week, make sure your schedule includes time to keep your home neat and tidy.

The peace you will find from a clutter free home will bring happiness to your life no matter what. If you are thinking about selling your home, your home will show much better when it is decluttered, so this is a great step to prepare your home to sell if that is in your future. For additional information on taming clutter in your home, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image by Samantha Gades from Unsplash

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Eliminate Allergens from Your Home

Eliminate Allergens from Your HomeSniffles, sneezes and coughs are likely surrounding you during the height of allergy season that is upon us. Each year seems to be the worst and this year is no different. If you suffer from allergies, it can be so frustrating and extremely difficult to manage. These tips may help decrease the common allergens found in your home so you can breathe easier.

Mold is a common allergen and becomes more common as the temperatures rise and moisture levels increase. Kitchens and bathrooms are both extremely vulnerable to mold. Take precautions to reduce this by not leaving dirty dishes or food on the counters or in the sink, cleaning any spills immediately and running the exhaust fan when cooking or bathing to reduce the moisture content in your home.

As we ease into warmer weather, we approach the terrible discomfort of seasonal allergy season. Each Spring, millions of Americans suffer through the sneezing, itching, wheezing and coughing caused by allergies to pollen, mold and dust-mites, among many other things. They turn to their doctors and pharmacists for help dealing with the symptoms. But what can you do to make your home allergen free? As it turns out, plenty! These tips will help you reduce allergens throughout your home.

As tempting as it is to open the windows on the first nice day of Spring, keep your windows closed to lower the allergens coming into your home. These tips will help too. Vacuum your carpets twice a week, wash bed and bath linens weekly, wash curtains and drapes monthly or replace them with blinds, dust with a damp cloth to avoid just moving dust around, change your air filters monthly and do all of these even more frequently if you have pets. Make sure you wear a dust mask and gloves while you are doing this as well. Make sure you shower and get out of your dirty clothes as soon as you finish cleaning.

All of these things will hopefully decrease the number of allergens found in your home and save you some money on tissues and allergy medicine. If you are thinking about selling your home, taking these steps will also ensure your home looks great for all of your showings. For additional information on maintaining your home, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Brokers License #01264041

Image courtesy of meineresterampe/pixabay.com


 

Should You Jump on the KonMari Bandwagon?

Should You Jump on the KonMari BandwagonWith the popularity of Marie Kondo’s Netflix show Tidying Up, you would have to be in hiding to not have heard of her art behind organization. Whether you are looking to sell your house sometime soon or just want a more organized home for your family, there are some benefits to the KonMari method that are likely to work for you.

If you want to give it a try, start small by picking one room and work through that with intention and the following advice. Marie advises to start by making a pile of all like items together, so you are looking at it all at once. If you are starting in your bedroom where clothes are frequently a problem, take all of your clothes and put them on your bed. This includes things hanging in your closet and items in drawers and anywhere else you have hidden them. If your clothes have spilled over into another room or area for storage, grab those too. To sort through the items, go through them one at a time and decide if the item is still bringing you joy and therefore should be kept. Items that don’t fit, have stains or other issues or you don’t wear would be eliminated as they are no longer bringing you joy.

Once your pile is sorted, Marie also has a unique folding method that will allow you to see all of your clothes at one time instead of just what is on top of the pile. This in itself is a game changer. Take the time to fold correctly and you should have more space and organization in your drawers right away.

Once you have tackled the biggest challenge in your bedroom, move on to something else. Maybe you are ready to move on to the kitchen or bathroom or the kids’ playroom. Many of the same concepts will apply. Start by gathering like items together and sort them into piles of what you should keep and what you can get rid of. Continue to focus on the primary concept of joy and keep asking yourself if an item brings you joy or not as you work through everything.

In areas like bathrooms and kitchen, grab some small boxes or containers to help with the organizing and group like items together to help keep things easier to find. The Dollar Tree is a great place to find containers of all sizes that can help you with your organization. Marie Kondo’s YouTube channel offers great videos that can guide you through organizing other areas of your home so don’t just stop with the bedrooms. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do it all in a day. Take your time and work diligently but methodically to make the most impact. If other people live in your home, get everyone involved to do their part. Even kids can participate.

To give you a little bit of encouragement, take a picture of the before and after when you are working on an area and the improvement is likely to keep you moving forward when you are able to see the positive results of your hard work. Your house doesn’t have to look like an episode of Hoarders for you to benefit from these organization techniques. Almost everyone can benefit from a little bit of organization. If you are considering getting your home organized, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home and/or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
nancy@mammothcountry.com
www.MammothCountry.com
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image courtesy of Annie Spratt/unsplash.com