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Top Five Family Home Improvement Hacks

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As a homeowner or home maker, there is an intrinsic need for you to ensure that your space is habitable, comfy and fulfills the needs of your family. Having a hospitable home reflects who you are as a person and can show other people that you are welcoming and friendly. Your home is your nest, it’s where you and your family lie your head at night, where you have your meals and where you have the important down time that your body needs to recover. This means that improving our homes really is a necessity, all be it a never ending one. To be able to get the pieces together to make your house a home, you need to pay attention to certain details. And that’s why we’ve compiled a list of our top family home improvement hacks that you might not have thought of!

Connect With Your Home

Your home is the one place that you have to find peace of mind and to rest your body. Your home is a cove hidden away from all the noises of the world outside. There is always a soothing feeling whenever you are in your home whether it’s shared with one person or a family of five. Having a connection with your home goes a long way in helping you discover when something is amiss. In fact, you will slowly identify the dull areas of your home that need your attention if you start connecting with your home. If you have a large family and a small sofa then you will soon realise that it is time to invest in a larger one. If the shoes are all piled up at the front door in a muddy heap then you know it’s time to invest in a shoe rack. One of the key ingredients to improving your family home really is to start paying attention to your surroundings.

Ultimate Home Improvement Hack: If you are looking for that key piece of furniture to make your home more comfortable and practical then it’s definitely worth checking out some Dunelm promo codes to help save you money. We all know that improving your home can be an expensive endeavour, so online discount codes are always a great way to help reduce those prices!

Always Make a Note of What You Want

Taking down notes requires your commitment and attention. Most of the time, people tend to think that home improvement is all about doing when in reality it is just as much about planning. Every bit of your home, room by room, needs to be well thought out and planned. Therefore, there is the need for you to pay attention to the details of each room. Ask yourself questions. Do you want to be economic with space? Do you want a feature wall? Would this room suite a mirror? Could you fit a bookshelf in here? The more questions you ask yourself, the more answers you will give yourself. Start from the bedroom and bathroom then go on to the kitchen, living room and all the way into the garden. This cuts across the essential items and accompanying accessories. Ensure to pay attention to the floor, the ceiling, the walls and the windows for more ideas.

Ultimate Home Improvement Hack: If you and your family get together and all make notes on what it is you would like from the home improvements then you will have more data to work from. You can come together and compare notes. This will help ensure that your decisions are for the family and not just for one person. It can also help to indicate the most important aspects of your home improvement plan. If the same thing comes up in everyones notes then you know that this is the most important part of your improvement process.

Always Have a Budget and a Savings Plan

Chucking money at your home in the hope that it will magically get better is never a very fulfilling idea. Make sure you start off with a budget and a set amount that you can’t go over. Maybe even allocate an amount to each room. Make sure to make use of online Discount Promo Codes and never pay full price for your items. You can land yourself some fantastic deals by top home improvement retailers such as Dunelm, Debenhams, Argos and Habitat.

Ultimate Home Improvement Hack: Once you have figured out an overall budget you can pair it with you and your family’s list of home improvement preferences. You can then allocate specified amounts for each person’s needs. For example, if everyone wants improvements made to the lounge then you know to allocate a large part of the money there. Whereas smaller budgets can be put towards individual items like a new lampshade or curtains.

Single Out DIY Items

In home improvement, you do not need to buy everything. There are always small things that you can do yourself in order to improve your home. Single out what on your list can come under the DIY umbrella. There are many things that  you can do from home rather than investing in something completely new. Maybe you could sand down and re-varnish a coffee table rather than getting rid of it and buying a whole new one? Perhaps there is a hole in the wall that you can fill in yourself rather than getting a contractor to come round and do it?

Ultimate Home Improvement Hack: One of the best ways to overcome storage space issues is by using the ‘do it yourself’ mentality. If you need some extra pots and pans storage space then you can hammer a few nails into a wall in the understairs cupboard and use them to hang some spare bits from.  

There are many ways that you can help to improve your home for the benefit of the family and we hope these hacks will help that transformation be more easy, stress free and fun! Keep in mind that you need to connect with your home, make notes, set a budget and try implementing some DIY. Your house will become a home before you know it!

Hey all! Big thanks to Katy Blevins for handing over the reins to me at the end of 2017 to fulfill my new years resolution to write...often! Based in Miami, you can find me blogging about family life as a mother of two young kids. But i'll also continue the Chaos and Kiddos theme of business, fashion, parenting, product reviews, and...well, I could go on and on.

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Keeping House With A Baby Inside Of It

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When I bought my first little bundle of joy home, I realized a few things very quickly. My husband and I had never been clean freaks, but we found that with a teeny baby in the house, we were putting in three times the cleaning effort for half of the result. We wanted to make sure our house was as free of toxins as possible but that we got some powerful cleaning accomplished. In so many ways, I wish we’d had Aroma Bio-Enzyme products to help us out. If I were to tell a new mom my top cleaning priorities, they’d be the following.

Cleaning nappies

So. Many. Nappies to change. My husband was supportive and always helped, but I always found myself washing my hands constantly. And that was before there was a global pandemic afoot! A friend of mine who was a nurse suggested to me, as my hands were cracking from overwashing, that I use hand sanitizer four times for every in depth soap and water wash. Lucky for everyone, Aroma makes a brilliant hand sanitizer that can be used beyond pandemic cleaning.

Keeping smells out

There is no smell like that of a baby. When one of my best friends first visited us with a newborn, she entered our daughter’s room and said, “It smells like a baby lives here.” Of course, you always want that new baby smell without the associated smell of wee, poo, or puke. How do you get that when all of those substances are all coming out of the baby all the time? The Aroma Bio-Enzyme cleaner can assist with that. You want your home and your child to smell like that beautiful baby, not nasty chemicals, so this is a big step in that direction.

Laundry, laundry, laundry

Once a baby enters your life, every day is laundry day. Not only will you have to change your clothes several times, but you will also have to keep baby clothes in constant rotation. Onesies are important, but so are burp cloths. With a newborn at home, a burp cloth is necessary at all times. You might even start showing up to the grocery store with one on, or even more embarassingly, at work. Swaddle cloths have to be constantly cleaned, as well. One tried and true cleaning tip you can use to keep a variety of baby cloths clean is to add a half cup of baking soda to every load.

Keeping yourself clean

It’s not selfish to take time to keep yourself clean, your room tidy, and your clothes smelling good. Sanity for mum is sanity for the entire family. Make sure that you and your partner take time to clean your own spaces, as well as the baby room. It takes a lot of effort, but it is well worth it.

No solutions will work for every family, even for every set of first time parents. But if you keep these tips in mind and some Aroma Bio-Enzyme cleaner nearby, it will get easier.

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Two-In-One Ways to Manage Ants and Make Your Home Safer for Your Kids

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If you have ants and kids, you might feel like you have two problems on your plate at once. It’s true that, although kids are definitely a blessing, you also need to make sure your home is a little safer than you might if you didn’t have kids. Have you considered these methods to both manage ants in your home and keep your kids a little safer?

1. Install Tight-Fitting Doors

Tight-fitting doors are an important part of your ant rebuff system. As you probably already know, ants are very small. They can also fit through astonishingly tiny space. With tight-fitting doors, you significantly reduce your chances of ending up with an ant infestation from the outside, at least if they’re getting through the doors. Plus, tight-fitting doors also reduces the chance of other bugs coming inside, many of which can be dangerous or just annoying to your children.

2. Empty Trash As Frequently As Possible

Most commonly, ants come inside looking for food or water. Trash, especially trash with a lot of food waste, provides both of those things. If you regularly leave trash bags in your garage or by the front door, you’re creating a place that’s perfect for ants to swarm. Plus, these trash bags can easily start to grow mold, which can be hugely detrimental for your health and your family’s health. Empty your trash out to the garbage as soon as it gets full.

3. Don’t Stack Firewood Near the Home

If you live in a place where you need firewood, it can be tempting to keep that firewood as closely as possible to the house. After all, then you can go out to get the firewood and be right back inside. However, this can be detrimental to your home’s wellbeing. Firewood is a great place for ants to nest, and if they nest too close to the home, you can end up with ant infestations. Plus, firewood isn’t a safe place for kids to play. Stack firewood in its own specific area, ideally with a fence or other barrier around it.

4. Fix Leaky Pipes and Faucets

Sure, you might not think the tiny drips from your faucet are that big of a deal, but they can absolutely be a very significant problem. These drips are the perfect source of water for ants, which means they can attract ants inside your home. Additionally, drips in areas that family members regularly go through can become tripping hazards, especially for kids, who are more likely to not look where they’re going and be going very quickly. As an added bonus, it’ll also reduce your water bill.

5. Keep Kitchen Counters Clean

It’s true that keeping kitchen counters clean can seem like a monumental task when you have kids. Kids regularly make food and don’t put it away, spill things all over the kitchen counters, and just generally make a mess. However, if you’re able to help your kids maintain your kitchen’s cleanliness, you’re more likely to be able to avoid ants and keep your children a little safer. Remember that food can start to grow mold pretty quickly and that it doesn’t have to be visible to be dangerous. Teach your kids to clean the counters for better home safety overall.

Conclusion

As you can see, you don’t just have to avoid ants or help your kids stay a little safer. You can kill two birds with one stone and do both of them at once. However, if you’re seeing ants enter your home through miniscule cracks in your baseboards or you’re worried about ants coming in through cracks in your pavement, it may be a good idea to request services from a foundation repair expert. Especially if there are children in the home, you can never be too careful.

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Ants in the House & Warning Signs

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What You Need to Know About Ants

Did you know there are more than 700 different species of ants in the U.S.? These small black insects that are often unwelcome guests at picnics in the park and barbeques at home may be living inside a colony of more than one million! One specific kind of ant that plagues homeowners across the country are pavement ants. Pavement ants can be a major nuisance because these insects forage up to 30 feet from home looking for food and water. Pavement ants sneak through cracks in pavement and a home’s foundation looking for food, water, and shelter. Once inside, they burrow inside walls, insulation, and under floors to build nests.’

Another well-known ant species in the U.S. are fire ants, which can cause painful welts and swelling when they sting. Fire ants build nesting mounds near structures like fences, outbuildings, and a home’s exterior walls. Just like pavement ants, fire ants can enter a home easily through cracks in its foundation and walls, in between doors and windows, and through HVAC and A/C units.

Why Ants Come Inside and Where You Can Find Them

Pavement ants, fire ants, and other ant species come inside our homes looking for food, water, and shelter. The most common areas to find ants inside a home are kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. But ants can also nest inside walls, under floors, and in crawl spaces – making them harder to spot. HVAC and A/C units provide a common entry point for ants to get inside homes. Rising temperatures and longer summer months mean more A/C use for homeowners, attracting ants to the dampness generated inside them and serving as an “open door” policy to come inside for more.

What You Can Do To Keep Ants Out of Your Home

To protect your home against these small pesky intruders, start by identifying and sealing cracks and holes in your home’s walls, around windows and doors, and in paved areas around a home’s exterior, including driveways and patios. To seal off another common entryway, add new caulking around air conditioning and heating units. In addition, homeowners can prevent moisture buildup that attracts ants by ensuring pipes are insulated and not leaking in basements, crawl spaces, bathrooms, kitchens, and in between walls.

Keep a Clean Kitchen

Once inside a home, ants looking for new food and water sources often travel quickly to a home’s kitchen and pantry areas. To cut off their food source and reduce ants in your home, make sure you clean kitchen counters and stovetops frequently, take out trash regularly and seal up all food items in airtight containers. Storing items like sugar inside the fridge is another helpful practice during the summer months when ants are more active. If you have indoor plants, make sure they aren’t being over watered, because this moisture can attract ants. Seal up pet food and wash bowls after your pets’ mealtimes – don’t leave it sitting out.

Pay Attention to Damp, Humid Areas

Additional hotspots for ants are bathrooms and basements. Ants are attracted to moisture from leaking pipes and faucets inside these areas. In addition, cracks in a home’s foundation provide a good entry point directly into a home’s basement. If you do see ants in your home, wipe down the areas with vinegar to remove the ants’ scent – which they leave as a ‘map’ to help their friends find their way to new food and water sources. This will help reduce the chance that other ants will follow.

Adjust Exterior Features

Making small changes to your home’s garden and landscaping can also help reduce its attractiveness to ants. For example, replacing mulch or pine straw around trees and within flower beds with crushed stone or rocks reduces nesting areas for ants. In addition, if your home has a fireplace, stack firewood as far away as possible from the exterior of the home, at least 20 feet away. Ants can nest inside stacks of firewood. Finally, sealing cracks in your driveway, pavement, and the home’s foundation can minimize your ‘open door’ policy for ants, keeping them away. 

Remember that ants play an important role in a healthy ecosystem. By fixing cracks and entry points into your home, removing attractive items like food and water sources, and dehumidifying basements and crawl spaces, you can make your home less attractive for these pests. A focus on these less-intrusive methods for getting rid of ants in your home over using pesticides and bait can help protect the environment.

Find out how Groundworks foundation, basement, and crawl space repair experts can help homeowners keep ants and insects from entering their homes with a free home inspection to identify problem areas and offer solutions.

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