A laundry room may be one of the spaces that you use the most, but cramped quarters and clutter can hinder your productivity. Eliminate the excuses and get your laundry room under control with these tips to add function to your washing routine.
How to Create a More Functional Laundry Room
(Family Features) A laundry room may be one of the spaces that you use the most, but cramped quarters and clutter can hinder your productivity. Eliminate the excuses and get your laundry room under control with these tips to add function to your washing routine.
Use space wisely. Your laundry room may not have a big footprint, but you probably have more usable space than you realize. Install shelves or storage units on the walls and consider the ceiling as a spot to hang a floating drying rack. Don't overlook the back of the door, where you can mount a storage system or use an over-the-door alternative.
Maximize storage. Many laundry rooms suffer from a lack of storage, which hinders space to fold and manage laundry while making the room less pleasant overall. A durable, attractive organization system like Dimensions by ClosetMaid can add instant organization and style to your laundry room. The system provides numerous design options, convenient accessories and configurations of cabinets and drawers, accommodating virtually any space.
Resist wrinkles. Prevent unsightly wrinkles by hanging garments straight out of the dryer. A hanging rod is easy to install and lets you take advantage of vertical space in smaller rooms. Be sure to also stock up on hangers of various styles so you always have an ample supply ready when the buzzer sounds that another load is ready for your attention.
Promote ventilation. Another common issue in laundry rooms is limited ventilation, which can promote mold, affect air quality and hinder air drying for special garments. A clever way to enhance ventilation while increasing your storage space is ventilated shelving that helps keep air flow moving. For example, ClosetMaid's Premium Wood Kits feature sturdy slatted shelves to stash your laundry essentials and can include accessories like hanging rods.
Create a folding station. One of the biggest laundry pitfalls is folding and putting away clean clothes. A clear, clean space in the laundry room can help nudge you toward completing the task more efficiently. If you have front-loading machines, it may be as simple as adding a counter or sturdy shelf above them. If you use top-loaders, you may need to get more creative. If there's room, a laundry sorter with a flat top is a good solution. Or if floor space is at a premium, you might consider a shelf that mounts to the wall and folds down when you need it.
Get inspired with more ideas to make your laundry room work for you at ClosetMaid.com.
Photos courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Outside of the home itself, remodeling is typically one of the largest investments you can make as a homeowner. Consider these tips to help you make an informed decision when hiring a remodeling contractor.
Starting a Home Remodeling Project
7 tips for choosing a qualified contractor
(Family Features) Outside of the home itself, remodeling is typically one of the largest investments you can make as a homeowner. While some projects can be tempting to tackle yourself, many larger-scale projects may require hiring a qualified professional.
Because remodeling your home is a big undertaking, it’s important to take steps to ensure the professional you hire to perform the work is qualified to complete it to the highest standards of quality and integrity.
Consider these tips from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry to help you make an informed decision when hiring a remodeling contractor.
Follow Your Design Aesthetic
Ask for Licenses and Insurance
Search for Violations or Complaints
Compare Apples to Apples
Find more tips for selecting a contractor at remodelingdoneright.com.SOURCE:
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Consumers today are more mindful about the environmental impact of everything they do, from driving and traveling to energy usage in their homes. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps homeowners can take to save energy and help the environment.
(BPT) - Consumers today are more mindful about the environmental impact of everything they do, from driving and traveling to energy usage in their homes. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps homeowners can take to save energy and help the environment.
1. Boost your insulation
You may already know what areas of your home are poorly insulated, simply by how you feel when it’s cold or hot outside. You can have a professional home energy audit conducted to help pinpoint areas that need improvement. Many energy companies provide an audit free of charge.
Start with the attic: If your attic is insufficiently insulated, you could be losing a lot of heat over the winter, which means your home is wasting energy — and money. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that boosting attic insulation can save 10-50 percent on heating costs.
2. Upgrade your heating and cooling system
Heating and cooling your home uses the most energy, so investing in Energy Star certified HVAC products can make a big difference when it comes to cutting energy costs and your home's impact on the environment.
For a new HVAC system in a variety of styles to fit any décor that can be easily installed by a contractor, you might consider wall-mounted duct-free systems from a trusted brand like LG. They offer a variety of ultra-quiet "Art Cool" options (the sleek Mirror, stylish Premier and unique Gallery, which looks like a picture frame and allows you to display your own artwork). These systems are smart-enabled, allowing homeowners to adjust the temperature from their LG ThinQ app for Android and iOS users, or with simple commands via Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
The most eco-conscious consumers will want to look for "Energy Star Most Efficient" HVAC solutions. For example, the Art Cool Mirror earned the 2019 designation and also features advanced "Reliable to Extreme Degrees" LGRED, heating technology that delivers 100 percent heating capacity down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit and continuous heating down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit. This will keep you warm and comfortable all winter long with remarkable energy efficiency.
3. Replace doors and windows
You may be losing a lot of heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer through your doors and windows, especially if they're older. The latest energy-efficient models of windows and doors not only reduce leaks around the frames, but they're made from materials that enhance insulation.
Doors: According to EnergyStar.gov, energy-efficient doors not only fit better and have improved weather stripping to reduce air leakage, but also use improved core materials for superior insulation. Where glass is used, they reduce heat flow via double- or triple-paned insulating glass.
Windows: Energy Star qualified windows use superior framing materials, including multiple panes of glass, with air- or gas-filled space between for additional insulation. They're made from Low-E (low emissivity) glass, with special coatings to reflect infrared light. Warm edge spacers keep the glass panes the correct distance apart reducing heat transfer through the window.
4. Go solar
While most people are aware that solar power harnesses the sun’s energy to create electricity, many don't know how easy and cost-effective it is to go solar.
The newest technology behind solar energy has made it increasingly accessible and appealing for homeowners. For example, new energy solutions such as LG’s "NeON R ACe" are high-efficiency solar panels that incorporate a built-in micro-inverter (that converts DC electricity to AC) instead of a separate traditional inverter. Recessed into the frame of the solar module, the micro-inverter simplifies the installation process and allows more flexibility to create a solar array that looks attractive on your roof. When going solar, it’s important to seek out a brand you trust, one like LG that offers solar panels covered by a 25-year limited product, part and performance warranty.
Choosing just one area to upgrade will save energy, reducing your home's carbon footprint. You'll also feel more comfortable throughout the year, as you better regulate the temperature of your home.
Here are some basic tasks you need to do now to prepare for wintry weather and to ensure your family stays healthy and safe inside.
(BPT) - No matter where you live, there are bound to be weather challenges this winter. Your home may suffer damage, minor or major, from the onslaught of colder weather, along with wind, heavy rain, ice storms or even major snow systems. This can affect not only the integrity and value of your home, but may lead to costly repairs down the road. That's why it's smart to prep now, to prevent bigger problems in the future. It's also a good idea to make sure that your home is prepped for spending more time indoors.
Here are basic tasks to prepare for wintry weather, and to ensure your family stays healthy and safe inside.
1. Perform a safety check
Are your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in good working order? Make monthly testing of these safety features a regular part of your seasonal household chores. For battery-operated units keep up-to-date with battery changes as per manufacturer instructions. Also be aware and take action if you hear any low battery alarms. Also, do you have a home fire extinguisher in your kitchen?
2. Ensure clean indoor air
Make sure your home’s heating and air conditioning units are in good condition, and schedule regular tune-ups to avoid unpleasant surprises. Change your furnace filter frequently, so your air quality stays clean indoors, where you’re likely to spend more time as temps get cooler. Also, consider setting up a schedule with a professional to have your ductwork cleaned on a regular basis.
3. Keep the outside out
Check weatherstripping around exterior doors, replacing where necessary, then seal and caulk exterior wood, since wood trim can rot around windows and outside doors. Walk around the outside of your home with spray foam gap sealer and caulk to plug gaps, cracks and holes in siding and around windows. Find and seal air leaks where you may be losing valuable heat and letting in the cold. Many energy companies offer an energy audit to discover where you may be losing both heat and money — and advise you on ways to improve your insulation. Making sure your gutters are cleaned out and in good condition helps protect your home's exterior from exposure to moisture due to rain, ice or snow melt.
4. Install back-up power
Power outages occur for many reasons, usually outside your control. In major storms, outages can last for days or even weeks when a large area is affected. To protect your home and family, an automatic standby generator gives you peace of mind — even when you’re not at home.
Look for a unit that comes in a durable aluminum enclosure with options that can withstand up to 181 mph winds and can be installed as close as 18 inches from your home (important for areas with tight lot lines and strict building codes), such as select models of KOHLER standby home generators. They will automatically start and restore your power in seconds, whether you’re home or away.
Units can be monitored remotely from your smartphone or laptop. The unit is permanently installed near your home, and provides high-quality power that can run your sump pump, furnace or air conditioner, and major appliances — plus delicate electronics. KOHLER generators feature commercial-grade engines built to withstand extreme workloads over many years, and they come with a five-year warranty. This is not a do-it-yourself job; you will need to work with a professionally licensed and insured generator installer.
5. Trim your trees
Now is a great time to get your trees trimmed, while it’s easier to access branches without all the extra foliage. Trimming dead branches helps prevent problems that can occur due to wind or ice storms, when a falling branch could endanger a power line, car or home. Like all professional contractors, work with tree service companies that have proper credentials and insurance.
6. Check your roof
Whether you inspect your roof yourself or hire a professional, it's a good idea to take care of repairs before winter wind, hail, snow and ice do their worst. Look for blistering, curling, buckling — or missing — shingles. Moss or lichen growing can indicate decay underneath. Any visible sagging of your roof, rust or cracks around flashing or vent pipes should also be repaired promptly to avoid later problems like leaks.
Don't let the calamities of winter take you and your family by surprise. Doing prep work and maintenance on your home now, with a focus on safety, will ensure that you're ready for anything that may come your way — even if it's just hunkering down in your home for the season.
(BPT) - The latest trends in home decor reveal a desire for a feeling of tranquility and calmness, perhaps as a response to today’s overly busy and distracted lifestyles. From Marie Kondo’s decluttering craze to a return to natural materials in home design, everyone is looking for a way to create a peaceful, less hectic inner space. When it comes to home decor, less is definitely more.
How can you tap into this yen for a little more Zen?
1. Simplify your design strategy
When revamping your room to create a more minimalist effect, choose a limited color palette, meaning one to three colors at most. Select mostly more muted or neutral colors, though you can use one vivid color in a piece of furniture or art to grab the spotlight.
Let the textures of the materials that you use for the floors, walls, ceilings and furnishings — whether they are natural wood, stone, ceramics, glass, tile, fabrics or canvas — create the room's visual interest instead of yesterday’s too-busy colors and patterns. Choose a couple of contrasting textures, like glass and reclaimed lumber, or woven fabric and stone, to highlight in the room for the best effect.
2. Declutter your spaces
Decide what items you really want and need to be in each room and get rid of the rest — or find a way to store it neatly, preferably out of sight. One of the greatest visual clutter culprits today comes from technology. It's hard to know what to do with the mass and tangle of cords from all the latest gadgets, power strips and chargers everyone uses in their homes.
To streamline the technology you use for viewing TV, movies and more, a product from LG Electronics USA can solve your cord clutter problem and turn your living room into an amazing home viewing theater. The LG CineBeam AI ThinQ 4K Laser Projector (HU85LA) creates an impressive 90- to 120-inch cinematic screen by placing it just 2.2 to 7.2 inches away from the wall, needing no complicated installation. With its streamlined and compact design, the state-of-the-art projector incorporates LG's ThinQ AI and has the Google Assistant built-in so you can control your compatible smart home devices with just your voice.
3. Choose furnishings with clean lines
When you're selecting new furniture for your minimalist rooms, look for high-quality, standout pieces designed with clean lines, with no fussy design details or busy patterns. Don't acquire more furniture than the room really needs. Chances are you can do without all those end tables and extra chairs.
Make one exceptional, stylish piece of furniture be the focal point for each room, and don’t over-furnish or over-decorate the space around it. Then avoid the urge to smother the couch or sectional with tons of blankets and throw pillows. Let the furniture speak for itself.
4. Streamline artistic expression
Instead of filling every wall with pictures, choose just one accent wall, eliminating excessive decor elements around it. Let one work of art dominate that space, reducing any competition for attention.
The LG CineBeam Laser Projector can display a chosen photograph or work of art on your accent wall. With 8.3 million pixels, it delivers impeccable precision and detail at four times the resolution of full HD, along with incredibly vibrant color reproduction. It works without the need to darken the room around it, using gentle light that produces clear images without any harsh brightness.
5. Leave plenty of open space
Resist the urge to fill every corner and surface of the room with ornaments and knickknacks. It's the open space, unencumbered by any visual clutter, that creates the feeling of calm and tranquility you're craving.
And if you're lucky enough to have a great view out the window, install only simple, streamlined window treatments — or no window treatments at all — to highlight that view.
Minimalist decor is all about making careful choices and choosing the best quality furnishings and decor over quantity of items. You can turn any room into a beautiful showcase that you'd be happy to entertain and live in, with some thoughtful decision-making. To learn more about improving your home technology, visit LG.com.
It's hard to keep a house clean and tidy, but maintaining a clean home is a great way to keep yourself and your family healthy. There are hazards lurking when homes aren't cleaned properly and chaos and disorganization are allowed to take hold.
Dangers of Dirty Carpets
Carpets can be soft and plush under your feet, but they are also a major health hazard. Dirty carpet that isn't cleaned properly holds onto dirt and allergens that can be harmful to those in your home. While frequent vacuuming is a good start, it's not enough to clean carpets as thoroughly as necessary. You should have someone professionally clean your carpet to make sure the job is done thoroughly. This is especially important to do if you haven’t cleaned your carpet for a long time. Remember, children roll around and place their faces on the floor all the time. A dirty floor is a major health issue.
Dangers of Clutter
Clutter is not only an eyesore. Clutter that is left on the floor can actually cause injuries. Trip and fall accidents are a very common cause of broken bones. Tiny cars with wheels, blocks, or other items left on the floor are easy for anyone in the house to trip on, and this can lead from everything to a minor annoyance to a major injury. It's also not good to let clutter sit on surfaces and collect dust. This leaves your entire home dusty and will allow allergens to hide in plain sight. Invest in bins to hold clutter and keep your surfaces and floors clear. Set up a system where everyone is responsible for putting up what they take out, even children. Kids can learn early how to keep the house tidy and be a big help.
Mental Dangers of Clutter
Besides being a physical hazard, a dirty, unorganized house can also exacerbate mental health issues or be a sign that they already exist. Many people are overwhelmed by clutter and may feel less focused if the surrounding environment is chaotic. Sometimes people's homes are a reflection of their mental state. In this case, a messy house that looks neglected can be a sign of depression or anxiety. Trying to keep a tidy, clean home is a sign that you are functioning okay mentally, and it may also be a way to help your mind feel less chaotic overall.
Dangers of Mold
A house that isn't cleaned often may have mold lurking in it. Water leaks, wet clothes left on the floor, and other signs of neglect can lead to mold development that is hazardous to health. Mold is not great for anyone to be around, but those who struggle with allergies and asthma can have a really hard time if mold creeps into their dirty homes. That's why it's important to clean up spills, check for leaks, and make sure surfaces stay dry. It's also important to clean the bathroom frequently since mold can set up in that room easily.
Not only is cleaning your home important for appearances’ sake—it’s also important for your health. A clean home really is healthier than a dirty, cluttered house. It's less of a threat to your well-being, so do what you can to keep your home clean.
For more ideas for your home, check out these articles!
Whether you’re hoping to sell in the near future or simply looking to touch up outdated areas, there’s one aspect of home maintenance most homeowners agree is important: curb appeal. It’s a broad term that may reference any number of visible features, meaning there are plenty of ways to enhance the appearance of your house. Consider these ideas – some big, some small – for bringing new life to your home’s look.
7 Ideas to Improve Curb Appeal
(Family Features) Whether you’re hoping to sell in the near future or simply looking to touch up outdated areas, there’s one aspect of home maintenance most homeowners agree is important: curb appeal. It’s a broad term that may reference any number of visible features, meaning there are plenty of ways to enhance the appearance of your house.
Consider these ideas – some big, some small – for bringing new life to your home’s look from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
Swap Out Your Front Door
Create Seating Areas
Rethink the Mailbox
Paint (or Repaint) the Exterior
To find more ideas to increase curb appeal, or to find a certified remodeler near you, visit RemodelingDoneRight.com.SOURCE:
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Between sorting, washing, pouring, transferring, drying and folding, laundry can often feel like a daunting chore. While you can’t skip laundry completely, you can stop those baskets from overflowing with these time-saving tips.
5 Time-Saving Laundry Tips
(Family Features) Between sorting, washing, pouring, transferring, drying and folding, laundry can often feel like a daunting chore.
While you can’t skip laundry completely, you can stop those baskets from overflowing with these time-saving tips from the laundry experts at Whirlpool.
Sort clothes ahead of time. One way to make laundry more manageable is to sort as you go. Instead of tossing dirty clothes into a hamper, distribute items into separate bins. While the exact division depends on your wardrobe, you’ll want to separate dark and light colors, as well as clothing that needs special care.
Pretreat stains. Once a stained garment makes its way through the dryer, chances are the stain is set for life. Protect your clothes by pretreating stains as soon as possible to help keep even the toughest stains from setting in. If you’re unsure of how to treat a particular stain, such as spaghetti sauce or grass, Whirlpool offers a Stain Guide within its laundry app that provides helpful, step-by-step instructions*.
Keep your space organized. Just like it’s hard to cook in a messy kitchen or work at a cluttered desk, you’re less likely to be productive in a sloppy laundry room. Clean and organize your laundry area periodically so you have easy access to the supplies you need and a clean surface for folding fresh laundry or switching loads.
Take advantage of technology. New smart home technology is making laundry faster and easier, such as Whirlpool’s Smart Front Load Laundry Pair with the Load & Go™ dispenser. This innovative feature allows you to skip a step in your laundry routine by eliminating the need to measure out and add detergent every time you start a load for up to 40 loads**.
Whether you are on the run or across the room, you can control your washer and dryer using an app on your smartphone or a compatible voice-enabled device for hands-free assistance. You can track how much time is left on your load while cooking dinner, assign washing settings while enjoying family movie night or begin a cycle when running errands. Touch-screen technology also guides you to the correct washer or dryer presets, or you can pre-program cycles of your own to tackle specific care settings for items like baby clothing or bulky comforters.
Finish with ease. For some, it’s not the washing that makes laundry a drag, it’s the folding. Hitting the tumble button to shake out wrinkles is one solution, but there are alternatives. Use your dryer’s end-of-cycle buzzer as an easy way to keep track of when a load needs your attention or make folding a fun game with your family.
Find more information at whirlpool.com.
*Wi-Fi and app required. Features subject to change. Appliance must be set to Remote Enable for remote control capabilities. Details and privacy info at whirlpool.com/connect.
**Model WFW9620H. Based on an 8-pound load of laundry. The Load & Go™ dispenser capacity varies by model.SOURCE:
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