Patricia Betro's Blog
You've probably heard the word minimalism within the past few months. It's a trending lifestyle that people everywhere are trying to adopt. Many people have the idea that to be a minimalist they must rid their households of anything that isn't essential for life. Only living on essentials is not what this minimalism movement is all about.
Many people view this lifestyle as one that has many restrictions on what you can or cannot have, but the truth is, there is no rulebook to minimalism. Minimalism is solely about finding freedom. You can access this kind of freedom by ridding yourself of the unnecessary stress that comes along with owning so much stuff. Don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with possessions. The problem arises when we give meaning to these items that don't contribute anything back into our lives. For instance, if you have a collection that has significant meaning to you and makes you feel proud to own them, you should keep them. But let's say you have a living room with so much furniture in it that cleaning day is dreadful, you should minimize your home.
Here are three simple ways you can apply minimalism to your everyday life:
- When going through your things, ask yourself "Does this item bring me joy?" "Are special memories attached to this item?" "Why am I keeping it?" If none of these questions provoke any reason as to why you should keep this item, then throw it into the donation pile!
- When it comes to birthdays, holidays, or any occasion that invites loved ones to give your family gifts, ask for experiences rather than items. Activities can especially be fun for children! Family members could gift them with a lasting memory of going to the zoo rather than giving them a toy that will only bring temporary happiness.
- Go shopping with an intentional list of the items you truly need to purchase. Doing this will help you only go into the stores that you need things from rather than window shopping and leaving with way more than what you intended to buy. Intentionality will automatically help you declutter your overflowing closet and boost your bank account!
Everyone can adopt minimalism into their everyday lives. Minimalism is not just for people who want to live in small spaces. Whether you have a large house or a small home, you can start today by reducing the things you keep and genuinely enjoying the things you have. If you need help de-cluttering your space, ask your realtor for a recommendation.
Magazine styled homes are gorgeous but they’re not quite practical. Especially when you’ve got little ones running about. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a stylish home. I’ve got a few tricks for you to today to integrate kid-friendly decor with a grown up touch.
When house shopping keep those with open floor plans at the top of your list. Open floor plans help your family to stay social and connected with each other. It’s also a whole lot easier to keep your eye on your little ones in the living room while you’re making dinner. Additionally, an eat-in kitchen creates a welcoming atmosphere for older kids to hang out around after school while eating snacks or working on homework.
When it comes to furnishing your new home opt for furniture that doubles as storage to tuck away toys. This helps to keep a tidy home while maintaining a welcoming room for children to pull out a few toys and spend time with the family. If you choose to have wall to wall carpeting be sure to choose one designed to withstand heavy traffic. Alternatively, for a statement rug using an outdoor carpet inside adds visual interest and makes for easy cleaning.
Furnishings in heavy duty fabrics like microfiber, acrylics or distressed leather can withstand messes and frequent cleaning. For existing furniture, slip covers are another way to protect sofas while being able to easily wash messes from kiddos and pets. Round shaped tables eliminate sharp corners and the bumps and bruises they create.
It may be tempting to choose dark colors to hide inevitable messes and stains however it’s best to opt for mid-tone colors to keep a bright, welcoming room. Add pops of color with pillow covers in lighter colors. Pillow covers are ideal since not only can they easily be swapped out to give a room a fresh new look but they can also easily be cleaned by throwing them in the wash.
Install shelves that allow books to be propped up with their covers viewable. Children will be more likely to grab them to read and they will also double as an evolving art display in your home. Another great way to add child-friendly art is to frame the paintings and drawings your children bring home. You’ll have a unique one of a kind piece to rival Pollock and Rothko.
A guest bedroom with one or two bunk beds will make your home the sleepover favorite among your child’s friends. You’ll maximize space and provide a much more comfortable sleeping space than a sleeping bag on the floor. Storing snacks in baskets and see through jars out in the open makes it easy for kids to grab and go throughout the day. You’ll have peace of mind visitors aren’t going hungry while creating a welcoming, homey space for all.
When decorating most put their own taste and style first. However, when raising a family the difference between a house and a home is that everyone living under its roof feels at comfortable in its space. Creating a family friendly home doesn’t mean sacrificing style but it does mean a few tweaks that bring everyone closer together.
For those who recently bought or sold a house, it may be only a matter of time before you need to pack up your belongings and move them to a new address. As such, you'll likely need to figure out how to properly pack your artwork to reduce the risk of damage while moving.
Luckily, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of packing your artwork prior to moving day.
Let's take a look at three best practices for packing artwork.
1. Use Acid-Free Tissue Paper
Acid-free tissue paper offers advanced protection against moisture – a serious problem that may cause artwork to fade or deteriorate.
You should have no trouble finding acid-free tissue paper at any store that sells moving and packing supplies. Plus, acid-free tissue paper usually is inexpensive and can make a world of difference as you pack up your artwork.
Ideally, you'll want to wrap an entire piece of art in acid-free tissue paper. This will offer immense protection until you unwrap your artwork once you reach your new home.
2. Take Advantage of Specialty Boxes
Specialty moving boxes are available for artwork. Pick up a few of these boxes, and you can pack your artwork accordingly.
Use caution as you place artwork inside a moving box. Ensure the artwork is secure inside the box before you seal the box as well.
Also, don't forget to label all moving boxes, including those that contain artwork. Place a "Fragile" label on boxes that contain artwork to further minimize the risk of damage during your move.
3. Store Artwork Carefully in a Moving Truck
When moving day arrives, you'll want to do everything possible to guarantee your artwork travels safely from Point A to Point B. If you place artwork on its edges and in a spot where it won't fall over inside a moving truck, you can limit the chance that your artwork will get damaged while in transit.
In addition, you may be able to wedge artwork between heavy objects in a moving truck. That way, you can secure your artwork throughout the moving cycle.
If you require extra help as you pack your artwork and other belongings, it often pays to hire a professional moving company. This business employs friendly, knowledgeable moving experts who can help you streamline the process of getting all of your belongings to a new address.
Lastly, a real estate agent is happy to put you in touch with moving companies in your area. This housing market professional understands the challenges associated with packing artwork and other items and can provide plenty of support as you get ready for moving day. Furthermore, a real estate agent will ensure anyone can achieve the optimal results during the homebuying or home selling cycle.
Simplify the process of packing up your artwork – use the aforementioned best practices, and you can quickly and effortlessly prepare your artwork for moving day.
When shopping for your new home, you can investigate and gauge many things about the house itself and even about the neighborhood as a whole to help make the best decision. One thing that's difficult to gauge or even factor into your decision making is your immediate neighbors. You might be able to look at their yard to see how they care for their home, or you might be able to tell right away if they have a loud animal, but you won't know them until after you've moved in and have lived in the new house for a while. Even if you could know ahead of time if they have noisy barbecues or a teenager with an aspiring rock band should that play into your decision? Your initial neighbors might decide to sell their home, or they might actually be renters, so you have no idea how long they'll be there. While getting a read on the community as a whole is essential—do people generally seem to care about their homes, are their clean streets and shared areas, etc.—you shouldn't refrain from buying the best house for you because you're concerned about your neighbors.
So, what to do if you move into your new home and it turns out your immediate neighbors aren’t so great?
If you find that your neighbor doesn’t do much upkeep on their front yard, there isn’t a whole lot you can do. If you see them when you're out mowing or weed-eating, you can offer to do theirs as well, as a friendly neighbor, but you can't go much farther than that. If their backyard has a lot of trash or messy kids toys or even a few old cars they haven't gotten around to working on you can do some things to keep their unsightly belongings from affecting an afternoon on your back patio.
- Privacy fencing: If your home didn't have privacy fencing when you made the purchase, consider installing a new fence. There are affordable ways to implement privacy fencing that will create a visual barrier between you and your neighbor. Bonus — if they have a dog that likes to bark at anything it sees, or it just doesn't get along with your dog, the fencing will help prevent unwanted barking and extra noise.
- Plant trees or bamboo: It’s a bit costlier but installing a line of medium-sized trees that grow tall (and quickly) or installing a second layer of "fencing" with a row of bamboo will increase the visual and sound barriers in addition to improving the beautiful greenery in your yard.
- Direct attention away: If your yard is big enough to have a couple of different living areas try placing those areas on the opposite side of the yard from your neighbors and direct attention to your useable space. Install a gazebo in the back corner or hang a shade awning over the patio. Circle furniture up around a built-in BBQ facing away from the other yard. Light up the areas you use with string lights or tiki torches and leave the view along the less than desirable fence line darkened.
- Outdoor Sound System: It's tempting to overpower your neighbor's loud music, but you can install an outdoor sound system that focuses on the entertaining and living areas of your yard to create more of a sound barrier between their loud music, dogs or children. Kind of like how restaurants use loud music to give each table privacy, you can give yourself a bit of privacy, and peace with strategically installed speakers.
Finally, be a good neighbor. The primary key to having good neighbors is to be one. Be friendly, be open and be inviting. Follow the same considerate living principles you desire from your neighbors. Engage with your neighbors and become acquaintances or even friends. Who knows, the dad next door with the son who wants to learn death metal might need a break from the noise too, and could be the best new addition to your guys night.
If you're not exactly sure how to approach an issue with your new living arrangement, speak with your real estate professional for the best advice.