Last year changed the way we do a lot of thingsâespecially the way we live at home. Between mandatory shelter-in-place orders, canceled vacation plans, and working remotely, weâre all spending a lot more time inside our four walls than ever before. And with our houses now doing extra duty as offices, gyms, and even classrooms for the kids, thereâs undoubtedly no shortage of clutter.
If you’re as sick of the piles as we are, then we bet you’re ready to take action. And there’s never a better time than a new year to rethink your space, declutter, and get organized.
That’s why we’re launching a new series with tips from the pros on how to bring order to every space in your home. First up: all those books you bought to read (and never did) during quarantine. Hereâs what the experts say on how to comb through your bookshelves and organize those seemingly endless stacks.
How to declutter your collection
âClutter is postponed decisionsâand thatâs true of book clutter as well,â says professional organizer Barbara Hemphill.
âThe first step in decluttering books is to determine how much space youâre willing to allot to books,” she says. “To decide whether to keep a book, ask yourself, ‘Whatâs the worst thing that would happen if I got rid of this book, and then wanted it?’ If you can live with your answer, donate or toss it.”
Get rid of ugly or old books
While some books might be obvious keepers (like the ones youâll reread or reference later on), youâll likely end up with a good-sized pile of maybes. For those, Barbara Reich, founder of Life Organized, has this pro tip.
âI look at whether a book is in good condition, and if itâs something Iâll want to display,â she says. âFor example, you may not want to display every self-help book you own.â
Donate your unwanted books
Once youâve narrowed down your pile of keepers, itâs time to get rid of the rest. While you might try to sell any valuable or collectible editions, most other secondhand books wonât fetch a ton of cashâwhich is why donations can be a great way to get rid of your unwanted volumes.
However,Â Sherri Curley of The Practical Sort notes that the pandemic has made the usual outletsâlibraries, used bookstores, nursing homes and hospitals, consignment stores, and even certain nonprofit organizationsâreluctant to handle secondhand goods.
âI caution my clients and readers to save time, hassle, and gas by contacting the organization prior to heading out, to ensure that they are accepting donations and what their current protocol and hours are,” Curley says.
How to organize your remaining books
Arrange your books by color
With your permanent collection of books established, youâre ready to start organizing them. One great way to get started is to group your books by color.
âThis works for the very visual client who enjoys their books as a collection, rather than searching for specific ones to read or reference,â says Lucy Milligan Wahl of LMW Edits.
Organize by author
If a colorful display isnât your style, then you might just consider organizing by author instead.
âThis style works best for those who love to read and are looking to be able to access specific books on a regular basis,â says Wahl. âThis is also a more time-intensive method, since it should be adjusted and updated whenever you add a new book to your collection.â
Organize by genre
If neither a color- nor author-based organization system works for you, consider a simple genre-based one.
âOrganizing by genre works well for most clients, especially when theyâre storing books in multiple rooms,â says Wahl. âIt helps to match the genre to the space: for example, cookbooks in the kitchen, business and self-help in the home office, fiction and travel in the bedroom, etc.â
This might also be extended to other rooms of the house, like putting your kidsâ books in the playroom and sports books in a basement or workout room. Finally, be sure to put aside a few favorite display books to decorate coffee tables, guest rooms, and even bathrooms.
Use leftover books as decor
While decluttering and organizing might be adequate for most book collectors, some might just find themselves with a few leftovers that still need sorting. Here are some creative tips from the pros that can help.
âI love using large art books stacked under lamps or small art objects to personalize a space,â says Sarah Giller Nelson of Less Is More. âUsing a few favorite books to decorate your entryway will make you happy every time you come home.â
Be creative with shelving
If you need more space than just a short stack, invisible wall-mounted bookshelves are another great option to display your favorites.
âInvisible bookshelves can be wonderful for adding an accent to a wall without needing to invest in art,â says Wahl. âA window seat can also be a great place for a row of booksâperhaps your favorite novels for curling up on a cozy afternoon.â
Last but certainly not least, if itâs more shelving you need, consider this minimalist designâwhich is great for showing off your book collection, clutter-free.
The post Decluttering for Dummies: Insider Secrets for Organizing Your Overflowing Book Collection appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
While having a swimming pool just steps from your back door may sound appealing, there are a lot of factors to consider before adding, or even before buying a home with one. Here’s what you need to know.
The post Can Adding a Pool Increase Your Home Value? appeared first on Homes.com.
The winter season can be a great time to sell your house, but while your competition is reduced, success during this time can still depend on a successful open house. To help make your open house as effective as possible, follow these tips.
- Take down your decorations. The holidays are over, but if youâre the type that likes to leave the decorations up for a time, taking them down before your open house is a good idea. Prospective buyers may not celebrate the same holidays as you and you don’t want to alienate them.
- Clear the clutter. If you havenât put those holiday gifts away yet, nowâs the time. Prospective buyers should be able to focus on your home instead of the collection of things crowding it. Give them nice open spaces to move about and theyâll be appreciative.
- Turn up the heat. Warm and cozy is more than a catch phrase during the winter. Bring the temperature up in your home slightly during your open house to keep your guests comfortable. If they are too cold in your home, they arenât apt to stay long.
- Plan for winter apparel. Be it jackets or boots, take extra steps to prepare your entryway for the added material your buyers will bring with them. A designated spot to place these items can make guests feel welcome and keep your home cleaner during the showing and beyond.
The post How to prepare your home for a winter open house first appeared on Century 21Â®.
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Decorating kids bedroom walls is a tough challengeâthat is, if you don’t want them to outgrow that fire engine mural or “Frozen” decals anytime soon. Isn’t there anything out there more original that both parents and kids will enjoy for years to come?
Of course there is.
“Kids, by nature, are creative and imaginative, so it makes sense that their bedrooms should be just as colorful and full of life,” says Anna Shiwlall, owner of the interior design firm 27 Diamonds.
A painted mural is one way to achieve a special look, though not every homeowner will splurge for a customized jungle scene. (But if you do, it’s easy to paint over it when your kids have moved on to a new obsession.)
Instead, we’ve come up with 10 fresh wall decor ideas for your kids’ bedrooms that you may want to keep around even after they’ve left the nest.
1. Removable wallpaper
These adhesive mountain panels ($27,20, Amazon) are easy on, easy off, and they’re reusable. And the calming peaks and valleys are sure to lull tough sleepers to dreamland.
Or try chalkboard removable wallpaper, which isn’t just for use in school, says Shiwlall. “Best of all, the wall art and the shelf life is totally up to your kids.”
2. Memory boards
A pretty fabric board or a multiple set ($28 each, Wayfair) is a nice change from paint or wallpaper. Younger kids can tuck their drawings into the ribbons, while those in grade school can use it to hold reminders and sports schedules.
3. Wall decals
Modern tots don’t really play jacks anymore, but using them in decal form ($35 for 60 pieces, Amazon) on a wall is rather genius. This cute set of line clusters and bright circles can be arrangedâand rearrangedâin endless ways, which will keep your kid busy and get the wall decorated, too.
4. Graphic prints
“Select a print or piece of art that speaks to your child, adds a decorative touch, and that also has meaningâeven if she picks Disney princesses,” suggests Anne Hepfer of the eponymous design firm.
You can always swap framed photos for a more age-appropriate look, but we think you’ll want to hold on to these sweet faces from the African savannah ($58 for three, Wayfair).
What could be sweeter than butterflies made from soft, glittering feathers?
These cuties ($35 for 10, Pottery Barn Kids) adhere quickly with 3M stickers, and you can get different sets in pink and blue for a multicolored swarm of your own design.
6. Fabric wall panels
Pillow stuffing, foam board, and soft fabric are brought together in these smart padded panels ($104, Etsy) for your tot’s nursery. Install a line as a decorative border on the wall, or use some to demarcate a book nook or play space.
Amazon) for older kids who have some climbing ability and lay a bunch of soft floor pillows at the base of the wall.
9. Tile wall
Photo by Birdhouse Media
A stark white room with a bright tile mosaic is a stunning way to add an accent wall to a kid’s roomâand you don’t need a fireplace to put in this look. Make it even easier, and select peel-and-stick wall tile.
10. Framed record collection
10 Kids Room Wall Decor Ideas That Adults Won’t Hate appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
Being a homeowner on a budget is nothing to be ashamed of, if anything, most people prefer to keep their expenses low, especially after recently purchasing a home! But,there are some things you shouldn’t cheap out on, and we’ve got you covered.
The post 5 Things You Should Pay Premium for as a Homeowner or Renter appeared first on Homes.com.
Trending: 10 home features that have fallen out of favor:
1. Bold color schemes
2. Industrial-style kitchens
3. Kitchen islands
4. Granite countertops
5. TVs in the kitchen
6. Over-the-stove microwaves
7. Raised-panel cabinets
8. Wall-to-wall carpet
9. Distressed wood walls
10. Mediterranean-inspired suburban McMansions
The post 10 home features that have fallen out of favor first appeared on Century 21Â®.