Category Archives: Cleaning, Decorating and Organizing

Home Maintenance To-Do List Before Winter Hits

The dog days of summer are behind us, the days are growing shorter and, before you know it, winter will once again be upon us. Even though it comes around every year at this time, many still find themselves waiting until the last minute to address those final outside projects in preparation for winter. Before the temperature begins its decent into the dark days of winter, take advantage of those few remaining sunny days and consider these ten tips to ensure your home is ready for the coming change in weather.

1. Clean Out Your Stove Or Fireplace

Before striking that match for the first fire of the season, perform a thorough cleaning of the flue area of your chimney. It is advised that you have a professional check the condition of your chimney to minimize potential chimney fires.

2. Clean Those Gutters

Make sure all leaves and other debris are removed from your gutters before the rains return. Consider taking a garden hose and washing down both the gutter and downspouts. Also make sure the water is properly draining away from the foundation. Once winter returns, any water held back in your gutters by a plugged downspout could freeze and place an unnecessary strain on the gutters themselves.

3. Inspect Your Heating System

Depending on the type of heating system your home has, it is always a good idea to be proactive rather than reactive. If it is a furnace system, make sure it is properly cleaned, the parts are in good working order and the filter has been changed. It might even be a good idea to have a professional inspect it for you in case there is something you may have missed. If your heating system has seen better years, now could be the time to upgrade. After all, you don’t want to freeze this winter!

4. Store All Lawn Furniture

It is always a good idea to store your lawn furniture for the winter months ahead. Somewhere around the middle of October is a good time to accomplish this task. By doing so, you will protect your investment from the ravages of winter and get many more years of service from your outdoor furnishings.

5. Inspect The Roof for Possible Loose Shingles

Because the roof is vital in keeping rain out of your house, it is also important that the covering on your roof is secure and in good condition. The number one cause of a leaky roof is damaged or loose shingles. It is not too late to inspect them and make the necessary adjustments before winter sets in. In addition to inspecting your roof, take a look at any tree limbs that might be hanging over your roof and trim them back to prevent potential damage during a snowstorm.

6. Drain Outside Water Spigots

Now is a good time to shut off any water supply to outside faucets and drain them to avoid potential freezing and then bursting after the freeze has passed.

7. Check The Weatherstripping Around Windows

It is believed that energy savings of up to 15 per cent can be realized when all doors and windows are properly weatherstripped. One way to check the efficiency of your current windows and doors is by means of a ‘paper test’. This involves shutting the door or window on a piece of paper. If you can then pull the paper out without tearing it, you will need to replace faulty weatherstripping.

8. Make Room In The Garage

Unless you have a storage building to put your lawn furniture, bicycles and gardening tools in, now would be a good time to clean out the garage to make room for these items. It is also a good idea to make enough room to store what the garage was meant for: your vehicles!

9. Repair Those Leaky Faucets

Now would be a good time to make a last run-through of all outside faucets, to ensure they are in good working order. This is where being proactive instead of reactive can save some money on repairs should a leaky faucet freeze during the winter months, only to break once the spring thaw happens. It is also a good idea to protect those faucets with foam insulation covers.

10. Inspect All Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

A rule of thumb is to inspect detectors twice yearly and replace all batteries annually. In addition, ensure you have sufficient detectors throughout the house. Simply follow the instructions given on all detectors to make sure they are fully functional.

Well, there you have it! By taking these 10 tips and applying them to your home, you will be better prepared for those long, cold winter days and nights just around the corner.

Maintaining your family’s security is an important fact of life and we want to give you the information you need to make wise decisions in all your home improvement ideas. We are always adding new pertinent home-related articles to our web site. Whether it has to do with organizing, remodeling or anything else having to do with your home, we are your one-stop location to help you with all your home improvement needs. For more home improvement tips and information, simply go to where you will find a wide variety of articles addressing all things relating to the family and the home.

Decorating Your Kids’ Rooms – Four Budget-Friendly Tips

Over the course of several years, your child will go through many stages of development and you may want to change their room’s look several times. That means it’s extra important to use budget friendly designs to meet the growing needs of your child.

Here are four budget friendly tips for cheap kids decor.

Budget Friendly Kids Decor Tip #1 – Decide on a Theme
Before you begin shopping for your child’s new room design, you’ll want to decide on the theme. This will help you narrow down your choices and make better decisions for your budget. Keep in mind that character-themed items will be more expensive than other types of themes.

To keep costs low, you can make a few colors your theme and just use a few small accessories to further define your theme. For example, you can use yellow and blue in a boy’s room for the wall colors and bedding and then add wall hangings and a lamp to emphasize an outer space theme. Your child doesn’t need to have character sheets and bedding in order to have a great room.

Budget Friendly Kids Decor Tip #2 – Focus on Paint
Paint is a terrific way to change the look of your child’s room without spending a whole lot of money. A can of paint is all you need to change your child’s room in just the space of a day.

If you are feeling more creative, you can use masking tape to create designs on the wall. Give you child’s a two-tone look with one color on the top of the room and the other color on the bottom. You can also easily create colored panels on the wall using masking tape.

For just a little more investment, you can buy some sponge shapes to create a painted border on their wall. The possibilities are really endless when it comes to paint.

Budget Friendly Kids Decor Tip #3 – Visit the dollar store or thrift store
The dollar store can be a terrific place to find accessories and other design items for your child’s room on the cheap. Wall hangings, rugs and even curtains can be purchased for $1 or just a little more. It can also be a great place to source ideas for your child’s room theme.

Once you’ve decided on the colors for your child’s room, you can find theme ideas at the dollar store.

Budget Friendly Kids Decor Tip #4 – Shop on eBay or Craigslist
Ebay and Craigslist can be a good source for finding gently used items that would be perfect for your child’s room. Read listing descriptions carefully so you can be sure that you’re getting exactly what you need. If you’re purchasing locally on Craigslist, you should inspect the items before you agree to purchase them. Both of these websites can be terrific sources for any items you need for your child’s room.

Jamie Jefferson writes for and, where she shares the web’s best online coupons and promotions for department stores including Macy’s promotional codes and price drops

Frugal Ways to Brighten a Room With Color – Without Paint

So you want to bring color into your room but you just don’t want the mess or expense of painting? Here are 7 frugal home design ideas to give a new splash of color to any room in your home!

Pillows: Design your own be visiting your local fabric store where you will find fabulous fabrics of all textures and shapes. Pillow forms, easy (and usually free) directions can be found as you browse. Of course, if DIY is not your thing, pillows are a frugally priced decorating option.

Change up those pillows on your couch by removing the same colored ones and bringing in some fresh and bright new ones containing contrasting or tertiary colors with varying textures. Design some plush floor pillows for those family gatherings where extra seating is needed.

Wall Art: Nothing says new color better than a substantially sized piece of art on your wall. If it’s color you are looking for limit your art selection to art that simply features the colors of your choice. Create your own masterpiece with a large canvas painted one color and then bounce a tennis ball that has been dipped into another favored color. It’s a quick and easy abstract!

You don’t need to limit color wall art to a canvas medium, hang a rug or place mats, or easy to apply and remove wall vinyls.

Plants and Pots: Plants will literally liven up any room. The larger the room the larger the leaf is the design principle to apply. Not only will your plant perk things up the pot can also introduce some fresh color.

Use pots independent of plants. A nice arrangement of bowls, baskets or pottery running across a mantle or sideboard can create understated elegance. Odd numbered arrangements are the rule: choose 3 or 5 over 4.

Rugs: Persian to french leopard, contemporary to Casablanca, there is bound to be a rug that will walk in that color.

Identify new spaces in your rooms by adding an area rug to suit the size for the function. Yes, you can put a rug directly on top of an existing carpet. It’s a great way to not only introduce a new look but hide the traffic wear patterns and spots. Be sure to use a non slip rug for hard wood floors and vinyls. It will protect the floor, prevent slip injuries and preserve the overall life of the rug.

Ottomans and Seat Cushions: Recover that plain colored existing ottoman with a fresh texture and color scheme. Tie those new pillows together with a matching ottoman or floor pillow. Recover the mantle pads or window box cushions. Throw out the conservative and introduce the bold, brash and beautiful!

Lampshades and Frames: It’s easy to redo a lamp shade with fabric paint (oops I mentioned paint) or fabrics. If that’s too much of a project, check out home decor trims or Ric Rac to glue onto the rim of the shade. Experiment with frames. Use the frames you already own and do some colorful decoupage or fabric applications to draw more color attention to the precious photos.

As you can see, color is not just about paint nor is about spending exorbitant amounts of money. There are fantastically frugal decorating solutions to bring a new explosion of color to that favorite living space.

Now you can decorate like a professional by tapping into Frugal Home Design’s information portal. Learn the tips and tricks professional decorators use to bring the best out of every room in a home. Go to and get started on your project today!

Simple and Frugal Home Decorating Ideas

Everybody loves to have a beautiful home but no one wants to spend a fortune on decorating this day in age. There are plenty of ways for those with a budget to decorate their homes beautifully though. Not only do such minor changes such as painting a room or changing furniture around have big results but spending small amounts on actual decorative elements is possible as well. From looking online to looking in your own community there is a wide array of budget friendly ways to express your style and your personality in your home. Here are a few tips to do just that without breaking the bank.

Use Correct Lighting- Many people don’t realize how important the lighting in a room can actually be until they experience really good lighting. Lighting sets the tone for the whole room and can make it feel warm and inviting or completely uninviting. Lamps are great for a room such as a living room because they offer a warm glow but creative track lighting is great for a room that gets a little more action, like a family room, den, or kitchen. There are so many lighting options out there that this can be a simple, easy way to add to any room.

Reinvent Wood Furnishings- While many individuals may not have the immediate resources to go out and by new furniture when it gets old there are quite a few that can afford to reinvent their furnishings. By refinishing your furnishings your not only making them look newer but you can make them look like a completely different style as well if you get creative. Stripping materials and stain are relatively cheap, you just have to be willing to put in the elbow grease.

Use Silk Flowers and Greenery- Silk flowers and greenery garland is relatively inexpensive and can add a whole new look to any room in your home. In fact many silk flower arrangements available for purchase look quite real and many of your guests will hardly be able to tell the difference.

Recycle Older Decor- Recycling older decorative elements from the attic, basement, or even other rooms is a great way to add something new to a d├ęcor in another room. Often items just need a little TLC and they can be as beautiful as when you purchased them all over again.

Go To Garage Sales- Garage sales can be a terrific way to come up with new decorating elements for your home. Almost always inexpensive and usually offering a wide variety of items, garage sales are one of the most inexpensive ways to redecorate your space. And although some of the items may contain a little wear, you can always repaint them, re-stain them, or just give them a really good cleaning and they will be just like new.

So now that you have a few ideas as to how to decorate on a budget you can get a start on reinventing your home without spending a lot of money.

Matt Hosty is the head writer at the Center for Meditation.Read some of his articles at For more Meditation articles

6 Creative Tips on How to Make a Small Bedroom Look Larger

Owning a small bedroom will not be a problem when you know how to decorate and design it in a way that it will seem much larger than it really is. With the right methods and approaches, you will eventually forget that what you have is a small space. The idea of extending a small bedroom into becoming a large one might seem impossible at first, but you can easily achieve this by using several helpful guidelines that will help you to alter the appearance of a small room and turn it, at least seemingly, into something grand.

Below are 5 effective ways in making a small bedroom look more spacious.

Paint your bedroom using pale colors

Lighter colors retreat. Ceilings painted in white always appear higher than usual. Paint your bedroom walls in white, ivory, cream or pale pink hues or other light colors for the walls to appear wider. If you choose to completely paint the whole room in a lighter shade, expect that the room will not just only feel bigger, but it will also appear more spacious. And believe it or not, in the hot summer day, it will give you the feeling of a cooler place.


Clean up your bedroom. Get rid of things that you normally do not use everyday. Clear the things crowding your top dresser and keep them inside the drawer. Your cabinet and wall shelves must look and be decorative. Try to put minimal things and leave a lot of empty space and area to create an extra illusion of added space.

Put Mirrors

Mirrors are not only dispensable for vanity uses. They also amazingly reflect back light. And we know that light has the ability to create an illusion of space. Also, a wall that is lined with mirrors produces an effect in a room to appear twice as huge since the room’s reflection on the mirrors appears just like an entirely separate place.

Create more space

Try to use empty spaces for storing shoes and other items. All other types of clutter should be hid behind curtains. This aspect ties in very well with the decluttering tip mentioned before.

Choose the right bed

The bed is maybe the most essential piece of furniture in a bedroom. Make sure to buy a bed that not only fits the size of your room, but also provides you with enough space for other furniture. Avoid buying extra large beds when you have a small place.

Proper lighting

Having good light in the room is crucial. Depending on the lighting fixture you get, you can easily achieve the illusion of extra space in your bedroom.

For example using wall sconces lighting, one at each side of your bed, will not only improve the illumination but also make the room seem larger than it really is. Check out this guide on installing wall sconces lighting at home with ease.