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As a rule of thumb, it's a good idea to have chimneys cleaned at least once a year. Usually before cold weather sets in.
If you asked everyone what they would include in their home on an unlimited budget, nearly everyone would say a home theater. I know I would! That, a pool, and a giant library with a spiral staircase and comfy chairs. Most people picture a home theater as being an extravagant, over the top purchase. In most cases, that’s true- if you add in special recliner theater seating, an expensive 3D TV, and high end speakers- well, you’d have to be very wealthy. However, there are ways to do it cheaper. Projectors are not terribly expensive, and then all you need is a blank white wall and plenty of seating! If you’re planning to install your own home theater, and happen to be a football fan, I have just the inspiration for you. Check out this post by Bwalker at the Home Theater Gear blog for ideas:
-Move the snacks to your theater. Add a mini fridge, a hotdog roller, or even a popcorn machine!
-Customize chairs and other furniture with team colors and logos.
-Add a riser for that stadium feel, as well as giving all your guests the best seat in the house.
After I had lived in my apartment for almost a year, my roommate had the bright idea of vacuuming the big vent for the AC in the living room. After a year, we had all just sort of figured that the vent was a grayish black color. Lo and behold, after he vacuumed the thick layer of dust off of it, the vent underneath was white. Pretty gross. It’s not pleasant to think about, but there are areas like that all over your house. Places you see every day but don’t even think to clean- places that get really, really dirty. Read this post at Life As Mama for a list:
-Your steering wheel
-Pop up sink toppers
-Air conditioning and heating vents (told you!)
Installing lighting and other electrical equipment yourself can save you tons of money (though, there are many cases when a professional is needed! Know your limits!) But, what if you need to install something into your bathroom, and you have tile walls? If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can shatter the tile (which is not a good look). For a great tutorial, read this post by Nate and Michelle at Decor and the Dog:
Choose the correct drill bit. - Regular drill bits aren’t strong enough to drill through tile. Tile is made to be strong and hold up to a beating but these qualities make it hard to drill into.
Mark the area with painter’s tape to keep the drill from slipping
Use light pressure on the drill. It’s tempting to want to drill fast. Drilling through tile takes patience. It took about 5-10 minutes for each hole drilled. Be sure to keep the drill bit cool!
If your dishwasher is full of icky bacteria, it’s not going to do a very good job of getting your dishes clean. It’s easy to forget about, but it’s extremely important to clean your dishwasher periodically. But, how do you do it? You’d think that just running it would take care of it, but that’s not always the case. To kill bacteria and get rid of built up food and grime, read this post by Cheryl at Tidy Mom:
-Start with an empty dishwasher. Remove all parts
-Use paper towels to remove debris and gunk
-Using paper towels, remove debris and food gunk (I’ve even found hair??) .
-Add 2 cups of white vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher and turn it on to Energy or Low Wash. Stop the machine in mid-wash, so the vinegar can set on the bottom and work. Let it stand for about 20 minutes, then turn on to finish cycle.
When you have dogs and kids running around your home, keeping your windows clean is extremely important. I can’t tell you how many wet-nose-marks and sticky kid finger prints I’ve cleaned off of my glass. Sadly, many times the windows end up being even worse looking when I’m done with them. I’m absolutely terrible at wiping them down, and I always leave streaks everywhere. But, after reading this post by Chaotically Creative at Hometalk, I know I’ll never leave streaks again:
-Scrub windows with the soap and water
-Squeegee it off
Fans are a great, practical accessory to any room. That is, if you know how to utilize them correctly. Large metal/plastic fans usually don’t look great, but a stylish ceiling fan can really pull a room together. However, there are other types of fans besides ceiling fans! Check out this post by Nancy Moeller at the Active Rain blog for some inspiration that you’re sure to be a “fan” of:
-Smart ceiling fans- These fans are about keeping the temperature and atmosphere in your home at optimum levels using the least amount of energy.
-Whole house fans- Older homes that don’t have central air-conditioning can be fitted with a whole house fan.
-Other options include free-standing box, floor, tower or pedestal fans. You can move these portable fans from room to room throughout the day.
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