3 Tips For Small Yard Landscaping

Landscaping a small yard is a complicated bit of business. If you put in too little, the yard looks empty but too much and the yard looks overcrowded. There are ways, however, to create a wonderful sanctuary in the back yard, no matter how small it is. The first step is to evaluate your needs and look outside the box a little bit:

Add Levels

Smaller yards don’t often feel as though they have anything interesting to share. You don’t have to go very far to see the entire yard, and there’s usually not room for something like a water feature and a play area. One way around this is to add small terraces to the yard. This creates different levels of interest that you can either leave grassy or plant with a variety of different shrubs and flowers.

Another way to get the look of different levels is to use raised beds in a variety of heights. Your yard will look much larger, and there will always be something interesting to see.

Plant a Garden

One of the biggest complaints about small yards is that there isn’t room for planting a large garden. This is true to a certain extent, but you don’t have to plant a huge garden to reap the rewards of one. Even a small patch of ground, 6 feet by 4 feet, can house a variety of different plants and vegetables.

Plant the taller crops in the back, and look into companion gardening to pair plants that do well together side-by-side. You’ll be amazed at the produce you can grow on your own in a smaller space. Also, don’t forget to use seasonal planning to your advantage. You can plant different crops all year round.

Deck it Out

If you’re really not into dragging out the heavy equipment to maintain a tiny patch of grass, lose the grass altogether. Cut out the sod and install a multi-level decking system with planters in strategic locations. That way you can keep the overall feel of a green space outside, but there’s no heavy duty maintenance. Decking is fantastic for entertaining, and you’ll have the option to try out a variety of plants and small trees in your planters.

If you’re ready to overhaul your small yard, call a landscaping expert today who can help you to get the yard of your dreams. He can create just the right garden hideaway for you, no matter what you hope to achieve.

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Starting Your Career? Here Are 3 Daily Tasks To Outsource

Starting a career is a thrilling and stressful time. Your long hours at the work are often matched by even more hours finishing the job from home. And on top of all that professional work you’re still expected to keep up with your daily tasks. But now is a good time to learn about the beauty of outsourcing.

What makes a daily task worth outsourcing? If the task takes up valuable time better spent at work or resting, or is something you generally despise doing, it’s worth outsourcing the task. Doing so will likely cost less than you would think.

Here are three ways to start off your professional career with some helpful outsourcing.

House Cleaning Services

The most obvious place to start is with house cleaning services. Look for an insured, well-reviewed cleaning service that offers several customization options. This customization should include both cleaning schedule frequency and the type of cleaning done.

You can start out with a deep clean if you’ve been at the office more than home. Then you can move down to a light spot clean every other week or even once a month.

Cleaners will typically dust, clean the floors, wipe down walls, clean ovens and refrigerators, and perform other standard cleaning services. Doing dishes and other more personal services are typically not included. It’s important to discuss what will be cleaned during each visit so you know what you’re getting with your payment.

Laundry

Outsourcing laundry immediately evokes a businessperson dropping off name-brand suits to a dry cleaner. But the reality can be as high or low end as you would like it to be. Certainly stick with a dry cleaner for any items that specify that method in the care instructions or for any higher priced wardrobe items.

But for your general laundry, head to the regular local laundromat. Most offer general wash and folding services for either a flat or per pound fee. If you’re never home long enough to do laundry, or you don’t have access to private laundry machines, this service can relieve a huge burden. Ask about additional services such as stain removal or even laundry delivery.

Grocery Delivery

Larger cities frequently have companies devoted to delivering groceries. You can go online, fill out your order, pay with a credit card and simply need to have someone home when the food will be delivered.

But you’re not necessarily out of luck if you live in a smaller town. Most grocery stores will collect, bag, and pay for groceries for you if you have a discussion with the manager and put a credit card on file. The services might not extend to delivery. In that case, you can potentially hire a trusted taxi driver to go get the food for you. Or you can simply pick up the groceries after work. It will still save you a lot of time in the store.

Outsourcing these three daily tasks can help give you more time and energy to focus on your new career. 

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How To Make Your Draperies Last

Draperies are a critical part of your home decor. A good drapery material will last for many years, given the appropriate care and maintenance. These tips will help you maintain your draperies, keeping them looking beautiful for years or even decades. 

Follow Manufacturer’s Care Instructions

Some materials are very delicate when wet and cannot be laundered in a washing machine, while other materials shrink horribly when they dry. Others still respond well to cleaning with simple water and laundry detergent. These variations mean that some draperies can be laundered by conventional means (in a washer and dryer), while other draperies must be dry cleaned. The care instructions for your draperies will be located on the manufacturer’s tag. Follow all care instructions for laundering your draperies. Deviating from the manufacturer’s care instructions may result in the destruction of the material. 

Launder Only When Necessary

Drapery laundering with a washer and dryer tends to change the shape, color and size of the draperies–even if the draperies are designated as washer and dryer safe. Dry cleaning is a much gentler process; however, the act of simply taking up and putting down the draperies involves a lot of additional handling that can speed the deterioration of the drapery material. To prevent this type of deterioration, launder your draperies only when absolutely necessary. For many people, laundering draperies annually is often enough. 

Vacuum Regularly

Vacuum your draperies on a weekly basis. You may need to vacuum the draperies more often if the windows are left open, or if the draperies are hanging in a room with a frequently used fireplace. 

To vacuum your draperies, close the draperies and leave them hanging on the curtain rod. Use an upholstery attachment to vacuum the draperies, starting at the top and working downward in a straight row. Repeat this process over and over until the draperies have been fully vacuumed. Pay close attention to the areas near the top of the draperies where the drapery hooks attach, and around the seams where dust gathers. 

Use a Lint Brush 

Use a lint brush as necessary to remove balls of thread, hairs and other large objects that may cling to the material. This type of cleaning can supplement your vacuuming and may even be used in place of vacuuming from time to time, if you do not feel that vacuuming is necessary. 

Clean the Window Sills

Window sills gather a lot of dust over time, especially when the windows are left open. This dust can easily be transferred to the draperies, especially if the draperies are frequently opened and closed. Clean your window sills on a weekly basis, before vacuuming the drapes. 

Following these tips will help you keep your draperies clean and beautiful, and may extend the life of your draperies by years. For more information, contact a drapery dealer like Budget Blinds Of Coachella Valley.

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Top Gifts For Gardening Enthusiasts

Are you searching for the perfect gift for an upcoming birthday or anniversary? Does the recipient enjoy gardening or flowers? Here are some gift suggestions to help make the day special:

Exotic seeds: Many gardeners know about plants that they would love to grow, but they either can’t find the seeds or can’t justify the expense of purchasing them. Try to find out if the intended recipient has been searching for a particular type of plant or seed. Research whether the seeds will need specialized equipment for them to sprout or grow. If they do, consider gifting those as well.

Tealight oil warmer: If the person that you’re buying the gift for likes the smell of flowers but has no garden, consider purchasing a tealight oil warmer set for them. A tealight oil warmer’s beautiful fragrances will help to evoke a mental image of freshly cut flowers. In addition, if the recipient is allergic to flower pollen, gifting them a tealight oil warmer and realistic silk flowers can be a wonderful alternative to freshly cut flowers. If you don’t know what their favorite scent is, include several different ones for them to choose from.

Potpourri lamp: A potpourri lamp may be a type of tealight oil warmer, but it can also be a type of regular lamp. Where a tealight oil warmer uses a candle to warm the oil so that the scent fills the room, a potpourri lamp uses an ordinary light bulb. The lack of an open flame may make these lamps a better option for people who have pets or small children. Because they are so similar, you may be able to find a potpourri lamp being sold near or with the tealight oil warmers.

Bonsai: Not every gardener has room in their yard for their favorite tree. A beautiful bonsai is the perfect choice for a gardening enthusiast with little to no space. If they don’t already have them, be sure to include bonsai tools and bonsai how-to books so that they know how to properly care for their new plant. Depending on where they live, you should also consider including a small grow light as well. This way, they won’t have to worry about putting their bonsai outside in freezing temperatures simply so that it can get some sunlight.

Before buying anything, try to determine whether there are any scents or plants that they hate. For example, some people might dislike the smell of roses while other people detest lavender. If they happen to mention that they despise pruning, giving them a bonsai might not be the best option. But finding the perfect gift doesn’t have to be difficult, as long as you keep your eyes and ears open.

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5 Inexpensive Ways To Refresh An Older Bathroom

Remodeling a bathroom can be a great way to add value to your home due to it being one of the first things potential homebuyers look at when house-shopping. If you want to make some upgrades in your bathroom while on a budget, you should start small and consider which projects will make a big visual improvement without costing a lot.

Incorporate Accent Tiles

Ripping out the existing tile flooring or walls is expensive and should be avoided if you’re trying to remodel your bathroom while on a budget. An easy way to change the look of either the floors or the walls is by adding accent tiles. Choosing tiles that flatter the appearance of the bathroom and doing the installation on your own can help make a big impact in the way your bathroom looks.

Replace Knobs and Pulls

The cabinetry in your bathroom can look aged if the cabinets are without knobs or pulls. Even cabinetry with hardware already can look unattractive if they no longer fit the style of the bathroom. Luckily, replacing this kind of hardware can make a big improvement in the bathroom and is very affordable.

Install a Curved Shower Rod

If you use a shower curtain in your bathroom, you may want to consider exchanging the current rod for a curved shower rod. By switching out the rod, you’ll be able to alter the way that your bathroom looks and enjoy more space in the shower at the same time.

Put in Some New Lighting Fixtures

Removing old lighting and replacing them with modern fixtures can not only brighten up your bathroom drastically, but it can also lead to savings in energy usage. When replacing the fixtures, make sure to use energy-efficient lightbulbs for the most savings.

Change Out the Linens

The linens in your bathroom can make the room feel much more outdated than it is. Linens such as the rug, bath towels, and hand towels should all be removed and exchanged with fresh linens that match the new look of your bathroom. Sticking with a matching set of linens can also help keep a uniform look that feels modern.

Making some changes in your bathroom doesn’t need to be expensive if you know what kind of projects to undertake. In order for your bathroom to look brand new without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars, get familiar with inexpensive upgrades that offer a big visual change. (For more information, contact Art Tile Co. Inc. or another company)

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Stay Safe And Protect Your Investment – Tips For Gas Appliance Maintenance And Safety

Owning your own home is one of the most exciting and satisfying accomplishments of anyone’s life, but it also comes with myriad challenges. High on the list of these is the challenge of maintaining and getting the most out of every aspect of your home, including the appliances you’ve installed.

Popular with many people for their reliability and consistency, gas appliances do require a good deal of maintenance, upkeep, and safety considerations. Below, you’ll find a guide that will assist you in maintaining your gas appliances. By following these tips, you can be sure that your stove will be there for you when you need it and you won’t have to worry about untimely or dangerous breakdowns.

Careful Storage

One of the most dangerous things you can do near a gas appliance is store things that may be flammable. Common kitchen items like paper towels, napkins, and hand towels can be dangerous accelerants if they happen to drape over the open flame of your gas stove.

You should also consider the chemicals that you keep in your kitchen. Cleaning products, insect repellant, and other items are frequently stored beneath the kitchen sink or in cabinets, but you should be aware of the way these products and their fumes can interact with an open flame as well the residual gas from your oven or stove.

Sufficient Clearance

Gas appliances are designed to be installed in a space of a given size, as they radiate a degree of heat and excess gas that needs to be allowed to dissipate. If you violate these clearance restrictions, you can easily suffer appliance breakdowns as well as dangerous environmental conditions.

It’s best to install gas appliances in large, open spaces that allow for full ventilation. If you’re unsure as to the clearance requirements for your appliances, you should consult with the manufacturer or a reliable maintenance and repair service.

Consistent Inspection

With a gas leak, all it takes is one instant for a small problem to become a serious disaster. While it may be tempting to rest on your laurels and cut costs in terms of inspection costs, this can also lead to failing appliances or a serious situation that could threaten the safety of your home. You should be sure to maintain an inspection schedule as suggested by your manufacturer, as this will guarantee that you have a safe appliance that will always be responsive to your needs.

For more information, contact Gringer & Sons Inc. or a similar company.

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Move Into An Apartment At The Last Minute With These Tips

While it’s always helpful to begin planning for a move to a new apartment a few months in advance, this may not always be a possibility. Whether you’re needing to move out of your current home due to a sudden increase in rent or a problem with the building, you’ll want to do your best to make your transition to a new apartment as smooth as possible.

By utilizing a few handy tips for moving on a quick time schedule, you can be in your new apartment very quickly without any hassle.

Don’t Hesitate to Downsize Items

The biggest mistake people make when moving is bringing along too much stuff they no longer need. This is especially common when moving at the last minute, since it’s tempting to just pack all of your furniture, clothes, and household items. Sorting through your items and discarding what you no longer use or need can help lighten the load for your move, allowing you to use a smaller moving truck and less labor.

Pick Up Affordable Packing Supplies

Moving supplies such as cardboard boxes and packing tape can help reduce a lot of the stress associated with moving. Instead of buying directly from the moving company, look into ordering packing supplies online or even picking boxes up for free from various sources.

Ask for Help From Friends and Family

Requesting help from friends and family members for packing and moving your items can help reduce a lot of the stress on you and allow you to enjoy some time with your loved ones. In order to turn this chore into a fun event, order some pizza or provide snacks and turn on some music so that everyone can have a good time.

Hire Movers for Assistance

The easiest way to take care of the work involved with moving is by requesting the help of local movers. A moving company can help take care of lifting heavy boxes and furniture and bringing them into the designated rooms of your new apartment so that you don’t have to.

Clear Your Schedule for the Move

If you have a busy schedule, it’s crucial that you make room for this event. Jugging a busy schedule involving work or school can be a challenge when you’re moving, making it a good idea to take some time off, if possible.

Hiring a moving company for the day of your move can be hard when you’re moving at the last minute, but it can be done and will provide a world of difference in the experience.  To learn more about household moving, visit Wheaton World Wide Moving

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