There is no denying it, I love to create! As long as I can remember, I have always gravitated towards art. Paper and pencil, markers, chalk, canvas, computer, you name it, I’ve used it as a creative outlet. This blog is a prime example. Not traditional art mind you, but art constructed with feelings and words. I wanted to share with you today my creations. They are a melt of my art and my love for home decor. Attached to this blog, I have a small shop. It’s a little piece of me, my art and my step to share my creations with the world (because my house can only hold so much!). Here are a couple of the prints available to purchase. I’m so honored to be able to share them and continue to improve and grow my craft. Enjoy!
Our homes are meant to be our castles, our own little refuges away from the worries and annoyances of the wider world. For that reason, we’re often willing to invest a lot of time and money into shaping our homes into the kind of perfect template we’d like — or at least, something closer to it.
As it so happens, having work done on your home can be a somewhat tricky and complicated process, not to mention cost effective. But when it’s done right, the results can be more than worth the hassle.
Here are a few things you should do when planning to get work done on your home.
Hire a company with good reviews and a good reputation
There are all sorts of contractors and companies out there who advertise themselves as experts in various building procedures, but not all of those contractors and companies are equal.
Before hiring someone to handle a project on your home, be sure to do your homework and identify who is, or isn’t, trustworthy. If you’re having metal roofing installed, for example, you’ll ideally want to hire local metal roofing contractors who have a good reputation in the community, positive reviews, and maybe even good references passed on to you by people you know and trust.
Failing to do your due diligence in this regard can mean that you end up with people doing shoddy work on your house — and you not knowing any better until something goes wrong weeks or months later. It could also mean that you hire a company who uses exploitative labour practices, or who are otherwise unscrupulous.
Prepare yourself for a bit of upheaval and a more drawn-out process than you might have anticipated
When people plan extensions or modifications to their homes, they often fix their attention solely on the positive outcome. They imagine how good it’ll feel to walk around their new, expanded kitchen, or swim in their newly constructed pool.
It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that these kinds of building projects often take a substantial amount of time to complete, and can easily run over schedule for any number of reasons.
Before inviting the builders to your home to start work, you should prepare yourself for a pretty significant bit of upheaval, and a more drawn-out process than you might have anticipated.
Have a clear sense of exactly what you’d like done going into things, and discuss actively with your contractors
People will sometimes come up with a somewhat vague idea of the work they’d like done on their homes. They may think, for example, that they’d like a bigger kitchen, without necessarily giving much thought to how that bigger kitchen would affect other features of the home, the sort of tiling that should be on the floor, etc.
Don’t go into a home modification process with vaguely formed ideas, try instead and pin down the specifics as clearly as you can.
Of course, a big part of this will involve you being in contact with the contractors, discussing the options, and staying in the loop as the process progresses.
If you have big dreams, budgeting might not sound like something you’re really keen on doing. Of course you want to live a lovely, luxurious lifestyle, but without budgeting you’ll usually be unable to make it there. People with an unhealthy money mindset often end up spending with no thought to the future, only focusing on their short term satisfaction and enjoyment. This might not seem so bad when you’re young, but the earlier you start to get out of these habits and replace them with smarter habits, the more comfortable and financially stable you’ll be as you age. Here, we’re going to talk about how you should be budgeting if you have big dreams. Take a look and see what you can do today!
1. Figure Out What Matters Most To You
First of all, you need to figure out what matters most to you. If you’re not a millionaire you’re going to need to know what’s most important so you can allocate money to those things accordingly. For example, do you like to go on trips with your family? If you do, then you might want to cut back on things like meals out and other things that are a drain on your finances.
Write a list of your top priorities so you can continue living a life you enjoy while taking care of your finances.
2. Start Being Grateful For What You Have
Usually, the urge to spend comes from thinking that you haven’t got enough already. Whether it’s more clothes, a new gadget, or something else, really look at what you already have. You already have everything you need, and purchases like this will only bring short term happiness. When you can be content with what you have and where you are now, you’ll feel so much better.
3. Know How And When To Save Money
Knowing how and when to save money will help you to make smarter buying decisions. For example, if you’re looking at buying something, could you buy it second hand? Alternatively, is there a way you can save money, such as using a discount code or a cashback site? Don’t shop without doing your research or considering your other options! Sure, it’s nice to have new stuff, but it can be far more satisfying to find a bargain.
4. Have A Plan In Place For Emergencies
You never know what’s just around the corner, so having a plan in place for emergencies will protect you and give you peace of mind. You can look at credit cards for bad credit no deposit if you really need one, but you should only ever consider using it if you have a genuine emergency on your hands. You should do your best to save up an emergency fund so you don’t have to use credit. Consider every eventuality, including losing your job and taking a pay cut. Having at least 6 months of living expenses in the bank is usually a good idea.
5. Set Your Goals in Stone And Come Up With A Plan
Having financial goals will help you to come up with a plan and work towards your dreams. Set your goals in stone by taking the time to think about them and write them down. How much money do you want to have? What sort of lifestyle would you like to live? How do you think you will achieve this? Keep your goals somewhere you will see them every day so that they are fresh in your mind.
6. Avoid Impulse Buying
Impulse spending, as we previously mentioned, is pretty bad for your budget. Even the small purchases can add up, such as that fancy coffee that you insist on having. Instead, why not make your own coffee and buy a reusable cup? This can help you to save a lot over the course of a week/month. Every small purchase adds up, so be mindful with your spending.
7. Invest In Things That Truly Enrich Your Life
Investing in things that will truly enrich your life is never a waste of money. For instance, investing in yourself could give you the confidence to start a side hustle and start making more money, or it could help you to land a better job. Investing in things you know you’ll enjoy at home for a long time to come can also be nice and improve your lifestyle, such as a barbecue to host garden gatherings with friends.
8. Reassess And Improve Your Money Mindset
You can attempt to make as many changes to do with your budget as you like, but if you’re not actually changing the way you think, it’s unlikely to do much for you. You need to reassess and improve your money mindset if things are truly going to get better. Here are some pointers:
How do you feel about money currently? How do you feel this is affecting your ability to earn and your want to spend?
How did your parents feel about money?
What limiting beliefs do you have surrounding money?
Having money meetings with your family, or even just with yourself. Take this time to look at your budget and assess recent spending, as well as making sure you’re on track for the goals you set earlier on. Don’t get complacent!
10. Speak To Somebody Who Can Advise You
If you don’t know where to start, get some help from somebody who can advise you. A financial advisor, an accountant, or even somebody you know who is good with money.
11. Find Ways To Start Building True Wealth
Building true wealth is the key to achieving your dreams in the long run. For example, making small investments now can really pay off later. Also, having multiple income streams is the smartest way to make cash, as eventually, you’ll run out of time to swap for money like in a regular 9-5 job!
It may be sad to say, but summer is just about at an end. It is time to start battening down the hatches for the colder months ahead. Plus, there are plenty of other home improvements which you can make during the following weeks and months. In this blog post, we are going to take a closer look at just a few of them. Many of these jobs will be much harder to complete when the real cold of winter sets in. So, here is an end-of-summer checklist which you can start ticking off.
A Lick of Paint
Since you will be spending a lot of time indoors over the next few months, it makes sense that you have a nice environment to look at. So, now is the perfect opportunity to give your walls a lick of paint. It could be that you simply want to refresh the wall colours which you have already. Otherwise, you may want to go for something completely different. Since the weather is still warm, you can leave your windows and doors open to let the paint dry. This is helpful in not leaving your home stinking of paint fumes.
Check for Any Leaks and Get Them Repaired
Winter is the last time of year that you want leaks in your home. So, to avoid suffering from chilly draughts, you need to check for leaks around the house now. Look around the home for the potential places where cold air could enter. Step outside to check for any cracks or holes in your windows, walls, doors or anywhere else. Some of these could be solved with a DIY job like caulking in the gaps. This will dry better during the warmer weather. However, if you do notice any in your windows, now is the time to get in touch with a firm like Westview Glass. Getting these jobs taken care of now can help to provide you with great peace of mind.
Get Your Fireplace Ready
There is nothing like cosying up indoors in front of a roaring fireplace. So, if you are lucky enough to have one in your home, now is the time to make sure that it is in good working order. Give it a test out now, as it is going to be much harder to get it repaired in the height of winter. It may simply need a good clean since it has likely not been used for several months of the year. Now is a good opportunity to stock up on some firewood so that you are all ready to go.
Clear Out the Gutters
If your home has rain gutters, now is a great opportunity to get them properly cleared out. Of course, you may want to do this job a little later in the year as well, since they could get clogged up with leaves when they start falling. All sorts of damage can be caused to other parts of your home if you don’t take care of this task now. Prevention is far better than the cure, so now is the time to take action.
Wash Your Winter Clothes and Bedding
It won’t be long before you want to start digging out your winter clothes and bedding. And it is likely to have been at the back of your closet gathering dust over the past few years, so now is the time to dig it all out when the weather is still warm enough to dry it all properly. Just some of the items to put on the washing checklist include winter duvets, blankets, coats, pillows, jumpers, to name a few. Hang them all up outside if you can as the UV light in sunshine works as a fantastic disinfectant. Odours and mildew can also be cleared by the fresh air.
Make Your Rooms Cosier
Once your winter duvets, rugs, and blankets are washed, now is the time to start putting them around your home again. You can swap them out for your light and simple linens. You may even want to invest in some new ones. Layering up your furniture is also a fantastic way of updating your interior design. Choose a wide combination of colours, prints, and fabric varieties. This way, your home will appear inviting from the moment you step through the front door.
Rearrange Your Coat Room
There is a lot of effort in the winter months when you are putting on and taking off your coats, boots etc. Maybe you need to clear out your coathooks or get some new ones entirely. Perhaps you have some winter clothes hanging around which you no longer need, and they are simply taking up space. It is worth getting a little rug to wipe your muddy and wet boots on. A little stool will also make your job so much easier. And a shelf to put your shoes on will also help you to keep everything properly organised.
Clean the Windows
Since the days are getting shorter, you will want to allow as much natural light into your home as possible. The first thing to do is to give them a good wash. On the inside, you can do the job well with a damp microfibre cloth. Outside, they are bound to get dirtier, so you can start by spraying them down with a hose. Finish off the job with a squeegee for the highest quality results. You may also want to switch out your thin blinds or window treatments for some which are a little thicker and heavier. This way, you can better contain the heat in your home.
Bring Your Outdoor Furniture In
It is sad to say, but the days of having outdoor gatherings are coming to an end. So, you want to make sure that your patio furniture and grill are stored safely indoors. Before you do this, now is a good opportunity to wipe down your tables and chairs with a cloth to get rid of the dirt on the surface. Afterward, you can then hose them all down. However, you need to make sure that everything is properly dry before you put it all indoors. Take this extra bit of care now and your furniture is much more likely to stand the test of time. And before you are closing your grill up for the season, it is worth wiping it down with a soapy cloth. If you have a gas-powered grill, take special care to close the tank of the valve is closed and detached.
Clean Out the Sink and Garbage Disposal
If you have a garbage disposal in your sink, this is a very useful tool which is worth keeping in good working order. However, during the warmer months of the year, it is very easy for the bacteria lurking within to multiply significantly. A simple way of clearing it out is by using a specially designed garbage disposal cleaning product to disinfect it and remove any clogs which may well have built up. Again, this is the type of job which becomes much more complicated to complete if you wait for the winter months to do it.
Scrub All the Bathrooms
Spring cleaning is a phrase that you hear all the time, but autumn cleaning is one which hardly ever gets mentioned. And if you are going to complete a fall cleaning job, it makes sense that you kick things off in the bathroom. A mildew remover is a useful tool which you can use to scour the surfaces until they are shiny and clean. Perhaps you have spotted some areas which need regrouting, and now is the perfect opportunity to complete this simple DIY task. And if there are any other major bathroom repairs or improvements that you would like to make, start now and they will be done in plenty of time before winter arrives.
Though you may be sad about the end of summer, rather than dwelling in your depression, now is the time to start taking action so you can kick off the winter in the best way possible. This way, you will be able to relax indoors rather than rushing around trying to complete a million different jobs when the nights are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder.
Are you ready for a new year? I’ve never been big on New Years resolutions. Instead, I pick an action word that will encompass what I want my year to be. I aim for it. No promises. No expectations. No insurmountable hurdles. Just living my life with that word in mind.
This year I pick “EXPLORE”. I want to explore possibility, explore my surroundings, explore the unknown, explore my inner self. It’s the year of “40” for me. It’s a big one!
If you could pick a word to live by in 2018, what would it be?
Welcome! I’m Melissa, creator of House Fenway. A blog to celebrate my life loves: family, food, home décor and the creative spirit. I’m so glad you’re here and thanks for stopping by!