Money Saving Painting Tips

When you paint, whether a room or an entire home, it is smart to do the best quality work you can because paint attracts the eye and can be a primary focus in your home!

Below are a few tips on how to save money when buyingMoney Saving Painting Tips paint and how to store or recycle your paint left-overs:

  1. When you go to the paint store, take the measurements of the space to be painted and seek guidance from the paint vendor’s professional to be sure you buying the right amount of paint.
  2. Reseal paint cans properly with a rubber mallet, not a metal hammer. Resealing the cans properly means that in a few days or a few months or even longer, your canned paint will still be in good condition and can be used for another project or touch up.
  3. When your initial project is all done, you might want to use the remaining paint to give small pieces of furniture or accessories a fresh look.
  4. Rather than starting a garage/storage room stash of paint that will never see light again, you can offer your paint left overs to a friend or donate them to an organization. To find donation drop-off locations near you, visit paintcare.org.
  5. Paint care sites will also take the remainder of your paint and recycle it.
  6. Should you need to repaint an area you want to match, most paint stores are amazing at matching existing paint!

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Important Steps To Take Before Having Your Home Painted

  • Be sure that your pets are contained away from the painting work so their fur is kept out of the product and they don’t spill or track paint around the house.
  • Make sure your painters will move large pieces of furniture to the middle of your roomImportant Steps To Take Before Having Your Home Painted and cover them well. You should be responsible for removing all personal belongings, small-medium furniture pieces, wall art/mirrors, accessories, rugs, etc…
  • If the painters have not previewed your home before start day, be sure to tell them of any issues such as dark existing paint colors, stains, special hardware, broken window casements, windows that do not open or other issues that may affect their work area or bid.
  • Various paint finishes (glossy, flat, eggshell, etc…) may produce different results than what you anticipate so be sure to seek professional advice on the best paint finish for your project.
  • And know that paint chips, those tiny 2×2” cards at the paint store, may not prepare you at all for how your chosen color will look on an entire wall or in your whole room. It’s best to “test” your paint color by painting a large surface, letting in dry fully and then viewing it at several times throughout the day and night to make sure it’s the color you really want.  (You may need to repeat this process a few times but that’s better than having an entire room painted and then realizing you don’t like the color!)

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Cleaning Tips To Make Your Holiday Season Easier

The holiday season may bring frequent guests and/or parties and the need for more frequent cleaning…sigh!  Here are some great cleaning tips that may make it easier for you this holiday season & beyond:

  • Microwaves get so splattered.  Put a cup ofCleaning tips to make your holiday season easier! water inside and heat for 5 minutes to soften all the splattered particles, then just wipe with vinegar or baking soda and a moist cloth.
  • Denture tablets are great toilet cleaners.
  • Windows sparkle without streaking when washed with a mixture of 2 C of water, 1 C of rubbing alcohol and 2 TB of ammonia.
  • Spray your favorite furniture polish on your mop or broom and voila!
  • Using white vinegar in a spray bottle to clean shower tiles and curtains and doors, will kill bacteria before it becomes mildew.
  • Drains can get clogged with all the holiday (over) use. For a natural remedy, mix 1C baking soda, 1C salt and 1C white vinegar.  Let the mixture fizz and sit for 15 minutes, then pour down the drain, followed by several cups of boiling water.

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Outdoor Entertaining Tips & Tricks

We hope the following tips will make your outdoor entertaining easier and more enjoyable for all!

  • Strings of lights make everything festive.
  • PREpare a few pitchers of fun cocktails, label them and refrigerate overnight. Before or during your party, put the pitchers in a tub with ice and place pretty straws next to the disposable tumblers.  (They say 2 lbs. of ice per person covers all.)Outdoor Entertaining Tips
  • Likewise, make a few flavored fruit pops ahead of time to give your younger guests their own special treats.
  • If hamburgers are very cold when you put them on the grill, they form a nice crust without over-cooking. Steak on the other hand should be room temperature when cooked.  Pre-cooking sausages for a few minutes in simmering salty water ensures they will be cooked, yet have a great charcoal flavor.
  • Bring in the food and save yourself the time and work. Consider fried chicken, mac & cheese from your favorite diner, ribs from your favorite sources, etc…  A great selection of food will make everyone happy.
  • Make a selection of dips and store in snap-lid containers. When you’re ready to get the party started, put out the dips with vegetables, chips, nachos and/or wraps.
  • Make a crafts table for kids – provide a big canvas or cotton/plastic table cloth that they can draw on, clay for modeling, paints they can easily use & more!
  • Games & movies – The types of games you can set up will depend on your available space, but bulls-eye takes little space to croquet, pickle ball, and hula hoops. Outdoor movies are easy these days…just hang a sheet, bare a wall, and enjoy!
  • If you are hosting a big crowd, get help! You may want a babysitter on hand to give parents a break and perhaps a bartender, dedicated server and/or clean-up crew.

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Creative Ideas For Gaining More Space

Whether a person is moving up, moving down or staying in place, lack of space can become an issue.  I think it is a vacuum-science thing!  Below are a fewCreative ideas for gaining more space creative ideas on how you can resolve your space problems:

  • SHARE OCCASIONAL ITEMS – My parents used to co-own lawn mowers, sports equipment, even occasional serving dishes and accoutrements.  A good friend may save you from tossing Granny’s best china and get a lot of enjoyment out of using it.  What can you co-own or share?
  • THINK VERTICAL – A shelf 12” below the ceiling in a child’s room can store a variety of stuffed animals and toys.  Use this trick in another room for book storage.  Replace horizontal shelving with tall, narrow shelves that don’t take up as much space.
  • THROW OUT OR DONATE – Purge where possible. Why give up valuable space to stuff you no longer want or need?
  • GET DOUBLE DUTY – Get more functionality out of your doors by placing storage hooks, shelves and baskets on the inside.
  • CONTAINERIZE – Place like items in stackable containers to keep things tidy and take advantage of odd shaped storage spaces.
  • MULTI-PURPOSE FURNITURE – Opt for furniture with built-in storage.
  • GO BETWEEN THE STUDS – Ask your handyman if you can take advantage of unused space under stairs and between studs without disrupting stability.

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Freshen Your Holiday Home With Houseplants

Who doesn’t have a poinsettia or amaryllis during the holidays?  But those loyal greens that were with us all year, can often stand proudly among their dazzling competitors with just a little freshening and, perhaps, repotting.

Repotting is a little messy, but repotting several plants at a time makes it worth 5 minutes of clean up. Here are a few repotting tips:plant-poinsettia

  • Make room to put the dispossessed plant down carefully and discard the used soil.
  • If you are going to reuse a container, scrub it thoroughly before reuse to remove any salt buildup.
  • Use new soil specially made for indoor plants, perhaps for a specific kind if you have special plants.
  • Trim the plant, removing dead or damaged foliage.
  • Rinse off dust that has accumulated.
  • Push the plant gently into its new soil blanket.

As long as you have gone this far, you may also wish to rearrange plants within your home to give your rooms a fresh look.  Try putting your succulents in a bathroom.  They’ll be green and fresh, will thrive due to the moisture in the room and won’t require a lot of attention.

You can also add a festive bow, tiny white lights or floral picks to a few of your houseplants to brighten up your home for the holidays!

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Tips For People That Hate Housekeeping!

If like many of us you hate housekeeping, think about the part you hate the most and then eliminate it or change it!  Here are a few suggestions to get you started thinking about how you can change your housekeeping routine:

  • “Real Simple” suggested having a 10-minute loud music power-clean with your kidssoapy-cleaning-sponge every day.  Make it a game.  Someday they will want their friends over and it will matter to them too!
  • Get each member of the family a small mesh laundry bag, and have them put their socks in it rather than loose in the laundry.  Aha, no more lost socks!
  • Vacuuming seems to be the worst – it’s cumbersome, leads to other pick up and other work, and it always looks like a big job.  Consider investing in a small broom type portable vacuum and doing just one room a day, or better, one area every 2 or 3 days.
  • Hiring a teenager, preferably yours, to take on your most odious task(s) can accomplish two things!

Cheers!
SD County Escrow Team