Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 2/6/2019

 

10 Steps to a Decluttered Kitchen

Reduce clutter and live simply with these tips for better organization in the kitchen. Scale back on cookbooks, don't buy another coffee mug, and then take a deep dive in

Commit to the Pantry Challenge

Take a close look at the items in your pantry, especially the ones way in the back. Make a goal to use any items that are expiring in the next three months. Bonus points if you can incorporate three of the ingredients into a single meal. More bonus points if you can use up all these items in a single week.

Stack Your Cookware

Make better use of cabinet and drawer space and have a system for stacking cookware. Regardless of quality, pan protectors will help protect non-stick surfaces from scratches and will prolong the life of your pots and pans. You can make protectors like these; a single layer of felt cut into an asterisk shape will do the trick, but I recommend double-layered for added durability.

Keep the Fridge Free of Magnets and Artwork

It’s easy to let kids' artwork consume every spare inch of your refrigerator. Keep the chaos at bay by framing select pieces of artwork, or purchasing a shadowbox frame that doubles as a secret built-in storage unit – totally genius.


 


Reduce Unused Small Appliances and Tools

Some small appliances get used a lot, and those are the ones you should keep handy. However, whether we want to admit it or not, there are some appliances –like a veggie spiralizer, ice cream maker or specialty stand mixer attachments– that we rarely use, and we can certainly do without them taking up a whole cabinet of their own. If you must keep the lesser-used appliances, carve out anew space for lesser-used appliances in an unused closet or on a shelf in your basement.

Find Order in Your Silverware Drawer

Store-bought utensil trays are good for simple organization, but storage systems that take into account serving pieces and lesser-used hand tools – like potato mashers and can openers – are often better off custom built.

Organize Your Refrigerator

When there’s an assigned place for everything – and everything’s in that place – it’s a whole lot easier to find what you need. I always struggled with loose condiments wedged in the narrow door shelves, so a rotating tray has been the perfect accessory for our fridge. Not only can we spin it to access a specific item, but at dinner time we can pull the whole tray out and transfer it to the table so that everything remains contained and accessible. This same system works perfectly for salad dressings too!


Store Recipes Creatively With Magnets

Maybe it dates me to admit this, but we still rely on printed recipes from time-to-time. I keep our most-used favorite recipes (pancakes, enchilada sauce,dumplings, pizza dough) pinned to the inside of our upper cabinet doors for convenience. Open up the door, there it is! No poking at my phone for the recipe and no pulling out the cookbook. The easiest thing to do is to attach an inexpensive metal mending strip using a piece of mounting tape and then use a magnet to hold the recipe in position.

Reduce Your Stash of Plasticware

Assess your collection of plastic containers. First, separate items that aren’t yours; label and bag them so you can return them to their owners. Then separate items that don’t have a lid or lids that are missing their bottom.Next, check for cracks and melted plastic – those too can go. Finally, filter out plastic items that are from to-go containers. Put those containers to better use, such as organizing screws and hooks in your workshop. The goal? A much-less cluttered cabinet where you can always find what you need.

Keep Bulky Items Off of the Countertop

While it’s usually fun to show off your colorful stand mixer or high-velocity blender for a little while, it sure is nice to get that counter space back when the appliances aren’t in use. The Rev-A-Shelf is without a doubt my favorite invention, because it keeps the tool as accessible as it needs to be, and eliminates the back-breaking movements we all know from trying to lift one of those things from the bottom cabinet, or the top shelf in your pantry. Get one for every appliance!

Use Wall Space to Your Advantage

A magnetic bar installed on the wall is a magical way to store your most-used knives. Keeping them out of a drawer prevents them from getting dinged up, and getting a knife block off the counter saves valuable space, too.





Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 1/22/2019

Technology is getting smarter. Nowadays it seems everything has AI built-in. And why not? It makes your home have a clever assistant in every room of your home without the expense of paying hourly wages. Here’s how to have a smarter kitchen, because let’s be honest this is the room where we can always use an extra set of hands.

The Mr.Coffee coffee pot can start from your phone. Let’s be honest the alarm feature most pots boast are great… but not everyone has the same schedule every day. This pot allows you to create a custom schedule that matches your own. Have a fresh, hot cup waiting for you right when you get out of bed when you wake up at 5 am on a Monday and 7 on a Wednesday.

Want more control of your appliances from your phone? Crock-pot now has a slow cooker you can adjust settings with from your phone. Control temperature and cook times from anywhere so if you’re running late getting home it won’t be too an overcooked meal.

Both the Mr.Coffee and Crock Pot devices run off of Wemo technology. While both of these devices have built-in tech that doesn't mean the fun has to end there. Wemo offers devices you can plug into any outlet so you can control any appliance from your phone. With the Wemo app set lights to turn on for your family to come home to a well lit welcoming home even on a Winter night.

You can also use Google Assistant, Alexis or Siri (with the necessary extender) to control these devices and even set timers and reminders. Ask your smart speaker to set a timer for dinner, add an item to your grocery list or that you want to use that hamburger in the freezer by Friday. You can even ask for help with ingredient conversions. If you like to listen to music while cooking you don’t need to worry about touching controls if you want to skip a song, turn the music down or up. Just ask your assistant to do it for you, and it will happily oblige.

Have fun with your pooch from anywhere with the Furbo camera. With camera, access make sure your dog isn’t up to no good while you’re away. Use the microphone to remind them the rules still apply while you are away. The best part, however, is that you can reward them for being well-behaved, or cute, with the built-in treat dispenser.

Keep your home safe with the Nest Protect system, a smart smoke, and carbon monoxide alarm. This alarm alerts your phone as soon as it detects signs of danger. It also warns you with a human-like voice when the alarm is about to go off so you aren’t startled by the typical high pitched screaming of alarms.




Tags: kitchen   home technology   tech  
Categories: kitchen   home technology   tech  


Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 9/28/2018

Donate first

Before moving into your new space, make sure to get rid of all those things you don’t need anymore.

Have you actually used that discounted bundt pan in the past year or two? If not, donate to your favorite local charity shop. Someone else might get use out of it, and you’ll be saving yourself from more clutter in your new home.

Think vertically

Vertical storage is a tried-and-true method of using space, and the kitchen holds some unique opportunities for making the most of it.

Hanging pot racks, magnetic knife strips, mounted dish-drying racks installed above the sink, and rods with hooks for towels, aprons, small tools and oven mitts are all excellent ways to keep clutter in its place — and keep the surfaces and lower area of the room free.

Find beautiful cleaning tools

The ugly truth is that a lot of everyday items just make sense to keep out — but that doesn’t mean they have to be such an eyesore.

Skip the plastic and get yourself a classic wooden broom, natural fiber dish brush and a glass soap dispenser. These items don’t cost much, but they add a softer look while also getting the job done.

Tap into change

Just because your place didn’t come equipped with a dishwasher doesn’t mean you have to suffer. Installing a quality faucet with a pull-down sprayer can make your chores less of a chore (and, as long as you swap it back before you move out, it shouldn’t violate your rental agreement).

Have space and the budget for something more? Portable dishwashers are a massive timesaver. From small countertop models to wheeled butcher-block-top options, there are sizes that fit into almost any space and require nothing more than your standard sink to function.

Live the island life

A kitchen island is a versatile tool for almost any space — even the tiniest micro apartments!

Whether you choose a larger center-of-the-room-style piece or a small butcher-block number, these additions create more counter space and storage, all in one piece.

Bonus: If your island has wheels, it can serve as a portable bar for your next party. (Hey, if we can call bingeing our favorite shows with a few of our closest friends a “party,” so can you.)

Light it up

Another timeless tip: Good lighting is everything.

If your kitchen is dedicated to getting things done and starting your day, invest in cool lighting — the kind that washes everything in a bright, sunlit glow. A refreshing, cooler light wakes us up and creates an invigorating feeling.

If you’re more of a romantic and enjoy taking your time in the kitchen, keep relaxing, warm lighting around so that you can let the day melt away as you sip your merlot.

For those who prefer a bit of both, app-enabled bulbs can customize the mood for any occasion, and some even use every color of the rainbow.

Think (temporarily) BIG

If there’s one common complaint about renting, it’s the stark white walls. Removable wallpaper adds a touch of personalization and won’t break the bank — or at least, it doesn’t have to.

To keep costs low, stick to one accent wall. Finding a large-scale print will make the space feel larger, and layering a sizable mirror on top will maximize the look and any light.

Curate unique displays

One of the best ways to keep an assortment of oddly shaped kitchen items is to dedicate either one section of the room (think: the top 12 inches of the walls) or one wall to showing them off.

Whether it’s your grandmother’s antique creamer collection or the jumble of cookie cutters that won’t fit into your drawers, making them into a vignette adds a layer of personalization to your space while also providing covert storage in plain sight. Easy-to-install hooks or some simple shelves are great ways to achieve this solution.

Keep it alive

Every room deserves a plant. Not only do they look good, but they also improve the quality of the air around them. If you don’t have the floor or counter space to spare, a hanging plant will do the trick.

No natural light in your kitchen? Or perhaps you’re better at killing plants than keeping them green? No matter — there are plenty of realistic artificial plants these days, which means everyone can benefit from the organic shapes of ferns, succulents and the ever-popular fiddle-leaf figs.

Have pets? Make sure to check the toxicity of your plants before choosing their placement.





Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 9/5/2018

renovations-resale-value

Savvy homeowners are always on the lookout for ways to boost their property's resale value. If you're not living in your forever home and plan to sell in the future, a renovation can make a big impact on your home's worth.

While the thrill of buying a fixer-upper might appeal to some folks, the reality is that taking on lengthy, backbreaking projects—like overhauling the kitchen or bathroom—is not everyone's cup of tea.


“People buying may not have the greatest imagination, and they want to walk into something that’s turnkey,” says Sandy Scheinman, a real estate salesperson at Douglas Elliman Real Estate in New York City. “In a competitive market, offering a home that looks renovated and new is really what you need to do to compete.”

Paint a room

Approximate price: $200 to $400
Project duration: One day

Updating walls with a neutral color like a white or warm gray won’t cost much and gives the home a fresh feel. Painting a room or rooms yourself can cost you less than $200. All you need are paint and supplies.

If you hire a painter, it’s a good idea to do more than one room, so you get more bang for your buck, recommends Laura Sears of Laura Sears Interiors in Canton, GA.

Hiring a painter for one room will cost around $400; expect to pay more if you need extra work done such as drywall repair.

Make sure the color you choose for the walls is neutral and not a polarizing color. Eggplant might be your favorite paint color, but it might affect prospective home buyers' ability to envision themselves in your home.

Crown molding

Approximate price: $300 to $500 per room
Project duration: A few days

Crown molding is a small flourish that will improve a room's look and could lead to a better sale price, according to Richard McMurray, owner of DFW Crown Moulding in Fort Worth, TX.

This finish, typically made of wood, can be added to the top edge of walls, door frames, or cabinets to add a distinctive, classy look. Painting, prep, and installation won't take more than a few days, so you don't have to commit a lot of time to this renovation project.

“This renovation increases value by setting the home apart from other comparable homes in the area,” says McMurray.

Crown molding can also be used to cover problem areas on walls and around windows and doors.

Bathroom makeover

Approximate price: $35,000 to $65,000-plus
Project duration: Three weeks to three months (depending on inspections)

Bathrooms were once small rooms that served a family’s basic needs—and that was about it. Now, bathrooms are a home’s grand showcase.

Tiny, prewar bathrooms are a turnoff for today’s buyers, according to Liza Nematnejad, a real estate agent at Douglas Elliman Real Estate in New York City. People want large bathrooms with a soaking tub and natural light.

“We’re seeing a trend where people are expanding the size of the bathrooms and having his-and-her showers. It’s more of a room than what it was in the past,” Nematnejad says.

Extra bells and whistles like heated floors or a whirlpool bath may give you an advantage in a red-hot real estate market, but remember to keep an eye on your budget and other homes you’re competing against. In other words, don’t invest $100,000 in a bathroom renovation when homes in your neighborhood go for only $200,000.

If you want to update your bathroom but don’t have a large budget, Sears says, you can invest in smaller upgrades. Some buyer-pleasing ideas include replacing a linoleum floor with tiles, painting the vanity, installing a new sink and faucet, and putting in new lights.

Kitchen renovation

Approximate price: $65,000 to $100,000-plus
Project duration: Six weeks to three months

Believe it or not, kitchens were once secondary for buyers. Beautiful, spacious living rooms and dining rooms were what buyers coveted. Kitchens were simply a place to cook.

Scheinman says homeowners now see kitchens as another living area. They’re a place to entertain, and eat-in kitchens are popular with buyers.

Nematnejad says high-end appliances, marble countertops, and even wine rooms are kitchen amenities that are likely to pay off. Across the board, home buyers are going to be impressed by plenty of counter space and shelving.

Robert LaFleur, owner of Building Professionals, Inc. in Westford, MA, says a major kitchen remodel can usually recoup about 65% of costs. So, even though you might pay $75,000 for a major kitchen renovation, you will make back a lot of that on the sale of the home.

“The more you put into [a kitchen renovation], the higher the resale cost recouped percentage is going to be,” says LaFleur.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 3/27/2018

If you've bought a home that includes kitchen appliances, you may need to sell your current appliances before moving day. Fortunately, if you host a garage sale, you can sell a wide range of kitchen appliances in no time at all.

Some of the most popular kitchen appliances to sell at a garage sale include:

1. Refrigerator

In many instances, a homebuyer will request a refrigerator in a home offer. And if the seller accepts this proposal, a property buyer may need to get rid of his or her current refrigerator quickly.

Selling your refrigerator during your garage sale offers several benefits. First, you may be able to earn several hundred dollars for your refrigerator if it looks and performs great. You also can sell your refrigerator before your move, thereby eliminating the risk that you'll have to relocate this large, heavy appliance to your new address.

Evaluate the age and condition of your refrigerator prior to pricing it. That way, you can establish a competitive price for your appliance.

In addition, spend some time cleaning your refrigerator's interior and exterior. This will increase the likelihood that your refrigerator will stir up interest from garage sale shoppers.

2. Microwave

Although your kitchen microwave has served you well for many years, you likely have no need for two microwaves at your new address. Luckily, you can sell your current microwave now to earn extra cash prior to moving day.

Many microwaves are available, and as such, you'll want to learn as much as possible about your microwave. This will enable you to provide garage sale shoppers with plenty of information about your microwave's features.

Don't forget to test and clean your microwave before you add it to your garage sale inventory. By doing so, you can guarantee your microwave performs correctly and looks outstanding when you try to sell it during your garage sale.

3. Toaster

Your toaster has been a mainstay in your kitchen, but there may be no time like the present to sell it.

Remove crumbs and other food particles from your toaster as soon as possible. These particles can affect a toaster's performance, and in some instances, create fire hazards.

Furthermore, wipe down your toaster's exterior. An in-depth toaster cleaning will help you generate interest in your appliance during your garage sale.

Kitchen appliances usually are in high demand among garage sale shoppers. If you dedicate the necessary time and resources to clean and maintain these items, you should have no trouble selling them at a garage sale.

Lastly, if you plan to buy a home in the near future, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can keep you up to date about new homes as they hit the market and help you submit offers on houses. Plus, a real estate agent will make it easy to plan ahead for a pre-moving day garage sale and ensure you can enjoy a seamless transition from one address to another.




Tags: kitchen   garage sale  
Categories: garage sale   kitchen  




JoAnn M. Drabble