Trudy Conley | Wakefield Real Estate, Reading Real Estate, Stoneham Real Estate


Is your garage overflowing with odds and ends leaving no room for its intended purpose - storing your car? Then you are in the same boat as many other homeowners. Garages can be such a tempting to place to hide stuff that doesn’t have a place, after all out of sight out of mind. If you are ready to clean up your garage to make things easier to find and maybe even finally fit your car inside of it again keep reading. Start by clearing out your garage. Go through everything and sort items into giveaway/sell, toss and keep piles. Get rid of anything that your children have outgrown, you haven’t used in years or household chemicals that have since expired (be sure to responsibly dispose of these). This step can be a weekend project in itself so don’t worry if you don’t have the organized garage you envisioned before Monday. When you have settled on what will be staying in your garage sort the remaining items into categories. Typical garage storage usually contains categories like seasonal items, tools, and sports equipment. When reorganizing you will want to make sure everything stays organized. You can do this by giving everything an assigned place and preferably a clearly labeled one. When possible assign items their places in a way where they will be off the floor. This prevents clutter from building up and forces you to give everything a home throughout the process and in the future. When you have emptied out your garage and organized your remaining items into categories you will have given yourself a clean slate to work with. Set yourself up for future success by investing in shelving units, large plastics bins, small glass jars and maybe even a label maker. Slat board, peg board, and track based organizational systems are other great ways to keep items off the floor, organize smaller items and hang up tools. Garages are also a great place to utilize ceiling space by installing overhead storage. Since you have already decided on categories and what is staying you should have a good idea of what kind of storage solution will work best for your garage. Once you’ve created a storage system in your garage with assigned places for each item you should have that coveted room to park your vehicles inside again! Take the time to choose where you will be parking your vehicle and hang a tennis ball from a string to signal when you are parked in the correct place. The ball should gently bump the windshield when you are in the right spot. When choosing your new parking spot allow for space to walk between the vehicle and the back wall as well as the side walls. If you have a two car garage ensure that there is plenty of room between the two cars so that when doors are opened it doesn’t risk bumping the other car. Depending on how cluttered your garage is organizing it may be longer than a weekend project. However, by investing the time into creating a smart storage system you will be able to use your garage not only easily but also stress-free. Happy cleaning!

Your attic; it’s a great place for storing things that you need to keep out of the way for most of the year. Maybe a little too great. If your attic is anything like most people’s it quickly has become overridden with anything and everything you can’t quite let go of or don’t know where to put. Perhaps it’s overwhelming to even think about your attic. If you are ready to make your attic more organized or need an idea of where to start, keep reading. If you are planning a major overhaul on your disorganized attic consider breaking up the following tips over a longer span of time than just the weekend to avoid being overwhelmed. The process of sorting through the items that find their way to the attic can be mentally draining as well as physically. Start with a decluttering process. Create a blank slate by pulling everything out of the attic and get rid of everything you no longer want to hold onto. Holding a yard sale or donating items are both ways of giving things you no longer want a chance at a second life and keeping them out of the dump. This is also a great time to figure out what should stay in the attic and what can be moved to other places in the home. Some types of household goods are best not stored in an attic. Once you have settled on what will be staying create an inventory of what is left and create categories for the items you will be storing in your attic. Themes should become apparent such as Christmas ornaments and nostalgic items. Group these similar items together so the next steps will be easier. Now that you know what items are staying and what categories you have you can start thinking about storage arrangements. If you have been keeping everything in cardboard boxes or just strewn about consider investing in some plastic bins for safer storage. Plastic bins can help protect against any roof leaks or other unexpected damage. If you have enough vertical space installing shelving units will help maximize the space available in your attic and allow you to easily organize everything. Be sure to properly store things (Christmas ornaments are wrapped, documents are in file folders, etc.) and label each box accordingly. Designing a layout plan for where containers are placed in your attic will set you up for success in the future. Place lower priority items towards the back of your attic space and/or in harder to reach areas while placing more frequently used items in easy to reach areas. Extra steps for the dedicated: Create an inventory of what is in each box and number them, add this list to a home organization binder or somewhere handy to reference. This will allow you to know what is where in your attic and eliminate opening every box each time you want to find something. Color coding bins by their category and/or numbering them will allow for easy inventory creation and knowing which bins contain holiday decorations or seasonal clothes. While the thought of organizing your attic might fill you with dread taking the time to do so will allow you to create a storage space in your home that is stress-free and easy to access. With a clear plan in hand and spreading out your organization project over several days planning out your attic storage might even become an enjoyable task!

Humans have been thinking about the way they decorate their homes for thousands of years. In ancient India, Vastu shastra (literally, "the science of architecture") has been informing decorating techniques since as early as 6,000 BCE. The more commonly known influence for home decorating, feng shui, has its roots in ancient China where practitioners were inspired by astronomy. In the early 1900s, however, a modern science was founded that attempts to solve some of the problems that arise based on our environments. Environmental psychology is a field that focuses on the interplay between humans and the environments they live and work in. Scientists have studied the way humans (and other animals, like rats) are affected by their environment. Their findings help to inform us of how we can live more relaxed or focused based on how we decorate our home and workplace.

A place to call your own

As society becomes increasingly urbanized, many psychologists are studying the problems that arise from being in constant contact with one another, both physically and in the digital world. One thing that scientists have discovered is that it is important for humans to have a place of sanctuary during their day. Whether this is your cubicle at work, your home office, or your tool shed, everyone needs a place they can be alone. Ask yourself if your home setup provides you with a space that you can go to be alone.

How colors can affect mood

Have you ever been in a school or hospital that was painted an awful color that just made you uncomfortable? Many of us have trained ourselves to adapt and live with environments that aren't ideal for us. For example, the bright red walls of McDonald's or the blinding fluorescent lights in a department store probably aren't conditions we'd pick for our homes. Scientists have discovered that there is a correlation between colors, brightness, and our mood. Try to match the colors of your rooms with their functions. For example, you wouldn't want to paint your bedroom bright red, as your bedroom should be a place you can relax to fall asleep. Instead, go with a less-pronounced color for the bedroom.

The balance between cluttered and sterile

Much of the way we choose to decorate our homes is informed by our childhood. If you learn meticulous cleaning habits from your parents, you might carry on with this into adulthood. As a child, you probably went to a friend's house and marveled at how differently they did things. Part of that lesson is learning that the way someone chooses to decorate and clean their home is part of their personality. But like most things in life, it's important to find a balance. If you find yourself restless or distracted you should ask yourself if the room is too cluttered or messy. Maybe it's the opposite; you could just as easily become distracted or uncomfortable by an environment that is too sterile looking.

Listen to yourself

The most important thing to remember when decorating your home is to follow your intuitions. Decide if you decorated a room a certain way because that's what everyone else does or if it actually makes you feel more at home.



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