Take good care of your electrical appliance so that you need not get troubled by them

Summers alleviate many problems and electricity is one of them. Everyday you may be confronted with numerous electricity problems. Some day you see that flickering tubelight or the other day your water pump goes off. These are common power related problem that we face everyday in our life. With mostly all people facing similar problems, there is a shortage of electrician at the shops, as most of them are occupied. But you can’t live your life or even aday with anyof the above mentioned problems.

To help you come out of chaos of electricity, Housejoy has its wonderful and worth remarkable electrical services in Bangalore. You don’t need to search for them rather they will reach out to you on your fixed time and date. This is what youget when you get registered at the website for this service. Your single tap can fetch you a trained electrician right at your door.

These electrician in Bangalore is trained and highly professionals. As it’s a matter of safety and no compromise with the services is appreciated. That is the reason your appliances and gadgets get safe with the insurance. You can avail the services for rectifying your gadgets or any kind of power appliances.

With the power cut in fashion, your inverter may go off amidst night. Mornings already creating havoc with voltage problem. This hardly gives you time to relax or rest. Keep these problems at bay by getting your electrical appliances checked and serviced from time to time. You can avail electric repair services in Bangalore at a very reasonable rate. After all, its sun that is sizzling but don’t let your temper sizzle on tiny repair problems.

It’s not only the repair services that you should look for. You may want new wiring or new AC installed in your new or old house. Get electrical contractors in Bangalore from house joy along with appliance repair services. Access to the website and choose your requirement. Then book an appointment on the date when you are available at home. At the time selected your trained electrician will visit you and help sort out all problems pertaining to power. You will get guaranteed quality services which you would love to share with your friends.

Your single appraisers will not go wasted. You will get rewarded for referring the service to your family and friends. Every reference made by you will help you grab some cash money. This money will be deposited in your house joy account which you can get benefit from whenever you wish to. Accumulate more money by more references and enjoy this money against services of house joy. Plus, your friends, get some discounts with their first order. This way you earn for yourself and grab discounts for your friends as well.

Stunning and functional gardens from the best garden design Wiltshire has to offer

Your garden should be a space that you take great pride in and love to spend time, and this is much more likely when it is beautifully designed. With the services of award winning garden and landscape designers, they can enhance not only your home but your entire lifestyle by exceeded your expectations.

During the warmer months of the year, there is nothing better than spending time in your garden. This is the perfect space to relax and soak up your natural surroundings whilst reading a book, but it is also a great place to entertain guests and enjoy food and drink. When you have an attractive, stylish and well designed garden, it can transform your entire home and it will soon be your favourite area to spend time. Sometimes homeowners do not put as much thought or effort into their gardens other areas of their home, which is a shame as it can be such a fantastic space and you can do a tremendous amount even with a small amount of space.

For those wishing for something more from their garden, it is worth speaking to award winning and established garden and landscape designers. These designers will have portfolios of some truly stunning gardens, and these could be a small courtyard right through to a large country estate. They will also be able to incorporate modern styles or a more traditional look, but importantly they will listen very closely to you so that they can deliver your dream garden within the pre agreed budget. Not only will this garden improve your home, but it can also have a huge impact on your lifestyle too. When you use the services of the top garden and landscape designers, you will benefit from an experienced and talented team that will carefully consider every single element throughout the entire design stage.

When you use the best garden design Wiltshire has to offer, you will receive personal attention from extremely talented and award winning designers. From the very first meeting, they will listen very closely to what your want from your garden, how you want to use it and what your tastes are. Once an estimate has been agreed, they will then use their skill, talent and experience to create a stunning garden which exceeds your expectations. They will handle every aspect of the project to reduce the need for you to get involved in daily issues, and this can make it a stress free and straightforward experience for you.

Once your garden is complete, it will quickly become your favourite area to spend time and you will want to show it off to all your friends or family. Regardless of the shape or size of your backyard, you will be amazed at the incredible designs and what can be done with the space when you use award winning garden and landscape designers. Whatever your wants and needs are for your garden, they can be realized and your expectations can be surpassed.

Benefits to Adding an Island to Your Modular Kitchen

An island in your modular kitchen, or in other words, an island kitchen, is essentially a normal kitchen with just an extension of a counter at the center of your kitchen. Island kitchens are gaining in popularity with its modern and innovative designs. Adding an island to your otherwise straight modular kitchen is always an advantage. There are so many benefits to adding one and after reading this; you might just want to add one as well.

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  • More working space: A little extra workspace is always welcome. You can use the island to do other extra work such as cutting, washing, and so on. This makes for excellent space management and you wouldn’t have to worry about creating a clutter in the kitchen. Some island counters come with a sink as well which helps you carry out more work here.
  • Makes for a great dining area: A centrally placed island is a great way to convert your kitchen to an eat-in area. Just throw in some fancy chairs or bar stools and then you have a great dining area that serves both as a kitchen counter and dining counter as well.
  • Looks great: An island kitchen makes your modular kitchen look suave and stylish. Apart from this, there are so many ways in which you can make the kitchen look stylish by adding in fancy lights, cutlery, chairs, and even some sort of decoration. Your guests are bound to become jealous by just looking at your kitchen.
  • Can serve as extra storage: Extra storage space in the kitchen is never denied. You can design the island kitchen in such a way that the island has extra storage facilities. You can store all sort of kitchen paraphernalia and cutlery and manage your kitchen efficiently.
  • Multi-purpose: The seating can be increased around this island table and you don’t have to necessarily use it just to eat. You can even work there for kitchens make for excellent workspaces – with the windows and the lighting, it is the perfect place to get work done. All you need is a warm cup of steaming hot coffee and a comfortable chair to carry out your work efficiently.
  • Great for kids: If you’re looking to instill the cooking spirit within your kids then island kitchens are perfect. Your kids can sit with you in the kitchen while you cook and naturally pique their interest as well. It’s even great to monitor your child while you work so you wouldn’t have to worry about your child getting into some sort of mischief.
  • At close proximity: Island counters are placed centrally in such a way that everything is within reach. This makes it extremely convenient in terms of spatial arrangement and makes your kitchen efficient.

The benefits of such a modular kitchen designs are endless and it’s always amazing to own a kitchen equipped with the latest trends and styles. So what are you waiting for? Transform your boring kitchen into something beautiful.

5 Kitchen Design Trends That Buyers Hate

Fancy kitchen

Glow Decor/Getty Images

Serious home chefs, or just house-proud owners, might consider the kitchen their showstopper room—the one that will stop potential buyers dead in their tracks. And that’s why they add all the upgrades, accoutrements, and trendy new finishes they can possibly find. To some extent, they’re absolutely right—a great kitchen can make a buyer fall deeply in love.

An inherent danger of taking a deep dive into modern design is accepting the harsh fact that today’s trends may be tomorrow’s “Oh, God, remember that?” fads such as fake brick or hideaway appliances. With the average kitchen remodel pushing $20,000, designing without foresight can be a costly and embarrassing mistake.

Some trends such as subway tile and granite countertops have a long tail: Designers expect they’ll be in style for the foreseeable future, so you’re safe giving them a starring role in your makeover.

Others are doomed to fade hard and fast. Such as…

Mixed metals

Combining bronze and copper in the kitchen might give the room an “eclectic” look, but in a few years, chances are good it will just look confused. Same goes for stainless steel and gold, or nickel and brass.

“Anybody who mixes metals besides Rolex is an idiot, and maybe Rolex is an idiot, too,” says Chicago kitchen designer Scott Dresner of Dresner Design. “Some people think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s just not. I think it’s appalling.”

He should know: Dresner has designed more than 7,000 kitchens, and his airy Chicago renovation won K+BB’s 2014 Kitchen of the Year Design Award.

Still want the look? Try mixing in different metals with replaceable hardware such as drawer pulls and towel rings, so you can easily ditch them if you put your home on the market.

DIY concrete countertops

Making your own concrete countertops is all the rage on Pinterest, but kitchen designers think the trend is already passé.

“The DIY concrete countertops have become a nightmare,” says Yarmouth, ME, designer Jeanne Rapone. “Every call I’ve had about those counters  is all about people calling me wanting them ripped out of the house they just bought. They hate the concrete.”

Because countertops are the kitchen’s primary focal point, it’s important to ensure their longevity. Picking a trendy material will—at best—annoy the hell out of you in a few years. In a decade, it might make your home impossible to sell. Better to spend a bit more on a surface you’ll love for a long time.

Open shelving

There’s a time and a place for open shelving—a few simple marble-and-steel slabs can look stunning. But swapping all of your cabinetry for open shelving is a soon-to-be-outdated fad.

“Open shelving is a thing that could be done very elegantly or very cheaply,” says Dresner. Simply pulling off the cabinet doors to mimic the effect is a surefire path to an unattractive, dust-collecting kitchen. If you’re interested in the look, a designer can help you combine minimalism, style, and functionality.

Rapone believes open shelving was a “complete economic response to the 2008 recession,” when homeowners wanted to redesign their kitchen but lacked the budget for extensive cabinetry upgrades. Under financial strain, “they’re willing to do stuff like open shelving in the kitchen, which saves a lot of money. It came out of good intentions, but now people say, ‘No, Jeanne, I’m tired of dusting shelves. I’ll pay for the doors now.’”

Reclaimed wood

Another recession response that’s fast approaching (or already surpassing) its sell-by date, reclaimed wood can look either superb or terrible, depending on its application.

As an accent, it’s perfect: “I love reclaimed wood. I love the idea of reusing something,” Dresner says. “Reclaimed wood on your island top could be gorgeous.” But what happens when you go beyond accents? “If you’re using it to make cabinets, I think it’sgarbage. It looks horrible, and it’s not the right way to use that type of wood.”

So if you’re itching to integrate repurposed wood into your kitchen style, focus on horizontal surfaces, where it has a tabletop effect.

“We see people going a little overboard with the reclaimed look,” Rapone says. “A reclaimed wood island countertop will last a lifetime, but reclaimed cabinetry with barn doors and a real rustic look—that’s a trend that will be way out of style soon.”

Industrial style

Unless you’re living in a loft, skip the stainless-steel countertops, exposed Edison bulbs, and aluminum shelving.

“The industrial look is making its way out,” Rapone says. If you want the effect without the commitment, she recommends finding an industrial-looking lamp that can be easily swapped out when the trend passes its prime.

“In five years—when everyone’s, like, ‘Wow, remember when we did that in 2014?’—you can take it down and replace it with something else,” she says. “That way, you’re not changing out $30,000 in cabinetry.”

But whatever you do, Dresner strongly recommends avoiding the exposed-lightbulb look.

“There are so many cool lights at Restoration Hardware that have that industrial feel, versus something that looks like it should be in the basement of an old building hanging from a block,” he says.

7 Ways to Conserve Energy and Save Money This Winter

heater-money

With the temperatures dropping, you may be worried about a soon-to-come snowy commute or potential holiday season stress. No matter what is on your mind, before you know it, your winter energy bills will be pouring in. For many of us, these are higher than what we got in the summertime, throwing your monthly budget out of whack and even possibly putting you into debt.

Some of your energy use may be hard or even impossible to curb, but there are plenty of things you can do now to prepare your home for the cold weather. Your wallet will certainly thank you. Check out these tips to help you conserve energy and save money during the cold weather this year.

1. Consider an audit

Before you make any changes, it is good to know where you stand. You can hire professionals or speak with your local energy company about getting an energy audit to evaluate your space for efficiency. Your home can be tested for energy loss, and a report can be generated highlighting any issues in your home. Some companies offer an audit for free.

2. Insulate & assess

The biggest way to cut back this winter is keeping outside air out and inside air in. Look for gaps and cracks in your foundation, windowpanes, and door frames. You can also look for places to add insulation, from the attic to the pipes.

3. Tune the heating system

Energy costs are often closely related to your heating system. If you have inefficiencies with your furnace, the price can jump even higher. Every fall, it can be a good idea to change or clean your heating filters and check on them once a month while the system is being used heavily.

4. Stock up in fall

Don’t wait until the snow starts to buy what you need. Restock your winter essentials such as salt, ice melt, shovels, and blowers now so you are more prepared—and you’ll likely get a better price. It can also be a good idea to clean your gutters and leave mowed (instead of raked) leaves on the grass so that the small pieces can decompose and nourish your lawn through the coming season.

5. Seek & seal leaks

Apply stripping or caulk around windows and doors to prevent cold air from seeping into your home. You can even put insulation film on your windows to further warm your home. Lastly, make sure the damper on your fireplace chimney is closed when you’re not using it.

6. Program your thermostat

A smart thermostat allows you to set lower temperatures at certain days and times. You can leave it warm for the morning and when you get home from work, while letting it drop while you’re out of the house. You can also try setting the temperature slightly lower and instead put on a sweater. You can even add layers through indoor decorating—pillows, rugs, mats, and blankets can add both warmth and aesthetic value.

7. Check the lights

The less you take advantage of (free!) sunshine, the more electricity you will need to use. There is no time like the present to buy some CFL and LED lights for your home. Also take advantage of the sunlight when it is there by keeping shades and curtains open during the day, especially on the south side of your home. Then close them when the sun goes down to keep the heat in.

Halloween Pranksters Trash Your Home? Here’s How to Clean It Up

halloween-tp

Halloween is fun and all, but then there’s the aftermath. Even if you dole out treats, hooligans may plaster your home in eggs, or shower your car in shaving cream, or trim your trees with toilet paper. In fact, around this time of year certain towns ban the sale of eggs to minors in an attempt to keep these high jinks to a minimum, although we’re dubious that makes much difference.

If you’re one of those unlucky homeowners faced with a horrifying post-Halloween cleanup job, read these tips first. Broken down by type of ammo—egg, shaving cream, and TP—these tips from pro cleaners will save you time, energy, and further damage to your property so your home is no worse for wear, at least until next year.

Eggs

Whether they’re splattered on your home or your car, eggs are bad news because they can corrode paint.

“It’s crucial to clean eggs as soon as possible,” says Mary Findley, a veteran cleaning expert and owner of GoClean.com. If the goo has hardened, you’ll want to soften it first by covering it with a sopping wet hot cloth that’s been dipped in a 50-50 mix of water and distilled grain-based white vinegar. Let that set 10 to 15 minutes, Findley says, then gently wipe it off. If there are any egg shells, delicately pick them off first, or else they might scratch the paint.

If you do find, alas, that the egg has damaged or discolored your paint, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck.

“Before going to the expense of repainting your car, grab what’s called an oxidation remover at an automotive supply store,” says Findley. “This is a polishing compound designed to remove scratches that can also restore the color somewhat. When using it, always wipe from left to right and never in circles, or else you will now have swirl marks on top of the scratches.”

For damaged paint on homes, apply a primer over the area, then repaint.

Shaving cream

That luscious foam may be kind to your skin, but it’s a killer on paint, so this is another mess you’ll want to clean quickly. If you catch the cream when it’s still wet, a pressure washer can blast it off. But if it’s dry, “don’t scrape it away, since you may damage the paint,” says Hannah Caner, an editor at Who Knew? Tips. “Instead, use a wet rag to dampen the shaving cream until it softens, and then wash the area with dish soap.”

Toilet paper

“If you wake up the morning after Halloween to find that your house has been toilet-papered, check the weather report,” says Caner. “If it’s a dry day, wait until the dew has evaporated before you start cleaning, since the TP will be less likely to shred into pieces.” If it’s rainy and damp, on the other hand, you should start as soon as possible to keep the shredding from getting worse.

To gather the paper without damaging your trees, use a rake or broom to gently comb over the branches; a leaf blower can also help you clear twigs without damaging them. “Or try taping a lint roller to a broom handle so the paper sticks to the sticky tape of the lint roller,” says Findley.

There are also ways to curb your odds of a post-Halloween cleanup completely. “Turn on your porch lights and keep them on all night on Halloween,” suggests Findley. After all, Halloween pranksters prefer to do their dirty work in the dark.

These 8 Lamps Are Some of the Tackiest You’ll Ever See

A trio of risque lamps from Japan

Lamps aren’t only the way we illuminate a room; they can shed light on our personalities, too. The perfect pendant or floor lamp can add just the right touch to your home’s decor, underlining whether your sensibilities are more industrial or rustic.

And then there are these lamps and lighting fixtures, which pretty much identify their owners as completely lacking in taste. (Upon reflection, we decided not to show you allthe most outrageous examples we found.) Purchase at your own risk: They’ll probably inspire would-be buyers to back out of your house.

Did someone behead Paddington Bear?

Developed by Suck UK, the headless teddy bear lamp is readily available on Amazon for the low, low price of $160. The value of traumatizing your children? Priceless.

Headless teddy bear lamp by Suck UK
Headless teddy bear lamp by Suck UK

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If you really, really love your dog …

Thanks to U.K. artist Whatshisname, you’ll always have a present from man’s best friend. The pooping Chihuahua lamp comes in red or black and costs $1,684, while the Great Dane version will give your wallet the runs at $3,980.

Pooping dog by Whatshisname
Pooping dog by Whatshisname

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Tell us how you really feel

A teenager’s woeful poetry notebook personified, this hangman lamp sets the mood for an enchanting evening of nihilistic theory and Lars von Trier films set to a steady background of deep sighs. Even if you do want this lamp, be prepared for another dose of sadness: Developed by Spanish studio EnPieza, this limited-edition Colgao lamp is out of stock. Perhaps it could make a comeback if we keep thinking dark thoughts.

Colgao by EnPieza
colgao

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The hair lamp

Apparently someone watched “The Addams Family,” saw Cousin Itt, and decided it would look so much better with a lightbulb for a face.

During lonely nights, the hair can be braided, curled, pinned, or pulled into a ponytail—but hopefully not set on fire. Anika Engelbrecht of Kassel, Germany, came up with the lamp design, and although it isn’t for sale anymore, all you need is a wig and a torchier lamp and you can make your own. (Disclaimer: Don’t!)

Hair lamp by Anika Engelbrecht
Hair lamp by Anika Engellbrecht

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A very cheeky light

Smack this butt lamp, and voila—it turns on. Called the Slap It, this jiggly silicone night-light will run you $228.79, and it comes in a buttload of colors—10, to be exact.

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Breast lighting fixture ever

The more the merrier? That’s possibly what designer Jonathan Adler thought when he came up with the Georgia Table Lamp, which features over 50 boobs in white porcelain. They can all be yours for just $495.

Georgia Table Lamp by Jonathan Adler
"Georgia table lamp" by Jonathan Adler

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Leggy maid lamps

The line between playful and creepy furnishings is razor-thin. These leggy lamps from Japan stand firmly on the creepy side. With one foot coquettishly pawing at the back of a leg and a light switch that is located—ahem—up the skirt, these lamps were spotted at the Onoden Electrical Appliances store in Tokyo for 12,600 yen (about $104).

A collection of risque lamps from Japan
A trio of risque lamps from Japan

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Let’s get lit

This marijuana-themed floor lamp would get a pass in a college dorm room, but it should be snuffed out anywhere else. In case anyone doesn’t get the idea, the psychedelic lampshade is complemented by a pot leaf–shaped light switch. Available for $29.99 on Amazon.com.

Pot leaf lamp by Rabbit Tanaka
Pot leaf lamp by Rabbit Tanaka

3 Sneaky Ways to Make a Small Home Office Look Huge

home-office2

The plight of the way-too-small home office: a space that needs to be functional often doubling as a guest room and the holding pen for all the random stuff you couldn’t find a home for elsewhere. And did we mention these rooms are often tiny? You spend many of your waking hours in this wee, cramped place. So, how can you figuratively supersize one of the hardest-working and smallest rooms in your home?

1. Pick the right-sized furniture

One of the worst home office gaffes? Furniture that simply doesn’t fit! Just because you want a large work surface (who doesn’t?), it doesn’t mean you want to overwhelm your space with a massive CEO-style desk, says Allison Petty, an interior designer with Homepolish, a national design firm based in New York City.

Start with the right-sized desk, and orbit other furnishings around it. There isn’t a formula for size; the more compact you can go, the better. The small-home mecca otherwise known as Ikea (cue the trumpeting angels) offers countless affordable desk options. Take measurements of your room before you shop, and don’t forget to account for other furniture that needs to go in the tight space. And maybe factor in a bit of walking space, too.

Find a desk that has ample storage and just enough surface space for your computer, Petty suggests. If you primarily use a laptop, you can get away with a small laptop deskfor tight spaces. For bigger devices, consider a storage-rich desk (Petty loves this onefrom Crate & Barrel) that’s both stylish and sturdy.

Treble White Desk
Treble White Desk

When it comes to your chair, you want comfort but you don’t need the gargantuan seat on wheels that you’d see in an office building. Pro tip: Go for a stationary chair with style, Petty says. “I use standard dining chairs because they’re smaller than most office chairs, but they have high backs so you don’t have to worry about being down too low,” says Petty, who recommends West Elm’s Saddle Dining Chair and the Dane Armchair. “Dining chairs are a lot more attractive than office chairs, and they just blend in better.”

2. Find a place for everything

On websites, floating, open shelves look amazing. Know why? Because they’re styled for photos, not living. They probably hold about half the stuff you really need. Your pile of crumpled and mismatched paper? It’s not nearly as eye-pleasing as the perfectly stacked piles you see in design books.

Here’s a good way to leverage wall space: Use it to hang file holders. You’ll find plenty of options at The Container Store or any office supply retailer. Every item should have a dedicated place that’s not your work surface or the floor, Petty says.

If you can squeeze another piece of furniture in your room, Petty suggests a closed cabinet. A stylish armoire could be a nice touch. Use bins to store your office wares inside. Purchase cord organizers and tuck away that laptop when you’re offline to make everything look seamless.

If you must leave things out, then do it in style with finds from online shops such as Poppin.com, says Petty.

3. Have fun with decor

Scoop Table Lamp- Copper
Scoop Table Lamp- Copper

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to make your work ambiance more Zen is through color.

You can paint, but a hued wallpaper looks great, too. The key, productivity-wise: You want a design that’s inspiring but not distracting, says Petty.

While overhead lighting is the best lighting for task-orientated work, a desk lamp can add a great decorative detail, says Petty. Don’t opt for one that looks too utilitarian. With practically no effort, you can find options that are stylish, attractive, and affordable (the trifecta!), like this one in copper.

One thing to skip: rugs. “Chairs are harder to move on rugs and placing them under a desk ends up cutting the rug off awkwardly,” says Petty.

7 Cheap Upgrades That Will Make Your Home Feel Like It’s Brand-New

painting-improvement

If your home has you down in the dumps but you lack the cash to fix it up, don’t despair! Not every upgrade has to take a big bite out of your bank account.

Here are seven foolproof ways to make your home feel like a totally different place through small changes—and small expenses.

1. New hardware

Swapping out the boring chrome hardware the previous owners installed can go a long way toward making your home look like yours—not to mention give the entire space an easy, inexpensive refresh. Depending on your style, new pulls or handles can cost mere dollars.

“The first thing I do to give the home more of the look and style that I like is swap out the hardware,” says Doug Mahoney, who worked in construction for 10 years and now writes about tools and home improvement for The Sweethome. “All it takes is a screwdriver, and it’s surprising what a difference it can make.”

2. Small paint jobs

Don’t have time to repaint your entire home? Start by tackling smaller jobs such as your front door or kitchen cabinets. Since these projects are quick, you can squeeze them in during the weekend (or even an afternoon). And you’ll use only a fraction of a gallon of paint (which costs between $15 and $30)—making for an ideal impact-to-expenses ratio.

“Personally, I can’t stand the look of polyurethaned oak cabinets, so I’d cover those up with a nice white paint,” Mahoney says. “It makes it look like a whole new kitchen.”

If you like your cabinets, consider repainting the trim in your living room or adding some fresh color to a small room such as your bathroom.

3. Sensor lights

Tired of scrambling for the light switch while your arms are holding bags of groceries? Add sensor lights to your front porch and any other regular entrances such as your garage door. Starting at just $15, it’s a tiny cost with a big reward.

These lights won’t just improve your visibility—they’ll also lower your electricity bill. And they’re a big home safety boon to boot; experts say motion-detecting lights discourage criminals from lurking around your home.

4. Magnetic door catch

Speaking of those arms full of groceries: Adding a magnetic door catch (like this onefrom Amazon, which costs $11) to your primary entrance drastically simplifies loading and unloading. No more awkward sideways crab walks as you attempt to keep the door open while carrying a big package. You might even consider installing this before moving day to make your movers’ job easier.

5. Keyless entry pad

If you’re always losing your keys, try investing in a keyless entry pad such as this simple$100 Kwikset deadbolt. It can mean the difference between spending a few hours moping in your car and enjoying a hot cup of cocoa in your living room.

Plus, you’re not the only one who benefits: If you’re expecting guests but won’t be available to greet them, they can let themselves in—a huge improvement from hiding a key, which might be a safety risk.

6. Low-flow toilet

“It may seem intimidating to those not very interested in DIY, but swapping out toilets is a fairly simple process,” Mahoney says.

Choose a high-efficiency or low-flow toilet to save money on your water bill. While it does require some investment (expect to pay between $100 and $325 for the toilet itself), you’ll be making your money back soon enough—especially if you’re replacing an older model installed before 1992. That’s when federal plumbing standards mandated all toilets use 1.6 gallons or less per flush.

With a high-efficiency model, you’ll use about 300 fewer gallons of water per year—if not much more.

7. Fresh mulch

Jazzing up the outside of your home can go a long way toward making you love where you live. While you could go all-out—landscaping the yard and painting the trim—there’s a simpler solution: mulch.

“New mulch in the flower beds can add a lot to the curb appeal,” Mahoney says.

Instead of grimy old dirt that’s been trod on for years, a fresh new layer looks clean, fresh, and pretty—making a huge difference for just $6.

Halloween Pranksters Trash Your Home? Here’s How to Clean It Up

halloween-tp

Halloween is fun and all, but then there’s the aftermath. Even if you dole out treats, hooligans may plaster your home in eggs, or shower your car in shaving cream, or trim your trees with toilet paper. In fact, around this time of year certain towns ban the sale of eggs to minors in an attempt to keep these high jinks to a minimum, although we’re dubious that makes much difference.

If you’re one of those unlucky homeowners faced with a horrifying post-Halloween cleanup job, read these tips first. Broken down by type of ammo—egg, shaving cream, and TP—these tips from pro cleaners will save you time, energy, and further damage to your property so your home is no worse for wear, at least until next year.

Eggs

Whether they’re splattered on your home or your car, eggs are bad news because they can corrode paint.

“It’s crucial to clean eggs as soon as possible,” says Mary Findley, a veteran cleaning expert and owner of GoClean.com. If the goo has hardened, you’ll want to soften it first by covering it with a sopping wet hot cloth that’s been dipped in a 50-50 mix of water and distilled grain-based white vinegar. Let that set 10 to 15 minutes, Findley says, then gently wipe it off. If there are any egg shells, delicately pick them off first, or else they might scratch the paint.

If you do find, alas, that the egg has damaged or discolored your paint, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck.

“Before going to the expense of repainting your car, grab what’s called an oxidation remover at an automotive supply store,” says Findley. “This is a polishing compound designed to remove scratches that can also restore the color somewhat. When using it, always wipe from left to right and never in circles, or else you will now have swirl marks on top of the scratches.”

For damaged paint on homes, apply a primer over the area, then repaint.

Shaving cream

That luscious foam may be kind to your skin, but it’s a killer on paint, so this is another mess you’ll want to clean quickly. If you catch the cream when it’s still wet, a pressure washer can blast it off. But if it’s dry, “don’t scrape it away, since you may damage the paint,” says Hannah Caner, an editor at Who Knew? Tips. “Instead, use a wet rag to dampen the shaving cream until it softens, and then wash the area with dish soap.”

Toilet paper

“If you wake up the morning after Halloween to find that your house has been toilet-papered, check the weather report,” says Caner. “If it’s a dry day, wait until the dew has evaporated before you start cleaning, since the TP will be less likely to shred into pieces.” If it’s rainy and damp, on the other hand, you should start as soon as possible to keep the shredding from getting worse.

To gather the paper without damaging your trees, use a rake or broom to gently comb over the branches; a leaf blower can also help you clear twigs without damaging them. “Or try taping a lint roller to a broom handle so the paper sticks to the sticky tape of the lint roller,” says Findley.

There are also ways to curb your odds of a post-Halloween cleanup completely. “Turn on your porch lights and keep them on all night on Halloween,” suggests Findley. After all, Halloween pranksters prefer to do their dirty work in the dark.