There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when clutter starts infringing on more and more of their living space. Chances are, it’s happening to you, right now! It begins to take hold in your basement, garage, and attic, but before you know it, every closet in your house turns into a repository for old electronics, duplicate wedding gifts, and outgrown or out-of-style clothes.

The more clutter that accumulates, the more difficult it is to store, locate, and organize the things you actually value. While few of us would fit the category of a compulsive hoarder, just about everyone saves things they have no use for. If you’ve lived in the same house for at least a decade, you’ve probably accumulated more than your share of unneeded, space-consuming possessions.

Strategies for Clutter Control

So what can you do if you want to reclaim your living space, organize your storage areas, and improve the overall look and feel of your home? Five options worth considering are to hold a garage sale, donate unwanted belongings to local charities and non-profit organizations, find consignment stores interested in selling your items for a percentage of the sale, use free or low-cost advertising methods to sell things you don’t want, and — last but not least — call a competitively priced junk removal service to haul it away. By shopping around, you can often get a really good deal on junk removal services. As a side note, however, you might want to make sure you’re hiring someone who will dispose of your junk responsibly — especially things like cans of paint, old TV’s, computers, air conditioners, refrigerators, and freezers, which could damage the environment.

The Pros and Cons of Garage Sales

Although it can be time consuming to gather items you want to sell, stick price tags on everything, place classified ads, put up signs, and carry out all those old toys, books, clothing, small appliances, and furniture to your driveway at 7:00 o’clock on a Saturday morning, garage sales can be a good way to reduce clutter and fatten your wallet — at least for a week or two! How much money you make depends on several factors, including the extent of your advertising, the weather, your pricing and negotiating ability, and the value of your unwanted household stuff. One of the best ways to attract more people and maximize your earning potential is to coordinate a multi-neighbor garage sale. Bargain hunters love to flock to neighborhood yard sales because they can find much more of what they’re looking for, without having to drive all over town.

The Benefits of Donating

One way to give back to your community and help those who are less fortunate is by donating your old belongings to charitable organizations and non-profit groups. Not only will you be upgrading your own living space by reducing clutter, but you’ll also be helping families in your area who might be lacking furniture, sufficient clothing, working appliances, or basic household supplies. In addition to the feeling of satisfaction that comes from helping others, the donation may also qualify for a tax deduction.

Whether your objective is to make your home more livable or prepare it for the next owner, getting rid of clutter represents a giant step toward achieving those goals.

Rapid advances in technology have radically changed our lives in more ways than we can begin to contemplate. It is no surprise that integrating technology into one of the home’s most functional rooms is one of the hottest trends in interior design. From aromatherapy showers to self-flushing toilets, the most used room in the home is getting an opulent, hi-tech makeover with bathroom upgrades that won’t sacrifice style.

The latest design trends in residential bathroom appliances, gadgets, and gizmos incorporate features once restricted to luxury spas and upmarket gyms. Today, it is easy and affordable to turn a bland and boring home bathroom into a spa-like retreat with high-high tech innovations that add functionality and elegance. Whether you are building or remodeling, consider these ways to tech up your bathroom.

Surround Yourself With Sound
There is no need to blast the television from an adjoining room so you can listen to music, catch-up on the weather report or latest traffic conditions as you shave or apply make-up. With appliances especially designed for a moist environment, you can watch television integrated into a two-way mirrored cabinet. When the television is off, it’s invisible.

Listen to music through moisture proof in-ceiling speakers or magnetic wireless speakers that can be moved to bedroom or patio.

Eco-Friendly Hi-Tech Features Save Water And Electricity
If your bathroom appliances and fixtures are outdated, they may be costing you money. Digital showering systems save water with the push of a button, controlling flow and temperature. The digital interface eliminates bulky manual valves, giving the shower stall a smooth, uncluttered appearance. Conservation features, such as a pause setting or a shower timer, save money without sacrificing performance.

Conserve water by installing a new high-efficiency dual flush combination toilet and bidet that sends less water down the drain, shaving dollars off your utility bill. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises, “Older toilets, manufactured before 1992 when the Energy Policy Act mandated water efficient toilets, use up to 3.5 gallons per flush. Replacing these toilets with WaterSense labeled toilets could save nearly 2 billion gallons per day across the country. Switching to high-efficiency toilets can save a family of four, on average, $2,000 in water bills over the lifetime of the toilets.”

Water heating is reported as the third highest energy expense in the home. Provide a continuous supply of hot water with an energy-efficient, cost-effective, space saving hi-tech tankless water heater, solar water system or heat pump controlled with an app on your I-Pad.

The EPA reports that bath faucets account for more than 15 percent of indoor water use. Reduce consumption by installing high-tech faucets that shut off with just a wave of your hand. Turning off the water while brushing your teeth can save up to 3,000 gallons of water per year, making a water-conserving faucet a prudent investment.

Sanitation
Protect your family from cold and flu germs with a self-sanitizing door handle equipped with an ultra-violet light that kills bacteria on contact.

Lighting
Forget having to remind family members to shut off the bathroom light. Brighten bathrooms with motion activated energy-efficient LED colored mood lighting that turns off when you exit the room.

Pamper Yourself In Privacy
High-tech steam showers, personal saunas, and soaking tubs provide the ultimate upscale personalized spa experience. Look for fixtures that include underwater pressure jets, aromatherapy, in-tub water heaters, massage programs, mood lighting and built in sound speakers.

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