Monday, September 26, 2016

DIY Can't Be As Easy As ABC: How To Simplify It

Doing remodeling work on a house is something that divides people. All of us see the need for it, for one reason or another whether it be to bring it up to date while living there or in order to sell it. There is no getting away from the need for it. What divides people is how they feel about actually doing it. While some see a house in need of renovation as a blank canvas, others see it as a money drain, a time suck or just a plain pain in the neck. Sometimes literally.

The fact is that sometimes it just needs to be done. And as we all know, it can cost time, money and effort to do it. Sometimes even what seem to be basic repairs and maintenance can start to add up. And which part of this bothers you depends on what you're short of. If you have the money, you may not have the time. If you have the time, you may be resistant to the motivation.

What does this mean in practical terms? Well, essentially it means a lot of people are looking for a way to stop it costing them so much. Either to save them money, time or work, they'll find solutions. And so much of human endeavor has been about finding easier ways to do things, so that is fine. What we have to be aware of is the fact that all that time saving or money saving can be a way of reducing the quality of what we end up doing.

Short cuts - or money-saving plans - can be useful for anyone doing up a house. But we need to be conscious of the fact that there are good ways and bad ways of making the job more simple. You have to make sure you're staying on the "good" side of the tracks.

Bad Idea: Saving Money By Buying Bad Equipment

If you're looking to paint a room, you know more or less what you'll need and what you expect it to cost. You can save yourself a chunk of money by buying cheaper brushes or rollers, cheaper paint and so on. However, it is best advised that you don't. Why? Well, you may think you're saving money, but you're definitely wasting time. It will take longer to coat the walls completely if you use lower-quality tools.

Not only that, but even financially it can be a total false economy. Instead of saving you cash, it can mean another trip to the hardware store to buy more paint, more brushes and more of everything. The upshot is that you've lost out on all fronts.

Good Idea: Have A Plan And Stick To It
We all know the importance of planning when it comes to any major task or set of tasks. What this means is not that we make a list of rooms and what colors we want to make them. We need to go deeper than that. In doing so we can manage our time better and know exactly where we should be when. It needs to be realistic, and it needs to be detailed.

What you don't want is to find yourself standing in a room that's half painted, looking at the walls and thinking "This is taking forever. And I don't even like it!". Do your thinking in advance - it should take half a day to finish an average-sized bedroom. Longer for a living room, less for a kitchen or bathroom. Budget that time - it will stop you from rushing a job to get it done while it's still light out.

Bad Idea: Don't Expect It To Be Easy
There is a good reason that painters and decorators get a lot of money for what they do. And it isn't our laziness. Okay, well, some of it is. But mostly it's because what they do isn't easy. By the time you've masked doorways, lightswitches and skirtings, it takes time.

Even in that prep work, people can get things wrong. That's before you even put brush to wall. If you've never done a specific job before, watch a few instructional videos before trying. It takes ten minutes, which is more than long enough to make a mess if you don't know what you're doing.

Good Idea: Know What You're Working With
It's easy to make a list of what needs to be done, and not much harder to work out what tools are needed. But a lot of people merrily buy what they need without working out how to use it. They then expect the tools to do most of the work themselves. Truth is, they'll do a lot for you, but you have to know what you're going to get from them.

A lot of people hear about time-saving, work-saving devices and think they'll be able to do a one-day job in an hour. Experience should teach you that's not going to happen. Look online and you'll find complaints about Paint Zoom and other such tools. The expectation is that they will make it all easy. They won't, they will make it all easier. There is a difference, and you still have work to do, just less of it.

People who don't enjoy doing remodeling work in a house will be the most likely people to look for those short cuts. This is how the products are sold, how they are advertised. Bear in mind that when they claim that the product will make things as easy as ABC, you can expect them to at least be a few letters harder than that.

If you try too hard to make a job easier, then you can end up making it harder. You can't save time, money and effort and end up with a job that looks professionally done. But you can make things simpler and still get it right. It's about managing your expectations as to how much simpler things will be. If it were that easy, people wouldn't make a living from doing it for others, would they?

How To Avoid Over Spending Is My Problem

I have two active credit cards that I am proud to say that I paid them on time. I worked full time but the pay is not something that is really big so slowing down is a MUST for me BUT that is my main problem. Aside of two cards, I send monthly support to my mom abroad, I have two kids that I am responsible for buying their clothing.

I have some monthly payment too liked the trumpet that is new and just started the payment. Electric bill, internet billing and buying some groceries. I even have the gas credit card that I am paying too.

My shopping is something I considered as an addiction. It is really hard to stop or controlled. Now, we just got home from visiting the kids store and spent $90+ which I kind of regret. I told myself that, if, only I opt in to staying home, I have that money save. :( 

Hopefully I will find the strength of controlling myself from spending money unwisely. My kids have so much clothes because I buy and buy though they don't need it. Oh, motherhood! :(

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sharing A Bathroom With Kids? How To Keep Your Sanity

Sharing a bathroom with your kids can be a trying time for parents. For all these years, your bathroom has been a sort of sanctuary - a place to escape the world. Now it’s been taken over by little tots who still seem to be figuring out how the room actually works. So what can mums do to make their bathrooms more family-friendly when kids are on the scene?

Buy A Step Stool
Instead of lowering your bathroom countertops down to the level of your kids, how about raising your children up instead? One thing you can do is install a step stool. But don’t just stick to a standalone if you can help it. Keep the aesthetic of your bathroom. Build a step stool into a countertop or chest of drawers. Kids can then just pull out the lowest drawer and use it when they need to.

Add More Storage
If you’re used to PRS bathroom pods, you’ll probably have good storage already. But if you don’t happen to have a pre-fab design, finding places to store things is a perennial difficulty. The problem is especially severe when children are in the picture. Not only do you have to manage all your own bathroom paraphernalia, but you also have to manage theirs too.

Image result for bathroom storage

One option is to look for a small recess or alcove in your bathroom. If you’re lucky enough to have one, consider converting it into a cupboard. If it’s high up, use it for storing all your bathroom electrical devices and other things you don’t want the kids to see.

Image result for bathroom family photos

Full Wall Tiles
If you’ve ever studied bathroom design, you’ll have noticed a pattern. Most bathrooms have tiles immediately around the sink. But the rest of the wall is just bare paint.

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Bare paint is a magnet for splashback and messy children. So the advice out there right now is just to go the whole hog and tile the entire wall. Ceiling to floor tiling will protect your precious bathroom from the ravages of soggy children.

Use Family Photos
Okay, so the use of family photos doesn’t really help make sharing a bathroom any easier. But it does make children feel loved and cherished. That’s important, right?

Use Wainscoting
Children in the bathroom can be a little bit like a bull in a china shop. Arms flailing, children have a habit of destroying your bathroom decor. Having said that, there are preventive measure that you can take. One idea is to go heavy duty with your wainscoting. Wainscoting is great for protecting your surfaces from impacts and scratches. Plus, it might even make your bathroom look a little more upmarket.

Use Open Shelving

Image result for bathroom storage

If you keep all your toiletries in the bathroom, the last thing you want is kids rummaging around to find their stuff. Instead of keeping everything locked up in drawers, consider storing the most common items out in the open. Put things like towels in open storage areas. And use decorative accessories to store things like toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Saving Money For Future Family Vacation

Time can really fly so fast. I was been asked many times about when me and my family is going back home to Philippines?! My always replied was in 2018 if GOD permits. Now, 2016 this year is almost over and I don't have that much money save yet. 

There are four of us, two kids and two adults, think of the plane tickets, hotel expenses, foods and etc. - I know I can save as long as I will start controlling my spending habit. I hate myself when it comes to spending.

I felt liked I am already running out of time. Not to forget 3 passports needs to be renew and our little guy needs a passport. Today I left the store spent $5.30 which was very unusual but still I spent some money. Sigh :(

We really need this vacation. I know it will happen I hope I am not going to struggle. I pray that somewhere down the road, luck will happen financially. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Cure For Squeaky Doors And Drawers

If there’s one DIY job that everyone’s doomed to perform at one point or another, it’s fixing squeaky drawers or hinges. Perhaps you’re trying to keep your midnight snacking a secret. Maybe you’re just sick of hearing that irritating noise every time you open a cabinet. Whatever the reason, you’re going to have to deal with that squeak at some point. If you’re getting to your wits’ end, here’s a brief guide to fixing this issue.
Pretty much any squeaking drawer or door is due to friction in the hinges or rails. By using a good lubricating product, you can usually get rid of any kind of friction and never have to worry about the squeak again. Purpose-made lubricating oil, for example WD-40, is generally the best choice. However, there are various household items which will also do the trick. Olive oil, soap, butter and petroleum jelly are all pretty good things to use. Just apply them carefully to the hinge, and the result should be instantaneous. If not, try removing the hinge pin, applying your lubricant, and putting it back in place.
Image from Flickr

If applying a lubricant doesn’t fix the problem, then you may need to clean the hinges instead. It’s pretty common for rust or dirt to build up in those little gaps in hinges, which can prevent it moving smoothly and create noisy friction. The best way to get rid of this is removing the hinges and cleaning them with some steel wool and oil. Simply dab a little oil on the wool and give the hinge or rail a good scrubbing with it until the dirt and rust lifts off. Before putting the component back into place, it’s usually a good idea to apply a little lubricant; any of the options which I mentioned above. Just make sure you do a thorough job with the wool. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to remove the piece and put it back a dozen times because there’s still dirt or rust clinging to it in certain places. If you don a good job, and you’re still getting the noise, try not to lose your head and break it! Instead, buy some replacement drawer slides or hinges. This brings me onto my last point…
If this kind of issue has caused you all kinds of stress and frustration, then you’ll obviously want to avoid it in the future. Fortunately, there are various preventative measures you can take. When you’re buying any replacement cabinets or hinges, make sure you’re choosing high-quality materials. There are many hinges and rails which have been designed for long-term use, and have corrosion protection. If you’re constructing it yourself, be sure to add lubricant before it’s all completed. You should also keep some lubricant within easy reach somewhere, and get into the habit of regularly applying it. Reducing the hinges’ exposure to moisture is another good measure. Keep your bathrooms as ventilated as you can, and make a point to avoid splashing water on your rails or hinges. With these precautions, you won’t have to read posts like this for a long time!