08 August 2016

Household Items You Need to Replace NOW!

Some items in our homes are built to last a long time. Then there are others which should be replaced more regularly. Unfortunately, many homeowners fail to replace certain household items as often as they should. While this might not seem like a big deal, it could actually be detrimental to your family’s health. Items such as toothbrushes and duvets can harbor germs, dust, and bacteria. This can cause rashes, breathing difficulties, and other severe health problems. So here are some household items that many people forget to replace, which you should get rid of now!


Toothbrushes--

We all know how important it is to keep our teeth clean, and a toothbrush is one of the best ways of doing this. Each member of your family should be cleaning their teeth twice each day. As they are used so often, toothbrushes can quickly become worn out and ineffective as cleaning your teeth sufficiently. Bacteria from your mouth can also attach itself to the bristles of your toothbrush. Not replacing your family’s toothbrushes every few months could increase their chances of gum disease and tooth loss. To protect your family’s teeth, get rid of your worn toothbrushes and replace them with brand new brushes instead. That way you know they will get the best clean possible.


Cleaning cloths/rags--

Cleaning cloths are fantastic at removing stains, bacteria, and dust from around our homes. But they are another item that needs to be throw away and replaced each week. When you use these old cloths to clean your home, you increase the risk of making your family ill. This is because they are a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Many of which can make your family seriously unwell. When you use them to remove dust and food, they linger on the surface of the cloth. This is then transferred onto your family’s hands and your home’s worktops and surfaces. While you could wash your cleaning cloths, this may not remove all of the bacteria they harbor. So it’s always best to replace them with new ones. Add them to your weekly shopping list and always have some available.


Air conditioning filters--

If you use your air-conditioner regularly, it’s likely that your filter will need replacing. If your filter gets clogged with hair and dust, it stops it being as effective. It also pumps these unhygienic properties back into the air that your family breaths. So if it’s been awhile since you’ve checked it, take a look at the filter now. This is a task you should be doing at least every month. If you have pets or use your air-conditioner on a daily basis, you might need to replace your filter more frequently. Hire a company that offers servicing and maintenance of air conditioning equipment to help you stay on top of replacing your filters.

Your home will be a far more pleasant place to spend time in once you’ve made these replacements. They may only be small, but they can have a significant impact on your home and family. So make an effort to replace these items more regularly in future to keep your family protected.

06 August 2016

Help! My Home Is Falling Apart

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We’re all about helping you with your DIY tips and repair suggestions here at Living the Thrifty Life, but sometimes, it isn’t that easy. There might come a time when you’re so overwhelmed by the extent of the issue that you don’t know where to turn. Your house is falling apart all around you, and now, something needs to be done. Let’s look at the signs that something is majorly wrong, and what you can do to fix it.

DIY Fixes--

First thing’s first; you need to figure out what the problem is. If the house is falling apart, issues need to be addressed quickly. Take this moment to go around the house and figure out the areas that are in desperate need of repair. Is this something you can do yourself, or is it a bigger problem? For now, focus on the DIY aspects of the house repairs. Don’t put yourself in danger in the process, though.

Renovations--

Is it time to forget about repairs and go for a complete renovation? There’s a lot to think about when it comes to this. Firstly, there’s the cost of it, and renovations are never cheap. It literally involves ripping out the entire room and starting again, so don’t try this yourself! For example, you’re ideally going to want a company that specializes in bathroom or kitchen renovations made easy. Also, you want to think about your future in this home. Are you planning to stick around for the long-term, or will you get out in the near future? Maybe the renovation will add serious value onto the sale?

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Money Concerns--

Remember; repairs and renovations are going to cost money. We’ve already talked about how they can improve value, but you still need those funds in the first place. This might be a time to look at personal loan options to help you fund the cost of the repairs. Either way, you need to do something before your house totally falls apart. Call on friends and family for assistance if you can.

Is It Outdated?--

It’s common that old appliances, brickwork, and paintwork will eventually begin to suffer. Take a moment to look around your home and consider whether it’s outdated. Now might be a good time to put a few things on your shopping list. You might not even need to do any serious repairs; your home just requires some imminent modernization!

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Get Online--

The internet is a fantastic resource for all sorts of things, and it’ll help you here. Survey the areas of your home that you’re most worried about, and Google them for an answer. You’ll almost always come across other people who have suffered from the same problem. You might find that the solution is much easier than you had anticipated! Don’t take this information as gospel, though. The professionals are more trustworthy, but Google is a good starting point.

Ultimately, if your house is in a dangerous state, you’ll need to get out of there for the time being. If it’s simply in need of a touch-up, now’s the time to do it.

16 July 2016

Addictions: How to Repair Your Life

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When anyone suffers from an addiction, it’s a very long and tough road to beat it. I can’t claim to have all the answers, but I do know a few things that you’ll need to do if you want to get past it. Each individual situation is different, though, and that’s why you need help from the professionals. Don’t take this article as gospel; use it as an introductory guide towards kicking that addiction for good.

The first step towards getting rid of addiction is recognizing it in the first place. Many of us don’t like to admit that we’ve got a problem. However, you’re never going to beat an addiction if you can’t acknowledge that it exists. If you know that you’ve got a problem, and that’s why you’re reading this today, well done. Now, you can start to pursue your recovery options.

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Once you’ve stopped relying on drugs, alcohol, gambling (or anything else), you need to stay away from it. This means ditching the lifestyle that you used to live. If you’re hanging around the same friends that used to go drinking every night with you, you’re going to struggle to resist. As hard as it is, it’s important to try and stay away from them as much as possible. During this time, you’re going to need motivational factors to keep you away. Try and find reasons in your life to ditch those addictions. Whether it’s the love of your family and children, or maybe aspiring to be like a famous celebrity, it doesn’t matter. As long as you’ve got something to aim for, you’re more likely to resist.

Let’s not be naive about this, though. Addictions are incredibly difficult to tackle. In many cases, you’re going to need professional assistance. Doctors are probably your first port of call to help you cope for the time being. Then, you might need to seek drug rehab centers and alcohol rehab centers. You’ll meet others who suffer from similar addictions, and you’ll come into contact with experts who know how to deal with your illness. There’s no-one better to seek help from than those who understand how you’re feeling and know how to treat it.

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One of the major downsides of kicking an addiction is the effect it can have on everyone around you. You’re going to be irritable, angry, and frustrated on a regular basis. Unfortunately, if your family is around you during this time, you might end up taking your frustrations out on them. To save causing arguments and further distress, try and walk away if you feel tense. Give yourself a secluded area of the house where you can shout and scream to your heart’s content.

As I mentioned at the start, we don’t have all the answers here. We aren’t doctors, and we aren’t addiction experts. I’ve never suffered from an addiction, so I can’t understand what you’re going through. Those professionals can, however, so I urge you to seek help if you’re struggling. You can beat this addiction.

29 June 2016

Updating Your Kids Bedroom? Create a Space That Will Grow with Them!

Has your child sadly outgrown their bedroom? If this is the case, you’ve got some planning to do, to create them a beautiful new room. It might be that your toddler has finally outgrown their nursery or that your pre-teen has decided that their old bedroom is just too ‘babyish’. Whatever the reason you’re upgrading your child’s bedroom, it’s important to be smart about it.

If you want to ensure that whatever you spend doing up the space is worth it, it’s crucial to design a room that will grow with your child. Something that, believe it or not, isn’t as hard to do as you would think. To design your child a space that they will not only love now but also in a few years time here’s what you need to do.

Use mainly neutral colors--

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Right now, your child might be obsessed with hot pink or crazy about blue, but what’s to say that in a few years time, they’ll feel the same. That’s why, if you want to create a space that will grow with your child and won’t need too much doing to it, it’s best to keep the colors mainly neutral.

For the walls and carpet, opt for neutral shades. Think cream, gray, and off-white - these are all ideal colors as they work well with a range of other shades. To add a little of your child’s favorite color to the space, you can always add an accent wall. This is ideal as it’s just one section of the wall, so is easy to repaint, should your child dislike it in the future.

Pick furniture that’s smart, stylish, and will last--

When it comes to picking the furniture for your child’s bedroom, don’t select pieces that won’t last. For example, right now your child might be begging you for a bed shaped like a race car, but how long will their car obsession last? Probably not very long. That’s why it’s best to pick furniture that isn’t themed in any way, and will last them for years. Don’t worry about their room looking boring; we’ll talk about ways to jazz it up later on.

A word to the wise, when selecting items like dressers and bedside tables, make sure to pick ones that come with heavy duty drawer runners. That way, should your child overfill the drawers, they shouldn’t be damaged or break. The same goes for selecting a bed, choose a bed that doesn’t have slats underneath, as these are more prone to breaking than full bases. This is especially important if your kids love to jump on the bed.

Use accessories to add style--

I mentioned above that we would talk about jazzing up the space, and the best way to do that is with accessories. Believe it or not, you can give your child’s bedroom a unique look using just a few well-thought-out accessories. Things like curtains, rugs, lampshades, bedding, wall art and ornaments are all interchangeable. Making them perfect for personalizing the space. So ask your child what sort of bedroom they would like and then use accessories to create a room that they’ll love.

The great thing about using accessories to add style is that should they change their mind about their room’s design, it’s easy to change. There will be no messy painting involved or buying of new furniture. All you’ll need to do is swap out their old accessories for new ones. What could be cheaper and easier than that?
Want to create a bedroom that will grow with your child? Take the above tips and advice on board and you can do.

27 June 2016

When to Call the Experts: Don't Tackle These Jobs Yourself


DIY has grown in popularity over the last few years. People are renovating and revamping their homes, rather than enlisting the services of a specialist. This has been made easier by the range of products that are aimed at this market. Online tutorials, blog posts, and how-tos show us how to update our homes step-by-step.

The satisfaction from completing these tasks is significant. This is evidenced by the blog posts, Pinterest boards, and online images devoted to this. It also provides a significant cost saving as you don’t have to pay for labor. However, there are areas that shouldn’t be tackled by anyone other than an expert.

Roofing--

Fixing the roof is always something that should be tackled by a specialist roofer. Several times a year it’s a good idea to check your roof for signs of damage. This is particularly important after the winter months, especially after bad weather. Never climb to the roof. Check it from the ground using binoculars. If you notice problems, then enlist the help of a specialist roofer.

If you suffer damage following a storm, find out about emergency repairs in your area. Emergency companies will make immediate temporary repairs to get you through the night [or weekend].


Electrics--

Another area that should never be tackled alone is electrics. Tinkering in this area can cause serious injury and even death. Don’t take the risk, call a certified electrician.

As with other areas of your home, check electrical components regularly. Check outlets for signs of damage and keep an eye on all wiring. If cables are damaged, then they need replacing. You should also check light fittings and down lighters.

Faulty electrics can lead to electric shocks and fire. If you are unsure or see signs of damage, always phone an electrician.

Making Structural Changes--

We often see home improvement programs which transform homes by creating large open spaces. Walls are removed or knocked through to create open-plan areas. However, this is not something that should be approached by a novice. By knocking down walls you could cause structural damage to the house, and put occupants at risk. Always seek the services of a building contractor.


Sewage--

If you suffer a sewage spill, leave your home immediately and call the experts. Sewage is a safety hazard and should only be tackled by specialists. They will have all of the required tools and equipment to deal with the waste. They will also have protective clothing.

Plumbing--

Depending on your expertise, there may be some jobs you can tackle yourself. For example, changing a tap or shower head. But you should only do this if you have some knowledge in this area. If you’re unsure, always ask for help.

For larger jobs, always call a plumber. In some instances, leaks may not be apparent for some time. Until action is taken, they are causing damage to your home. So always err on the side of caution and find a reputable plumber.

Making updates to your home can be extremely rewarding. But know your limits. Where an expert is required, it’s much cheaper to contact someone at the outset. Putting right damage caused by amateur renovations will be much more costly. And, it could threaten your safety.