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Happy spring! After a challenging winter, it is so nice to see the sun shining and the flowers blooming. If your April plans include spring cleaning, sprucing up your lawn, or packing up for a big move, you'll find some great tips in this month's newsletter!
10 Tips For Packing Up Your House Before A Move
When it comes to packing up your entire house, there are two types of people. There are those who embrace the task with enthusiasm and detailed plans and commercial-grade label makers. And then there’s everybody else.
If you fall into that second category, these packing tips from moving.com are for you!
Instead of emptying out your dresser drawers, simply pull out and wrap each drawer with your clothes still inside them.
Leave clothes on their hangers and hang them in a wardrobe box. You could also use a twist tie to group the hangers together and wrap the clothes up in a garbage bag.
Use your towels and linens as protective wrap for breakable items.
Pack small items like spice jars inside pots and other large kitchen containers.
Wrap plastic wrap around things like shampoo bottles and cleaning products to prevent leaking.
Pack heavy items like books in wheeled suitcases.
Color-code your boxes with stickers. For example, all living room boxes get the red sticker, dining room boxes are green, etc. It’ll save you from having to write “Living Room” a million times.
Take a picture of the inside of each box before you close it. Later, when you’re unpacking and trying to find the Xbox controller, those photos may shed some light on its whereabouts.
Before you unplug everything, take a picture of the back of the T.V. so you’ll remember where all of those wires are supposed to go.
Pack a moving essentials bag to keep with you during your move. Include clothes, toiletries, medications, chargers, and any important documents. I also highly recommend packing a fresh shower curtain liner, hooks, and a few towels.
6 Steps To A Healthier Lawn
Spring is finally here, and is there anything more spring-like than the feel of soft, lush grass beneath your bare feet? Follow this advice from Family Handyman to keep your grass green and achieve a healthy lawn:
Adjust your cutting height. For the first mowing of the year, use a 1-1/2 inch cutting height for cool-climate grasses (1 inch for warm-climate grasses). This will “remove dead grass and allow more sunlight to reach the crowns of the grass plants.” When summer starts to heat up, raise the blade to 2 inches or more. Lower the blade again for your last cutting of the season.
Mow only the top one-third of the grass, and leave the clippings. These thin tips of the grass will decompose quickly and add valuable nitrogen to your lawn. Additionally, “cutting more than the top third also shocks grassroots and exposes stems, which tend to burn in direct sunlight.” So if you’re aiming for a grass height of two inches, wait until it’s 3 inches tall to mow.
Use a sharp mower blade so grass is cut cleanly and evenly. Dull blades will damage grass, resulting in a yellow lawn.
When watering your lawn, “a few good soakings are better than lots of light sprinklings.” Do your watering in the morning, and spray until the soil is moist four to five inches below the surface; this will help the grass develop deep roots, which is key to a healthy lawn. Water again when the top one or two inches of soil are dry.
Use fertilizers and weed killers at the right times. “Attack weeds in the early spring and summer before they have a chance to develop deep root systems, go to seed, or reproduce.” You should fertilize in early spring, then again in the fall to repair damage from the summer heat and prepare the grass for winter.
Aerate your lawn in the fall. This will improve air-to-soil interaction, make it easier for water and fertilizer to penetrate the soil, and create more space for roots to grow.
For more details on these lawn care tips, read How To Keep Grass Green and Achieve a Healthy Lawn.
Do You Need To Break Some Of These Bad Cleaning Habits?
The Spruce pointed out some bad habits that might be standing between you and a cleaner, tidier home. Do any of these sound a little too familiar to you?
Letting mail and other papers pile up: Designate a place to stash all paper clutter, then sort through it once a week. Pay those bills, file what needs to be filed, and toss the rest.
Leaving the shower curtain bunched up: Pull the curtain closed after your shower to discourage mildew growth.
Using too much laundry detergent: If you use more laundry detergent than is directed, it might not rinse away completely. You’ll end up with detergent residue on your clothes and, over time, a stinky sludge coating the inside of your washer.
Cleaning with dirty tools: Don’t forget to clean your cleaners! Empty your vacuum cleaner’s filter, pull the dust off the bottom of your broom, replace your mop head, etc.
Using only one disinfectant wipe for an entire room: “To be effective, the wipe should contain enough disinfectant moisture so the surface remains wet for at least four minutes.” Once a wipe loses most of its moisture, you’re basically just pushing bacteria around from one surface to another.
Leaving dirty dishes in the sink: You start with just one mug…then the frying pan…then your plate and fork from breakfast…and by lunchtime, the sink is stacked with dirty, egg-crusted dishes and washing them feels like the most grueling chore imaginable. Avoid the hassle (and the potential insect problem) by washing dishes or loading them into the dishwasher immediately after you use them.
Wearing shoes inside the house: Designate a spot right by the door for everyone to put their shoes after removing them. You’ll save yourself some vacuuming and you won’t be bringing in a bunch of bacteria from outside.
Waiting until the cleaning job is overwhelming: Do a little cleaning each day so you don’t end up with a complete disaster on your hands.
The Housing Market, 1 Year Into COVID-19
Last month marked one year into the pandemic, and Realtor.com’s research team put together a report of what has happened in the housing market over the last year.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, home prices have never declined. Prices were actually flat on a year over year basis in April 2020. In May 2020, homes took two weeks longer to sell compared to the previous year.
By the time summer rolled around, homes were selling as quickly as they had the year before, and home prices were soaring.
In 2021, the housing market continues to be a competitive environment for buyers, with prices increasing at double-digit rates and homes still selling very quickly.
As vaccine rollout progresses, more people will begin to feel comfortable putting their homes on the market. This will provide much-needed supply to balance out the market.
Click here to read the full report at Realtor.com.