How to Declutter a Room: Break Down the Task of Clearing a Cluttered Room into Simple Steps

Clutter is not trash. That’s what makes it hard for people to clean it up.Clutter is comprised of both wanted and unwanted items. People feel overwhelmed by a messy room because everything is jumbled together, and they don’t know how to begin to separate things. Then, their best efforts to declutter get derailed when they stop to consider what to do with each, individual item. Store it, donate it, trash it? Now is not the time to make those decisions. First, the decluttering must take place. Here is an easy way to tackle a cluttered room:

  1. Trash. Carry around a large trash bag and gather the obvious trash. Soiled napkins, empty envelopes, junk mail, old food containers, used anything. Concentrate on picking up items that should go into a waste bin, including ash tray contents.
  2. Clothing. Now carry around a laundry basket and put in all the scattered clothing items. Do not be concerned whether they are clean or dirty. If the item was sitting on the floor, getting stepped on, it now is dirty whether you wore it or not. At this time, do not be concerned whether you plan to donate the items or not. Just collect the clothes. You can weed out the clothes to donate after you’ve washed them. It’s the nice thing to do. Put the filled laundry basket next to the washing machine.
  3. Dishes. If you have dirty dishes (coffee cups, etc.) then collect those and place them in the dishwasher right away.
  4. Paperwork. Collect and stack all the paperwork. Place them on the desk or in a folder. Do not be concerned about separating the paperwork into categories like bills etc. Keep all paperwork together and you’ll go through that at a later time when it is time for pay the bills.
  5. Like items. Now, look around for multiples. Clutter-prone people tend to collect more than one of the same items. Look around and go on a hunt. Keep all the candles, books, CDs, nail files, photographs and such together. Some multiples are unnecessary, but if one must collect them, it is better to keep them together in the same bin or drawer. If you can relinquish some of them, place them in a bag for donations.
  6. The rest. The remaining items will be easier to see now, and the decision to donate or keep becomes easier with these items. Use a donation bag and be generous! Employ this rule: A keeper must be deeply loved, hold family sentimental value or be used regularly. Everything else gets gifted to others who will use it. The keepers should have their own designated place in the house or room.

Keep Clutter-free

Remind yourself that the best things in life are not things. Even memories are not held in tangible items but in your heart and mind. Avoid bringing things into the house. The Japanese have an old proverb: “The more you have, the heavier your burdens will be.” A minimalist lifestyle is liberating and better for your mind, body and spirit…and the planet Earth.

How to Drill a Well – Finding the Water Table and More

Drilling a water well can be relatively easy or quite difficult and complex, depending on the circumstances. The main factors to consider are the depth of the water table and the types of soil and bedrock to be drilled through. Current soil conditions, weather and available equipment also need to be taken into account. The basic process of drilling a well involves boring through soil and bedrock with a drill bit while the broken pieces are flushed up to the surface in a drilling fluid (or drilling mud). When you reach the water table, the well is cased, piping is inserted down to the water table, a pump is installed, and the well is complete.

Determine the Best Location to Drill a Well

Determine the best location to drill a well. Locate your water table and identify the local soil and subsurface conditions. Many states now have excellent online resources with information about existing wells, and USGS geographic and topographic maps will also provide useful information about the water table and subsurface conditions. Talking to your neighbors with wells is also a very good way to get firsthand information about drilling a well in your area.

Rent a Drill

Rent a drill. Unless you have extremely hard or rocky subsurface conditions, rotary drilling is probably going to be the most effective and economical method to drill the well. Rotary drilling involves a drill bit made of a very hard metal like tungsten or carborundum grinding up the rocks and soil to drill the hole. Drilling fluid is also pumped into the drill pipe to act as a coolant and to flush the ground up dirt and rocks (cuttings) to the surface.

If you do have to deal with very rocky conditions it is probably best to use the down-hole air hammer drilling method where compressed air is used to break up the rocks and force the broken chips up to the surface.

Drill the Well

water well drilling

Drill the well until you reach the water table. The water table can be as little as 20 feet down to as much as 500 feet or more in extreme cases. You will want to drill down several feet after you hit the water table to create some space for the water to accumulate.

Install the Casing

Install the casing for the well. The well casing is usually made of steel or plastic and usually at least the top 20 feet of a well are cased. Make sure to fill in the space between the casing and the drilled hole with cement or bentonite grout to prevent polluted ground water from seeping into the aquifer.

Lay Piping

Lay piping for the well. Copper or plastic piping is generally preferred for underground installation, but galvanized steel can be used if the water is not highly mineralized. Be sure the piping is large enough to allow enough water to flow to meet the expected demand for the well. Make sure the intake pipe is at least 12 inches below the water table, as the level will fluctuate.

Install a Pump

water well pump

Install a pump for the well. Calculate the size (hp) of the pump you will need based on your expected peak water demand. It is best to use a pump with at least 20 percent greater capacity than that just to be on the safe side.

The Best Yard Fence Materials for Different Climates

Factors such as amount of rainfall, temperatures and types of weather events such as earthquakes or hurricanes affect the staying power of garden and privacy fences. Before putting up a new yard fence, homeowners should learn about the various materials available and recommended for their areas.

Rain and Humidity Deteriorate Fencing Materials

wood fences

Living in a wet environment where there is a great deal of rain and moisture collecting on the fence and on the fence post footings may cause wooden fences to rot prematurely. Using wood that is more durable such as locust, redwood, cedar or cypress will help forestall rotting in these climactic conditions.

Wood for like cedar and redwood, often used for swimming pool security fences and privacy fences, does not have to be expensive. Instead of using premium grade wood, buy construction heart redwood or cedar. These grades are as durable as the fancier grades and provide beautiful fencing resistant to rot.

Metal fences are also vulnerable to wet climates, and iron or chain-link fencing may rust faster than in a dryer climate. If wrought iron or chain-link fencing is used, extra maintenance should be planned to keep wrought iron fences repaired and painted for years of lasting good looks.

Masonry, vinyl and composite fencing do best in wet climates. Although moss may grow on masonry walls or light mold may appear on composite and vinyl fencing, these kinds of materials endure the elements more readily and need little maintenance or repair in this type of climate.

Hot, Dry Temperatures Affect Fencing Materials

masonry fences

In excessively hot and dry areas, certain yard fence materials may fade loosing their color and luster. Composite fencing may become lighter and less attractive over time. Certain kinds of wood may shrink and become warped when used in hot, dry areas especially if they are not properly dried ahead of time or are imported from parts of the country where the climate is wetter, infusing the wood with moisture.

If wood is the chosen material for a particular fence, be sure it is kiln dried and is not newly imported from regions that might contribute to its retaining extra moisture.

Masonry, metal and stone fences and walls do very well in hot, dry areas maintaining their integrity and their looks over time. Aside from a loose rock or brick needing replacement, most of these fences need little maintenance.

Extreme Cold Weather Damages Masonry Walls

When the thermometer drops into single digit numbers, masonry fences and walls made with mortar may suffer. Freezing conditions affect these walls because water may be trapped in the mortar causing it to freeze and crack.

metal fences

Wood, bamboo and metal fences are the most durable for use in very cold climates.

Severe Weather Conditions Contribute to Wear and Tear on Fencing

bamboo fences

The most durable fencing material is bamboo, which is a naturally sustainable material. Reports of bamboo buildings withstanding earthquakes of 9.0 shows the durability and staying power of this amazing material. Fences made from bamboo do not rot or need any painting, and can endure a great deal of abuse from both hurricanes and earthquakes. Because bamboo is often used in its natural state, there are also enough spaces between bamboo slats to withstand strong winds without pulling the fence down.

Wooden fences are also somewhat resistant to intense weather, surviving due to their innate flexibility. Keep in mind though, that wooden privacy fences, tall swimming pool security fences and other lightweight fences may be susceptible to wind damage from hurricanes and tornadoes.

The least durable fences during earthquakes are those made from masonry, especially those made from brick or stone using mortar in the seams. The shaking of the ground loosens the mortar and often brings down a stone wall with ease.

Choose materials that best suit the environment for long-term, low maintenance garden and privacy fences. Taking weather and climate into consideration when deciding on yard fences adds to years of enjoyment with little care for the homeowner.

Painting Ceramic Tile

Paint over ceramic tile walls, floors, shower stalls or countertops when the tile color becomes dated, worn or scratched. Removing old tile that is no longer appealing does not necessarily require ripping it and replacing it. The process is fairly easy, although time consuming, but the results are beautiful.

You Will Need:

  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Fine grade sandpaper
  • Extra fine grade sandpaper
  • Low tack masking tape
  • Low nap rollers
  • High quality paint brush
  • Epoxy primer
  • Epoxy paint
  • Urethane

Prepare the Tile

  1. Repair any loose, broken, chipped or cracked grout before painting.
  2. Wash the tile to remove all traces of cleansers or wax. Use trisodium phosphate to thoroughly clean the surface. Rinse very well with plain water after cleaning.
  3. Use a fine grade sandpaper to rough up the tile surface, creating a good bonding surface for the primer and paint.
  4. Vacuum up all dust and rinse the walls to wash dust particles away.

Preparing the Room for Paint

  1. Apply low tack painters’ masking tape to ceilings, mirrors, cabinets, walls or floors to protect from drips, spills and pain accidents.
  2. Place drop cloths on the floors.

Priming Ceramic Tile

  1. Use a high quality epoxy primer. Newer formulations of epoxy primers no longer require acid etching making the project much easier.
  2. Apply the epoxy primer with a very low nap paint roller. Do not use a paint brush because brush strokes are highly visible.
  3. Allow the primer to dry completely.
  4. Light sand the walls with an extra fine sandpaper.
  5. Apply a second coat of primer.

Painting Ceramic Tile

high quality paint brush

  1. Apply epoxy paint to the ceramic tile with a snort nap, lint free roller. Use a high quality paint brush to cut in corners and ceilings.
  2. Epoxy can be painted over the grout and then repaint grout lines or leave them all one color. The other options is to carefully paint around grout line which makes the job much more difficult and will require a very steady hand.
  3. Apply 2 to 3 coats of epoxy paint, allowing each coat to dry completely in between each coat.

Sealing Epoxy

ceramic tile sealer

Although not required because epoxy paint dries to a super hard finish, it is a good idea to seal painted ceramic tile floors with a urethane sealer. Apply 3 to 4 coats of sealer, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before painting on the next.

Changing an ugly countertop, a worn floor or a tiled pink blue and orange bathroom is as easy as applying several coats of paint. The project is somewhat time consuming especially waiting for coats of paint to dry, but will be accomplished successfully by a do it yourself type homeowner.

Leaves and other Debris have a Negative Impact on your Gutters

If you have ever battled with clogged gutters, you can understand the negative impact associated with dirty and clogged gutters. First, clogged gutters tend to overflow, resulting in damaged foundations and leaky basements. This does not only expose your foundations to cracking and possible house fall, but also propagates mold and erosion of your esteemed landscape.

Accumulation of tree debris is among the primary causes of clogged gutters. Sticks that fall form nearby trees and over grown shrubs can fall and rot in the gutters, making the gutters dirty and clogged. Besides, leaves can accumulate in the gutters, leaving undesired effects on your gutter and eventually pile up and disrupt the smooth flow of rain water of the roof and through the gutter. To avoid this blockage, it is advisable to carry out regular maintenance on the gutter by removal of the leaves and sticks that may have fallen into the gutter and to permanently get rid of the problem it is best to trim off branches that are hanging over the roof and gutters.

The main culprits

According to experts, there are a number of things to looks out for when it comes to tree debris but flowers and pine needles play the biggest role. There are trees with flowers that fall off on a regular if not daily basis. This will eventually lead to an accumulation of rotting flowers on the gutter and subsequently blockage in the gutter system. Pine needles are even worse as they shed of a lot more than the flowers. With time water will stagnate and the gutter may even buckle from the weight.

Hire professional services when it comes to gutter cleaning

Hiring professionals to work on your gutter is the best option for your gutter. In some cases, you can choose to work on the cleaning process by yourself but it can be a risky affair since you have to use a ladder and walk on the roof. In case of repair it is advisable to also visit the store you bought the gutter from to get the best information on the repair and replacement process and it would be advisable to also seek for professional help for the work ahead.

Note that a professional gutter cleaning service provider has the required expertise to ensure that your gutters are thoroughly cleaned while ensuring that nothing is damaged.

Ask these 5 Questions Before Hiring a Gutter Repair Company

Managing damp climate and heavy rains are sufficiently hazardous for your home without dealing with flooding brought about by drain issues. Broken drains could cause pointless breaks in your rooftop and put your home at hazard for water harm. It is imperative to ensure you have utilitarian working drains in your home. Here are five things to ask before you procure a canal repair organization.

1. Is it accurate to say that they are respectable?

You need to begin off asking the conspicuous inquiries. To what extent have they been doing business? Is it true that they are known for good business hones? You need to ensure the business you are picking has a significant level of mastery repairing drains.

2. It is safe to say that they are nearby?

Nearby organizations are not going anyplace. The proprietors and laborers tend to take more pride in the work they do, and it can be seen everywhere throughout the town or city they live.

3. What size of drains do they introduce?

Once upon a time most houses accompanied standard canal sizes. Be that as it may, in today’s commercial center there is a broad range of styles of rooftops and thus distinctive sorts and sizes of canals.

4. Do they guarantee legitimate leveling?

Regardless of the possibility that the best brand of canals is obtained and introduced, if they are not leveled accurately, they won’t work efficiently. Inappropriate leveling can prompt the extremely same issues that require the repairs in any case.

5. Is it accurate to say that they are fortified and protected?

A few temporary workers will have the capacity to offer unfathomably low costs that appear too high to be valid. Therefore, some of this is the cost is passed on to the shopper. This protection is to your advantage in any case, as it liberates you from any liabilities that may emerge from specialist wounds and mischances.

Avoiding Home Repair Rip-Offs

Scams are a common thing when it comes to home improvement. As much as we would like the authorities to intervene, it is much better to have the knowledge to protect yourself from scammers who just want to steal your hard earned money. Remember knowledge is power; you will be able to save yourself as well as others if you are well informed.

Research

With this age of the internet, information sharing and acquisition are very easy and fast. If you are having doubts about who your contractor is, just think of Google as your best friend. Look up the name of the contractor and you are bound to get the information you desire. If still unsatisfied visit the nearest governing body that deals with such matters and has them investigate.

Check the cost

If the deal is too sweet to be true, it probably is. Some contractors say that they have a special offer just for you. This is just a gimmick to keep you interested. Consult with more than just one contractor and you will be able to establish what is real.

Substandard material

The material used should be able to pass the quality test or at least approved by the quality standard board. If you have doubts about the materials to be used you should ask a site inspector to come and give you pointers. Do not trust the contractor if you feel something is off.

Contract changes while the project is still on

If initially there were no red flags, this should raise tour eyebrows. A good contractor is bound by the schedule stipulated in the contract. They rarely change the term unless Consult a specialist if this happens so that you can stop the project before you are ripped off.

Low Maintenance Landscaping Tips

Landscaping adds a lot more beauty to your home. It is also a great thing to do in your spare time. If you are planning to landscape your yard, here are some tips for low maintenance landscaping:

5 Basic Stepping Stones to Water Features

Many homeowners have the notion that water features are luxuries meant only for the rich. That is not true. Most homes are now installing water features to their landscapes to give it that extra ump. Investing in a water feature is simple and requires just a few basic steps and you are there.

Know what you want

There are several types of water features. The type you install will depend on the space you have and where you intend to place it. A good example of a water feature is a bird bath. It takes very little space if compared to other water features such a miniature waterfall.

Water supply

All water features have one thing in common: water. The type of water feature you will have will depend on the supply of water in the area which you are in. if there is scarce water supply then a smaller water feature will be in order and vice versa.

Aesthetic value

How does the water feature add value to your landscape? Try and factor the general appearance of the water feature as an additive to your home. The aesthetic value of a water feature should not be under estimated as it ranks as the top reason of installing a water feature.

Cost

As stated before, cost can be a deterring factor in incorporating a water feature in your land scape. This should not be so since you can stick within your budget and have some form of a water feature at your home. Do your research well and consider your options before settling.

Maintenance

After all is said and done the water feature will need to be maintained to avoid having something that will not be of value to you home. Look into the maintenance practices of the particular water feature.

4 Ways Gutter Screens Protect your Home from Unpredicted Issues

Like such a variety of property holders, you’ve most likely turned out to be very mindful that home support can turn into an endless errand and yes, this is genuine even with new homes. Luckily, there are a few dominant approaches to venture forward and adopt a proactive strategy to home support, keeping the majority of the work and bother down to an absolute minimum.

1. Gutter Screens Keep Critters Away From Your Home

It’s quite often a sudden issue. However it indeed happens tree squirrels, and different goal-oriented animals have been known to utilize the mystery and cover gave while working from inside a rain gutter’s channel to bite and bite through your home’s belt board to make your storage room their home. Drain screens secure against this issue by obstructing the entrance before it starts.

2. Protecting Your Gutters Keeps You Grounded

The issue is that despite the fact that they hope to do feared drain support each month or two, most people don’t precisely expect to be harmed at the same time. Stay safe and stay grounded by utilizing gutter screens to lessen upkeep.

3. Clean Gutters Help Prevent Toxic Mold

At the end of the day, it’s typically unforeseen, yet obstructed gutters make the ideal environment for hypersensitivity actuating and lethal molds to develop and thrive. Shape and mold of changing levels of disturbance capacity flourish in damp and rotting natural matter that tends to exist in revealed drains.

4. Free Flowing Gutters Deject Ice Issues

In the wintertime, a standout amongst the most widely recognized gutter issues happens when stopped up drains make ice issues, for example, an ice dam, or even dangerous icicles and ice sheets that are prepared to slide off the rooftop and arrive on a terrible bystander. Drain screens keep the framework clear and working proficiently to debilitate ice issues.