Tips for Home: Extend the Life of Your Mattress

All furniture has a shelf life, and your mattress is no different. Whether you sleep on a spring or memory foam mattress, the more proactive you can be about maintaining it, the better your chances of experiencing healthy, regular sleep. With a few simple tasks you can extend the life of your mattress and wake up every day feeling refreshed. 

Extend the Life of Your Mattress

1. Clean Your Mattress Regularly

A clean mattress is the key to healthy sleep. Clean your mattress regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Certain home cleaning supplies such as baking soda and essential oils can help to cleanse your mattress’s fabric, but they may be harmful to certain foam types. Vacuum before you clean to rid your mattress of dust and dirt using the attachment designed for cleaning upholstery. If your pets like to snuggle up in bed, you can count on their hair and fur getting trapped in your linens, so you may want to consider vacuuming more frequently to make sure everyone can sleep soundly.

2. Rotate Every Six Months

After laying in the same spot night after night, your mattress will begin to form to your body. Rotating your mattress every three-to-six months will give it a chance to refresh its structure and provide additional support. By simply flipping the foot end of the bed around to where you lay your head, it will feel like you’ve bought a brand-new mattress.

 

Image Source: Shutterstock – Image Credit: New Africa

 

3. Use a Mattress Protector

Mattress protectors help to keep your bed as clean as possible by limiting damage caused by spills while keeping dust mites, sweat, dander, and pet hair/fur off your mattress. Made from organic cotton, organic mattress protectors are typically hypoallergenic and waterproof. They are helpful sleep aids for people with sensitivities to allergens and chemicals.

4. Support Your Mattress

Not properly supporting your mattress is a recipe for unhealthy sleep and a short lifespan for your bed. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if your mattress is meant to be coupled with a box spring, and if not, what kind of underneath support is required, given your mattress’s type and weight. Insufficient support can not only damage your bed but can also lead to physical complications such as soreness and back pain.

5. Handle Your Mattress with Care When Moving

During the moving process, the bed is often the center of attention. Large and clumsy, mattresses can be frustrating to maneuver from your bedroom to a moving vehicle. Fabric can easily be torn when navigating around corners, up and down stairs, through hallways, and sometimes even out of windows. Always work with a partner when moving your mattress or let the professionals handle it if you’re hiring a moving company. If you’re too hasty about getting it moved, you can easily damage it to the point where you’ll need to make a replacement.

 

For more information on the shelf life of various household items and home appliances, read our blog post on The Life Expectancy of Your Home.

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Must-Haves and Nice-To-Haves Lists

Finding your dream home may not be easy, but there are things you can do to make it easier, like creating a “Must-Haves” list and a “Nice-To-Haves” list. These lists allow serious homebuyers to save time, energy, and ultimately, money as they prepare to buy a home.

A Must-Have List is exactly what it sounds like, a checklist of the details that are non-negotiable for your new home. It’s essential to sit down and think about the things you need in order to feel comfortable there for the next 7-13 years.

Your “Nice-To-Haves” list is a checklist of details that you’d like to have, but you can live without. This list is great for those things that you’ve always dreamed of but may be out of reach for reasons such as your budget or location. This list may include things like fireplaces or gas appliances, a pool, or other non-essential items.

Your “Must-Haves” list focuses your search and helps your agent narrow down which homes are worth your time. Your “Nice-to-Haves” list will help you determine what you’re willing to sacrifice, which will ultimately solidify your must-haves.

These lists can also help manage your expectations regarding price. Take your lists to your real estate agent, along with your pre-approval from a lender, and you’ll be able to work together to determine what is a reasonable ask within your budget and your desired location.

Creating Your “Must-Haves” List

The first step is to think about the essentials. If things like location and number of bedrooms and bathrooms are a priority, then you’ll want to include them in your must-haves. Consider where you live now and use that as a starting point; what do you love and what are you missing? You may need more storage space, or an extra room to work remote, or a larger backyard for the newest member of the family.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you build your “Must-Haves” list:

  • Where do you want to live? (Be as specific as you can.)
  • What do you have now that you can’t live without?
  • What are you missing now that you may need for the next several years?

If you’re struggling to determine what it is you need to have, you can start working on your “Nice-To-Haves” list. This can also help you determine what is essential. For example, it may be nice to have five bedrooms when in reality, a three-bedroom house with a flex space that works for an office or guest room would do the trick.

Creating your “Nice-To-Haves” List

While you’re working on your “Nice-To-Haves” list, you’ll be thinking about the parts of a home that would be great to have but aren’t as important for you. You might also want to take into consideration what is reasonable in your area and if it’s a common amenity.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you build your “Nice-To-Haves” list:

  • What home upgrades are you willing to make?
  • What is something you’d like to do in your house more often?
  • What do you have in your current home that you love, but don’t need?

Searching for Your Next Home

These lists will help guide you and your real estate agent as you search for your next home. During this process you might realize some aspects aren’t as important to you as you thought, and vice versa. Keep your agent in the loop as you update your lists so they can continue to search for the perfect home for you.

Looking for a real estate agent who can help guide you through the home buying process? Connect with an Agent:

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You’ve Decided to Sell Your Home—Now What?

Deciding to sell your home is one of the biggest steps you can make in your journey as a homeowner. You’ve likely gone through every scenario in your head and are eager to make sure that the next step for yourself and your loved ones is the right one. The shift from homeowner to seller can feel like a roller coaster, but with the right preparation, it will go smoothly. Here are a few ways to make this transitional period a little easier.

Rely on Your Support System

It’s common to experience waves of emotion when selling your home. Leaning on your support system—your Windermere agent included—can provide some stability.

Selling a home is an exciting endeavor to be shared with the people around you. Reach out to your friends and family to share the great news and start the conversation about how, where, and when they can help you. Whether it’s helping you pack, getting you out of the house during open houses, lending a hand on moving day, helping you get settled into your new home, or simply offering words of encouragement, involving your community will help make it all feel a little less overwhelming for both you and them. If you’re looking for a place to stay while you sell your home, someone in your network may have the perfect solution.

Ask Questions

There is no such thing as a stupid question, especially when selling your home. Whether you’ve sold your home before or this is your first time, each transaction in unique. Your Windermere Real Estate agent will be equipped to address your every question, so don’t be afraid to pause the conversation to ask a clarifying question if something doesn’t make sense.

For information on every aspect of what it takes to sell your home, visit the Selling page on the Windermere blog.

Create a Timeline of Selling Your Home

From prep work to closing, there are many steps to selling your home. It may be helpful to create a timeline or schedule of events, so you know both what you’ve accomplished and what’s coming next. Here’s an example of what it could look like:

  • Prepare to Sell

    • Move out & clean
    • Stage the home
    • Marketing Photos
    • List the house
    • Open House Weekend
  • Accepting the Offer

    • Review Offers
    • Accept an offer
    • Negotiate with buyer
    • Buyer’s Inspection
  • Moving

    • Pack up
    • Move
    • Update all addresses and bills

 

Expect the Unexpected When Selling Your Home

There’s a fair amount of unpredictability in a transaction as intricate as selling a home, so it’s best to be prepared. A pre-listing inspection will let you know of any major issues with your property that might impact the price of your home and the eventual negotiations your agent will pursue with the buyer’s agent. This lets you make necessary repairs before you go on market, providing you with one last chance to increase your return on investment.

Keep your home secure with a few precautions while you sell. While your house is on the market, you’ll have a lot of foot traffic during open houses and private tours. You can protect your home by adding cameras in and around your home, hiding valuables in a safe, and talking to your agent about taking the appropriate safety precautions.

For more on what you can expect when selling your home, read our blog post on the 10 Costs Associated with Selling Your Home.

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How to Create a Gallery Wall at Home

You don’t have to be an accomplished art collector, historian, or aficionado to curate and hang a well-crafted, visually appealing gallery at home. Hanging a gallery wall will give your collection of photos, drawings, and other works of art a place to be displayed. It can also give life to bland stretches of empty wall space, helping to tie together the spaces in your home. So, before you touch nail to drywall, keep the following information in mind to hang the perfect gallery wall for your home.

How to Create a Gallery Wall at Home

The first step to hanging a gallery wall at home is to assemble your artwork. Once you’ve gathered the artwork you intend to hang, take measurements of each piece to determine their framing dimensions. You’ll have an easier time finding frames for the pieces in your art collection with common dimensions—such as 5” x 7” or 8” x 10.” For artwork with uncommon dimensions, you can either shop around for custom framing or simply buy a larger frame with the appropriate matting to fit the artwork. Applying a mat can also give your pieces an elevated, professional look. Once you’ve taken your measurements, it’s time to shop for supplies.

Gather your gallery wall essentials first: a hammer, nails, hooks, and picture hangers. If you have a large piece of artwork in your collection, be sure to find a hanging apparatus certified to hold its weight. You may find it helpful to use paper and tape to “sketch” your desired layout on the wall before you start hanging, and while you’re hanging, use a level or framing square to determine when your artwork is level. During installation, start in the center of your wall space and work towards the edges. It may also be helpful to hang larger works first and work your way down in size. This way, if you need to make adjustments, you can easily adjust your smaller artworks around a focal point.

Gallery Walls Throughout Your Home

Living Room Gallery Wall

 

Image Source: Shutterstock – Image Credit: Photographee.eu

 

A living room gallery wall may be just the remedy for that large, blank space behind your couch. Because living room walls tend to be one of the larger surface areas in a home, it is a fitting place for large pieces of art and intricate collages of frames. Consider how the proportions of your gallery wall can create balance in your living room.

Home Office Gallery Wall

 

A home office with a gallery wall above the desk.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: CreativaStudio

 

With the recent increase in remote work, home offices are more important now than ever before. Keeping your home office fresh and lively is the key to staying productive and inspired while working from home, and a gallery wall can help to do exactly that. Experiment with different combinations of artwork, photos of friends and family, and other cherished collectibles. 

Bedroom Gallery Wall

 

A bedroom with a gallery wall above the headboard of the bed.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz

 

Hanging a gallery wall on the space above your headboard or on an adjacent wall is a quick and easy way to upgrade your bedroom. Fill the space with inspiring paintings, memorable photos, motivational quotes, or whatever artwork best compliments the color and décor throughout the room.

These are just a few of the ways you can incorporate a gallery wall into your home. Hanging a gallery wall in a children’s playroom can be a fun way to highlight their artwork. Curating a cascading gallery along a staircase between floors will create a flow between the levels in your home. The options are endless. For more information on curating the spaces in your home, read about How to Upgrade Your Dining Room.

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Make Your Move

Moving is stressful, whether it is across town or cross-country.  Once you have closed on your house, the reality of packing, moving, and setting up a new home can become overwhelming. While no list can make a move “stress-free,” planning ahead and staying organized can help make your move a little smoother. Here is our list of tips:

Getting Started

Once you know your prospective move date set up a quick timeline to make sure you can get all the important tasks done and ready in time for your move.

Consider how much stuff you have by doing a home inventory. This can help you decide whether you need to hire movers to help you or if you will be managing your move on your own. Many moving companies supply inventory lists to help you assess the size of truck you will need.  You can use your list as double duty for insurance purposes later.

As soon as you decide how you will be moving, make your reservations. In general, moving companies and truck rental services are over-booked at the beginning and very end of the month.  If you are planning on hiring a moving company, contact a few in your area for a price quote. To find companies ask your real estate agent, family, or friends, and consult online reviews.  It is also a good idea to request a quote and compare companies.

Preparing for Your Move

  • Moving is a great opportunity to get rid of clutter, junk, or outdated items. Set aside some time to sort through your closets, storage spaces, files, drawers, and more.  Go through cluttered areas and organize items by “keepers”, “give-aways” and “garbage”. You will have less to pack and an opportunity to update after you move. Contact a local nonprofit organization for your donations; some will arrange to pick up larger donations like furniture. If you have items of value, eBay or craigslist are good options.
  • Changing your address is one of the more tedious tasks in the moving process. You will need to change your address with the United States Post Office. You can find the online form here: Movers Guide.

You will also need to change your address with each account you have. Here is a list to get your started:

  • Employers
  • Bank(s)
  • Utilities (Electric, Water/Sewage, Oil/Gas)
  • Cable/ Telephone
  • Cell phone service
  • Credit Cards
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Insurance companies (auto, home/renters, health, dental, vision, etc.)
  • Pharmacy
  • Other personal services

Let the Packing Begin

Before you start packing, it may help to visualize where everything you have will go. Perhaps furniture will fit better in a different room? Consider the floor plan of your new home and figure out what will go where. This will aid in packing and labeling as you box everything up.

Use a tool like floorplanner.com to plan where furniture and items will go.

When it comes to packing you have some options. You can work with a service that provides reusable boxes for moving or you can reuse or purchase cardboard boxes.  Make sure you have enough boxes, packing tape, dark markers, and packing paper.

Pack rooms according to your floor plan. Label boxes with contents and room. This will make it easier to unpack your home, knowing where everything is going.

Real Simple magazine has some great tips on packing for your move.

If you have to disassemble any of your furniture, make sure you keep all the parts and directions together. Make sure you set aside your necessities for the day you move. Being tired and unable to take a shower or make your bed can be hard at the end of a long moving day. Here are some ideas of what you may like to pack in your “day-of-move” boxes:

  • Clean linens for the beds, pillows and blankets
  • Clean towels
  • Shower curtain, liner and hooks
  • Toiletries, hand soap, tooth brush, etc.
  • Disposable utensils, cups, napkins, etc
  • Rolls of toilet paper
  • Snacks and water
  • Change of clothes
  • Tools for reassembling furniture, installing hardware, and hanging photos

Making Your Move

  • Come up with a game plan with your family, so everyone has a role and a part to play
  • Once the house is empty, do a once over on your old place to make sure it is clean for the next owners/occupants. Here is a useful checklist for cleaning.

Warming Your New Home

Once you have settled into your new home, warm it up by inviting friends and family over to celebrate. Here is a great infographic about housewarming traditions and symbolism. Announce your move to far-away friends and family through moving announcements to make sure you stay on the holiday card mailing list.

To connect with an experienced Windermere Real Estate agent today, get started here:

 

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Simple Tips to Make Your Move Easier

Your needs as a homeowner change over time, and you need the right home to fit those needs. Accordingly, it’s highly likely that at some point in your future you will experience another moving day. While moving can be challenging, there are resources to make it easier. If you are remaining in your current area, your Windermere agent can continue to be a valuable resource on communities, schools, utilities, transportation, recreational opportunities, and more.

If you are moving out of the area, your agent can help you with a referral to another reputable agent in your new community. Many agents also have relationships with real estate-related service companies in their area whom they can call upon for information regarding title, escrow, mortgages, temporary housing, and moving services. They can also help guide you in your search as you learn more about new communities and relocation services.

You’ve decided to move. Now what?

Once you have reached your decision, it’s time to gather information, start making decisions and get organized. Begin by creating a “move” file to keep track of your estimates, receipts, and other information. If you’re moving for a job, some expenses may be deductible, so you’ll want the paperwork when tax time comes.

If you are moving out of the area, start researching your new community and ask your agent for help in finding a referral agent in your new area. You’ll also want to determine whether you want to rent first or buy immediately. Your new agent should be able to help you with your decision. Once you know where you’re going, you’re also ready to get estimates from moving companies.

Closing one door, opening another

After you have chosen a moving date and either hired a moving company or reserved a rental truck, it’s time to wrap things up in your old neighborhood and start establishing relationships where your new home is located. This is particularly important if you are moving to a new town/city. You may want to ask your current doctors, dentists, etc. if they have any referrals on care providers in your new location. Be sure to check their recommendations on your insurance company’s online provider search list. Once you arrive, you may also want to ask new coworkers, friends or the school nurse for their recommendations.

Contact your children’s school and/or day care and arrange for their records to be sent to their new school district or day care. Call your insurance agent about coverage en route to your new home and also arrange for insurance in your new home. Remember to contact utility companies to disconnect, transfer or end service in your current home and turn on service in your new home.

You’ll want to file a change of address form with the U.S. Postal Service, either online or at your local office. If you don’t know your new address, have them hold your mail at the post office in your new locale. Don’t forget to cancel or transfer magazine and newspaper subscriptions as well.

If you belong to a health club or other association, contact them about ending or transferring your membership. Some clubs require written notice before cancellation. Finally, contact your bank or credit union to transfer or close accounts; if you have a safe-deposit box, don’t forget to clean it out before you leave.

Starting the countdown

With moving day in sight, it’s time to get organized. Here are a few items to check off your list before you start packing:

  • Tie up loose ends. Be sure to send out an email or change of address cards with your new contact information to family, friends, and associates. Return library books and any other borrowed items you may still have.
  • Triage your possessions. Determine what you are taking with you; what you are giving away to friends, family, or a favorite charity; and what is going to the dump or recycling center.  If you have time, you can hold a garage sale or post items on craigslist.org or ebay.com.
  • Clean up. Drain all gas and oil from your mower, other machinery, gas grills, kerosene stoves and lamps, etc., before loading them onto a moving truck. Empty, defrost, and clean your refrigerator at least 24 hours before your move, and prepare other appliances for moving as well.
  • Have your car serviced. This is especially important if you are driving to your new home.

Packing strategies

If you are doing your own packing, start collecting boxes and/or buy them from your movers. It may take a few days to do your packing, so be sure to pack non-essential items first and label them carefully. If you have any valuables, it’s recommended that you take them with you as opposed to packing them. You risk the chance of losing those items if they’re packed away in boxes. It’s also smart to take along a box of essentials, including items such as toilet paper, paper towels, tape, soap, scissors, pens, paper, and your toiletries. That way you won’t have to track these items down once you’ve arrived in your new home.

For more information on how to make your move easier, visit our Moving Tips page here: How can I make moving easier? 

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