How To: Organize Your Garage

Is you garage dirty, cluttered, or even unusable? Can you find the things you need? Do boxes or items occasionally fall off shelves without warning? Are they even on shelves?

Organizing your garage might seem like a big undertaking, but it can really be very simple.

First, plan your space. Decide what you want to use your garage for: storing your car, storing stuff that doesn’t fit in the house, a workshop, a home gym? Pick a purpose first, and build your space accordingly.

Second, sort what’s already there. This is probably the toughest part. Go through everything already in your garage and decide if you really need it. Throw out or donate what’s broken or what you don’t need, want or use anymore.

Group like items together. Put all your tools, clothes, holiday decorations, yard equipment, gardening supplies, weights etc. together in groups. Things will be easier to find if they’re categorized this way.

Find a place for everything. Every item or category should have a “home” in your garage. You can store things in boxes or clear plastic bins, on the walls using pegboard, on shelves, or even hanging from the ceiling.  If an item gets moved, it should always be put back in it’s place. This way, you’ll know exactly where to find it and your garage will stay organized.

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5 Tips for Keeping Your Bathroom Clean

Any room that gets used a lot has a tendency to be messy: This is especially true of the bathroom. Follow these simple tips to keep yours tidy and clean.

1. Keep wipes for the sink in a handy place, and give it a quick swipe once daily.

2. Sort and re-organize your drawers and medicine cabinet twice a year. This way you’ll prevent yourself from holding onto things you don’t need or use, and keep your space organized.

3. Keep excess supplies somewhere else. Only store what you need in the bathroom. Extra toilet paper, makeup, shampoo, etc. can be stored in a closet, the basement, or some other space until it’s needed.

4. Once a week, clean it well. Mop the floors, wipe down the mirrors and hardware, swipe the toilet and the shower with cleaner. If you do it regularly, it won’t be a big task to tackle.

5. As always, give things a home. Everything should have it’s own place in the bathroom. If you can’t find a space for it, ask yourself if you really need it.

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Nifty, Thrifty Home Cleaning Tips

Cleaning your home doesn’t have to be a challenge, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Try some of these nifty (and thrifty!) cleaning tips:

  • Wipe worksurfaces frequently to avoid the necessity of using really strong chemicals.
  • Bedroom: Neutralise odours from a spill on your mattress by dampening the spot and rubbing dry borax into the areas. When dry, vacuum up.
  • Bedroom: A few drops of eucalyptus essential oil added to your laundry will help keep dust mites at bay.
  • Kitchen: Always run cold water, not hot water, into a pan where you’ve cooked scrambled egg – hot cooks it on more.
  • Carpets: To freshen carpets, mix one part bicarbonate of soda and one part laundry starch, and sprinkle the mixture onto the carpet. Leave for 15 minutes and then vacuum off. To clean a muddy spot, sprinkle laundry starch on the damp area. When dry, vacuum off.
  • Rub discolored grouting with an old toothbrush, using a solution of bleach and water, to make it sparkling again.
  • If you have to dust or wash high walls or cupboards, use an old pillowcase over a long-handled brush or mop.
  •  If your kids have put stickers onto mirrors and windows, spray WD-40 onto the surface to get rid of the glue. Eucalyptus oil also works, but it will strip paint so be careful!
  • Give pans that are regularly cleaned in the dishwasher a helping hand by wiping over the non-stick coating with a little cooking oil after washing. This recoats the surface to protect against harsh dishwasher detergents. To remove hard-water deposits, use diluted white vinegar or lemon juice.
  •  Dip a cut lemon in salt and rub to remove rust from hard surfaces.
  • Air fresheners only mask smells, whereas plants, such as peace lilies and spider plants, are effective at absorbing toxic vapours and releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere.
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Handyman Jones Porch Remodel: All-Seasons Room

We had an intensely hot run for a while here in Nebraska, with temperatures in the upper nineties or even in the hundreds and the heat index consistently in the triple digits. Here at Handyman Jones we did our best to stay cool–one of our latest projects has been this porch remodel on Twin Ridge in Omaha, Nebraska. With this mini remodeling project, hopefully it’ll be easier for these customers to keep cool and actually enjoy their summer.

The porch before we started working:
Handyman Jones Porch Conversion construction remodel deck porchThe house was built in the 1950s, and the porch especially needed a little updating. The customers wanted to enclose it and create an all-seasons room. We took care of everything from start to finish, including construction, electrical, painting, siding, flooring and the finishing touches.

Exterior:

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Handyman Jones Porch Conversion Porch remodel construction deck enclose porch

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Interior:

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And finally, the finished product:

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The customers were ecstatic about their remodeled porch/new all-seasons room. Now they’ll be able to escape the crazy Nebraska heat, while still enjoying the sunshine and what’s left of the summertime!

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More quick projects to give your home a face lift

Handyman omaha, home improvement omaha, home remodel omaha, remodeling omaha, remodel omahaWe just love things that are fast and easy with a big impact, don’t you? Following up on our last post, here are a few more super simple updates you can do to give your home a fresh feel, even if you don’t want to do a full home remodel.

  • Put up some new house numbers, in one of thousands of fonts.
  • Add a door knocker to your front door. Pick something classic and regal, or maybe something more modern and funky.
  • Install a new showerhead. A luxurious showering experience can make the whole bathroom feel like a fancy spa.
  • Wallpaper your cabinets. Add beautiful paper to the interior of cabinets for a splash of style every time you open one!
  • Add lightweight plaster ceiling medallions to your rooms–these elegant fixture framers add a touch of elegance.
  • Add a new piece of statement furniture. A unique coffee table or a brightly colored chair add punch to tired spaces.
  • Brighten up old pieces with new paint. Your shabby old wood kitchen chairs would look like a brand new purchase with a coat of yellow paint, and that dresser would look fabulous in white. Add new colors to old pieces for a brand new creation.
What would you add to the list?
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Quick projects to give your home a face lift

We all get tired of our space occasionally, but we can’t always call a contractor to gut the house and remodel to our heart’s desire. Big projects can also be pricey projects, and they can take up precious time and energy. Fortunately, you can give your home a face lift without undertaking a major remodel.

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1. For a fresh look in the kitchen or bathroom, try replacing your hardware.Switch out your shiny silver faucets and cabinet handles for something in a brass or brushed silver, or try something with a little more flash or detail. You’ll be surprised how big a difference a small change like this can make!

2. Update or replace your knick-knacks/decorations. Swapping your grandmother’s ceramic roosters for stone fleur-de-lis or cherub statues can give your kitchen, living room, hallway, etc. a completely different look very quickly.

3. Try a new paint color. A room can look completely different with minimal effort–all it takes is a fresh coat of paint in a fun new color. If you’re used to muted neutrals, try a pop of color. If your rooms are vibrant and loud, try something softer. The color of the walls alone has a huge impact on the look and feel of a room.

Lighting, Handyman, Omaha, Electrician, home remodel, home improvement4. Add new lighting. Replace your old ceiling fan with an elegant chandelier and instantly give your living room a new personality. Put new shades on the lamps you already have. Experiment with different lighting fixtures in your environment–changing the lighting can dramatically change the space.

Keep an eye out for other small projects that have a big impact–you can “remodel” your home in a snap without ever laying eyes on a hammer!

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Weekend project: How to turn a closet into an office or craft room

Between the kids’ rooms, the living room, the laundry room, the dining room and every other room in your house, your home is probably pretty full. Trying to stretch your space to meet your family’s needs can make it hard to find a place for a home office, craft room, or even a desk to pay bills from. Luckily, you don’t need a ton of room to make a space for yourself. In fact, you can create a specialized space in a weekend out of an unused closet.

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Start by cleaning out a little-used closet, and painting the interior of the closet your favorite color.

Your work space can be a card table or desk set in the closet, or you can custom-build your own countertop.

Closet shelves are a no-brainer for craft or file storage–you can also include a filing cabinet or extra storage cubbies in your design. Try hanging baskets from underneath high shelves to store craft or office supplies.

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You can hang bulletin boards, dry erase boards or peg board on the wall to keep documents within easy reach.

Adding fabric around the edge of your table or countertop is both attractive and functional–it helps hide filing cabinets, storage baskets, etc.

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You can even use the closet doors for file storage, bulletin boards, hanging ribbons, cups for pens or other craft/office supplies.

Get creative–in a single weekend you can transform a simple closet into a functional, personalized space for your favorite hobbies or home office needs.

Enjoy! If any of you tackle this project, be sure to stop by to share photos!


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Continue enjoying your flower garden into fall

Handyman omaha, builder omaha, remodel omaha, flower garden, landscaperAs summer winds down, many of us will be sad to watch the gardens we worked so hard on all spring and summer fade away. It’s almost as if our dying flowers and plants are predicting the chilly temperatures, frosts, snow and ice to come. However, there are a few ways you can prolong your enjoyment of life and color even as the temperature begins to dip.

Landscaper omaha, eagle, handyman omaha, handyman servicesChoose hardier plants. More fibrous, woody plants can stand chillier temperatures and even some frost. For example, there is a huge variety of tall grasses available that would look great in fall gardens, and require very little maintenance. You can also plant mums in late summer, which are hardy enough to stand up to chillier temps and can add a lot of color.

Transplant flowers. Move some of your favorite summer flowers into pots and bring them indoors. They’ll be protected from the frost and cold, and you’ll get to enjoy them a bit longer.

Cover plants at night. If you cover plants in the evenings, you can protect them from frost for a bit and help them survive longer into the fall season.

All good things must come to an end eventually, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make them last as long as possible!

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Questions you should ask your real estate agent

It’s a good idea to interview several real estate agents when looking for someone to help you in your home buying or selling process. Make sure you select the right agent by asking the important questions.

  1. Do you work full time? An agent who works full time has his or her finger on the pulse of the market continuously, and make be better in tune to new developments and market conditions.
  2. How long have you been an agent? There’s nothing wrong with choosing a new agent, but more experience will only benefit you.
  3. What is your average list price-to-sales price ratio?  A good listing agent should be able to negotiate sale prices very close to the list prices (the closer to 100% the better), while buyer’s agents should be able to negotiate prices lower than the list prices.
  4. Have you ever had any complaints from your clients? Know what you could be getting yourself into. Be sure to check the answer with the local realty association and state licensing office.
  5. Can you give references? Once you get the names and numbers, be sure to make the calls. Past clients can give you the best picture of the agent’s work.
  6. How can I expect to communicate with you? Does your agent send a weekly email, or call you every day? Be sure you’re on the same page in terms of type and frequency of communication, to avoid frustration later.
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How to choose a real estate agent

Real estate agent, handyman services, handyman omaha, handyman eagle, nebraska, idaho, sell a house, buy a houseIf you’re buying or selling a home, a top-notch real estate agent canbe your biggest asset. Choose the wrong one, and you could wind up regretting it big down the road.

“Real estate has always been a mark of independence and freedom in this country,” says Donald R. Brenner, professor emeritus at American University. “Owning property is very important, and when you deal with someone who is going to help you buy or sell a piece of property, you’d better find someone that knows what they’re doing.”

Don’t embark on your buying or selling journey without an expert on your side. Our basic tips will get you on the road to finding the right agent for your needs:

  1.  Find an agent before you begin looking at homes. People rarely buy the first house they look at, but are often stuck working with that first agent even after walking away from the deal. If you select your agent before you start looking, on the other hand, you’ll know he or she understands your needs and wants and can meet your expectations.
  2. Ask friends and coworkers for referrals. People you know can provide a good starting point, by recommending agents who’ve already proved themselves. Don’t make your decision based only on a recommendation, but use them to gather names.
  3. Choose the agency first, then ask for agent referrals. Choose the firm based on their local reputation (not a national reputation, as with a well-known franchise), and have them tell you who their best agents are.
  4. Choose an agent who handles homes in your price range. Some agents specialize in high-end houses or in low-budget properties. Each of these agents may not be able to do the best job for you if you’re looking for a home in another price range.
  5. Choose an agent who will provide other services. Their help is invaluable when it comes to arranging house inspections, finding a real estate attorney or conducting a study of the property’s value.
  6. Choose an agent you get along with. This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised. It’s important that you be able to work with your agent. Make sure he or she takes the time to explain things you don’t understand, works on your time schedule, and whose personality clicks well with you.
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