Posts by Myriam Gabriel-Pollock

How Cleaning and Organizing Can Benefit Your Mind and Body

by Elizabeth Bacharach
April 7, 2022
from Shape.com

Dusting, disinfecting, and decluttering on a regular basis can boost your mood, increase your focus, and double as low-intensity cardio. Read on to learn the secret to scoring these perks.

There’s nothing quite like coming home (or maybe just closing your laptop) after a long day of work and…cleaning.

Yes, you read that right.

While some people may exercise to destress or turn to meditation when feeling overwhelmed, I channel my inner Monica Geller and get to work dusting, discarding, disinfecting, and reorganizing my apartment. But I don’t need to be in a mental funk to start reorganizing my kitchen drawers with enthusiasm. I’ve actually been very into cleaning and organizing since an embarrassingly young age. Only now as an adult, however, have I realized that it’s actually my favorite form of self-care.

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Cool, Fun Father’s Day Gifts for Every Type of Dad

There are so many awesome types of dads out there, and getting him a Father’s Day gift he’ll love can be a challenge. Whether that special dad in your life is into gadgets, golf, travel, fashion, geekdom, camping, or wine, there is something out there that will light up his face and get him to tell a classic dad joke. We’ve got a list of things we think are pretty cool—you might get him one of these, or just be inspired to shop around some more.

 

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How to Properly Clean and Disinfect Your Bathroom

After the kitchen—which should be the cleanest, most germ-free room in your home—the bathroom should come as a very close second. After all, it’s where you clean yourself up! Because of the presence of steam, unpleasant odors, bacteria, and water, your bathroom is susceptible to invisible, deeper levels of uncleanliness and germs that will take more than just basic spray-and-wipe cleaning. Read on for the lowdown on how to properly clean and disinfect your bathroom.

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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for (Almost) Every Mom

Not gonna lie…I love putting together our gift guides for special occasions and holidays. It gives me great ideas for gift-giving while hoping to inspire our readers with theirs! Here is this year’s list of gift ideas for almost every mom out there. I hope you find something for that special mom in your life.

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Should You Remodel or Move?

from Zillow.com

If you’re asking yourself if you should remodel your home or just move on to a new one, there are probably a few things about your home you don’t love — and that’s no surprise. No home is perfect! But when you’re asking yourself that question, you’re really asking: Can my dislikes be changed with a remodel? Would that make financial sense? Is remodeling worth the hassle?

With low inventory nationwide, more homeowners are renovating their current homes instead of moving. According to Zillow research, 76 percent of Americans surveyed would rather use a set amount of money to upgrade their home to meet their needs rather than use it as a down payment on a new home.

Everyone’s home, budget, real estate market and priorities are different. So, settling the remodel-versus-sell debate always varies, depending on who you ask. But, if you’re trying to make the decision for yourself, follow these five key steps.

1. Determine whether remodeling or moving is more cost-effective

You’ll incur costs no matter which path you decide to take, and what makes sense for you might not make sense for another homeowner. For some homeowners, moving is cheaper. For others, it makes more financial sense to renovate the house they already have. To find out the more affordable option for you, make sure to consider all possible expenses in order to make an accurate side-by-side comparison.

Read the whole article on Zillow.com.

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What to Bring (and What Leave at Home) for Your Vacation Rental

We love staying in hotels when vacationing. With room service, daily housekeeping, and various cool amenities, you get to feel spoiled and luxurious. We have also discovered, when traveling with family or a group of friends, that a vacation rental can be hugely advantageous and fantastic. There’s so much more room to spread out and carve out some privacy, there’s a kitchen and dining room so you don’t have to eat out for every meal, and there’s a washer and dryer so you can pack less clothing. If you’ve got a rental with some cool features, such as a hot tub, swimming pool, game room, or a beach/lake nearby, then it’s even better. Here’s our guide on what to pack and what to leave at home when heading out to your fabulous vacation rental.

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What Homebuyers Want in 2022

by Kendall Little
January 4, 2022
from Time/NextAdvisor

Outdoor space is in. 

That’s the feature most home buyers are looking for these days, according to real estate agents, who say the season’s stay-at-home orders have left millions of people feeling cooped up. 

If you’re going to spend time and money on a home improvement project, it pays to focus on things future buyers might find valuable, in case you choose to sell one day. Projects like refurbishing a patio — or replacing a garage door — can improve your day-to-day experience in your home and boost its value too. 

In fact, many Americans have spent their time at home over the past few months tackling DIY renovations. Quarterly earnings reports from big box home improvement chains Lowe’s and Home Depot both showed year-over-year improvement from 2019, even as overall consumer spending fell by record amounts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the whole article on Time/NextAdvisor.

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How to Prep Your Home for a Remodel

Your designs are finalized, all the paperwork is signed, everything is ordered and arriving on time (fingers crossed), and you’ve got a start date with your contractor. Congratulations, you’ve got the first part of your remodeling project done! Home renovations are a major undertaking and can be quite disruptive to you and your family’s regular lives. With some thoughtful planning and preparations, you can minimize the chaos and the stress by prepping your home for the remodel. 

Before you do anything, don’t forget to take “Before” photos of the areas to be renovated. These will be a wonderful record of how your home looked before you did any work on it. 

1. Clean, Declutter, and Box Up.

Work in the areas that will be renovated, and begin by going through all the items in these spaces. You will need to take everything out, including items inside cabinets and drawers, on shelves, or on the counter. Unused and unneeded things can go right into a “donations” box—anything you won’t want or need after the remodel, get rid of it now. Broken, stained, or expired items should be tossed or recycled.

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Check These Annually: Your Credit Report, Social Security, and Social Media Privacy

There are many things we should all check periodically, but this article will focus on the three biggies you should definitely check on an annual basis. 

1. Check your credit report.

In a world where data breaches and credit fraud are all too common, you need to keep on top of your personal and financial information. One major aspect of that is your credit report, which can help determine things like your mortgage rate, your car loan APR, and your credit card approvals. It’s very important to do an annual credit report check. You can dispute any errors, detect possible credit card fraud or ID theft, and find incomplete or outdated information. To make this even easier, it’s free! 

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three major consumer credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). Since February-April is when most Americans file their taxes, it’s also a good time to check your credit. The official source for your three free credit reports is Annual Credit Report—don’t be fooled by other sites.

Keep in mind that while your credit report is free, your credit score will probably not be. Your credit report is a detailed summary of the information related to your credit activity. Your credit score is a number, typically between 300 and 850, that rates your credit risk. Creditors use this number to determine whether to give you credit, decide the terms they offer, or the interest rate you pay.

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15 Realistic Tips to Lessen Screen Time for You and Your Family

It’s fairly common knowledge now that too much screen time is unhealthy for a wide variety of reasons. According to the Nielsen research group, American adults now spend “more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media.” If we assume 6-7 hours of sleep in a 24 hour day, that leaves just 6-7 hours of time daily with no screen interaction. Yikes! This shows how addicted and reliant we have become to our screens, and that can’t possibly be a good thing. For kids, it’s even more important that screen time be limited. But how to go about it without going cold turkey? We’ve created a list of practical, realistic tips on how to lessen screen time for you and your family.

1.   Keep track of your screen time.

Smartphones let you check your screen time daily and weekly usage, as well as your number of pickups. Not sure how? Here’s how to do so on Apple devices, as well as on Android, which also has a feature called Digital Wellbeing to help you use your phone in a healthier, more balanced manner. You may be shocked to find, for instance, that you are picking up your phone 58 times a day (the average). Don’t forget to track screen time usage for computers, tablets, game consoles, and televisions—these all count as screens.

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