Consumer Real Estate News

  • Top 5 Storage Hacks for Your Garage

    25 May 2020

    If you're looking to organize and store items in your garage, then you need to have a plan. The last thing you want is to not have enough room to park your own vehicle in your garage.

    Here are the five most popular storage hacks that’ll allow you to make the most out of your garage:

    Garage Shelving
    One of the easiest ways to store a bunch of items in your garage is by installing shelving. The good news is that shelving systems are easy to assemble. A good shelving organization tip is to put the heaviest items on the bottom. This will lower the center of gravity of the shelf. Also, you'll be able to easily access the heaviest items.

    Storage Bins
    If you want some flexibility, buy several plastic storage bins. You'll be able to put large and small items in the bins, as well as store the containers in various ways. No installation required.

    Ceiling Storage
    If you want to dedicate most of your garage space for your vehicles, you may be pressed for space. However, you can actually store items above your vehicles with the use of ceiling storage racks. These racks are mounted from the ceiling and can hold a number of items. It'll take some expertise to install the ceiling rack, but it will be well worth the time for this garage storage hack.

    If you're looking to store your bicycles or other heavy items, or if you want to organize your tools and lawn care equipment, you can use pegboards to attach the items to your garage wall. First, install the pegboard on the wall. From there, you can add hooks that’ll allow you to hang your items.

    Wall-Mounted Cabinets
    With wall-mounted storage cabinets, you'll be able to secure items of all sizes. You’ll also be able to better organize your items while keeping your garage looking neat and clean. Wall-mounted storage cabinets may require professional installation; however, it will be well worth the investment.

    By using the right garage storage hacks, you’ll be able to properly organize one of your home’s largest spaces. Consider what you need to store before planning your strategy. Most likely, combining two or more storage hacks could allow you to get the best use out of your garage.

    Source: Kara Masterson/RISMedia’s Housecall

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Family Fun with Fudgesicles

    25 May 2020

    (Family Features) Planning snacks you can enjoy with your children is a winning parenting strategy for spending more time together while creating tasty treats.

    Take it a step further with a recipe like these Homemade Fudgesicles, which are an ideal example of an easy treat made with the goodness of real milk kids can help make, giving them an added incentive to enjoy moments together. To help your children reach the recommended 2-3 servings of dairy each day, serve with a glass of milk.

    Find more snack recipes at

    Homemade Fudgesicles
    Recipe courtesy of Milk Means More
    Total time: 10 minutes plus 12 hours chill time
    Servings: 12

    • 3 cups milk
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 12 ice pop sticks
    In a pot over medium heat, heat milk, sugar, cocoa powder, honey and salt, stirring often, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Pour into ice pop molds and insert sticks then freeze until firm, about 12 hours.

    Remove ice pops from molds and place in a freezer-safe bag until ready to eat.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Healthy Eating Tips to Cut Down on Sodium

    25 May 2020

    For most people, there’s no denying that salt is tasty. The sodium-rich ingredient excites our palates and adds flavor to bland food. But too much of a good thing can be bad.

    According to federal stats, nine out of 10 Americans eat more sodium than they need, which can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke. The good news is that cutting down on salt and other high-sodium products can help lower your blood pressure or keep it at a healthy level. Use these tips from to reduce the amount of sodium in your diet:

    Know your sodium limit. Generally, healthy adults and teenagers 14 years old and above need to limit their sodium intake to no more than 2,300 mg a day. Children younger than 14 need no more than 1,500 to 2,200 mg a day, depending on their age. For people with high blood pressure, limiting sodium intake to 1,500 mg a day may be helpful. Make sure to ask your doctor how much sodium is okay for you.

    Shop for low-sodium foods. Believe it or not, most of the sodium we eat doesn’t come from our salt shakers. Sodium is in almost all the processed and prepared foods we buy–even foods that don’t taste salty, such as bread or tortillas. When you’re shopping, limit these high-sodium items: processed meats, poultry and seafood, such as deli meats and sausages; sauces, dressings and condiments; and instant foods, such as flavored rice or noodles.

    Check the label. Use the Nutrition Facts label to check the amount of sodium in foods, and compare different options. Try to choose products with 5 percent Daily Value (DV) or less; a sodium content of 20 percent DV or more is high.

    Make healthy shifts. Swap out foods that are higher in sodium for healthier options. For example, you can snack on unsalted nuts instead of salted pretzels or chips. Buy plenty of fruits and vegetables, but avoid frozen vegetables with added butter or sauce and canned veggies high in sodium.

    Cook more at home. Making your own meals is a great way to eat less sodium, because you’re in control of what goes into your food. Try different herbs and spices, such as ginger or garlic, to flavor your meal instead of salt. Choose condiments that are unsalted or lower in sodium, and if you’re cooking pasta, don’t add salt to the water. When you do eat out, check the menu for any lower-sodium dishes, and ask to get dressings and sauces on the side so you can add only as much as you need.

    Add more potassium to your diet. Replace high-sodium foods with high-potassium foods, which can help lower your blood pressure. Good sources of potassium include potatoes, cantaloupe, bananas, beans, milk and yogurt.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • How to Help Siblings with a Large Age Gap Bond

    22 May 2020

    Many parents are raising children with a large age difference, which presents a series of unique benefits and challenges. Understanding how your kids are feeling, communicating clearly and making them all feel important can help your children form a strong bond.

    Benefits and Challenges of a Large Age Gap
    A wide difference in age can help older siblings learn patience and responsibility and become role models for their younger brothers and sisters. Parents may have more energy to devote to the needs of younger children and may get help from older siblings. An age gap may also mean less financial stress, since several kids won’t be attending daycare or preparing for college at the same time.

    A significant age difference can be challenging because of the vastly different needs of infants and toddlers compared to adolescents. It can be difficult for parents to accommodate the needs of older children, such as helping with homework and providing rides to extracurricular activities, if a younger child may need to eat, sleep or have a diaper changed at any time. Older kids may feel neglected or less important, which may lead to resentment.

    How to Help Your Kids Form Strong Bonds
    Talk to your older children about a younger sibling’s development. Explain that toddlers and elementary schoolers need time to learn to communicate and follow directions. Help older children be patient and understanding, but also allow them to vent if they feel frustrated.

    Encourage your older children to help take care of their younger siblings by assisting with feeding, changing, dressing and babysitting. An older brother or sister can be part of important developmental milestones, such as teaching a younger sibling to walk, talk and read. A young child may look up to an older sibling as a role model, which can give the older child a unique sense of pride.

    Your older kids may enjoy spending time with a younger sibling, but they’ll still need space and opportunities to pursue their own interests. Don’t place so much responsibility and such high expectations on older children that they feel like extra parents and become resentful.

    It may be hard to find fun activities for the whole family. A trip to the beach or an amusement park can offer opportunities for the whole family to spend time together, and older children may be able to enjoy some activities on their own while a younger sibling is eating or napping.

    Be sure to spend one-on-one time with your older kids to make them feel loved and valued. Positive relationships between older children and parents will contribute to a strong overall family bond.

    Make the Most of an Age Gap
    A large age difference offers an opportunity for siblings to form strong lifelong bonds. Help your older children understand the needs and perspective of a younger sibling and become role models, but make sure your older kids also feel free to be themselves and have positive relationships with other family members.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • 4 Steps to Avoid Painting Fails

    22 May 2020

    A fresh coat of paint can give new life to a home. Whether you’re a seller aiming to impress potential homebuyers, or you just want to change things up, painting is an easy and effective way to revamp your home’s look for relatively cheap. That said, a bad paint job that results in uneven edging, stained floors or peeled paint can inadvertently make a home less attractive, making the whole effort counterproductive.

    According to HomeAdvisor, you can avoid common DIY painting problems by taking these four simple steps:

    Step 1: Choose the Right Paint. Most paint falls into two categories: water-based and oil-based. Water-based paint is easy to clean up, resistant to fading and works with different materials. Oil-based paint requires more cleanup and prep time, but works well for specialty jobs like painting wallpaper.

    Accidentally choosing water-based paint over of an oil-based paint—or vice versa—won’t ruin your painting job. But mixing outdoor and indoor paint will negatively affect the outcome of your project. If you’re unsure which paint to use, ask an employee at your local hardware store.

    Step 2: Prep Your Job. Many failed painting projects stem from a lack of preparation. Here’s how to prep like a pro:

    • Lay down drop cloths. Set up drop cloths first. Spills, drips and dust are inevitable during a painting project.
    • Spread your Spackle. Use Spackle or another paste product to fill in any holes or cracks in your wall.
    • Sand the walls. Gently sand your wall before applying any paint or primer. A rough surface will help your paint stick to the wall.
    • Prime the walls. Previously painted surfaces don’t need a primer. If you’re working with a raw or rough surface, such as concrete, wood, plaster or drywall, primer is necessary. After your primer has dried, sand it down before adding your finishing paint.
    • Tape off no-paint zones. Use painter’s tape to cover areas you don’t want to paint, such as trim, outlets and molding. Run a putty knife over your tape to eliminate any air bubbles.
    • Cutting in the corners. Cutting in means painting out several inches from your baseboards, window frames, outlets and door frames. Tackling hard-to-reach areas first will make it easier to paint larger areas later.
    Step 3: Use the Right Tools. Before you begin painting, research the tools you’ll need to complete your project. If you’re painting an exterior, you’ll be covering a bigger area. Larger rollers and paint sprayers will help you cover wider areas in less time. Outdoor painting also requires flat and angled brushes for cutting in and covering tight spaces. For indoor jobs, use flat and angled brushes to cut in tight spaces and smaller rollers to cover walls.

    Step 4: Paint the Right Way. Begin in the middle of your ceiling and move outward, painting from side to side. After your ceiling is dry, cut in around the ceiling line, windows, doors and moldings. Then, use your roller to paint the rest of your walls.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.