A Breath of Spring for You and Your Home

After a winter spent indoors with the windows shut tight, you and your home need a good breath of fresh air. Use this checklist and tips to create your spring cleaningown spring cleaning routine.

Windows: To make the most of the longer days and brighter sun, wash windows inside and out. Clean on an overcast or cloudy day to prevent the window spray from drying quickly, which causes streaks. Remove window treatments and launder or air out before replacing.

Doors: Refresh the welcome you receive every time you come home. Wash around the front door and touch up with paint, if needed. Clean or replace doormats to prevent dirt from being tracked into the house.

Carpets & floors: Rent a carpet cleaner or hire a professional. Vacuum and air out area rugs, or send them out for professional cleaning. Replace mats inside doors with lighter ones if desired, or new ones if worn out. Wash hardwood, ceramic tile and laminate floors throughout house.

Ceiling care: Grab a ladder and make those lights shine! Remove domes from light fixtures and empty dust, bugs and other mysterious debris, then clean with window cleaner and replace. Wipe dust from light bulbs and ceiling fan blades. Dust cobwebs from corners and areas where the ceiling meets the wall.

Cold weather clothing & bedding: Switch out heavy sweaters and winter coats for spring wear. Launder blankets and comforters that are used year-round to freshen the room. Be sure to wash or professionally clean items before storing for the summer.

Heating and cooling systems: Replace filters. Schedule a routine service call if necessary. Vacuum heating and cooling blowers and registers. Clean chimney or wood burning stove and remove ashes from fireplace. Clean humidifier(s) and store for the summer.

Winter tools: Stash away snow shovels, ice scrapers and rock salt. Store neatly in a garage or a shed in an area that won’t be disturbed throughout the spring and summer to keep items together and organized.

Bring spring inside: Open the windows to air out the house and enjoy the scents of spring. Cut early blooms and place in bright vases and containers around the house.

Congratulations! You’ve survived another long winter and are being rewarded with the much anticipated season of rebirth. Open the door, step outside and take a deep breath of that warm spring air!

Home Makeover: Indoor Edition

Winter may have you spending more time in your home, but that doesn’t mean your Construction Couplehome improvements have to stay dormant. There are still plenty of things you can do inside your home to improve its appearance, keep you busy, and most importantly, beat those winter doldrums. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a fortune in the process.

Here’s a quick list:

Rearrange furniture. One of the most affordable and easiest ways to give your home a new look is to rearrange the furniture. You can rearrange furniture in a single room or shuffle pieces from other rooms in your house. You’ll be surprised at how moving a few pieces of furniture can change the entire feel of a room.

Awaken tired walls. Nothing makes a room look newer than a fresh coat of paint. Painting a room in a brighter color is a great way to brighten up the dark days of winter. Also, consider painting your trim around doorways to freshen the look of your house.

Re-fixture your cabinets. Tired of looking at the same-old kitchen cabinets? Give them a fresh look by changing the handles and fixtures. The right fixtures can make all the difference and will save you the high cost of having to replace your cabinets.

Re-grout tile. Do you have tile in your bathroom or kitchen that looks old and worn? Over time, grout between your tiles can get dirty. For a fresh new look, re-grout your tile with a new color. It’s time consuming work, but inexpensive. Another way to give your bathroom a refresh is to replace worn faucets and fixtures.

Clean your garage. Looking to get more space in your garage? Winter is a great time to get organized, and give yourself more space to work or store items.

Light up your home. See your home in a different light. Literally. Consider purchasing new lamps and lighting fixtures to give your home a brighter, new appearance.

These simple projects are great ways to spruce up your home. After all, if you’re going to spend your winter indoors, you may as well be surrounded by beautiful scenery.

If bigger improvements are in store for your home, Community Bank can help with a loans and lines of credit. Stop in and see us today!

Savings Tips: Home Energy Costs

Save on Home Energy CostsWith the temperatures beginning to dip lower, many of us find ourselves reaching for the “On” switch on our heaters to help combat the cold. Each year, the cold weather months cost Americans thousands of dollars — last year, the Energy Information Administration predicted that consumers that used oil heat would spend an average of $2,544 on heating costs alone, while natural gas users would spend an average of $1,031. Heating your home isn’t cheap, but there are many practical steps that you can take to keep your household energy bill manageable.

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Rent vs. Buying a Home

Home BuyingFeel like with each passing month you’re throwing your money away by renting? But does the idea of pooling a significant amount of your savings into one big investment make you a bit nervous? The rent versus buy debate is one of the biggest, and most difficult, financial decisions you might have to make. We’ve pulled together a few online tools to help you sort through the money matters along with a few other factors to consider in your hunt for housing.

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Personal: How to get organized

file folders for organizationIs searching high and low for your car keys part of your morning ritual? Are you still holding onto the clothes you wore in high school? Whether it’s your basement, garage, car, or even your computer, chances are you can manage to find something in need of a little tidying up. If you’re looking for a little extra motivation, according to NAPO, the National Association of Professional Organizers, organized people have more time and money with less stress and frustration at home and in the office. Who wouldn’t want that?

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Gardening — Grow green, save green and raise some green

Woman plating in the gardenYou’ve probably heard of a Cookie Swap, a favorite holiday tradition across the country. Guests arrive with an abundant supply of their favorite homemade cookies to “swap” with seasonal specialties made by other guests. Everyone leaves with an assortment of holiday goodies and the recipes to go along with them.

Now that it’s “outdoor time” again, why not borrow the Cookie Swap idea and host a Plant Swap? Instead of the holiday desserts, bring plants, seeds, cuttings or bulbs from your garden beds to share, along with used gardening books or tools you no longer need. It’s a great way to save money, learn about new plants, and socialize in the sun with friends.

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