Last Updated on November 15, 2011

When homeowners are looking for decorating styles for bathrooms, they often hit a blank because of the fact that the room has to remain functional. The general mentality is that the bathroom is a place to get cleaned up and ready for the day, and that because of this, it tends to be a bit of a loose end when it comes to design. Granted, you cannot expect your bathroom to be as stylized as the rest of your house because of space and function limitations, but there are a few stylistic trends that you can implement to make your bathroom feel like part of your home instead of a functional dead space. One of the biggest bathroom design trends right now is to have a minimalist feel that extends into your bathroom.

Minimalist bathrooms

A style that is very popular with designers, but one that is normally quite difficult to achieve because of the limited space within your bathroom. The minimalist philosophy is one that requires clever storage and neutral tones – the overall effect is one of simple tranquillity. This is a great atmosphere to have in your bathroom, as you are trying to create a relaxing, comforting space.


The first tip is your colour scheme. Go for something neutral and modern – gun-metal grey, black, and creamy tones can work well. Having one colour can create a sense of calm, and if you choose the right tone you can open the space up. Look to design magazines for a suitable palette.

Create Strong Lines

Next, you need to invest in some great bathroom pieces. An open glass shower with a chrome showerhead can do the trick. Minimalism limits the amount of stuff in your bathroom, so spend the money and time looking for something understated, subtle and quality. Minimalism often incorporates strong structuralist influences, so break the monochrome on your walls with a sharp, strong chrome line.

Storage solutions

The next piece of design advice for a minimalist bathroom is that you need great, simple storage. If you are building a room from scratch then you can investigate options for hidden storage. However, if you are working on an existing room keep the neutral colour scheme and look for clever vertical storage – a boxed floating shelf may work here. Keep the lines strong, and think creatively – exercise restraint and keep it simple.

This guest post was written by freelance writer Victoria. She is current learning about online website builder.

Last Updated on November 15, 2011

The bathroom has always been quite a difficult space to decorate, purely because of what it is actually there for. People traditionally took quite a conservative approach to the design elements within bathrooms, which means that they ended up with a room that felt like a guest house. There was also the idea to make the bathroom as luxurious as possible to try and cover up its functions, but this just ended up in sickeningly ornate, busy rooms that seemed to fit in the Roman Empire – you know the type of bathroom, where every open space is covered in a trinket or splash of colour. It seems that the world of artistic design and functional bathrooms could never again meet, but with the return of simple decorating ideas, you can find a balance that will please all of your guests, and encourage you to take the step that your bathroom might need. Here are a few design trends that you could bring in to your bathroom to get the effect that you want.


Over the last five years wallpaper has come back into the world of design in a big way. Gone are the days of hideous, flat prints – you can now get great customized wallpapers that are bathroom friendly. You now have the choice to create texture, use strips, print out blown up images or mix and match to create an interesting and artistic effect. I suggest that you consult a professional if this sounds good to you. You will need to get the right kind of wallpaper for the wet conditions, and professional installation of artistic wallpaper is a must. The great thing is that you can literally create any atmosphere you want, so consider a fun portrait of an elephant spraying water (if you have children), a calming forest, or an old school newspaper print for interest.


I saw a bathroom the other day that absolutely blew me away. One of the walls was covered in stylishly framed photographs of the friends and family of the couple that own the home. At first I thought it was some kind of wall of shame, but in actual fact the photos created a sense of fun. The possibility of distraction is also a useful tool if your bathroom is not the biggest. Try adding one or two tasteful pieces to create interest and add a personal twist.

This guest post was written by freelance writer Victoria.

Last Updated on November 14, 2011

With gas prices rising and fears of natural resources running out, there is more pressure on companies to go green than ever. Many people believe a company can make these changes overnight, but the truth is that it isn’t as easy as we all think. It is extremely difficult for companies to change their manufacturing processes and business model, especially considering the long term capital investments that have been made. If feasible at all, these changes can take years to implement and require large capital investments that the company might not have. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t others ways for a company to reduce their carbon footprint. There are several smaller steps a company of any size can take to reduce their carbon footprint that are cost effective and have short implementation times. Here are three small programs that any company in any industry can implement to minimize their impact on the environment:

Use recycled paper products- Paper production accounts for 35% of trees cleared. Although a devastating statistic, this should be a call to action to switch to recycled paper products to save trees. While recycled paper products are slightly more expensive, the environmental benefits of saving the trees far outweigh the small price increase. Almost every paper product has a recycled form available, including paper towels, toilet paper, and boxes. The positive PR your company can generate is an added benefit of switching to recycled products; who doesn’t like an eco-friendly company?

Use mugs instead of paper cups- Over 6.5 million trees were cut down to make paper cups in 2006. This resulted in 253 million pounds of waste! Buying mugs for each employee and eliminating paper cups will be more cost effective in the long run, since there will no longer be a need for purchasing paper cups for coffee machines and water fountains.

Offer an incentive to carpool- This is a win-win situation for employers and employees! The EPA states that employers can save up to $2000 a year in parking space costs and maintenance by offering a carpooling program with big incentives for those that carpool. The EPA referenced a case study that was conducted by Cornell University where the campus started a carpooling program for employees and gave each a bonus for carpooling. The study estimates that this program helped reduce 10 million commuter miles each year. This has many benefits to air quality and also in reducing traffic congestions. On top of the environmental benefits, they estimate that Cornell saved $36 million dollars over 10 years with their carpooling program. Employees not only received extra money in the form of bonuses, but they save a substantial amount of money by splitting gas costs, tolls, and wear and tear on vehicles!

There is no reason that a company of any size and in any industry can’t implement these programs to reduce their carbon footprint. While the initial costs might have a small impact on the bottom line, the environmental benefits and long term savings far outweigh this minimal start-up cost. This shows that there really isn’t an excuses for any company, big or small, to take a few steps to reduce their impact on the environment.

Bio:  Adam Bruk is a marketing strategist for an online sunglasses company. When he isn’t busy analyzing fashion trends, he enjoys reading marketing case studies, golfing, and traveling.

Last Updated on November 14, 2011

Here is an inspiring collection of bathrooms from interior designers in the Greater Toronto Area!

A designer created this small bathroom at a client’s request. The client wanted to have a true European feeling in their bathroom. The design uses porcelain tiles to mimic cobblestone streets and sleek custom designed cabinetry takes advantage of this small space.

The contemporary bathroom was created in Port Credit, Ontario. The sleek lines, walk-in shower give a spacious feel to what could have been easily a cramped bathroom.

Port Credit Townhome contemporary bathroom

If you have a larger bathroom and want luxury in your space then you might like this Toronto bathroom design. This lavish luxury kitchen has under mount sinks in a granite counter top, a Neptune Zen 3666 modern whirlpool/air tub and a walk in shower with its own granite bench and rain shower.

Lavish Luxury contemporary bathroom

This lovely Port Credit modern bathroom has a wonderful spa like feeling. I love the small tile details and the blue tile backsplash!

Port Credit Townhome modern bathroom

Whoever said that a small bathroom can’t be sizeable? This Waterloo black and white bathroom was has mirrored glass doors create the illusion of space and the Cayen L/R corner tub maximizes the use of every corner in this bathroom. Not to mention the gorgeous light fixture!

b-w Bathroom eclectic bathroom

This Toronto master ensuite bathroom was designed with soothing turquoise walls and white flooring. The overall effect creates a wonder spa like feeling.

Master Ensuite Bathroom - Divine Homes contemporary bathroom

Candice Olson created this cute modern contemporary bathroom. Light wood custom cabinets create a feeling of lightness to this room and the Eureka pendants add an airy feeling to this small bathroom.

Candice Olson Bathroom 1 contemporary bathroom

What is your dream bathroom design?

About the author:

Marika is a writer for the Home Improvement Directory and create blogs and articles on home improvement, décor and design.

Last Updated on November 12, 2011

There are thousands upon thousands of different forms of life on the planet Earth. Despite the sheer number of organisms, only one species is advanced enough to dramatically reshape the world around it to its needs – that would be humans. Humans are exceptionally good at utilizing the natural resources of the planet; however, one thing that they aren’t doing so well these days is practicing sustainability. Sustainability refers to the idea of making sure that we don’t use up natural resources faster than the planet can replenish them. In centuries past, sustainability wasn’t as major as an issue since there weren’t as many humans on the planet, and thus, the amount of natural resources they used and the rate they used them at did not overwhelm Mother Nature’s ability to replenish them. However, today, huge numbers of people are using up too many resources too quickly, and it has created a serious problem.

If you are concerned about sustainability, you can do something about it, starting right in your own backyard. Sustainable gardening is a type of gardening that allows you to meet your own gardening needs, while at the same time not jeopardizing the needs of future generations. For example, the fertilizer you are using may do wonders for your plants, but run-off from fertilizers into bodies of water causes major water pollution and problems for the next generation of humans.

Another definition of sustainable gardening refers to the idea of being able to garden indefinitely without external input. For example, a sustainable gardener should make their own compost out of discarded food and other waste (internal input) instead of spending money on synthetic fertilizer produced in another country and then shipped to the local gardening store (external input).

One important sustainability practice is limiting the amount of water used in your garden. Although there’s plenty of water on the planet, humans can only access a small percentage of it in the form of potable freshwater; in fact, a great deal of the world is suffering from lack of potable water, including first-world countries the likes of Australia. Thus, a sustainable gardener will make the effort to reduce water consumption and allow that water to be used for more important purposes. Some excellent ways to conserve water include looking into planting drought-tolerant plants, mulching uncovered soil to promote water retention, grouping plants together that have similar water needs, and watering either by hand or by using an irrigation method instead of wasteful sprinklers. Lawns require huge amounts of water to thrive, so consider eliminating or reducing your lawn. If you can’t bring yourself to part with your grass, then at least consider letting your lawn go dormant during the summer because your lawn requires much more water in the heat than it does in the cooler parts of the year. Be diligent about weeding, because weeds just love drinking up all the water that you intended to go to your plants.

Another important sustainable gardening practice has to do with pesticides. Instead of using pesticides, which can get into the water and cause water pollution, consider using non-toxic or less toxic methods. For example, to rid your plants of mites and scale, try horticultural oil. Many insects can be taken care of with the SAFER brand of soap. Slugs can be removed by hand, and Bt will take care of caterpillars, beetles and mosquitoes. Look into planting pest-resistant plants to cut down on bug problems, and even if you end up having to use pesticide, instead of just dousing the entire garden, only take action once you’ve confirmed that there is a problem, and try to limit treatment to the affected area only.

When she’s not puttering around in her garden, Jenna Pacht works as an electrologist who specializes in Denver permanent hair removal.

Last Updated on November 11, 2011

Your bedroom is your own personal space in the world, where you can retire after a tiring day, block the outside world and enjoy some moments of pure tranquility. This where you can relax, ponder and enjoy the comfort. Hence, your personal space should replicate your personality and this should exude from all parts of the bedroom. If you are planning to renovate a bedroom or design a new one, you would require a set of bedroom furniture that will go well with your interiors, set the right atmosphere and give you the right contentment and coziness.

When buying bedroom furniture sets, you would need to take several things into account. The space is undoubtedly the most important factor here. If your room is spacious then you must use the space wisely to lend a stylish décor to your home, while at the same time using the right furniture sets for each corner of the room. Alternatively, if you like in flat or apartment then you should buy bedroom furniture sets in way to not make your home look over crowded.

There are many things that make a bedroom complete and when shopping for these things, you may consider making a list so that you don’t miss out on anything. When purchasing décor and furnishing items, pay attention to the mood of your room and create it using the right tone and colors. Some of the main items are:

Buying a bed:

The bed is the most important part of a bedroom and you buy it once, so paying attention to the details is essential. You can start by considering the various factors like your budget, space, materials and colors. Think about what you require before opting for a bed. Do you just sleep in the bed or tend to work in bed. Those who tend to read or work in bed can opt for the bed with a headboard for additional comfort. If you are looking for a simple bed that you can sleep in then you can consider buying a platform bed.

The material also matters while choosing a bed. If you like the traditional look then you can go with the old world styled wooden beds. For more contemporary settings, you can try out the metallic beds that are lightweight and affordable too. If you have a large sized bedroom then you can check out the King or Queen sized beds. You can also add a canopy to give it a more romantic feel.

Buying a Mattress:

Your personal style and preference must be taken into account when buying mattresses. Whether you like your mattress hard or soft, you can get them easily online. You can also choose them based on your sleeping patterns. There are special mattresses available for those who are a side sleeper, back sleeper or stomach sleeper. You can check out the reputed online dealers to find just the right one to suit your needs.

Buying a wardrobe:

A wardrobe is an important part of the bedroom furniture. Whether you have a small or big bedroom, you would require a wardrobe with lots of storage space to keep your clothes. However, when buying a wardrobe, you must take care of the design sensibility to ensure that it fits your bedroom perfectly and looks good too. You can match the material and tone with the bed to complement the interiors and enhance the look. If you look online, you will a variety of wardrobes designed in a way to suit the large and small rooms.

Buying a dresser:

When buying a dresser, you must consider the amount of storage space that you require. You can buy a dresser matching the bed to create an attractive interior. You must choose mirrors that perfectly complement the dresser and closet. If you want to create a dramatic look on the walls then consider buying a decorative mirror to hang on the walls. If you live in a box like apartment then a simple dressers with more drawers to store your stuff and save space would be an ideal choice.

Bedroom accessories:

When buying bedroom furniture, there are some additional items that you may consider buying, such as a side table to keep your table lamp. This comes really handy if you have the habit of reading at night. A side table with drawers can also hold a lot of important things like medicines, books, water jug, glass etc. So, what are you waiting for? Start looking online to find the perfect bedroom furniture set for your dream home.

This is a guest post by Nadav Snir from

Last Updated on November 11, 2011

Are you thinking of renovating your home and adding more life to it? Most of the times, people commit the mistake of refurbishing the entire home but neglecting the bathroom. It must be remembered that the bathroom is an important part of the home where you spend some time with yourself, cleaning, washing and de-stressing yourself, hence it needs as much attention as your living room or bedroom. You can make your bathroom look more stylish and attractive by adding bathroom cabinets to it.

When looking for bathroom cabinets, you will come across a wide range of options to choose from. However, you must take several factors into consideration, such as your budget, bathroom interiors, space available and so on. Choosing the material is also a daunting task because you must ensure that it suits your home and looks good too. Some of the options available are:

  • Wooden bathroom cabinets
  • Black bathroom cabinets
  • Antique bathroom cabinets
  • Modern bathroom cabinets

Wooden bathroom cabinets:

Furniture items made from wood can greatly complement your home and enhance the interior décor. You can choose from a range of different colors and designs available. Whether you are looking for a light or dark wood finish, you will find them all. The lighter ones would be a great option if you have less space in the bathroom as it will help the area look less crowded.

You can choose the shades depending on the size of the room and space available. You may prefer to go with a middle range color as the décor of the average sized rooms can be enhanced with this tone. You must remember to avoid darker colors for small rooms. Though they look elegant and stylish, they can lend a very closed and crowded look to the room.

The wooden bathroom cabinets must be taken well care of to ensure that they stay good for years to come. If they are kept in a damp area then you must ensure that the wood is treated well to avoid any excessive water. The material is known to split and warp in the presence of moisture.

Black bathroom cabinets:

This is a trend that is fast becoming popular. The smart and stylish color tends an exciting appeal to it. Black is beautiful and it gives you endless possibilities to decorate and change the décor of your bathroom. Unlike the neutral and white colors, black has a richness and distinction to it. The appealing furniture adds beauty and style to your bathroom. Almost everything complements black and looks good with it, so you can let your imagination go wild and create you own bold style statement.

When choosing bathroom furnishings in black color, you must take into account the space available. The presence of black furniture can make your room look smaller. However, if you have enough space then using this bold color can be the right solution for you. Gone are those days when the bathrooms where a neglected part of the house. With modern designs and attractive colors, you can change the entire decor of your home and add more beauty to it.

Antique bathroom cabinets:

If you would like to add the old world charm to your bathroom, then consider buying any of the antique bathroom cabinets. The antique style furniture and cabinets will add a unique style to the décor, enhancing the entire personality of the area. If you look online, you will find a variety of designs to choose from. You can check out the antique themes with modern construction. However, you must consider the size of your bathroom and vanity needs before buying the furniture.

Modern Bathroom Cabinets:

The contemporary styles and designs are becoming much popular these days. You can redesign your bathroom by adding modern bathroom cabinets and vanities to add more contemporariness to your interior décor. There are some really trendy designs and styles to choose from. You must consider the material and its compatibility when used in your bathroom. While refurbishing your washroom, the idea here is not just to add cabinets and vanities to it, but buy such products that will complement the entire look and add aesthetic appeal to this corner of your home.

When renovating your bathroom or designing a new one, take some time to weigh your options and fining the suitable products available. If you look online, you will find a wide variety of products to choose from. You can check out the coupons and promotional codes available for bathroom cabinets, to avail more discounts on every purchase.

Are you planning to refurbish your bathroom? You can buy stylish and affordable bathroom cabinets and vanities online.

This is a guest post by Nadav Snir from

Last Updated on November 10, 2011

Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of creating a harmonious, balanced environment. It is believed that with Feng Shui, you can maximize the positive energy in your home, and promote prosperity and good health. It’s not just some trendy Hollywood craze; it’s a very practical and compelling way to design your home. If you are interested in Feng Shui, there are some simple and easy ways to start. You don’t have to overhaul your entire house, just start by focusing on the design of one room at a time.


One of the most important aspects of Feng Shui is that you don’t have too much stuff. Eliminating clutter is an easy way to achieve positive energy in your home. Too much stuff can create stress, but an environment with a minimal amount of stuff is more peaceful. Start by getting rid of the things you don’t need, including seldom-used furniture.

Fresh Air

Stale air can be bad for your health and your Feng Shui. Open your windows whenever possible to allow fresh air to flow freely through you home.

Live Plants

Keeping a few live plants in your home adds to the life force of your environment. Plants can be calming and beautiful, and they help purify the air.


Japanese Garden

Water is one of the most important things in life. It keeps living things alive, and it is an ancient symbol of prosperity. Consider buying a small fountain for your home. The continuously moving water will bring peace and calm to a room.


It is well-known that adding a mirror to a room will help open it up and appear larger. It will also bring in light from other areas of your house. A mirror will instantly brighten up your space and increase the positive energy in it.


Color is very important in Feng Shui, and you can consider the meanings of different shades when choosing colors for the interior of your home. Green is a color for improving health and family life. Blue is for prosperity and good career growth. Yellow signifies happiness and joy and is often used in the kitchen. White is a good color for inspiring creativity, especially good in an artist’s studio, for example. In your bedroom, choose a color that is a skin tone, such as a shade of white or brown, to promote healthy sleep and rest.


When you are selecting artwork or photographs for your home, be mindful of what you choose. You’ll want to select images that reflect the type of environment you want your home to be. Don’t post paintings of people who are sad, for example, or images of destruction. Hang only happy and comforting artwork that reflects the hope you have for your home and family.

If you are interested in Feng Shui, you can delve deeper. Many elements of good Feng Shui, for example, are based on the directions of the compass or the time you were born. But for anyone who just wants to promote the positive energy in their home, the guidelines listed above are easy ways to incorporate Feng Shui into your design elements.

Terry Ford delivers superior content across the web with a focus in topical and grammatical excellence. She leads the writing team at Grammarly, the most powerful grammarchecker on the Web.

Last Updated on November 10, 2011

With all of the stressful things that we have to deal with on a daily basis, nothing can be better than coming home to a calm peaceful setting to put your mind at ease. While some people live in a chaotic household with children and others who live on their own naturally seem to have a quiet home, there’s more to a peaceful environment than just silence.

Consider a quiet room that’s in complete disarray. For most, sitting in that room will not induce a peaceful state but rather increase anxiety.  In order to create your own personal sanctuary at home, consider some of the following tips the next time you want to get away from it all:

Keep it Tidy

The very first thing to do in a home is to get everything tidy and organized. It may seem like a hassle and even increase stress to clean it, but the end result will be a clean environment where everything belongs in its rightful place. Get organized with shelving units, decorative boxes, baskets and anything else that will help keep things properly arranged.

Coming home to less chaotic surroundings will immediately put you at ease and allow you to unwind for a quiet night in.

Natural and Artificial Lighting

Lighting is very important to affect your mood. Natural light is very healthy and calming in a home, which is why skylights and large windows are very popular for many homes and commercial buildings. Not only does it help save money on electric bills but it also adds a great feel to a space.

Artificial lighting also greatly affects how someone feels and functions in a space. In order to encourage calm and relaxation, choose warm tones for lighting since cool tones generally cause a space to feel sterile and promotes alertness. Choose indoors lighting with yellow or rose tinted bulbs for a warm and inviting environment.

Bring Nature Indoors

Elements from the natural world are always highly regarded in every culture for peace and tranquility. It has been proven that introducing a variety of plants and trees into a space will immediately help create a clean and serene atmosphere that calms people down.

Regardless of the size of a room, there are many different plants and trees that can grow well in virtually any kind of conditions, whether it’s dry, moist, dark or bright, it’s just a matter of choosing the best ones for the space you have. Plants are also an excellent source for cleaning the air in a home, which is a healthy solution all year round.

The Power of Water

Finally, as a finally addition to create a peaceful atmosphere in a home, it’s recommended to have some kind of water feature, whether it’s an indoor fountain, a bowl or water or a water garden in a container. Introducing features that have running water like a small waterfall or fountain will instantly create a peaceful spa like environment since the sound of running water is one of the top sounds for putting the mind at peace.  Water indoors is also a healthy choice to add moisture in the air, which helps encourage better breathing and also help plants thrive indoors.

Stress and anxiety are the most common cause for many physical ailments and decrease the ability to properly concentrate on the tasks at hand. By following some of the tips for creating a peaceful indoor environment, you will be able to calm the body and mind, which will translate into a better lifestyle and overall health.

Miho enjoys writing about creative people in the world, life in Tokyo, eco tips and her pursuit of a more positive lifestyle. She regularly provides eco tips and how-to projects through her blog at

Last Updated on November 10, 2011

These days there is so much choice in bathroom suites, bathroom vanities and the general look of the room, that your bathroom style can be as individual as you like. Even the smallest bathroom can be personalised with a bit of ingenuity. Most people will tell you that you shouldn’t have strong colours in a small bathroom, but if you have mirrored surfaces on vanities and cupboard doors they will give the illusion of space.

If your existing bath and wash basin are showing signs of wear then you may want to think about resurfacing and any other bath repairs. While some people prefer the size and shape of a hotel style bath, there are others who crave for a majestic bath with claw feet. Warm up a tiled floor in your bathroom with a bright rug as this looks fantastic with a large, centrally placed bath.

Keep your shower cabinet looking good and make sure you have any shower repairs undertaken as soon as you notice a problem. No matter how great your shower looks from the outside, a crack in the tray will soon spoil your style.

Don’t Suffer the Wash Basin Blues

A scratched and cracked wash basin will spoil the whole look of your bathroom. Don’t run the risk of having a leaking basin in your bathroom, get it repaired and resurfaced before any real problems occur. An open plan style, ensuite bathroom, with a centrally placed bath and twin sinks against one wall makes the most of your available space.

The style and state of repair of your wash basin can make or break your bathroom style. In a small bathroom a corner fitted basin may be the best choice, while a bigger bathroom may demand a basin with a full vanity underneath. Veneers have been a popular choice in many kitchens for a good number of years and more recently these are being introduced into bathrooms.

Which Loo is for You?

You may like the look of a small, compact toilet, but some of these are also very low and may be uncomfortable for some people to sit on. When you are choosing a loo, you need to make sure that it fits well with your chosen bath and basin style

If you have chosen an oblong, almost butler style sink for your bathroom, then you may want to consider an angular loo with a deep, square bowl. Black bath surrounds are now back in style and you may want to match this with a similarly styled loo.

Short on Storage Space?

If your bathroom is short on space for storing spare toiletries and extra towels, then small wash basins fitted into a double vanity will give you plenty of room underneath. It’s possible to get some good quality stacking storage units in a variety of materials and colours to suit most bathroom styles.

Once you’ve settled on the bathroom style that’s right for you, regular maintenance checks will save you money in the long run. Get bath repairs done on damaged surfaces as soon as you spot a problem and your bath will look as good as new.

This post was written by James Harper on behalf of Hometech who provide bath repairs and shower repairs. James writes on subjects relating to home improvements.

Last Updated on November 9, 2011

Now that fall has arrived in full force and temperatures are dropping all over the country, it is a good time to think about winterizing your home for the upcoming season. The things you do now will help your home remain in top shape through a period of harsh conditions and bad weather. This is especially important for people who live in the coldest regions, but everyone can benefit from doing at least a few things to prepare their home for winter. Here are some things to do to winterize your home this year.


If it hasn’t been done in a while, have a chimney sweep clean it and remove soot. Place a screen at the top of your chimney to keep out animals. Make sure that the fireplace damper opens and closes properly, and keep it closed when the fireplace is not in use to keep out cold air. Inspect the mortar for disrepair. Stock up on firewood, and store it in a dry place that is not right along the outside of your home.


Have a professional check your furnace and clean the ducts. Buy filters now and mark your calendar to remember to change them monthly. Remove any items that could catch on fire from the outside of the furnace. If your home is heated by a hot water radiator, open the valves until water appears, then close them, to bleed them out.

Weather Equipment

Remove gas from your lawnmowers. Check that your snow blowers are tuned up and working properly. Make sure that you have snow shovels and rakes that work well and aren’t too worn. Stock up on bags of ice for melting snow now.


2009-03-03 Frozen Pipe

Be prepared to prevent your plumbing from freezing. Make sure you know where your water main is in case you need to shut it off. Drain your garden hoses. Insulate any exposed pipes or portions that run in unheated areas. Turn off the shut-off valve in your air conditioner. Also, if you aren’t in your home for an extended period of time like for vacation, don’t turn your heat off completely. Leave it on to at least 55 degrees.

Windows and Doors

Snow window

To prevent cold air from coming in your home, weatherstrip your doors and caulk your windows. Replace any cracked glass. Take out your summer screens, and install any storm windows.

Roof and Gutters

Check the condition of your roof, and replace any broken or worn shingles or tiles. Clean out your gutters, and use a hose to flush them completely of dirt and rubbish. Consider putting extra insulation in your attic.


Properly store and cover your patio furniture, grills, potted plants, and the like. Seal your driveway and wood or brick patios and decks. Make sure that your trees are trimmed and limbs are not in danger of falling onto power lines or your roof.

In Case of Emergency

Make sure that you are also prepared in the event of an emergency. Check your supplies and keep on hand bottled water, nonperishable food, pet food or baby formula if necessary, blankets, flashlights, batteries, and a first aid kit. Make sure that your smoke detectors are working properly.

Terry Ford lives in the Pacific Northwest and writes for Grammarly, the most accurate grammar checker on the web.

Last Updated on November 9, 2011

You spend a lot of money on your large home appliances, so you want to keep them working their best. If you know how to treat your appliances well and maintain them, you can avoid costly repairs or having to replace them altogether. Keep them in good shape and they will live a long life of good service to you. Here are some tips for preserving your appliances.

Washer and Dryer
To keep your clothes in good shape, it’s important that your washer and dryer work well. One of the top reasons that washers and dryers go into disrepair is that they aren’t level, and this causes parts to wear unevenly, so make sure they are sitting level. Make sure that the hoses and ducts in the appliances are cleaned and in good condition. Clean your ducts out at least every six months. Also, replace your hoses every five years. Make sure your vent tube is connected properly, and shake the lint out every so often. Doing these things will also help your appliances use less energy. It is very important to clean the lint out of your dryer filter and hoses regularly.

For your washer, don’t use too much detergent. Half or one-quarter of the recommended amount is usually plenty, or consider watering it down. This will help prevent a build-up of detergent residue that can destroy your washer. Also, run a maintenance wash about once a month, or more if you usually only use your cold setting. To do this, run your washer, with nothing in it, on the hottest setting possible. If you have lime or bacteria build-up, add some soda crystals or lime scale remover to the drawer and drum. Also, wipe down your washer after each wash and leave the door open so it can dry properly.

To keep your dishes clean, make sure your dishwasher itself is cleaned properly. Check the holes in the spinning arms for build-up, and wipe the edges and bottom of the dishwasher doors where water doesn’t reach to remove dirt and left-behind food. Every so often, unplug your washer and thoroughly clean the bottom of it and the drain, using a screwdriver to remove and the reattach it. To prevent a lot of this build-up in the first place, make sure you rinse all your dishes free of large food particles before placing them in the dishwasher.

You will also want to run maintenance washes every month or so. Run your dishwasher on a very hot setting with a cup of vinegar. Do this after you have cleaned out as many food particles as possible by hand. If your dishwasher accumulates mold, leave the door open after each cycle so it can air dry.

To keep your food well-preserved, take the time to maintain your fridge. Every three months, clean the condenser coils so your fridge uses less energy and lasts longer. Simply vacuum or sweep away the dust. Also clean the drain hole or drip pan to remove food particles so your fridge will continue removing condensation properly. Make sure your fridge door shuts completely so you aren’t wasting any energy or letting cool air escape. To do this, check that your gaskets aren’t damaged and that your fridge is sitting level. Also, change the water filter every six months.

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