Carrie Reynolds' Blog
If you recently moved to a new town or city, you might be feeling a little lost when it comes to finding your place in the community. In a time when many of us gather digitally rather than in-person, it can be particularly difficult to find ways to get to know your neighbors and become involved in local affairs.
In this article, we’ll talk about some ways you can discover and engage yourself in your local community.
Even if you’re interested in meeting your townsfolk in person, the internet is still a good place to start. You can use Facebook and MeetUp to find local groups and events. Trying looking up groups for things you’re interested in, such as a hiking or cycling meetup, a book club, or knitting group.
While you’re online, see if you can find your town’s website, including sites for the local library, museums, or historical societies. All of these sites probably have mailing lists or notification systems you can join to receive alerts for upcoming events and activities.
If you’d rather spontaneously meet some people in your area, check out some of the popular bars, cafes, and restaurants on Yelp to see where people like to hang out.
Get a library card
Public libraries are an amazing service that is offered free-of-charge. Where else can you go to get free books, movies, music, and games?
On top of that, libraries also tend to offer passes to local museums, another great way to meet people and learn about the area you moved to. Be sure to stay in the loop with upcoming events at the library, as they often play host to interesting presentations, classes, and meetings.
Classes offered through your local library are often free or highly affordable alternatives to those you might take at a private school or local college. Man libraries now even host yoga classes and “paint nights” so expect to find a lot more than books and readings on their calendar of events.
Start something new
If your town doesn’t have something that you’re interested in, why not start it yourself? One rising service in urban and suburban communities across the country is the community garden.
Community gardens are owned and operated by members of the community. You can rent a space in the garden or join up with others and share space.
A community garden is a great way to get outside, enjoy fresh produce, save money at the grocery store, and meet your neighbors at the same time.
A good way to bring up ideas like this is to attend your town meetings. You don’t want to seem too overbearing or industrious, so try to just sit-in on a meeting or two before bringing up any new ideas.
Say “hello” to the neighbors
One of the oldest and easiest ways to learn about your new neighborhood is to simply stop and talk with the people in your neighborhood. Aside from making friends, getting to know your neighbors can be beneficial. Neighbors watch out for each other’s houses when someone is away, and look out for each other’s well-being. It’s good to have a kind neighbor on your side.
Home staging is one of the most tried-and-true methods of selling your home faster. It can also help you increase the purchase price of your home by between one and five percent.
However, working with a professional home stager--while a good investment--is not always in everyone’s budget.
The good news is, there are a lot of simple and inexpensive ways to stage your home that will give visitors a good first impression, make for great photos for your online listing, and hopefully help speed up your home sale.
In today’s post, we’re going to break down six of the most effective and inexpensive home staging tips to help you sell your home faster.
1. Declutter everything
Cleaning out your home is one of the best ways to make it appear more spacious and welcoming. It gives you the chance to start packing items you won’t need until you move into your new home, and it opens up space to use a few choice decorations around the home.
For things like cabinets and closets, remove all of the items you won’t need until you move. A closet that is half-full will look much larger for guests viewing your home.
2. Clean carpets and polish wooden furniture
Carpets, flooring, and furniture make up a large percent of the visible space in your home. Leaving these items dirty or worn when selling your home is missing out on a huge opportunity to make your home look up-to-date and well-maintained.
You can rent a carpet cleaner for as little as $20, and a gallon of wood polish costs around $15, making these two items a solid investment for staging your home.
3. Paint with bright colors
When we paint our homes we usually choose colors that we like, rather than ones that appeal to the largest number of people. And although that’s a great thing while you own a home, it can be detrimental when it comes time to sell. Repainting dark walls in bright, neutral tones will make the room feel larger and well-lit.
4. Paint the front door while you’re at it
A freshly painted, bright colored front door can be the secret weapon when it comes to making your home stand out amongst your neighbors. It is a cheap way to quickly freshen up the exterior of your home and increase curb appeal.
5. Purchase a new welcome mat and mailbox
Welcome mats tend to get a lot of use and wear down. Similarly, mailboxes often get dented and faded over the years.
These two items can be excellent accents to improve the curb appeal of your home. Choose colors that match the overall color scheme of your home to establish a sense of continuity.
6. Rearrange furniture to allow foot traffic
When someone comes to view your home, you’ll want to sure they have ease of access to each part of the house. Rearrange the furniture in your kitchen, dining room, and bedrooms to make it easy to tour the home.
You honestly may not get the chance to deep clean your home very often. When you do clean your house, there are a few places that are harboring many germs that are easily overlooked. Below, you’ll find some of the dirtiest areas in your home that need to be scrubbed well.
Handles And Knobs In The Kitchen
You’re handling everything in the kitchen from dirty dishes to raw meat. After touching these items, you’re grabbing drawers, refrigerator door handles, oven doors, and more. All of the bacteria that is on your hands is transferred to these items. You should scrub these areas down on a weekly basis with a simple vinegar and water solution.
Your Computer And Accessories
If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time at your computer. You eat drink, talk on the phone, and everything else right in front of your computer. It’s a good idea to rid the bacteria that are collected all over your computer and accessories. You can detach the attachments from your computer a dab them with a mild soapy water solution, or just wipe them down with a pre-moistened anti-bacterial cloth.
The Toothbrush Holder
You use your toothbrush to clean your teeth, but do you ever clean the place where it sits? You can quickly place your toothbrush holder in the dishwasher once a week, or sterilize it with hot water and soap. As a bonus, you should clean your toothbrushes by boiling them in water for a few minutes.
The Handrails And Doorknobs
Everyone uses the railings on the stairways, but it’s a good bet that no one cleans them very often. You can use a simple hot water and vinegar solution to scrub railings and doorknobs down. Wipe them dry, and they’ll be as good as new with less germs.
The Light Switches
As you go in and out of rooms, you probably don’t think of cleaning off the light switch panel. Germs are easily spread there as people go in and out, turning a light on just to wash their hands. Vinegar and hot water will do the trick here as well. Just wipe switches down with a cloth soaked in the solution and pat dry.
While you may wipe down around your sink often, the faucet and surrounding areas may need a little love. Faucet handles should be scrubbed on a daily basis with hot soapy water. As a bonus, if you want to make your sink shine, create a paste with vinegar and baking soda. Once you scrub it on the faucet, rinse off for a fantastic shine.
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