Weekly Home Help with items on cleaning out the garage, the new Neo TV by Netgear, how to aerate your soil and more.
Is your garage a hazardous haven for dents, damage and danger?
“This is a great time to take stock of the safety of your garage and clean out and organize as needed to make this space safer and more functional,” said Deborah Hanson, director of external affairs for The Lehigh Group, a consumer products supplier.
Here are some organizing tips for the garage:
Try it out. The best way to determine whether you should keep, donate or throw away is to physically go through everything to see if it works. From there, label each piece with a tag showing its condition and the decision.
Keep it light. Add lighting to shelves and dark corners to make it easier and safer to find the tools and equipment you need. All of the boxes and labels in the world won’t work unless you can see what you are organizing.
Clean before storing. Sports and pool equipment that won’t be used until next summer needs to be properly cleaned and dried to avoid mildew growth. Purchase waterproof bins to keep moisture and pests away.
Out with the old. Cleaning out the garage is a great opportunity to check expirations and wipe down old cans of paint, pesticides and other garage goodies. Responsibly dispose of expired paint products and chemicals.
Tip of the week: Let gravity help with dusting
When it comes to dusting, let gravity help –– do the plants first, followed by tables and finish with the floor. Invest in an ostrich-down duster and dust in straight lines so dust falls directly onto the floor. Always vacuum last. – Scripps Howard News Service
Decorating tip: Bathroom accessories
Updating your bathroom doesn't have to be expensive. Furniture in a bathroom instantly adds warmth and style. Consider adding a chair or a bench that you already own. Beautiful shells, coral and other organic treasures are ideal bathroom decor. Display them in a clear vase or a container from your kitchen, such as a wine glass or bowl. -- Leslie Judson/ Scripps Howard News Service
Home-Selling Tip: Follow the new Improving Markets Index
The National Association of Home Builders released a new Improving Markets Index, revealing metropolitan areas that have shown improvement for at least six months in three key economic area: housing permits, employment and housing prices. Here are the 12 areas that made the list, which will be updated each month: Alexandria, La., Anchorage, Ark., Bangor, Maine, Bismarck, N.D., Casper, Wyo., Fairbanks, Alaska, Fayetteville, N.C., Houma, La., Midland, Texas, New Orleans, La., Pittsburgh, Pa., Waco, Texas.
Going Green: Change to an ENERGY STAR bulb
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lighting consumes nearly 15 percent of a household’s energy use. If every American replaced just one standard incandescent light bulb in their homes with a light that has earned the ENERGY STAR rating, the country could light 3 million homes for a year with the energy saved; save about $600 million in annual energy costs; and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
-- Home Depot
Did You Know …
If you plan on renting out your home, do research on landlord/tenat laws at both the federal and state levels, and study the Fair Housing Act. -- FrontDoor.com
New Product: Netgear to release Neo TV
Netgear says it will debut its $80 Neo TV, a.k.a. NTV200, in late September. The streaming media player will compete with the likes of Apple TV ($100), Logitech Revue ($99) and the Boxee Box ($180). Like its competitors, it has both built-in Wi-Fi and an Ethernet jack, but it uniquely supports 1080-pixel video. It also has access to streaming TV shows and movies from Netflix and Vudu.
Garden Guide: Time to aerate your soil
Core aerating, dethatching and power raking are useful lawn care activities. Rhonda Ferree, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, says they help reduce soil compaction and thatch, improve surface drainage and improve conditions prior to overseeding. It's best to do this when the grass is actively growing, and that's usually in spring or early to mid-fall. "The key is to do it early enough in the fall for turf recovery to take place before the onset of severe cold weather," she said.
GateHouse News Service