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Home Essentials: How to nail your basic toolkit 

Are you a new homeowner, or maybe new to a temporary home? In either case, you’ll want to have a basic toolkit for minor home repairs. Imagine having to shell out big bucks to a handyman every time you want to hang a picture or adjust squeaky door? So not cool.

The best gift I received when I moved into my first apartment was a stocked toolbox from my dad. Not the housewarming gift I was hoping for, but in the following months and after it’s weekly use, I was in total appreciation of his foresight.

 

So, where to start?

Get yourself to the hardware store, grab a cart and let’s get shopping. Building a good toolkit usually happens over time because it can be costly, but you should start out with some essentials. For about $60, you can build a starter kit. Here are the must-haves:

• Claw Hammer • Screwdriver Set • Adjustable Crescent Wrench • Channellock Pliers • Tape Measure • Level • Carpenter Pencils and Sharpener

Make sure to keep your core set of tools in a toolbox or bag at all times.

 

Ready to add more?

Within six months to a year, you may be ready to expand your toolkit. With a few added tools, you’ll have the means to put up shelves, paint a room, change door locks and more. The estimated cost for adding the below tools will be around $200.

• Utility Knife and Blades • Ratchet Set • Cordless Drill and Drill Bits • Manual Saw Set: Hacksaw and Wood Saw • Stud Finder • Basic Painting Set • Flash Light

 

Having so much fun that you want to try more?

Most hardware stores, especially large national chains like Home Depot and Lowe’s, both host classes and workshops designed to help new homeowners get comfortable with doing their own work around the house, making their own improvements, and fixing their own problems without spending a ton of money on contractors or specialists. For example, Home Depot’s weekly workshops will show you how to do things like install decorative molding, install tile flooring, properly paint interior walls, and more—all things you may never have had to do as a renter.

Lowe’s also has a how-to project center with walkthroughs for common household projects:  Take me there

 
Sources: https://www.fix.com/blog/diy-home-repair-kit/ https://lifehacker.com/where-can-i-learn-home-improvement-skills-1535195959
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Spring ahead and lose an hour of sleep. Whose idea was this?

Do we love to spring ahead or hate it? In a year filled with 8,760 hours, why do we think it’s such a big deal? It’s just 0.01141552511415525% of a year.

Aside from what you may have heard over your lifetime, farmers are not to blame and it was not created by Benjamin Franklin. Daylight saving time was actually first instituted by Germany on May 1, 1916 in an effort to conserve fuel during World War I.

Do we still need it today? U.S. states are starting to decide on an individual basis. The Florida Senate just approved a bill that once they spring ahead on March 11, 2018, they could remain there. The approval means the bill will go to the governor’s desk, but it doesn’t mean the “spring forward” clock change Sunday at 2 a.m. will put the state on permanent daylight saving time.

Currently, states can opt out of daylight saving time to stay on standard time, but cannot make daylight saving time permanent. So, it will be interesting to see what transpires in the coming weeks.

Most areas of the United States observe daylight saving time (DST), the exceptions being Arizona, Hawaii, and the overseas territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands.

Whether you love it or hate, know that it’s a good time to do a few inexpensive, routine updates in and around your home.

1 - Replace the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries.

These alarms save lives! For just a few dollars and minutes of your time, you can economically and quickly replace the batteries and know your family is safer.

2 - Prepare a storm kit for your home and car.

This can be a lifesaver in a power outage or if you get stranded in your car in bad weather. Make sure you have a long-lasting LED flashlight, a reflective vest for walking at night, non-perishable snacks, water and a warm blanket. Go to www.ready.gov/build-a-kit for more detailed kit information.

3 - Check your sump pump.

Spring often brings rain so make sure your sump pump is draining properly. Do not wait until a major snow thaw or rainstorm to find out that the pump’s motor is shot and you have 4” of water in your basement. It’s also a good idea to invest in a backup battery in the event of a power outage.

4 - Inspect the exterior of your home.

Did you just get through a harsh winter? Take a walk around the outside of the house: Are there cracks in the concrete? Is the driveway in good condition? Check the roof for signs of loose or broken shingles. Look up at the chimney for signs of wear. Check the facade and foundation for cracks or signs of water pooling.

5 - Change your clocks.

If you have any clocks in your home that run on batteries, make sure to set them ahead one hour before you head to bed. If you have an older model car like me, make sure to change the clock on your dash as well. Then when you wake it you’ll be on the right track.

As for keeping your body on track, you know that it’s coming, so maybe hop into bed an hour early on Saturday night.

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When decorating your permanent home, embrace big, bold color.

So, you’re preparing to move from your temporary digs back into your permanent home. Congratulations! It’s a much-anticipated event that you’ve been thinking about for a while. If you plan on decorating or painting, why not try something new?

Use color!! Don’t opt out and live in a bland beige and boring world. Humans are more comfortable in spaces with color than in those without. A beige world is underwhelming and understimulating—and that’s stressful.

Small but Mighty

If you’re a little apprehensive and not sure just where to apply your color splash, pick a smaller room and start there. A powder room, foyer or accent wall are the perfect canvas for your first foray into the wonderful world of color.

If you decide to jump in and paint yourself, great! You’ll enjoy the satisfaction of seeing your masterpiece sooner since the smaller area will be completed more quickly.

Where to start?

Once you’ve chosen where to paint, now it’s time to choose the color. Do you have a favorite hue you’d like to see on the walls of your home? Head to the paint store or home warehouse and grab a few swatches. (They are FREE, so grab as many as you’d like). Tape the swatches on the wall that you’re going to paint. Make sure to look at the swatches at various times of day as they will change as the lighting does.

Having trouble making a decision because the paint swatch is so small? Purchase a pint of your chosen color for less than $5 each. Using a brush, paint part of the wall in a larger area to help you decide if you like the color.

Moody Hues

Extensive research on “color psychology” has revealed the special “powers” of particular colors. When making your selection, consider the mood of the room and what feelings you want to evoke.

GREEN > Seeing the color green has been linked to more creative thinking—so greens are good options for home offices, art studios, etc.

RED > Having a red surface in view provides a burst of strength, so reds are good choices for home gym areas, etc. Seeing red has been linked to impaired analytical reasoning, though, making it a bad option for offices.

VIOLET > People link a grayish violet with sophistication, so it can be a good selection for places where you’re trying to make the “right” impression.

YELLOW > Using yellow in a home can be problematic. Many people dislike the color, so if you have a lot of yellow rooms in your home or a yellow front door, you may be advised to repaint to get the best price for your home should you sell. An exception: Many people use yellow in kitchens—with no negative sales repercussions. Yellow may be accepted in kitchens because warm colors stimulate our appetite.

BLUE > People are more likely to tell you that blue is their favorite color than any other shade. That makes it a safe choice. Seeing blue also brings thoughts of trustworthiness to mind; always a good thing.

Be bold and brave and don’t shy away from color. At the end of the day, if you hate the hue you’ve chosen, it’s a simple fix to just paint over it.

 

Sources:

www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/color/10-tips-for-picking-paint-colors www.psychologytoday.com/blog/people-places-and-things/201504/the-surprising-effect-color-your-mind-and-mood https://freshome.com/room-color-and-how-it-affects-your-mood
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The magic of being at home for the holidays.

Many say that home is a feeling, rather than a place. Sure, we can feel 'at home' in different places, however, only one or two places hold the magic of really, truly being at home. This is especially true during the holidays.

Beautiful big family sitting at the table celebrating Christmas together at home. Father bringing roasted turkey on a serving tray.

For most, a home may be a place where fond memories have been and continue to be made. They consist of traditions that are repeated yearly, the familiar smells of home that comfort you and allow for nostalgia to set in. These remain powerful connections no matter how far away 'home' may be and research is beginning to gain a deeper understanding of the feeling that these special places elicit. On the flip side, home can sometimes be a temporary place. It is in this part of the season where we find it most important to locate suitable housing for our families.   We recently received a kind message on our Twitter feed, reminding us of the very importance of home; If you find yourself dealing with a temporary situation, past grievances or painful memories this holiday season, remember to maintain traditions. Make a meal or bake cookies with loved ones, learn how other cultures celebrate the holidays, donate your time to a charity or soup kitchen or simply enjoy time by the fireplace sharing stories.

Friends drinking tea and chatting

Do you have special traditions that feel like home? Share them with us on social media, #CRSathome, we'd love to add a few to our repertoire. From all of us here at CRS Temporary Housing, we hope you find your place this Holiday season and hope that place will feel like home.
"Places make us who we are, and we relate to them in an emotional, spiritual and physical way."
  Link(s): https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/documents/places-that-make-us-research-report.pdf
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Child Proofing & Steps to Keep Your Home Accident-Free.

Think like a curious child. If toys or interesting items are in sight, there can be temptation to crawl or climb to retrieve them. -Image via Pexels

Think like a curious child. If toys or interesting items are in sight, there can be temptation to crawl or climb to retrieve them. -Image via Pexels

Have you seen the recent video of the toddler who saved his brother from a scary dresser tip-over? If you haven’t, it’s a must watch that you can view it on the Today show website here. And with as many child proofing safeguards that you may have in place to keep your spaces accident-free, mishaps can still happen. The important thing is to be prepared.

What child proofing steps can you take to see to it that your home is accident-free?

Choose your furniture with safety in mind. Anchor dressers especially in the children's rooms. Read manufacturer instructions to be extra sure your furniture is properly used. Place your television on a piece of furniture that is appropriate for the size and weight. Or have one mounted to the wall. Think like a curious child. If toys or interesting items are in sight, there can be temptation to crawl or climb to retrieve them. Keep appealing items out of sight as much as possible. These will vary by child, but remotes or stuffed animals are two that can be really attractive. In the kitchen, when not gated off, remove or secure oven knobs with a guard or shield. Add a latch to the refrigerator. Protect items in low cabinets with locks or latches. In the bathroom, keep the toilet seat down and install a latch. Bathroom doors can be a danger to fingers. For extreme caution use a door stopper to prevent full door closure, or simply keep a towel draped over the top of the door.  
If a house is a perfect fit aside from a possible pool danger, CRS would work directly with the landlord or property manager in sourcing and providing a pool fence, whether short or long term.

If a house is a perfect fit aside from a possible pool danger, CRS would work directly with the landlord or property manager in sourcing and providing a pool fence, whether the stay is short or long term. -Image via Pexels

When locating a temporary home for a family who has been uprooted by unforeseen water loss, fire damage or other, every situation will have different needs. From professional movers to providing extra children's furniture, setting up installations of temporary pool fences and beyond, we will make every effort to supply whatever it may be.   For example, a family of 5 with small children is presented an option for a house located close to their existing home and neighborhood. The house even has a pool. But, there is no pool fence at the property. They show interest in the house, but are wary of the children around an open pool.  If the house is a perfect fit aside from the pool risk, CRS would work directly with the landlord or property manager in sourcing and providing a pool fence during their stay, whether short or long term.   We may often think of babies and toddlers when we hear baby proofing or child proofing, we cannot discount the amount of accidental injuries that occur with kids up to 14 years old. More than 1/3 of these accidental injuries happen at home.  
While a temporary house is just that; it can still have all the comforts of home.
    For our claims adjusters: On your next loss of use claim assignment, communicate with CRS of extra needs for your insureds.   For our insurance homeowner customers: We want to ensure that your stay is a comfortable one. Inform your CRS Customer Care Specialist of special requests or needs right away.
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