4 Crucial July Home Maintenance Tasks You Can’t Forget About

4 Crucial July Home Maintenance Tasks You Can’t Forget About

July is a month for celebration. From remembering our country’s day of independence to spending time in the summer sun at a family picnic, there’s so much to do in July. While it’s great to celebrate all month long, remember to take time out of your schedule to tend to your home.

 

A home requires constant maintenance in order to retain its overall value and aesthetic appearance. Should you forget to preserve your home via simple chores, you’ll find yourself in quite the predicament when your house is messy, broken, and in need of extreme repairs.

 

Instead of worrying about the integrity of your home, just make sure you take care of these easy home maintenance tasks in July!

 

Turn Your Garage Into Something Great

Turn your garage into something great!

For many Middle Tennessee homeowners, the garage turns into a place where all miscellaneous items are housed. From mementos of events past, to endless amounts of sporting goods and toys, the garage can become a mess rather quickly.

 

During the month of July, find some time to either organize your garage or to completely remodel and revamp your garage. A garage doesn’t have to be used solely for storage. Turn it into a game room, an in-home movie theater, an in-home gym, a place to relax or whatever you want it to be.

 

Don’t forget to donate items you find in your garage! PARKS partners with Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee to help homeowners easily donate items from their home.

 

Repair Your Driveway

Year after year, your driveway bears the load of multiple cars, foot traffic, extreme weather elements and more. After a while, this damage will begin to be apparent by the noticeable cracks, divots, and even holes.

 

If your driveway is made of concrete, you should contact your local concrete contractor for an inspection and recommendations prior to completing any maintenance work. If your driveway is made out of asphalt, use these DIY tips to get started.

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Start Planning Out Your Fall Garden Ideas

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While you might not start planting your fall garden for a few more weeks (depending on your flower/plant choices, of course), you can always start planning! Remember, if you plan on using pumpkin seeds or fall vegetables, some of these take 100-140 days to mature. If the next couple of weeks or months are especially busy, take 30 minutes out of a July morning or afternoon to decide which fall plants you plan on using this year.

 

Check Your Security System, Fire Alarms, and Other Preventative Devices

July is right in the middle of the summer. What do people do during the summer months? We travel, go on vacation, spend long days in the car on road trips, which all leave our houses left behind. Remember to make sure that your home is completely secure prior to leaving on a vacation.

 

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If you have a security system installed, make sure it is engaged before you leave and that all devices, such as surveillance cameras, emergency sprinklers, fire alarms, smoke detectors, etc., are up to date and in working condition. There’s nothing worse than leaving your home for a vacation and coming back to a theft or vandalism situation.

 

One tip is to alert your neighbors that you are going on a trip. They can water your plants, watch your home, and notify the local authorities if anything suspicious happens.

 

Make sure to implement these home maintenance (and safety) tips for a fun, happy, and healthy month of July!

 

 

Bringing Home Baby: A Guide to Babyproofing Your Home

Use these tips to babyproof your home for your newborn child.

Bringing Home Baby: A Guide to Babyproofing Your Home

Use these tips to babyproof your home for your newborn child.

Bringing home your bundle of joy is an exciting time in any parent’s life. However, did you remember to get your home ready for your new daughter or son? Babyproofing is a crucial part of raising a child. Remember, your baby’s safety and wellbeing is your top priority as a parent. Use these babyproofing tips in your Middle Tennessee home.

 

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Repair All Hazards Prior to Bringing Baby Home

Before your bundle of joy is brought into the world, you should take time to identify and repair any hazards located around your home. This includes molds, water leaks, broken appliances/areas of the house, and anything that can pose a significant threat to an infant’s development and quality of life.

 

Should you or your family need assistance with specific repairs, call on your local home improvement contractor to help you get the job done in a timely manner.

 

Purchase a Safe Crib

You should always purchase a crib that has met (and/or exceeded) the safety standards set in place by the American Society for Testing and Material (ASTM). Your baby’s crib is vital to their safety and comfort. Make sure the crib mattress fits perfectly. As a rule of thumb, you should always be able to fit just one finger between your baby’s crib mattress and the side rails. Otherwise, the threat of your child becoming stuck between the mattress and crib rails is present!

 

While you may be tempted to use the family crib, passed down from generation to generation, keep in mind that it might not be the safest crib option for your newborn baby. Instead, opt to use the family heirloom as a decorative piece in the baby’s nursery!

 

Purchase a safe crib for your newborn child

Add Night-Lights and Other Lighting Fixtures To Your Home

While your baby isn’t old enough to be afraid of the dark just yet, night-lights and other types of lighting fixtures play an important role in babyproofing your home. In the middle of the night, your newborn will wake up and cry. You don’t want to turn on all the lights in your house and wake everyone else up, do you? Instead, night-lights and other types of lighting fixtures can provide enough light to guide you to your newborn.

 

In addition, night-lights reduce the risk of tripping and falling while you are carrying your baby at night!

 

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Purchase a Baby Monitor

In our day in age, baby monitors have insane technology possibilities. From video recording capabilities to controlling the device from your smartphone, you can have access and control of so much with baby monitors. Choose the baby monitor that best fits your family’s needs, budget, and level of safety for your baby.

 

If you really want peace of mind, try movement detector that are placed under the baby’s crib mattress. It will alert you if it does not detect the movement of your baby breathing.

 

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Consider Hiring a Pet Sitter

During the first few days home, you’ll want to acclimate your baby to their new surroundings. However, this can be a bit difficult if you’ve got your furry family pet running around at your feet. A pet sitter can make sure your dog, cat or other type of pet gets the attention they need without bothering you or the baby!

 

Adapt To Your Baby’s Development, Age and Growth

Every child grows and develops at a different rate. Therefore, your home will need to be constantly adapted to their needs, safety, and interests. Before you know it, you’ll be installing baby gates everywhere and putting bumper pads on all the furniture.

 

Be sure to enjoy the ride; babies grow up too fast!

 

 

 

What Do You Need in Your Middle Tennessee Home?

What Do You Need in Your Middle Tennessee Home?

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Your home is your legacy. It can live on for generations if you so choose. When purchasing a new home, it’s imperative to ensure that your intended house has everything your desire — or, has the ability to eventually include those desires.

 

Each homeowner will have his or her own desires. Some may want a luxury patio while others simply want a quaint kitchen and a living room. The needs and desire will vary from family to family! Check out these six common home necessities.

1) Ample Storage Space

For growing families, storage space is key. As your family grows, joins new activities, goes on new adventures together, and takes on all of life’s challenges, you’ll need a place to store everything you gather along the way. From the kayak from your vacation on the river to the endless amount of sporting equipment, storage space is a necessity!

2) The Ability to Explore Interior Design Styles

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Every now and then, you’ll feel the urge to “change it up” with regards to your interior design. Perhaps you want to explore a new shade of paint or try completing a DIY project you saw on Pinterest! Your home floor plan and overall layout must be accommodating to your desire to discover new designs, trends, and decorations.

3) The Perfect Kitchen

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What’s your dream kitchen? Is it full of the latest appliances? Does it have endless decorations and a sturdy island in the middle? Perhaps you’d enjoy a breakfast bar. Or, you might just enjoy a bar! No matter what your dream kitchen may be, make sure your new home has exactly what you need or the ability to transform it into what you desire.

 

4) A Relaxing Space

Whether you want a man cave to sit back and watch the game in, or a home office where you can relax and be productive, be sure to ensure that your home has a space for you to unwind in. Every home has their own unique version of a relaxing room, including:

  • In-home gyms
  • A playroom for the children
  • A home office
  • A game room
  • An in-home bar
  • Whatever you want!

 

No matter how you wind down at the end of a long workday, make sure your home caters to your personal relaxation needs.

5) Built With Quality Materials

When purchasing a home, potential homeowners need to determine if the house was built with the best possible materials. Otherwise, they’ll have quite a bit of trouble down the road. If one of your home necessities is quality materials, you can have peace of mind knowing that your local PARKS agent will find you the best home built with the best possible materials.

6) A Spacious Yard

To some homeowners, the size of the land is more important than the house itself. Many people like to garden, take care of their yard, install a pool or a patio, have an outdoor kitchen, and just spend time with friends and family outside. Whether you prefer a small yard and a large house or vice versa, you’ll find the perfect home for you in Middle Tennessee.
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7) A Kid and Pet-Friendly Home

If you have a growing family, you need to make sure that the needs of your children and pets are accommodated. Plus, don’t forget about safety! Whether your child needs a playroom or a big backyard with a swing set or your pet bird needs a room to fly in, think about those needs when purchasing your new home.

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What do you look for in a new home?

 

 

 

5 Home Maintenance Tips You Can’t Forget About in June

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5 Home Maintenance Tips You Can’t Forget About in June

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June is well underway. Have you gotten started on these crucial home maintenance tasks? If not, make time to complete them as soon as possible!

Clean and Seal Your Deck

In the summertime, you spend a lot of time on your outdoor deck or patio. Go outside and take a good look at your deck — is it a bit dirty from the wear and tear of the previous seasons? Now is the time to clean up your deck and seal it once again.

 

Be sure that all of the deck furniture and decorations have been moved, and you have properly swept your entire deck. Should you choose to use a specific type of cleaner, be sure to scrub those difficult areas using cleaner and a broom. Once you’re done using cleaner, rinse the deck off and allow it to dry for at least 24-48 hours before applying your sealer of choice.

 

It’s best to apply sealer on a dry day and by using a paint roller. Remember to use a thin, even coat of sealer!

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Trim Trees, Shrubbery, and Bushes

As homeowners, we regularly garden and make sure our lawn is pristine. But what do we commonly forget to manage — the trees! Trees grow too, and fast (depending upon the type of tree). Should you forget to trim back trees, shrubbery, bushes or other large garden items, they could end up becoming debris during a storm and damaging your home! You wouldn’t want that now, would you?

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Clean Your Pool and Outdoor Living Areas

If you are lucky enough to have an outdoor pool, you need to keep it clean and tidy. In addition to trimming back your trees and making sure that branches and leaves aren’t in your pool, other types of debris could have drifted into your pool or onto your patio.

 

Plus, you need to make sure that everything involved in having a pool functions properly. Be sure to check your pool pump, the different filters and hoses, and always maintain proper levels of chlorine and other chemicals.

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Don’t Forget to Check Your Smoke Detectors

It doesn’t matter what month out of the year it is — you need to regularly check your smoke detectors. In an emergency, your smoke detector could be a lifesaver! Be sure to check and test the batteries in your smoke detector each month.

Organize Your Garage

From fall to winter to spring, your garage probably became packed to the brim with supplies, sporting items, cleaning products and so much more. Take advantage of the beautiful summer weather and organize your garage.

 

Tip: If you have far too much in your garage, it might be in your best interest to rent a dumpster for a few days and purge your garage of all unwanted items. However, if you can salvage items and they are in good condition, be sure to schedule Goodwill to take these items off your hands!

 

Do you take part in any specific home maintenance tasks in the month of June?

 

 

 

10 Rainy Day Activities You Can Do With Your Kids

Crafts are a great rainy day option!

10 Rainy Day Activities You Can Do With Your Kids

You know how unpredictable the weather in Middle Tennessee can be. One minute it’s absolutely gorgeous outside, and the next it’s a torrential thunderstorm. Since school is over, the kids need something to do and keep them occupied! What do you do if they cannot go outside and you’re not a fan of letting them play video games or watch TV all day? The answer: one of these awesome rainy day activities!

 

1) Indoor Scavenger Hunt

This activity takes a bit of preparation to accomplish, but with just the right amount of effort you’ll have your children entertained for hours! Use prizes like:

  • Stickers
  • Candy
  • Gold Coins
  • Trinkets
  • Movie Tickets
  • Their Favorite Snack

 

Make sure the clues aren’t too tricky, and don’t hide the prizes in areas of the home that may be dangerous or out of reach for your children.

 

2) Board Games

Back in the day, far before video games, we survived rainy days with board games. Introduce your children to the wonders of classic board games such as:

  • Candyland
  • Shoots and Ladders
  • Clue
  • Pictionary
  • The Game of Life
  • Trouble

Play board games with your child on rainy days

3) Make an Indoor Movie Theater

Most parents think that a rainy day is the perfect time to go to the movie theater. But why spend money on popcorn, movie tickets, drinks and more, when you can bring the theater to your home! You can even make cute little movie tickets for your kids, give them their own popcorn, and let them choose the movie.

 

4) Make Homemade Play Dough

You’ve got everything you need to make homemade play dough right in your kitchen! Use this recipe to get started.

 

You can also make homemade playdough on a rainy day

Image and recipe from Musings from a Stay at Home Mom!

5) Get Active!

Your kids probably want to run around outside on a rainy day, so why not bring the activities inside? You can have a dance party, play indoor (but controlled) sports, hide and go seek, and other active games they enjoy.

6) Build A Fort

Who doesn’t love building forts on a rainy afternoon? Get creative and try to build the best fort ever with your children. You can use blankets, pillows, chairs, couches, end tables and whatever else you may have lying around as materials.

7) Create a Time Capsule

Spend the rainy afternoon making a time capsule from this year! They can include letters to their future selves, pictures of their favorite toys, music or activities, and whatever memory they want to preserve for the future. Just be sure to remember when and where you buried the time capsule when it’s time to remember the past!

8) Use Your Imagination

There’s nothing you can’t do without a little bit of imagination. You can fly to the moon, take part in a jungle safari, invent a robot — the options are endless! Let your child be whisked away into a magical world on a dreary, rainy day all through their imagination. Bonus parent point: get in on the fun and play along!

Let your child's imagination run free on a rainy day


9) Bake Cookies or Their Favorite Dessert

Rainy days can sometimes be a sad experience for a child who was looking forward to playing outside in the summer sun. Cheer them up by baking cookies or their favorite type of dessert. Make sure they’re part of the process and make lifelong memories with them.

You can also bake cookies on a rainy day

10) Find Time to Craft

From paper bag or sock puppets, to jewelry and clay, there’s always an opportunity to work on crafts when you’re stuck inside on a rainy day. Be sure to supervise your child when they are making crafts, as items such as beads, string, glitter and other materials can be harmful if accidentally ingested.

Crafts are a great rainy day option!

 

What rainy day activities do you like to do with your children?