Sell or Stay Put? Tips on Improving a Home's Efficiency from the Experts at Preen.com

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With the real estate market rebounding in much of the country, many homeowners are considering whether to sell or stay put in their homes. Here are tips from the experts at Preen.com on improving a home's efficiency.

Mulch prevents weeds for easy maintance.

Cover bare garden and landscape beds with mulch and weed preventer to ward off weeds, retain soil moisture and add a tidy look.

It’s easy to love a house where ease-of-living is well thought out.

With the real estate market rebounding in much of the country, many homeowners are considering whether to sell or stay put in their homes. Either way, it's smart to start by improving a home's efficiency.

The features that make a home fun and easy to live in are, in fact, the same qualities that can make a house attractive to prospective buyers. Following are smart, cost-effective ways to improve the efficiency of daily life from the experts at preen.com.

  • Sufficient, Efficient Storage - Clutter complicates life and makes a home look and feel cramped. To ease clutter, make a place for everything. Line basement or garage walls with shelves to make maximum use of storage spaces. They needn’t be expensive, and can be bought, built DIY, from scratch or a kit, or customized by a local handyman. Space shelves to accommodate different sized storage containers to make it easy to group belongings by use or season.

Tip: Build a Cedar Closet. Convert an existing closet and line it with cedar panels. Switching out seasonal clothes is now a breeze and damage from insects and mice is no more.

  • Give Pets a Place of Their Own - Pets are so important to many households but, too often, their gear gets in the way. Give pets practical places of their own. Position feeding zones where pet water and food bowls are convenient but not in the middle of family traffic patterns. Add an interior cat door to provide access to the basement or utility room, so cat boxes are accessible but out of the way. Designate a basket for pup and kitty toys and use it.
  • Low Maintenance Landscapes - In the yard, simplicity equals lower maintenance. Choose pleasing plantings that are easier to care for. Instead of annuals which must be replaced each season, focus on long-term perennial beds and blooming shrubs. Put edging around planting beds to keep grass away.

Tip: Prevent, Don’t Pull Weeds: Don’t waste time pulling weeds all summer, stop them before they grow. Cover bare garden and landscape beds with mulch to ward off weeds, retain soil moisture and add a tidy look. For double-duty weed protection try Preen Mulch Plus, a natural, shredded-wood mulch with added pre-emergent weed preventers already mixed in to stop weeds for up to six months.

  • Focus on Ease-of-Living - Evaluate how well the house is set up for daily living. Where do people enter? Where do they hang out? Which closets are used for what? In streamlining functionality, consider organizing toiletries by type or person; do a sweep of the house to eliminate or give away no longer used household goods such as retired bedding, cooking pieces, sports gear, totes or luggage, and so on. Avoid brick-a-brac. Too much stuff detracts from favorite pieces and makes cleaning everything more difficult.

Tip: Choose Thoughtful Over Trendy. Entertainment rooms, outdoor kitchens and such are nice, but these are not the kinds of things that make a house feel homey. The most livable homes gain character through efficiency. It’s easy to love a house where ease-of-living is well thought out.

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Sally Ferguson
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