Home Aesthetics: Fashion Principles to Bring to Improve Your Home’s Interiors

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“A home is a place to share, create, and nourish the best in each of us as individuals and as a family. Design is one of the finest means to accomplish this.”-Eve Robinson

 

You might have thought of the elements in fashion and interior design as two separate and different concepts coming from different realms.

But from an interior decorator’s perspective, a home’s design can be largely inspired by principles and standards borrowed from fashion. Upon closer inspection, the design aspects and concepts of both fashion and interior design are not too far off and in this regard, fashion has played a clever muse to the interiors of many homes.

After all, there is so much to be gleaned from dressing well and stylishly insomuch that we can apply the same guidelines in decorating our homes. Like fashion and style, your home should reflect your individual perspective and should only be filled with the things you love and gravitate towards. Your home’s interiors should portray a very personal point of view to the extent that your personality is demonstrated by the culminating effect of each design aspects.In any case, if you wish to spark the dialogue of a space, it would be very much helpful to take a few fashion rules and principles in mind. You might be surprised at just how well it works. So, if you are planning on redesigning the interiors of your condominium for sale in Quezon City or elsewhere, here are a few fashion tips to keep in mind:

 

Layering

For a long time now, fashion experts have staunchly decreed that layering is a pivotal technique in fashion. The trick is to create visual interest, dimension and play up your silhouettes with the clever use of multiple sartorial items. In the same regard, this style technique can be applied on interior decorating as well. Keep in mind that when it comes to layering, color and pattern are key elements. Take a gander at your space and then establish the base. From there, you can add two pieces of solid or small-scale prints and a touch of one larger-scale traditional print. In doing so, you will allow the eye to keep moving in the room while keeping things fresh and riveting.

Texture is key

The texture is another aspect in fashion that can be well-applied in interior design. This tactile approach allows you to enhance your home’s overall visual appeal by playing on the varying weights and textures of various furnishings. Do this by layering in different fabrics that vary in weight and textures. Of course, go beyond that and bring the texture to the walls by using different materials such as a chubby woven basket or grasscloth. Your options are virtually limitless, what you do with it, however, is up to you.

Take it easy

Much like how fashion tells you not to overdo it, so should you in your endeavor of home decorating. Fashion tells us that if we wish to go bold in one area, we should choose to be subtle in the next lest we look like an over-adorned Christmas tree. In the same regard, you might want to leave it to the professionals and stylists to cover your room in endless bold statement patterns. Sure, they look great but just how well are they applied? Remember, interior design is not only about making a statement; it is making each design element work seamlessly and cohesively. Be a little meticulous with your design picks and know what works and what would clash.

Mix and match

One of the excellent approaches in fashionably dressing up that does work is the art of mixing and matching pieces. In this regard, you need to have a good eye on which pieces would work and which would clash. In fashion, pretty much anything can be paired with a white pair of sneakers insomuch that it would make for a playful ensemble when donned with a flowy floral dress. With this in mind, think of how you can work casual pieces in formal spaces and vice versa. Incorporate an element that is totally unexpected to make the room a little more interesting and to give it life as well. It might be a little unconventional, but these unexpected additions would create an element of surprise and interest to what would have otherwise been bland spaces.

Never Ignore Comfort and Function

Sure, it might be easy to get caught up on a particular dress just because it looks nice on the rack. But does it really work well with your body type? Are you able to walk confidently in it? The same questions should be applied when shopping around for furniture pieces. The couch might look nice and would very much look great once placed in your living room, but is it comfortable to sit on? Is it functional enough to meet your needs? If the answer is in the negative, you might want to choose a more suitable couch.

 

 

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New Beginnings: Four Incredibly Silly Reasons You Cannot Buy a Home

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“That house you looked at today and wanted to think about until tomorrow may be the same house someone looked at yesterday and will buy today.” –Author Unknown

Buying a home might seem like a fairly straightforward process.

After all, just how hard can it be? All you would need is to have a set of wants and needs for a home and then look for the ideal one that comes as close to your list as possible. While it all sounds easy on paper, the task of finding an ideal home that ticks most of your qualifications and best befits your lifestyle is more difficult than you originally thought. Those considerations in conjunction with real estate being a significant investment would mean that this is an endeavor you should approach with much contemplation and scrutiny insomuch that at times, buying a home can take up to months. In this regard, you would be a hundred percent certain that you will be happy in your choice.

Unfortunately, some homebuyers—most especially first-time homebuyers who are pretty much novices in this entire ordeal—tend to make incredibly foolish decisions in the process. More often than not, a homeowner’s error in buying a home can be attributed to their lack of sense and foresight—all of which easily avoidable are had they done enough research and educated themselves. The good news, however, is that this article has compiled a list of some of the dumbest reasons why people cannot buy a home so that by the time it is your time, you would not be committing the same mistakes. So before jumping the gun and going for that Ametta place for sale, try to review on what you should avoid doing when it comes to home buying in order to be happier to your decision:

1.) Waiting to line up financing

When it comes to buying a home, your first question should be how you should pay for it. After all, real estate property is a significant investment insomuch that reviewing your financing options would be paramount to buying the home that you want. In this regard, your first step in the home-buying process should be the take a look at your financing options and discuss it with a mortgage lender. You would not know how much you can truly afford until you have met a professional who has the necessary expertise to tell you about your options. With this in mind, just because you think you can buy an exorbitantly priced home does not mean your loan for that same home would be approved.

2.) Using a fly-by-night mortgage lender

Much like any industry in the world, the mortgage industry is rife with scams. This means you need to be meticulous in selecting your lenders and ensure that you can trust them. Review their credentials and look for reviews and recommendations as placing your trust in a bad lender can cause a potential deal to fall through. Sometimes, it is not necessarily your fault why your offer was rejected, but rather it is because you decided to partner up with an unreliable or fake lender.

3.) Getting pre-qualified rather than pre-approved

Although they sound about the same, there are distinct differences between getting pre-qualified and pre-approved. Almost anyone can get pre-qualified for alone because all that it involves is a conversation with a lender about the state of your finances sans the exchange of documents. On the other hand, getting pre-approved would entail the gathering of all the essential documents which run the gamut from your tax returns to bank statements, pay stubs and more. All of these would then be submitted for review and only when everything checks out would you have a pre-approval for a certain loan amount that is good anywhere from three to four months (or in some cases, even more). Shrewd sellers would not entertain prospective buyers if they cannot present a letter of pre-approval from a reliable lender which means securing a pre-approval would be pivotal in your home buying venture.

4.) Shopping outside your price range

Having a budget prior to your home search is not only a recommended step to take, but a paramount one as it ensures that you do not fall in love with homes beyond your price range. Unfortunately, having a budget does not guarantee that prospective home buyers would be proof against beautiful homes that are outside their price range. To mitigate this possibility, try to limit your property viewings online or at least refine your searches to only include properties that would fall within your budget. After all, there is nothing quite like the feeling of frustration in seeing a property you can already picture yourself out living in only to find out it is exorbitantly priced.

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Happy Neighborhoods: The Four Best Reasons to Cultivate a Relationship with Your Neighbors

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“Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder.” –John F. Kennedy
A familiar but wise adage has once said that in the prospect of closing a deal on a residential property you would soon call your own, it is best to ask about the neighbors first before buying the home. After all, you can make all the necessary changes you possibly can in your home. But it would be almost next to impossible to change your neighbors. In this regard, fostering a good relationship with your neighbors should be one of your primary considerations when you move into a neighborhood. Having strong relations with your neighbors cultivates a sense of oneness and bond in the neighborhood and is the initial step towards becoming a better community.

Today, with technological innovations and advancements dominating the world, it can be rather easy to live in our own little bubble and interact with the rest of the world from the screen of your desktops or mobile phones. However, this would be counter intuitive to a strong community wherein the residents interact. Unfortunately, this presents the reality today. You can live a mere feet away from your neighbors for decades only to never learn their name. This is especially prevalent in condominium and apartment complexes where neighbors barely interact with each other at all and would instead go straight to their units from a tiresome day at work.
However, regardless of whether you are living in flats such as in Avida Settings Alviera or an apartment complex, fostering a good relationship with the people living in proximity to you is paramount. Here are the most compelling reasons why:

1.) You can count on them

One of the best reasons why you should develop a friendly relationship with your neighbors has something to do with safety. The deeper the bond you have with them, the more inclined they will be to alert you in any case of emergency of trouble. Should there be an attempted burglary in your homes, a tampering of your car, smoke coming out from your kitchen or even an unidentified person trying to gain entry, you can count on your friendly neighbors to give you a head’s up. Even better, you can rely on them to call the police on your behalf as well.

2.) You can borrow from them

There are times wherein you might need a stick of butter, a cup of sugar, a pair of garden shears or even, an extra pair of hands to help you out. If you have a good relationship with your neighbors, they will be more than happy to oblige your request or even let you borrow whatever it is that you need. In this regard, they would also expect that you would do the same thing for them in their time of need. While you are free to borrow pretty much anything from your neighbor, be sure to return it. However, refrain from borrowing cash—that is one way to immediately sour your relationship with your neighbors should you default on payment.

3.) Help when needed

One of the excellent things about having a good relationship with your neighbors is knowing that you can count on them whenever you do need something. As we cannot plan for every possibility, it would be very much assuring to know that you can always get yourself out of a snag in the community with the help of your neighbors. From home lockouts to dead car batteries, you can always ask for your neighbor’s assistance in giving your car a quick jump or calling the locksmith to provide you with access to your homes.

4.) Stand-in babysitter

Do you have a date night planned with your partner? Well, all is well and good so long as you can find someone who can watch the kids while you and your spouse are out. Unfortunately, competent and trustworthy babysitters are somewhat hard to come by nowadays. However, if you trust your neighbors and have developed a bond with them, they would be very much happy to watch the kids for you while you are gone. If they have teenagers who are in need of extra cash, you might find that you would not even need to call a professional babysitting service at all and just employ them to watch your kids. Be sure to compensate them for their time, however—regardless of how happy they are to help. Your neighbors should not feel like they are taken advantage of and one way of ensuring that does not happen is giving them pecuniary compensation for their time and efforts.

 

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Moving 101: Five Ways to Prepare Your Kids for a Move

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“Moving to a new place is like starting a new life; nobody knows who you are so it is like a new beginning for you. A fresh start.” –Author Unknown

 

Moving can be a double-edged sword—especially for kids who are too young to understand why the transition and why it is necessary.

It can be both an exciting and frustrating prospect for the family. But, it can also be an avenue for understanding by explaining to your kids what the move is about and why you need to do it. Do not be surprised though, the moment you announce your plans, you will inevitably be met with a barrage of questions.

“But what about my friends? What about my bed?”

“What about my school?”

These are the sort of questions you can expect once they see you packing and sorting household items. Indulge their curiosity but be honest in doing so. Whether you are relocating to Ametta Place in order to expand your family or downsizing your home to make up for your finances, make it clear to them why the move is essential. Expectedly, you are going to be met with a lot of protests as well as resistance. After all, when your kids have spent a reasonable chunk of their childhood in your previous home, they are likely to get exponentially attached to it (and its respective memories) over the years.

However, you can always opt to mitigate this occurrence by gently easing your children to the idea of the move. Do not immediately tell them about your moving plans or even the fact that you are transferring houses the moment you decide upon it or else you will have to endure days or even weeks of tears and repetitive questions.
In any case, if you are planning that big move, here are some things you might want to know before telling them about the move:

1.) Have a plan

Before letting your children know about the move, consider having a plan as to how you and your spouse would broach the subject. Explain it to them in terms that they would be able to comprehend. If you are looking to cut down expenses, they would certainly not understand that. Instead, talk about how the move is necessary because you need money for their school, meals and the like. Moreover, tell them that their toys and all your personal belongings can come with you but how the floor, lights, windows, etc., cannot. In the same regard, let them know that your house will have a new family who will love it just the same.

2.) Involve the kids

To ease your kids into the idea of the move, have them help you with the things you need to do prior to the move. Ask them to help you pack and likewise, give them a role when it comes to house hunting. Show them all the potential houses you have considered, let them tag along on viewings and ask them for opinions on the new home. Moreover, it is imperative that you ask them what they like and dislike about the new home. Once you have finally chosen a place to settle in, be sure to have some time to explore the neighborhood with your kids.

3.) Be positive

No matter how sound the move might be (or how strong your resolve about it is), you will inescapably encounter some misgivings that might cause you to think twice about your decision. Of course, after living in your old home for quite a while, you would come to think about the things and aspects you once loved about it. You have put so much into it that it can be rather hard to leave. While these are sentiments you can choose to tell your kids, make sure to end your spiel on a high note. Do not make them feel as if you are unsure about the move and make the overall vibe ooze with positivity and confidence. Remember, if you wavered on your decision and worried about it, your kids will know.

4.) Save memories

Whenever possible, try to take a piece of your old house with you and incorporate this into your new house. This can be in the form of an old door, windows or the like. In this way, your children would feel as if an element of your old home is still present in your new one and would adjust better to your new home. However, if you do not have an actual physical piece that you can save, then at least take a myriad of photos of your old home which you would then collate and turn into a scrapbook. Let your children take their own photos as well. Photos are not limited to the house. It can include anything important from the school, friends, and other places in the neighborhood as well.

5.) Maintain your routine

Routines are important—, especially to your younger kids. It gives them a feeling of familiarity and a semblance of their old life. With this in mind, maintain the typical patterns you once had in your old home and regularly do them (as much as possible) before, during and after the move. This can involve anything from bedtime routines, library day, pancake Sundays to just about anything that would provide familiarity, comfort, and reassurance to your younger kids.

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Home Offices: Five Tips and Techniques for Productivity When Working from Home

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“The key is not to prioritize what is on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.” –Stephen Covey

Today, with more and more freelancing careers and jobs available, more and more individuals have elected to work from home.

While it is true that a home office does not exactly afford you the conveniences of a conventional office, it allows you the unique leverage of being flexible with your own time. Unfortunately, this can be both bane and boon. After all, imagine working in a place where the bedroom is pretty much accessible all the time and where you might potentially get distracted from time to time. As a result, most individuals who work from home have faced the distinctive predicament of balancing their work productivity and their home life. It is precisely this dilemma that prevents some individuals from either, producing quality work or finishing all their tasks on time. With this in consideration, it is best to reconcile your work priorities (in conjunction with fixing your schedule) with your daily routine at home.

Indeed, working from home sounds like a dream, but it is not as easy as some think it to be. If you have ever decided on installing a home office—whether that may be in an empire east condo or elsewhere, here are some of the things you ought to keep in mind in staying productive:

1.) Keep your workspace and personal space separate

It has always been a well-regarded fact that you should separate your work life from your personal one. In the same regard, your workspace should not encroach your personal space and vice versa. Doing so will create a vicious cycle wherein you cannot distinguish one from the other which would be counterintuitive to your productivity endeavor. Watching Netflix while you are working is an easy avenue for distraction and your efficiency would suffer as a result. Allocating time to one or the other would be more difficult. With this in mind, ensure that you create an environment that has a boundary (either mentally or physically). Designate it for work and only allow items required for the completion of such to be there. This means you should probably not put a TV in and block all the streaming websites from your computer when it is work hours.

2.) Organize the clutter

Some people have found that they can work better amidst the clutter. In fact, it seems as if they have formed a unique affinity to it that they could not function without a semblance of disarray on their desks. However, even if you do love clutter, you should still consider organizing it. Apart from creating a more conducive work environment, it helps you locate your work essentials better. Purge your desk from all the things you do not need—this includes papers and documents that need recycling. Find homes for your pencils and pens and while we are at that, organize the files in your desktop as well.

3.) Get dressed for success

Even while you are working from home and not entertaining any clients otherwise, it would still be best if you got up and got dressed for success. Why? It puts you in the right mindset. If you persistently work from home wearing the clothes you slept in, then you are definitely doing it wrong. Make it a habit of waking up early and getting dressed as if you were heading to a meeting or working in an office. It helps you get your mind on track and have your gears set and ready for the day. After all, an integral aspect of ensuring that things get done is having the appropriate mindset for it.

4.) Designate working hours

To legitimately feel like you are working, designate working hours and do not just designate them for show, dedicate them to work tasks solely. In the time frame, you allow yourself to work, do not allow yourself to get waylaid by distractions and focus on the task at hand. Much like how an office sets working hours for their employees, so should you for yourself. If you are living with your spouse or children with you, ask them not to disturb you (save for emergencies) during your designated working hours. Lastly, do not cut time—especially if you are not yet done. Only allow yourself an early work dismissal if you are already done with everything you are supposed to do. Until then, work and focus.

5.) Ditch your phone

On designated working hours, put your phone away to minimize distractions. Having your phone with you means you welcome distractions—whether that may be from a call from an old friend or sending a Youtube video to your wife. In this regard, you do not have to work very hard not to be tempted. Moreover, having your phone with you means you can easily access social media websites such as Instagram and Facebook—a counterintuitive measure when it comes to productivity. Sure, you might argue that you can multitask, but you are only deluding yourself. You might be doing a myriad of things at once, but your mind can only ever focus on one thing. Furthermore, if you wish to produce quality work, it is better not to divide your attention and concentration.

Indeed, while working at home is akin to opening yourself up to a myriad of distractions, it is nonetheless possible. You can still be productive even when you are working from a makeshift office. However, it requires a little more commitment, discipline, and determination on your part. After all, as according to Robin S. Sharma, productivity is actually less about what you do with your time. But rather, more about how you run your mind. Integrate the tips above into your daily work routine, and you will see a significant improvement in your productivity. After all, you might just be working from home in a makeshift office, but that does not make the work required (and produced) any less real.

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Smart Investments: Four Things You Should Do Before Buying a Home

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“There is something permanent, and something extremely profound in owning a home.”-Kenny Guinn

 

Owning a home is known as one of the well-regarded milestones in life—so much so that it is in fact, considered a keystone of wealth and stability.

There is much to be said about finally purchasing your own home and the myriad of feelings that come associated with it. Accomplished and successful are just a few of the words described used to accord this momentous milestone, but it cannot be argued that purchasing and owning a home is one of the many dreams of many individuals. Why? Because apart from being the most significant investment you will probably make in your life, owning a home is commonly regarded as a hallmark of a truly financially responsible adult. Moreover, purchasing a home is not something any (or every) average working individual can do. In fact, even just saving for the first down payment itself would be considered a feat by many blue collared workers who would live paycheck to paycheck just to finally attain that dream. With all these considered, it is only inevitable for one to be a bit more thorough and meticulous when it comes to scouring the real estate market for prospective properties. After all, if you are going to be pouring in a significant chunk of your savings into this investment, then it is vital to get not only the right home but the right price with the right financing as well.

After all, there are only a few things in this world that is more expensive than a house. Fact is you might probably just be spending for one home in your lifetime.  To successfully find the right home for you, a lot of preparation is required. The logistics in doing so is not something you can accomplish within a month. In fact, it makes the most sense to start years before you are actually ready to buy that home. However, for practical reasons, most individuals would not plan nor think that too far ahead. However, whether you are looking to buy a lot for sale in Angeles City in the next two years or sooner, here are some of the things you can do to ensure that the process goes as effortlessly as possible:

Start Saving

Whether you are planning to buy a home three or five years from now, so long as it is a definite plan of yours, you should definitely start saving for that home now. Sure, there might be a myriad of programs designed for first-time homebuyers to afford low down payments and with flexible payment schemes. However, even if these offers seem enticing, it is always best if you came up with a down payment. In that regard, at least you can show your future lenders that you are a financially responsible individual. Try to aim for at least 10% of the total purchase cost (aiming for more is better). Take note: The more money you put in for down payment, the bigger your breathing room in terms of payments would be.

Be aggressive

It does not matter whether this is your first or sixth house, if you have quite a lot of money to invest, the odds of getting what you want are significantly increased. The moment you have finalized your decision to buy a home, make sure you have a tough stance as regards your budget. No one is asking you to lead a parsimonious life, but cut all the needless and wanton spending. Make small sacrifices such as refusing to dine out on weekends or giving up on your occasional splurges. These may seem like insignificant expenses, but if you stacked them altogether, you would see how your expenses would easily accumulate.

Know your budget

After you start saving, it would make sense for you to come up with a budget—a realistic one that allows you to still live your life as comfortably as you can. Remember, when it comes to buying a home, you would not only be paying for the land and the structure itself. Things such as taxes, mortgage, and monthly payments are also things you have to consider in drafting your budget. Another thing worth mentioning is that most lenders would want your mortgage payments to be no more than 28% of your monthly pay. With this in mind, you can set the upper end of your budget utilizing that same number. However, if you think this is a bit too much (especially if it wipes your savings entirely), come up with a feasible number that allows you to still live comfortably. It is imperative to come up with a number as this will ensure you would know what houses would be worth looking at and which ones you can pass over.

Be reasonable with what you want

Most people would love to live in spacious mansions but are not financially capable of affording it. In this regard, you should be realistic with what you want and reconcile that with your needs. If you have a realtor, it is important that you communicate what your wants are to them. These are the things that you can compromise on later should they be unavailable. On the other hand, you also have to make certain concessions for the things and aspects that you do not want—especially if these can be easily changed. To make this step easier, furnish your realtor with a needs and wants list. In conjunction to that, provide them with a dream house list. However, keep in mind that when a house fits in and checks all of the categories you have in mind, you have to be open to negotiating and making a few compromises here and there. Keep in mind: No one really gets their absolute dream house unless they build it from scratch. So again, be realistic, practical and flexible. Do not reject a house outward just on the basis of a  single perceived flaw. Make room for and be open to adjustments as well.

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Practical Living: Three Ways to Make Money off Your Homes

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“Successful people make money. It is not that people who make money become successful, but that successful people attract money. They bring success to what they do.”-Wayne Dyer

If you have been looking for a creative way to defray your monthly mortgage or utility bills, the answer might just be right in front of you. While you might have never thought of your home as a possible income earner, the world has come up with a multitude of ways you could actually earn by the side simply by taking advantage of what you already have.

After all, when it comes to making money, it is always best to squeeze cash out of things that you already do or already own. Presently, our home is considered one of the most underutilized pecuniary resource. Most individuals would not even regard it as a potential cash cow but rather one that needs constant spending. However, our houses do not merely have to be places of shelter where we live in; it can potentially generate cash and revenue. However, a word of warning though as apart from being creative, you also need to compromise for a bit. After all, earning a little money on the side would also require the appropriate sacrifice from you. So, whether you are living in an Avida Asten unit or elsewhere, here are some of the excellent ways you can take advantage and make money off your homes:

1.) Host a foreign exchange student

If you have a spare bedroom in your house, put it to good use by renting it out to foreign exchange students. Apart from getting a paycheck by the end of each month, you would also be hosting interesting house guests who would potentially become your friends. You can even jack up the price a bit if you are willing to provide them meals, do their laundry, give them rides and a private bathroom. As arrangements are normally short term, you do not have to worry about giving up the spare bedroom in your homes for far too long. However, if this is the type of commitment you cannot see yourself doing, you might as well give it a test drive by listing your homes for short-term rentals such as in Airbnb and host travelers while they are visiting your country.

2.) Board pets

If you have a natural affinity for our four-footed friends, then you can put that bit of extra space in your homes to good use. Consider boarding pets in your home when their owners have somewhere else to be during the day. In turn, you would look after them until such time that their owners would come back. Simply build a traditional kennel in your backyard and have a list of the services you wish to offer. Your fees can depend on the type of pet you have to sit for. Think of it as an animal day care where if you get enough reviews, you can even expand it to grooming and pet walking.

3.) Rent out your shed

It does not necessarily have to be your shed. It can be your attic, your garage or even your basement so long as the available space is inhabitable and unoccupied. This can serve as your primary motivation in cleaning out the clutter you have accumulated over the years as well. Not only would this space be cleaner and clutter-free, but someone would also be willing to pay you just to live in it. You can even convert all that extra junk you have cleaned up into cash by hosting a yard sale. After you have spruced up, measure the space, install some necessary furnishings, snap some photos and then list it online. You can designate it either as a storage rental space or bedroom spacer—whichever you prefer.

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