Luxury Homes Are HOT!

Yup-it’s true!  We had well over 300 guests tour our open homes this weekend at 1520 Via Di Salerno in Ruby Hill, 8604 White Oak in Golden Eagle, and 10 Carver Lane in Sunol.  And one of these incredible homes just went into contract! Don’t believe what you are reading or seeing in the media, luxury home sales are strong with lots of well quallified, motivated buyers ready to purchase.  Two of these spectacular homes are still available-but not for long. Contact us for a private tour.  And if you are thinking about selling, don’t wait! Contact us to find out today’s value of your home and let’s work together to get your home sold too!

Wow, Wow, and Wow! 3 Incredible Homes Open This Weekend!

Whether you are looking for a gated golf course community, country setting with acreage, or hill-top retreat with views, we’ve got it!  All three of these homes offer luxurious amenities, each with its own unique character and special touches. Come visit us at 1520 Via Di Salerno at Ruby Hill, 10 Carver Lane in Sunol, and 8406 White Oak Court at Golden Eagle Estates-all will be open Saturday and Sunday from 1-4pm.  Can’t make the open house? Contact us for a private showing. Each of these homes is a must see to truly appreciate!!

A New Year and A Fresh Start!

There is just something so refreshing about cleaning out our homes-and the start of the new year is a perfect time! Over time, we all accumulate stuff. Stuff we think we need, stuff we think we should hold on to, stuff given to us by other people cleaning out their stuff….Enough stuff. Check out this great article with a list of 200 items to get rid of.  And if you are planning on selling your home this year, this is a terrific first step. Less to pack and less to move!

200 Things to Throw Away

Living with less isn’t about the number of things you get rid of it’s about living with enough to be content and getting rid of the rest.  The rest is just clutter, unnecessary, energy-draining clutter.

Here is a list of 200 Things to Throw Away.  This list isn’t a list of things that I have gotten rid of myself but of things that I want to will get rid of!

I’ll be tackling this list ten or so items a week and I look forward to a less-cluttered house at the end of it.

As you look ahead at this list I want you to remember two things:

1.) Remember you can sell, donate, recycle or throw away.  Knowing that I’m allowing someone else to enjoy my things makes it easier for me to let them go. (Edited to add that the comments are full of great places to donate items.  Schools were by far the most recommended location.)

2.) Keep things that make you feel good.  If it doesn’t make you feel happy when you look at it, get rid of it quickly.  Surround yourself with things you enjoy.

Now on to the list:

1.  Old product boxes (Apple products, TV, etc.)

2.  Hangers from the dry cleaners

3.  Plastic hangers from the store

4.  Expired make up

5.  Half-finished projects…you know the one!

6.  Magazines (Try a free month of online magazines and see how you like those!)

7.  Old emery boards (buy a nice glass one and be done with those scratchy things!)

8.  Old paint (Visit Earth911.com to find a place to dispose of it safely)

9.  Ugly undergarments you hate to wear (You have those “just in case” pairs too, right?)

10.  Bills, taxes, paperwork over 7 years old

11.  Socks with holes or without mates…also those lonely socks that have holes too. :)

12.  Extra cups and mugs – How many does your family use in a regular dishwasher load?  Add a few more for company and be done with the rest.

13.  Books you’ve never read or will never read again

14.  Old technology (8 tracks, floppy discs, VHS tapes w/o a player, etc.)

15.  Unloved toys

16.  Cleaning rags – You only need a few before you’ll wash them again, right?

17.  Tea light candles – Use them or lose them.

18.  Take out menus you never look at

19.  Old greeting cards (Save the super sentimental ones and recycle the rest)  Btw, Hallmark’s ecards are a fun & clutter free option!

20.  Outdated over the counter drugs and vitamins

21.  Old sneakers (Recycle through Nike)

22.  Plastic cutlery

23.  Old spices – Spices don’t actually spoil but they lose their potency.  A good rule of thumb is 1-2 years for seasoning; 1-3 for herbs and ground spices; and up to 4 years for whole spices.

24.  Duplicate power cords (USB, etc.  We have 3 vTech ones for the kiddos’ toys but only need one)

25.  Bobby pins

26.  Games with missing pieces

27.  Dried up nail polish bottles

28. Video games you’ll never play again

29.  Recalled baby items (Car seats, cribs, etc.)

30.  Jewelry you don’t wear

31.  Expired food in your freezer/pantry

32.  Rugs or home decor you haven’t used since you redecorated

33.  Unused perfumes and cologne

34.  Old towels that make you cringe when you look at them

35.  Extension cords (Am I the only one who has a bazillion of these?)

36.  Extra sets of bed linens – two per bed tops

37.  Unused plastic containers – especially those without a lid and those old plastic containers. Avoid containers with recycle codes 3 or 7 as they may contain BPA.

38.  Old bills (Switch to online banking and stop the clutter before it comes in your home)

39.  Paychecks older than 2 years

40.  Stretched out hair ties

41.  Matches you never use (Maybe save a few in case of a power outage)

42.  Old newspapers

43.  Expired Rx meds (Visit fda.gov for proper ways to dispose of them)

44.  Extra pillows

45.  Ticket stubs (Sentimental like myself?  Store in a scrapbook or fill a mug with old stubs)

46.  Make up you’ll try “one day”  If you’ve owned it for more than 2 weeks without trying it, toss it.

47.  Clothes that are more than 2 sizes too small.  Don’t give up on your weight loss dream but WHEN you do lose that weight go and buy new clothes to reward yourself.

48.  Things you’ve bought have haven’t returned yet (Return them, sell, or donate them)

49.  White-out bottles – You know you don’t need it!

50.  Unneeded notebooks

51.  Pens and pencils – Keep your favorites and let go of the rest

52.  Little shampoo bottles from a hotel you went to 5 years ago

53.  Knick knacks that don’t make you smile every time you see them

54.  Cords that don’t belong to anything you currently own

55.  Lose all those loose screws, nuts, bolts, etc. unless you happen to be a handy man who would actually reuse them one day

56.  Kid’s old art projects (I have an upcoming post with loads of ideas on this so for now just set them aside)

57.  Old party supplies

58.  Old wedding favors (Keep a few, toss the rest)

59.  Old Christmas cards of your family (Save a few, recycle the rest)

60.  Holiday decor you never remember to set out (Thanksgiving turkey Aunt Sue gave you)

61.  Holiday decor that you use once a year (ex. Easter deviled egg tray that collects dust 364 days of the year!  Buy a lovely one that you can use for other holidays too.)

62.  Cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, shampoo that you used once and didn’t like.  Donate to a local shelter.

63.  Flower pots.  Plant a flower or toss the pot.

64.  Watering cans if you don’t have flowers.

65.  Too small kid’s clothing.  Only save favorites if you’re saving for another child.  Sell the rest while they’re still in style.

66.  Extra buttons (If you don’t sew, toss them all.  Reduce your supply if you will use a button in the next few months)

67.  Old calendars

68.  Unidentified frozen objects (Label ya’ll!  Keep a Sharpie by the freezer for quick labeling)

69.  Movies you’ll probably never watch again

70.  Bags from the mall you might use one day (Keep only 1 if you must)

71.  Multiple pair of scissors (One or two tops, right?)

72.  More ear buds than you’ve got family members

73.  Curling irons, crimpers (ha! flash back), or straighteners you don’t use

74.  Highlighters unless you’ve used one in the past month, then save only that one

75.  Travel mugs that leak, or are ugly, or that you don’t use because you have to hand wash it

76.  Boxes – shoe boxes, diaper boxes, cereal boxes.  Recycle and be free.

77.  Samples of any kind – Use, donate, or trash.

78.  Games you haven’t played in the last year

79.  Tape measures – You know the rule, keep one and toss the rest.

80.  Old phone covers, styluses, screen protectors, etc.

81.  Misc. ribbons or string

82.  Expired coupons

83.  Organizers you bought to get organized that didn’t work

84.  Belts that no longer fit, are worn, or are out of style

85.  Duplicate kitchen utensils – Have you ever used three whisks at the same time before?  Me neither.

86. Cookie cutters unless you’ve used them in the past year and foresee using them again

87.  Rarely used cake pans (think Mickey Mouse head) – Our bakery supply store rents them for $2 a day.  I no longer need to keep any on hand for those rare occasions I bake.

88.  Old teeth whitening trays or strips.  Use ’em up or toss ’em out.

89.  Hard candy that you’re not sure where it came from or how long it’s been there

90.  Unloved stuffed animals

91.  Half used chap stick containers – Buy a new one! I LOVE my new EOS one with coconut milk.

92.  Duplicate measuring cups and spoons

93.  Old day planners (and current ones if you don’t use them!)

94.  Candles – If it’s not lovely to look at and you’ll never burn it, let it go.

95.  Mason jars (or baby food jars, spaghetti sauce jars, etc.) that you won’t use

96.  Expired sunscreen

97.  Staple remover – unless you can make a very compelling argument to keep yours.

98.  Travel alarm clock – We have phones now.

99.  Stress balls

100.  Plug in air fresheners without a refill

Join our January Live With Less Challenge to Win $100!! Details are here.

101.  Unloved dog toys

102.  Extra USB flash drives – How many does one family need?

103.  Promotional swag

104.  Key chains you don’t use

105.  Recipe books you don’t ever use

106.  Push pins in the junk drawer just waiting for unsuspecting fingers

107.  Keys that you don’t know what they go to

108.  Lanyards, name tags, bags, etc. from previous conferences

109.  Carabiners – Unless you rock climb, trust me, you won’t use them.

110.  Lotions, face washes, serums that you don’t use

111.  Random batteries you’re not sure where they came from

112.  Multiple bookmarks – Unless you’re a bookworm…you know what to do, toss them.

113.  Combination locks – Chances are slim you’ll use one again but if you do, they’re cheap to replace.

114.  Paperweights

115.  Near empty bottles of bubbles or little nubs of side-walk chalk

116.  Completed coloring books

117.  Markers without lids and lids without markers

118.  Goodie bag toys from previous birthday party celebrations

119.  Empty bottles of anything

120.  Puzzles

121.  Old invitations

122.  Travel brochures

123.  Tissue paper/gift bags

124.  Unused sticky notes

125.  Extra shoe laces

126.  Stickers from a previous yard sale

127.  Hair products you don’t use

128.  Take out chopsticks – Buy a reusable pair if you use them a lot

129.  Old prescription glasses – Great donation for the Lions Club.

130.  Old sunglasses – The cat eye is coming back but definitely toss those purple hued ones.

131.  Worn out flip flops.

132.  Magnets – Unless they are lovely or useful, discard.

133.  Posters you’ll never display again

134.  Excess decks of cards

135.  Phone books

136.  Broken Christmas lights

137.  Notes/gifts from old romances

138.  Hats you don’t wear or that look like you shouldn’t

139.  Extra bubble wrap (or am I the only one who has a supply?)

140.  Twisty ties (another one that hits close to home!)

141.  Chip clips

142.  Craft supplies for a project that has already been completed

143.  Paper plates – Use them up!

144.  Loyalty cards – Use the key ring version or enter your number for even less clutter

145.  Gift cards – Go and enjoy them!

146.  Touristy knick knacks

147.  Business cards – Keep an electronic record

148.  Puzzle books you don’t use

149.  Old textbooks

150.  Unused vases

151.  Stockings with runs in them

152.  Fancy serving bowls you haven’t used in the last year – Use them or sell them.

153.  CDs unless you use them regularly

154.  Old boombox

155.  Piles of “scrap paper”

156.  Purses/dufflebags/old luggage you don’t use

157.  Catalogs

158.  Christmas ornaments that aren’t lovely or sentimental

159.  Instruments you’ve given up on mastering years ago

160.  Clothes that make you feel ugly

161.  Instruction manuals – Most are online now.

162.  Calculators – Phones have replaced these for most people.

163.  Remotes that have no purpose

164.  Emergency sewing kits – I own many and have never used one even once.

165.  Dry erase markers without a board and a board without markers (or both if you don’t use it!)

166.  Extra pencil sharpeners – Only one is needed

167.  Rusty tools you’ll never use again

168.  Lawn and garden pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers you won’t use

169.  Fireworks that are unused (Am I the only one?) – They can be soaked in water overnight then disposed of in a plastic bag.

170.  Dried up super glue (btw, this is my favorite super glue that has never dried out on me!)

171.  Old and ugly t-shirts

172.  Hair accessories you don’t use

173.  One orphan earring

174.  Dried flowers

175.  Extra photo prints

176.  Gifts you don’t love

177.  Scarves you never wear

178.  Damaged/stained clothing

179.  Plastic children’s plates/cups that they’ve outgrown

180.  Junk mail

181.  Address labels – Do you ever really use them?

182.  Extra folders, binders, labels, etc.

183.  Old cell phones – Recycle!

184.  Old fortune cookie fortunes (Someone else keeps the good ones too, don’t they?)

185.  Used ink cartridges – Recycle them for a little money back

186.  Use Unroll.me to rid yourself from pesky email subscriptions (It’s free but I would pay for this fabulous service!!)

187.  Outdated computer software

188.  Old wallets

189.  Dull or duplicate pocket knives

190.  Spare change lying around – Take it to the bank!

191.  Unused picture frames

192.  Old baby gear that you no longer need – Great donation item if you don’t want to sell it!

193.  Kitchen knives no one uses

194.  Old sports equipment from days gone by

195.  Broken clocks

196.  Coasters that go unused

197.  Plants – Yes, plants that don’t brighten your spirits.  Buy ones that do!

198.  Hole punch you never use

199.  Place mats, napkins, table cloths that never get displayed

200.  Ruled notebook paper – I hate to throw it away but I never use it.  Donate it!

if we were not afraid

http://embracinghomemaking.net/2015/04/200-things-to-throw-away

What’s Trending in Home Design?

Home design styles and options come and go each year. Check out this list of trends for 2016-you might be surprised by some of the popular choices this year! 

7 Hot Home Improvement Trends for 2016
Looking to refresh or remodel your home? Check this out before you make a move! We asked some of HomeAdvisor’s member pros to weigh in on the New Year’s hottest home trends. Here are seven you won’t want to miss.

1. Tubs are out; shower stalls are in.

According to the pros, 2016 is the year of the bathroom remodel. It seems homeowners are shifting away from tub-centric, five-piece bathrooms and opting instead for walk-in shower stalls complete with seating, shelving and multiple showerheads.

Fun fact: Tom Lupinetti, owner of T & L Remodeling and Services in Denver, Colo., says he’s removed about $18,000 worth of jetted bathtubs in the last year alone!

2. Ceramic is out; glass tile is in.

When it comes to backsplashes and bathroom surrounds, the pros predict that homeowners will scrap ceramics and indulge in glass. In fact, according to Howard Molen, president of HFM Builders in New York, subway tile is an increasingly popular choice for Manhattan remodels — and it shows fewer flaws than ceramic too.

3. Granite is out; engineered quartz is in.

According to our pros, engineered quartz (the Silestone brand, in particular) has officially ousted Granite as countertop supreme. Why? Because engineered quartz is tougher than granite — and it offers the beauty of stone without the maintenance too. Of course, as Travis Neff of Neff Enterprises in Phoenix, Ariz., points out, quartz generally costs about 20-30 percent more than granite. So, many homeowners opt to stick with granite — the still-worthy tried and true.

4. Lowboy toilets are out; comfort height is in.

The standard lowboy toilet is being dethroned. According to HFM Builders’ Howard Molen, homeowners are shifting toward comfort-height toilets that offer higher, more accessible seating (2 to 3 inches higher than standard).

Bonus points: Comfort-height toilets are great for people with joint and mobility issues!

5. Oak cabinets are out; paints and dark finishes are in.

One of the year’s hottest trends will be a shift from natural oak and cherry cabinets to more modern paints and stains, says Travis Neff of Neff Enterprises. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to update your cabinets without replacing them altogether. In fact, refinishing (painting or staining) or refacing (replacing the doors and drawer fronts) can save you thousands of dollars!

6. High-end appliances are out; mid-range appliances are in.

Today’s mid-range appliances look just as nice and perform just as well as higher-end appliances, explains Howard Molen of HFM Builders. So, there’s no reason for homeowners to spend top dollar on top-of-the-line machines.

Bonus points: Saving on appliances means you get to spend more on the fun stuff!

7. Engineered flooring is out; oak is in.

Laminate and engineered flooring enjoyed a good stint of popularity, says Howard Molen of HFM Builders, but homeowners quickly learned that changing weather and humidity caused unsightly separation and gapping in their floors. In 2016, Molen declares, homeowners will turn back to solid oak flooring. Solid wood won’t gap, he says, and it lasts longer and looks better too.

 

 

http://welcome.homeadvisor.com/2016-trends/?m=cnn&entry_point_id=31694839