An Organized Bedroom Makes Mornings a Breeze

Seems like when your bedroom is organized, your whole day just starts out better. You may sleep better, you may feel more relaxed, and it may even reduce your stress and anxiety. Another added benefit to keeping your bedroom organized is that you might find you want to spend more alone time with your spouse! Having a room in which to enjoy each other’s company without having things in the way may open the door for more enjoyment. Follow these tips on how to keep your bedroom from becoming a catch all. Your life will thank you for it!

Don’t Let Trash Clutter up Your Space

This sounds so simple and easy, right? But how many of us just throw receipts, clothing tags, and other scraps of paper on the dresser, night stand, or in a chair—thinking we will pick that up later? A good idea is to have a trash can accessible by the bed or in a corner of the room. By just seeing that trash can, you will be more likely to use it. Put the trash in the can immediately. If you allow it to sit somewhere, more than likely it will become a piece of clutter in your bedroom.

Don’t Let Your Clothes Take Over

If the laundry is dirty, place it in the hamper or basket. When the hamper is full, take it to the laundry room and wash the clothes. You may find this helps keep you organized. If the laundry has been done and is clean, hang it up or fold it and put it away immediately. Not only will this help keep your bedroom organized, but it will save you hours of ironing time later.

Make Getting Ready for Work Easier by Keeping an Organized Closet

Clothes all crammed together, shoes piled in a corner, hamper overflowing? That’s not a good way to start your day. A neat and organized closet makes getting up and out of the house a lot faster and less stressful for everyone, and no matter what your current closet set up is, chances are you can make it better with just a few simple changes.

You may find that purchasing a closet organizing system is the best way to tame a chaotic closet. They are readily available at most stores, with many to choose from, and can be used to hang clothes, belts, and accessories. By hanging all these things up and keeping them tidy, your items may last longer, not only saving you space and time, but also money.

Avoid the Temptation to Just “Toss it on the Bed”

You might find it is easy to toss things on the bed when in a hurry. The shirt that you wore once and which needs to be hung up, the sweater that got left in the car, your empty winter purse after you moved all your stuff to your summer bag – it adds up. Do that too many times and that pile will grow to epic proportions. Pretty soon, you will have no room to sleep in your own bed.
Keep your bed clear from clutter. Take 30 seconds to hang up that shirt or put the purse in a drawer. Make your bed the most comfy, relaxing, inviting space in the room. You may find that this truly lets you relax and get a better night’s rest.

By following these bedroom organization tips, your anxiety levels will lessen, your quality of sleep will improve and you may even find that you now have more time to spend creating precious moments with the ones you love.

And if you are selling your home in West Cobb or North Paulding, this will make it so much easier when potential buyers visit. Less stress for you, more inviting home for them.

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Feng Shui in the Bathroom

If you’re like most people, you probably associate Feng Shui with rooms that you spend a lot of time in like the living room or bedroom, not the bathroom. But shouldn’t you enjoy every room in your home? Simply following a few basic Feng Shui tips can make even the bathroom inviting.

  1. Shut the bathroom door. It might seem silly but keeping the bathroom door shut is probably the most important all Feng Shui bathroom tips. Closing the bathroom door is going to make a big difference in the overall energy and atmosphere in your home.
  2. Close the toilet lid. Aside from being unpleasant to look at, a toile with the lid open also promotes the loss of chi. In fact, every time your toilet is flushed, you’re washing away this positive energy. Simply keeping the lid closed will help reduce the amount of energy lost, and make the bathroom a much more pleasant space.
  3. Mirrors. Mirrors are known to circulate and speed up energy so the bathroom is a perfect place for them. However, with that being said you need to use caution when placing them in your bathroom. You don’t want to multiply the dirty energy so make sure that any mirror, especially a large one, does not reflect the toilet. Meaning, when you are sitting on the toilet you should not be able to see your entire body in the mirror.
  4. Ambience. One of the easiest ways to achieve Feng Shui in the bathroom is by creating ambience. This can be something as simple as a dimmer switch for the lights so that you can dim them when pampering yourself and turn them up when getting ready for the day. When you’re using the bathroom to pamper yourself, create even more of an ambience by bringing in candles (non-toxic), playing soft soothing music, and using bath salts.
  5. Plants. When it comes to Feng Shui in the bathroom, bamboo and leafy plants are highly recommended because they are chi movers. Not only that but they are also known to absorb humidity and get rid of old stale chi as well as add some natural, earthly color to the room. If your bathroom doesn’t have a lot of light, bamboo is your best option to go with.
  6. Make your bathroom beautiful. Paint the walls with a Feng Shui color that is best suited for the bathroom – white, soft white, blue, light green or black. Candles were mentioned in #4 above but they’re worth mentioning again. Choose candles that have beautiful stands as decor. Purchase some unique colorful artwork to add to the walls. And last but certainly not least, if you have old raggedy towels buy some new, plush ones.
  7. Keep it clean. This is probably common sense but it’s worth mentioning. When it comes to Feng Shui and keeping positive energy flowing throughout your space, it’s important to keep things clutter free and clean. If you don’t, energy can get stuck and become stale, which produces negative energy. So, keep things picked up and put away every day.

Your bathroom doesn’t have to be an uninviting, cold space. With a little thought and a few basic Feng Shui principles thrown in, you can create a warm, comforting environment in every room in your home, including the bathroom.

Home Improvement Projects Before & After Home Purchase

So you have a list of home improvement projects, or things you want to fix before selling your home. A quick trip to the big box home store and you find just the items you need. The problem? You don’t know how much you need because you don’t have your measurements with you. Been there, done that!

My Measures & Dimensions, a premium app (which means it has a cost – albeit minimal) can help save your home measurements on your smartphone and have them handy when you are out shopping.

How It Works

Take a picture of your room or item for your project. Add dimensions. Now you have the information you need. As a homeowner, this is great for improvement projects. As a homebuyer, this is great as you navigate your way through homes, and when you find your dream home, you can have the measurements handy for furniture shopping, decorating, and so much more.


According to the information on the app stores, you can:

  • store dimensions on a photo
  • add arrows, angles and text
  • organize photos/files in folders
  • easy multiple folder and file sharing
  • export photo with dimension to photo library
  • send photo with dimensions via email
  • supported portrait and landscape orientation
  • metric and imperial units: meters, centimeters, millimeters, inches, feet and yards and fractions!
  • and more.

Android appApple Store


Isn’t it amazing how easy some things can be when we use our smartphone? Don’t have a smartphone? Grab a plastic bag and put the same information on a piece of paper along with paint chips and fabric swatches in your handbag or car.

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Appraised Value: Understanding Your West Cobb Home Valuation

Determining Fair Market Value is an eternal struggle and major balancing act. That’s because buyers want a house to appraise on the low side—to keep the purchase price down. While sellers want the same house to appraise on the high side—to make the sale price higher. And then you’ve got the owners of the house—who also want the appraisal to be on the low side, in order to keep the property taxes down.

So with all these different agendas and points of view, how is the fair market value of a real estate property actually determined?

Once a year, your county sends all area homeowners official notices that put a dollar value on their property. And property taxes are based on those dollar values. But before those notices get sent out, a long, detailed process usually takes place. First, the land is valued as if it’s vacant—an empty lot, in other words. Then any improvements are described and measured. Improvements consist of the house and any other structures, pools, sheds, garages, and so forth. Next, most counties check the Marshall Valuation Service Cost Guide. It’s a standardized nationwide guide for determining the value of the cost per square foot to build a building that fits the description of the improved property. Next, if the house isn’t brand new, the replacement cost is considered, as well as depreciation; the year the house was constructed and the condition of the property are factors here. Appraisers then must take the critical step of comparing the value of the house with recent selling prices of similar homes in the neighborhood. At this point, the appraisal might stand “as is”—or it might be adjusted upward or downward.

Market Value is a theory, in other words—not an unchanging fact.

In a perfect world, you have to have willing buyer and a willing seller. Neither is under duress. Both are in a position to maximize gain and are trying to do this. But in the real world, things are rarely that simple and equally balanced. Which is why people feel differently about the appraisal value of a house. It really depends how strong their position is as a buyer or seller.

Does the local economy come into it at all? You bet it does.

Ask a successful Realtor about that! As the metropolitan Atlanta area economy grows bringing jobs and new opportunities, areas like West Cobb neighborhoods are attracting people from other areas who consider real estate here a good investment with great neighborhoods. That helps fuel increases in property values.

So—now you know where that Grand Total comes from.

You’re armed with the information you need to make a better house-buying decision. For instance, you can understand how two virtually identical houses that are in two different neighborhoods could be very far apart in price and appraised value. And why your choice of the right house in the right neighborhood could be worth a not-so-small fortune to you right now—and years down the road.

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5 Mistakes To Avoid When Moving

We’ve all heard the moving horror stories. The moving van that headed to Birmingham, Alabama while the new house was in Acworth,Georgia. The rented apartment that suddenly isn’t available, despite deposits and signed lease agreements. Movers who took off with the valuables and left someone else’s boxes in their place. Not everyone will have a perfect moving experience, but fortunately the true horror stories are few and far between. And most of the more serious problems can be avoided with a little bit of research and planning. Learn what not to do when selling your home in West Cobb and going through the moving process. Here are five mistakes you want to avoid when moving:

Mistake #1: Not Choosing Your Moving Company Carefully

When you are looking to hire a moving company, you need to do “due diligence”.

  • Research and talk to as many companies as possible to find the best rates. Have a list of questions written out before talking to the company reps.
  • Make sure you know exactly what everything will cost. If they have extra charges for stairs or taking things out of the attic, make sure you know that so you can properly budget.
  • Never call to hire a moving company at the last minute. The best companies need to book a month in advance so you need to call as soon as you know when and where you are going.
  • Once you have an agreement in place, make sure you call a day or two before the move is scheduled as well just to make sure everything is as planned and nothing has gone wrong.
  • Make sure you know the details of the company’s insurance policy and how to file a claim. Even careful movers make mistakes and damage walls, valuables, or furniture. It happens; know how to take care of it when it does.

Mistake #2: Not Having the Right Moving Equipment

If you are moving yourself, one of the most important pieces of equipment you will need on moving day is a dolly! You can rent one from any truck rental place for only a few extra dollars a day. If you are moving yourself, you might want to make sure you have work gloves with a good grip and even a back brace for support if you have quite a few heavy pieces of furniture to move long distances or up and down stairs.

If you’re moving heavy furniture or a piano, particularly from an upper floor, you may need other specialty equipment. Do some research online and determine if it’s worth trying to do it yourself, or if you should hire a professional to handle the tough stuff.

Mistake #3: Not Backing Up Your Computer

As anyone who has ever moved knows, when you are moving, anything can happen. If you have important files on your computer, it is best to back these up by using a flash drive, removable storage device or cds. Even if you choose to carry the computer in the car with you, it is still a good idea to back things up. You could be rear-ended; the computer could get dropped in transit, or it could simply stop working (it’s been known to happen!). Backing up is a strategic move to safeguard your information at all times, but particularly during a move.

Mistake #4: Forgetting to Pack an Overnight Bag

Even if your move should not last more than a day, you will want to make sure you have an overnight bag with an extra set of clothes and some toiletries on hand for when you get to your new place. Chances are you will be tired and just want to rest when you arrive, instead of unpacking 32 boxes in search of your contact lens solution and pajamas. Having something ready to use will mean you will not have to scramble around the boxes and try to dig out what you need when you can barely stand up anymore.

Mistake #5: Not Remembering to Think of Your Helpers

Whether you have hired professional movers or are having friends and family help you out, you need to show your appreciation in any way you can. This could mean having drinks and food on hand throughout the day so no one runs out of steam, offering to pick up lunch for the crew, or just giving a friendly smile. At the end of the day, if everything has gone smoothly, it’s customary to tip your workers; the amount depends on the complexity of your move, the number of workers, and how hard they worked. This not only shows your appreciation but also shows them that you value their time and they will be more willing to help you out the next time you need something.

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Keeping Kids’ Rooms Clutter Free

What’s the one room in your home where you just want to close the door and not look? For most families with kids, the answer to that is definitely the kids’ bedrooms. They are catch-alls for toys, games, clothes, school work, musical instruments, and everything else that kids seem to collect, no matter what their age.

Keeping kids rooms neat and clean might seem like a never-ending battle, but putting a solid organization plan in place can help.


Overflowing dresser drawers and jam-packed closets not only contribute to clutter, but they make getting ready for school in the morning a real challenge. Keeping all that clothing organized might seem impossible, but a simple schedule can turn a day-long job into a quick task.

While your kids are younger and growing rapidly, it can help to evaluate each piece of clothing every time you fold laundry. This might mean simply asking yourself if the item still fits. If it does, it goes back in the drawer, if not, donate it. In addition, check for stains, tears, and other damage that can’t be hidden or fixed, and toss those items that are no longer wearable.

For older kids, you won’t have to do this with each load of laundry, but you should do it at the end of every season. When you put away the summer clothes as you prepare for back to school, look at each item and ask yourself if it will still be wearable in the spring. Make a donation pile for those items that won’t be useable. If you can use the items for younger children later, then sort them by size and store in clearly labeled bins, ready to pull out when they’re needed.


If there is one thing kids have more of than clothing, it must be toys. Preventing your home from turning into one big toy box sometimes feels like a full-time job, but it doesn’t have to be. You can even get the kids to help keep their stuff picked up, if you make it easy and fun for them.

Pretty baskets or colorful plastic bins make it easy for kids to keep their toys put away, and even help you teach them valuable skills and habits along the way. You can make a nighttime routine of picking up all the toys and putting them in the appropriate basket just before bed. If more than one child shares a room, or if you have a lot of toys (and who doesn’t?) you might have different colored containers for each child or for various types of toys. Billy’s toys are in the green container, while Randy’s are in the blue, for example.

Homework and Other School Supplies

Is there anything worse than scrambling to get ready for school and not being able to find that math homework that’s due today? Well if you make it a habit to keep school supplies and homework organized, you’ll rarely have to worry about missing the bus.

Start with a designated place where all homework is stored. This might be an “in” basket on a desk, or a small box or basket on a shelf, but the point is, when your child comes home from school, everything he or she brings with him goes there. During homework time, he’ll know exactly where to look for the necessary books and papers, and when he leaves for school the next day, he’ll know just what he needs to take along.

Here’s a critical tip for this system, though: Nothing that is NOT homework can be kept in the homework box, and homework can never be left anyplace else. That way you will always know that whatever is in that spot must go to school, and that if the box is empty, all the homework has been turned in.

Keeping kids organized can seem like an uphill climb, but by setting up some easy-to-follow (and fun) systems and enlisting their help, you’ll not only have a much more organized home, but you’ll also have far less stress. Plus, you’ll be teaching your children how to live a clutter-free life, and that will serve them well over the years.

An Organized Fridge is the Start of an Organized Kitchen

Did you know that by proper organizing the contents of your refrigerator, you can save both time and money? By holding the door open and staring into the cold abyss, you can cause more loss of cold air. As a result, the refrigerator will consume more energy and have to run longer to keep it cool. Keep your fridge organized, though, and you’ll be able to reach in and grab what you need instantly. Not only that, but you will be well on your way to the start of an organized kitchen. Here are some tips to help you out:

Meal Planning

Create a specialized place on the refrigerator for copies of your meal plans. You can simply hang it using a magnet. This will help you to organize the contents of your refrigerator better by reminding you to use up leftovers and also by ensuring you have everything you need on hand when it’s time to cook.

Invest in Clear Storage Containers with Lids

It is easier to find the food you are looking for if you can see inside the plastic containers. You don’t have to rummage inside the fridge. You don’t have to spend a fortune, just purchase some inexpensive plastic containers and use them to store leftover foods.

If your leftovers are often thrown away because you forget to eat them, you might want to even take it a step further and label the leftovers with the date you cooked it and put it in the refrigerator. Also, when putting leftovers away, be sure to rotate the contents of your fridge so older food is in the front, while today’s leftovers are in the back. This will help keep spoilage to a minimum.

Place Meat and Poultry in Bowls

Be sure and clean all meat first before placing it in the fridge. Some might contain bacteria that can spread inside the fridge. Get rid of excess blood. You should already cut the meat into the portions that you can use during the week and place in a bowl with a covered lid.

Organize Food by Day of the week

Place the food that you are going to need later that week at the back of the fridge and organize the items you need earlier that week in the areas where you can easily get them.

Place Dairy Items Together

Avoid storing dairy products where you cannot easily find them. These perish easily. It would be a shame to purchase cottage cheese, and then forget that you have it stored in your fridge. Keep cheeses, yogurt, sandwich spreads and milk close to the door of the machine so you can easily see them.

Clean Your Fridge Regularly

Every couple of weeks, go through the fridge and clean it out, throwing out leftovers that were not eaten and wiping down shelves that have had food spilled on them. Wipe off bottle lids that have food dripped on the sides and check the temperature settings frequently.

Stay organized and on your way to a neat kitchen by keeping your refrigerator clean and organized!

5 Steps to a More Organized Bathroom

The bathroom is the most visited room in any home. It needs attention daily and if left untouched can quickly become the most disorganized room in the house. While the bathroom is not the most fun to organize and clean, if you follow these 5 quick and easy steps for organizing your bathroom, there will be no need to have to deep clean or reorganize for a while.

Step 1: Gather and sort all the items in your bathroom. That means everything from the vanity top, drawers, medicine cabinet, and even the linen closet. Sort everything into four different piles—keep, toss, give away, and then an “I’m not sure” pile to go through again at the very end.

Step 2: Clean everything. With hair spray and makeup and steam from the shower, the bathroom can get dirty fast. Now is a good time for a deep cleaning. Wash down the countertops, sinks, drawers, and shelves. If you have any old toothbrushes lying around, they make good scrubbing tools around faucets and drains. Clean the mirrors, wash the windows (if you have them) and clean the tub and toilet areas. If you have knick-knacks sitting in your bathroom or pictures hanging on the wall, get those down and give them a good washing off also.

Step 3: Put everything away. Start with the easiest space first–the medicine cabinet. Once you get things put away there, you can move on to the drawers, linen closet, etc. If you want to get really organized, purchase some drawer dividers to keep things such as makeup, shaving supplies, and nail care products neat and accessible. Extra items can be placed in clear plastic containers with lids, labeled clearly, and tucked away under the sink or in the linen closet.

If space is limited and you have a very small bathroom, you can use tall baskets or decorative containers with lids and place them on a rack that is over the toilet to store things like hairbrushes, soaps, and other toiletries.

Step 4: Pretty it up. If your bathroom is void of any decorations and the walls are bare, you might want to add some decorative touches or scented candles by the tub, and so on. An attractive, well-organized bathroom will be a joy to use and may even motivate you to move on to organize the rest of the house!

But remember – getting your bathroom, or any room in your home – organized is only the beginning. You’ll also need to have a plan in place to stay organized. In the bathroom, that might mean taking an extra 5 minutes every morning to put everything away, wipe down the vanity, and clean the sink. Teach everyone in your house to do these simple tasks after they’ve used the bathroom, and it will stay clean and orderly for a long time.

7 Ways To Save Money by DIYing

The ballpark cost to move a household is about $1 per pound. Before you start thinking that that amount doesn’t sound too bad, keep in mind that the average 2-bedroom 1200-square-foot home includes almost 9000 pounds of furniture, personal items, and other household goods.

If you’ve got an extra $10K lying around, you’re set. But what if you don’t — or you simply don’t want to shell out that much cash? Good news: You can cut that number way down with a little mental effort and sweat equity. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

  1. Start planning your move as soon as you know one is imminent. The more time you have to plan, the more time you have to get rid of unwanted items, ship things ahead, whittle down your possessions, shop around for comparisons, and even do it yourself. If you’ve got to move out by next week, you’re going to have a lot less flexibility than if you have six months to work your plan.
  2. Pick up supplies along the way. Moving boxes can be expensive — up to five dollars a box or more for specialty packaging. Instead of buying them, scoop them up on your own. You can pick up boxes at almost any store. Sams Club, Costco, BJs or even grocery stores have a variety of boxes — but don’t think bigger is better! Sometimes fully-loaded big boxes are too heavy for one person to lift and defeat the purpose of DIYIng. Ask a manager for the best pick up times are if there is not a spot out in the open where you can just grab some empties as you like.
  3. You can also advertise on,, or just through word of mouth that you’re looking for packing materials. Anyone who’s moved recently to your location probably is just dying to get rid of the piles of boxes and wrap residing in their basement or garage. Know an office manager? Ask them to save boxes that copy paper comes in. They’re perfect for moving.
  4. Forget the bubble wrap. While it can be fun to sit and pop the bubbles after you have unpacked everything at the new place, paying an extra cost for bubble wrap just isn’t necessary. You can use newspaper, magazines, towels, dishcloths, or even bed sheets if they are thick enough to pack your items in. Items just need to be separated and secured from smashing into each other, a goal that can be accomplished easily with materials you can find around your house.
  5. Purge. If something does not have truly sentimental meaning or is an item that can be replaced, then GET RID of it! The less you have to move, the less boxes you’ll have to pack and the quicker you can finish up your move.
  6. Rent a trailer instead of a truck. This idea is a real money-saver if you’re only moving across town or only have a small house to move across country. Some people think that renting a moving truck is the best choice since everything can be loaded up in one shot. However, a trailer can often be more cost-effective. Calculate gas money, mileage, costs for renting vehicles, and what other fees you may have to deal with before you make your decision.
  7. Pack it yourself. It sounds great to have a crew of people descend on your house and pack it up for you in a matter of hours. But you pay for that privilege, to the tune of $20 per worker per hour! That’s money flushed down the john when you think it’s just a matter of working at it, a bit at a time. Again, the longer time you have, the better off you are.

The real key to DIYing your move is to handle as much as you can yourself, from finding materials to packing, transporting, and unloading at the other end. Sure, it takes time, but most people find it well worth the effort.

Using Professional Movers to Save You Time and Money

There are some instances when hiring professional movers can actually save you time and money. As our area continues to grow, relocating to Acworth becomes a popular option. And sometimes that move can involve some other issues which impact your ability to handle everything yourself. Hiring professionals to assist you with all or part of your move is recommended if:

You have a short timeline, or you can’t take time off work. If you must move quickly or just don’t have the time to pack and move then hiring a professional means that you can get moved quickly by people that know their job. You can go about your own business and let them take care of the packing, lifting, moving, and even unpacking at the other end.

You’re being reimbursed by your employer. If your company is picking up the tab, save yourself the stress and let them handle it for you. Moving expenses are often tax-deductible, so check with an accountant to see if you are eligible to deduct your costs and if your reimbursement is likewise tax-free.

You have specialty items. If you’re moving a piano, heavy furniture, a collection of antiques, or other specialty items, you may want to let the professionals do the work for you. They are experienced and have the tools and know-how to get your precious goods from Point A to Point B — and they carry insurance in case the worst happens.

You are moving overseas. Trying to move to another country on your own may be beyond what the average person wants to take on. Do some research to see if there are specific regulations that must be followed, and then make a decision as to whether you want to DIY or opt for the professionals.

You are under emotional stress. If you’re moving after the death of a loved one or a divorce, you may be emotionally unequipped to deal with the minutiae of moving. While hiring a professional does come at a price, this may be one time in your life when you can opt for convenience over cost.

If you do decide to hire a professional to assist with all or part of your move, here are some tips to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth:

  • Ask for referrals from friends. Find a highly recommended mover; the pain and strife from going with the lowest bid often means the least costly option ends up being the most costly in terms of stress and anxiety.
  • Get a written quote from at least three companies. Estimates can vary widely, and make sure you’re comparing apples to apples by having them lay out exactly what the costs for materials, labor, and transport will be. Look for hidden charges like extra insurance, mileage, storage, and any other add-on fees.
  • Let them know you’re shopping around. Times are tough everywhere, and your salesperson may be willing to cut you a bargain in order to capture your business.
  • Make sure your quote is “not to exceed.” That means if the actual weight of your possessions is more than the estimate, the company must eat the cost. This keeps them from adding on extra fees at the end.

Only you can decide if your time and/or peace of mind is worth more than the price tag for your move. But with these tips, you can make sure that price tag is as low as possible.