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Common Moving Scams and How to Avoid Them

Common Moving Scams and How to Avoid Them

Moving scams are now becoming common compared to some years ago because anyone can easily create a website, buy or rent a couple of trucks and make themselves a moving company. If you are planning to move soon, it’s essential for you to be aware of what the most common scams are and how to avoid them.

If you are asked for a large cash deposit

Security deposits are often demanded by every mover, especially during peak season or where many homeowners are moving. However, it’s always important to do some research before putting down a cash deposit as this is one of the most common moving scams. Always be aware of a moving company when they ask for a large cash deposit because they can take your money and disappear. To avoid this scam – talk to your real estate agent, they can help you find a reliable moving company that won’t ask for a deposit.

If a moving company is asking an increase of the moving cost

If a mover asked an unexpected price increase, it’s a scam, and maybe you can’t avoid it anymore when this happens at your new location. In this situation, the mover usually offers you a very low moving price estimate. As the rate is likely more economical than any other price estimate you receive, you may be tempted to accept the offer.

Here’s the problem! When you arrived at your new place, the movers will ask for an increase in the moving cost. They will cite extra charges, hidden fees, or several other reasons for demanding more money. When you fall into this scam, you could very well end up paying more than you would typically pay a higher estimate from a reputable company.

To avoid this scam – always get an in-home estimate from several potential movers so that they can provide you an accurate estimate for the cost of your move. If possible, ask for an agreement that the price should not exceed moving estimate to avoid any additional charges.

Holding goods hostage

If the moving company demands a price-increase scam as mentioned above, they may keep your goods in the truck until you pay them the money they ask for. Without giving you a specific reason why you owe them more money, they can hold your goods hostage or threaten to run away with your goods until you pay them the additional cost they are demanding.

To avoid this scam – check the company’s track record. Look up the company’s profile and see if there have been any complaints filed against them

Operating illegally

There may be some movers that will try to pass themselves off as legitimate moving company when they are actually unregistered and operating illegally. Even if these companies may not scam you directly, they are still doing illegal business.

If their operations are stopped by police intervention due to some complaints in the middle of your move, your goods might be taken and held as evidence. There is no guarantee that your goods will be brought to your new home.

To avoid this scam – make sure that the moving company provides you with their USDOT number, then check the FMCSA website to find out if the registration is still active, and if not, they run the business illegally.

Insurance fraud

Be careful with movers that entice you to use their services by offering a blanket insurance policy; they may not be a legitimate company. Because most of the reputable moving companies don’t provide insurance coverage. Instead, insurance is purchased from a third party. Any mover offering complete coverage is not doing business legally. If something happens to your goods during the move, you’re unlikely to receive compensation for your belongings, despite the promise of blanket insurance by the mover.

To avoid this scam – make sure to confirm that everything is documented correctly. Legitimate moving companies will make documentation and give you copies of all the paperwork.

Over-the-Phone Estimates

Do not rely on quotes that are sent over the phone. There may could be a change in the moving cost on moving day. If you base the moving cost on a phone estimate, you won’t meet anyone from the company until moving day. Remember that the price of moves often is based on the weight of your goods, a factor that needs to be determined in person.

To avoid the scam – obtain at least three written in-home estimates (not over-the-phone estimates) before making a decision.

Top 3 Causes of Apartment Fires and How to Avoid Them

decorating your apartment for winter


Top 3 Causes of Apartment Fire and How to Avoid it

Fire is one of the most disastrous things to happen to any home. Once it has started, it can be deadly and looks for fuel to continue devastating the properties. The hungry flames can devour the house quickly and have no respect for anything in its path. However, most residential fires, unlike wildfires, can easily be prevented. Let’s see the top 3 causes of apartment fires and how to avoid them.

Be careful with the burning burners

The stove is often the source of many home fires. Pots can overheat and can catch fire on things around the area such as dishtowels and other flammable items. A significant cause of fire in the kitchen is when you leave your stove unattended while you are cooking. Always keep an eye on your stove when it’s on; a close attended pot never boils over or catches fire. Always keep flammable items, such as paper towels, well away from the stove, so there’s no chance of them catching a flame.

Why take a chance on being devastated by a kitchen fire when there are ways to prevent it? You only need to practice good safety habits in the kitchen, and it is unlikely that you’ll need to call 911

To ensure safety cooking, be sure to follow these guidelines:

•Do not leave your kitchen if you are cooking so you can quickly respond in the event of a flare-up.

•If you are baking or roasting, check your food regularly and use a timer to monitor your cooking.

•Put metal objects away from the microwave.

•Take care when lighting a pilot light or a burner.

•Avoid filling pots too full to prevent grease or oil spills.

•Gently heat cooking oil to your desired temperature.

•If you smell the oil or see wisps of smoke, take the pot away from the stove; smoke indicates that the oil is too hot.

•Always keep a pot lid on the stove; if your pan catches fire, immediately cover the pot with the lid, turn off the burner and let the pot cool down.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to cook without worrying about the danger of fire breaking out.

Electrical System

Electrical fires usually happen as a result of faulty wiring or an outlet being overloaded. If you plug an appliance device with a defective cable into an outlet, it might spark and may cause a fire. Make sure that your home’s wiring has been checked out by a professional electrician, especially if you live in an older house. Do not plug power into a circuit that is more than its capacity

If you’ve tried to plug in one too many holiday lights, switched on a vacuum, or cranked up a space heater only to have the lights suddenly shut off, you’ve created an electrical overload.

A visible sign of an electrical circuit overload will cause the breaker to trip shutting off all the power. Other signs can also be noticed to the following:

•Dimming lights.

•Buzzing outlets or switches.

•Outlet or switch covers that are warm to the touch.

•Burning odors from outlets or switches.

•Scorched plugs or outlets.

•Power tools, appliances, or electronics have no sufficient power.

Buzzing sounds and burning smells can also indicate other wiring problems, such as loose connections or short circuits. If any of these problems continue after you’ve taken steps, contact an your property management office and request an electrician.

Heat Sources

Home heaters can cause a fire if fabrics are left too close to the heaters. Always follow the instructions when you use a heating device. Inspect it before using and make sure it is in good condition. Electrical space heaters may also cause fire, especially if the electrical wiring in the heater is faulty. Never leave your home with a space heater running.


How to Quickly Remove the Cooking Smell in Your Apartment


How to Quickly Remove the Cooking Smell in Your Apartment

We all know that after cooking, the smell lingers around the kitchen, especially on the stove and on the dishtowels. Part of the issue is that your apartment doesn’t have an exhaust fan that exhaust out the air the smells.

Another part of the problem is that you didn’t take the necessary precautions that you should have when you’re about to cook something, especially pungent. To avoid this happening in your home, you need to learn these tips on how to quickly remove the cooking smell in your apartment.

Open up windows before you start cooking

It would be great if your kitchen is a little isolated from the rest of your apartment. This will keep any smells contained, so no matter how unpleasant the smell – your meal will not smell in the entire apartment. But if your kitchen isn’t isolated in your home, open up the windows in your kitchen. This will allow fresh air  in and circulate in the kitchen and let any unpleasant air out. It is also good to use a fan to push air out of the window.

Keep an odor absorber around

It’s essential to have odor absorber around the kitchen as it can help get rid of the scent of bacon grease and other unpleasant smells from food. You can use Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag, a burlap bag filled with beneficial bamboo charcoal that sucks up anything you’d be smelling. But there are other options. You can DIY your charcoal bag; you can stick Air Sponge in the corner of your kitchen; or invest in an air purifier. Whatever you like to use, it’s a good move.

Light a candle while you’re cooking

When you light a candle while cooking, it can control any particularly strong odors. You can look for a candle like the Fresh Wave Odor Neutralizing candle that is made for this purpose, but when you find lightly scented citrus or herbaceous candle, it is nice too.

Use a splatter screen to absorb odors

Even if what you cook is not smelling fragrant, it will undoubtedly become after a few days when the splatter that you didn’t wipe out start to smell. Using a splatter guard is always a good idea, but a splatter screen that features an activated carbon filter is a game changer.

Clean everything immediately after you finish cooking

It can be annoying to any homeowner to let pots or frying pans left unwashed, your dirty dishes linger in the sink or let food splatters cement on your stove top. Clean up immediately as soon as you fish cooking. It’s just necessary to remove all evidence of having cooked anything, so no smells stick around.

Use white vinegar for cleaning

If there are still odors that seem to linger after you have cleaned up everything, it’s a good idea to put a couple of small bowls of white distilled vinegar around your kitchen. Vinegar can do magic, and odors disappear. If you feel a stubborn smell that is sticking, it is highly recommended to use simmering white vinegar on that suspected thing in the kitchen.

It seems to work quickly and powerfully. If the smell is sticking to fabrics or cabinets, you can spray white vinegar on those things. If you can’t find a vinegar, you can use bowls of baking soda or coffee grounds to take the smell out of the air.

Use baking soda to beat bad smells

Baking soda is known by many homeowners for its deodorizing properties and is an effective cleaning solution. When you use baking soda, pour some into mason jars, poke holes in the lids, and distribute these around the kitchen. This way, it can absorb any odors left behind after your food preparation. You can take this useful tip to the next level by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to baking soda so that the smell can be sweeter.

While you’ve already learned some tips on how to get rid of cooking smells that radiate from your kitchen, it will now be easy for you to combat musty cooking smells and deodorize your home. 


Small Space Designs and Decorations You Should Avoid



Small Spaces Designs and Decorations that You Should Avoid

When you are planning to design and decorate a small space, you need to follow some of the cardinal rules. You should make sure that the furniture matches the scale and keep things light. When you want to get the most out of every inch of a small space, be sure not to do the total opposite. When you design a small space, make sure your design is adaptable to space. Below you will find some of the small space mistakes that you need to avoid when you design and decorate a small space.

Too much storage

Avoid too much storage, and take what you need. When you only have a small space, storing things is a good idea that can keep your place organized and uncluttered. But when you go crazy with using boxes and baskets as your storage, it can ultimately trip up your design and make a room feel smaller. Make storage solutions and stash them away under furniture, so they aren’t visible.

Small scale pieces

Choose a piece of furniture that can easily be fitted to the scale of the room. Avoid an overstuffed furniture as it can feel cramped. Don’t use too many small furniture pieces, as they can have the same effect. In some cases, one large furniture piece feels more spacious than several smaller pieces. 

Not enough Lighting in a room

With the absence of enough lighting in a room, it can make the space smaller. Light can illuminate every inch of the room. Dark corners can make a room feel smaller than it already is, so it’s essential to use accent lighting to illuminate every inch of a small space.

Being total wallflowers

Placing all the furniture against the walls of a small room might be the right solution, but it doesn’t always work. It can make strange layouts and create a limited design. Move the couch away from the wall to allow for narrow tables for better socializing. The center of the room may feel a little smaller, but you’ll gain much better design points.

Dark colors can make a room feel smaller

You probably agree that light colors make a room feel bigger and dark colors can make a room feel smaller. But the way a small space feels is perhaps more about texture and less about color. Color alone can be choppy, especially when viewed with the rest of the room. Instead, use monochrome color in your home and utilize texture as your main design. Textiles and woodwork can bring character to a small room.

Stopping with the walls

A small space needs all the help it can get, so avoid painting it when it is well painted. By adding the same color onto the ceiling, it can create an unbroken line. By not adding color to the wall, it can make a room feel much more spacious than it is.

Breaking up space

If you have the effort to make a room feel bigger, you could do the total opposite. Instead, keep your eye line as fluid as possible. Make your room in harmony with the rest of your home and avoid furniture and accents that break up space.

Too much decor

It can be a mistake in interior design if there’s too much of a good thing. Don’t design every inch of a small space. Leaving some tables bare or a couch without throw pillows might not be the right choice, but it gives the eye a break. The break can create the illusion of a bigger space. This is an easy solution to one of the most common small space design mistakes.

Not seeing potential

This is the saddest small space mistakes in a room. Small rooms are often relegated to unused rooms or corners of the home. But employing the right design, every area in your home can be functional – if not palatial. Consider the potential in small rooms. What you consider small might be a cozy place to unwind or a great place to enjoy your morning coffee.

We may not be able to make our homes big enough for a basketball game. But every nook can be thoughtfully designed to make a space look bigger. Enjoy the good life by avoiding the small space mistakes that make your home feel more compact than it is, and you’ll find that size doesn’t matter.


Organic Ways to Keep the Mosquitoes Away



Organic Ways to Keep the Mosquitoes Away

If you have spent a summer evening out side enjoying the open air, you probably have been exasperated by the nuisance of mosquitoes. With their whining buzz, they can make even the die hard outdoor lovers nuts. The diseases spread by mosquitoes can be extremely serious and sometimes even deadly. To keep the mosquitoes away from your home, here are some of the organic ways to keep the bugs at bay.

Get rid of stagnant water

There should be no standing water in anything. Ponds, pools, and yards that are improperly drained can also attract mosquitoes.  Mosquitoes can’t fly very far, so if you find breeding spots on your property, you can easily eliminate them. In a swimming pool, there’s nothing to worry about as long as it’s chlorinated, mosquitoes will buzz right on by.

Hire a pro to check hidden spots

One option is to hire a pro to inspect areas such as gutters, as it can collect a great amount of water when the drain is clogged and become a prime breeding spot. As you inspect the whole area in your house, assess your window screens and replace any that are broken, ripped or not fitting properly.

Apply repellent, then do it again

A lotion or spray that contains DEET (a brand of diethyltoluamide), is an effective insect repellent. It’s safe for kids when used as directed. Picaridin or oil of lemon or eucalyptus is another bet for keeping mosquitoes away, but it will wear off after a few hours, depending on the formula. Read the instructions on that bottle of insect repellent so you’ll know when to reapply.

Cover your feet

Mosquitoes love sweat and bacteria, making your toes a prime blood-sucking spot. Aedes aegypti is a kind of mosquito that is most likely responsible for spreading deadly Zika virus. It tends to bite on the lower part of the body. So always use a repellent or cover your feet and consider wearing high-top sneakers or high socks.

Dress for even more success

Consider wearing lightweight, light-colored clothes to hide your arms and legs. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors. So during summer when mosquitoes are festering in every corner of your home, put away your black and navy and embrace those on-trend summer whites and pretty pastels.

Eat indoors when possible

The experts say that while most mosquitoes found in the U.S. bite in the evening, the types thought to carry Zika virus feed during daylight hours. For those living in the South, which is more likely to see Zika-carrying mosquitoes, make sure to enjoy your meal inside the house.

If you entertain outside, spray the day before.

If you’re going to host a large outdoor gathering, you must spray the area with a repellent so you can enjoy the party. Simply spray down the area you are planning on using at least 24 hours in advance.

Tent the patio

If you plan for a small get-together party, it is ideal to place a tent in the area where guests will be eating. This can avoid any concerns of food accidentally being sprayed with repellents and you can get rid of other unwanted guests like bees and flies. Many companies sell canopy tents with mosquito net accessories.

Set out candles or lanterns

You can help keep mosquitoes away from your patio by lighting candles or lanterns that contain one or more essential oils known to repel mosquitoes. These oils include citronella, clove, cedarwood, lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass, and geraniol. Mosquito-repelling candles work best in small areas without a lot of air movement. The next time you want to enjoy time outside on your patio, try Ortho Home Defense Perimeter Protection Repellent Candles; it uses spearmint and lemongrass oil to repel 2x more mosquitoes than citronella.

Set mosquito traps

Using mosquito traps can help keep mosquitoes away from your porch or patio. For an outdoor party, traps can be an effective way to protect your guests from mosquitoes, especially when you use it along with other mosquito controls and repellent products.

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