What to Do With the Extra Room in Your House

What would you do if you had an extra room in your house? Get creative because the possibilities are limitless.

1. Home Gym: Do you love to start your mornings with a good workout, but hate dragging yourself to a crowded gym? If you have some workout machines at home, transform your spare room into a gym. Even if you just buy some weights, a yoga mat, and other inexpensive equipment, you can turn your unused room into something useful.

2. Playroom: If you’re tired of tripping over your kids’ toys in your nice, fancy living room, turn that extra room into their own space. Paint the walls with chalkboard paint so they can write on the walls, store all of their toys in the room, and allow them to play. They’ll love a space of their own, and you’ll love not having a mess all over the house.

3. Contemplation Room: Ever just need some time alone with your thoughts? If you find yourself wanting to escape the craziness of the day and not knowing where to go, consider creating a contemplation room. Decorate it in all white with comfortable furniture, throw pillows, and blankets. This creates a serene space where you can go to clear your head, meditate, and relax.

4. Library: If you’re a bookworm, you’ve probably always dreamed of having your very own library. Now is your chance! Install bookshelves from wall to ceiling, add comfortable, sophisticated couches, and throw in cozy area rugs to make a comfy and inviting space. Just imagine relaxing after a long day in your library with your favorite book, a cup of tea, and candles.

5. Entertainment Center: If you don’t have a den or finished basement, and only a formal living room, you may want to consider turning the spare room into an entertainment center. Use dark woods and deep colors, reclining chairs and a sectional couch, and top it off with a flat screen television for the perfect movie theater feel. It can be a great place to have a movie marathon on a rainy day!

Having a spare room in the home leaves you with countless opportunities to be unique and create a special room that’s all your own!

Recommended Reading:

-How to Turn Your Bathroom into a Spa Inspired Escape

-Old to New: Tips for Rearranging Your Furniture

-5 Home Projects to Complete in 10 Minutes or Less


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Moving Advice

We just released our video series Moved by Moving, the world’s first video series created entirely with moving boxes. We know that moving is often an anxious, stressful time. From new surroundings to new people, there is a lot to handle and get used to.

There’s no need to worry though, we are here to help! You’ve watched our videos, and now we’re providing even more tips for making the moving process as smooth as possible.

1. Dimensions: If you’re transporting furniture from home to home, measure the dimensions of the doorways and the furniture pieces. The last thing you need on moving day is to realize that your new couch doesn’t fit in the doorway of your new home.

2. Declutter: When you start packing up for your move, look at the items you have in front of you. If you see a lot of belongings that you don’t use anymore it may be time to consider a garage sale and donation. The key is to declutter your old home before moving into your new one.

3. Packing: To ensure that everything is transported safely, pack heavy items in smaller boxes and light items in bigger boxes, this makes it more likely that they won’t move around and break in transit. Also, pack plates vertically, not flat, and they will be more likely to safely make the move.

4. Necessities: It can be easy to get caught up in the moving process. On moving day, don’t forget that your new home is bare. Items like toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, and glasses won’t be there unless you bring them. Set aside a separate bin to hold these moving essentials so you don’t find yourself in a sticky situation!

5. Pets and kids: The key to a successful move is to stay calm and avoid any chaos. If you have small children, or pets, it may be best to keep them out of the move. Ask someone to babysit (or pet sit) for the day. Once you settle in bring your pets and kids into their new home!

Moving to new home is a huge adjustment, but if you follow this advice, and do what works best for you, you’re likely to have a smooth move!

Recommended Reading:

-How to Build a Winning Home Buying Team

-On the Road Again: The Ultimate Moving Checklist

-We Asked, You Answered: Advice for First-Time Homeowners

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Introducing Our Newest Television Ads

One trick to a successful move is working with someone who will go above and beyond to make your dreams a reality.

Whether it’s running through an airport to tell you your idea home is officially yours, or helping you get out of your parents’ basement, a CENTURY 21Ⓡ affiliated sales associate can be there to help. watch our newest ads on TV this year!

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These Gadgets That Will Do Your Housework For You (Yes, Seriously)

April 7th was No House Work Day and it was nice to take a break from the daily tasks of cleaning and organizing your home. In reality, housework is an ongoing item on your to-do list and sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to complete everything.

Wouldn’t it be nice and convenient to have gadgets that actually do your work for you?

Here’s some gadgets you need to know.

1. Automated vacuum: This is the original hands free housework device, and for good reason. All you have to do is turn it on and let it get to work. Within minutes your floor is clean and you didn’t even have to lift a finger. Vacuuming just became your new favorite chore!

2. Automated mops: Automated mops are now on the market. These trusty devices work just as a mop would, only you don’t need to lug around a bucket of water. The brush heads and cleaning solution work together through a three part cleaning process. Most models work on a variety of floors including hardwood, vinyl, and tile.

3. Window cleaner: Goodbye are the days of step stools and spray bottles. Small window cleaners are now available; they attach to your windows and are able to clean any size or thickness.

4. Hands free mower: Taking care of the lawn may not be a daily task, but it sure is a task that can get tiring. Take the work out of landscaping and invest in a hands free mower. It works just as the vacuum and mop and automatically cuts the grass. When the grass is evenly cut, the mower will return to its station.

With all of these gadgets, you’ll  never have to lift a finger again!

Recommended Reading:

-5 Gadgets Every Man Cave Needs

-Double Agents: New Uses for Everyday Things

-Just DIY It: 5 Natural Cleaning Products

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Introducing Moved by Moving

With a new home comes new neighbors, new friends, and maybe even a new city. Chartering unknown territory can seem scary, but we’re here to show you that it doesn’t have to be!

Recognizing this challenge, members of our team hope to be there every step of the way with our new, innovative, ad campaign.

We recently released our video series, Moved by Moving, a first of its kind series created using only moving boxes. The videos were filmed using stop-motion animation, once again establishing CENTURY 21® as an innovator in the industry.

The artist behind the spots, Elizabeth Corkery, is no stranger to trend-setting – she’s also the creator of special, limited edition silkscreen prints available at Print Club Boston. Her previous projects are known for being bold and unique – perfectly aligning with CENTURY 21: SMARTER. BOLDER. FASTER.®

We hope to give you the help you need to make your move an easy and smooth process.

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5 Gifts To Leave For Your Old Home’s New Owners

Selling a home is an emotional event. You are leaving behind a house filled with memories and venturing off to someplace new. The people buying your home are excited to create their own memories in a home that you loved for so many years. Welcome them with a thoughtful gift that will leave a lasting impression.

Here are some ideas for gifts to leave for your home’s new owners.

1. Personalized Key Rings: Mark this milestone in the new owners’ lives by giving them a special key ring. Engrave it with their initials, the date of the move, or even a special message from you. Not only is this thoughtful, but it’s a practical gift as well.

2. Mailing labels and stationery: Personalized gifts go a long way. Create mailing labels with the owners’ names and new addresses; if you want to go the extra mile, create personalized stationery for them as well. Leave these paper gifts on the kitchen counter with a nice note to surprise the owners.

3. Monogrammed Doormat: Doormats are something that may not be at the top of a new homeowner “to-buy” list. Give them a monogrammed one or one that fits well with the decor of the home. They will surely appreciate this gesture.

4. Practical Items: If you’re skeptical about buying personalized gifts, stick to practical home items. Things like smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, unpacking supplies, or even a utensil organizer are useful to new homeowners. They’ll be so busy when they first move in, and these are essentials that they should have immediately.

5. A Neighborhood Guide:  Write a detailed list of your favorite places in the neighborhood. Mention your favorite restaurants, boutiques, gyms and more. They’ll love having your recommendations on hand when they start to explore!

All of these gestures are incredibly kind and memorable. It’s a nice way to welcome new people into the home and neighborhood you have loved for so long.

Recommended Reading:

-Open House Oops: Don’t Make These Mistakes

-Benefits of Working With a Real Estate Agent

-5 Tips for First Time Home Buyers

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Money Matters: These Write-Offs Could Save You Money

It’s April, which means that Tax Day is quickly approaching. Filing your taxes can feel like a daunting task, especially for homeowners. Whether you’re doing your taxes yourself, or hiring someone to do so, it’s important to understand how you can save as much money as possible.

These write-offs are some of the best options for homeowners.

1. Mortgage Interest: This is the biggest deduction for homeowners. You must itemize the deduction, but it must be greater than the standard deduction. You can also use any mortgage points that you used when you purchased your home. (Fox Business)

2. Property Taxes: Yes, you can write-off certain taxes. You can write off your property, state, and local income taxes. (Time.com)

3. Home Improvements: Technically, the only home improvement write-offs you can deduct are those that were necessary for medical reasons like installing a wheelchair ramp outside of your home. Note that it’s advised that you keep all of your receipts for non-medical home improvements because it’s possible that they can be used to reduce your taxes when you’re ready to sell your home. (TurboTax)

4. Moving expenses: If you moved more than fifty miles for a new job, you can write off moving expenses. Talk to your employer to get the necessary paperwork. (Time.com)

5. Home Office: Do you run a small business from the comfort of your home? You’re in luck! You can file for a home office deduction. This even includes everything from the cost of painting the room, to the cost of buying a computer and home office supplies. It’s best practice take a picture of the office to have on record. (TurboTax)

6. Energy efficiency: You can get a deduction for owning energy efficient appliances. Heat pumps and solar powered systems garner the highest deductions. Items like energy efficient windows are the next highest deductible. Keep your receipts for your records. (HouseLogic)

If any of these write-offs apply to you, take the extra time to fill out the paper work. It may benefit you in the long run!

Recommended Reading:

-5 Ways to Help Save Money in 2015

-Summer Savings: 5 Ways to Decrease Your Energy Bill

-5 Simple Ways to Increase Your Property Value

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Storage Solutions: How to Store Winter Items Efficiently

The sweet smell of spring is in the air! There’s no more snow on the ground, so there’s no longer a need for your earmuffs, snow boots, or puffy coats. Say goodbye to your shovels and snow blowers until next season.

It’s time to store those pesky, bulky winter items someplace where they won’t be bothersome. The trick is to store them efficiently, safely, and securely.

1. Plastic bins: Opt for plastic bins that allow garments to breath without trapping moisture because moisture will dull the fibers. For bulkier items, use larger, deeper bins that you can place in a storage space. For smaller items, use thin, long bins that can be stored under your bed.

2. Store like items together: Storing similar items together makes unpacking next winter much easier. You’ll know exactly where every item is, causing less of a hassle.

3. Delicates: Cashmere sweaters or any other delicate pieces should be stored differently than everything else. You’ll want to store these items in a cotton canvas storage bag and then place them in a bin. This will keep the fabrics fresh and allow your clothes to keep their shape.

4. Boots and shoes: Storing shoes, especially ones as bulky as winter boots, can seem difficult. But, in fact, it’s quite easy. Invest in a few boot trees to store in your boots, helping them keep their shape, and then lay them flat in a storage bin. Wrap each pair in a cotton pillowcase or T-shirt to keep them dust free. For smaller booties or loafers, stuff them with tissue paper to help keep their shape. (StyleCaster)

5. Cool Temperatures: The ideal storing temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s not recommended to store items in a place that gets a lot of natural or artificial light and it’s best to avoid basements, garages, and attics. (AboutHome.com)

6. Winter tools: As for those snow blowers, shovels, and other winter tools, change the oil and store them in a cool, dry place to ensure that they are in tip top shape for next season.

These tips will make your home less cluttered and ready for spring!

Recommended Reading:

-From Chaos to Clean

-Organization 101: The Best Home Organization Inspiration on Instagram

-Here Comes the Sun: How to Prepare Your Home For Spring

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House Hacks for the Vertically Challenged

You have high hopes. You aim high. You just can’t reach that high. Sound familiar?

You may be vertically challenged but, fear not, there are strategic solutions that will work for you.

1. Built in step stools: Install a pull-out step stool on the bottom in a hidden drawer or cabinet below hard to reach areas like high cabinets. This will make it easier to quickly get into high places without roaming the house for a step stool.

2. Sliding ladder: If you’d like to get really fancy, install a sliding ladder similar to one you’d find in a beautiful library or bookstore. Add one to your pantry so you can always reach the extra sugar.

3. Automated cabinets: It may seem like something only available to the Jetsons but automated cabinets exist in 2015. With a push of a button, the cabinets open and the shelves slide down to a level that’s easier to reach.

4. Customized counter and cabinet heights: If you’re redesigning a bathroom or kitchen, build counters and cabinets that are customized to a height that is better for you. Yes, this might make it harder to sell in the long run, but if you don’t plan on selling soon it could make daily activities more convenient.

Being vertically challenged doesn’t have to put a damper on your everyday life! Reach for the stars (or at least the cleaning products on the top shelf) with our tips.

Recommended Reading:

-Dodge the 7 Most Common DIY Mistakes

-Home Safety Tips for the Elderly

-How to Make a House a Home: Creating Memories

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How to Organize Your Kitchen

Organization is key to keeping your home neat and tidy. When everything in your home has a specific place, it’s much easier to find what you need in a pinch.

One room in the home that can really benefit from a good organization system is the kitchen. Between plates, glasses, silverware, and food, getting a good system in place can help create better flow.

The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the home, why not make it better?

1. Lazy Susan: Incorporating a lazy Susan into your kitchen cabinets or on your countertops allows you to organize similar items neatly in one place. It also helps you find things much faster.

2. Hang things up: Hang pots and pans on the wall or from a ceiling organizer to free up space in your cabinets. It’ll be much easier to organize pans by size and use if you can see them! You won’t have to dig through a mess of metal every time you want to cook dinner.

3. Store items by use: This is an easy way to quickly organize your kitchen items. Whether it’s in your cabinets, drawers, or refrigerator, keeping like items together makes it easier to grab what you need, when you need it. For example, store everyday dishes on a lower cabinet shelf and special use items on a higher shelf. Put each type of food together – like cereals and breakfast food, snacks, pasta and grains, and baking ingredients.

4. Filing System: Tupperware is an item that a lot of people have trouble storing. It takes up space and putting matching tops and bottoms together sometimes seems impossible. The tops and bottoms might be disappearing to the same place as the matching socks that always seem to get lost in the dryer. Instead of storing them in cabinets, put a dish organizer in a pull out drawer and store the Tupperware tops and bottoms with no problem.

5. Over the Door Organizers: If you have a large pantry in your kitchen, consider an over the door organizer. You can store your most used food items in a clear organizer to eliminate search time and keep things neat.

The kitchen is the heart of the home. If you develop an easy, simple organizing system for your kitchen, it’ll pull everything together, make it easier to prep and cook meals, and set the tone for a more organized home.

Recommended Reading:

-From Chaos to Clean

-5 Home Projects to Complete in 10 Minutes or Less

-How to Turn Your Bathroom into a Spa-Inspired Escape

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