Archive for the 'Tips' category
If your recycling, yard waste or trash was missed and is properly prepared, call 617.349.4800 by 12:00 noon the next day.
Recycling is easy and mandatory in Cambridge. You can reduce your trash by at least 50% to help protect the environment and save the City money. Take a moment to review the Recycling and Trash Guide. Request toters, posters, stickers or brochures here.
Recycling is picked up on the same day as trash. During holiday weeks, curbside collection is delayed one day. Set out your recycling by 7am on collection day, or after 6pm the night before.
Find out where your recycling goes! Talk to your neighbors about how, what and why to recycle.
Most residences have recycling toters on wheels for single stream recycling (65 or 95 gallon). Single stream means that you can mix clean bottles, cans, paper and cardboard in the same bin. All cardboard accepted, flatten or next boxes when possible. Residents may also convert any 32-gallon trash barrel for recycling, labeled with City stickers, or continue using blue bins.
Scrub, organize and inspect now to sail through the holidays with a light heart and a clean conscience
With cooler weather and the holiday season in sight, early fall is a great time for taking stock of household areas in need of a little TLC. Here are 10 home features you'll feel good about cleaning and/or organizing early in the season (while time is on your side), in anticipation of those longer nights and home ties.
Tip: Cotton swabs make wonderful cleaning cltools crevices. 2. Launder pet bedding. If your family spent any part of the summer enjoying the great outdoors, the evidence is probably all over (and inside) your pet's bedding.
Clean slipcovers and pillows according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Continue to use a pest repellant to ward off unwelcome bugs. Rosemary, lavender, lemon and cedar oils in spray form offer natural protection and have a wonderful aroma. 3. Edit your cookbook collection. If your bookshelves are packed too tightly, it will be hard find the holiday recipes you want. Pare down your library by photocopying your favorite recipes. Add them to a designated binder or upload them to a laptop or tablet. Donate books you don't need to charity or give favorite ones to someone who is trying to build up a collection. 4. Freshen up baseboards. Just like cabinets, baseboards get beaten up. Wiping down baseboards may be all you need to feel good about inviting guests inside your home. For high-traffic areas, however, paint touchups will restore baseboards to their original beauty. 5. Dispose of old paint. Aside from your much-needed baseboard paint, you probably have many other old cans of paint (likely colors that were painted over ages ago) lying around. Over time paint can leak through rusting cans, leaving you with a big problem. Check with your local recycling or hazardous waste center about properly disposing your stockpile. Imagine how much more storage you'll have for holiday decorations with all those cans gone.
Tip: Consider using old cans to create unique planters. 6. Clean out the sofa. Yes, you really should. You never know what you'll find deep inside those corners, especially if you've got children or guests who keep lots of coins in their pockets. Confession: I routinely stick the vacuum hose deep inside the recesses of my family sofa, and it's a prolonged process in which lots of cereal and cracker bits make a terrible crackling sound. The good news is, we've found lots of socks, pencils and puzzle pieces we thought were lost forever. Nothing starts puzzle season better than a complete set! 7. Clean your dining chairs. Don't spoil a lovely dinner affair by having your well-dressed guests sit on chairs covered in the remnants of a previous party. Now's the time to vacuum, steam clean or spot clean each chair.
Tip: If you aren't sure how to clean your chairs' upholstery, call in a professional. The pros have seen and cleaned it all. 8. Have your chimney inspected. If you burn wood in your fireplace, it's important to have a professional chimney sweeper check and, if necessary, clean your chimney annually. Doing so reduces the risk of a house fire and carbon monoxide poisoning due to creosote buildup or other obstructions.
9. Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This is the season when candles and wood-burning fireplaces increase the danger of home fires. 10. Update your emergency kit. September is National Preparedness Month. Make sure you have a safety plan for your household, including pets, and enough emergency supplies for three days. The Red Cross offers a complete list of what you'll need.
Tell us: How do you use this time of year to prepare for winter?
We’re in the throes of winter, the Patriots aren’t going to the Superbowl and though our state’s economy has bright spots and the unemployment rate is holding steady, by all accounts we’re still in recovery mode. So, is there anything especially hot in Boston these days? Indeed there is, and that something is the local rental market.
The demand for rental units in the Boston/Cambridge/Brookline area is huge right now, and this represents a big shift. Historically, Q1 was an inopportune time to rent property – a small pool of potential tenants combined with lower monthly rents created a less than ideal environment for landlords .But, those days are long gone. If you’re in the market for an apartment, read on!
Here are a few tips to help you find an apartment in today’s tight market:
Start Early – You’d be amazed how many people wait until the 11th hour to start looking. Especially true in a tight rental market, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment (and lots of unnecessary stress!) if you procrastinate. Some good first steps are to ask around for referrals to trusted rental agencies; contact agents and introduce yourself – you’ll want to get on their radar screen when an apartment comes available! In your free time explore the general areas you think you want to live. While we think having an open-mind is a good thing (especially in this market!), it’s helpful and saves time down the road if someone has a general idea where they want to be.
Build a Good Relationship With Your Agent – It goes without saying that you should feel comfortable and enjoy working with your rental agent/agency. It’s also important to be open with them about each and every one of your needs. Don’t worry, we’ve heard it all……What are your must-haves, can’t live without? Need to be near a specific subway line or bus route? Don’t just say you want to be close to ‘public transportation’. Would you be comfortable if you had to share laundry facilities or do you need your own washer/dryer? Are there any space requirements? No stairs, 2nd floor only, won’t do basement apartments, etc. In addition to your must-haves, don’t forget to communicate your “nice-to-have” list……..One of the nice things about working with an agent is that you have access to their guidance and advice – they know what’s out there and will help bring you back to reality if there’s a large gap between it and your wishful thinking. Your rental agent is your partner; the more information they have to work with the better (and faster) they can help you!
Be Ready To Sign A Lease – It’s not a scare tactic – apartments are going off the market in record time! While you should never do anything without taking the time to make a well-informed and responsible decision, in today’s market it’s unlikely you’ll have time to just “wait and see”. That said, have your finances squared away (factor in first month, security deposits, fees, etc), be ready to provide referrals and have their updated contact information on-hand, try and clean up any blemishes on your credit report you feel are inaccuracies, etc. As with most things, being prepared is key!
Since we all know that your home is the biggest investment you will probably make in your lifetime, maximizing its value is very important. One very simple way, and also most overlooked, is choosing the right paint colors! Seems minimal right? Not necessarily. Most people get very overwhelmed with what color and shade is the right one for their home. Here are some tips to steer you in the right direction.
** Since color is an effective way of giving your home a quick fix makeover and won’t make a huge dent in your wallet, doing a little research goes a long way.
** When deciding the right wall color, make sure it complements your furnishings and allows them to be the focal point of the room.
** Stick to one color family. Using a lighter and darker shade of the same color allows you to highlight the features you love most about your home. Different colors may clash and distract from the architectural details.
** Are you distressed because you have a small space and don’t know what to do with it? No worries! Focus on using shades of white and cream. These shades add size and openness to even the smallest of spaces.
** Is your style bold and daring? Using a valiant color on one wall of the room may give it a chic look. But be careful, you want to make sure it coordinates with your furnishings as well.
** If you are dealing with a rental property, you are going to want to steer away from my last tip! Make sure you use neutral shades. It is also wise to stick with one color. This will blend well with most lifestyles, work well with different furniture and color schemes and also gives the apartment a spacious look.
Investing in the upkeep of painting your home is not only rewarding, it will definitely increase the value and in the end you will get a better price if you are thinking of selling.