The Secret to Saving a Fortune on Rugs for Your Home - Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Rugs

There’s been a quiet revolution going on in rugs that you’re going to love. Gone are the days when you had to spend half your savings on a rug for your living room. Today, you can outfit your entire home for just a few hundred dollars. The secret? Outdoor rugs. (Yes, really)

Read the rest of this post here.

You can freeze that? 10 surprising freezable foods to save you time and money - Momaha.com | omaha.com

froxen herbs

The kids are back to school, and while your days may be a little less busy, those lazy summer evenings are a distant memory. Instead, your nights are now a whirlwind of sports, dance class, homework, family time and fun, which leaves precious little time for making dinner.

When it comes to the revolving door that is the kitchen, a mother’s best friend is undoubtedly her freezer. Whether you’re a pro at stocking up your freezer with homemade meals or only use your freezer for ice cream, this list of 10 surprising foods you can freeze will help you in your quest for quicker, healthier meals and smaller grocery bills.

Read the full post here.

How To Build A Pull-Out Trash, Recycling And Compost System - Care2.com

recycling system

The dilemma of how to deal with three separate avenues for trash—recyclables, compost and everything else—has vexed me for nearly two years now, ever since we moved in to our new home, which had no built-in system. Then last month we found the perfect solution—one that wouldn’t cost us several hundred dollars. We built our own pull-out trash, compost and recycling system under our sink.

Read the full post here.

6 WAYS TO STREAMLINE YOUR BEDROOM HOME OFFICE

organized desk

For people who work from home, a home office often means sharing space with another essential room, whether it be the living room, the kitchen, or, as is often the case, the bedroom. This can present multiple problems, especially if you share your bedroom with a partner. From unsightly clutter to an overflowing office area that creeps into the rest of the room, a messy desk in the bedroom can lead to an unhappy spouse and an untidy house. Keep your work under control and your “roommate” happy by using some of these organizational tips to streamline your bedroom-based office.


Read the full post here

5 Ways to Help Your Smart Home Heat and Cool More Efficiently - MOTHER EARTH NEWS

smart fans

I recently wrote about how smart home technology can help your home save energy. Chief among these energy-saving tips was installing a smart thermostat. A Wi-Fi-connected programmable thermostat can save you as much as 30 percent on your HVAC’s energy use. However, the potential to save money on your heating and cooling doesn’t end there. One of the biggest benefits of smart devices and the Internet of Things is the potential for integration. When these devices work together, you can create a smart home that actively and intelligently works to help you save energy.

Read the full post here

Seven Benefits of Smart/Motorized Blinds -- Environmental Protection

Smart Blinds Lighting

For anyone building or remodeling a home, energy efficiency is a key factor. From insulation to location, how you build a home can have a direct impact on how much energy it uses. While a Passive House, one that can remain comfortable through all seasons without employing an active heating or cooling system, may be a lofty goal for many people, there is something relatively simple you can add to your home to help passively control its temperature: smart shades.

Smart, motorized shades can help control the solar gain and heat loss your home experiences naturally throughout the day simply by opening and closing at pre-programmed times. With the addition of smart home technology, the blinds can actually learn when they need to open and close based on temperature and sun light, maximizing the energy efficiency of your HVAC system.

Read the full post here

How Smart-Home Technology Can Help During a Natural Disaster | The Wirecutter

Smart Home

When I talk to nontechie friends about my smart home, the reaction is usually a polite, bewildered smile. Occasionally, however, something catches their attention, because it relates to a personal need. Whether that’s getting a Wi-Fi camera for checking in on elderly parents, or painlessly dismissing an annoying false smoke alarm with a swipe of a finger, the appeal of the smart home for most people lies in individual situations. While smart things make life more convenient every day, I recently learned the hard way that coping with a natural disaster can be one of the most effective uses of smart-home technology.

Read the full post here

The Best Smart Smoke Alarm | The Wirecutter

smart smoke alarms

It’s hard to overstate the importance of having functioning, reliable smoke detectors in your home. From 2007 through 2011, almost a quarter of all home fire-related deaths in the US occurred in homes with nonworking smoke alarms. While any functioning smoke alarm will alert you to problems if you’re at home, a smart alarm can alert you anywhere your smartphone has an Internet connection. For our tests, a former firefighter installed every currently available smart smoke alarm in her own home, both hardwired versions and battery-powered models, to find the best one for keeping you informed about your house’s status, whether you’re home or away. After mounting them to ceilings and walls, blowing smoke at them, fiddling with their batteries and accompanying apps, and generally pushing their buttons, we found that the second-generation Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is the best smart smoke alarm.

Read the full article here.

Round-Up: 9 Best Educational Apps for Your Kids - Modern Parents Messy Kids

Smart Phone Smart Kid

Image Credit: © Stephanie | Smart Kid and the Smart Phone | CC by 2.0

Screen time is a hot-button issue for today’s parents, but one thing we can all agree on is that however long our kids are glued to a screen for, we’d rather that time be spent learning something.

My son is eight, just a year younger than the iPhone, and my daughter is five, a year younger than the iPad. As a tech journalist, I’m an early adopter, so both my children have been exposed to these shiny, addictive devices from a young age.

Over the last few years I’ve spent a lot of time and effort investigating and playing with dozens of “educational” apps to find the ones that best strike that precarious balance between educational and fun. Here is a round-up of my favorite kid-tested and kid approved apps/websites for children under 10.

Read the full post here

 

How to Build a Squirrel-Proof Enclosure for Your Vegetable Garden for NaturallySavvy.com

Squirrel Proof

Is there anything more heartbreaking than watching a squirrel run off with one of your green cherry tomatoes, take a bite out of it, then throw it to the ground before going back to get another one? That was the scene in our backyard last summer.

We’d labored as a family to build a wonderful raised vegetable garden. We lovingly planted half a dozen tomato plants and carefully cared for a handful of cucumber, melon, squash and pepper plants, eagerly anticipating a summer filled with fresh, homegrown fruit and veggies on the dinner table.

Read the full post here

The Smart Kitchen: The Next Big Hope for the Internet of Things - TriplePundit.com

Solar Lighting
The Internet of Things is a boon for businesses striving to be more sustainable, but at-home IOT is exhibiting worrying signs of stalling. Industry analyst Jan Dawson summed up many people’s concerns when he said the smart home market seems perennially stuck in the early-adopter phase.

He noted some exceptions, and most of them (such as the Nest Learning Thermostat) carry a clear promise of return on a user’s investment. Here, Dawson pinpoints a major issue with the smart home — marketing.

The smart home is being marketed at homeowners as the home of the future, packed with cool gadgets and neighbor-wowing conveniences. While this is true, it’s clearly not convincing anyone other than early adopters to cough up their hard-earned cash. People see connected gadgets as a luxury, because that’s how they’re being sold.

Read the whole post here.

Easy Upcycling: Turn An Old Chandelier Into A Stylish Solar Lantern - Sustainablog

Solar Lighting
When we moved into our 1960s-era home, it came with a lot of vintage light fixtures. Some had enough mid-century modern style to keep as they were. Others were just a little too dated for the look we wanted.

One such fixture was an elegant brass chandelier. It had hung over the table in a rather grand dining room, and while we quite liked it, its electrics were flaky and it just didn’t have enough “oomph” for the space. So, when we decided to invest in a beautiful new chrome and crystal chandelier for the dining room, I was determined to find a new use for this old chandelier by turning it into an elegant solar garden lantern.

 

7 Smart Ways To Organize Your Fridge To Save Money - thethriftycouple.com

Solar Lighting

The two biggest bills your kitchen generates are your grocery bill and your electricity bill. Your appliances are responsible for 13% of your energy bill, and the fridge takes the lion’s share of that, as it’s always on. By organizing your fridge correctly, you can help it work more efficiently, which reduces electricity costs. Additionally, it will help keep your food fresher for longer, reducing your grocery costs by cutting down on spoiled and wasted food.

Here are seven tips for proper food organization to save you money, plus a look at organization features of new fridges for those in the market for a new one.

Read the full post here.

6 Tips for Easing the Back to School Transition

Make Morning Sticks

Welcome to Fall, a season punctuated by crisp, early mornings filled with cries of “Where are my soccer cleats?” and “Mom, I can’t find my library book!” as the mad rush to get out the door begins.

Help yourself out with a few of these organizing tips that will make the return to school a smooth, seamless and shouting-free transition...


Read the full post here: http://blog.1800gotjunk.com/2016/09/27/6-tips-for-easing-the-back-to-school-transition/

American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use - for PSFK.com

Energy Use

The American consumer is leading the march toward energy efficiency in this country. They’re embracing government-sponsored programs such as Energy Star and technological advances like the Internet of Things (IoT) and solar panels to reduce their annual energy usage and put money back into their pockets.

Read the whole article here

The Best Smart Garage-Door Controller | The Wirecutter

Solar Lighting

After spending over 20 hours wiring and rewiring garage-door openers, opening and closing the doors with our smartphones and our voices, and controlling them through smartphone apps and home-automation routines, we found that theChamberlain MyQ Garage (MYQ-G0201) is the best smart garage-door controller for most people. It was the easiest and quickest to install of all the controllers we tested, it’s among the simplest to set up and use, and it’s compatible with the most garage doors out there, thanks to the huge popularity of Chamberlain and LiftMaster products in homes across the country. It also integrates with the popular Nest Cam if you want a remote view of your garage.

Read the full article here.

 

Green Renovations: The Best Eco-Friendly Countertops for NaturallySavvy.com

green countertops

Remodeling a kitchen is on many homeowners’ to-do lists, and putting in new countertops is often the biggest part of that remodel. For most of this century, granite has been the go-to material when redoing countertops, and while it is still a great option, the growing interest in sustainability and green living has meant many people are looking at alternative materials. This has prompted a surge in options with stronger eco-credentials, such as wood, metal and recycled countertops. 

Deciding whether a material is environmentally friendly or “green” is not as easy as just looking at a label or finding out if the manufacturer is certified by one eco-working group or another.

Read the rest of this post here