4 Simple Holiday Decor Ideas that Bring All the Cheer

Holidays are a spectacle of tradition. Families across the world celebrate a number of different ways this season. From Kwanzaa to Hanukkah each one has a unique style, foods, and culture that showcase the holiday. When it comes to Christmas, we love seeing this variety of displays. Whether you’re starting your own decorating or just looking to make a few changes – these ideas are sure to make you fall in love!

  1. This pastel party is such a sweet rendition. If you’re looking for something a little more unique than the classic color scheme – this one’s for you! This candy-colored pallet will give you a hint of brighter days and inspire your inner child.
  2. Ahh a classic Christmas! A touch of gingham and pine cones makes this style warm and inviting. You can buy these items, but you also can find a lot of them in your yard! We love the simplicity of this style! Don’t forget that pop of red!
  3. This minimal white theme is a dream. It’s a modern twist on the classic and we love how wintry it feels!This soft white vibe is so comforting.
  4. This red and silver theme is so festive! We love those glass tree accents – can you say timeless! This shiny and sleek style has all the magic of the season.

Which of these makes you feel inspired? We hope these get you ready to design your own home for the season!

Try Making One of These Ornaments!

 

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Easy, Nail-Free Options For Hanging Lights On Your Mobile Home

Hanging Christmas lights seems like an easy, stress-free decorating event, but it’s not. Unless, you have a strategy! Depending on how the gutters are laid out on your mobile home or how your roof is structured you’ll have some options on how you can hang your lights well. We will leave skip on the nails and choose methods that won’t damage your gutters. Let’s look at what ways we can hang the lights without struggle.

First things first:

  • Before beginning the process, you want to be sure you know how long of an area you’ll be covering with lights and you’ll want to be sure you can reach an outlet. Measuring the length with a measuring tape is way better idea than eyeballing it – don’t skip on this step.
  • Check to be sure you have proper extension cords labeled for outdoor use.
  • Also, before putting lights up be sure your strands work, and no bulbs are missing or burnt out.
  • Next find a ladder and safely assemble it and get a friend or family member to be a spotter. Don’t have a ladder? Try an extender rod to help you hang your lights with ease and a little more safety.
  • Beyond this think up your layout and where you’ll be putting your lights. Once you’ve checked on these things and have a layout plan, now you’re ready to consider how to hang your lights!

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    Brighten up your home with ease! 
  1. Want a super easy was to hang lights? Instructables recommends using badge office clips to hang your lights! Honestly, what a great idea! Not only does this keep your gutters clear and not damage your gutters or lights, but it also is secure. Simply wrap the plastic around the cord and clip the light to part of your gutter.
  2. Another great option is plastic s-hooks! These are affordable and light weight.
  3. You could also use some type of adhesive hook and place them under the gutters according to an exterior expert’s website. Be sure to get strong hooks that can deal with weather. Learn how to do the process here! 
  4. There are also under the gutter specific clips that you can use if you have gutter guards.
  5. You can also use zip ties for railings or any areas that have holes.

We hope that this helps you make the exterior of your mobile home look amazing! We hope this takes the stress and struggle out of decorating! Now here’s to making your home look festive!

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Why Checking Your Credit Report is the Best First Step

Honestly, I didn’t care about credit until I went to buy a home. Then it mattered – greatly. Unfortunately, I found it to be true “no credit is equal or worse than bad credit”. It’s a good idea to check out your credit score and report before buying a home. After reviewing your credit report and score, you might choose to pursue a home purchase or you might try improve your credit score first.

By law, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. Unfortunately, some folks don’t know this and end up paying for what they didn’t have to. Also, some websites claiming to sell credit reports and scores are not legitimate. Be sure to check out this site to be sure you don’t get fooled by an impostor website.

You can visit one website to get your free credit reports from the three major credit reporting companies – AnnualCreditReport.com. You’ll have to input some of your personal info to retrieve your report. This is the same if you call or mail your request. If you create a myEquifax® account, you can get two free credit reports a year.

Credit reports offer you a lot of details – from debts and when you paid them to old addresses. Plus, things like payments, accounts, and actions within them that you may not know about. That’s why credit reports are always good to look at– because they may show information about potential fraud or identity theft and things that you may not be aware of. This may help you protect your credit score and history by letting you see whether all the information and account details are accurate. Then, if they are not, you can freeze your credit, place a fraud alert, or dispute inaccuracies.

What you may be surprised to find out is that credit reports do not list your credit score! Weird, huh? You’d think for sure it would.

According to Equifax®, there are a couple of ways to see your credit score.

  1. You can contact your credit card company or bank as sometimes they may provide your credit score to you as an account feature.
  2. You can purchase your credit score directly from any of the three major credit reporting companies.

Find More About Credit Scores!

5 Actions That Will Help You Start Tackling Your Debt

Don’t wait for a resolution, a life-change, or more money – create the discipline of paying on your debt now. Even if you can’t pay as much as you’d like, doing the smallest amount and setting yourself up in other areas will make an impact.

So, we are looking at five practical actions you can start that will put you on the track to staying on top of your debt and ultimately, paying it off. If you’ve been waiting for a sign to start your game plan – this is your flashing neon light.

Start a passive line of small savings. Whether you’ve been saving or not, always start your seasons of paying with saving. If it’s $5 dollars you save, and $5 dollars you pay – so be it – that’s something, and we aren’t shrugging our shoulders at progress. I favor automation as a way of saving because you can be lazy and benefit from it. Here are some ideas about how to save. You should always be saving. Especially, if you’re spending money. The amount isn’t as important as the discipline.

Pick a piece of debt that you can whittle down. Now that you’ve created a stream of savings that you can pull from, you can decide what debt you’ll diminish. There are tons of strategies, here are a few to get you thinking. Pick what fits you. I personally like hitting the highest interest debt first. That’s what works for me.

Outline how much you want to pay off and how much you’ll pay towards each item. Being specific and honest is the best way to confront your debt. Set a goal or goals for items that you want to pay off/ towards. Then decide how much you’ll allocate to smaller pieces of debt – this will differ based on your strategy. It’s important here to consider your season of life. If it’s in your best interest to make big payments towards something – do it. However, if slow and steady is better for you do it. Movement is movement.

Keep focus. It’s not fun or a good time paying off debt. It can feel easy to cut corners, or stop and wait until another time. However, keep focus and stay consistent. That’s the best thing you can do. It won’t get easy, but you’ll get closer.  You’ll get to a space where you can re-evaluate and focus your goals in more and see what other options you have. That’s one of the best strategies, pay some, zoom in more, and keep repeating until you’re there.

Follow your budget and make long-term decisions. A budget will help you stay on track. Budgeting your debt and how to pay it is vital. Following a plan will help you eliminate being surprised by numbers. When paying off debt you need to think about the future. Obviously, we can only plan with so much understanding of what will happen. Yet, we can we can do the best we can with what we have. Is your budget non-existent or less than stellar? Read up here on how to start budgeting well.

These actions are easy ways to being to chip away at debt and make it approachable. If it seems intimidating break it down and keep doing that until it’s in pieces small enough to assess. You’ve got this.

Set Goals Today!

Create the Perfect Organized Mudroom

Mudrooms are the ideal catch all. Many mobile homes have them, too – even if it’s only a little extra space in the laundry room. This is the best space to maximize as it can be a place of chaos or calm – depending on your willingness to make it in to an organized space. Let’s get some ideas on how to create and maintain your space!

Needs some inspiration on how to make your area all it can be? Here’s a few of our favorites.

There are a couple must haves that make a mudroom successful:

  • A place for your keys
  • A hook for jackets
  • A spot to put shoes

And a few nice to haves:

  •  A seat/ chair
  • A place for décor/flair

Are these the things your family needs? Think about your everyday and what you unpack most in your home. You may have pets and leash hook is important. You may want this area to also be your mail center. Decide what fits your needs first, then look at how to create it.

Our mud room has a spot for keys, a quote (because I love some inspiration when I come and go), and a small shoe shelf. Our space still needs a little love to be the ideal mudroom catch all.

If you don’t have the appropriate built-ins and don’t want to build your own, try measuring your space and seeing what shelves, benches, hooks, coat racks, etc. You could shop for those items to fit to and make it efficient for your family and keep your home organized.

We hope this gets you ready for coat season and keeps your home a little more organized. Plus, it may just mean getting to work/school on time because you won’t have to look for as many things! They’ll all be in one place.

Organize Your Entire Home!

How to Buy Parts for Your Mobile Home

If you’re repairing your mobile home, updating a room, or even maybe you’re an investor – you probably are looking for mobile home parts. Seems easy enough, right? It can be for sure, but if you’re looking in the wrong places or in the same places as site-built products you may come up short.

Let’s look at how you can find the right product every time.

According to a popular mobile home maintenance site, it’s a good idea to look for part numbers – which can be found on specific pieces. Also, a user’s manual can be quite helpful in the replacement process. If you’re unable to find that – contact your manufacturer.

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Find the right products for your project, by shopping for mobile home specific parts. 

After finding ways to identify the specific product so you can accurately replace it – it’s time to think about where to get your products.

  1. Online. More than likely this will be your best bet. Especially if you live in a rural area or you need a big order. You do want to take extra care when ordering that it matches what you need and call a store if you’re uncertain about parts so they can help you understand what you need to order. Be mindful of return policies! Check out some trusted sites here. *A popular mobile home education site, makes a great point to think about shipping. Bigger items can cost more and you’ll likely have to pay to return an item if it’s wrong or you don’t need it. They make a ton of good suggestions and offer more great tips about ordering parts here.
  1. In store. Look for a mom and pop type shop that will treat you right. Another great suggestion from the repair site, is to take pictures of the parts you need if you aren’t familiar with the parts yourself. This will limit confusion and help an employee help you better.

We hope that you’re able to find the parts you need for your latest project and that this makes your process a little easier. Remember that items like windows are doors are usually specifically cut for mobile homes. Check your sizing on everything you order as well. There’s no size fits all and that’s just another reason we love these diverse homes!

Try This Home Improvement Idea!

Make Your Own Amazing Fall Scents for Your Home

Let’s be real. We all love fall because all the scents are so nostalgic. Being in the house more doesn’t have to be bad a thing. Take your stuffy room and transform it with a blend of all your favorite smells. We’ll help you get started with some easy, natural oil scents that will leave you with your new favorite room freshener. Let’s get started.

Find your dispenser. You can use a cheap spray bottle from the dollar store. That’s probably the best option. Some folks prefer to use a jar with a slotted lid or use a sponge piece soaked with the scent to hold their scent mixture in a glass jar.

Pick a base. You can use witch hazel, rubbing alcohol, vinegar – whatever you like. The base carries the smell of the oil and makes it into a more liquid form, so it can be sprayed and the scent can last.

Pick your scents. Think of smells that are special to you or remind you of good memories. Or just start to try mixing oils according to what sounds good to you. We’ve got a few suggestions to help you get started. You can also put the real item in your bottle along with the oil drops. (ex: actual cloves and clove oil)

 

  • Orange
  • Clove
  • Nutmeg
  • Pine/ evergreen
  • Apple
  • Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin
  • Vanilla

Add some water. You want about the same amount of water as what you used for your base. Shake the contents to mix well and test your scent to see if it’s what you like!

We hope this can be a fun activity for you or your and your family to do together. It’s relatively cost effective and you get to make your own scent and know that it’s natural. 

More Inspiration!

Easy Remedies for a Yellowing Bathtub

Plenty of mobile homes are built with the classic garden tub. This is usually a square, corner tub used for baths only. However, other tubs are popular to with stand up showers built into a traditional rectangle tub. Due to materials used, usually yellowing can happen to these tubs. This is not limited to the material however, any wear and tear to a tub can cause discoloration.

Want to learn more about what could make your tub yellow? Read more here!

So, what are the remedies? Are they affordable? How can we address this cosmetic issue?

Forget the toxic cleaners – these three natural ingredients can be mixed with water and/or left to sit in your tub for a while. Then you can return later (leaving the cleaner to sit for at least 30 minutes will help it work) to scrub them with a gentle sponge and hot water.

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide

As you work to find a solution that works be very careful with what you use and do not mix things like bleach or ammonia. Wear gloves to protect your hands from burns or irritation. Ventilate your bathroom well so that fumes don’t bother you and so the space can dry well.

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Make your bathroom a place to relax. 

If cleaning doesn’t strip the yellow coloring away, you might want to try some refinishing paint that will add a fresh face to your tub. As detailed in the link above, you can find kits that will tell you all you need to do to refinish your tub. The kits are quite cost efficient as well.

A popular project site suggests, sanding the tub well before applying the kit. This aids to the longevity of the paint. Also be sure to wear a mask and keep the air flow going. Be sure to follow the instructions closely and practice safety. You may also consider hiring a professional if it feels worth the saved time and you’ve got the budget for it.

We hope that this helps add new life to your bathroom and makes everything feel fresh and clean!

More Bathroom Update Ideas!

How Escrow Accounts Work and Why They Rock

If you have a mortgage, then chances are you’ve heard the word escrow thrown around a time or two. But what is it exactly?

An escrow account is a helpful tool built into your mortgage. It allows for funds to be collected monthly to pay for your homeowner’s insurance and/or property taxes. By your mortgage collecting escrow, it ensures that your insurance and property taxes are paid in a timely manner. The benefit to you is you don’t have to worry about fronting hundreds or thousands of dollars all at once for your homeowner’s insurance or property taxes.

The formula is typically simple for finding the amount owed. Let’s say both insurance and taxes are escrowed from each monthly payment. The monthly payment is found by taking the total amount paid to both insurance and taxes for the year and then divided by 12. (The 12 is for 12 months.) That’s it! That would be your monthly payment in addition to your mortgage! Please keep in mind, some lenders may use another calculation that varies slightly and is also permitted by the law. Be sure to contact your lender if you have further questions as to how your escrow is calculated.

Occasionally, your escrow payments may increase or decrease. If that happens, either your insurance or taxes have changed. This will affect what you pay monthly. In most loan types, this is the cause of increase or decrease for monthly payments.

All in all, escrow accounts allow for your insurance and property taxes to be paid on your behalf without much extra work on your end!

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Researched and created by Rachel Mersinger

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