4 Easy Ways You Can Flood-Proof Your Yard

rain barrel

As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers; however, seemingly endless springtime rain can herald some serious damage to your yard, and fast. Flooding isn’t just an eyesore – it can also kill any overly saturated grass and, depending on the proximity to your home, may also cause water damage in your basement.

Don’t let the springtime storms rain on your parade. Protect your home and yard with these 4 easy tips!

Create a Rain Garden – Have a low spot in your yard that tends to become your own private pond after heavy rains? Bolster it with some colorful, water-loving plants! Rain gardens are environmentally friendly and they can give you beautiful curb appeal. Choose native plants that soak up water like Stokes aster, Louisiana iris, Black-eyed Susans, sweetspire, and spider lily. When you create your rain garden, be sure to place the plants with the highest wet soil tolerance in the center to allow the rain to percolate the ground slowly and evenly.

Use Heavier Mulch – How many times have you had to head outside, rake in tow, to clean up the mulch chips that heavy rainfall scatters? Well, you can put a stop to that by using heavier mulch in your garden areas! We suggest avoiding pine mulch and trying something more akin to hardwood mulches. Some brands create chips out of man-made materials, making it a low maintenance choice for homeowners.

Divert the Rain Creatively – While you can certainly divert the rain away from your home by using a long downspout, you can always feel free to get a bit more creative. Good with landscaping or looking for a new side project? Try making your very own waterfall or stream. Looking out more for the environment? Installing a rain barrel might be more up your alley!

Install Permeable Pavers – Have you noticed water sitting for days on your walkways, patio, deck, or driveway? Then we have the perfect solution – permeable paving stones and grout. This type of landscape will help drain the water back into the ground and keep your walkways puddle-free!

How do you keep your yard safe from flooding? Have we missed any tips? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!

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7 Tips to Make De-cluttering a Breeze This Spring

decluttering

When it comes to spring cleaning, some tasks can look more challenging than they appear. We’re not talking about cleaning behind the refrigerator or tidying up the garage. There’s one particular task that looks easy at first but can easily overwhelm anyone who decides to undertake it – de-cluttering.

You might feel prepared to tackle the messy junk drawers and the disorderly closets, but how often do you get started only to find yourself giving up and shoving everything back where you found it? Now you don’t have to let those piles of clutter intimidate you any longer. Just follow our tips below to help you de-clutter like a pro!

Sort by Categories, Not Rooms – Often when homeowners begin the process of de-cluttering, they will start in one room and work on it until it’s finished before moving on to the next. Instead of working room by room, we suggest sorting things categorically. For example, find all of your clothes or all of your books, compile them all in one spot, and sort through them there. You’ll be surprised how much easier the process is when you do this!

Ask Yourself One Important Question – As you begin sifting through your items, take a good look at each thing and ask yourself this one question: does this item make you happy? If it does, keep it and give it a home of prominence for good use. If not, simply discard it by donating it or throwing it away.

Kick Guilt to the Curb – During the de-cluttering process, you might come across items that make you feel, well, guilty. Maybe it’s that shirt you bought on clearance but never wore. Perhaps you found that old tea set that you never used from your mother-in-law. Don’t let guilt force you into keeping things you don’t want or need! If anything, tell yourself that you will make someone else much happier by donating these items.

Give Yourself Permission – Do some of your items not fit your style or way of living anymore? Give yourself permission to let them go! This goes for uncomfortable dresses, books you no longer like, and accessories that no longer serve a purpose. Be thankful for the fun times you enjoyed with these items, give them to someone who could use them, and move on.

Keep the Kitchen Counters Clean – When it comes to de-cluttering your kitchen, sticking to the basics works the best. Don’t be lured by the siren’s cry of the sales rack. Just keep the things you need and use frequently on the countertops. You’d be amazed at just how clean and open your kitchen will look with fewer items on the counters!

Create Dividing Lines – Before you put everything back in its rightful place, take the time to compartmentalize everything – literally. Divide your nightstand into sections for the remote, notebooks, pens, and a notebook for easy access. Neatly fold your clothes vertically in your drawers (shoeboxes are handy for this!). When you make separate sections for your items, you will find that you can find what you want more easily.

Speed-Clean Clutter Nightly – Each night before you go to bed, take 15 minutes to tidy up your home. Wipe down the kitchen countertops and take care of the dishes, straighten up blankets and pillows on the couch, and put away your clothes and accessories. Your home will seem much cleaner and enjoyable when you wake up the next day!

De-cluttering can be tough work, but it’s always worth it in the end. After all, it’s a scientific fact that a clean, orderly house is good for your mind!

How do you de-clutter your home? What secrets have you learned throughout the years? Let us know in the comments below!