5 Tips on How to Store Winter Clothes

Sewing is not something everyone is fluent in, and let’s face it — it is a time-consuming and often frustrating activity. Fortunately, with the right resources, you can easily repair your winter items before storing them with iron-on patches. (Here’s a side gig opportunity for you sewers out there. Offer to make these repairs for friends or the winter sports community for cash, of course.)
Most department stores stock iron-on patches, making it as simple as heading to your local Walmart or Joann Fabrics to quickly and economically get your winter clothes ready for long-term storage.

5 Ways to Get More Life Out Cold Weather Clothes

Patagonia offers a free repair for all of its branded clothing, for example. All you need to do is submit a repair assessment form and Patagonia will pay for the shipping and repair of your item.
You may be tempted to stuff that down parka in a box and store it in the attic. After all, you want that closet space for summer clothes. But don’t. Down needs to breathe. Follow the tips below but let the coat hang loose in the closet. When you’re ready to wear it again, and doesn’t that come too soon, toss it in the dryer on low for about 10 minutes.

1. Repair Before You Pack

To wash a down jacket, aim to use a front-loading washer (top-loading washer drums can sometimes agitate or distort down items). Place the down jacket in the washer with like items (ahem, your other winter clothes), set the wash and rinse setting to cold water, and use a down-specific detergent.
One unique trait of winter clothing is that much of it is waterproof or water-resistant. This comes in handy during snowstorms, sleet and slush that are trademarks of the year’s most frigid months.
There are tons of waterproofing products on the market to protect your winter gear. Many exist in the form of sprays or paint-on coatings that dry quickly and do not impact the look or feel of the clothing. Most cost under and will help your winter clothes last for numerous snowstorms to come.
Source: thepennyhoarder.com
Whether you’re hoping to make your winter wardrobe more resistant to the elements or protect a particularly cozy sweater from the cold, making the investment in waterproofing before storing winter clothes will help you save time and money next year and beyond.
Being proactive is rarely a bad thing. In this case, taking steps to prevent winter clothes-loving critters like moths and mice will pay dividends in keeping your winter gear creature-free.

2. Prepare for the Next Snowstorm … a Year in Advance

REI also makes it easy to extend the life of your winter gear before storing it into a closet. Whether you have a backpack, jacket, shirt, or winter shoes  that could use some love, REI has you covered and will provide you with a free estimate for any repairs.
Instead, make your first stop in storing winter clothes the repair shop. And thanks to nationally available programs, fixing a rip or tear doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.
Wool coats, however, can be stored in bug-proof garment bags and stored in the attic or basement. Read on for more tips.
It may seem obvious, but giving winter gear a once-over with detergent or other cleaning supplies will help winter coats, winter shoes, and other cold-weather items to maintain their textile integrity and bonus —  it will help keep clothes smelling fresh for the next time you pull them out and over your head.
The sting of winter’s cold is finally giving way to the warmer, sunnier days of spring. As the seasons change, so too does our wardrobe. Goodbye parka, hello light sweater. It’s a welcome change for many of us to store our winter clothes and not give them a second thought for many months.

3. Bring the Heat to the Cold

Winter is a harsh season. For many of us, it entails snow, wind, mud and sidewalk salt. All of these can impact the integrity of your favorite winter clothes.
To ward off moths and other bugs, spend less than on a bag of cedar chips. Place the chips in the storage bin, plastic bag, or closet where you are storing winter clothes and let the refreshing cedar scent not only soothe your nose, but naturally ward off undesirable insects. Cedar will not damage clothes or alter them, either, making it a cheap way to keep winter clothes fresh.
Ensuring that down-filled products — and all winter gear — are entirely dry before storing them in a closet for months is critical. Down products can go in a low-heat dryer. For other products such as shoes and boots, using a low-heat setting on a hairdryer or good ole’ air drying should suffice.
But knowing how to store winter clothes is key to making garments last beyond one season. Down parkas can cost anywhere from 0 to ,000. No matter what you spend, you don’t want to flush that money away. Taking care to store winter clothes with an eye for longevity can help turn your one-season parka purchase into a multi-decade investment, saving you hundreds  — if not thousands — of dollars over the years.

Depending on how big the tear is, a tailor might charge to . If you have a good relationship with a cleaners, their tailor might make the fix for less. On a less expensive coat, the repair might not be worth it but if you’ve paid 0 or more and only worn the coat for one season, consider the repair.

4. Ward Off the Vermin

Colorado-based writer Kristin Jenny focuses on lifestyle and wellness. She is a regular contributor to The Penny Hoarder.
Instead of chucking those winter boots into a closet and hoping for the best, be proactive  by restoring waterproof abilities prior to tossing in a storage container.
Iron-on patches are extremely cheap — often less than —and only require a hot iron in order to be effective.
Storing winter clothes is a process that should be done with some thought and should not be a haphazard process of tossing things into plastic bags, shoving them under the bed, and calling it good.
Although bugs are typically the main culprit in clothing destruction, mice are not uncommon predators to winter clothing in long term storage or hastily-packed storage bins.

5. Keep it Clean

Winter clothing is rarely cheap and is often a budget-altering expense. From boots costing over 0 to specialized pants and accessories starting in the -range, it is to your benefit to know how to store winter clothes. When done correctly, you’ll have gear that lasts for years —if not decades — and will save you enough money to perhaps take that ski trip you’ve always dreamed about.
There are a variety of iron-on patches to choose from, with some made specific for nylon gear, some for jeans, and others for standard cotton clothing.
For synthetic and water-resistant products like Gore-Tex, a damp towel with some gentle soap should be enough to wipe away a winter’s worth of grime. The same goes for many winterized shoes and winter boots.
Even the most durable of winter gear can rip, snag or tear. While programs like those of Patagonia and REI will assist in repairing everything from damaged clothing to worn winter boots, sometimes it can be easier and more efficient to fix a small hole yourself.
For just about , you can purchase these ultrasonic sensors to put in your closet, small space, or attic and know that your winter gear will be safe for another season.
Outside of mouse traps, ultrasonic mice repellent sensors are a natural and slightly less grisly way to defend against these four-legged foe.
Nothing lasts forever, including the waterproof coating that protects much of the winter gear you’re getting ready to put into a storage bin.

Show Your Teachers Some Appreciation: 21 Teacher Gifts for Under $10

Teacher Appreciation Week, which is the first week of May, is kind of like National Ice Cream Month in July. We should show our gratitude for teachers — and love of ice cream — all year round, not just at a designated time on the calendar.

In the year of virtual classrooms and so many other challenges it’s definitely time for teacher appreciation gifts this week or on the last day of school.

Teacher gifts are usually just small tokens to represent big thanks. Giving a thoughtful gift, however, enhances their value. The Penny Hoarder asked several educators to help create a list of teacher-approved gift ideas.

“The best are the notes from the kids. Honestly, those are the things that you save in your desk drawer,” said Kate Brown who teaches middle school English in Charlotte, N.C.

If you really want to thrill a teacher, suggest your child and several other students write a thank you speech or toast. This was one of the favorite gifts ever for Kathleen Tobin, who teaches high school journalism and multimedia in St. Petersburg, Fla.

“All the seniors got together and wrote a speech thanking me and saying what they had learned for me,” she said. “The seniors each took a part and came up to the microphone and they gave me flowers.”

A thoughtful note or words were the most common response when teachers were asked to name their favorite teacher gift. What they universally don’t love getting: a coffee mug.

Consider these gift ideas for a favorite teacher to go along with a nice note.

20 Teacher Gifts To Buy or Make for Under $10

1. Gift Card for Coffee or Cheap Eats.

A $10 gift card goes a long way at Starbucks, Chic-fil-A or McDonald’s. (A gift card for $10 to a pricey shop or restaurant isn’t a great gift if teachers have to spend more of their own money to use it.)

2. Gift Card for Rare Indulgences.

A $10 gift card won’t buy a week’s worth of groceries at Whole Foods or a local gourmet market (not even close). But it will buy a decadent dessert, pricey body wash or other splurge your teacher might not otherwise treat herself to. A gift certificate to a local bakery is a great option, as well.

3. Chocolate.

“That’s all I ever want and the kids know it,” Tobin said. At the end of that speech in fact, her students threw four bags of Hershey Kisses and miniature Dove bars to her.

 4. Baking Kit.

Buy a new set of measuring spoons and a measuring cup from a dollar store. Add a bottle of vanilla extract and pack them together in a pretty gift bag. Include a copy of your favorite cookie recipe if you like. (Get bags and tissue paper for any teacher gift from a dollar store.)

5. Nailed it.

A fun teacher gift is a cute bag with two bottles of nail polish and an emery board. What a nice treat for summer feet.

6. Christmas Ornaments.

“I have so many ornaments on my tree that students have given me over the years. I really do think of each one when I decorate my tree,” said Penny Manning, who teaches fourth grade in Kinston, N.C. “Some are homemade and some maybe they got on a trip or something.” No worries that it’s May. Christmas is always just around the corner.

7. Custom Tote Bag.

The youngest students can make handprints with fabric paint, then Mom or Dad can write “Best Teacher Hands Down,” with a Sharpie. If the handprints are horizontal, they can be turned into fish by adding eyes, bubbles and waves of water. Older children can decorate the bag with a pattern or picture painted or drawn with Sharpies.

8. Custom Note Cards.

A custom set of stationery designed by a student makes for a unique gift. Fold eight pieces of plain, white printer paper in half and the young artist can draw a picture on the front of each. Add eight standard envelopes (the cards can be folded again to fit) and eight stamps.

9. Dog Treats.

These make great teacher gifts. Buy a box of treats or make your own, then put them in a plastic bag and tie a ribbon around it.

A jar contains cookies against a blue polka dot background.
Getty Images

10. Human Treats.

Homemade cookies, cakes and pies are always yummy. You can think beyond sweets and make a quiche, soup, spaghetti sauce, pineapple salsa or whatever is your specialty.

11. Emergency Kit.

“One time a student made me the cutest emergency kit,” said Robin Clemmons, who was a preschool teacher in St. Petersburg, Fla. “It was a gift bag with Advil, a Tide to Go stick, chocolate, soda and chips. That was one of the most unique teacher gifts.”

12. A plant.

A little bit of green brightens any at-school or virtual classroom. You can buy a succulent, spider plant, one-pint Santiago Palm or flowering bulbs for $5 to $10.

13. Reusable Cutlery.

“One student gave me reusable travel silverware in this little container. It was a thoughtful gift,” said Clemmons. “Teachers bring their lunch too.” Keep scrolling past the pricey sets on Amazon.com and there are several kits for under $10.

14. School Supplies.

Many teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies such as art materials and teaching aids. Several educators we interviewed said a gift certificate to a school supply store is a perfect gift.

15. Combine Forces.

If two or three families plan something together they can go in on a group gift, such as a gift certificate for a nice dinner out.

16. Tea time.

A box of tea bags, from the grocery store or a local shop is nice. Add a little pot of honey and a pack of colorful cocktail napkins from a discount store.

17. Soap.

Many cities have a local soap store selling homemade soaps in a wide range of colors, scents and ingredients. Your kid’s teacher will love a colorful bar with the image of a sunshine, heart, fish or you-name-it embedded in the middle.

18. Memory plate.

Have your student (or you if their handwriting is still emerging) use colorful Sharpies to write experiences the class shared on a plastic dinner plate. Draw a little heart, flower, or circle between each word or phrase. Memories can include titles of books the teacher read aloud, the class pet’s name, a field trip destination, a play conducted, a rainy day game played indoors, a math exercise, or a song the class often sang.

19. Fortune Cookies.

Ask for a few extra fortune cookies when you pick up Chinese food as well as one of the iconic takeout boxes. Place the cookies in the box with a note about how “fortunate” you are to have such a great teacher. Students can decorate the box with a drawing, glitter or a magazine photo collage.

20. Trader Joe’s Candle.

“One year a student gave me a candle from Trader Joe’s. It was in this cute tin and smelled fabulous,” said Robin Tuverson, who teaches sixth grade in Los Angeles. “I had no idea they sell candles and now that’s the only place I buy them. They are just $4. I always think of that student when I get one.” The soy wax candles burn for 20 hours and come in flavors like watermelon mint, strawberry basil, and pineapple cilantro.

21. Class Memory Book

If your child’s school has a Facebook page or you have taken pictures at events throughout the year of the class (not just your little darling), you can get actual photos printed and compile them into an album with funny comments from young students. Ask other parents to solicit answers from their child to questions such as: What you think Mrs. Teacher dreams about at night? What is Mr. Teacher’s favorite food?  What’s the most interesting thing you learned this year? Why do you think it’s important to go to school? And for a big laugh: How old is your teacher?

Katherine Snow Smith is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.



Source: thepennyhoarder.com

Understanding Single-Family Home HOAs

Before you buy a home in an HOA-governed community, make sure you review the rules thoroughly.

What does HOA mean?

HOA means homeowners association. It can also be referred to as HOD or Home Owners Dues. HOAs can exist in planned housing developments, town homes, and condos. It is generally billed on a monthly basis.

Most people think of homeowners associations (HOAs), legally known as Common Interest Developments, as related to attached housing structures like condominiums or town homes. But this is not always the case.

Around the 1980s, developers started building communities of single-family homes that were actually Common Interest Developments. These communities came with their own sets of rules, regulations and HOA fees.

The reason builders starting developing communities in the HOAs structure was to maintain order and the aesthetics of a community. Their rules keep home paint colors and front yards in harmony, restrict building additions that don’t fit into the neighborhood, and stop owners from parking broken-down vehicles in their driveways or front yards. Such regulations assure new and existing owners that a neighbor’s behavior and choices will not diminish property values.

But they also mean that you must follow the rules yourself, and typically contribute monthly fees to manage and run the HOA for the benefit of all owners. When residents violate these rules — which can cause stress for other owners and hurt property values– the HOA will typically step in and enforce them with violation notices, fines and possibly litigation, if the issue gets that far.

The root of the issue

Often, the problem is not the rules, it’s that people don’t read the rules and regulations before they buy into a community, and then they violate the rules. But ignorance is no excuse — those rules are recorded on the property title, and likely given to every buyer to review before they purchase a home in a standard transaction. Owners are still bound by those rules whether they received and read them or not.

If you are buying into an HOA-governed community, be sure to read the rules and regulations before you buy. Once you’ve read them, if you don’t like them, then you should avoid buying a property in that community.

What if you already own in an HOA, and don’t like the rules or how the elected HOA board of directors interprets and enforces them? Luckily, an HOA is a democracy and the owners can vote out the board of directors and change the rules!

Any member-owner can try to get elected to the board and change the regulations. They just have to get enough other community members to support their opinion and vision for the community.

Unfortunately, most community members never go to a board meeting and never get involved. They just complain about the board — who are all volunteers, by the way — and complain about HOA fees, rules, and special assessments, etc.

If you are one of those owners who doesn’t like the rules, then get involved and take the time to campaign in your community, get on the board, and change the regulations.

Do Renters Pay HOA Dues?

“The landlord cannot force you to pay the HOA unless that is what is required in the lease. If it is part of the lease, then you have to pay. If not, you don’t, but the owner may decide to find another tenant when the lease is up.

If the HOA is not doing their job in clearing snow, I would write them a letter and send copy to the landlord. You are not the owner so they may not listen, but it gives you proof of the issue and may prompt the owner to act.”

Related:

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

Source: zillow.com

The Best Places to Live in Wyoming in 2021

Wyoming became an official state in the United States in 1890. Since then, this gem of America, with its roving bison herds, gorgeous mountains and sweeping plains and plenty of rodeos, keeps the spirit of the West alive.

The best places to live in Wyoming immerse you in all the benefits of the Cowboy State.

The state of Wyoming boasts a strong academic record, an economy with a mineral and tourism focus and one of the lowest costs of living in the country. The average price of rent in Wyoming is less than the national average. Plus, Wyoming has no state income tax — so money stretches further.

When you choose to live in one of the best cities in Wyoming, you decide to begin a brand-new adventure in one of America’s natural beauties. Take your pick from the following:

Casper, WY.

Casper first appeared on the map thanks to Fort Caspar, a stop on the Oregon Trail, the Wyoming Central Railway and an oil boom. Now “Oil City” is Wyoming’s second-largest city with a thriving rental market.

Casper provides ample education opportunities, with more than 25 schools and Casper College serving the area.

Natural beauty and outdoor activities abound in Casper. The city continually appears on lists as a top place for fishing in the country; its North Platte river provides plenty of angling opportunities and gorgeous scenery for canoeing excursions.

Plus, historic downtown hosts various shops, a historic walking tour and delicious restaurants and cafes to enjoy here.

Cheyenne, WY, one of the best places to live in wyoming

Known as the “Magic City of the Plains,” Cheyenne serves as the capital of Wyoming. The Old West-inspired city is famous for producing the likes of country music legend Chris LeDoux and hosting the world’s largest outdoor rodeo, Cheyenne Frontier Days.

For a capital city, Cheyenne’s rental market is remarkably affordable, with the average three-bedroom apartment running under $1,100 a month.

The city itself has grown into a family-friendly place. The Cheyenne Botanic Gardens and Paul Smith Children’s Village, along with movie theaters, museums and city parks, provide plenty of activities year-round for little ones.

Plus, living in Cheyenne puts residents a short drive to Vedauwoo Recreation Area and Granite Springs Reservoir Campgrounds, beautiful hiking and fishing areas for those who want to escape.

evanston wy

Source: Rent.com / Classic Lodge Apartments

Standing at 6,800 feet with 300 days of sunshine a year, Evanston is an ideal spot for sun worshippers. Plus, the Bear River flows right through this spirited small town set near the Uinta Mountains, creating a beautiful backdrop.

Locals enjoy wandering the vibrant downtown district or golfing at the Purple Sage Golf Course during the summer months. Hunting, fishing and hiking flourish in the area, with Bear River State Park just a stone’s throw from the town.

Winter provides plenty of opportunities for skiing and snow-shoeing, ice-fishing, dog-sled races, parades and holiday celebrations.

Evanston’s recreation center, parks and public schools make the town an excellent choice for families who like to stay busy year-round.

Gillette, WY, one of the best places to live in wyoming

Gillette is the “Energy Capital of the Nation” due to its minerals and fuel production, but there is more to this city than mining. Adventurers and families thrive in Gillette, which serves as a base for travel to Devil’s Tower, Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore.

Campbell County Parks and Recreation provides the city with everything from team sports and an annual dodgeball tournament to swimming and rock-climbing lessons.

The community works hard to provide a rich social life for everyone. Local organizations put on year-round events like the Festival of Lights and the 4th of July celebrations.

Families arriving in Gillette will find excellent schools, a local community college and plenty of kid-friendly activities.

Adventurers and explorers will discover myriad getaway opportunities, fly fishing expeditions and unique sites to visit in this diverse and growing city.

Gillette, WY.

Jackson has become the Hollywood of Wyoming. The city is home to many celebrities, from Kanye West to Harrison Ford, and it’s no wonder why. Jackson, also known as Jackson Hole, boasts one of America’s best ski-resorts — Jackson Hole Mountain Resort — and some of the best scenery Wyoming has to offer.

Nestled in the Tetons, within the Bridger-Teton National Forest and National Elk Refuge, Jackson offers a sea of trees and mountainous views unlike any other.

The economy grows every year in Jackson, thanks to its diverse tourism market and thriving town culture.

The Snow King Mountain Resort provides adventure galore with an alpine coaster, adventure park and an ice-climbing park to satiate any fun-seeking resident. At the same time, the town itself boasts plenty of spas, cafes and delicious restaurants for a relaxing evening.

Lander, WY, one of the best places to live in wyoming

Lander brings the best of rural and city living together within the Absaroka Mountains. This little town comes with a whole lot of fun for the residents of gorgeous Wind River Country.

Renowned for the rock climbing and national parks nearby, Lander is the outdoor enthusiast’s best friend.

The Wind River Casino, Lander Brewfest and International Climbers’ Festival bring plenty of entertainment for the young adult crowd.

History and culture lovers enjoy traveling along the California and Oregon Trail, visiting ghost towns, panning for gold and attending Native American powwows while thoroughly enjoying the Lander cultural experience.

Lander, WY.

Home to the University of Wyoming, Laramie may just be the smallest state university town in America. Football, family and fun are a major part of Laramie’s community, with the whole town often closing down to watch the Border War game against Colorado State University — the University of Wyoming’s biggest rival.

But this college town isn’t just for co-eds. Albany County School District serves the younger students of Laramie, while its recreation center, Snowy Range ski area and nearby Medicine Bow National Forest provide plenty of indoor and outdoor fun for everyone.

Rock Springs, WY, one of the best places to live in wyoming

Rock Springs came about much the same way as many Wyoming towns. The railroad and coal mining made this little town, and thanks to these industries — Rock Springs grew into a melting pot of diversity.

The Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes live nearby on the Wind River Indian Reservation, and descendants of railroaders still reside in the city today.

Living in Rock Springs won’t break the bank. A two-bedroom apartment costs less than $800 — well below the national average. Plus, living here puts you a hop, skip and jump away from some of America’s most interesting landmarks, including Killpecker Sand Dunes and the Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

Kayakers and hikers can travel along the Wind River Canyon for outdoor fun, while the Rock Springs Historical Museum offers plenty for indoor exploring.

Saratoga, WY.

Saratoga’s name comes from the Native American word “Sarachtoue,” which translates to “place of miraculous water in the rock.” It speaks to the rich array of hot springs in the area, including Hobo Hot Springs and the Saratoga Hot Springs Resort.

Meandering down Main Street in Saratoga brings the spirit of the Old West alive. The quintessential small town has gorgeous hiking and camping grounds and miles of running river a stone’s throw from town, comfortable and historic lodgings like Hotel Wolf and plenty of good hometown cooking and shopping.

Saratoga provides its residents with a small but devoted school district, a community pool and a community center for entertainment. The city also boasts prime fishing locations, with a large population of blue-ribbon trout swimming in Saratoga Lake and the North Platte River.

Sheridan, WY, one of the best places to live in wyoming

Lovingly called “Wyoming’s Jewel” by locals, Sheridan lies nestled in the forested northern reaches of Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains. The city was once home to Buffalo Bill Cody, whose wild west show sparked imagination and adventure across America. His Sheridan Inn still stands today for travelers to enjoy.

Sheridan’s school district provides excellent education, while Sheridan Recreation District offers sports and activities for all ages.

The city itself houses several dude ranches where horse-loving, trail-riding travelers can explore and stay. Sheridan also cultivates a unique and busy cultural atmosphere, with festivals and events filling the calendar. Locals love the legendary Don King Days rodeo and the Antelope Butte Summer Festival.

Find your own best place to live in Wyoming

The state of Wyoming offers cities and towns ideal for adventurers, nature lovers and families, alike. Affordability, natural beauty and a statewide community come together to create amazing options for renters looking to move to Wyoming. Find the perfect place for you to live in Wyoming today.

Source: rent.com

How to Make Money Renting Equipment and Doing Maintenance Jobs

Not everyone owns a power washer, paint sprayer, chainsaw, backpack leaf blower, multipurpose steam cleaner or cordless wet/dry vacuum for auto detailing. But those who do own these tools can use them to make extra money.

It can be well worth investing in certain small power tools that most people don’t own to develop a side gig.

For example, Popular Mechanics ranked its top three power washers, ranging in price from $159 to $529. HomeAdvisor, a website that helps homeowners find home improvement professionals, estimates the typical power washing job for a house with siding is $220 to $380 and $130 to $220 for a driveway. Thumbtack, another website that connects clients with service providers, suggests paying 16 cents to 22 cents per square foot of power washing.

So the money earned on just two power washing jobs would easily recoup the cost of buying even the more expensive power washer.

It’s easy to spread the word on social media or flyers on windshields about your services, whether chain saw cutting and debris removal after a big storm takes down trees or steam cleaning furniture and rugs before the holidays.

Each city or county has their own regulations on what services require a license, business registration fee or insurance. Even if it costs a couple hundred dollars to file the correct paperwork, that cost can be recouped within a few jobs.

Rob Littke, a contractor who does large and small projects for clients, offered a few tips for folks considering purchasing expensive tools. Here’s his advice.

How to Make Money Renting Equipment and Doing Small Maintenance Jobs

Rent Before You Buy

Littke suggests renting any tool before buying it so you can figure out which brands and designs work best for you. Home Depot has a wide selection of tools for rent. A cordless paint sprayer costs $27 for four hours or $38 for the day, while a pressure washer is $63 for four hours or $76 per day.

If you are doing a project for yourself or selling your services, Littke suggests renting tools instead of buying them unless you know you’ll use them regularly.

“When you rent a tool they are always in good shape, clean and ready to use. No hoses are broken, nothing needs to be replaced or refilled,” he said. “You never get to a job site and find out it doesn’t work.”

Also, some tools don’t perform well if they aren’t used frequently.

“There’s nothing worse for a paint sprayer than not using it,” he said, explaining there are pumps and rubber seals that can get stuck if they are left dormant.

“I sold my paint sprayer because I was never using it,” he added. (FYI: Littke prefers brushes and rollers because sprayers require so much preparation covering furniture, floors, doors and windows.)

Find Good Deals on Tools

Home Depot’s tool rental department is also a great place to buy tools. They sell them after being rented a few years.

“I bought a chainsaw there for about $100 that would have been more than $300 new. And since they use the same tools, they stock all the parts to fix them,” he said.

Facebook Marketplace is another good resource for used tools. “I can’t tell you how many people run out and buy a $700 tile saw to tile one bathroom, then they use it once and never again,” Littke said. After a couple years of that tile saw taking up room in the garage, it ends up on Facebook Marketplace for $300 or $400.

Harbor Freight is a chain of more than 1,100 stores across the country that sell 7,000 different tools and accessories for up to 80 percent less than the price of competing products. It buys direct from the factories that supply better-known brands and is able to pass savings along to customers, according to its website. Littke said he has saved hundreds of dollars there for tools that are the same high quality as name brand equipment. He buys the extended warranty for an extra $7, and if something breaks or simply wears out over time, they replace it with a new one.

Buy a Truck, Drive it for Money

If you need to buy a used vehicle for your own use, it makes sense to get a truck because it gives you the ability to use it to make extra money.

Many people need to move just one piece of furniture across town or throw an old mattress away at the town dump. It’s not worth hiring a moving company, and renting a truck from Home Depot is often more trouble and money than finding someone who owns a truck.

Weston Willingham, a senior at the University of Florida, made hundreds of dollars using his $6,000 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 throughout high school.

“My mom is a Realtor, so she always knew people who needed something moved,” he said. “Then I think people started saying: ‘Call Weston. He has a truck. He can help you.’ I was also an extra set of hands.”

Along with the space of a truck, Willingham showed up ready to lift and load as well.

He didn’t set prices, but asked customers to pay what they felt comfortable with. He made at least $40 per job and often more than $100.

“I was lucky because I was in high school and I could be flexible. Sometimes people would call me saying: “Hey I’m going to need you here right now and I will pay you well enough you will want to drop whatever you are doing and help out,” Willingham recalled.

Katherine Snow Smith is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com

Full House? Maximize Your Space With These Tips

Make a call to 1-800-Got Junk? Their minimum fee is 9 to remove and dispose of about as much stuff as fits in a pickup truck. There are also local, independent junk removal companies that offer competitive pricing. Or haul it away yourself, donating the usable items to your favorite charity for resale.
“The VIGDA corner room divider can be easily assembled following the provided instructions,” an Ikea spokeswoman said. The VIGDA consists of a track that is attached to the ceiling, with curtains that hang to the floor. It costs while Ikea drapes start at .99 a set.
“He literally took a flat king sheet and drilled screws through it into one corner of the living room,” his mother, Alyssa Brown said. “He made this little triangular room of his own.”

A completes his work from an office set up in his closet at home as his kids spend time in his room beside him. This photo illustrates one way to maximize small spaces: put your office in your closet.
Getty Images

5 Tips for How to Maximize Your Space 

I considered adding air conditioning to the garage, which had two big windows, but that was way too expensive. I thought about converting the dining room to their room, but there would be no way to get to the kitchen without going through it.

1. A cleaned-out closet becomes an office nook 

When I got divorced several years ago, we sold our four-bedroom home and I rented a two-bedroom house in a great neighborhood with a lot of character and big yard. With two daughters away at college and a high-school-aged son rotating between his dad and me, I really didn’t need more than two bedrooms.

  • Remove all the shelving, except for perhaps the top shelf for storage.
  • Have your child pick out a color and paint the inside together.
  • Measure the width and depth of the closet then get a piece of scrap countertop or plywood cut at Lowe’s, Home Depot or an independent cabinet and kitchen shop. This could cost $50 to $100 depending on the size and material.
  • Nail wooden slats or 2-by-4s around the perimeter of your closet about 30 inches above the floor.
  • Place the desktop on the supports.
  • Add a bulletin board, plastic file holders, stapler and a cup for markers and pencils. Let your child decorate his or her “classroom” with a few photos or printouts of their favorite heroes and heroines.

2. Got Junk? Then you probably have space.

I put my dresser in the dining room, and my clothes in the hall closet. For a summer when the girls were home, I slept on the sofa in the living room or on a pull-out in the screened porch.

Pro Tip
If you are feeling crowded in your home and considering buying something bigger, it’s scary these days to see how much just a little more space will cost. The median sales price of a home was up 17% for the four weeks ending April 11 compared to the same period in 2020, according to Redfin, the nationwide real estate brokerage.

Katherine Snow Smith is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

3. A sheet and a drill can create a room

But disappointed would-be homebuyers feeling priced out of the market can make simple changes where they currently live to maximize space and feel less cramped.
“The BEKANT screen provides privacy and absorbs sound to create division within the room,” she added. It costs 9 and is 59 inches high and 32 inches wide.
Here are some ways to create new spaces in your existing house or condo and enjoy it more while waiting for prices to drop. Who knows, you may decide there’s no place like home.
Is it time to pare down your belongings? Use these tips on how to minimize your stuff.

IKEA has organizational devices for small spaces such as the VIDGA, which is a curtain-like room divider and a BEKANT, which is a narrow standing desk.
IKEA has organizational products for small spaces, such as the VIDGA, left, which is a curtain room divider and a BEKANT, right, which is a screen that divides a room, gives privacy and reduces sound. Photo courtesy of IKEA

4. Ikea to the rescue

If a closet or a spare bedroom is packed to the brim with a broken vacuum cleaner or rusty exercise bike covered in old clothes, getting rid of all that offers more space for humans.
The rest of the house was decorated with my stuff, but they still had a room of their own and a place they felt was theirs.
“The MICKE Corner Workstation can be placed anywhere in the room. With shelving and a magnetic board, you can organize this workstation in your own unique way,” the Ikea representative said. It costs 9, and can be placed so that it creates two walls against a corner with a small opening to “get in” to the desk-and-shelf unit.
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Ikea has several products from to 9 that can create partitions or turn a corner into an office or bedroom.

5. Rethink and Reconfigure 

Here are some ways to maximize space and carve out individual rooms for a lot less than adding on or leasing a bigger apartment.
Ultimately, I made the master bedroom their room. I slept in it 90% of the time since they weren’t home often, but it was filled with all their “stuff” and their clothes.
But I struggled with my daughters having to move out of the house where they grew up and all their “stuff” being packed away in boxes in the attic. (“Stuff” defined: photos, embroidered pillows, framed record albums, twinkling lights, artwork, music boxes, stuffed animals, an old bubble gum machine, etc. It’s the “stuff” that makes a room, your room.)
This “corner room” could also house a play space, Lego table or easel in a living room or kitchen, offering privacy to a child and keeping toys out of sight in the main room.
The sheet supplied one wall, and the existing walls completed the rest of his triangular space that had enough room for a comfy chair, end table and a fan. The fan helped drown out the noise of the rest of the three-bedroom apartment. He used earphones when playing his XBox to contain his noise.
A screened porch, sunroom or dining room may be put to better use as a bedroom or classroom when everyone is home. Eat in the kitchen or at a coffee table, and make that dining room into one or even two rooms for sleeping, schooling or working.
Ready to stop worrying about money?
When Beau Brown was a high school senior during the first year of the pandemic, he did school at home alongside his two siblings and his parents, who were working at home. Feeling cramped, he found a way to carve out a little space for himself.  But his easy fix could create a beloved hideaway for a kid for any age. <!–

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Shelving units can be secured on one end to a wall and stick out into a room to divide it into two spaces. One KALLAX shelving system is almost five feet high and three feet wide for . Two of these would make a good-sized wall down the middle of your kids’ shared bedroom, or section off a corner of the living room for an office.

The Best Places to Live in Nevada in 2021

Nevada is typically thought of as a hot, dry desert with Las Vegas being the main reason people visit or choose to live there. But the state offers so much more!

The best places to live in Nevada include many family-friendly cities, some of which are close to beautiful lakes and stunning mountains. There are places for boating, hiking and even winter sports, like skiing and snowboarding.

On the financial side of things, it’s one of the few states that doesn’t have personal income tax! So take a look and explore the best places to live in Nevada.

Boulder City, NV, one of the best places to live in nevada

Boulder City is small, family-friendly and pretty safe—which is very different from the larger, more famous city of Las Vegas that lies only 30 minutes away.

It has small-town vibes and a very tight-knit community, making it an attractive place for young families wanting the fun and excitement of Las Vegas without living in such a vast, bustling city.

Plus, you’ve got Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam nearby for outdoor recreation.

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Carson City, NV.

Nevada’s state capital, Carson City, is fairly unique to most other cities in Nevada, with it being close to anything you might enjoy, be it outdoor recreation or big city lights.

Because it lies much further north than Las Vegas, its weather isn’t always hot and dry. You can enjoy all four unique seasons, including some snow in winter.

You’re also less than an hour away from the beautiful shores and mountains of Lake Tahoe, where summer swimming and boating are popular and winter skiing is available.

Plus, there’s Reno nearby in case you want to explore a Vegas-like city that’s not quite so large.

Carson City itself still has great restaurants in its downtown area and is family-friendly. Even with all of this great stuff, it’s still one of the least-crowded cities in America.

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Fallon, NV, one of the best places to live in nevada

Because it’s fairly quiet and mellow, Fallon draws in both young families and retirees who are looking to live life at a slower pace. This has given the town the nickname of the “Oasis of Nevada.” There are also many military families due to the naval base nearby.

It’s a great place for those that are adventurous and enjoy exploring since it’s within two hours of Lake Tahoe, the Nevada state capital of Carson City and Reno’s bright lights.

Plus, there are plenty of community events and festivals throughout the year for locals (and visitors) to attend.

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Henderson, NV.

As part of the greater Las Vegas city, Henderson is big city living, but in the suburbs. It’s less than a 30-minute drive to get to the strip, with many of Las Vegas’ great restaurants and shopping spots located even closer.

Henderson is very focused on building a safe community and bringing people together, so there are lots of great events and activities going on. One of the most popular is a downtown art festival, where many local artists and art-lovers gather each month to support each other.

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Las Vegas, NV, one of the best places to live in nevada

One of the most well-known cities in the world, Las Vegas draws in a diverse crowd of tourists and residents alike.

There’s never a dull moment and something for everyone is easily found at every corner. Restaurants, shows, shopping and even major league sports are all part of Vegas.

Because it’s a large city, it’s divided up into neighborhoods, some of which give residents a “big city” feel and others that are a little bit quieter and calm.

Plus, the location is ideal —in just a few hours, you can find yourself at the beaches near Los Angeles or the mountains of Utah.

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Laughlin, NV.

You’ll find Laughlin nestled right on the Nevada-Arizona border, near the banks of the Colorado River.

It offers adventurous desert living, where off-roading is a favorite pastime and it’s warm and sunny, making it perfect for anyone that enjoys swimming frequently in the Colorado River.

You’ll always meet new people in Laughlin as its economy thrives on tourism — it’s full of casinos and resorts that bring in new crowds every day of the year.

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North Vegas, NV, one of the best places to live in nevada

North Las Vegas is the happy medium for anyone wanting to feel like they live in the hustle and bustle of Vegas, but without feeling like they’re in the overcrowded streets of downtown and the Strip.

It’s been experiencing a revitalization and the city has been recently focusing on improving safety, entertainment and diversity in the area.

You’ve still got the Strip and main city nearby, plus endless restaurants and shopping, but at the end of the day, you don’t have to deal with constant traffic and tourists walking everywhere. It’s not too close, yet not too far away!

Find apartments for rent in North Las Vegas
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Reno, NV.

The “biggest little city in the world” is one that’s full of surprises. Reno is typically known for gambling and casinos, but it actually has many great ski resorts for winter sports. But it’s not just winter that makes it exciting—it’s less than an hour to Lake Tahoe, so expect exciting and fun summers.

Reno has one of the best bar scenes, most of which are open 24-hours. And because it has so much room to grow, many large businesses are building offices in the area, further stabilizing the already-stable economy.

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Sparks, NV, one of the best places to live in nevada

If you’re a fan of Reno, then you’ll probably also like Sparks, which is a small town that’s basically a suburb of Reno. It’s close to all of the excitement that the bigger city offers with a relaxed vibe.

And with the growth of Reno’s business sector, Sparks is seeing a lot more development to accommodate the increasing number of jobs and residents in the area.

There’s a pretty diverse age group, with everyone from college students, young professionals, families and retirees mingling throughout the city.

Find apartments for rent in Sparks
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Sun Valley, NV.

As yet another town near Reno, Sun Valley is also seeing much growth but is still more rural than the main city center and Sparks. Many of its residents actually like that there are very few stores and restaurants in the area, as it keeps it quiet and not many random tourists end up wandering through.

Because of its lack of city recreation, there are many community events that provide opportunities to get to know your neighbors and interact with the other locals. It’s full of humble, eccentric people that are always welcoming to newcomers and outsiders.

Find apartments for rent in Sun Valley
Buy a house in Sun Valley

Find your own best place to live in Nevada

Las Vegas isn’t the only place to live in Nevada, especially if you’re looking for a little less of the “big city.”

There are plenty of other cities and suburbs that give you everything you could imagine. From community events to all-year outdoor recreation — you only need to open your mind up to the possibilities of Nevada.

Source: rent.com

How to Get Long-Term Care in Place for Aging Family Members

But be sure when filing invoices and daily care reports with the insurance company that only the name of the insured is on the documents. For example, it’s okay if the caregiver fixes a lunch both the husband and wife eat even if the wife isn’t the insured, because the majority of the work, such as bathing, dressing, toileting, etc. is for the husband.
Most long-term insurers want to see a record of a doctor stating he or she believes the patient needs help from a caregiver.
“Sometimes you have to convince one spouse that he or she is going to collapse or worse trying to take care of the other,” Werk said. “Having a caregiver come in will allow both of them to be in a better situation.”

How To Get Long-Term Care In Place

Care Must Be in Place Before a Claim Is Filed

“You need to have a talk with your parents (or whoever is filing the long-term insurance claim) and tell them this is not the time to be proud,” Werk said. “Even if they can just barely manage to do things on their own but it causes them pain or they are unsteady on their feet dressing or bathing, they need to tell the nurse they do need help.”

Caregivers Must Be Licensed

Katherine Snow Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

There Are Minimum Hour Requirements to Fill

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The average cost of a home health aide in a retiree’s home was an hour last year, and most providers have a minimum requirement of six hours a day. It’s more if two people are in the home, even if only one needs care. So it’s great to have the long-term care insurance reimbursement covering a sudden and ongoing expense.
Honesty is crucial in a medical evaluation. Once a client has care in place and files for reimbursement, the long-term care insurer will send a contracted nurse to evaluate the person and make sure they need the care they and their doctor are requesting.

Independent Living Usually Isn’t Covered

Agencies want their clients and employees to be happy and should be glad to work with you to find the best match, Werk said. It’s also good to try to have at least two familiar caregivers in case one becomes sick or has to miss from time to time.

Start With a Doctor’s Referral

Many home health care companies have a minimum of at least four to six hours a day. A client may need help with bathing, dressing and going to the bathroom, all of which don’t take six hours. This takes some getting used to for clients, who may feel awkward having someone else in the house who doesn’t have a task.
Insurance companies will still cover that help even if a spouse or child is able to do it.
Keep trying aides until the match is a good one. If you secure help through an agency, ask to have a couple of different aides come each week, whether you need seven days of care or two. If the senior doesn’t really “click” with them after a few weeks, ask to try two different helpers.
Plan to have enough money to pay for up to two months of care before any reimbursements start. This doesn’t mean you have to start with five days a week. A client can start with just a half day a week and get the care approved by the insurance company, then move up to more.
Couples with varying abilities can get help if just one person needs more extensive care. In many situations a husband or wife is taking care of their spouse in terms of bathing, dressing, transporting, feeding and more. The spouse needing care still qualifies for long-term care reimbursement for a professional caregiver even if a spouse has been able to assist.

Advice for Couples When Only One Person Needs Care

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This is time well spent and worth the cost, especially when long-term care insurance pays for much of it.
But whether planning for yourself or your parents, there is a lot to learn about getting help in place and filing a claim to get reimbursement checks arriving in the mailbox. Here are some tips, warnings and suggestions for communicating with insurance companies, caregivers, doctors and retirees.
Insurance companies won’t reimburse the cost of Aunt Lucille or Anna who lives next door to help take care of your dad while you are at work if they aren’t licensed. This is why you usually have to find someone from an agency, who carries their own insurance through their employer.

Finding a New Normal with Caregiving 

Source: thepennyhoarder.com
Long-term care insurers are fine with this. It’s the agency that gets approved for coverage, not the individual caregiver.
“Let the doctor be the bad guy. They can say they feel it’s safer for the patient to have some extra help,” she said. “Their opinion usually carries more weight and (is) less hurtful than coming from the children.”
So your parents have smartly paid long-term care insurance premiums of a few hundred dollars a month for 15 years. Now they need help in their house and are ready to file a claim and reap the financial payback of their prudent planning. <!–

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Paula Werk, founder of HomeWerks Home Care in Raleigh, N.C. has found a doctor is often more persuasive with a senior than family members.

How Much Are Old Records Worth? Here’s What We Found Out

Money sits on top of a record in a record player.


Getty Images and Ken Lyons/The Penny Hoarder

When it comes to selling your old records to make extra cash, don’t get your hopes up.

And know this: Condition matters most. Frank Sinatra matters least.

“At one time the shelf that held all the Sinatra albums was 70 feet wide,” said Doug Allen, owner of Bananas Records, which is based in St. Petersburg, Florida. “We have way too much of that.”

What Bananas Records buys and sells the most are classic rock ‘n’ roll, punk and jazz albums. And that’s for around $5 — if the album and the cover are in great condition.

“Records don’t compare to coins and stamps and books,” Allen said. ”There’s not really anything that’s worth $100,000 or more.”

Many records that sold in the millions are still popular with collectors and album buyers, but so many copies are still in circulation that they don’t sell for much.

On the other hand, records that only sold 20,000 copies — jazz from the 1950s, early punk rock — may be worth more. Allen has seen jazz albums from that era, such as early Miles Davis, go for $500 to $700 a piece, while classic punk might sell for $50 to $100.

Most record collectors these days are between the ages of 18 and 35, and used record dealers will try to buy records that will appeal to both avid collectors as well as other, more casual buyers.  That includes artists like Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, David Bowie and John Coltrane.

“There are still some Beach Boy fans out there,” Allen said. “There’s some country that’s worth something. Early Hank Williams. Some Johnny Cash.”

Allen would pay around $3 to $5 an album for these in good condition. He noted that Michael Jackson albums in good shape are selling.

“Two weeks after his death you could sell anything you could get your hands on for $30 to $40,” Allen said. “Now they are worth about $7 to $10.”

However, don’t bother bringing your Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow or Elvis Presley records.

“These kids who are buying records today, many of them have never heard of Elvis,” Allen said. “That era is gone.”

This three part photo shows the album cover and the actual record of Sonny Rollins, who is considered one of the most important jazz musicians in America. The record retails for $1,000 at Banana Records. Then there is a portrait of Doug Allen, the Banana Records owner, with his warehouse full of records. Some are on shelves while others are in boxes.
Doug Allen, bottom, co-owns Bananas Records with his wife, Michelle Allen, not photographed, which is one of the largest vinyl record retailers in the world with about 3.5 million records. Sonny Rollins, top, is considered one of the most important jazz musicians in American history. His sixth album, Saxophone Colossus, is selling at Bananas Records for $1,000. Chris Zuppa / The Penny Hoarder

An Album’s Value Is About More Than the Music

Other factors affect the value of an album, including a record label or address of the recording studio, which can indicate if it’s a first or second pressing; the country in which the album was released; and whether the album was autographed.

The condition of the album cover is as important as the vinyl itself. Water damage, tears and marks can all decrease an album’s value. However, Allen and other collectors frequently buy the album alone if it’s in good shape and the cover isn’t, and vice versa.

Allen advises anyone who is trying to sell their collection to take it to their local vintage record store and have them take a look and let you know what’s worth money.

One couple recently brought two wheeled suitcases full of albums into Bananas Record, and they were able to sell many of them for a total of $60.

Here’s What Your DVDs and CDs Are Actually Worth

What about DVDs, CDs and even 8-tracks? Allen and Genny Stout, manager of Bananas Records,  have some guidance for anyone trying to unload their old movies and music.

CDs

CDs are less popular each year, as there are fewer cars with CD players. Stout usually pays 25 cents for them.

DVDs

Stout will offer up to 50 cents for DVDs from the ‘80s and ‘90s that aren’t very common. This does not include romantic comedies and blockbusters like “The Matrix.”

“Nobody wants to buy romantic comedies, or all the Adam Sandler movies,” Stout said.

A Disney classic in good shape might bring $1 or $2.

“Most of those are destroyed because people let their children put them in and out [of the DVD players],” Stout said.

VHS 

“We haven’t purchased those in 5 to 6 years,” she said, adding that it’s hard to find non-profit retail stores that accept them.

8-Track

“I would say there’s no market for them with the exception of a cult following,” Allen said. “Maybe a KISS 8-track, something you wouldn’t expect.” Those might bring in $10 to $15.

Katherine Snow Smith is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.

Source: thepennyhoarder.com