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What Shouldn't Be In Your Garage

by Tucker Robbins


Our garages aren’t serving their original purpose these days--very few Americans use their cars specifically for parking their cars.  We use them for storage, however, and while it makes sense to stash things in there, out of the way and seen only when we 
have to go in the garage, it’s still more convenient to get there than it is the attic.  But as sensible as it may seem, there are some items that shouldn’t be kept in the garage. 

 

  • - Wooden furniture should be kept somewhere that’s protected from temperature changes and humidity.  Unless your garage is climate-controlled, keep it in a spare room inside the house, or give it away. 

  • - Propane tanks should be stored outside, on a flat surface, away from anything that can spark.  If you have tanks inside your garage, and the valve begins to leak, it can be deathly.    

  • - Work cloths that have oily residue on them should be treated with great care, as they can spontaneously combust. The Family Handyman suggests that oily rags should be air-dried and stored inside a metal container. 

  • - Firewood is an attractant for pests, and as convenient as it may be to keep it close by in the garage, it’s best to keep most of it at least twenty feet from the house.  Bring in only what you’ll need for a day. 

  • - Paint is highly flammable, and can be rendered useless in a garage, where temperatures can be extreme.  Check for manufacturer's recommended temperatures on the can, and store accordingly. 

  • - Canned food should be stored at room temperature, so if you find your pantry overflowing, donate extra to a food pantry.  Keeping it in fluctuating temperatures can cause spoilage, or freezing and thawing could affect the quality of the food. 

  • - If you have a second refrigerator in your garage, it’s wonderful for extra food storage.  However, a fridge that isn’t manufactured to stand extreme temperatures can fail, leaving you with a mess and ruined food.  Garage kits for refrigerators can be found at hardware stores and online, and will make your extra storage more efficient. 

 

Cleaning out the garage can be a monumental task, but if you have any of these items stored there, you need to get them out and stored properly.  Keeping your home and family safe should be the highest priority, and no amount of hard work is worth the risk of losing either.

Courtesy of New Castle County DE Realtors Tucker Robbins and Carol Arnott Robbins.   

Photo credit: napomichigan.com

Keeping Your Packages Safe

by Tucker Robbins


With online shopping having become so popular, this time of year brings stories on the news about package thieves, as well as new gadgets to help deter someone from walking away with packages delivered while someone isn’t home.  There are several options we have that can help keep our deliveries secure, as well as help from online retailers.  
 

 

  • - Talk to neighbors that may be home during the days you’re expecting a package, and ask them to be on the lookout for a delivery to your home so they can hold it for you or stash it somewhere out of sight. 

  • - There are simple ways to hide an unattended package: have a large plant to hide boxes behind, or use a lockbox at your doorstep, with key instructions for the carrier in your delivery details. 

  • - Most large retailers will give you a “ship to store” option, and all you have to do is pick it up at the Customer Service desk.   

  • - If your package is coming via USPS, there are several ways to divert package delivery, as well as ask a carrier to leave it somewhere out of sight. 

  • - When you place your order, if you know you’re going to be at work, make sure your boss doesn’t mind if you have your items delivered to your workplace, and use that address for shipping. 

  • - Your local pack-and-ship store will receive deliveries for you for a fee.  

  • - Installing a visible security camera at your front door can deter some thieves, and some cameras come with motion-sensor options to set off a siren or other alert if someone gets too close to your front door. 

  • - Amazon is offering several delivery options:  Amazon LockerKey Smart Lock KitKey In-Car Delivery, and Hub by Amazon. 

  • - UPS offers My Choice to customize your deliveries. For FedEx deliveries, go to their Delivery Manager, create and account, and manage your deliveries. 

 

The best way to prevent “package Grinches” from stealing your deliveries is to be proactive.  Use text message and email alerts, as well as specific delivery company smartphone apps to notify you when a package is left at your door.  

 

Courtesy of New Castle County DE Realtors Tucker Robbins and Carol Arnott Robbins.   

Photo credit: Best Buy

Childproofing for Guests

by Tucker Robbins


It’s the visiting time of year, and some of your guests will likely be bringing little ones with them.  If your home is now child-free, you may not be aware of possible hazards for little ones.  Get your home ready for them with these tips:
 

 

  • - In the case that you don’t have cabinet locks and cleaning supplies are easily accessed, go ahead and place them all in a small cleaning bucket or basket so you can just grab them and put them out of reach when or before guests arrive. 

  • - The kitchen is usually the hub when company comes, so keep little ones from under foot by putting some interactive magnets on the fridge door--there are some pretty nifty learning-type magnets available, as well as the traditional alphabet letters. 

  • - If you have candles burning, make sure they are far from the reach of any age child, and in a prominent place so that they’re always in sight of you or another adult. 

  • - Check blinds and drapes for long cords--either drape them over the tops of the blinds or purchase cord holders to keep them up and out of reach. 

  • - For homes with stairs, purchase or borrow a latching safety gate to prevent little ones from wandering up the steps. 

  • - Ask everyone to keep the toilet lid down, or close the bathroom door when they go in and out.  If you ask them, they’ll be more conscious of it, and oblige. 

  • - In case you have a cozy fire burning, at least have a screen set up in front of the fireplace door as a barrier in case a little one stumbles while they’re walking nearby. 

  • - Houseplants can be tempting to a little explorer, but some plants can make us sick if ingested.  Do a bit of research, and if yours are in that category, give them a temporary home out of the way. 

  • - Keep an eye on yard sales or thrift stores for age-appropriate toys and games in good condition.  Clean them up, and place them in a basket or on a game table in the living area; kids love “new” toys. 

  • - Have someone get down on all fours on the floor and look for hazardous things that could be interesting to a child, and make the temporary changes you need to so your littlest guests will be safe. 

 

Enjoying the holidays means enjoying your guests, and not worrying if the youngest ones are getting into something you don’t want them to, or something potentially dangerous.  Your visitors will appreciate the extra effort it took to keep their children safe and entertained, making their visit more memorable.


Courtesy of New Castle County DE Realtors Tucker Robbins and Carol Arnott Robbins.   

Photo credit: Realtor.com

Removing Carpet

by Tucker Robbins

Homeowners of houses built in the wall-to-wall carpet phase may be pleasantly surprised to learn that there is hardwood flooring beneath rug.  If you’ve pulled up a corner of the carpeting and found just that, or simply want to remove the old carpet before new is installed, DIY’ing this job is a good idea, but be ready--here are a few tips for removing wall-to-wall carpeting: 

 

  • - You’ll need a few things--heavy duty trash bags, protective gloves, sharp utility knife, dust mask, and a crowbar, and for removing padding glue or staples, a flat floor scraper or padding adhesive remover. 

  • - Remove all the furniture from the room, as well as floor vents, and any under shoe molding.  Vacuum very well to remove as much dirt and dust as possible. 

  • - If there is a room door that swings inward, take the door off the hinges to keep it out of the way. 

  • - Suit up with the dust mask and the work gloves, and start in a corner, pulling a section back with the crowbar, taking care to be mindful of the tack strips that can be holding down the carpet around the perimeter of the room. 

  • - Once you’ve pulled the carpet back, fold it over, and, using the utility knife, cut a section of carpet from the back side for easier going. (Cutting the large rug into sections makes it much more manageable than rolling up the whole piece.)  

  • - Remove the tack strips with the crowbar if you have hardwood floors under the padding that you plan on refinishing.  Start in the middle of the strip, loosening the nails, and work towards the ends. 

  • - After the tack strips are out, tackle the padding.  Pull it up, cutting into sections the same way the carpet was cut. 

  • - Some padding is installed with adhesive, and some is stapled to the floor.  If there is glue remaining on the floor, follow the instructions on the carpet padding adhesive remover to get the glue off the flooring. The staples can be removed with the floor scraper. 

  • - Remember that if you’re planning on recarpeting the floor, leave the tack strips in place, and remove the padding anyway, as most installers require new padding to be put down.

 

Call your local municipality to find out how they would like for you to dispose of the old carpet, because the large amount may not be able to be picked up by the regular truck.  Don’t hesitate to ask about recycling programs that are available, as virtually all carpeting can be recycled.  

Courtesy of New Castle County DE Realtors Tucker Robbins and Carol Arnott Robbins.   

Photo credit: realitydaydream.com

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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Photo of Tucker Robbins Real Estate
Tucker Robbins
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
3838 Kennett Pike
Wilmington DE 19807
(302) 777-7744 (direct)