Kristin Bodkin's Blog
Keeping up with household chores and maintenance is difficult, especially when juggling them along with a full-time job or childcare. Luckily help is likely sitting right in your pocket or pocketbook.
Smartphone apps for organization and productivity have come a long way in a few short years. With features like scheduled reminders, syncing between devices, and sharing with family and friends, it has never been easier to use your phone to help you keep up with household tasks.
There is one problem, however--there are hundreds of apps to choose from.
How can you find the right app in the App Store (or Google Play for Android users) without wasting hours downloading and trying out each one?
We’ve done the legwork for you. In today’s article we’re going to cover the best productivity apps to help you out around the house with things like cleaning, maintenance, and everyday tasks.
Wunderlist is a productivity app that lets you create, share, and sync between multiple devices. It’s good for people who bounce around between using their phone, iPad, or laptop, or even smart watches.
In Wunderlist you’re able to create deadlines and automatic reminders. This is great for remember things like bringing the garbage bin out, or cleaning tasks that you only do once a month or so, like cleaning windows.
Another great feature that Wunderlist uses are subtasks. Say you want to clean the bathroom on Tuesday. To make sure you remember everything, you can add subtasks for things like “clean the bathtub,” “scrub the toilet,” “mop the floor,” etc.
Chorma is a great app to motivate everyone in the family involved in household maintenance. It lets you create rewards for each user. As users perform chores and check them off, they’ll earn points. Once they get a certain number of points, you’ll be notified and they can earn their reward.
Things like a new book or video game, or a trip out for ice cream are all great motivators for getting kids to complete chores.
Todoist is much like Wunderlist in that it allows you to create, manage, sync and share tasks. However, it goes a step further when it comes to creating teams. If you live in a big household and want to split up chores, creating teams could prove to be helpful.
Todoist also incorporates a simplistic and elegant interface that is easy to navigate. Plus, at the end of the day you get to see how many tasks you completed.
Hours is first and foremost a time tracking app. If you’re the type of person who needs to constantly know where their time is going, Hours is the best app for you. Once you start a task, simply press the clock button and you’ll begin tracking time. This is a great app for people who work from home or anyone trying to control how much time they spend on each task.
A great feature incorporated within Hours are the detailed reports. They’ll tell you how much time you spend on each task in the form of simple charts and graphs. If you have a maintenance or home improvement project that you’re working on and want to spend at least an hour each evening, Hours will let you know if you’re meeting your goal.
If you're in the process of preparing your home for sale, nothing can replace the marketing benefits of making it look its absolute best!
Successful home staging is all about effectively appealing to all the senses -- especially sight, smell, and sound. When prospective buyers are touring a home, they're essentially looking for two things: aspects that are appealing to them and areas of concern. To a large degree, their impressions will be based on emotional reactions and subconscious impressions. For example, if there's anything about your home that reminds them of fond childhood memories, then that will definitely work in your favor.
In some cases, the right kind of music playing in the background can have a positive effect on first impressions. Fragrances, such as cinnamon, lavender, citrus, baking bread, or coffee brewing can also help create an appealing ambiance. On the other hand, the presence of pet odors, stains, fur, or cat litter boxes can send a very negative message to prospective home buyers -- especially if they don't own pets or have allergies. By the way, one other item that can be an enormous turn off to people is seeing mouse traps anywhere in the house. (A worst case scenario, of course, is a visible mouse trap that has recently been sprung! That could easily be a deal breaker!)
Home Staging 101
It can be challenging to consistently keep your house in tip top condition while you're still living in it, but, considering all that's at stake, it's worth the extra effort. In addition to impeccable cleanliness, other priorities for staging a home include fresh coats of paint where needed (preferably a neutral color), attractive landscaping, up-to-date appliances, and furniture that's in good condition. If you're at all unsure whether a room looks cluttered, dated, or poorly decorated, your real estate agent can provide helpful suggestions and feedback. An experienced real estate agent can spot potential problem areas in seconds and offer valuable advice about improving the marketability of your home. After having observed hundreds of buyer reactions to everything from cluttered rooms and mismatched furniture to peeling wall paint and water stains on ceilings, they can advise you on what needs to be fixed, spruced up, replaced, or rearranged.
Curb appeal -- or lack, thereof -- is literally the first impression your home will make on prospective buyers. If you can give your lawn a manicured look, eliminate signs of peeling paint, repair cracks in walkways and driveways, and remove grime from windows, concrete surfaces, and siding, then you'll stand a good chance of making a positive first impression on home buyers. Although home staging does not have to be an expensive undertaking, it can help you get top dollar for your property and minimize the time it remains on the market.