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Low Maintenance Landscaping

by Deelyn Neilson

Winterberry Holly                    Purple Fountain Grass     

 

You can have fantastic curb appeal without spending a lot of time on your yard. All it takes is a little planning and the right plants.  When you’re choosing low maintenance plants, look for foliage or flowers that fit with the natural surroundings of your home.  If you live in an area prone to drought and heat (here in Williamsburg the summers are hot hot hot!), choose plants that require full sun and well drained soil.  Williamsburg is also surrounded by three rivers and lots of wooded areas, so you may find that your soil is often waterlogged or shady. If that’s the case, be sure to choose plants that love moisture and shade. For long term low maintenance landscaping, choose self-propagating perennials. These types of plants will return year after year and, multiplying on their own.

  Creeping Thyme                        Daylilies   

Here’s a list of some beautiful low maintenance plants to get you started:

1.       Daylilies are some of the best low maintenance plants.  Developing huge, colorful blossoms and large bushes of foliage, daylilies can be grown in full sun or partial sun.  Even in shady areas, daylilies will grow, but the number of blossoms will be fewer.  For partial shade, choose a daylily variety with a darker blossom.

2.       Purple fountain grass provides a pop of unusual color even in dry conditions.

3.       Creeping thyme is a great ground cover, aromatic plant, and a tasty herb to boot! Happiest in acid, well-drained soils with full sun, these flowering plants seem to thrive in poor soil conditions.

4.       Winterberry holly shrubs do well in wet soils.  Producing more berries in full sun, but still thriving in partial sun, this shrub attracts songbirds!

Commit to Borrowing

by Deelyn Neilson

Recently a friend of mine decided to host her family for the holidays.  She quickly found out that her kitchen wasn’t equipped for a large group of people. She didn’t have enough dishes, a turkey roaster, serving bowls, or 10 settings of silverware.  Even her table was too small!   In her house, she didn’t have the space to store all of these items, so she committed to borrowing.  She threw a great holiday party with plates and silverware loaned from her mom, a folding table borrowed from a friend, and a turkey roaster from her sister.  She saved lots of money and tons of storage space! But the main reason borrowing was successful was because she practiced good borrowing etiquette. And when you borrow, your house remains decluttered. It’s a win-win!

Here are some borrowing etiquette rules to help you commit to borrowing this New Year!

1.       Take excellent care of the item.  If you’re borrowing a book, don’t use it  as a coaster or do gear the pages.

2.       Return the item in better-than-you-got-it condition. This includes filling up the tank on the lawn mower, washing that casserole dish, and dry cleaning formal clothing.

3.       Return it promptly. If you end up needing it for a longer amount of time that you planned, let the owner know right away! Don’t be offended if they ask you to return it on time anyhow.

4.       If (heaven forbid!) the borrowed item is destroyed or lost on your watch, replace it immediately! 

 

Create a Cleaning Schedule

by Deelyn Neilson

 

House cleaning isn’t fun. But it’s REALLY not fun when you ignore it day after day until every single room in your house needs a deep clean.  Remember the Cat in the Hat? “This mess is so big and so deep and so tall, we cannot pick it up there is no way at all!” Well, creating a cleaning schedule will ensure housekeeping never gets out of hand again. Here are some tips to get started:

1.       Don’t over plan.  Yes, you’d love to leave the kitchen sparkling every night but if that’s not feasible, making that goal will only discourage you. Instead, commit to goals you know you can manage and leave some flex time in your schedule for the unexpected.

2.       Delegate.  There’s no reason your spouse or kids can’t share in the work. Give your family a chance to choose what chores they would prefer, and then have them commit to a time (either daily or weekly) that they will complete their chores.

3.       Organize. Keep all your bathroom cleaning products together, preferably in the bathroom. Ditto for kitchen cleaners. If possible, keep the vacuum cleaner, duster, mop, broom, and similar items together so you can reach them easily and quickly.

4.       Use a timer. Something about being on the clock makes work go more efficiently.  Try setting a timer for 15 minutes and cleaning the bathroom. You’ll be amazed at the results!

5. Write it down! Use these handy cleaning charts to assign chores and create your cleaning schedule!

Printable Household Cleaning Charts from Money Saving Mom Blog

 

How to Declutter a Room FAST

by Deelyn Neilson

1.       Get Your Supplies: Grab a trash bag, a laundry basket, and a timer.  In order to declutter, you’re going to throw stuff away in the trash bag and put things that belong in other rooms in the laundry basket.  You’ll use the timer to make sure you stay on track.

2.       Pick the smallest/easiest room first: The coat closet, bathroom, or foyer are great places to begin.  Small rooms can be decluttered quickly, and the success will motivate you to continue to more difficult areas!

3.       Set the timer for five minutes and grab everything that doesn’t belong in that room and put it in the laundry basket.

4.       Set the timer for five more minutes and put all the trash in the room in the trash bag.

5.       Set the timer for 10-30 minutes (more time for larger rooms) and get rid of that clutter! Anything that you don’t like, don’t use, or simply don’t need, get it out of the house!  At this point, everything left in the room is usable (because you threw out the trash, remember?) so anything that you eliminate can be sold on Craigslist, in a yard sale, or donated to charity.

6.       Don’t sit down just yet! Take out the trash and put away all the things in the laundry basket that go in other rooms. Take care to put them away where they belong or you’ll just have to put them right back in the laundry basket when you start decluttering the next room.

7.       Congratulate yourself! You’ve decluttered a room in your house and it only took you 20-40 minutes.

Check out the difference decluttering made in this home!

7 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home Blog Series

by Deelyn Neilson

 

The New Year is just around the corner. Here's a quick peek at 7 great New Year's resolutions for your home. More details in upcoming posts!

1.       Declutter room by room.

2.       Create a cleaning schedule. 

3.       Commit to borrowing.  

4.       Landscape with low maintenance plants and accessories. 

5.       Buy second hand.  With Craigslist, Ebay, Freecycle, yardsales, and Habitat for Humanity restores, you can find items in like new condition at a steep discount.  

6.       Take a DIY home improvement class. 

7.       Do three small projects to improve the value of your home.  There are lots of small projects that don’t take a lot of time or money that can make a significance difference in your home.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

by Deelyn Neilson

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. There's no place like Williamsburg, VA to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year! Enjoy this video collection of Christmas moments around Colonial Williamsburg.

Buy One Get One FREE Ice Skating Nights at New Town!

by Deelyn Neilson

 

If you haven't gone down to Sullivan Square in New Town, Williamsburg, VA, you still have time to take advantage of some of the great promotions, including Buy One Get One Free and Theme Nights!  Take a look at the promo's below or see the Williamsburg ice skating calendar of events.
 
PROMOTIONAL DAYS:
 
EARLY BIRDS: Monday-Friday, 4-5:30 p.m.
◊ Receive one free skate rental with paid admission.
 
DATE NIGHT: Mondays, 6-9:30 p.m.
◊Bring a receipt from any New Town restaurant or the New Town Cinema dated
that day and receive a FREE skate rental for 2 with paid admissions.
 
NEW TOWN NIGHT:  Tuesdays, 6-9:30 p.m.
◊Bring a receipt from any store dated that day and receive a FREE skate rental with paid admission.
 
FAMILY SKATE NIGHT: Wednesdays, 6-9:30 p.m.
◊Receive a FREE child admission and skate rental with the purchase of an adult admission and skate rental.
 
THEME NIGHTS (themes below): Thursdays, 6-9:30 p.m. 
◊Dress up and skate to the sounds of your favorite theme and receive a FREE skate rental with paid admission.
 
Dec. 6: Disco Night
Dec. 13: Country Night
Dec. 20: Ugly Sweater Night
Dec. 27: Red, White and Blue Night

 

New Listing! Country Home on 1.24 acres of privacy!

by Deelyn Neilson

Welcome to 8224 Old Mill Lane in Williamsburg, VA! Take a look inside this inviting custom built home offering spacious rooms and charming country living on 1.24 acres of privacy. This home is conveniently located just minutes from I-64--perfect for commuting to Ft. Eustis, Langley or Richmond.  With 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and 3031 square feet, there is plenty of space in this beautiful home. 

Offered at $350,000

For more information or to schedule your private showing, contact Deelyn at 757.503.1999 or deelyn@lizmoore.com.

New Listing! 4484 Bristol Circle, Williamsburg VA

by Deelyn Neilson

Welcome to 4844 Bristol Circle located in Westray Downs, a highly sought after and centrally located neighborhood in Williamsburg, VA.  This absolutely charming custom built rancher offers one floor, maintenance free living on a spacious 0.52 acre lot. This home offers 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and 1,808 square feet. You will love the  new bamboo hardwood flooring as well as new carpet. The very low home owner's association dues cover not only a park and playground but also cover weekly trash removal. 

Offered at 288,000

View the full listing of 4844 Bristol Circle here.

For more information, or to schedule a private showing, contact Deelyn at 757.503.1999 or deelyn@lizmoore.com

 

 

 

5 Tips for Selling During Christmas

by Deelyn Neilson
 
The Christmas season is a joyful one, even if you’re selling your home! Although traditionally folks like to buy homes during the springtime, when the weather is warmer and the flowers are starting to bloom, there are plenty of advantages to selling during the Christmas season.  For starters, buyers shopping during Christmas are usually serious and motivated. This translates into less haggling and a faster sell!  It’s also a great time for you to showcase your home’s potential—try these five suggestions for your next showing!
 
1. Light the fireplace. This is one of the few times of year that you can actually show buyers how wonderful it is to have a fireplace in the house! 
 
2. Decorate. Use a few tasteful decorations. Traditional, classic themes work best.  A wreath on the door with a festive doormat is a great start!
 
3. Use seasonal plants to brighten up landscaping. Poinsettas, holly, and ivy are all beautiful additions which will increase curb appeal.
 
4. Showcase the view.  Since the trees are bare, this is the best time of year to show the view of your property—especially if you live near water! Make sure the windows are open and take the buyers outside to look around.
 
5. Point out seasonal activities. Every community has wonderful events this time of year. In Williamsburg, it’s the Grand Illumination in Colonial Williamsburg, ice skating in New Town, and Christmas Town at Busch Gardens.  Let the buyers know why Christmas is special in your community, too!
 
Are you looking to buy during this Christmas Season? Check out my featured listings, or search properties! Contact Deelyn at 757.503.1999 or deelyn@lizmoore.com for more information.

 

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