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If you recently purchased a home and have a big move looming in the not-so-distant future, preparation is key to ensuring the process goes as smoothly as possible – and that includes making sure you have the right tools for the job. Here are some common tools you should have at the ready when moving to a new home.

Cordless Drill. From hanging shelves to photos – and assembling furniture – a cordless drill will help you get any job done quickly and easily. Going cordless is also a great option when it comes to working around the nooks and crannies of your new home.

Tape Measure. Whether it’s making sure the TV is centered on the wall or ordering a rug to fit a specific space, a tape measure will undoubtedly come in handy as you unpack your belongings. Invest a few extra dollars and purchase a retractable tape measure that won’t break or tear easily.

Level. Hanging art or photos is often more challenging than most people think, and the last thing you want is a bunch of frames hanging crookedly throughout your home. Purchasing a level is a surefire way to ensure everything gets hung with precision.

Extension Cords. Typically an afterthought, extension cords can come in handy during parties, around the holidays and in rooms where electrical outlets may not be conveniently located.

Pliers and Wrenches. Good for tightening shelves and cabinets and many small plumbing jobs you may need to tackle in the bathroom, pliers and wrenches are a must-have for any homeowner’s toolbox.

Socket Set. No home is complete without a set of ratcheting wrenches with metric and standard sockets in different drives.

Screwdrivers. Be sure to stock up on screwdrivers of different sizes (both flat – and Phillips-head), as this is the tool you’ll reach for most often. Whether it’s for hanging items up, replacing smoke detector batteries – and many other ordinary fix-it-up jobs – you’ll want to be prepared.

While this list is just the tip of the iceberg, these tools will come in handy for years to come.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia.©2016. All rights reserved.

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Severe storm conditions may threaten structural damage to your home, but they can also result in electrical hazards. These dangers are most often associated with the use of portable generators and space heaters, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), and may exist long after the storm has ended if a power outage occurs.

When operating a portable generator, keep in mind these tips:

Do not operate a portable generator in your home, basement, or garage. Generators can very quickly produce high levels of carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.

Be sure the generator is used with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help prevent electrocutions and electrical shock injuries.

Do not connect generators directly to the household wiring without an appropriate transfer switch installed. The power from the generator can back-feed along power lines and harm anyone who comes into contact with them, including utility line workers making repairs.

Make sure there is at least one working carbon monoxide detector in your home. Test the batteries at least twice a year, at the same time smoke detector batteries are tested.

When operating a space heater, keep in mind these tips:

Make sure your space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.

Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.

Inspect space heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.

Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep, and don’t let pets or children play too close to a space heater.

Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.

Proper placement of space heaters is critical. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs.

Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.

Place space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways, where they may pose a tripping hazard.

Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire.

Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.

Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.

Source: ESFI

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia.©2016. All rights reserved

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Repainting a room in your home? Don’t overlook the psychological impact of color. Studies have shown that different hues create different moods, and can even affect behavior, says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute.

“There are lots of good reasons to select a particular paint color, including personal preferences and design considerations, but often overlooked is the psychological power certain colors exert on mood, attitude, and outlook,” says Zimmer.

“Even before you go to the paint store or start to look at color cards, think about the mood you’d like in your surroundings,” continues Zimmer. “Do you want the space to be relaxing or invigorating? Once you make that decision, the color choice becomes easier.”

If your goal is to create a tranquil space, then look for a soft green or pale blue. These are the most calming colors, so they’re ideal for rooms where you rest and relax, such as the family room or bedroom.

Other go-to colors for rooms where you rest include certain beiges, browns, and taupe. More enveloping than blues and greens, these quiet tints and shades impart warmth and coziness to a space.

At the other end of the psychological spectrum are paint colors that can inject energy into your surroundings. Yellow is the best example. Like a splash of sunshine, yellow walls can lift the spirit and brighten your outlook. What better color to use in a kitchen or breakfast area where you start the day?

Shades of orange – tangerine and apricot, for example – are also energizing, so they too are good choices for rooms where you spend your mornings.

Reds are energizing, too, but they need to be used sparingly, since their bold appearance can literally increase heartbeat. But if you’re seeking a great dining room color, look no further: studies show red can actually increase appetite, which is why it is used in so many restaurants.

Aside from the color of the paint you choose, keep in mind that tone also plays a role in setting the mood. Brighter tones invigorate, while those that are muted (“toned down”) tend to be more relaxing.

After choosing the perfect color, make sure it continues to look just so by applying the highest quality paint. Products that are 100 percent acrylic resist fading, so the color you apply is the color you’ll continue to enjoy for years to come, says Zimmer.

Source: Paint Quality Institute

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia.©2016. All rights reserved.

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When it comes to moving, there’s no shortage of things to think about as you go through the process, but one thing that many people don’t think much about is the impact a move can have on a pet.

Cats and dogs get used to a routine and like familiar surroundings. When they’re yanked from a home and placed in a new environment, it could lead to behavioral changes, loss of appetite or overall sadness.

According to the American Humane Association, prior to moving day, pet parents should make sure pets are fitted with collars and ID tags with your name and current cellphone number. Microchipping is also recommended, serving as a backup if your pet loses its collar.

Before the move, be sure to check with the City Clerk’s office in your new town to find out about local ordinances. Not only are leash laws and licensing common, but so are limits on the number of pets per household.

For pet owners with more exotic pets, make sure you know the pet laws and regulations of the state to which you’re moving. For example, if you own a monkey or reptile, you might need a special permit. Zoning laws may prohibit certain animals, as well.

When traveling, if your pet is prone to car sickness, make sure you visit your veterinarian a few weeks prior to your move to get any prescribed medications and feeding recommendations. The last thing you want is a sick pet adding to the stress of moving day.

For long-distance moves, be sure to identify pet-friendly hotels along your route and reserve rooms ahead of time.

Once you arrive at your new house, create a pet-friendly space filled with your pet’s favorite blanket and toys. It’s also important that you spend some time with your pet – whether it’s a cat, dog, bird, rabbit or even guinea pig – to help them get comfortable. Make sure they know where their food is, and for cats, where the litter box is located.

Moving with pets doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Most pet owners treat their pets like members of the family, so don’t forget about their needs when a move is made. A happy and healthy pet can make any move go smoother.
Reprinted with permission from RISMedia.©2016. All rights reserved.