9 Ways To Do Your Own Private Lettings Viewings

Landlords when letting out a property, need to decide between getting a letting agent or organising the letting themselves through a private letting.  This is an advertorial in collaboration with Rent Round.

Of course, getting a letting agent will potentially mean reducing rental profits because of letting agent fees. If this is a landlords desired route, letting agent fees should be compared to ensure a good deal. 


Alternately, you may be considering adopting an online letting agent. In return for the lower letting fees these types of agents usually offer, you also may need to conduct your own viewings as well.

If choosing the route of a private letting, you’ll need to run all activities of the rental property yourself. This includes conducting your own viewings with potential tenants.


With both these options, the thought of conducting viewings yourself can be daunting. You’ll need to be able to answer tough questions, sell the properties good point & cover any negative points about the property.

A good viewing technique will help maximize interest in the property & the speed in which its let out.

Here are 9 ways to do your own rental viewings, read on to find out the top tips.

1. Show the best room first to potential tenants 


First impressions are very important, when showing a potential tenant your property it’s best to show the best room first. By doing this potential tenants begin to create a positive image of the house and start the viewing on a positive note.

Also by doing this, it may compensate for some of the less attractive rooms that the viewers will see. If people have fallen in love with the house already, it is easier for them to overlook any negatives.

An advantage of private lettings is that you know the great parts of your property. Therefore you can show the viewers the best features of the property first as you know your house the best.

2. Appearance is everything

Making your house presentable is key when showing it to potential tenants There are a number of small things you can do to ensure your house is in the best possible position.

For example tidying up, touching up paint on the walls, make any repairs, tidying the garden, cleaning the driveway and even lighting candles before tenants arrive. These small things make your home more inviting.

3. Make tenants feel at home



You want your viewers to picture themselves living in your property when they’re looking around. The more at home they feel the more likely they are to put in an offer.

Small things like making sure the house warm or offering them a tea or coffee will straight away make them feel comfortable in the property.

4. Create a warm welcome

It’s important to create a good impression; as soon as the tenant arrives to when they leave, they’re judging your property.

When carrying out private lettings you should create a warm and friendly welcome, as this will make them feel comfortable straight away. You should smile, introduce yourself and relax to ensure a warm welcome.

5. Privacy during viewings 



As mentioned previously, it’s crucial that potential tenants feel comfortable during viewings. You need to make sure you give them space as they wouldn’t want you shadowing their every move.

The best way to do this is to introduce the potential tenants to the main parts of the house and then encourage them to look around themselves, to privately discuss their thoughts.

6. Mention positives of the rental property

Don’t be shy about pointing out the good points of your home especially with private lettings. You know the property a lot better than a letting agent.

People tend to be shy about mentioning the positives as they don’t want to come across as boasting However when it’s done correctly, it can be very effective and help push a potential tenant to want to move in.

Do you have a higher than average grade security on your front door? Does your property have underfloor heating? Does the property have a garage attached?  This is simply pointing out small features of the house that you like the best and it doesn’t come across as forceful.

7. Don’t over-exaggerate the property 




You need to be truthful with the viewers. Of course, if you have fantastic features, such as a newly fitted kitchen, then sell those features, however, if you’re asked about a certain feature that you don’t have, suggest a way you could work together to meet the needs of a tenant.

For example, if the tenant wants something specific, mention you are willing to accommodate additional requirements & what you’d need in return, i.e. possibly increasing the rent etc.

8. Expect a little criticism from tenants

Don’t take it personally if someone wants to change the house, everyone has their own opinion. You must be open to accommodating the tenants own ideas. This can be through helping them figure out how they will make your house their own.

With private lettings, you must remember that you are there to sell and do not hold onto emotion.

9. Questions for the landlord 



Always try to answer questions the best as you can. If you can’t answer it then promise to get back to them as soon as you can. When viewers ask lots of questions, it shows they are interested. Never get annoyed if they are asking questions as it could lead to an offer being put in.

At the end of the viewing make sure that they don’t have any more questions. Also, let them know they can contact you at any time if they have any other enquiries.

Overall the more you know about your property, the better the private letting will go. Use these key tips to help ensure your property is presented as best as possible to help your property rent out.

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Materialising Your Dreams: 5 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Engagement Ring


Deciding to propose is a major life decision, but when you know you’ve got the right person, you absolutely have to go with your heart. Now that you’ve decided that you’re ready to take that leap, it’s time to buy the ring. It’s a task that often seems so complicated, but when you slow down, breathe and take a few things into consideration, everything will just fall into place. Here are 5 tips to help you choose the perfect engagement ring. This is an advertorial.

1. Consider Your Budget


The first thing you need to do is establish your budget. If you don’t want to spend more than £1,000 or $1000, keep that in mind as you browse display cases. If you want to get something unique to consider something custom. Remember, you can create the perfect engagement ring and still stay within your budget. Of course, if you have a bigger budget then you won't have to worry but there’s something for everyone at any price range, so once you know where you stand financially, you are off to a great start.

2. Choose a Metal


There are quite a variety of metals to choose from. There’s the classic yellow gold, but also white and rose gold, platinum, silver and titanium. Be sure to get to know the characteristics of the metals if you’re unsure of which to choose. For instance, platinum will last a lifetime, and is a very hard metal but is the most expensive, white gold is popular in the UK, but it will need rhodium plating every few years to keep its shine, yellow gold is a traditional standard and rose gold is a popular and on-trend metal.

3. Choose a Setting


The setting is how the stone sits on the ring. The classic 6 prong Tiffany setting is always a winner, but there is also the eternity setting, where the stones go around the entire band, pavé where many small diamonds are set close together and the rub over setting where a small rim of metal holds the stone in place. Other settings are also available so it's worth doing your research beforehand.

4. Choose a Stone


Although a diamond is always the classic favourite for an engagement ring why not choose one of her favourite stones instead, such as emerald, ruby, or sapphire?  There are many alternative gemstones for engagement rings. If you want the look of a diamond but cannot afford the cost consider white topaz, or moissanite instead. If her favourite colour is red, think about accenting a diamond with garnet or ruby. The shape of the stone also matters, round brilliant cut, emerald cut or princess cut are popular. There’s a lot of room for creativity if she isn't a traditionalist, but keep it simple if she is.

5. Consider Her Likes and Dislikes


The last thing, and perhaps the first thing should be to consider her likes and dislikes. Look at her current jewellery and fashion style to get some clues to what style of engagement ring she would like. You can also solicit the help of her friend or another family member to help you choose the perfect engagement ring. If you’re not looking to make your proposal a surprise, take her ring shopping with you.

Getting engaged is a special moment for both you and your future fiance, so you want to choose a ring that will set her heart ablaze for years and years to come. Do your best and don’t be afraid to ask for help should you need it.

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2020 Bedroom Interior Trend Predictions

So it's 2020 and you are looking to refresh your bedroom with the latest fabrics, colours and designs, but where do you start? Well,, I am here to help you. I've been analysing the latest interior trends from a variety of online sources and magazines and have come up with my interior trend predictions for bedrooms this year. Read on to find out more. This is an advertorial.

Colour

Colour trends this year seem to be a mix of bold and with warm neutrals as a base. Bedroom colours are definitely more adventurous too. Ideal Home magazine suggests to stay away from cool colours and focus on warm neutrals like oatmeal and beige. Mix it in with block colours like royal blue or ruby. Add some metallics for a touch of glamour to make your bedroom really rock. Your bedroom will no longer be boring, it will be a beautiful bodacious boudoir instead. 

Sustainability


In 2019 the environment has never been far from people's thoughts and people are constantly looking for more eco-friendly home products. Many of the designer fairs are showcasing new products and brands that use reclaimed wood, bamboo products, organic cotton, recycled feather and down duvets. There are even hollow fibre duvets made from recycled PET bottles, how amazing is that. 2020 will focus on the environment more and as these products become more popular prices will come down too. So it's a win for the environment and a win for your pocket.

Soft materials


Hygge, the Danish word meaning cosy and content, is still a trend. Soft materials to make your bedroom cosy are always sort after, think distressed velvet, warm cashmere, strokable chenille, super soft bamboo materials and breathable organic cotton.  In bed designs, softness comes from upholstered bed frames and chenille scroll beds, adding extra glamour and a modern luxe look.  Nothing is hard, everything is soft and cosy, perfect for cuddling up with a loved one or even your pet dog or cat.

Glamour


As you can see throughout this point I have talked about glamorous bedrooms. This is a trend inspired by the 1920s and the art deco era. Art deco rounded shapes influence bedroom furniture. Opulent fabrics are everywhere.  Rich tones such as opulent ochre, burnished gold, and dusty pink are the colours to get excited by this year.  Why not decorate your bedroom for Valentine's day in these colours and celebrate with your loved one? You know you want to.

Shine


Glass and reflective materials add light to bedrooms. Metallics materials add reflective glamour too. Rose gold tones will be everywhere as well as copper and gold. Accessorise your room with a dressing table complete with an art deco style mirror, gilt lined long length mirrors, crystal bowls to hold your trinkets, sparkly glass pendants and twinkling chandelier lights. 

So this is my 2020 bedroom interior trend predictions. What do you think of these trends? Do you like the art deco influences, what about the bold rich colours or do you prefer muted tones calm tones?

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The Benefits Of GoIng On A Cruise Holiday

Have you always wanted to go on a cruise? Cruises are ever so popular and there’s plenty of reasons why. Here are some reasons why you may want to consider cruising. This is an advertorial.

Don't like flying? You can travel the world on water


If you are not a fan of flying or have a fear of flying then you can travel the world without getting on board a plane. Try a transatlantic cruise from Southampton to New York, or take a short plane journey or drive to Europe then take a river cruise to see the sights on the Rhine or the Danube river. 

Got a family? They’re often family-friendly

If you are looking for a family-friendly holiday, then a cruise and especially an ocean cruise is definitely worth thinking about. They are perfect for families with plenty to see and do onboard the ship for all age groups. With swimming pools, wave riders, theatres and cinemas aboard some ships as well as kids club, a cruise can keep all the family happy. Where else can you find accommodation and activities for everyone in one place?


It can be kind on the wallet

Cruises may seem expensive but the fact is last minute cruises can be very affordable. They provide great value as your fares often include pretty much everything you could need including food, accommodation and entertainment. Some even include your alcohol in the package and excursions too. Of course, there will be certain places onboard the ship where you will have to pay extra but overall, you get fantastic value for your money.

They are easy to plan


If planning is so not your thing, a cruise might just be the perfect holiday for you. You will know the destinations you will stop at as soon as you book, you don’t need to worry about your accommodation and you don’t need to arrange holiday travel apart from getting to and from the cruise ship at the beginning and end of your trip.

It's a great way to meet people

With hundreds of people on board the ship for the time period of the cruise, there is an opportunity to meet plenty of new people through the different activities, meals and entertainment you will enjoy. You may even come home with lifelong friends, just from one simple trip!


You can tick off multiple destinations…


...without even having to get off the ship if you don’t want to! If you have a travel bucket list, then a cruise is a great way to tick off different destinations. Whether you choose to disembark and explore or stay onboard and enjoy what the ship has to offer, you will certainly be able to cross different locations off of any list you have.

There is plenty of choice

A cruise provides you with plenty of different options. Whether you choose to sail around the Mediterranean, America or around Asia, there’s plenty of different trips to take. Ocean cruising, river cruising, luxury ships with lots of facilities including pools and theatres or smaller ships with more personal service, the choice is completely up to you.

Want to travel with like-minded people? Then try a themed cruise

Some cruises are themed so you can travel with like-minded people that have the same interests at heart. For example, there are cruises for beer enthusiasts, photography experts and wildlife lovers.  If you have an interest in gastronomy there are also cruises for people like you.

You will enjoy brilliant entertainment

If you didn’t know already, cruise ship entertainment is almost always fantastic. There’s a reason plenty of people choose to work on cruise ships as it is so much fun for both the passengers and the staff. With musical shows, bands, and casinos aboard the big ships and cultural nights and talks on the smaller ship, you can see there is various entertainment on board, and you will never be bored!

Have you ever been on a cruise? What do you like most about cruising - do you have any top tips for people who have never been on a cruise before?

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Important End Of Tenancy Cleaning Checklist - Commonly Overlooked Spots

You’ve packed up everything into the boxes and the moving truck and are ready to go, your mum is taking care of the dog and the kids while you do the cleaning up, and you’ve got yourself organised with lots of rags, rubber gloves and cleaning sprays. We’ll assume that you haven’t made the common mistake of packing up your cleaning tools like the vacuum cleaner and the mop and sending it ahead to your new home like I did once! This is an advertorial.


However, in your enthusiasm or, more likely, your desire to have the whole flipping lot over and done with, you may easily overlook some of those spots that are out of sight and out of mind. Every house has places that get forgotten during the end of tenancy cleaning. Usually, time pressures have a lot to do with this, but you sure end up kicking yourself when the landlord points out the forgotten spots and you lose some or all of your deposit money.

You could, of course, call in a team of professional house cleaning specialists. After all, trained professionals usually have a checklist and because every house or unit is new to them, they see and notice things and places that you don’t. 
What’s more, if you can produce that a receipt from a moving out cleaning company, landlords tend to be a bit happier and more satisfied – and you get your deposit money back. 

What Do Inventory Clerks Definitely Check? 



However, if you’re still keen to do the job yourself, you need to think about these commonly overlooked spots so you can do your end of tenancy cleaning properly.

The Garden Shed

If your house has a garden and it’s got a shed (I have hardly ever seen a garden that doesn’t have some form of a shed somewhere) then the shed often gets overlooked. You might make sure that you take the kids’ bikes and the lawnmower out of it, but there are all the other bits and pieces in the dark corners – and whatever you’ve got stashed behind the shed as well. Although cleaning out the garden shed isn’t something that landlords fuss about too much, some can. In the case where you’re selling your home, the new owners will appreciate the garden shed being clean and free from your old junk.

The Cupboard Under the Stairs

Thank you, Ms Rowling. We now refer to this sort of cupboard as the Harry Potter cupboard, or at least we do in my house. This seems to be the hiding place of all those things that don’t belong outdoors but need to be kept somewhere. This is often the ideal spot for storing cleaning equipment. When you’re doing your end of tenancy cleaning, you will certainly take the vacuum, the mop and the buckets out from the cupboard under the stairs but once they’re out, don't forget to clean it thoroughly.

The Lightbulbs 


Lightbulbs are something that we use to look at other things; we don’t usually spend time looking at them unless they’re some sort of feature. Even so, light fittings are often overlooked during the end of tenancy cleaning – in fact, this one thing that picky landlords can often get bugged by. Mostly this is because light fittings and lightbulbs tend to be collectors of fly spots, dust, cobwebs and dead moths. The amount of dirt they can collect is quite astonishing.

Toilets

Yes, of course, you’ve remembered to scrub out the toilet bowl and give the seat and the top of the tank a good wipe down with disinfectant. However, when you’re moving out, you need to really deep clean the toilets. This means getting into all the weird little nooks and crannies. It may mean unscrewing the seat and lid so that you can get rid of all the old dried-on pee that will inevitably have collected under there if it has ever been used by a man (in other words, all toilets anywhere except the ones in a convent that aren’t used by visiting priests and nephews). 

You’ll need an old toothbrush to do the job really well – this is something that professionals just about always do! Don’t forget the outside of the toilet and around the back on the floor.

Washing Machines

If you own your own washing machine, well and good. It’s up to you whether you clean it or not. However, if a washing machine was one of the appliances provided by the landlord, then it’s going to have to be cleaned as well. It may seem counter-intuitive (the fancy way of saying “totally bonkers”) that something that’s designed to get things clean can actually get dirty. However, just go and have a look at your washing machine. Look around the sides of the interior, in the detergent dispenser and under the lid – and look down the back! The good news is that most of the gunk is pretty easy to wipe off. You can also try running a cycle with the machine empty on a hot cycle and a generous dollop of white vinegar instead of detergent to make it super clean.

Blinds


Yes, we know that cleaning blinds can be a right pain in the 'you know where', especially cleaning Venetian blinds. However, they are still absolute dust magnets, and flies and spiders love all those little hiding places in a nice sunny location.

For roll-up fabric blinds, unroll them completely and have somebody hold it out for you while you use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner. In the case of Venetian blinds, you may need to get one of those special tools that slide between the slats to get the dust off – or improvise with an old sock slipped over your hand. 

If the blinds are in really bad condition, it might be worth your while replacing them – you’ll probably be able to find something that fits more cheaply than your landlord can, so you’ll end up better off buying a new blind than if you forfeit your deposit money. Just make sure that it fits and is the right colour.

Walls

You would think that a smooth vertical surface wouldn’t get dirty, but the odd coffee spill, artistic scribble from a toddler, fly spots and scuff marks can mean you definitely need to wipe over your walls.  You can bet that your landlord will see all that as well, especially in a well-lit room  At least glossy and semi-gloss paint is fairly easy to wipe down with a damp cloth and a bit of detergent or your favourite cleaning product.  Don’t forget baseboards, dado rails, skirting boards and architraves. An inventory clerk will definitely have a peak there.

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Interior Inspiration For Child And Baby Rooms


Whether you’ve got a new arrival on the way, or your child’s room simply needs some major redecoration, you need the right inspiration to create something that is not only appealing to a child but something to fit in with the theme of your home, too.

However, choosing the right style and products can be difficult, and the budget is usually a big issue for many of us. No matter how old or young your child is, or even what their interests are, it’s simple to create something that everyone loves with the right inspiration the right budget. 

Go subtle

A child’s bedroom doesn’t need to be loud and in your face, no matter how much your little ones might disagree! Subtle colours and patterns can go so much further and also give a much more modern feel to fit in with the rest of your home’s decor. Choosing a couple of colours and varying these shades can create a calm haven for your children to learn and play in. You can always add a couple of wall stickers for the fun aspect.

Add quirky furniture

To make a room look and feel like a child’s room, the furniture can really make all the difference. If you have a young child, there are many new and different furniture choices for practicality and style. For example, a cabin bed with drawers is modern yet perfect for storage, and high sleeper beds can create an extra study or play space underneath. 

Patterned walls

For a child’s or baby’s bedroom, patterned wallpaper creates a unique look, and with the right colours, it can create the perfect balance of fun and calmness. There are so many different styles you could choose from, whether you like the look of more striking patterns or think that less is more. Look online and check out sites like Pinterest for more inspiration.

Stay neutral

Especially for baby’s rooms, or when you’re creating a nursery in advance of giving birth, neutral decor and furniture is a common theme. This is especially true if you’ll be getting a surprise in the delivery room! However, if you know the gender of your child before you give birth, decorating with delicate shades of blue or green, and pink or yellow can really set the tone.

Feature walls


For a little extra personalisation, to your child or a theme, a feature wall is a great way to keep things stylish and fun. Simply applying wallpaper to the main wall in your room instantly draws the eye and will be a great talking point for any visitors. Instead of using wallpaper for your feature wall, you could also create a gallery of important images or even make shelves for all those favourite toys to live! Large wall murals are fun too. If you or your partner is artistic why not paint a Disney mural?

Make the most of your space

Whether you have a large or small space to work with, there is always a way to create a fun, cosy space for your children. Again, it’s a great idea to look online for inspiration, but investing in smart storage, lighting and furniture will give you more room to work with. Minimal decor and even placing a mirror on a wall can help to create the illusion that you have a bigger room than you actually have.

Use this inspiration to create a child or baby room to be proud of.

If you’re looking to redecorate a child’s room or nursery, keep this inspiration in mind. You’ll have a space your child loves to be in and looks great in no time. What do you keep in mind when you redecorate your child’s bedroom? Let us know in the comments below!

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Three Of The Best Local Landmarks To Visit in Malaga


Located on the southern coast of Spain, Malaga is a picturesque port city with plenty to do for those lucky enough to visit. Known for its high-rise hotels and sprawling, sandy beaches, it’s unsurprisingly popular with tourists, but some of its greatest treasures remain relatively hidden.



That’s because a lot of visitors to this beautiful place are content to remain poolside, baking themselves in the balmy summer heat. While this idea is undoubtedly appealing, doing so means missing out on some truly amazing local landmarks, which is why I’d encourage you to venture out.

Here are just three of the spots that will make you glad you did.

The Alcazaba of Malaga



Built around 1057 AD by the mighty Hammudid dynasty, the Alcazaba is one of Malaga’s greatest cultural treasures. The best-preserved citadel in the country, the palatial fortification represents an important period in Spanish history, when a Muslim king reigned and Arab influence in the region was strong. Renovated in the late 13th century, the building’s original purpose as a military stronghold is still evident in its design today. Once you’ve finished exploring it, you can head on down to the Roman theatre that lies adjacent to the entrance. Dating back to the 1st century BC, this provides a further fascinating insight into the rich history of the city.

Malaga Cathedral



For those who want to properly explore the city, it’s often worth renting a vehicle for the duration of your stay, and Malaga airport car hire is available from as little as one euro per day through companies like Marbesol. Once you’re behind the wheel, Malaga Cathedral is another place to add to your itinerary. Built in a traditional Renaissance style, this Roman Catholic church was constructed between 1528 and 1782. Only partially completed to this day, it lacks the originally intended south tower, hence its nickname: ‘the One-Armed Lady’. Nonetheless, its gothic altarpieces and grand artworks make it one of the most beautiful and peaceful spots in the area for those looking to gain a greater appreciation of the city and its history.

The Botanic Garden



Last but not least, visitors who wish to do more than sunbathe should head across to the Botanic Garden. Spread across an incredible 25,000 square metres, the garden was created in the 1850s by an aristocratic couple with a love of nature and beauty. Located a little outside of the city centre, it’s a short drive by hire car or can be easily accessed by bus. Home to more than 2,000 different varieties of plant, from places as far-flung as Asia, Africa, and Oceania, it also boasts a huge number of bird species, many of them endangered. Combining both immaculately designed formal gardens and lush tropical habitats, the wonderful world inside its walls is enchanting.

Valued for its balmy climes and beautiful beaches, Malaga is a wonderful place to visit, but it has much more to offer than the glossy pictures you’ll find in travel magazines. Isn’t it time you discovered its wonders for yourself? 


Let me know, would you like to visit Malaga?

How Decorating Your Walls With Stickers, Murals And Wallpaper Can Change Your Home

Your home is your sanctuary.  Many of us work from home, and we also relax at home.  Sometimes though, staring at the same four walls can drive us a little bit crazy.  If you want to brighten up your home or change the style then there are many things you can do in this modern age. As well as paint, there are cool wall stickers, fun tile stickers, bright and cheery murals and chic wallpaper. Let's have a look at some of these and how you can decorate your walls in style. 

Wall Stickers



Wall stickers can be a great way to brighten up your home. The main benefit of wall stickers is that they can be a temporary solution. This is great if you are living in rented accommodation or are prone to change your mind.

Wall stickers are also reasonably priced, so if your budget is small its a very cost-effective solution. They also come in a huge variety of designs to suit everyone.

Wall stickers can be applied by anyone. You don't have to be an expert to apply wall stickers, just read the instructions carefully and away you go. 

Wall stickers are generally free of mess and you don't have to have any special equipment to apply them. No cleaning up and no fuss. They can be stuck to virtually any surface too.

The last benefit of wall stickers is that, if you want to take them off the wall, they leave no marks. 

Tile Stickers


Tile stickers are a solution to change your tiles when you don't want to or can't replace the tiles in question. Again this is a great solution to change the tile design if you are renting accommodation.

Reasonably priced, tile stickers are also a cost-effective solution to design. You don't have to be an expert to apply either. Tile stickers are available in a variety of designs but generally not as many as wall stickers.

Again you don't have to be an expert to apply tile stickers, so you can save money by not employing a decorator. 

Tile stickers are not difficult or messy to apply and need no special equipment. Of course, if they are easy to apply then they are easy to remove too, so a great way of changing the design fuss-free.

Wall Murals



Wall murals are excellent if you want to make a bold statement and totally change a wall.  The sheer size makes a wall mural a way of getting attention and it can hide imperfect walls.

Wall murals are more expensive than stickers but generally cheaper than wallpaper, although this does vary on the design. 

Wall murals come in a number of designs and you can even get your own design custom made. 

Due to the size of the wall mural, it's advisable to have someone else to help you apply it, to the wall. Read the instructions and have a look on YouTube for help in how to apply a wall mural.

Some wall murals are removable so this is a good solution if you change your mind frequently, or like to change designs with the season or current trend. You could even change the wall mural based on the photos of your travels every year. 

Wallpaper



Wallpaper is a traditional way of decorating your home and is favoured by many people. 

The main benefit of wallpaper is that it can hide uneven and imperfect walls, so you don't have to have them skimmed over to make smooth for painting.

Wallpaper also comes in a huge selection of designs, from bright colourful flowers, animal designs and geometric prints to classic lines and textured paper.  

Wallpaper can last a long time, come in a range of prices and is affordable to most people. They do however need some knowledge to apply, so you may have to pay a decorator if you are not sure how to do it yourself. Wallpaper isn't suitable for humid rooms like wallpaper and bathrooms as it can peel away. Wallpaper can be more difficult to remove than stickers or murals, but you can remove it yourself with a little knowledge.

Using wallpaper in your home can make a huge difference to a room and can be a big style statement.

So these are some ways to change the look of your walls and bring your home bang up to date. Let me know, do you use stickers and murals in your home, or are you a fan of wallpaper? 

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Why Businesses Should Use a Multifunctional Printer

Whether you run a big company or a small business, expenses are something a business owner needs to keep a close eye on. Reducing your expenses can take time and may require trying out new systems and technology in order to help your business run more efficiently.




A great place to start is by carefully assessing your printing and copying devices. Where could you make improvements? Perhaps your business would benefit from a multifunctional device - This is a useful piece of office equipment, which combines a printer, copier and scanner into one convenient machine. Read on to learn more about the advantages of a multifunction printer (MFP) and why your business should consider using one…

MFPs are Convenient 


One of the biggest advantages of a multifunction printer is that they are so convenient to use. Documents can be printed, copied and scanned in one place, without having to use several machines. An MFP is also space saving as you do not have to find space for multiple devices in the office.

MFPs are Cost-efficient

As well as not having to purchase separate devices for each task, MFPs are cost-efficient in the long run, because you only have the running and maintenance costs of a single machine. In addition, most MFPs have a very low cost per page rate and offer accounting features that let you restrict printer use or allow default settings, such as double-sided printing to reduce your costs.

MFPs are Smart

Most modern MFPs allow you to connect your printer with either your smartphone or tablet for wireless and cloud printing. This means you can print important documents, even when you are out of the office. In addition, every document that you copy, scan or fax using your MFP can be directly sent to your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Some models also allow users to check and send emails directly from the machine.

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6 Tips On How To Organise Kids’ Clothing


Children tend to leave their stuff everywhere and if you don't get them into the habit of organising their things when they are young then it will be more difficult as they get older. That’s why it’s important to instil in children the habit of organising.  This is an advertorial.

Keeping the kids and their stuff organised may seem like a difficult task, but it’s not impossible. Like any process, do it one step at a time and the closet is a good place to start. Here are a few tips to help you get your kids into the organising habit and tidy up their clothes.

Make It A Family Activity



Nothing can make things more interesting for a child than doing things with other people. Make tidying up a fun activity he or she can do with you or their siblings. 

Pair up or assign groups on different tasks to complete. This not only cuts down the time spent but also becomes a great bonding moment for the family. Before you know it, everything is back where it should be.

Start With A Clean Slate

Take everything out of the closet so you know exactly what you will be dealing with and how much space you have. This can also be a perfect opportunity to think of what goes where.

Tip: while taking things out of the closet, make sure to have a box or a caddy where the kids can put toys and other things that do not belong in their closet.

Create A Donate Pile And A Sale Pile

Of course, cleaning the closet is also the best time to get rid of clothes that don’t fit anymore. Make two separate piles: one for donations and the other to sell.

You can set up an online shop for preloved clothes or other items that you can sell after a declutter session at home. There are a lot of online platforms to easily do this. As kids grow quickly, many parents will find your items a money saver that's for sure, and with that, organising the closet can also be profitable for you.

Divide Items Into Categories


Now that you’ve finalised what stays and what goes, it’s time to divide them into different categories. Keep everyday clothes in easy-to-reach places. Lay shoes neatly on the floor or on fun shelves where the kids can see them. This will be easier for kids to pick which shoe goes with their outfit.

Keep off-season clothing at the back, and rotate them when the weather changes or at the start of a new season. Store undies and socks in separate areas to keep everything organised.

Play Games

The truth is, kids may not always find organising fun. Keep things exciting and interesting by making each activity a game. This method can help develop children’s organisation skills while keeping the house tidy. It can be as simple as a game of who finishes a task first. Make each task a “mission” that they can accomplish and get rewarded for once completed.

Set Aside Time Savers

Got a preschooler? Save some time, and set aside clothes for school in a separate area where the kids can easily reach them. This will make preparing for school faster and easier. Make sure to ask your kids which clothes they want so they’ll still feel comfortable wearing them.

Tip: if using drawers, group clothes into outfits, and fold them together. You can also make this a weekly “mission” they can do during the weekend so they can prepare for the upcoming school week, so saving time in the morning.

Decorate!

Ask for their help in decorating to make the space truly their own. Hang drawings on the door, or put stickers that can act as labels on different drawers.

You can also install a whiteboard where the kids can draw different pictures or leave notes when they want to. There are plenty of closet decorating ideas that the kids will love, check out Pinterest for inspiration!

In the end, keeping the kids’ closet neat and tidy is a continual process for both parents and children. Start building the habit at a young age, and eventually, tidying up will become a no-brainer for each member of the family.

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Accepting Loss in Grief Counselling

This is a guest post by Marie Miguel. Marie has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression. This is an advertorial. 

Loss is painful 


When you lose someone you love, it's a painful experience. Death can come as a shock, even if you're expecting a loved one to die. Whether you lose a parent to old age or a friend dies in an accident, those feelings of loss are powerful and real. You may feel powerless, sad, scared to accept the truth, or angry at death. These are all valid emotions, and ones that you can talk about in grief counselling. But, grief counselling isn't just about a loved one passing away; it's about so much more.

What is grief counselling?

Grief counselling is a form of mental health treatment where you discuss the loss. It doesn't only involve death. You can lose many things in life besides a loved one. When people lose their jobs, it's painful. Going through a divorce is traumatic. In grief counselling, you cope with many sorts of loss, including emotional, physical, spiritual, or social. When a loved one dies, it hurts. You miss that person, dearly. You may experience similar feelings when a relationship ends, or you miscarry a baby. These are different kinds of losses and ones that a grief counsellor understands.

How grief counselling works

A big part of grief counselling is learning to confront that trauma and move through it. When someone dies, or you lose something in your life abruptly, it's traumatic. It's common to get stuck in a holding pattern of sadness. It's natural to feel paralyzed by grief, but it doesn't have to be that way. Loss is a part of life, and it's painful, but there are ways we can learn to cope with it. When a person feels like they're having trouble functioning in their daily life because of grief, they could benefit from grief counselling. A counsellor will help the client learn coping skills to deal with loss. They will support the person in processing what they've been through and encouraging them to learn to care for themselves.

The stages of grief

Elizabeth Kubler Ross is known for identifying the stages of grief. She worked with patients that were terminally ill and helped them learn to cope with the harsh reality that they were dying. The stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These patients learned that they were dying and had a hard time coping with it at first. Over some time, as they moved through the various stages of grief, they came to accept it. After some time, the Kubler Ross model was adapted. Now it's used for people who are coping with the loss of a loved one. Grief counsellors reference the stages of grief to guide people through the grieving process.

Complicated grief 


Approximately 15 per cent of people who have lost someone they love experience "complicated grief." That's a form of grieving that lasts for a year or longer. When you are feeling this way, it's crucial to seek mental health support. Grief counsellors know what it's like to have trouble letting go of a loss. It can feel nearly impossible to get through these painful feelings, but there's a definitive way to process them - confronting the emotions in counselling.

Do you need grief counselling?

You may be wondering if grief counselling is necessary for you. Here are some reasons to consider seeking grief counselling: 

You have recently lost a loved one
A pet has died
Job loss
Divorce
Grieving is lasting a year or more and not getting better
Grief is getting in the way of enjoying life

These are just some reasons to consider choosing grief counselling. Grief is a part of life, but it doesn't have to dominate your days. You can learn to cope with loss, and begin to heal by seeking professional help. Grief counsellors are sensitive and caring individuals who understand that it's not easy to face a loss. You can take your time speaking about what or who you've lost and reach a place of peace. It's possible to heal from grieving if you allow yourself to seek support.

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Why is Artisan Jewellery Growing in Popularity?

There’s been a marked shift in attitudes towards clothes and accessories recently. People are becoming more interested in making considered purchases rather than spending impulsively and buying into fast fashion.

In this blog, Milina London takes a look at some of the reasons why you should invest in artisan jewellery rather than buying pieces from big names on the high street. 


What is artisan jewellery?




The word artisan is often used to describe products, but it’s important to have an understanding of what it actually means, especially in relation to jewellery.

Artisan jewellery is made by talented craftsmen and women all across the world and buying it is a way to celebrate their skills and creativity. Each piece is individually crafted from a number of materials, including precious metals and natural stones.


Reasons to purchase artisan jewellery


You’ll get a unique design 



Images copyright Milna London

Artisan jewellery is unique and individual. Each piece is handcrafted so it is not widely available in very large quantities and no two pieces are alike. Even though artisans strive for consistency, as each piece is handcrafted, you will still find very minute differences between two pieces of the same design. Therefore, you will have something that is unique and one of a kind.

The jewellery will be of a high quality

Artisans really care about their craft, which is something you don’t get when your jewellery is mass-produced! They will select materials which they know are good quality, whether that’s carefully-sourced precious metals or natural stones. Then, when it comes to the crafting process, each piece of jewellery is given the finest attention to detail.

You’ll be supporting the craft of talented individuals 


Artisan jewellery is made by highly skilled individuals from all over the world! One of the best things about purchasing artisan jewellery is knowing that you are supporting skilled craftsmen and women by helping them continue doing what they love in their local community.

In turn, this will help them to teach their skills to future generations and ensure the beautiful, traditional techniques of making jewellery continue. Artisans make each piece of jewellery with love and it’s great for them to gain support and love for their craft from all over the globe.

You can make a stand against fast fashion

Our fast-fashion footprint is becoming increasingly important and something that needs to be taken into consideration. Mass-produced jewellery may use vast amounts of energy, the production process may not be entirely ethical, and it can promote a culture of buying a piece to wear just once.

On the other hand, although artisan jewellery is a little more of an investment, you are making a lifetime purchase. It is of high quality, unique and beautiful - something which can become a staple in your accessories collection and allow you to make a stand against mass-produced jewellery. 



Where can you find artisan jewellery?


Images copyright Milna London

Artisan jewellery from across the globe is now much more widely available in the UK. Many people choose to look at fairs and markets, but a lot of artisan jewellery that is sourced and designed by independent family jewellers can also be found online.

Milina London specialises in contemporary, handmade jewellery for women. They work directly with artisans and small cooperative workshops to share a wonderful heritage of skills from around the world.

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How to Improve Parent -Teen Relationships


Being the parent of a teenager can be tough, mainly because teens are so unpredictable. It’s a challenging time for both parties and can cause ripples in the family dynamic. Lots of parents find it difficult to navigate around the mood swings and newfound sense of independence, but there are lots of ways to combat these challenges. A Sixth Form in Somerset has put together some tips to help you avoid a suffering relationship with your teenage son or daughter.  This is an advertorial.

Communication is Key


Teen angst is very real and it is likely that your kids will take their emotions out on you sometimes. Try not to take it personally and make it known to your son or daughter that you are always there for them if they need someone to talk to. When you talk to them, let them know that you value their opinions, no matter how trivial. Eventually, they will start to feel comfortable opening up to you about deeper issues. If you and your teen can develop a strong, communicative relationship, you will avoid emotions bubbling over.

Spending some quality time together will help you break down this communication barrier. Make sure you all have dinner together as a family and potentially introduce monthly cinema trips or a weekly coffee in town.  Teens usually spend more time in their bedrooms or out with friends, so you might have to try a little harder than you’re used to in order to encourage bonding time. The more time you spend together, the easier it will be to open up.

Accept their Boundaries and Independence



Puberty is a difficult and confusing time for teenagers; everything is changing and emotions are a little out of control. Your teen might want some alone time after school and will probably become more of a private person. Parents should respect these boundaries and trust them to make the right decisions for themselves. 

Above all, you need to try your utmost hardest to be patient with your teen and don’t be too hard on them. They will eventually come out the other side and it’s important not to damage your relationship in the process. 

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5 Ways To Kill Time While Travelling

The mere concept of travelling brings to mind incredible sights, sounds, and ideas. We imagine ourselves walking through local markets, delighting at the array of offerings; visiting ancient sites; marvelling at sunsets over the ocean - essentially, we imagine a highlight reel of all the best moments. 

All of the aforementioned moments happen, of course; that’s why we travel, and why exploring the world will always be hugely enjoyable. However, there is one aspect of travel that tends to be overlooked: the waiting.

No matter how perfectly-planned an itinerary is, any travel experience will always have time gaps. Whether it’s a bus journey to a historical site or waiting for a connection, these pockets of time must be filled - and here are a few ideas for how to do that productively. T
his is an advertorial.

#1 - Catch up with life back home 


A long wait provides the perfect opportunity to catch up on your home-life admin. You could, for example, use the time to check your bank account, make sure payments have gone out as anticipated, glance through your work email, chat with friends and anything else that you may otherwise struggle to find time for. You can then arrive safe in the knowledge that all is well on the home front, so you’re free to enjoy every moment of your time away. 

#2 - Play brain training games 

You can, of course, play any kind of game on your phone or mobile device, but brain training games are definitely the best choice if you’re hoping to use the time as productively as possible. Brain training is purported to improve mental clarity and enhance cognitive function, with apps such as Peak and Lumosity receiving positive reviews from users. Try downloading a few apps before you leave so you can find which suits you, and you’ll be all set for a brain-boosting few hours the next time you’re facing a long wait. 

#3 - Nap 


Sleep can often feel like a waste of time when you’re travelling; after all, every moment spent catching Zs is time you’re not spending soaking up all your destination has to offer. As a result, it’s far from unusual for travellers to build up a sleep debt while away; making inroads into this debt is definitely a great use of delays. A sleep mask, neck support pillow, and an alarm on your phone should be all you need to catch up on lost sleep.

#4 - Exercise

No one wants to visit a gym while travelling, but exercise is an important aspect of health, so exercising during long waits is the perfect compromise: you can exercise without losing time you’d rather spend immersing yourself in your destination. If you’re waiting at an airport or bus terminal, walking is usually the best choice; carrying your bags with you for extra “strength training” as you pace around. If seated for a long journey, you can tense and relaxing major muscle groups, or try exercises designed for commuters, as the same principle - people spending a long time in a vehicle - applies.

#5 - Study towards an online course

Wifi provision is common on most modes of transport these days, so studying towards an online course when you’re on the move is definitely viable. There are countless options for online classes, so you’re sure to find one that suits you, and can look forward to the opportunity to deepen your understanding - and earn a new qualification that could boost your career. Now that’s a great way to transform lost time into something productive!

The above five ideas can help to ensure that long waits are used as productively and effectively as possible.  What do you think? Do you have ways to kill time while travelling?


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Packing Tips For Moving House

Moving house is exciting but it can also be a stressful experience. Moving house can be a transition in life and combined with the packing stress, it's one event that can send your blood pressure soaring. So let's have a look at some packing tips for moving house that will mean you will get to your new house relaxed and refreshed as possible and ready to make your new house your home. 

Of course, if you don't want to do it yourself you can always use a company like  2removal - The Movers and Packers, this post is an advertorial in conjunction with them. 

Get organised



Organisation is key when moving home and packing, so make a list, or many lists and check them more than once. 

Make a list of what you need to move like boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape and labelling. You may be able to buy this from a moving company if you are using them or try Amazon. 

You also need a list of who you need to inform when you leave your home and who you need to inform when you move in, and a list of local services and takeaways in your new area. When you get to your new address you will be pleased to have your local takeaway number and a number of the local plumber.

First steps




When you move into your new home the essentials things need to be sorted straight away, like somewhere to sit, somewhere to sleep and something to eat and drink. So make sure these areas are addressed. 

For your bedroom and lounge you should ensure your sofa and bed is easy to move into your home first, and if you have to dismantle your bed that you keep all the parts and screws together and the mattress covered in a dust sheet.

Pack a box which is last in the moving van or kept with you in your car which will contain a kettle, UHT milk, tea, coffee, sugar, or squash and some snacks. You want this easily accessible for when you get to your new address.

Also pack a suitcase with your immediately needed clothes, chargers and laptops. It helps that this is a suitcase that is easily identified so you can get out what you need straight away with as less fuss as possible. If you have kids, get them to pack one for themselves with their toys, clothes and other essentials.

Label, label, label


Label the boxes with each room and what is in the box. This may seem like it is time-consuming but it will help you immensely when you are unpacking. It can help the movers (or you) move the box to the correct room saving time and effort.

It's also important to label on the box any fragile items, sharps like knives or toxic materials like bleach and household cleaners. Moving companies may refuse to transport half-empty containers of hazardous substances, so think about disposing of these safely or giving them to someone you know to use.

Packaging and protection



It helps if you have original boxes to move large or awkward items like TVs but if not be sure to wrap well as you don't want to get any items damaged. Towels and duvets can be used for extra protection if needed.

Valuable and small items like jewellery need that extra protection too. Why not allocate a family member to look after these items, and be responsible for them so they get that extra looking after? If you are moving antiques and highly valuable items check that your insurance covers these, you may want extra insurance.

Sort through any paperwork you have before you move and then ensure all your important documentation is accessible in one place, like your birth certificates,  whether that is a folder, filing cabinet or storage box.  Again be sure you know where this information is. 

Some moving companies will not move plants so think about how you are going to move these. Can a friend help you with this? Plants need to be kept watered and protected from extremes of temperature. 

Tools need to be cleaned and stored in a toolbox safely, and sharp items like saws protected well in appropriate storage containers. 

When you get there



Unpack the box with the kettle, tea and coffee. Put on the kettle, sit on the sofa you moved into your home first, make a cup of tea and relax. You've made it to your new home!

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