Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Store More !

Whether you're trying to settle your belongings into a new home, accommodate all the stuff you've collected throughout the years or show off your square footage to potential buyers, storage is almost always an issue. Want to maximize storage space in your home ? Here's how:

PURGE ... If you've recently moved you may have already pared down your belongings; if you're about to move, the less you need to pack, the better. Gather together those items you no longer want or don't need. A good rule of thumb is if it's not been used in the last year, it goes.

SELL ... or donate your rejects, or invite friends and family to help themselves. The less stuff you have to accommodate, the further your storage space will go.

Your closets are typically the first place you turn to for storage. If you prefer to store things where they;ll be out of site, make the most of them. Space solutions for closet are dizzying in variety, ranging from simple: additional shelving above the standard closet self, a second rod for more hanging space, a back-of-the-door hanging organizer; to the elaborate, like custom whole closet systems installed by professionals.

IF you need storage space above and beyond your closets (and let's face it, who doesn't?) you need to create it. One clever way to do this is by buying multifunctional furniture. As square footage has become more expensive, furniture has gotten smarter, doing double duty as storage space, Ottomans and coffee tables featuring lids that lift up, revealing useful space, have become very popular , and there are also chairs whose seat cushions sit atop storage space, and beds with shelves build in the head boards or build-in drawers below, and many other solutions.

You can also create more storage space by taking advantage of space that usually goes wasted. Put the floor space under your bed to work with some flat containers you can roll or pull out, a great idea for heavier items like books. Install floating shelves over windows and doorways or even suspend them from ceilings; its best to use these storing infrequently used or lightweight items like linens. Hallways have great potential that often goes ignored Line one wall, or both, with floating shelves, provided the hallway is wide enough to comfortable do so. Not only will this provide added storage space, it'll add interest to an otherwise boring area.

Storage solutions have evolved such that they needn't be hidden from view any longer Thanks to the wide variety of colours, patterns and sizes of storage boxes and baskets now available, it's easy to create additional space that looks right at home in any room. Plus, they offer the added advantage of being an especially inexpensive and portable means of hiding your stuff in plain sight.

(Why not get great articles like this sent directly to your in-box ? Visit RMA-Spencer Group Mortgages and subscribe to their e-newsletter to make sure you never miss a post again. This article was recently sent out in the newsletter "Mortgage Matters")

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

NO - not a plug for a movie of the same name just a little look at folklore about bad things. Walking under ladders, black cats crossing your path, Friday the 13th, refinancing your mortgage etc.

In ancient times, people used to spend fortunes buying charms and amulets to ward off bad luck and attract good.

Luck is pretty impersonal, but good luck definitely favors the prepared mind ... so why not apply the same principal to your finances ?

If there's one huge difference I see between successful people and everyone else it's this ... successful people take the time to prepare their minds by feeding their brains something good every once in a while.

How does that apply to my finances you ask ?

If you wonder why the Jones's next door always seem to be taking advantage of opportunities (winter holiday, stress-free living etc) then they probably did something you haven't. They fed their financial "brains" some good advice from a licensed mortgage broker and refinanced their mortgage at what some analyst are describing as the lowest rates in 65 years.

The Jones Family took the bull by the horns and said "No more waiting ... we are done with high interest rates and a river of cash flowing out the door every month. We want to be prepared if there is a layoff, illness or emergency."

They called their mortgage broker and got a free, no obligation review of their options and went ahead by consolidating all their debt into one payment at a fantastic rate. They still owe the same amount of money ... but they took a smart approach and lumped it all together under one single payment.

Their extra cash ? Topping up RSP and RESP were first on their minds ... then a week down south to refresh and relax. A return trip home and they're now plowing the extra cash savings into pre-payments on their mortgage and setting up a little savings account for 3-6 months of living expenses as an emergency fund. No more stress about whether the plant is going to cut a shift and what they'll be forced to do to pay all those bills. One payment, one bill, no stress.

Call us. We're here to help. A licensed, Ontario mortgage brokerage ... RMA-Spencer Group Mortgages.

We're back at it here at the Your Mortgage Matters blog after a little bout with the flu, bronchitis and a sore throat for good measure. Now that that is over with its business as usual.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day !

Well just for fun on a cold, mid-winter Monday morning let's recap the shadow-forecasters:

Wiarton Willie - saw his shadow

Punxsutawney Phil - saw his shadow

Shubenacadie Sam - saw his shadow

Looks like we're in for another (at least) 6 weeks of winter!

Now go warm up the snowblower and put on the hot chocolate !