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What Is a Lazy Susan? How a Traditional Turntable Can Help You Tidy Up

lazy-susan

What is a Lazy Susan? In its simplest form, it’s a spinning tray that sits atop a table or shelf. Add compartments, and it becomes a brilliant storage solution that makes everything from ketchup bottles to cotton swabs easier to reach. Lazy Susans are available in just about any material: wood, bamboo, glass, or acrylic.

Wondering how well a Lazy Susan would fit into your home? You can spin the concept a multitude of ways in just about every room. Here’s how.

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Lazy Susan for dining and entertaining

Photo by Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc

You may have grown up with a Lazy Susan on the kitchen table. It probably made passing the salt or the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter buttery spread easier for everyone. But tabletop turntables aren’t just for “Brady Bunch”–size families. A Lazy Susan made of dark wood or marble ($99.95, crateandbarrel.com) can be a chic, convenient solution for a formal dining table.

Lazy Susan for pantry organization

Lazy Susans in the pantry
Lazy Susans in the pantryRia Safford/RiOrganize.com

“We use Lazy Susans, also referred to as turntables, all the time,” says personal organizer Ria Safford of RiOrganize. In particular, she likes them for hard-to-reach corners of pantries, “because they allow you to maximize the space, while also making all of your items easily accessible,” she says. Her company uses turntables in the pantry for items such as oils, vinegars, spreads, and sauces.

For pantries, she recommends the bamboo turntable from The Container Store ($10, containerstore.com).

Certified organizer Amy Trager likes how a Lazy Susan can make use of deep corner cabinets.

“It’s just so much easier to reach and see what’s in there” with a turntable. She finds them less helpful in shallow cabinets, though.

“Putting a circle into a square or rectangle leaves corners unused on all sides,” she says. “It also means that items can’t be stacked, to take advantage of whatever height might be available in the space.”

Shortfalls of Lazy Susans


Photo by The Closet Works Inc.
Not everyone’s a fan, however.

“From an organizing point of view, I don’t like Lazy Susans,” says Ben Soreff of House to Home Organizing in the Northeast. “We see a lot of them in corner kitchen cabinets, and they never seem to work.”

It’s not easy for items to go in and out of those spaces. Worse, items such as container lids and spices can fall off the surface and get stuck underneath—Soreff calls these “Lazy Susan killers.”

That said, Soreff does recommend using a Lazy Susan as an appliance garage for juicers, mixers, and other “larger, bulky items that won’t fall over during the spin.”

Lazy Susan goes beyond the kitchen

A turntable makes sense of your personal items.
A turntable makes sense of your personal items.Ria Safford/RiOrganize.com

A Lazy Susan can be used in pretty much any space that needs more storage.

“Our favorite turntable to use all throughout the house is the Linus Divided Turntable ($16.99–$24.99, containerstore.com),” says Safford. “We use this product in pantries, medicine cabinets, and bathrooms. The divided compartments can hold loose items like cough drops and cotton swabs, and the raised exterior keeps them from falling over.”

Lazy Susans with compartments similar to these also work well under for under-the-sink storage.

Under-the-sink storage made more accessible
Under-the-sink storage made more accessibleRia Safford/RiOrganize

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Five Things You Need to Know About Selling a Condo

Thinking of selling your condo? Whether you live in the condo or own it as an investment property, if you’re ready to sell your home, it’s time to talk to a qualified real estate agent in your area.

Thinking of selling your condo? Whether you live in the condo or own it as an investment property, if you’re ready to sell your home, it’s time to talk to a qualified real estate agent in your area. By evaluating several criteria, including regional markets, time of year, features of your condo unit, as well as your specific needs as the seller, he or she can create a customized marketing plan for your condo. Here are five important topics to discuss with your real estate agent if you want to sell your home:
1. Best Time of Year to Sell Your Condo
The specifics of your area do more to determine the best time to put your home on the market than whether you’re selling a condo or a house. While the conventional wisdom is that spring is the best time for selling a home, this belief simply doesn’t ring true in every locale. In recent years the historic patterns have eased, and in some cases, totally disappeared. Still, different parts of the country have periods when sellers can be more aggressive with their pricing. And your real estate agent may suggest a distinct timing strategy for condominium sales, especially if your condo is in a resort destination.
2. Open House Strategy and How to De-Clutter
A condo that shows well will sell faster and bring a higher price. Small cosmetic touch-ups can make a big difference. Buyers often suspect that more serious problems may exist if they notice the need for minor repairs. If you want to sell your home, it’s important to make sure your condo is clean, tidy and free of personal clutter. Clear sinks and counters of dishes and toiletries. Neatly stack office supplies and organize storage areas. Replace dim light bulbs and clean windows. Even though your garden area may be commonly owned, do your best to create curb appeal by cleaning front steps and porches, and clearing lawns of toys or equipment.
3. Features to Accentuate
One of the best features to accentuate when selling a condo is the lifestyle of ease that comes with condominium ownership. Many buyers are looking for the hassle-free living experience that they can’t find with a single-family detached house. Another important attribute of any condo is the amenities of the association, which can include a hot tub, fitness center, owner’s lounge, covered parking and even concierge services. If you’re considering selling your condo, take the time to walk through it methodically with your real estate agent. Together you can point out which features of the actual condo unit should be accentuated. Does your unit have a wonderful view? Perhaps the location of your condominium is unique and desirable. Your real estate agent can help accentuate these features in sales and marketing materials.
4. Desired Price and Bottom Line Price
When setting the home price for your condo, it’s important to identify your desired price and your bottom line price. By assessing recent condo sale and listing statistics in your area, your real estate agent and a licensed appraiser can estimate your house value and recommend an appropriate target price range. Working with your agent, you can set an initial asking price, as well the absolute lowest home price you would comfortably accept. One advantage of selling a condo is that by assessing the prices of other units in your association that have recently sold or are currently listed, your real estate agent and the appraiser can determine a very accurate house value.
5. Disclosures
When selling your condo, you may be obligated to disclose problems that could affect the property’s value or desirability, as well as to disclose HOA minutes and costs of common insurance and utilities. In most states, it is illegal to fraudulently conceal major physical defects in your property, such as a water heater that leaks severely. And many states now require sellers to take a proactive role by making written disclosures on the condition of the condo unit. Ask your real estate agent for the particular laws of your state.
After reading this article, read more tips on selling a home and make sure you get the best value on your property on Coldwell Banker’s Seller Resources.
condo

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How to Get Wood Flooring on Any Budget

Guest post by Fran Donegan

Hardwood flooring is often considered a must-have feature by new homeowners or those undertaking a remodeling project. Wood is a natural, renewable resource, plus wood flooring complements all types of home decor, from traditional to contemporary. Hardwood flooring is often considered a must-have feature by new homeowners or those undertaking a remodeling project. Wood is a natural, renewable resource, plus wood flooring complements all types of home decor, from traditional to contemporary. The downside is that wood floors, especially solid wood floors, can be expensive. Some exotic wood species, such as Brazilian walnut, can cost more than $15 per square foot — and that doesn’t include installation labor. However, you can find alternatives that give you the look of real wood at a reduced price — some as low as $2 or $3 per square foot. Here are some of the best budget-friendly hardwood floor choices.

Calculating the Overall Price

The products listed below go from most expensive to least expensive, but there’s a lot of overlap among the categories. For example, some solid wood products are less expensive than some luxury vinyl tiles. Before you make your final decision, factor in the cost of professional installation, which can add as much as $3 to $10 per square foot to the total cost of a flooring project. Some of the items that can drive up installation costs include:

• Removing and disposing of the old flooring
• Repairing the subfloor when necessary
• The size and shape of the room(s)
• Stair installation

If you’re an experienced DIYer, you can save money by installing the floors yourself. Beginners should leave the job to the professionals, though — you may end up making mistakes that are even more expensive to fix.

Solid Wood

This is usually the most expensive option, but there are ways to reduce the cost, especially in the long run. When properly maintained, solid wood flooring will last as long as the house stands. You can freshen up the look at any time by sanding away the old finish and restaining and sealing the floor.

Some wood species are more expensive than others. Fortunately, many of the most common types, such as oak or maple, fall into the low- to mid-range of costs. Solid wood products can come finished or unfinished. If the floor is unfinished, the installer will stain and seal the floor once it is in place, which adds to the installation costs. On the flip side, the prefinished product may cost more up front.

Engineered Wood 

These products are constructed of multiple thin layers of material that are bonded together under pressure. The top layer is made from a familiar wood species — such as oak or maple — and is usually treated with a factory-applied finish that resists dirt and scuff marks. Engineered wood floors are less likely than solid wood to wrap and twist because of moisture and humidity, so they can be installed in basements and bathrooms. Some products feature click-in-place installation — no need for adhesives or fasteners — which is an easier, faster installation method perfect for DIYers. However, a vapor barrier needs to be installed or attached to the flooring.

Bamboo 

Bamboo floors are manufactured to either look like traditional wood flooring or showcase their distinctive grass-like look. Some bamboo products are harder than solid wood flooring. They are strong and long-lasting, but are easy to scratch and are not recommended for areas prone to moisture. Bamboo is a type of grass and grows to maturity much more quickly than trees do, which makes it a sustainable, eco-friendly option. Click-in-place installation is available for some products.

Porcelain Tile 


New porcelain tiles can be made to look like anything, including real wood. Some products are available in planks that have a wood-like texture. Porcelain tiles are an inexpensive, easy way to achieve a “reclaimed” wood look — many tiles mimic the texture and color variation of aged planks. As with regular tiles, they are durable and can be used in wet areas, including bathrooms. They are also stain-resistant and much easier to clean than real wood — spills wipe up quickly, and using just water and a mild soap makes them shine. Porcelain tiles must be installed using mortar and grout.

Luxury Vinyl Tile 


As with porcelain tiles, luxury vinyl tile (LVT) can look like wood and come in traditional-style planks. LVTs are thicker and more durable than standard vinyl. They are usually waterproof, are easier to clean than true hardwoods, and can be installed in any room in the house. To prolong their durability, many LVTs are treated to resist color fading and scratches.

Laminate 

Laminate floors are composed of a high-density hardboard core protected by a melamine layer that can be made to look like anything — including real wood. The top layer protects against dirt and scuff marks, but the material should not be installed in rooms that are exposed to moisture. Click-in-place installation is available.

Hardwood flooring is a classic, timeless look that fits a wide range of design options. Thanks to today’s selection of flooring products, it’s easy to get a wood look at a lower cost. When making your final decision, be sure to include both the material costs and the installation costs. That way, you’ll get the look you want at a budget-friendly price.

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