Most people feel confident about the basics of home security. For example: Keep all doors locked. Have al ight on in the houe while away.  Never hide a key outside in an obvious place, like under the mat.

Yet, almost a million and a half properties get burglarized in North America eachyear. So how can you prevent that from happening to your home? Here are a few less know home security basics:

*Actually, NEVER hide a key outside. Thieves know all the hiding places. Instead, make sure all family members have a key.

*Two-thirds of home burglaries occur during the day! So be extra vigilant about making sure doors and windows are locked while you're away during the day.

*Surprisingly, most thieves are not daring.  They are 2.7 times more likely to target a home WITHOUT an alarm systme.

*Thieves will attepmt to force entry through SLIDING-STYLE  doors and windows first. So make sure these have a locking bar or extra bolt lock.

*Surprisingly, 40% of household burglaries do not involve forced entry. The thief is able to slip in through an unlocked window or door.

*Don't show off possessions! An imported racing bike parked next to the garage, or expensive audio equipment clearly seen through a window...or stacks of wrapped an invitation to burglars.

*Take a look at the lighting and landscaping around your hproperty.  Are there spots where a thief could easily hide? If so, make some changes.

*When planning a trip, have a trusted neighbour pick up newspaperes, flyers and anything else that amay accuulate at your door.

Your local police department probably has a BLOCK WATCH program and can provide extra tips about special programs to keep you home secure.

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What is interior design?  As the name implies, it's all about designing a living area--such as a bathroom or basement--while taking into account your needs, tastes, and budget, as well as the characteristics of the space itself.


If you've ever sketched out an idea for a renovation -- to add a wall, install hardwood floors, or paint -- then you've done interior design, at least at an amateur level.  Home improvement contractors, when they make suggestions about how to renovate a room, are also acting as interior designers.


According to the Association of Registered Interior Designers, "Interior Designers will analyze your needs and budget, prepare and present conceptual solutions and then manage the implementation of the project."


Although hiring an interior designer may seem like a luxury for many homeowners, it can actually be quite affordable. Plus, consider that your interior designer can manage your project from concept and design all the way through to a finished renovation -- including managing the renovation work itself.


How do you find a good interior designer?


In Canada, check out Interior Designers of Canada at

 Here you will find search tools to find qualified registered interior designers in your area.  REALTORS® can also give you a me!


When reviewing possible interior designers, take a close look at their portfolios, which are usually in the form of pictures of completed projects.  Consider the style of work they've done for other clients, as it is likely that's what you can expect for yours.


According to an article in The Epoch Times by Lloyd Princeton, it's also important that you get along with the interior designer.  You'll be working closely with that person. If you have a gut feeling that you're not going to like him or her, then you won't be satified with the result -- even if the design is actually good.  Happy Renovating!

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Let's face it. Life can get complicatead, complex and stressful very easily. Luckily, thre are plenty of ways to simplify your life, especially at home.  Here are some tips from the experts:
*Don't be ruled by the TV guide.  Instead, select what you want to see and then record those shows. That way, you can watch them ANYTIME
*Prepare some meals in advance that can simply be heated up as needed.  That reduces a lot of  "after-work-gotta-get-dinner-ready" stress.  Check out   "Once A Month Cooking"  by Mimi Wilson
*Don't accumulate stuff you don't want or need.  Give those things away, as hard as it is to do!
*Simplify your cleaning by dividing tasks into ten minute chunks, then fit them in whenever you have ten minutes.  When you limit a task to only ten minutes, it is easier to get onto it, too.
*To avoid clutter, adopt the "touch it once" rule, which means simply putting things where they belong before you put them down on the kitchen counter.
*Think of the home related chore that you hate most.  Can you outsource it to a local company or a student looking for work?
*Limite the time you and others in your household spend checking emails and text messages.  Consider having one or two hours each evening that's 'no screen' time.
*Develop healthy routines such as evening walks, games that are not electronic, face time for  friends and HUGS!
These are just a few ideas garnered from the experts.  I bet you are thinking, "nothing new" but the key is not to always learn new strategies, but rather to implement strategies that you have heard over and over again!  You know this, are you DOING it?  Hope  these thoughts will help make your home an enjoyable place to be--for you and your family!
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