Home & How-To

Home and How-To Content

If you remember Hugo, then you know how important hurricane preparedness can be.  Remember, it’s not just the wind you should worry about but flooding as well.  Here are a few things you can do to make sure you’re prepared for this hurricane season. 

Hurricane Season

Jun 6, 2016

We’re in the midst of hurricane season, a time when warm ocean water fuels storms allowing them to grow into tropical depressions, and then tropical storms, until finally an area of disturbed weather can become a potentially dangerous hurricane. 

Most of us struggle to find the time and the motivation to get all those cleaning chores done at home, but there are some easy tricks that will save a little time and a lot of elbow grease!  First, get organized with your supplies and establish a routine- this will keep things from piling up all at once. 

Have you ever considered where your clothes are made, how the material is sourced, who makes your clothes, or what kind of factory produces them?  Consumers are beginning to realize that it’s our responsibility to choose clothing lines that come from responsible manufacturers

The laundry room is one place where clothes and linens can really pile up!  But if you’re proactive about creating a system for organizing, your laundry room can be a dream rather than a nightmare!  Space saving shelves and color coded laundry hampers can keep mom’s delicates separated from dad’s yard clothes. 

Reuse Old Linens

May 30, 2016

Sheets and bedding can be expensive, so if you’ve got some linens that have seen better days, don’t throw them out!  Your veterinary office may accept donations of sheets and towels for pets that have to stay overnight.  And pillow cases are great for re-purposing.

There’s a lot of spring cleaning going on at this time of year and more than likely, you and your neighbors have a lot of stuff you may be thinking about getting rid of.  Instead of having a slew of single yard sales, why not have a street sale?  You’ll garner more interest from buyers because they’ll want to stop in one neighborhood rather than driving all over town to multiple locations.  


Have you got an older refrigerator that works just fine, but looks a little less than attractive?  There’s no need to replace an appliance that still has a few years of life left.  So try these ideas for upgrading that old refrigerator. 

We’re in prime yard sale season and this is a great time to get gently used items for a great deal.  The best way to live green and reduce your carbon footprint is to simply reuse things that others may not have a use for any longer.  Yards sales, second hand stores, and even the flea market are great places to find furniture, kitchen tools, clothes, bags, and so much more at reduced prices.  

Summer Window Tips

May 24, 2016

Keeping your HVAC system in tip top shape and managing your thermostat settings are great ways to help keep you cool this summer while helping keep costs down.  But have you inspected your windows lately?  If not, there may be some things that you can do to stay cool in your home.  For example, using a white or light colored curtains or blinds will reflect sunlight away from your windows and a thermal curtain can help stave off energy losses.  

Summer Water Savers

May 23, 2016

Summer can be one of the most wasteful seasons when it comes to water usage.  Whether you’re water the lawn or your patio plants, be mindful of how much water you’re usage and follow these simple tips to decrease the water waste.  When you’re planting or landscaping, choose plants that are native and are bred for hot southern summers, or choose plants that are drought friendly and don’t require much watering.  

Need a little privacy in your backyard, but hate the thought or the expense of installing fencing?  Well, there are a plenty of shrubs, vines, and trees that can increase the privacy without breaking your budget.  Bamboo grows quickly, so it can create a lush and exotic privacy screen fast.  

If you’ve ever walked into your kitchen and immediately smelled an appalling odor, then take note because here are some quick and easy ways to remove kitchen odors.  That garbage disposal is often the culprit of bad odors, so save lemon or citrus rinds and run them through the disposal once or twice a month.  

May Home Projects

May 18, 2016

The weather has been really nice lately, so take advantage by checking off some of these May home projects.  This is prime growing season for weeds, so stay ahead of the barrage with regular weeding.  While you're outdoors, take a few minutes to clean, oil, and sharpen those garden tools for the season.  And always clean and dry your trusted tools after use to prolong their usefulness.  

Summer HVAC Part 2

May 17, 2016

So you know that this is a good time to schedule a tune up for your HVAC system and the more shade you can create around your unit, the better it will cool your house.  But let’s talk about things you can do to help decrease the cost of cooling your house through the hot South Carolina summer.

Summer HVAC Part 1

May 16, 2016

We’ve been enjoying the moderate temperatures lately, but it’s getting hotter and your HVAC system could use some help to keep you cool this summer.  First off, it’s a good idea to schedule a tune-up on your system.

You’re starting to get the idea that there are lots of little changes that you can make that will add up to big savings over the course of a year.  So think about how you consume media.  You may love to read, but buying a full-price book just isn’t a good idea when there are so many other options like your local library…you’re already buying library books with your tax dollars, so take full advantage of that service.  

You have a few ideas about ways to cut corners and save money; are you ready for some more money saving tips?  Here we go.  Stop paying for television.  Now that the digital conversion has happened, you can get a good quality picture with rabbit ears.  And there are many cheaper streaming services that offer movies and TV programs.  

Seems like more and more people are struggling to make ends meet these days, but you don’t have to be one of them.  Follow these simple tips, and you could save cash each month.  One simple thing to do is stop paying ATM convenience fees.  Either find a bank branch near you or get cash back at the many retail locations that offer that service.  

Kitchen Gardener

May 10, 2016

If you’re a gardener, or just looking for ways to control pests around your home, there’s one place where you can find a number of items you may not have thought of.  There’s no need to purchase caustic ant killers, just boil a large pot of water and pour it over the ant mound.  Be sure you have enough to cover the entire pile.  

This time of the year, there are a lot of things to celebrate, but keep in mind when planning your celebrations that releasing balloons as part of your event is not a good idea.  Michelle Pate , DNR Sea Turtle Program Coordinator, says that released balloons “end up in our waterways once they deflate. 

DIY Mosquito Trap

May 6, 2016

Mosquitoes can be a real pain and since they carry diseases, they can also be dangerous pests!  However, many insect repellents contain chemicals that could be harmful to humans and animals, so it can be difficult to decide which methods to employ when it comes to pest control!  Planting citronella or burning citronella candles on your porch or patio to stave off these buzzing pests is a good idea.  Or you can make a mosquito trap by re-using a two liter bottle.

It’s the time of year when we really think about our lawns and gardens, and while a beautiful green lawn is a joy, think about irrigation maintenance to ensure you’re not wasting water.  Did you know that a single broken sprinkler head can waste as much as 25,000 gallons of water over the course of a six month water season?

Small Yard Tricks

May 4, 2016

  Creating an enjoyable outdoor space can be daunting if you struggle with landscaping, but it can be downright overwhelming if your property has a very small outdoor area

  Now that Sea Turtle nesting season has begun, it’s important to consider your impact on the beaches of South Carolina.  Turtles come ashore May through October and can lay as many as one hundred twenty eggs in a nest along the sand dunes.

Outdoor Kitchens

Apr 29, 2016

  Your patio is the perfect spot for summer dining, but before you head out to buy a new grill think about what kind of outdoor kitchen might be right for you.

Dryer Sheets

Apr 28, 2016

The dryer sheet is a fairly common household object, but these little disposables (both used and unused) have a host of uncommon uses!  For example, did you know that a used dryer sheet can polish chrome bathroom fixtures?  Just moisten slightly with water and rub the sheet over bathroom fixtures for a quick shine.  

Budget Gardening

Apr 27, 2016

Landscaping can be expensive, but with a little time and effort, you can create a backyard oasis on a budget.  First, take some time to plan your landscaping.  Draw a map of your yard and consider where you’ll get the most impact from large plants.  The best way to save money on landscaping is to do it yourself and you’ll enjoy the therapeutic benefits as well.  

Spring Projects

Apr 26, 2016

It’s a great time to get outside and enjoy the weather, but with the cold weather on its way out, this is also a good time for some spring cleaning and summer preparations.  Get out the ladder and clear out those gutters and downspouts.  Take stock of any parts of your home that may not have fared well through the winter.  

  Staying on top of general home maintenance is a good way to avoid potentially expensive repairs, but there’s no way to avoid the big repairs, like replacing your roof.