#SpringCleanSOS – The shortlist
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#SpringCleanSOS – The shortlist

Despite the weather being far too cold for this time of year, our sponsors, Keepmoat, marked the arrival of spring with our #SpringCleanSOS competition. Hosted on its social media channels, they invited their online community to share the spring cleaning challenges they dare not tackle – from messy rooms, cluttered cupboards and grubby gardens – all to be in with the chance of winning a top of the range Dyson.

After much deliberation, the Keepmoat judging panel has picked its shortlist of finalists and now it’s over to you to choose your overall winner. Check out the entries below and visit the Keepmoat Facebook page to cast your vote.

‘My oven needs some serious TLC’

We agree that this oven is definitely a spring clean challenge and a half! Nobody enjoys the dreaded task of scrubbing the oven for hours on end.

springcleanSOS My oven certainly needs some TLC 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘I keep having to pick up floor omelettes, it’s exhausting!’

We love this artistic photo of an adorable little boy looking innocent after dropping eggs on the kitchen floor. I’m sure most parents out there will be able to sympathise with cleaning up after the children all day!

I keep having to clean up floor Omelettes -its egghausting 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Our new flat…’

We feel their pain! Facing the task of redecorating, repairing and cleaning a new home can be daunting (something Keepmoat knows all about) – it just takes some hard work and elbow grease, we promise!

Our new flat.....#SpringCleanSOS 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Daughter’s bedroom – I have not been brave enough to tackle this!’

We definitely don’t envy this peeved parent! Having to live with this mess cannot be fun. And we’re sure that trying to encourage their daughter to clean it herself is even more of a challenge! Good luck mum!

Daughter's Bedroom- I have not been brave enough to tackle this 1

 

 

 

 

 

‘Try keeping on top of this kitty’s fur, it’s everywhere’

At Keepmoat we’ve fallen in love with this furry feline, although we certainly don’t love the thought of having to constantly clean up all of its moulting, matted fur!

try keeping on top of this kittys fur its everywhere 1

 

 

 

 

 

Voting closes this Friday at 5pm so don’t forget to vote for your favourite on our Facebook page!

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Homes with gardens: Make the most of summer
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Homes with gardens: Make the most of summer

The summer is well and truly here, and the beautiful weather of the past few weeks has led to many of us flocking outside to bask in the sun and warmth. When the warm weather hits, the garden is the place to be, and to many, the outdoor spaces of a home can be just as important as the indoor, especially in the summer. If you’re looking to move into your first home, or even want to upgrade from your current house to something with a little more to offer, an impressive ‘garden room’ can add real value to a home in the eyes of a buyer. If you’re looking for the perfect next home, and enjoy long summer weekends enjoying the sun, cooking up a barbecue and entertaining guests in a generous outdoor area, here are our top three picks of Keepmoat homes with a garden to offer.

Cutlers View, Sheffield

Cutlers_View_4859The Cutlers View development has proved extremely popular with home buyers, with properties all sold well into 2015.  The show home gardens have prompted many conversations with interested parties due their great design, entering the space down steps and leading to an arch, creating the effect of a secret garden.  Due to the location of the development atop a range of hills, the view of the city and peak district beyond are simply stunning. These great outdoor features have resulted in many purchasers being willing to wait over a year for their dream location. Situated on a tram route, the properties enjoy easy access  into the city, with trams running every 9 minutes, giving great links from the railway station to all over the country. All in all a brilliant location for city living but with the added bonus of being in a very green location giving the added feeling of a countryside retreat to boot.

St James Gate, Birkenhead

New Garden Pic 800x400St James’s Gate is a fantastic development which is playing a major part in the regeneration of the Birkenhead area, with a range of three and four bedroom homes available from just £99,995 or only £79,995 with Help To Buy.

Situated just across the River Mersey from Liverpool city centre, the development sets a great impression to viewers with a stunning new show home now open to give househunters a look inside these beautiful offerings. Set in Birkenhead, the development is around four miles from Liverpool city centre, and is surrounded by beautiful parks and golf courses on the Wirral Peninsula. Generous gardens only add to the properties, and make each offering ideal throughout the summer, however you enjoy making the most of the sun.

Horizon, Newtown

DSCN0247Horizon is an extremely popular new development of stylish and affordable homes in the heart of Birmingham city centre. Now in its third phase of development, Horizon offers a range of two, three and four bedroom homes just a mile from the centre of the UK’s second largest city.

The contemporary homes are ideal for couples and families alike, and come complete with energy saving appliances and environmental design features including roof mounted solar heating panels, the latest condensing boilers, energy saving lighting, double glazing and insulated walls, cycle storage and rainwater harvesting.

Boasting impressive and generous gardens, the Horizon development is the perfect midlands home if you enjoy evenings entertaining in the garden, or lazy weekends soaking up the sun.

 

If you’re the proud owner of a Keepmoat property, and enjoy spending the summer out in your garden, drop some of your top summer garden tips in the comments section below. We love to hear how you spend your time, and you might just inspire some fellow readers.

 

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Packing your possessions with care
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Packing your possessions with care

Whilst you’ll undoubtedly be excited about your new home and impending move, there are plenty of preparations and bits of hard work you’ll need to carry out in advance of your big move. Packing up all your valued possessions when moving somewhere new can be a daunting task, and the last thing you’ll want upon arrival at the new place is a disaster zone of broken and smashed possessions. Although jumping straight in and cracking on with the job might seem like the quickest option, it’s not the wisest option if it results in an assortment of crumpled boxed and smashed possessions.

Pre-packing

  • Before jumping in at the deep end and turning the process into a total disaster, it is vital you begin by taking precautionary steps to help ease the process as a whole; you’ll reap the rewards at a later stage.
  • Gather all the materials and supplies you need before you start, from the obvious such as boxes, tape, furniture covers, dust sheets, to the less obvious, like a tape measure to help you really plan your pack. Make sure you have everything you need before beginning the packing process. It’s a real momentum killer to get half way through the chore, only to then realise you need to rush out for more supplies.
  • It’s important to ensure all furniture is given a thorough clean before putting into storage or the removal truck, it saves a job at the other end. The last thing you want is for all the dust and dirt of your old home to be traipsed into the new place.
  • Some wooden furniture will need treating to avoid being damaged en-route. Make sure leather goods and other damage prone items are well secured and protected. Wooden and leather items are pricey, expensive numbers, so you should take every precaution possible to avoid any damage.
  • For glass objects, best practice is to cover with newspaper, drape it with bubble wrap and duct tape it, repeat this numerous times for added protection.
  • Start a log of all the possessions you’re packing. It helps should anything go wrong, and also allows you to know exactly what is still to be unloaded on the other end.
  • With items that are disassembled, you may be left with small screws, put all small objects in a bag along with manuals to make sure you don’t misplace items you need upon unloading.
  • Label up your boxes and belongings which you’ll struggle to identify when it comes to unloading.

Packing tips

  • With important objects that you’ll need immediately when unpacking, start a designated box for them. Make sure you know where the box is packed and is easily accessible, so you can have quick access at your new home.
  • Make sure all fragile or breakable objects are securely wrapped and have plenty of padding to ensure they’re secure for transport. The last thing you need is your favourite vase arriving in pieces.

If you’re looking to escape and plan for that perfect first home, check out the website of the official First Home News sponsor, Keepmoat. The national housing company operates a first time buyer scheme, which builds on the Government’s First Buy scheme, enabling thousands of first time buyers to purchase a new home since it was launched in 2011. Keepmoat has helped customers buy hundreds of new homes under First Buy at a number of its new housing developments across the country, so if you’re searching the market, check out their offerings.

Have you recently moved and were required to hone your packing skills? We all know it can be a tough job, so let us know your best nuggets of help and advice in the comments below…

Photo Credit: Betsssssy via Compfight cc

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