Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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Category: Lifestyle

  1. How to get your rental ready for your tenant

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    With so many different types of blended families these days, very often people end up with two properties and it makes sense to rent one out. More and more people are now looking to rent rather than buy, and so you're almost guaranteed to find a suitable tenant. However, before you rent out your property, there are several things you need to go over before allowing someone to live on the premises. To ensure you achieve success a landlord, you should take a look at the following tips, which will make sure your letting process is legitimate, and your tenants are satisfied. 

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    Make sure everything is working

    If your property is an older build, it may have some wear and tear, so to avoid any tenant complaints, you should make sure to repair anything that needs fixing as soon as possible. This could include a leaky shower or a faulty boiler, which you may be able to fix yourself, or if you're not qualified, you can call in someone else to complete the job. When performing any maintenance, you should make sure it is done correctly. Otherwise, your tenant may experience the same problem when they're living there, which can be problematic for you. 

    You should also fix any external issues like a broken roof, window seals or even a broken doorbell. While the latter may only seem like a small problem, it will show your tenant that the property is well looked after and they should not face any issues if choosing to live there. 

    Compile a property inventory 

    Before your tenant officially moves into the property, it is essential that you make a list of all the inventory, especially if you’re offering a furnished rental. This involves listing detailed descriptions of everything from furniture to the smallest ornaments, and it should also include the condition of these items, should anything happen.

    By creating an inventory, you can protect yourself and the tenant from facing any replacement charges. This should also prevent any theft from taking place, as your tenant understands that you have a record of everything in the property, so they are aware that they will be liable if anything is missing at the end of the tenancy.

    Secure the property

    One of the most important things tenants look for in a property is how secure it is, as they will want to feel safe in their own home. To ensure you meet their needs, you should consider updating your security systems, by placing security cameras outside or even using technology like smart doorbells which can be connected to a smartphone to show your tenant who is outside, even they're away from home. 

    Property experts like RW Invest utilise automated door systems, which means only tenants are allowed to enter the property. By implementing this technology, it has caused an influx of tenant demand and also significantly increased the value of each apartment.

    Check over the tenancy agreement

    Once you’ve approved a tenant to move into your property, you can then start to make it official by both signing a tenancy agreement. The tenancy agreement should include the monthly rental charge, the start and end date of the tenancy, tenancy deposit terms, damage costs, landlord and tenant obligations, and more.

    Before signing the tenancy agreement, you should make sure that the tenant understands everything within the agreement, and if not, you should explain everything to them, so there is no confusion moving forward.

    And good luck! 

  2. Great room organising ideas for teenagers (that won't break the bank)

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    It’s very easy for a teenager to end up with a messy room (and I have a teenager to prove it). Here are some easy-to-do tips and ideas to create a relaxing, enjoyable atmosphere for you both to live with!

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    Store Knickknacks on Shelves

    In order to keep the bedroom tidy, it’s best to put collections, books, and knickknacks on shelves instead of keeping them all about the room or on a dresser. This creates order out of chaos and it will be easier to find specific objects. Having a space reserved in a room keeps it tidy and in order.

    Have a Place for Laundry

    A lot of the mess which clogs a teenager’s room is laundry. Having a special place for laundry–like in a dedicated laundry basket in the corner can help de-clutter the entire room. The best idea is to have a place for dirty clothes and a place for clean ones—that way clean laundry doesn’t become mixed with laundry which needs to be cleaned.

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    Clean up for Ten Minutes or Less Before Bed

    This tip can become very useful: take a few minutes before bed and tidy up the bedroom. Place books back on the shelves, put laundry away, clean up the desk. Taking only a few minutes can save one from having to spend an hour in the future clearing clutter. This tip is easily made into a routine since going to bed is already a routine.

    Use Boxes, Buckets, and Baskets

    A great organizing tip is to use boxes or any type of storage container for small items. This storage tip places small items out of sight and causes the room to feel more spacious. Labeling boxes may become important when one has many of them. Plus, decorative boxes add style to any room. Boxes can be stacked or set in a row in a closet. Boxes are useful for not only tidying the room but also for creating a creative design.

    Personalise A Bedroom

    In order to make a teenage bedroom unique, the easiest way is to add some personal touches. There are a variety of ways to personalise a room. Posters are a quick way to add an original touch while adding a new paint color can help brighten a room. Buying new furniture is the expensive way to go, but you don't need to spend too much money. Teenager havens like Primark and H&M have a great (and afforable) home section which is always on trend, making it a win for a teenager! 

  3. 20 Inexpensive or Free Things To Do with your Family

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    Everything is so expensive these days so families everywhere are searching for fun things to do that are also easy on the family budget. These inexpensive and free activities are the perfect treat after working together on the family budget, and realizing that cutbacks are needed.

    20 Inexpensive or Free Things To Do with your Family

    Free Things to Do with a Family

    These entertainment ideas for kids and adults alike are generally free. Some require a little travel by car, or bringing food from home; but they are essentially free activities.

    Take a walk or picnic in the park – better yet, try a different local park each day until the family finds the very best one.

    Go window shopping at a favorite mall, antique stores, or craft fair. Leave the wallet at home!
    Camp out in the backyard, or make a “fort” inside using furniture, blankets and cushions – then spend the evening trading ghost stories.

    Volunteer on a community or charity project for the afternoon or a weekend. This activity is not only free, but a deeply fulfilling experience as well.

    Spend a long, lazy day in pajamas, reading or watching everyone’s favorite movies. Don’t forget the microwave popcorn!

    “Tour” local neighborhoods or hometown, pretending to be tourists and taking pictures of favorite places.

    Have a “teaching day” during which each family member has an opportunity to teach the others about something they enjoy – sharing a favorite hobby, a video game, book, walking trail, recipe, or anything else.

    Hold a family talent show, or host one for the whole neighborhood. Grandparents, aunts and uncles can be judges… or they may have hidden talents themselves!

    Cheap Activities for Families

    These cheap entertainment ideas require some minor expenses- such as art supplies or recipe ingredients. They are, however, still far cheaper than taking the family to the movies or out to dinner- and more interactive!

    Create homemade artwork together to decorate the laundry room, playroom, or basement (think crayon mural, or paper-maché & coat hanger mobile).

    Host a potluck dinner party for friends or neighbors; have everyone bring a dish and a recipe to share.

    Write a family history or the story of your relationship in a sketchbook, including illustrations, leaving space to add to the story every year.

    Entertainment Outdoors

    Many inexpensive or cheap activities can be found outdoors. So, go outside and play!

    There are countless ways to enjoy the outdoors.Some require sporting equipment, which may be borrowed from friends, or purchased at a discount store to enjoy for years to come. Other ideas require nothing but a little imagination and a willing spirit.

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    A few ideas for outdoor family entertainment:

    • Frisbee
    • Football
    • Softball
    • Badminton
    • Volleyball
    • Water balloons
    • Relay races
    • Tag
    • Hide and seek
    • Bean bag toss
    • Hop scotch
    • Biking
    • Walking around the block
    • Rolling down a hill
    • Cloud watching
    • Star gazing
    • Cartwheels
    • Watching the sunset
    • Watching the sunrise
    • Counting cars
    • Making mudpies

    The list of cheap activities outside can go on and on. Keep in mind that many outdoor activities are not only inexpensive, they’re healthy, too!

    Other Resources for Free Things to Do

    Of course, this article is just a starting point for fun, inexpensive family activities. For more ideas, visit the local library for free programs, resources and activities. The local paper may also list free outdoor concerts and festivals. Some activities may be posted on community bulletin boards at nearby stores, cafes, and community centres. With so many great ideas for inexpensive family fun, there is no reason to let budget restrictions keep the family from having a great time together!

  4. Top Tips for Getting Your House Summer Ready

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    The weather at the moment can’t seem to make up it’s mind what it is doing. One minute we have glorious sunshine and the next the weather is wet and miserable. So we are looking ahead to the summer and what we can be doing now so that we can enjoy lazy summer days at home with our friends and family.

    We have therefore put together our top 5 tips for preparing your home (and yourself) for summer.

    Top Tips for getting your home summer ready 

    Check appliances are working

    Check that your fans / air conditioning units are fully working. If not, now is a good time to replace them rather than when it is baking hot and you find that everywhere is sold out. Getting them “out of season” usually means that you can get a good deal and it is worth checking out voucher sites for offers and discounts too.

    Get The Garden Ready

    When the sun eventually comes out to stay, everyone will want to be outside and if you are not enthused at the idea of regular garden maintenance, why not try some artificial grass for your garden, it is a great alternative to real grass, allowing you to enjoy summer days as well as making mowing, watering and weeding things of the past!

    Aritifical Grass

    Find out of season offers

    Like the fans and air con units, buying things out of season is the best way to get a great deal. So if you need extra picnic pieces or garden furniture, now is a good time to look for the best offers. In the height of summer, it is not only the temperatures that rise it is also well known that the prices do when there is high demand.

    Declutter

    We can all be a little guilty of hoarding items “just incase” we may need them but a spring clean is a great way to go into summer with a clear mind and a clear house. Summer bbq’s can sometimes lead to friends staying over and you don’t want them tripping over bags and boxes that are stashed in your spare room. Get rid of the unnecessary and it is one less thing to move / clean on a weekly basis too!

    Declutter

    Don’t delay till later

    Start now! It is easy to think that summer is months away but in the blink of an eye the children will be finishing the summer term and the long summer holiday will be upon us.

    Will you be prepared?