32 Unexpected Places You Should Be Cleaning In Your Home

32 Unexpected Places You Should Be Cleaning In Your Home

1. Lampshades


They can collect dust like nobody’s business and dim your lamp’s light output. Make a few passes with a lint roller about once a week to de-fuzz them and brighten the room.

Get a five-pack of disposable lint rollers from Amazon for $15.53.

2. Kitchen utensil drawer organizers

Kitchen utensil drawer organizers

Take special care with ~adjustable~ organizers like this one because they’re prone to dirt falling into their nooks and crannies. Once a week, wipe them out with any all-purpose cleaner you use on the rest of your kitchen surfaces.

Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

3. Knife blocks

Knife blocks

Those slots that protect your prize knives are also a prime spot for dust. Once a month, remove the knives and use the crevice tool on your vacuum cleaner to suck out dust. Don’t have one? Blast it with your hairdryer on High or use a long pipe cleaner. Sanitize it by rinsing the block in hot soapy water, then soaking in a solution (1 tbsp. of bleach to 1 gallon of water) for 1 minute. Dry on a towel with slots-side down.

Get it from Amazon for $21.36.

4. The tops of ceiling fan blades

The tops of ceiling fan blades

Halt an allergy storm before you need a seasonal indoor breeze. Use an old pillowcase to sweep off — and contain — the dust. Read the full tutorial on WikiHow.

5. Dishwasher


It’s always important to clean the things that clean your things. Get the instructions on One Good Thing by Jillee.

6. Cookie sheets

Cookie sheets

Emily Shwake / Buzzfeed / Nifty

No, but like, really clean them. Check out our two-step trick here.

7. Wood cutting boards

Wood cutting boards

Goodful / BuzzFeed

Obliterate the aftermath of raw chicken breasts with vinegar and hydrogren peroxide. Check out more Clever Vinegar Tricks That’ll Make Cleaning So Easy.

Get the supplies from Amazon: 1 gallon of distilled vinegar for $11.95 and three 24 oz. spray bottles for $11.99.

8. Clothes iron

Clothes iron

Annihilate rust from your hard-working iron with vinegar and baking soda. Get the full how-to on Thrifty & Chic.

Get 13.5 lbs. of baking soda from Amazon for $17.73. (It can be used to clean lots of other stuff on this list, too.)

9. Hairbrushes


Loosen hair strands and mix up a batch of hot water and baking soda for a good soak. Get the deets on Passion for Savings.

10. Flat irons

Flat irons

Styling products and hair oils can build up into a gross residue. This works for curling irons, too! Read the full how-to on One Good Thing by Jillee.

11. Jewelry


Spiff up everything from your eyeglasses to your engagement ring (separately) with this little machine that uses sonic-wave technology to loosen grime and shine surfaces.

Get it from Amazon for $34.99.

12. Sunglasses


Sweat, makeup, and sunscreen can have them looking worse for wear. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. But everyone should invest in a microfiber cleaning cloth ($8.99 for a pack of six).

Get the sunglasses from Amazon for $12.99. / Available in 15 color combos.

13. The grooves of sliding-glass door tracks

The grooves of sliding-glass door tracks

Brush away debris that can clog up your track with this handy little brush.

Get it from Amazon for $6.99.

14. Pet bowls

Pet bowls

Wash bowls daily as you would human bowls. It’ll even help with the pet smell!

Get it from Amazon for $3.93+. / Available in four sizes, four colors.

15. Clothing drawer organizers

Clothing drawer organizers

Give them an occasional wipe down because even though your clothes in storage are clean, dirt can get in from rummaging around to find the right bra.

Get them from Amazon for $10.99.

16. In between blinds

In between blinds

Make the task simpler on the reg with this specially made tool. Get it from Amazon for $8.99.

If you’re dealing with a horror show of dust — and they’re not wood — remove the blinds from the window and dunk them in a bath of hot, soapy water.

17. Makeup organizers

Makeup organizers

It isn’t enough to clean your makeup containers and tools. Wipe down organizer surfaces with hot, soapy water or a cleaning wipe.

Get them from Amazon: Makeup organizer for $11.99 and 225 Clorox wipes for $11.97.

18. Around plumbing fixtures

Around plumbing fixtures

Sometimes you need some tiny tools to get into allllll the crevices.

Get it from Amazon for $5.99. (It’ll work on shower-door tracks, too.)

19. Dryer lint trap

Dryer lint trap

Built-up lint can infringe upon — and lengthen — your machine’s drying process. Plus, it’s a fire hazard!

Get them from Amazon: Vacuum attachment for $20.99 or a standalone brush for $10.38.

20. Basically everywhere in your car

Basically everywhere in your car

Keep this little hand-vac in your car, plug it into the cigarette lighter, and use the slim nozzle to get into every feasible spot. Get it from Amazon for $20.99.

And learn other ways to de-slime your ride with our 23 Genius Solutions To Issues Every Car Owner Faces.

21. Phone and computer screens

Phone and computer screens

Dust, oil from your skin, and every little piece of lint to ever float through the atmosphere ends up on your electronics’ screens. Make a pass with this little roller every day you use them to see a difference.

Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

22. Toothbrush holder

Toothbrush holder

All those bathroom germs have to go somewhere. Wipe it down at least weekly during your normal bathroom-cleaning seshes.

Get it from Amazon for $8.99.

23. Trash cans and recycling bins

Trash cans and recycling bins

Nope. That smell wasn’t your actual bag of trash. Empty, rinse out with a garden hose (or in your bathtub), and then douse in disinfectant.

Get this easy-to-remove-and-clean set from Amazon for $79.99.

24. Plastic shower curtain liners

Plastic shower curtain liners

Fight off in-shower mildew by tossing your liner in with some towels in the wash. Read the deets on Life at the Drafty Doublewide.

Get it from Amazon for $21.33.

25. Bath mat

Bath mat

Throw it in the wash once a week so you won’t instantly dirty your clean feet post-bath time.

Get it from Urban Outfitters for $29.

26. Bedskirts


Aka dust ruffles. Wash them weekly with the rest of your linens. Or this cat will judge you.

Get it from Amazon for $12.95+. / Available in four sizes, five colors.

27. Toaster (the inside and outside)

Toaster (the inside and outside)


Actually crisp toast — not crumbs and debris from toast of yore — by emptying the crumb tray once a week. (Even the cheapest of toasters, like this one, have it.) And give the exterior a good wipe down with a stainless-steel cleaner, too.

Get it from Amazon for $19.96.

28. Pet beds

Pet beds

All the snuggles and treat-gnawing can leave them smelling worse than your actual pet. Remove further traces of your beloved family member with our 23 Tips And Products That’ll Save You From Being Covered In Pet Hair.

Get this machine-washable bed from Amazon for $25.99+. Available in seven colors.

29. Makeup bags

Makeup bags

Take some brush cleaner or just good ole hot soapy water to the interior to pick up all matter of powders and liquids.

Get it from Forever21 for $6.90.

30. Throw pillows

Throw pillows

They get nearly as much contact as your bed pillows. Remember to clean your pillowcases and inserts as directed on the label so you won’t luxuriate among filth.

Get this pillow case from Amazon for $7.99. / Available in three sizes, eight colors.

31. The bottom of your shoes

The bottom of your shoes

A few passes on the welcome mat is NOT ENOUGH to really get in the treads of your footwear. A boot scraper stationed at the door of your mudroom will do wonders for your floors.

Get it from Amazon for $16.97.

32. And lightbulbs

And lightbulbs

Dust ‘em for an instantly brighter look!

Americans buy existing homes at fastest pace in a decade


Associated Press

Americans shrugged off rising mortgage rates and bought existing homes in January at the fastest pace since 2007. That has set off bidding wars that have pushed up prices as the supply of available homes has dwindled to record lows.

Home sales rose 3.3% in January from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million, the National Assn. of Realtors said Wednesday.

Steady job gains, modest pay raises and rising consumer confidence are spurring healthy home buying even though borrowing costs have risen since last fall. Some potential buyers may be accelerating their home purchases to get ahead of any further increases in mortgage rates. With few homes available for sale, buyers feel pressure to rapidly close a deal when they find a suitable property.

The typical house for sale was on the market for just 50 days last month, down from 64 days a year earlier. Strong demand is pushing up the median home price, which jumped 7.1% from a year earlier to $228,900.

The supply crunch probably will get worse during the upcoming spring buying season, economists say, because demand typically rises by more than supply during that time.

“Relative to the number of households, the number of homes for sale is well through prior historic lows,” said Ted Wieseman, an economist at Morgan Stanley. “The level of inventories could be a much bigger challenge moving into much higher sales in the spring and summer.”

That, combined with higher mortgage rates, soon could restrain sales.

“We are a bit less gloomy about housing than a couple of months ago, but sales will not continue to rise at their recent pace,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

The bulk of the stronger buying is occurring among higher-priced properties, the Realtors group said. Sales among homes and condominiums priced at $100,000 and below fell nearly 10% in January compared with a year earlier. They rose slightly in the $100,000 to $250,000 bracket and jumped roughly 20% in homes priced at higher levels.

Last year, low mortgage rates helped offset rising home prices. Now, both are rising.

Mortgage rates have climbed since November’s presidential election. Investors are anticipating that tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure spending will accelerate growth and push up inflation. That has caused investors to cut back on their bond holdings, pushing up yields.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.15% last week, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. Although that has slipped since earlier this month, it is much higher than last year’s average rate of 3.65%.

By some measures, the housing market has fully recovered from the bust that began in 2006. Yet its newfound health is creating another set of challenges.

In high-demand areas, mostly on the West Coast, homes are being bought after less than a month on the market, according to real estate brokerage Redfin.

Denver was the fastest market last month, Redfin found, with purchase contracts signed just 23 days after listing for a typical home — far faster than the 43 days that was typical a year earlier. Seattle was the second-fastest, with 26 days on the market, followed by Oakland, at 27 days.

The strength in sales should lift growth, as new homeowners buy furniture and appliances and spend more on landscaping and outdoor equipment. Home sales also tend to spur renovations, which helps to update aging properties and generates additional construction work for the broader economy.

Homeowners and Appraisers Go Head-to-Head


Homeowners and Appraisers Go Head-to-Head

Quicken Loan National Home Price Perception Index (HPPI) found that the gap between homeowner evaluations and appraiser opinions has expanded for the second month in a row. The HPPI revealed that the appraiser rate is at 1.47 percent below what homeowners were expecting last month. The decrease  follows a six-month trend in mending differences between homeowners and appraisers.

The value of the homeowners at the beginning of the refinance process was calculated at 1.47 below the findings of the appraisers. Although the rate has decreased, fluctuation around the country continues to vary. For example, Denver has appraisal valued at 2.98 higher rate than homeowners estimated.

Equally, some cities in the East are valued greater than appraisers first reported. Philadelphia appraisals were 2.94 lower than previous calculations. “Having a good understanding of the conditions in their local housing market can be a valuable tool for consumers as they prepare for the home buying or mortgage process,” said Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters.

The Home Value Index (HVI) found that homes values tend to level out at the end of the year during the winter months. In fact, the average appraisal dropped to 0.34 percent between December to January. The index also found that the appraisal rate tends to drop the most in the Northeastern region, the West grows at a vigorous rate, and the Midwest is firmly behind.

“This steady growth could very well lead to more availability, driving homeowners to consider cashing in on their growing equity by putting their home on the market. When this happens, it will open new opportunities for eager buyers”, said Walters.

The Quicken Loans HPPI symbolizes the difference of opinion between appraisers’ and homeowners. The index evaluates the estimate the homeowner supplies on the refinance mortgage application and the appraisal performed at the end of the mortgage process.

The Quicken Loans HVI is is based solely on the statistics from the home purchases and mortgage refinances.

Which Southern City Was Named Best Place to Live?


Which Southern City Was Named Best Place to Live?

According to the 2017 Best Places to Live list released by U.S. News & World Report today, Austin, Texas is the best place to live in the country.

Taking into account factors like housing affordability, quality of life, and job prospects, the Best Places to Live listing ranks the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. Though Austin took the top spot, the top five was rounded out by Denver; San Jose, California; Washington, D.C., and Fayetteville, Arkansas. Seattle; Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; Boston; Des Moines, Iowa; and Salt Lake City, Utah took the No. 6 through 10 spots, respectively.

“When considering a move, people are concerned about finding a job in their field, earning enough to afford a home, sending their kids to good schools, and feeling like a part of their community,” said Kim Castro, Executive Editor at U.S. News & World Report. “The Best Places to Live ranking takes all of that into account; the metro areas that do well are the ones with strong job markets and high quality of life.”

Many metros made strides in this year’s rankings, including Boston, which jumped from No. 30 to No. 8, and Salt Lake City, which rose from No. 27 to No. 10. Three other metro areas—Hartford, Connecticut; Syracuse, New York; and Milwaukee—jumped more than 20 spots since their 2016 ranking.

The Best Places to Live list arrived on the back of Zillow’s recent hottest market predictions, which also listed Salt Lake City and Denver in its rankings. In fact, according to Zillow, Salt Lake City will likely grow by at least 4 percent over the course of 2017.

The Best Places to Live list is determined through public surveys; data from the U.S. Census, FBI, and Bureau of Labor Statistics; and U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools and Best Hospitals rankings. To view the entire list, visit RealEstate.USNews.com.

18+ Pics Of Fairy Tale Architecture From Norway

~ Ok that’s it I might just have to move to the Country of my Ancestors! Who’s with me? ~


18+ Pics Of Fairy Tale Architecture From Norway

When you think of Norway, couple of things that come to mind are fjords, blonde people and vikings…probably not fairy tale architecture.
Below, you’ll discover photographs of Norwegian architecture in the countryside that appears like it was taken straight from a fairy tale. The architectural styles range from Stave churches, which were built during the Middle Ages, to ghostly natural waterfalls and traditional wooden houses constructed in the Norwegian vernacular style (byggeskikk) during the 19th century.

Tell us which of photos you think wouldn’t be perfectly placed within a fairy tale, and as always, feel free to submit your own photos of Norway.

#1 Bridge Over Låtefossen Waterfall


#2 Borgund Stave Church


#3 Renndølsetra


#4 Under The Aurora


#5 Barn In Valldal


#6 Natural Swimming Pool In The Forest


#7 Ancient Road Vindhellavegen


#8 At The End Of The World, Tjome


#9 Old House


#10 Lake Bondhus


#11 Kvednafossen Waterfall In Norway


#12 House In Norway


#13 Aurora Over The Small Fishing Village Bugøynes


#14 Fairy House In Hunderfossen, Lillehammer


#15 Old Farmhouses


#16 Bridge In Norway


#17 Old Village


#18 Magic Kingdom Of Bekkelaget


#19 Fantoft Stave Church, Near Bergen


#20 Rogaland, Gullingen


#21 Fjord Houses


#22 Borgund Stavkirke


#23 Vardøhus Fortress


#24 Fåvang, Gudbrandsdalen


#25 Møre Og Romsdal


#26 Fisherman Hut, Undredal


#27 Overtaken


#28 King Oscar Ii Chapel, Grense Jakobselv


#29 Brandbu, Hadeland


#30 Small House In Norway


Buyers Willing to Compromise for the American Dream


Buyers Willing to Compromise for the American Dream

A lack of affordability in the U.S. housing market is driving buyers to make big compromises in their savings plans and in what they want in a home, according to a new study by Owners.com.

Steve Udelson, president of Owners.com, said, “Market pressures are forcing consumers to take necessary action to stretch their purchasing power.”

The firm reported this week that shrinking inventories in markets around the country and the corresponding spike in prices over the past year are compelling buyers to loosen or even abandon their financial safety nets. The study of 1,000 consumers found that most value buying a home as a top financial decision, nearly 70 percent of prospective buyers are worried about their cash flow for a down payment.

The lure to buy seems strong enough for buyers to funnel money from other purposes toward saving up for that down payment. Owners.com reported that 60 percent of prospective buyers are willing to sacrifice emergency savings as well as their retirement savings for their upfront homebuying money. Meanwhile, nearly three-quarters said they would limit their contributions to other investment funds to save for a home.

Beyond compromising their financial safety nets, half of would-be buyers said they would buy a fixer-upper, even if that’s not what they were setting out for, if it meant they could buy a home, the study found. About a third reported they would buy a smaller home than they want.

Nearly another third said they would willingly take on the transaction work themselves in order to save agent fees, something Owners.com said should be reconsidered.

“These buyers may want to consider brokerage models that offer a rebate on agent commission costs,” the study stated.

Which College Graduation Class Holds the Most Housing Weight?


Which College Graduation Class Holds the Most Housing Weight?

The class of 2008 is the most likely to buy and mortgage a higher-priced home, according to recent data from LendEDU, a student loan debt consolidation company based in New Jersey. With the highest median credit score in the last 10 years, this group of young adults also boasts the highest median home loan debt, at $395,038.

According to the data, 2008 graduates outpace other classes in home loan debt by more than $115,000. The classes with the next-highest home loan debts are: 2013, with $279,300; 2016, with $274,384; 2009, with $260,008; and 2014, with $249,100.

Classes with the lowest home loan debt were 2010, 2011, and 2015—all of which saw a median debt of $200,000 or below. These results were unexpected, according to LendEDU.

“While we expected to see graduates of earlier class years borrowing more home loans,” the report stated, “we instead see a trend indicative of the housing market over time—a peak in 2008 followed by a large recession and tentative recovery starting in 2012.”

The report also breaks down home loan debts by college degree and, according to the data, graduates with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) have the highest median home loan debt at $445,900. This is followed by Doctor of Pharmacy ($387,625), Juris Doctor ($323,000), Doctor of Philosophy ($262,200), Masters ($260,008), Bachelors ($200,111), and Associates ($164,225).

LendEDU’s data shows all groups but Associate-degree graduates have at least a good or very good credit score. Something that could indicate the true value of a higher degree.

The report explained, “After the recession hit and a college degree no longer guaranteed a job, many began to wonder: what’s the real value of a college education? With some patience, perhaps a good credit score.”

Ultimately, it seems higher education, over time, leads to higher credit scores and therefore larger mortgage loans and higher debts. This means that while this year’s class is currently on track for the poorest credit scores in recent memory, that doesn’t indicate they’ll be unable to secure a home in the not-too-distant future.

“In general, higher degrees do equate with higher credit scores and bigger home and auto loans,” LendEDU stated. “Students who graduated longer ago have better credit scores and bigger loans than current students. The class of 2017 has the poorest scores, but if the trend holds, they’ll be back up into the ‘good’ zone soon enough.”

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