Tag Archives: Madisyn McKee

Spring cleaning tips you can’t ignore

Spring cleaning tips you can’t ignore

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Spring cleaning tips you can’t ignore

by Madisyn McKee

With winter coming to an end, spring can only mean one thing – it’s time to dust away the cobwebs and get cleaning.

Spring is right around the corner and while you may be anxious to get outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather, it’s important to get your house ready by cleaning out the old. After months of darkness, and staying inside, making your space feel fresh and rejuvenated can be easier than you think.

Book the time off

Set aside a weekend in your calendar. Having distractions will only delay the process and keep you cleaning longer than you would like. It may sound silly to block off your calendar and ignore social invitations, but it will work. This will also help you to make the commitment mentally and prevent you from giving into temptation. It’s like ripping off a bandage — just get it done.

Make a list and check it twice

Before you get started on your weekend of cleaning, make sure that you have everything you need. Do a quick inventory a couple of days before. The last thing you want to do is waste your time traveling from store to store getting cleaning supplies instead of actually doing the work. It’s best to create a list of all the things you want to accomplish over the weekend. This will help you to make a mental note of the type of cleaning supplies you will need to get.

Call for back up

Live in a big house? Get your family to help you. It can be daunting to take on these tasks on your own. And don’t forget to book the time off in their calendars, as well. If you need to bribe them with a pizza dinner, so be it! If you plan on removing larger items from your home as part of the cleanup be sure to schedule the garbage disposal in advance.

Don’t ignore the small spaces

All too often the little spaces are the ones that get ignored the most. Spring cleaning is the time to take a look at the rooms or spaces within rooms that don’t always get the tender loving care the bigger and more obvious spaces get. For example, washing your baseboards can make a big difference — it can be surprising how dirty they can get. Even places like your ceiling fan can get dustier than you’d care to admit. Grab a ladder and head on up!

Madisyn McKee is a freelance writer and social media obsessed traveller based out of Toronto. Always looking for her next adventure but glued to her phone, you can contact her at madi@therestlessworker.com or visit her at therestlessworker.com.


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Six things you need to have for the perfect home office

Six things you need to have for the perfect home office

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Six things you need to have for the perfect home office

by Madisyn McKee

Building a home office but not sure what you need to include in your space? Here are six essentials you need to consider

As technology advances, being able to work remotely has become a very popular and viable option for many employees. What’s not to love? There’s no commuting, instead of water cooler breaks you can check off small to-dos on your ever growing check list — and you don’t even have to put on proper clothes to start your work day.

Having a good work space at home is the key to helping you stay productive all day long. Whether you have a big space or a small one for your office, there are a few important things that you need to have. Not sure what those are? Read on:

A proper desk

This may seem like an obvious answer but having an actual work desk is really important. Make sure to choose a desk with enough room for everything you’ll need for day-to-day activities. A piece of furniture with storage space is key. This will help you keep your space clean and free of distraction.

Good lighting

If you are lucky enough to have an office with a window, ensure your computer screen is facing away from the window. Having an annoying glare on your screen all day long could be very distracting. Stuck in the basement? Grab a lamp or light fixture that will brighten up your space appropriately.

A comfy chair

The benefits of being in an office is having HR around to make sure your workspace is comfortable. At home, you have to be that resource. Finding a chair that won’t break your back from hours of sitting is very important. Do your research before making your purchase and try out some options in person as well.

Storage space

Sure, you can pretty much do everything digitally these days but it is likely you’re going to have books or papers lying around. Put up enough shelving to keep things off the floor. Nice cabinets will add elegance to your home office.

Greenery

Nothing makes a space more inviting than having plants and greenery around the room. Even fake plants will make the space feel cozier. If you are choosing real plants, make sure to look for plants that will suit your spaces; cool and dark versus warm and bright.

Personalized touches

Your home office is just that, yours. Don’t forget to add little personal touches to make it your own. Including things like family photographs, travel souvenirs, or your favourite artwork will help you fall in love with the space you are likely spending most of your time.

Madisyn McKee is a freelance writer and social media obsessed traveller based out of Toronto. Always looking for her next adventure but glued to her phone, you can contact her at madi@therestlessworker.com or visit her at therestlessworker.com.


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Easy ways to make your rental space your own

Easy ways to make your rental space your own

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Easy ways to make your rental space your own

by Madisyn McKee

It can be hard finding ways to make your rental space feel like your own, here are four options to consider.

There are tons of benefits to living in a rental apartment. Worrying about maintenance isn’t a problem, it can be easy to move if you ever get bored and the cost can be cheaper than the average mortgage. However, there are drawbacks to renting and not owning your own space; like not being able to add your personal touches.

It can be difficult making your rental unit your own because any major changes to the space likely means getting approval from your landlord and most of the time they don’t want tenants making major changes. So, what do you do if you want to make the space feel like your own? We’ve put together some easy things for you to do that can be reversed when you decide to move out.

Paint the rooms

Most landlords don’t mind if you want to paint as long as you prime it before you leave. The perfect colour of paint can transform a space entirely. The cost of painting is relatively cheap, as well. For less than $50 you can grab yourself a paint can, materials and get to work.

Try to choose colours that won’t be hard to prime when it comes time to leave. Lighter, more neutral tones are not only easy to match with but they are also easy to cover up.

Curtains 

While blinds can be rather expensive to install, curtains don’t have to be. Most rental apartments and homes will come equipped with a curtain rod so all you will need to do find the perfect colour for your space. The best part about this simple upgrade is that you will get to take them with you when you leave.

A picture wall

Make your space feel cozier and more personal by adding a picture wall. Find different sized frames and fill them with your favourite photos, quotes or souvenirs. It may not be the best idea to keep putting nails all over the walls so try using adhesive hooks. Just be sure to place all of your photos on the ground first and plan them out before getting started. This will ensure you’re placing them in the right spots.

Add more storage space

This can be done in two ways; with shelves or furniture. Putting shelves up around your apartment will help to keep clutter off of your floors. They don’t always have to be for storage, the right shelves can be a beautiful decorative addition to your walls. Find furniture that not only looks nice but also acts as storage.

There you have it, four ways that you can make your rental apartment actually feel like a home. Which one will you try?

Madisyn McKee is a freelance writer and social media obsessed traveller based out of Toronto. Always looking for her next adventure but glued to her phone, you can contact her at madi@therestlessworker.com or visit her at therestlessworker.com


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Which smart home thermostat should you choose?

Which smart home thermostat should you choose?

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Which smart home thermostat should you choose?

by Madisyn McKee

With so many options to choose from, this guide will help you to determine which thermostat best fits your needs

Choosing a thermostat may seem like an easy task but with recent technological developments, the options seem to be endless. Picking the right thermostat can end up saving you money and make your time at home more enjoyable.

What makes a good thermostat? One that’s easy to install, use and can be customized to your personal needs. Below is a roundup of the top three thermostats available on the market to help you make the most informed decision.

Ecobee

Using remote sensors, the Ecobee works to create and improve its motion control sensors throughout your house. This means that when you leave the house, the Ecobee will note that and lower the temperature to save you money. The new version, Ecobee4 even has compatibility with Alexa so you can make requests to your temperature by talking into the speaker.

As you start to use the Ecobee, it will get used to your preferences. It will start to recognize when you wake up, go to bed and generally leave the house for the day. The device aims to lower your heating bill and if you’re really into technology, the capabilities of programming times, temperatures and different zones are endless.

Cost: $220


The Nest

Probably the most popular of the smart home thermostats, The Nest, has taken the market by storm. Similar to the Ecobee, The Nest will learn your daily habits and customize itself to match the way you live your life.

With mobile app capabilities, you can change anything you need from the comfort of your couch. It will even generate reports for you so you can monitor how much energy you are using and determine where you can adjust your usage to save more money.

Cost: $295


Honeywell Lyric

Working in a similar fashion to the other smart thermostats, the Honeywell Lyric is the most cost-effective option. The setup on this thermostat is quite easy and comes with very simple controls. While you will miss out on a few features that come with The Nest or Ecobee, the Honeywell does the trick to help save you money on your power bill.

Cost: $130

Which thermostat will you choose to bring you into the future?

Madisyn is a freelance writer and social media obsessed traveller based out of Toronto. Always looking for her next adventure but glued to her phone, you can contact her at madi@therestlessworker.com or visit her at therestlessworker.com


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4 things to consider before buying a condo

4 things to consider before buying a condo

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4 things to consider before buying a condo

by Madisyn McKee

Whether you’re downsizing or looking to buy your first-home, here are 4 things you need to consider.

Toronto has become a major city on the world stage and it’s only natural that the condo market has been catching up. There are only so many empty spaces for developers to build new homes before they are forced to go upwards. Even cities in the GTA like Markham, Mississauga and Vaughan have started to experience the condo boom.

All of growth and new developments can leave people wondering, is moving into a condo the right move? It’s a great idea for first-time homebuyers looking to get on the market and also those close to retirement looking to downsize.

There are many positives to moving into a condo — like never having to mow the lawn again. Not to mention the burden of having to fix a roof is no longer your problem. And don’t forget some of the amazing amenities new condos come with. Have we convinced you to start considering yet?

For those of you looking to make the plunge, these are the four most important things you should consider:

Research the condo developer

Start your search by doing your due diligence and background research on who the developers in the area are. Some things you should look for before purchasing includes how long the builder has been in business, how many condos have they built and their general reputation. The CMHC has some great checklists you can use as resources.

Know if your view will change

A popular selling feature with condos are, of course, the views! Condos on the top floors often go for more money than those on the lower floors. Imagine waking up in the morning, looking out your bedroom window and looking at the sun rising over the Toronto skyline?

Of course, with all of the new developments happening, it’s important to be sure that in a couple of years into owning your condo, your view isn’t going to be blocked. Research your neighbourhood and area at the City of Toronto Development projects website and that should give you a good idea of what the future holds. You can also consider buying a condo beside a park, or another area of land that won’t change.

Review the financial documents

Similar to knowing the history of the condo developer, you’ll want to know the history of the financials. Take an audit on the type of amenities the condo owns and manages. Pools can often be a factor for raising condo fees due to its high overhead cost. You should also consider what’s included in the condo fees. Some buildings will include the cost of basic utilities like heat and water, others will include parking and access to a gym. Make a list on what matters most to you and what your overall costs will be each month to make a more informed decision.

Most importantly, get access to the Reserve Fund. If the building has an unexpected leak or needs to replace the windows, a Reserve Fund is very important. Not having one could cost you a lot of money in an emergency as it becomes the responsibility of the condo owners to find the cash.

Know the demographic

You home is your sanctuary. Having neighbours you like and have things in common with is important. If you’re buying a condo as a way of down-sizing in your retirement years, it’s likely you’re not going to be comfortable living in a building that’s filled with students. Likewise, if this condo will be your first home, living in a building with residents that are close to retirement age may not be your ideal situation.

Madisyn is a freelance writer and social media obsessed traveller based out of Toronto. Always looking for her next adventure but glued to her phone, you can contact her at madi@therestlessworker.com or visit her at therestlessworker.com


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Quick Bathroom Makeover that wont' Break the Bank

Quick bathroom makeover ideas that won’t break the bank

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Quick bathroom makeover ideas that won’t break the bank

by Madisyn McKee

Looking to refresh some spaces in your home? Consider these bathroom makeover ideas that won’t cost you an arm and a leg

It’s common knowledge that there are two things you can renovate in a house to increase its value; the kitchen or your bathrooms. There is no coincidence that they are also the two most expensive rooms to renovate.

While you could easily shell out thousands to replace your bathroom and give it an upgrade, you don’t have to. There are lots of options that can make it look like a completely new space. Here are a few:

Paint

This is probably the most obvious and the easiest in terms of upgrades for a bathroom. Finding the right paint for your room can make all the difference. Choose a colour that suits the room.

Light colours work best for smaller rooms that can often feel dark. If you plan on using white or light features for your bathroom, consider a darker, warmer colour. Greys, blues or greens are the most common colours for bathroom spaces.

Vanity

A relatively easy change you can make to the bathroom for a few hundred dollars is the vanity. Often it’s the size of the vanity that will determine the choice you should make. You should also consider how much storage space you’ll be looking for. If you are not a person that holds a lot of items in your bathroom, a simple vanity will do.

Lighting

Adding in a simple lighting piece can make a big difference in a small room. Look for a statement piece like a beautiful chandelier to really brighten up the room and add to the overall aesthetic. Just be sure to use your existing light sockets, otherwise your costs can add up if you have to bring in an electrician to make some changes.

Re-tile

The great thing about a bathroom makeover means there is less square footage to have to worry about. If you are handy, consider adding new tiles around the bathtub or even the walls. New floor tiles can set you back only a couple hundred dollars but change what the room looks like entirely.

Little touches

Don’t underestimate how much the little things can make a difference. Updating the colours of your towels or shower curtain can change the way a small room like the bathroom looks quite a bit. Consider adding statement pieces like a gold or brass faucet. Adding shelves in the room can make a great place for other statement pieces without taking away from usable space.

For a few hundred dollars you can easily changes what your bathroom looks like and give it the refresher that it needs.

Madisyn is a freelance writer and social media obsessed traveller based out of Toronto. Always looking for her next adventure but glued to her phone, you can contact her at madi@therestlessworker.com or visit her at therestlessworker.com


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Four up-and-coming neighbourhoods in Toronto

Four up-and-coming neighbourhoods in Toronto

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Four up-and-coming neighbourhoods in Toronto

by Madisyn McKee

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or looking to make a good return on your investment, you need to consider these Toronto neighbourhoods

The amount of change and growth happening in Toronto is evident by simply looking at the skyline. Many have joked that the bird of Toronto should be the crane and it’s not hard to guess why; everywhere one looks there are new developments being created, proposed, approved and built.

With housing prices skyrocketing and the new mortgage rules taking effect, many Torontonians are looking for alternative ways to get on the ladder. One of the best ways to get the most out of your money is to start looking at neighbourhoods that are in the process of gentrification.

Take a look at four up-and-coming neighbourhoods in Toronto that will likely put you in a good position to make a decent return on your investment:

Regent Park

Don’t let the history of this neighbourhood scare you off. A 2017 MoneySense article claims this area is going through a dramatic change at the moment. One of the main reasons this area has stayed so affordable for so long are the number of low-income properties, but things are starting to shift. The new aquatic centre is a great example of the positive changes happening to the community.  If you have the patience to wait for the city to catch up, you could make a good return on investment.

Rockcliff-Smythe

Despite this area getting attention for a couple of years now, it’s not too late to get in. In fact, TorontoRentals.com noted this area as being one of the best for first-time homebuyers. The new York Community Centre that opened in April 2017, and the Stockyards Open Mall have made this quite the hotspot. While it’s not the best location for transit at the moment, the Eglington Crosstown isn’t too far away from opening and, once it does, this area will certainly grow in price.

East End-Danforth

Many of the homes in this neighbourhood have been loved for years but are now getting much needed makeovers. The area is close to both Woodbine beach and the TTC making it a smart place to invest money. Many builders are snapping up older homes in the area for quick renovations and selling them at a large profit. It’s a great spot for young families and first-time home buyers as the area has a vibrant nightlife. There are also plenty of independent shops and restaurants to enjoy.

Yonge and Sheppard

This Toronto neighbourhood has seen drastic changes in the last number of years and shows no signs of stopping. Many homebuyers will find affordable pricing here as many still deem it as “too far North.” Situated close to the TTC, residents are only a 25-minute subway ride into the downtown core. Don’t forget there is also plenty to do in the area so as not to warrant a venture into the city.

Madisyn is a freelance writer and social media obsessed traveler based out of Toronto. Always looking for her next adventure but glued to her phone you can contact her at madi@therestlessworker.com or visit her at therestlessworker.com.


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How to make the most of a small outdoor space

How to make the most of a small outdoor space

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How to make the most of a small outdoor space

by Madisyn McKee

Check out our tips that help you design the small outdoor space of your dreams

Whether you live in a beautiful new condo or find yourself in a semi-detached home in Toronto, you may be finding yourself wondering how to make the most your small outdoor space. Despite summers being shorter than we’d like in Canada, it’s still important to create a space where you can relax and enjoy the outdoors.

With small spaces you should make sure you are using every last inch to its full potential. Keep in mind, though, you don’t want the space to feel cramped.

Before getting started, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself what you plan on using the space for. Will you be using it to entertain the kids, host small get-togethers or use it as your tranquil space away from the bustle of the city?

Out with the old

The first thing you should be do is declutter and clean the space. Be ruthless, get rid of everything you no longer need or want. If you are the type of person that hates throwing old mementos out, consider putting some of your knick-knacks on shelves.

Try revitalizing old candle holders and place them outside to make the space look intimate and romantic. Old Christmas lights will also work in the same way if you can hang them around the walls.

Utilize the space

A popular trend for smaller outdoor spaces is installing hanging gardens. Hang terracotta pots along the wall so they are off of the floor and make great centerpieces for the area. Just remember to plant the right greenery for the area, take note if the space gets lots of sun or very little.

If you find the space in need of a little colour or livening up, get an outdoor rug. Make sure to purchase a rug that can remain outside in all types of weather.

Placing mirrors around the walls is a great way to give the illusion that the area is larger than it really is.

Finally, collapsible furniture will help you make the most out of your outdoor space, especially if the area is going to be used for dining and entertaining.

Create storage

Buying furniture that doubles as a storage is the perfect way maximize small space. This is a great way to put away pillows or throws. Try finding a bench for a dining table that can fit household items inside. If your space is too small for a bench, look for side tables that work with the space.

Always remember it doesn’t take a lot of work to make a small space beautiful. Start brainstorming now so that you can be ready to use your outdoor retreat when the weather gets warmer!

Madisyn is a freelance writer and social media obsessed traveler based out of Toronto. Always looking for her next adventure but glued to her phone you can contact her at madi@therestlessworker.com or visit her at therestlessworker.com.


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