Building a Smart Home: Where to Start?


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Category: Home Improvement

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These days you’re able to control just about everything with the click of the button. Want a hot pizza? There’s an app for that. Want to get a manicure without leaving your couch? There’s an app for that too.

You can control almost all aspects of your life using just your smart phone! The same goes for everyday items around the home. You can unlock your door, turn on the A/C, and turn the lights on using your smart phone. Everyday essentials are quickly being replaced with innovative products designed to make your day-to-day life easier.

Iphone-pictureNow we’re not claiming to be the most tech-savvy gals around, but we have been really intrigued by the idea of creating a SMART HOUSE to make our lives a little bit easier and perhaps even to save some money. So over the next 4 weeks, we’ll be diving into a series about CREATING A SMART HOME. (more…)

DIY Corner: Organized Unpacking – How Do I Remember What Goes Where?


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Category: How To Pack, Organization

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Welcome back to the DIY Corner. Today, Casey & Bridget wrote up an easy answer to, “How Do I Remember What Goes Where?” 

Have you ever taken things off a shelf to dust and then totally forgotten how to rearrange the pieces to make it look just how you liked it before? Annoying right? Well, moving is that feeling but 500x worse.

As you unpack that box of your favorite living room photo montage, you may think to yourself,

“Wait, I know these picture frames looked cute together at our old place, but I don’t remember how they were arranged.”

Sound familiar? Well, ladies and gentlemen, worry no more!

Simple solution: Take pictures of everything (and we mean everything) in your house before you start packing. Accessories on the shelves, gallery walls of pictures, pillow arrangements, cabinet organization – everything!

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Installing a Home Movie Theater


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Category: Home Improvement

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By John Donegan

The Perfect Home Movie Theater

If you have a houseful of cinephiles, you may want to consider installing a home movie theater. Although it may cost you a pretty penny, a movie theater adds value to your home and can be a lot of fun. While building your home theater room, we recommend using a self-storage finder to find an affordable storage unit for your excess furniture and home renovation materials, and a local mover comparison (like HireAHelper!) tool to find the help you need to get the heavy stuff to the storage.


The ideal space for a home theater is at least 20ft x 13ft and isolated from the rest of your house. When constructing this room, it’s important to keep acoustics in mind.  For the ceiling, you can install a couple layers of fiberglass insulation, which will help contain the sound. In regard to the walls, place acoustic boards over your drywall and then cover these boards with a layer of thin carpeting. If you have windows in the room, cover these with heavy curtains. Lastly, place a thin layer of carpet on the floor; and remember, you definitely don’t want wood or tile flooring in this room.


Although the lights will be off during the films, you may want to have dimmable lights for before and after screenings. Also, for convenience, you can always purchase a remote for the lighting.


If you don’t want to spring for specially made home theater seats, you can bring in reclining chairs or a couch from another part of your home. If you have a large family or just really want to go the extra mile, you can build a second row of seats. If you do decide to build this row, it’s recommended that you make the platform around 12 inches high.


Although you can certainly go the HD TV or LED TV route, it is significantly cheaper to purchase an HD projector; these cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000, yield a large screen, and give a unique ambiance. However, keep in mind, if you use a projector, you’ll need to either buy a screen or project directly on to your wall.

Surround Sound

When it comes to sound, a 5.1 surround sound system should be sufficient. This will include five speakers and a sub-woofer and should run anywhere from $300 – $500.


Depending on the type of films your family likes to watch, you may want to adjust the décor accordingly. For example, if you exclusively watch Westerns, perhaps you opt for a rustic look, say, antlers on the wall. If science fiction is your preference, a steampunk aesthetic could work. Regardless of your family’s film genre of choice, curtains flanking both sides of the screen can be a nice touch. Also, some people decide to install popcorn machines, mini bars, and vintage movie posters as well.

John Donegan is a writer at SpareFoot, the online marketplace where you can find and reserve a self-storage unit with comparison shopping tools that show real-time availability and exclusive deals. John lives in Austin, TX and occasionally directs videos for rap artists.

Photo credit: gsloan


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