Laundry has come a long way from washbasins and clotheslines. The latest developments for the laundry room are enough to make the time-consuming task of washing, drying, folding, and sorting a little more manageable. From smart storage solutions to thoughtful detergent choices to time-saving tips, here’s how to make lemonade out of a pile of dirty laundry.


Ditching the dirt is cleaner than ever. Detergents, softeners, and stain removers are regular pollutants, but organic dye- and scent-free options make it easier to ensure your laundry room has a lesser impact on streams and rivers. You can also buy concentrated detergents, which require smaller amounts per cycle; use nonchlorine bleach; and reuse or recycle any plastic detergent containers. If you’re looking for a do-it-yourself project or have particularly sensitive skin, you can make your own detergent with the ingredients you know work best for you.


Being patient can pay off in the long run. Though you may want to wash your favorite items regularly, wait until you have a full load of wash before doing your laundry. Even better: consider wearing clothing that isn’t truly dirty once or twice until it needs an honest washing. Prolonging the life of your clothing and towels is a good habit to develop and sustain as it can also save you time, money, and energy. Another way to save energy is to remove the lint from the dryer after each cycle. This practice will keep your appliance in top shape and help you avoid a fire hazard.


Save money on your gas or electric bill by washing your clothes in cold water whenever possible and hang them outside to dry when the weather permits. A freestanding dryer rack works well inside the home if you can afford the space. But not all dryer racks take up valuable square footage. Install one on a wall that folds flat when not in use or hang a ceiling-mounted rack in a tight space. Other suitable styles for a smaller laundry room include over-the-door versions that come in different configurations and sizes.


Upgrade a utility sink with a fabric skirt or a storage cabinet; both solutions are attractive and carve out some hidden storage space for supplies. A slim rolling cart placed between the washer and dryer is another smart space saver. Use it to store accessories, clothespins, and hangers. Install upper cabinets, cubbies, or wall shelves to hold baskets for fresh towels, neatly folded clothes, and other miscellaneous items. Sturdy hampers on wheels come in handy for transporting dirty laundry. Get inspired with some online research, which can lead to more smart solutions like base cabinets that can be divided into different hampers for sorting laundry.


Some laundry rooms can serve more than one function. If space allows, you can incorporate a craft area, a wrapping station, or a place to pot your plants; with a little ingenuity, you can arrange a multiuse space that suits simple tasks and creative projects. Bonus? You don’t have to go far to clean up after a craft mess. A spare closet or a pantry space in your laundry room can be a great spot for supplies, from pet food and paper towels to sizable items like vacuum cleaners and ironing boards. Think about what you want to stash there before adding stackable bins and other organizers.


If you don’t enjoy doing laundry, dress up your laundry room so it becomes a space where you look forward to spending time. Hang a sweet sign that reads “Help Wanted” or “Lost Socks Seeking Solemates.” Add vintage pieces like stacking crates or glass jars, which can be the perfect contrast to stainless-steel appliances. Happy washing! Written by Jeanine Matlow. 

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OTTAWA — The number of homes sold nationally rose 11.3 per cent in November compared with a year ago but the picture varies significantly by region, said the Canadian Real Estate Association.

By: Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The number of homes sold nationally rose 11.3 per cent in November compared with a year ago but the picture varies significantly by region, said the Canadian Real Estate Association.

A major rebound in sales in the Greater Vancouver Area and continued growth in the Greater Toronto and Montreal regions propped up sales, while the Prairie cities of Calgary, Edmonton, and Regina saw declines.

Overall, there were 37,213 homes sold through CREA's MLS system, up from 33,437 in November 2018.

The increase in sales came as the national average price for a home sold in November was about $529,000, up 8.4 per cent compared with a year ago. Excluding Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver, the average price was around $404,000, up 6.9 per cent compared with last year. The MLS home price index rose 2.6 per cent year over year to $638,300.

Price gains also saw regional variances, with the Greater Vancouver benchmark price down 4.59 per cent from a year ago and Prairie home prices also down, while Greater Toronto saw gains of 6.52 per cent, Greater Montreal had gains of 8.72 per cent, and Ottawa registered gains of 11.45 per cent.

"Sales continue to improve in some regions and not so much in others," said Jason Stephen, president of CREA in the release.

In its updated outlook, the association says it expects home sales this year to total 486,800, while it says the national average price is on track to rise 2.3 per cent.

That compared with an earlier forecast for 482,000 home sales for 2019 and a 0.5 per cent increase in the national average price.

Prices rose as the number of newly listed homes slid 2.7 per cent, driven primarily by fewer new listings in the GTA.

Nationally there is 4.2 months of inventory, the lowest recorded since the summer of 2007. The inventory, which represents how long it would take to liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity, is well below the long-term average of 5.3 months.

For 2020, CREA says it expects home sales to rise 8.9 per cent next year to 530,000. The national average price is forecast to rise 6.2 per cent to $531,000.

TD economist Rishi Sondhi said he also expects rising sales in 2020 from job growth, population gains and a mild boost from government programs for first-time home buyers, though he notes there is some room for caution.

"This view rests on financial conditions remaining accommodative. The backup in bond yields since September, if sustained, could offer some downside risk to our forecast."

He said the recovery in home sales, especially helped by the Greater Vancouver Area's 55.9 per cent jump, would yet again support fourth quarter economic growth.


When you think of the best timing of selling your home, winter might not be the first season that comes to mind! Aside from the freezing temperature outside, people are often preoccupied with the holiday season! However, there are many reasons why you should consider selling your home during the winter.

If you want to sell your home during the winter but are hesitant, here are five reasons to do it!

1. The buyers are serious.

Unlike popular belief, demand does not really go that low during winter. And while it is not the peak buying season, the buyers that will encounter are much more serious and motivated. The buyers you will encounter during winter are often in a rush, are ready to make offers, and plan on moving in before or after the new year. This is a great advantage for sellers because you don’t have to waste your time with buyers who are just looking.

2. There Is less competition.

You won’t have that much competition if you sell your home during winter. Many people decide against listing their homes during winter and wait for Spring instead. With less competition, it will be easier for your listing to stand out. You’ll be able to have a higher chance at attracting buyers and selling your home much quicker and at a better deal for you.

3. Loans are processed quicker.

For lenders, winter is a time when the inventory is smaller and they have more time to process loans. Since loans can be processed more quickly than other seasons, your selling process will be much smoother and your road to closing will be faster. If you or your buyer is in a rush to close the home before the new year, your buyers will not have s problem processing their loans.

4. You can get better deals.

Since there is less competition and buyers are much more motivated during this season, you can definitely negotiate better deals with your buyers. According to Redfin, listings during winter actually sell faster and for more money. Make sure to stage your home, create a good and sound contract, and have it inspected so you can put a premium on its price. You can take advantage of serious buyers and try to sell your property at a higher price and better payment terms.

5. It’s a great way to start the year.

If you’ve been wanting to sell your home or if there’s an inevitable reason to do it, doing it before the start of the year is definitely the best time. The end of the year is the perfect time to let go of your property. It is the perfect timing for Spring where you’ll be able to move on and start anew without carrying any pieces of baggage from the year before.

Selling your home during the winter, whether it’s because of financial reasons, relocation, or if it’s an investment property you’ve been holding on to, is a decision that you will be thankful for when Springtime comes.

If you think that it’s best for you to wait for Spring or Fall to sell your home, you better think again. While there are many factors that can contribute to your listing being sold, winter can definitely be a good time to sell it if you give it a chance. Keep these five reasons in mind the next time you hesitate on selling a home during winter!