15 Fun Things to Do At Home This Summer

Summer is in full swing and most of us will be staying much closer to home this year than ever before. If you’re looking for fun things to do at home this summer, while enjoying those special moments where you can slow down, play and laugh with your family, read on for a list of our Top 15! These activities are sure to provide summertime fun and even some exercise for the whole family.

First, we’ll start with our list of the top outdoor activities, to do at home this summer:

  1. Play Outdoor Games: Create an outdoor gaming tournament with some fun games like corn hole or bocce ball. The winner gets to have their favorite meal for dinner.
  2. Set Up an At Home Water Park: Let’s face it, summer can be hot! So why not set up the sprinklers or a slip-and-slide and let the kids cool off and have fun doing it. (Parents are encouraged to participate as well.).
  3. Star stargazing: Looking at the same yard all the time can be tiring, so why not, change it up? Look up and dream of the great big universe out there. Purchase a book that teaches you about the constellations and see which ones you can discover, from your own backyard!
  4. Outdoor Movie Night: This is one of our favorite ideas! Set up a movie night in the backyard with a projector and a big white space. Bonus: The snacks probably cost less, and homemade treats are usually better!
  5. Backyard Campout: Who doesn’t love a good campout? This is easy and fun. Simply set up your tent, grab your sleeping bags and sleeping pads and stay outside tonight. Make it more fun by telling funny or scary stories.
  6. Hold a backyard tea party: We love this idea. Have a fancy tea party, with blankets, a tea set and even dress it up and wear fun hats.

Next, our list of fun indoor activities to do at home this summer:

  1. Make art! This could be as simple as finger painting, or you could get creative and make some fun things like a bird feeder or garden ornaments.
  2. Make homemade ice cream. Everyone loves ice cream in the summer. This is the perfect time to make it! Here’s a recipe for one ingredient banana ice cream. If you don’t want to spend the time to make ice cream, bake some cookies, buy some ice cream and make homemade ice cream sandwiches or banana splits. The kids will love them!
  3. Get a book of riddles.See if you can stump each other; then write your own riddles.
  4. Put on a magic show. Magic is fun and entertaining for the whole family. Learn some easy magic tricks and put on a magic show.
  5. Host an indoor picnic for your family. Grab the picnic basket, blankets, and your favorite picnic snacks and host an indoor picnic in your living room. While you’re eating, be creative and tell stories describing your favorite hiking destination and imagine you’re in the great outdoors.
  6. Have an indoor/outdoor scavenger hunt. This is not only fun and takes some time to put together, but the kids will love finding the clues and discovering the different items you have around the house.
  7. Do a puzzle: Puzzle-making is a calming way to spend time together at home. Hours can be spent finding just the right pieces to add to the puzzle. The best part is when you see the finished product. This isn’t a one-night activity, so set aside a place that the puzzle can be undisturbed.

Fun, nearby your home. Let’s not forget there is still fun to be had in and around your home, in your local neighborhood and community. Here are a couple of fun bonus ideas to do this summer while keeping your family and community safe

  1. Go for a hike. Purchase a guidebook from a local shop or online that provides details on your local hikes. Find one that you’ve never done before and have fun! Make sure you bring plenty of water and snacks in case it’s hot out there.
  2. Go for a drive. Take the family on a drive to a nearby destination that allows you to stay social distanced, but that you’ve never been before. A few ideas could be a local lookout point, during sunset or to a nearby lake to go for a swim.

These are just a few of our favorite ideas to help keep you and kids entertained, at home this summer.  If you have other ideas, feel free to send them to info@hayden-homes.com and we’ll be sure to post them.

If you’re looking for a home that offers spaces for everyone and more space to enjoy summer and these summer-time activities, Hayden Homes is here to help when you’re ready to buy a new home. We build new single-family homes in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington for every stage of life. We’re looking forward to welcoming you into your new home.

Tips for Decorating Your Home’s Window Boxes

Tips for decorating window boxesWindow boxes are a charming way to add some visual appeal to the front of your home. They put a finishing touch on your windows and can brighten up your home with seasonal blooms and greenery. If you’re looking for new ideas to spruce up the front of your home, try window boxes!

Here are some tips for setting up window boxes and some fun ideas to try.

Choose the right plants

Before you gather your supplies, you must take a look at where you’ll be setting up your window boxes. Take note of how much sunlight your proposed locations receive throughout the day. Knowing your sun exposure will guide the type of plants you should plant.

Also take your climate into account. While window box inspiration photos abound on the internet, not every flower or plant will work in your area. Check your local nurseries and plant shops for flowers and greenery that will thrive in your area.

Prepare your planter

Once you’ve selected your planter and plants, there are a few more things to do before There are a few things your chosen planter should have: proper drainage and, if your box is made of wood, a moisture barrier.

Proper drainage is key to a healthy, happy plants. Make sure your planter has drainage holes so water can run through and not leave the soil extra wet, which can be harmful to your plants. In addition to drainage holes, you’ll want to add a layer or pea gravel or pebbles to provide an additional layer of drainage. It’s a good idea to line a wooden planter box with plastic to minimize wood rot from the wet soil.

Take care of your plants

Starting with a high-quality potting mix sets your plants up with the foundation they need to thrive. Find a potting mix containing peat, perlite, and other ingredients that improve drainage, aeration, fertility, and water retention. Mix in some fertilizer for some added nutrition.

Window boxes tend to dry out quickly because there is little soil so installing a drip-irrigation system to make sure your plants are properly watered.

Window box ideas to inspire you

Now that you know how to set up your window boxes, here are a few fun ideas to inspire you as you plan your own!

  • Galvanized herb garden: create an edible mini garden by filling a galvanized tub with fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or mint .
  • Table window box: If you’d prefer to not mount your window box to your home, you can try placing a window box on a folding table.
  • Window shelf: with a few shelf brackets, you can create your own shelf to place flower pots on, giving you endless options to easily update and maintain your plants.
  • Indoor window box: window boxes aren’t just for the outside of the house!

Window boxes can easily and quickly transform the look of your home all year long. If you’re thinking about buying a home in the Northwest, we have brand new homes for sale in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho you’re sure to love.

New Year’s Resolutions for Your New Home – Tips to keep your home in good condition

Goals, Plan, Action for a New Year's Resolution for your new homeWith the New Year just days away, we’re all thinking about our New Year’s resolutions. But what about New Year’s resolutions for your new home? While most of our resolutions include conditioning for our bodies, in the spirit of new beginnings and positive changes, we’ve put together our list of the top 5 things that you can do this year to keep your new home in tip, top condition.

1. Declutter By Focusing On A Particular Problem

Decluttering your home and personal space is a common New Year’s resolution. While the thought of tackling your entire house can seem daunting, don’t let this resolution slip away. Think about streamlining this daunting task by narrowing this resolution down to a “particular problem” in your home whether it’s your master closet, pantry, or garage. Create a better system in the space by organizing with bins or boxes and focus on the functionality of these storage containers rather than how they look. Establish a plan for what will stay and be sure to measure the storage options for the best system to ensure you keep organized.

2. Donate Unused Items

Once you have gone through and organized your home, you likely have a pile of things that you either forgot you even had or don’t want anymore. One great way to feel good about this process is to donate these items. Locate your local Goodwill or other non-profit, in need of donations, and give them a way. (Don’t forget to grab your donation receipt for your taxes this year!)

3. Tackle Small Projects

You may not have thought about adding home improvement projects to your New Year’s resolution list, but with the right planning, you could get all those small projects, that keep piling up, crossed off your to-do list. Whether it’s simple tasks like cleaning the gutters, caulking around your bathroom shower, or hanging family photos, as you prepare for the New Year, write down your entire list of house projects for the year so you have it ready when you take the time to complete the projects. You’ll feel better once they’re checked off.

4. Work Out a Regular System for Keeping Your House Clean

Coming home to a clean house is one of the best feelings. Come up with a system that works for your family. For example, make a list of the things that need to get done daily and weekly and assign them to a specific family member. Daily tasks such as dishes need to be done nightly, dirty clothes go in the hamper, and jackets/clean clothes are hung up or put away.  To ensure that your weekly tasks like vacuuming, mopping, or cleaning the bathroom are done as efficiently as possible, here are a few tips from Jeff Campbell, author of the book Speed Cleaning and owner of the Clean Team housekeeping service in San Francisco:

  • Keep all your cleaning supplies handy and organized in a portable container that moves with you from room to room.
  • Stash cleaning implements such as a toothbrush, scraper, sponge, a few cleaning cloths and plastic bags in a builder’s apron that you wear when you clean. Hook your glass cleaner and all-purpose cleaning spray on the loops to keep your hands free as you work around the room clockwise, cleaning from high (cabinets) to low (floors.)
  • Focus on one type of cleaning at a time. It’s faster, Campbell says. Wipe down fingerprints on all the cabinets, for instance, before moving on to spraying and wiping counters. Then move on to windows and mirrors and appliances. Once that’s done move on to sweeping and then mopping floors.
  • For optimum efficiency, enlist the help of your family. If you can, divide the jobs among at least three parties: one of you can do the dusting/vacuuming and changing beds, the other can do the bathroom cleanup, leaving only the kitchen and trash emptying for you to handle. The upside? You can get the whole house done in 45 minutes, Campbell says, leaving more time on the weekends for fun activities.

5. Bring Home Fresh Flowers

It may seem like a small thing, but the smell of fresh flowers and their bright cheerful colors can improve the ambiance of any room. Finding the right colors, heights and arrangements can really complement the existing decor in your rooms. And the right house plants can not only improve air quality but may provide some at-home aromatherapy to help you relax.

One of the best ways to make sure that you’ll come back to your New Year’s resolutions for your new home is to plan them out in advance. Decide the order in which you’ll clean your rooms and spread your decluttering projects over a couple of months. Then write down all your small projects for the year so when the time comes, you’re ready to tackle each one head on. When you’re ready, sit down and make your plan for keeping your house clean and divide out the chores between each family member. Finally, the next time you’re at the store, pick up some fresh flowers, we promise they will bring a smile to your face after a long day at work.

We wish you well in the New Year and hope that these 5 tips will help keep you on track for keeping your new home in the best condition possible.

If a new home is on your wishlist this year, Hayden Homes can help! We have new homes for sale throughout Washington, Idaho, Oregon. Contact us today, we look forward to helping you find your dream home!

Simple Ways to Prepare Your Home for Thanksgiving

Photo of a living room - Simple Ways to Prepare Your Home for ThanksgivingThanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. It’s about gathering with your loved ones and celebrating thankfulness. However, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you’re hosting Thanksgiving at your new home. Especially when you begin thinking about all the things you need to do before your first guest arrives!

Don’t strive for perfection

The first tip: forget about reaching perfection: a perfectly cooked meal, clean kitchen, happy guests, etc. Sometimes life gets in the way and things go awry so before you begin planning, take a moment to focus on what a happy Thanksgiving would look like for you (it may include happy and full guests and a messy kitchen!) instead.

Deep clean the kitchen

Thanksgiving is the start of heavy kitchen use for many people. Now is a great time to give your kitchen a thorough cleaning. Clean out the fridge and pantry, wipe down countertops and sweep the floor, clean the microwave. Make sure your appliances are in working order. You can do a quick clean of your oven and stove but resist the urge to run the self-cleaning function. The self-clean cycle can be hard on your oven and this is not the time to start having issues with your oven! Save that for another time.

Get your guest room ready

If you’re hosting overnight guests, take time to get the guest rooms ready. Tidy up the guest room by vacuuming and dusting, change the linens, and set out fresh towels and additional blankets.

Prepare the bathroom for guests

Bathrooms are the second most used room during gatherings, so make sure they’re ready to handle a crowd. Give your bathrooms a thorough cleaning, focusing on the toilet, sink, and bathtub. Make sure there’s plenty of soap, the toilet paper and tissues are fully stocked, and put out plenty of fresh towels as well.

Clean the living areas

Make life easier by focusing on the areas your guests will be in: the living room, dining room, and bathroom. Your cleaning plan is simple: tidy up and clear clutter, dust, and vacuum. Your home will be clean in no time!

Set the table early

Ever rushed through setting the table before your first guest arrive? Instead, take advantage of the calm before the Thanksgiving storm to avoid feeling rushed. You can even plan out your serving dishes by placing food labels in the corresponding serving dish.

Set aside a place for coats and bags

Designate a place in your home to hold guests’ coats and purses. This can be a closet near the front door or in a bedroom

Enjoy the holidays in your new Hayden home!

We hope you enjoy your holidays in your new home by Hayden Homes. One of the best things is being able to spend time with the people who matter most. If you’re thinking of buying a new home (or even your first home), we have homes for sale in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. We’re looking forward to helping you find your dream home in the Northwest!

8 Tips to Help Prepare Your New Home for Winter

8-Tips-to-Help-Prepare-Your-Home-For-WinterCaring for your home – especially a brand new home that you hope to keep in tip-top shape for years to come – is important. In the Northwest, where winters can be harsh, knowing and performing some basic winter maintenance musts is critical to the health of your home. Fortunately, winter maintenance is pretty straightforward.

Here are 8 tips to help prepare your new home for winter, to ensure you are keeping your dream home looking great.

Outdoor Maintenance Takes Priority

Maintenance for the outdoor area of your new home should take priority. Some outdoor tasks that absolutely need to be completed include:
  1. Blow out your sprinkler lines, which will keep them from freezing when temperatures drop;
  2. Clean up and cover outdoor appliances and tools, such as hoses (which should be stored and drained);
  3. Remove leaves from gutters and drains – if leaves are left in gutters and drains over the winter, they can lead to clogs and other damage;
  4. Keep an eye out for snow and ice buildup on your roof and around your home – any unusual buildup or runoff should be dealt with swiftly.
Of course, before the snow comes, you should also make sure you have a sturdy snow shovel ready to go. Removing snow promptly as it accumulates will reduce the work, help your home’s foundation stay dry, and keep your family and guests safe.

Prepping the Inside of Your Home

While it’s easy to focus on what’s happening outside when winter is approaching, remember that the inside of your home requires some annual TLC too. To keep the inside of your home in great condition, be sure to:
  1. Leave your heat on when you’re out of town to prevent freezing of pipes. Our recommendation is to keep your heat at a minimum of 65 degrees Fahrenheit, while you are away. On especially cold nights, some homeowners will open up cabinets around water pipes to help prevent them from freezing when they are out of town.
  2. Ensure your water heater and HVAC system are in good working order (fortunately, if you’ve purchased a new home, this shouldn’t be an issue for years to come)
  3. Check the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and change them if needed; and
  4. Commit to changing air filters at least once every three months, and more if you have pets or anyone in the home with allergies.
Remember, if you notice anything out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate to contact a local professional for maintenance and repairs.

Keep Your New Home Looking Great

Your new home will serve you well for years to come if you do your part too – which includes preparing your home for the coldest months of the year. For how-to videos and your seasonal maintenance checklist,  visit our home maintenance page here.
If you are growing tired of all of the ongoing maintenance energy and repairs you’re having to do on your older home, we can help. Hayden Homes has beautiful new homes for sale in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, and we can assist you whether you’re buying your first home or upgrading homes. Call us today to learn more.

Warm & Cozy Fall Essentials for Your New Home

There’s a chill in the air and the leaves are already starting to change colors. As the weather cools, now’s the time to start thinking about warm and cozy fall essentials that will not only provide a little comfort during the cooler weather, but can also contribute to the perfect home ambiance. Here are some of our favorite home additions.
Warm & Cozy Fall Essentials for Your New Home
Setting the Tone in Your Sitting Area
Conversation is important, and when the weather is cool out, there is nothing better than cozying up in an oversized chair or on a nice couch and chatting with loved ones. Make sure your home has a great conversation area. If you have a fireplace in your home, a conversation area near your fireplace is an added bonus!
If you already have a great sitting area, add a bookcase and fill it with your favorite reads. This ensures your room doubles as both a cozy conversation spot and a nice area to get some solo time. You can also stack the bookcase with puzzles or games to encourage social activities!
The Right Lighting for Fall Home
The Right Lighting
In the fall, the right lighting can do wonders in terms of warming your home and creating the right mood. This is especially true during the winter months in the Northwest when we have shorter days. Does your dining room fixture not put out enough light? Upgrade to something with bigger sized light bulbs and that can make a drastic difference during evening hours. Also, try soft mood lamps, candles, or even an artificial flickering light that resembles the light given off by a flame.
Blanks for a cozy fall home
Blankets and Blankets and More Blankets
Invest in some blankets and throws that are soft, warm, and of a warmer color tone (think deep reds, browns, grays, blacks, burnt oranges and yellows, and warmer shades of white). Blankets can be thrown over armchairs and couch arms, or be rolled into fashionable buckets that add a little extra decorating flair. These will also come in handy for those spooky halloween movies everyone loves.
Add Some Fall Specific Elements
Consider Adding Some Fall-Specific Elements
One way to make your home feel warmer and to embrace the change of seasons and the fall holidays that are to come is to add some fall-specific elements. Some of our favorites are:
  • Decorating with different squashes or gourds;
  • Wreaths outfitted with fall plants and colors, including leaves, berries, and even nuts;
  • Pressing leaves between two pieces of glass and framing them;
  • Using twigs and branches as decorative additions to a vase of fall flowers.
Fall Decorating Tips for your new home
Turn Your Dining Area Into a Place People Want to Be
Dining rooms and dining tables often get a bad rap for being uncomfortable and boring. But if you plan on hosting any holidays meals this season, or having guests over for dining otherwise, there are a few things that you can do to really warm up the room and improve people’s comfort. Start by making those straight-backed, hard surfaced dining room chairs more physically comfortable to sit in by adding cushions to them. This will encourage your guests to spend more time at the table, and can add some fall festive flair with the right colors and pattern.
Then, focus on lighting; harsh lighting isn’t welcoming, and can really ruin the mood during the fall. But the issue may not be with the lighting so much as the wall colors. Consider painting a single wall a warmer color and that can make a big difference in the overall feel of the room.
Finally, decorate your table. Use a patterned table runner to draw attention, and place candles, different pumpkins and squashes, decorative skulls, or/and a vase with flowers in the center to celebrate this wonderful time of year.
Enjoy Your New Home!
At Hayden Homes, we hope that you’re enjoying your new home this fall season. If you’re still on the hunt for your dream home, we have homes for sale in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. We are ready to meet with you! We work with those at every stage in the home-buying process, whether you’re buying your first home or purchasing your second or third. Contact us today to learn more!