Easter is on it’s way and what better way to keep the kids entertained over the long Easter weekend than with our Easter Activity book. It’s packed full of recipes, puzzles, crafts, activities and more to keep kids of all ages entertained for hours. Click on the image below to download the full activity booklet!
Hoppy Easter from Harcourts! Cooper & Co!
Spring is often seen as the season when the property market starts to build momentum again. Those with time to plan the sale of their property may have used Winter to complete home maintenance and even undertake renovation and freshen the décor in preparation for the Spring market.
If you haven’t had this time to prepare your home, don’t despair. There are a number of quick and easy ideas you can employ to get your home looking its best to make that all important first impression a powerful statement so your property stands out.
Take a walk down your street and take notes on how your property compares to others and what it would take to make it really stand out. A good friend will help point out a range of minor changes you could make to add up to a great first impression.
It could be as simple as oiling or painting a front gate. Ensure your front gardens and lawns are in order so visitors form a favourable impression to get them feeling positive by the time they get to your front door.
For a modest sum, you can really brighten up a property with in-season flowers in the garden and in neat pots at the front door.
Crowded rooms seem smaller than they are. Buyers don’t tend to bring a measuring tape and instead will assess each room mentally. If your furniture consumes the space, they will find it hard to picture themselves having enough room to live there. Either sell or store excess furniture offsite.
Look at having carpets and drapes professionally cleaned to remove any odours from pets or smokers. Get fresh air circulating around the home at all opportunities.
Buy or borrow modern accessories to liven up various parts of your home. A new stylish shower curtain and matching towels can do wonders to lift a tired bathroom.
The latest throws, pillows and vases in a bedroom or lounge can add a new lease of life to cover outdated suites.
Tip Before putting your home on the market, discuss your ideas for presentation with your sales consultant. With their experience and knowledge, they can assist with even smarter ideas, knowing what appeals to buyers as part of that first impression.
A collection of crafts, cooking and gestures, specially for Mum.Mother’s Day in social isolation is not ideal, but there are still so many ways you can show your appreciation for the wonderful mum in your life. Download our 30-page activity book today!
Our Mother’s Day activity book features:
Arts and crafts
Letters and poems
Treats and recipes
Pampering and relaxation ideas
Favours and coupons
No matter how you spend it, we hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day.
Reader’s Digest has announced its Most Trusted brands for 2020, and Harcourts, New Zealand’s largest and most enduring real estate brand, is honoured to be acknowledged once again for its commitment to serving its clients. For the eighth consecutive year, New Zealanders have voted Harcourts the Most Trusted real estate brand.
Harcourts Managing Director Bryan Thomson says that the Harcourts team right across the country is particularly humbled to receive this honour as the country continues to battle COVID-19.
“Harcourts has been committed to helping New Zealanders with their property needs for 132 years”, says Thomson. “We’ve been through good times and we’ve been through some extremely difficult times with our clients. This would be one of the most challenging times they’ve ever faced, and now, more than ever, we need to trust and support one another.”
“We will continue to earn the trust of New Zealanders in the coming months,” says Thomson, “by maintaining the highest level of service to our clients, landlords and tenants. Technology will play a big part in how we continue to deliver exceptional service and maintain the life-long relationships we’ve built with our clients and communities around the country.”
“Being voted the Most Trusted real estate brand for eight years in a row is hugely important to our team and we don’t take that trust for granted. Thank you, New Zealand, we remain committed to you.”
This is definitely the list you need if the idea of spending Christmas Eve knee-deep in cleaning products makes you feel like the Grinch. Christmas – and summer – is always busy and social, with lots of entertaining and unexpected guests sure to drop by.
But instead of waiting until the last minute to get your home in tip-top shape, here are nine easy ways to get sorted before your friends and family turn up on your doorstep.
1. Set the timer when you are doing certain chores. Experts say if you know how long individual tasks take, they seem less difficult. We like that idea.
2. Put clean sheets on your spare bed NOW. Even if you aren’t expecting any sleepovers from visitors, it’s one thing less to deal with if someone does end up having to sleep it off.
3. Use the commercial breaks wisely. You have two-and-a-half minutes to get something done, and tackling small tasks seems like a better idea than mindlessly watching ads!
4. Sort out the fridge before you hit the shops. Chances are your fridge and kitchen cupboards aren’t as jam-packed as they are going to be in a few weeks. If you have a proper clean out now, not only will it save you time in December, but you’ll also know exactly what you already have in stock.
5. Don’t bother scrubbing your stove top burners. If they come off, pop them in a snaplock bag, with a little ammonia overnight. In the morning, wipe them clean and away you go.
6. Bedtime equals cleaning time. While the kids (or you) are in the bathroom getting ready for bed, use that time to quickly wipe down the vanity, bath, mirror and toilet. Easy.
7. Try listening to podcasts while you clean. Not only will they help time fly, but you’ll learn a few things along the way.
8. Put clutter (like toiletries) away in a cupboard. Just shove them in there – no one is going to be looking to see if they are organised by floral fragrance!
9. The smell of fresh flowers, however, does make everything instantly better. Set some out the morning your guests are due to arrive, and enjoy this special time together!
The rules of decluttering are simple: get rid of any unwanted stuff, find a handy place for the items that remain, and endeavour to keep it there – how hard can it be?
1. Organise the chaos
Limit yourself to one small ‘dumping tray’ or ‘junk bowl’, where you keep odds and ends that don’t have a place. Think odd buttons, business cards and loose change. Choose something decorative so you’re more likely to keep the mess to a minimum.
2. Use tubes
Hang onto those cardboard tubes when you use up your paper towels or kitchen foil, and use them to store reusable plastic bags tidily in a drawer. You can also recycle wet-wipe canisters for this purpose.
3. Minimise your paper trail
Reduce paper clutter by taking photos of takeaway menus or flyers from local businesses. Likewise, download user manuals, credit card agreements and health insurance policies, and save them in a folder on your computer.
4. Kitchen tips
Free up bench space by attaching a magnetic strip under overhead kitchen cabinets to hold spice jars with metallic lids. Store frying pans, baking sheets, pot lids and cutting boards on their sides, using a filing rack or organiser.
5. Invest in a Lazy Susan
Who has time to rearrange the pantry or cupboards every time they want to reach something at the back? Invest in some lazy Susans for instant access to your items in just a spin. They’re also handy in the bathroom or laundry.
6. Utilise your fridge
Limited pantry space? Most dry goods can be kept in the refrigerator, too.
7. Try hidden storage options
Invest in double-duty furniture with hidden storage options. Think ottomans where you can hide throws and cushions, coffee tables with slide-out drawers for magazines, colouring books or puzzles, bench seats with shelving underneath or tall bookshelves with inbuilt cabinets for surplus vases and candles.
8. Bar carts
If space allows, set up a dining cart or station close to your dining table, much like they do in restaurants and cafes. Cutlery, placemats, napkins, glasses and condiments can all be stored in a small cupboard or trolley on wheels to save you making multiple trips to the kitchen every time you sit down to eat.
9. Store on the door
Over-the-door shoe hangers can be repurposed for kids’ belongings such as soft toys, craft supplies, dolls, action figures, cars and more. Reserve the higher pockets for any items that you’d like to keep out of reach.
10. Get creative with bathroom storage
Don’t have a built-in bathroom cabinet? Repurpose a dresser or drawers to keep extra towels and products on hand, or look for other storage solutions such as a ladder, stacked crates or a kitchen trolley on wheels.
11. Out of sight
Conceal office supplies such as folders, tax receipts and files inside a storage chest. Storage chests can also double as a great bench seating option.
Buy a pack of shower curtain rings – they’re surprisingly useful! Loop onto a hanger or piece of dowel to store belts, scarves, ties, handbags, hair ties, baseball caps, necklaces and more!
13. Colour code
Help little people find – and more importantly, put away – their belongings by assigning each child a different colour. Then you can buy them a storage tub with a toothbrush, towel, etc in that colour, or use coloured dots or thread to ‘label’ their belongings.
14. Brick tricks
Save your soles from stray Lego with clever storage solutions. Think a toolbox with pull-out drawers, storage tubs with colour-coded labels, compartmentalised craft organisers or a play mat and storage sack in one (a drawstring turns the mat into a sack!).
15. Book nooks
Not enough space for a bookshelf? Use picture ledges as floating shelves to display beautiful books.
16. Memory lane
If you’re guilty of hanging onto a high volume of things for nostalgic reasons but don’t have the storage space – take a photo of the keepsake and display the pic in an album or a frame.
17. Ice cube trays
Ice cube trays and kids’ paint palettes/trays are the perfect size for sorting small items such as earrings, rings and buttons.
Use a corkboard or pegboard to hang earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces.
19. Magazine holders
Secure magazine holders to the inside of bathroom cabinets to store hairdryers and straighteners or under kitchen shelves for cookbooks and boards or oven mitts.
20. Shelf life
Install some shelving over your bathroom door to store everyday items for easy top-ups. Think toilet rolls, cleaning products, bars of soap and towels.
Store your clutches in a kitchen organiser rack. Meanwhile, a spice rack is the perfect little spot for nail polishes, lipsticks or essential oils.
22. On a ledge
Attach floating shelves to a timber bedhead to hold miscellaneous items such as reading glasses, books, a clock or framed photos.
23. Bath system
Store kids’ bath toys in wire fruit baskets suspended from your shower rod or frame.
24. Shoe shuffle
Sort your shoes into pairs and store in clear boxes stacked vertically on the floor of your wardrobe or on open shelves.
25. Use pegs
Hang your kids’ paintings rather than cluttering up the fridge. Set up a simple string-and-peg display system on an empty wall or along a window.
26. Use dividers
Tip your underwear drawer out onto the bed and discard any odd socks, worn-out bras or undies that have lost their elastic. Put everything that’s left back in the drawer, using dividers to keep items in their categories.
27. The coat-hanger trick
Try this Oprah-approved trick: hang all the clothes in your wardrobe with the hangers facing inwards. After you wear an item, hang it back up the opposite way. Every six months, do an inventory of the items that haven’t been worn and sell or donate them.
28. Limit your sheets
Cull your linen closet down to two sets of summer sheets and two of flannelette (if needed) per bed, plus two full sets of towels for each person. That’s seriously all you need – one set in use, one in the wash. Store each set of sheets in its matching pillowcase.
29. Car clutter
Keep a rubbish bag or empty box in the car for coffee cups, used tissues or gum, and empty it once a week. Likewise, a basket in the boot can come in handy for on-the-go items like hats, balls, picnic rugs, sunscreen and kids’ toys.
30. Road trip
Speaking of kids and cars, hang a canvas shoe organiser over the back of the driver’s or front passenger’s seat to store their (many) travel belongings, such as electronic devices and headphones, playing cards, colouring books and pens, dummies, snacks, sunnies, drink bottles and a few favourite toys.
Words by: Stephanie Hope.
Photography by: Bauer Syndication.
The Harcourts Foundation, the charitable arm of Harcourts, has reached the milestone of $6 million raised since its launch in 2008. That translates to 732 charities supported, 356 communities impacted, and over 970 grants made through Harcourts offices in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and the USA. Key community issues such as homelessness, domestic violence, hospice care, education, healthcare and early childhood education, amongst many others, are being tackled head-on with support of Harcourts team members’ generosity.
“The Harcourts Foundation is an important part of our vision to deliver the finest experience in real estate,” said Harcourts Managing Director Mike Green. “The impact we have made to people’s lives is quite profound. We are all incredibly proud to achieve six million dollars raised and give directly back into the communities where we live.”
Over time, Harcourts franchises, offices and people have generously created a history of giving through sponsoring and supporting thousands of people in need. Being caring members of the local communities ensures a better quality of life for everyone.
“The Foundation has impacted the lives of thousands of people and continues to do that,” continued Mr Green. “Over the last eleven years, over 300 offices take an amount off the top of every property sale and many more fundraise in their own local area. The support goes directly to those who need it the most, raised at events from small ones like sausage sizzles to large countrywide initiatives such as Walk A Mile in Their Shoes, in Australia, and the Hospice NZ Grants Programme.”
The Foundation operates as a 100% charity and is funded through Harcourts employee salary sacrifice, ‘off the top’ contributions from sales commissions, and through organised fundraisers.
All funds raised going directly to grants due to the volunteer-run structure that sees Harcourts employees donate their time and expertise to oversee and administer the process. No management fees, salaries or running costs are taken from the donation account.
Through the Harcourts Foundation, Harcourts New Zealand provides grants to help support grassroots community groups. These are often lesser known charities that are making a real difference in their communities, but struggle to find funding. In 2017, the Harcourts Foundation and Hospice New Zealand established the Hospice NZ Grants Programme. This unique program provides member hospices with the opportunity to purchase much needed equipment, enabling people with life limiting illnesses to live every moment.
The Foundation also supports Plunket’s free community services for the development, health and wellbeing of children in New Zealand under five years of age. “It’s wonderful to see the positive impact the Harcourts Foundation has had on our local communities over the past 11 years,” said Bryan Thomson, Harcourts New Zealand Managing Director. “Through their work with the Foundation, our people all around the country have established strong connections with their local communities and are able to see first-hand the impact their contributions are making.”
To date, the Foundation has granted over 537 community grants around the country.
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