What Can You Get Rid of Right Now? 25 Quick Ideas for Decluttering

Got a spare hour or so? It’s time to start tossing. Grab a trash bag, a recycling bin and a few donation boxes and get down to business. Working room by room, here are the things you can get rid of right this second.


1. Expired food in your fridge and pantry. (Don’t forget to check all those condiments—they don’t last as long as you think).
2. Recipe books, cards and print-outs you don’t use.
3. Old or one-time use cleaning supplies under the sink.
4. Bottles of alcohol collecting dust.
5. Old, stained and tattered sponges, dishrags and hand towels.

Living Room

6. Magazines you’ve already read.
7. DVDs no one watches.
8. Knickknacks that no longer speak to you.
9. Extra throw pillows and blankets.
10. Toys and electronics that aren’t played with or used.


11. Expired medications.
12. Old makeup, nail polishes and skin care products.
13. Any half-empty bottles or soap remnants in the shower.
14. Sample packets and hotel soaps, shampoos and lotions.
15. Any hair accessories, curlers or hot tools that don’t get used.


16. Extra sets of sheets—you only need two!
17. Clothes that don’t fit or you no longer wear.
18. Shoes that are worn out or never worn.
19. Jewelry that’s broken or never worn.
20. Extra buttons, clothing tags, safety pins and bobby pins.


21. Old instruction manuals.
22. Print-outs you don’t have use for.
23. Books you’ve already read, don’t like or won’t realistically get to.
24. Old tax documents, bills and pay stubs. (Shred these!)
25. Extraneous pens, pencils and other office supplies.

Call National Property Inspections today for a full home inspection report.

Call us today to get a full assessment of your home’s major systems. Our inspectors can help you save time, save money and invest with success.

6 Remodel Ideas for an Easy-to-Clean Bathroom

Bathroom Remodel Ideas

Nobody likes a germy bathroom, and luckily you don’t have to put up with one if you remodel with the right materials. Here are six of our favorite bathroom remodel ideas that will help you keep a clean and shiny bathroom with a lot less scrubbing.

1. Go Groutless

One of the most notorious materials for collecting mold, mildew and other nasties is grout, so why not get rid of it where you can? When you’re remodeling, consider larger tiles with narrow grout lines. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when your hours of laborious scrubbing shrink to minutes.

If you want to say goodbye to grout for good, you can opt for glass or stone veneer surfaces instead of tile. They come in large sheets that are cut to size, so for most areas you can use one sheet with no grout lines at all! These are more expensive, but the tradeoff could be worth it to eliminate this pesky chore and maintain a cleaner bathroom overall.

2. Get a Great Exhaust Fan

Bacteria loves moist places, and if your exhaust fan is underpowered (or you just don’t have one), your bathroom becomes the perfect breeding ground. To determine which kind of fan you’ll need, you need to understand how they’re rated. Look on the box for the amount of cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air each fan moves—if your bathroom is 50 square feet, you’ll want one that’s rated at 50 CFM. If it’s 100 square feet, you’ll want a 100 CFM model. For especially large bathrooms, you may need two fans placed strategically in different areas. From there you’ll have many other options, too, from lights and heaters to motion sensors.

Apart from reducing mold and bacteria growth in your bathroom, a new exhaust fan will also help reduce other signs of excess moisture like cracking paint, peeling wallpaper and warped cabinets.

3. Vinyl Wall Coverings

Trading in your bathroom wall coverings for a vinyl alternative will also make your cleaning routine faster and easier. Vinyl has traditionally carried a stigma of low quality or utility over aesthetics, so we understand if you’ve been hesitant to make the switch in the past. New vinyl wall coverings come in a wide variety of textures, colors and patterns that feel rich to the touch and wipe down easily with little more than a damp cloth. It’s also fairly inexpensive compared to other options like tile, glass or stone. With so many benefits, vinyl warrants a serious look if you want a bathroom that’s easy to clean.

4. A One-Piece Toilet

Cleaning deep down in the cracks and crevices of your toilet is hard work, arguably the worst task you have when it comes to keeping a clean bathroom. You can scratch this task from your routine by replacing your current model with a one-piece toilet. They’re exactly what you’d think – one piece of smooth porcelain with no cracks or crannies for bacteria to hide. You can even find models that hug the wall, eliminating that hard-to-clean space between the back of the toilet and the wall.

5. Open Up Your Space

To make cleaning as easy as possible, it’s best to clear your space and get everything possible off the floor. This is where wall-mounted sinks and toilets, as well as soaking tubs with minimal footprints, come in handy. These features not only make small bathrooms feel more spacious, they’ll also go a long way in keeping you off your hands and knees. No more straining to reach those dark corners!

6. No-Touch Faucets

No longer just for public restrooms, no-touch faucets are becoming popular in health-conscious bathroom remodels. Not having to touch your bathroom faucet limits the spread of bacteria and makes for much easier cleaning. Pair this feature with a wall-mounted faucet and you have an upscale sink with maximum counter space and no corners to clean.

Call National Property Inspections Today!

National Property Inspections helps you keep a clean and healthy home. We also perform full inspections to give you complete peace of mind when buying or selling a home. Call your NPI inspector today to book an appointment.

June 2018: Summertime

Ask The Inspector

Opening Your Pool for Summer: A Definitive Checklist

Opening your pool for the summer can certainly seem like a daunting task, but we promise it’s not so bad! We’re here to give you a quick refresher course and break the process into manageable chunks. Learn More

10 Barbeque Tips That’ll Save Your Eyebrows

Grilling out is the quintessential summer pastime, up there with baseball and slip n’ slide. But because it involves fire, it can also be dangerous. Avoid mishaps by following a few simple barbeque safety tips. Learn More

Expert Advice

6 Remodel Ideas for an Easy-to-Clean Bathroom

Nobody likes a germy bathroom, and luckily you don’t have to put up with one if you remodel with the right materials. Here are six remodeling ideas that will help you keep a clean and sparkly bathroom. Learn More

7 New Homeowner Tips You Need Right Now

Owning your first home can be an exciting time, but there’s a lot we wish we’d known coming in. Here are seven new homeowner tips that will get you started on the right foot. Learn More

Snapshots From The Field

No matter how many homes our inspectors assess over the years, they’re always finding new and interesting finds in the field. The following equipment was found in the attic of a house built in 1955.

So what is it, exactly?

This is a relay box, likely used for an early radiant heating system. Radiant ceiling heat first became popular in the mid-1950s and continued to be favored well into the 1970s. Relay boxes were placed in walls, floors and ceilings to “see” or “sense” objects, including people and furniture, and then slowly transfer heat to them. The air in the room would then slowly get warmer due to the objects giving off heat. The sensation a radiant heating system provided is comparable to being gently warmed by the sun.

The concept of radiant heat slowly fell out of favor over time due to the rising cost of electricity. The systems could also be difficult to access since they were always located among insulation behind walls, ceilings and floors.

Modern radiant heating systems are still available today. Just keep in mind that the installation process is quite involved and that it’s better to build a new construction with radiant heat than it is to replace an existing system with it.

Maintenance Matters

Your Simple Spring Lawn Care Guide

Everyone wants a lush, green lawn when springtime comes around, and fortunately, it’s easy to accomplish. Read on to discover the lawn care guide you need to follow to have the best grass in the neighborhood. Learn More

8 Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home This Spring

For many, spring and early summer means allergy season and dealing with irritating symptoms for weeks on end. Luckily, you can create a more allergy-proof home during pollen season and beyond by making a few minor adjustments. Learn More

Finally: The Best Way to Clean Windows

Ever thought you did a great job washing your windows, only to return to streaky glass once everything is dry? Say goodbye to stripes and get a perfectly clean finish every time with this easy method. Learn More

Solid vs. Hollow: A Quick Primer on Door Types

There’s more to buying new doors than choosing the best color and style. You’ll also want to know about the different door types and which one is best-suited for your home’s needs. Learn More

Monthly Trivia Question

Q: How far away from your home should you keep your gas grill when in use?

Be the first to answer correctly and win a $10 Starbucks gift card. Submit your answer to find out if you’ve won.


October 2017: Bathroom Inspections

Ask The Inspector

Bathroom Inspections

Q: What areas and elements of the bathroom will my inspector check? Will he check all of the bathrooms in the house?

Ask The Inspector

A. Signs of moisture damage and the proper function of components are the key elements a property inspector will assess in any bathroom. The high moisture content in bathrooms means they’re a prime area for leaks or moisture damage. Your home inspector will check the sink, toilet, and shower or tub for signs of leaks or other damage. This includes examining wall and ceiling coverings, such as tile, for signs of cracks, missing seals or damaged grout.

Your inspector will also examine the water temperature and pressure by turning on faucets, tubs and showers, and sinks. He/she will also assess the size and type of piping coming into the house, which will give a better idea of how the water flows and drains.

When installed and used correctly, a bathroom fan helps remove excess moisture and prevent damage to surfaces. Your inspector will check the fan for proper operation and installation. Bathroom fans should be vented outdoors and not simply up into the attic where the warm, moist air can cause additional problems.

Be Advised

Dealing With Moisture in the Bathroom

Natural light is great, especially in small spaces. Yet, wooden windows in the bathroom, especially near a tub or shower, can come with a host of problems. Excess moisture that’s allowed to sit on the window sill can cause migration of the water where mold and mildew can spread unseen.

Be Advised

When remodeling a bathroom, always ensure products are designed for use in wet areas. Also, it is recommended that bathrooms always have a ceiling exhaust fan, even when a window is present. Moisture from hot showers can warp wood or cause privacy window films to pull away from the glass.

Snapshots From The Field

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Snapshots From The Field

  1. All toilets should be slightly lifted as shown to vent properly.
  2. This toilet should be marked defective. Toilet bases are to be firmly attached to the floor. Pencils should not be used for balance.
  3. The photo demonstrates the best way to fix a sagging floor under a toilet.
  4. This is one way to space out a toilet to set an extra-large wax seal.

Correct Answer B. This toilet should be marked defective. Toilet bases are to be firmly attached to the floor. Pencils should not be used for balance.

Noteworthy News

Protecting Your Bathroom From Leaks

Replacing deteriorated, cracked or missing caulk around the seams in a tub or shower protects against leaks in the area, an all too common occurrence. This includes caulking seams between the shower and tub and seams between the tub and the flooring or wall coverings as necessary.

Noteworthy News

A few tips for making the job go smoothly include:

  • Use a silicone or an acrylic sealant (tub and tile caulk) that is made for use in wet or nonporous areas.
  • When opening a tube of caulk, less is more. Cut just a little off the nozzle tip and test the bead. You can always cut more.
  • Remove the old caulk completely and treat visible mildew before adding new caulk.
  • Using painter’s tape just above and below the seam will help ensure an even bead of caulk. Remove immediately to allow caulk to seal correctly.

Maintenance Matters

Green Bathroom Redesigns
Are you making plans to redesign your bathroom or do you just want to expand your “green” living plans?


Here are some ways to upgrade your bathroom space by bringing eco-friendly elements in.

  • Consider recycled glass, ceramic or porcelain products for an updated counter top or tiles for walls.
  • Efficient ventilation can help to create a healthier bathroom. Look for the Energy Star when selecting new windows or ventilation systems.
  • Look for safer, greener alternatives for paint and caulking with low or no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s).
  • Newer toilet models could save nearly 4 gallons per flush (GPF) compared to older models. Dual-flush toilets save even more by allowing you to select the amount of water needed for each flush.
  • If replacing cabinets, consider sustainably harvested woods bound with resins free of VOC’s.
  • Design your bathroom for longevity, which will equate to less maintenance and fewer repairs.

For more information, go to

Did You Know?

Environmentally Friendly Bathroom Ideas

About 60 percent of a home’s water consumption takes place in the bathroom. Take into consideration the following items in your bathroom to find ways you can make an environmental difference.

  • The toilet accounts for 26.7 percent of water consumption in the home. Replacing your toilet with a more efficient one could save thousands of gallons of water annually.
  • Showers waste a large amount of water; multi-head showers can use 80 gallons per minute.
  • Harmful bathroom cleaner ingredients can leave behind traces that can be inhaled when dissolved in shower steam. Clean the air in your bathroom with green cleaning products. Choose dye-free products free of synthetic fragrances and choose products in packaging that is recyclable in your area.
  • You can purchase recycled paper for your household uses, too. A wide variety of paper towels, napkins, toilet paper and tissues can be found to fit your “green” needs. Even eco-friendly bath towels and washcloths can be an easy alternative.

Make a big impact in the environment and in your home by creating a green bathroom.

Monthly Trivia Question

In the event of a flood, my homeowner’s insurance policy would cover the damage. True or False?

Be the first to answer correctly and win a $10 Starbuck’s gift card. Submit your answer to find out if you’ve won.