Window Covering Color Trends for 2018

If you’re in the market for new window coverings, one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is the color of your new blinds or shades. Popular colors for home décor can change from year to year, but buying a specific color in 2018 doesn’t mean the appearance of your window treatments will be out of date next year. However, it may make it easier to find matching furniture, decorative pieces, and paint, as colors tend to become fashionable at the same time.

At Blindster, we’re proud to offer a huge selection of colors and patterns on our blinds and shades. Many of our products are available in dozens of colors, making it easy for you to get window treatments that perfectly complement your home’s color scheme and satisfy your tastes and style choices.

Whether you’re outfitting a new home with window coverings or replacing your existing blinds and shades, check out the top color trends for 2018 and the best window treatments available in those colors:

Sage

Sage

This greyish-green color is neutral enough to match almost any décor style, but bold and bright enough to make a statement in any room. We offer several window coverings with sage color options, including our Premium Soft Fold Roman Shades Group B, Privacy Aluminum Blinds, and our Premium Light Filtering Fabric Roller Shades Group A.

Marigold

Marigold

A throwback color that is reminiscent of popular colors in the 1960s and 1970s, marigold is emerging as a popular color in kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms. We offer two types of window coverings with this color—our Premium Plain Fold Roman Shades Group C and our Premium Soft Fold Roman Shades Group C.

Blush

Blush

A variation on standard pink, blush is a color that’s becoming popular with millennials due to its neutrality and similarity to more common tones like peach and salmon. You can get the look with our Premium Woven Wood Fabric Roller Shades, our Premium Motorized Light Filtering Double Cellular Shades, and our standard Premium Light Filtering Double Cellular Shades.

Cherry Wine

Cherry Wine

Pinkish red, this color is ideal for homeowners looking to make a statement in rooms. It’s bright enough to immediately draw the attention of the eyes, but not bright enough to be overwhelming or to dominate a room’s appearance. Some of our wine-colored window coverings include our Premium Soft Fold Roman Shades Group A, our 2” Distressed Wood Blinds, and our Premium Light Filtering Double Cellular Shades.

Lime

A bold departure from the standard greens and yellows seen in many homes, lime is increasing in popularity in both paint choices and décor. You can bring a variation into your home with our Premium Soft Fold Roman Shades Group A, while similar colors can be found in our Fabric Vertical Blinds, our 1” Aluminum Blinds, and our 2” Privacy Wood Blinds.

Sand

Neutral, comforting, and easy to complement, sand is a great choice for any room in your home. Many of our products are available in this color, including our Premium Blackout Solar Shades, our Deluxe Light Filtering Double Cellular Shades, and our 2” Premium Light Filtering Sheer Shades.

coconut

Coconut

A popular variation on white and off-white color schemes, coconut is proving to be a solid choice with homeowners across the country in 2018. Both our Premium Solar Shades Exotic Collection and our Premium Motorized Solar Shades Exotic Collection are available in this color, and a huge variety of our products are available in similar shades, such as our 2” Premium Cordless Wood Blinds, our 2” Deluxe Light Filtering Sheer Shades, and our 2” Super Value Faux Wood Blinds.

What Are the Cheapest Blinds?

At Blindster, we know that budgets for window coverings can vary from household to household. In addition, we also know that even when money is no object, some homeowners prefer to go the economical route when they’re purchasing new window treatments.

Our extensive product line includes both high-end, state-of-the-art window coverings as well as basic blinds and shades that are designed to look great in any home while reducing heat and glare and protecting privacy. It’s our goal to make sure our customers get what they want and need, regardless of their budgets.

No matter where in our price-tier you purchase your window coverings, you can be sure that you’ll get blinds and shades built with high-quality materials and components that are designed to last. We stand by all of our products, and that’s why we offer a Fit-or-Free Guarantee®, a 60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee, and a Lifetime Warranty.

Save Money on Blinds with These Options

We have inexpensive options for our customers in every product line we offer. From standard aluminum blinds to wood blinds, you’re sure to find a window covering that fits your needs, your home, and your budget:

2in Super Value Faux Wood Blinds

2” Super Value Faux Wood Blinds

Faux wood blinds are extremely popular due to their low prices, their durability, and their easy cleaning. Our 2” Super Value Faux Wood Blinds are both our most economical and among our most popular due to their attractive design and large slats. They’re available in three colors—white, bone, and natural embossed—and can be cut to fit a variety of window sizes. Best of all, even when customized, these faux wood blinds are still easier on the wallet than many comparable blinds sold at big box retail stores.

2in Deluxe Faux Wood Blinds

2” Deluxe Faux Wood Blinds

For an upgrade over our 2” Super Value Faux Wood Blinds, you can’t go wrong with our 2” Deluxe Faux Wood Blinds. Only slightly more expensive, these blinds are our best sellers and have a few added touches to make them more attractive to many homeowners. Those touches include a 3 ¼” crown molded valance and the choice of 9 colors as opposed to three in the Super Value blinds. In addition, they’re available in three darker wood stains, including natural embossed, cherry embossed, oak, and chestnut.

2in Super Value Wood Blinds

2” Super Value Wood Blinds

If you prefer the look and feel of real wood blinds, but still want an inexpensive option, our 2” Super Value Wood Blinds are perfect for you. Made with high-quality wood that resists fading due to a special-coat finish and UV inhibitor, these blinds are available in five unique colors, including crisp white, white, Swiss coffee, golden oak, and pecan. One advantage that real wood blinds have over faux wood is their insulation qualities, making them ideal for homeowners who live in cold climates.

1in Aluminum Blinds

1” Aluminum Blinds

Classic mini blinds never go out of style, and they’re a great addition to any room in your home. Best of all, they’re also inexpensive and can fit into any budget. Our 1” Aluminum Blinds are the quintessential window coverings and are built in a style that’s commonplace in millions of homes and businesses throughout the country. With 31 colors to choose from, you’re certain to find the ideal fit for your home. The economical price also continues to pay for itself over the years with these blinds, as they’re all-metal design makes them extremely durable and sturdy.

Privacy Aluminum Blinds

Want an inexpensive option that’s even better at protecting your privacy than our standard 1” Aluminum Blinds? Look no further than our Privacy Aluminum Blinds. Built using the same high-quality components and materials as our other mini blinds, these window coverings are ideal for people who want to eliminate even more glare and further protect their privacy. They work by eliminating route holes, which makes them seamless when their slats are in a closed position. Order yours in white, bone, mocha, or sage to fit your room’s color scheme and décor.

Smooth PVC Vertical Blinds

Smooth PVC Vertical Blinds

Covering large windows or sliding doors can be a challenge with traditional window coverings, but vertical blinds make it easy. Large louvres mounted on a sliding track create the ultimate in convenience when it comes to controlling light across a large and wide area—and you don’t have to break the bank to get it. Our Smooth PVC Vertical Blinds are resistant to harsh conditions and come in 11 different colors, including silk white, light blue, and tan. Choose between cord and chain control or optional cordless wand control.

Fabric Vertical Blinds

Fabric Vertical Blinds

PVC isn’t for everyone, and if you’re looking for a softer alternative for covering a large window or glass door, be sure to check out our Fabric Vertical Blinds. These blinds also serve as great alternatives to curtains, and because they’re mounted on an easy gliding/rolling mechanism, they’re much easier and more convenient to operate than large, unwieldy curtains while still giving you the same light blocking and filtering qualities. Weights sewn-in to the bottoms of each louver also help hold them in place, making them ideal for rooms with plenty of air flow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are Mini Blinds?

Almost everyone has heard the term “mini blinds,” but what does it mean—especially in comparison to other window treatments? Simply put, mini blinds are window blinds that use slats that are less than half the width of standard blinds. At Blindster, our selection of mini blinds includes a variety of window treatments featuring slats that around 1” in width.

Mini blinds are a popular term because they’re a popular fixture in households, businesses, and any buildings that require window treatments. Because of their affordability, light weight, and ease of cleaning, mini blinds are easy on the wallet, highly convenient, and are versatile enough to be installed in rooms with a wide variety of décor and color schemes.

Some major advantages of mini blinds include:

  • Highly effective at controlling light – While mini blinds aren’t as effective at blocking out light as blackout shades, they provide ample light control for most homeowners. They’re also easily operated, as wands can be used to open their slats and lift cords can be used to pull them up or down as needed.
  • Moderate cost – Mini blinds are popular choices for homeowners with a variety of budgets. They’re an especially attractive option for people who need to outfit an entire home, as the costs of higher end window treatments can add up when they must be purchased for a dozen or more windows.
  • Easy to clean – Because most mini blinds are made from highly durable and often synthetic materials, they’re easy to clean with household items, including many mild cleaners. With other blinds and shades, homeowners may need to watch out for staining or fading, but mini blinds hold up even after being exposed to small amounts of water or cleaner. They’re also easily dusted and wiped clean, making routine maintenance and upkeep a breeze.

Another advantage of mini blinds is familiarity. Because they’re so popular, many people prefer them over other types of window treatments due to knowing how to quickly and easily install and operate them.

What Are the Different Types of Mini Blinds?

At Blindster, we offer a few different types of mini blinds. Each of these varieties has its own colors, options, and possible sizes. They include:

  • 1” Aluminum Mini Blinds – If you’re looking for a classic mini blind, you can’t go wrong with our 1” aluminum mini blinds. These tried and true window coverings are like the ones you’ve seen in many other homes and businesses, but they’re made from high-quality materials and cut to extremely high levels of accuracy to ensure the perfect fit.
  • Cordless Aluminum Mini Blinds – Many homeowners are concerned about the dangers associated with mini blind cords. And while we include free cord cleats with all corded window treatment purchases, we know that many people prefer the peace of mind and convenience that comes with cordless options. Forget the lift cord—use the bottom rail to raise and lower these highly durable window treatments.
  • Privacy Aluminum Mini Blinds – If you’re concerned about your privacy—and let’s face it, who isn’t—you’ll love our privacy aluminum mini blinds. Built with no route holes, they provide seamless coverage of your windows. When closed, they cut glare, darken rooms, and keep prying eyes outside of your home.

For more information, spend some time on the product pages of our selection of mini blinds. You’ll find things like available colors, specifications, customization choices, maximum sizes offered, and even videos showing how the blinds are made.

How to Install Mini Blinds

As mentioned above, one of the biggest selling points for mini blinds is their ease of installation, their light weight construction, and people’s overall familiarity with them. However, we know that not everyone has installed mini blinds in the past, and it can be a new process for many people—especially new homeowners or people buying new window treatments for the first time.

If you need help installing your new mini blinds, be sure to check out our Blinds 101 Installation Page for a rundown on installing a huge variety of window treatments.

And for a quick refresher on installing mini blinds, follow these steps:

  1. Measure your windows – This is one of the most vital steps, as incorrect measurements can lead to blinds that don’t fit or that don’t provide the light coverage and privacy you need. Visit our comprehensive Measuring Instructions Guide for all the details on the best way to measure your windows before you place your order.
  2. Install the brackets – First, make sure you’re following the bracket mounting instructions for the type of installation you’re performing—inside vs outside. Next, be sure to follow the instructions on our installation page or provided by the manufacturer carefully. Make clear markings for the areas where you’ll drill into your wall or window frame for your brackets, and be sure they’re level to provide the best coverage.
  3. Install the valance – The valance is a covering for the head rail, and it’s secured to the head rail via valance clips. Locate these clips and keep them handy for when you reach this step. First, place the head rail on the brackets that you installed in your window frame on your wall in the step above. Then, place the valance onto the head rail and clip it into place using the valance clips. Finally, secure the blind wand if your window treatments came with one.

If you run into trouble with your mini blinds or any other type of window covering, be sure to check out our individualized installation guides for a wide variety of blinds:

What’s the Best Way to Clean Mini Blinds?

Window treatments often seem like magnets for dirt and dust. It’s important to keep them clean, especially if you suffer from allergies or have pets and small children. Many people dislike cleaning blinds because of the tedious nature, but many types of aluminum blinds are much easier to clean than other types of window treatments.

To quickly and effectively clean your mini blinds, you’ll only need three items:

  • A feather duster
  • A vacuum with hose attachment
  • A damp cloth

Use the feather duster to collect surface dirt and dust and the vacuum to quickly remove pet hair and dust bunnies. A damp cloth can be used to wipe away stubborn dirt and dust. You can also use gentle cleaning solutions to get out tougher messes and light stains. However, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions or warnings before using any liquid other than water on your blinds.

A good cleaning routine involves only a few steps, which include:

  • Shutting blinds and dusting from top to bottom, then vacuuming up any dust or dirt that falls onto the floor
  • Opening blinds and dusting from top to bottom, again vacuuming up any remnants.
  • Using a dry or damp cloth to remove remaining bits of dirt and dust and vacuuming the floor to remove anything that fell from the slats, headrail, or bottom rail.

Looking for New Mini Blinds? Look No Further than Blindster

If you’re looking to outfit your home or business with mini blinds, you’re in the right place. We’re proud to offer several different varieties of mini blinds, each with its own colors and options. Be sure to check out our product page for mini blinds, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with our sales representatives if you have additional questions before you place an order.

Window Treatments for Close-Together Windows

Mini Aluminum Blinds

Choosing the right window treatments for your home or business can be tricky. With so many options, styles, patterns, and colors to choose from, it can be difficult to make the right decisions—especially if you’re buying window treatments for multiple rooms. However, the wealth of information available from retailers like Blindster can make it easier to find the perfect solutions, as you can quickly and easily compare products while finding the blinds or shades that have the features and options you need.

The process can be a little more complicated when you’re in the market for window treatments for unusual or unique windows and window arrangements, particularly rooms with multiple small windows that are very close together. And while this type of design may seem like it limits your options, there’s still plenty of ways to control outside lighting and protect privacy while also creating an attractive look in that room of your home or business.

Don’t sweat finding the right blinds or shades if you need to cover multiple windows in a small space. Check out Blindster’s guide and get the right look for your tastes, your décor, and your home.

Inside Mounts

Mounting blinds or shades inside window frames is a great solution for close-together windows that have their own separate frames. It helps maintain a sleek, uniform appearance without the potential for overlapping that can occur with outside mounts. Be sure to take precise measurements before placing your order, and take your time during the installation process to get the most consistent look across all windows once the blinds or shades are installed.

Top Picks for This Look

If you’re thinking about mounting your window treatments inside the frames of your close-together windows, you can’t go wrong with these product types:

One Large Shade

For windows that share a single frame, an extra large or over sized window treatment can create the illusion that the room has one giant and luxurious picture window. Having a single shade also makes it easy to quickly control light and privacy in the room, as you only must raise or lower a single lift mechanism rather than multiple window treatments.

Top Picks for This Look

Homeowners looking for simplicity and use of ease will appreciate the convenience of covering multiple close-together windows with a single large shade. We recommend the following styles due to their customization and ability to be cut to extra-large widths:

Top Down Bottom Up Shades

Top down bottom up shades are among the most versatile window treatments on the market. They raise from the bottom like traditional shades, but they can also be pulled down from the top. That means you can enjoy ample sunlight while still protecting your family’s privacy and eliminating harsh glare.

Cellular Shades

Top Picks for This Look 

Stylistically, one of the biggest advantages of top down bottom up shades is their unique look—especially when they’re installed close together. That makes them a perfect fit for multiple close-together windows, as they can be raised and lowered to different heights, creating an interesting visual display.

Easy Cleaning

It’s a fact of life: like everything else in your home, your blinds and shades are going to collect dirt and dust. Window treatments are especially likely to become dirty if you frequently open your doors and windows, or if you have pets and small children. At Blindster, we know that many homeowners appreciate window treatments that are easily cleaned more than many other options, as not having to worry about staining or fading makes the cleaning process much faster and simpler.

Top Picks for Easy Cleaning

The best shades for easy cleaning either have minimal grooves and folds or are manufactured using synthetic materials that won’t be easily damaged by water and gentle cleaning products. Window treatments that are easily cleaned using standard household items is especially important when they’re covering rows of close-together windows, as they may occupy a large space in your home and may be hard to reach.

Wrapping It All Up

When searching for the perfect window treatments for your close-together windows, be sure to pay attention to the features and options you want. For many homeowners, this part of the process can make or break otherwise ideal solutions.

In addition, you should always verify that your measurements are precise and that you’ve tested your chosen color or pattern by ordering free samples through our website. Samples are a quick and easy way to confirm that your need blinds or shades will match your home’s décor and the color you saw on your screen when you viewed them.

Finally, don’t hesitate to contact our sales representatives if you have questions about a specific product or need help finding a solution for your window covering needs. We know that no windows are alike, and each home has unique configurations and accessibility. It’s our goal to help you make the right decision and find window treatments that will enhance your home and your life.

Vertical vs. Horizontal Blinds

What’s the Difference?

There are two main types of blinds used in homes and offices: vertical blinds and horizontal blinds. Horizontal blinds are much more commonly used out of the two types, as they represent the traditional 1”-2” slat blinds that are most often seen on small to medium-sized windows. Vertical blinds use much larger slats that hang from a head rail that’s often mounted to a track, allowing them to be opened and closed with a wand or pulley system. Many homeowners and business owners use vertical blinds to cover large windows or sliding glass doors.Horizontal Blinds

It’s important to remember that there are distinct differences between vertical and horizontal blinds, and both have advantages and drawbacks. Knowing those differences before you make a purchase can help you ensure that you get the right window treatments for your windows and your home.

 

How Are Vertical Blinds and Horizontal Blinds Similar?

There are two primary ways that vertical blinds and horizontal blinds are similar:

  • Light protection – Blinds are designed to block out light, and whether they’re oriented vertically or horizontally, they’re highly effective at accomplishing that task. In fact, both vertical and horizontal blinds can provide near-blackout levels of light protection, making them ideal for rooms like bedrooms, home offices, nurseries, home theaters, and more.
  • Similar materials – Both vertical and horizontal blinds are made with similar materials. Blindster’s vertical blinds include PVC and faux wood, giving them a lightweight construction that makes installation easy—even for the largest orders.

What Are the Benefits of Vertical Blinds and Horizontal Blinds?

No matter what type of blinds you choose, you’ll get all the benefits of high-quality window coverings. However, both types of blinds are better at different things, so choosing the right type for your needs is an essential step:

Vertical blinds
Vertical Blinds

 

  • They’re ideal for sliding doors and wide windows. While traditional horizontal blinds can be custom made to fit sliding doors and wide windows, they simply aren’t practical in many instances. Vertical blinds are much better fits, as they’re easily opened and closed and can cover even the widest windows and doors.
  • They’re easy to clean. In addition to not collecting as much dust as horizontal blinds, vertical blinds are easier to clean because they’re made from two materials that are highly resistant to moisture: PVC and faux wood. That means more cleaning products can be used without worrying about colors fading or staining.
  • They block more light. Vertical blinds have much larger slats and are much wider than horizontal blinds, which means that a single vertical blind can block more sunlight than even the largest custom horizontal blinds.

 

Horizontal blinds

  • They provide more privacy. One drawback to vertical blinds is their tendency to sway from side to side or become off-kilter, resulting in gaps in coverage. Horizontal blinds are much less likely to expose the interior of your home or business.
  • They’re ideal for tall and narrow windows. Just as vertical blinds are perfect for wide windows and sliding glass doors, horizontal blinds are more practical for tall and narrow windows due to their design and construction.
  • They don’t touch the floor. If you’re worried about dirt or dust collecting at the bottom of your window coverings, horizontal blinds may be the best option, as they typically rest on window sills instead of the floor.
  • They make less noise. The operation of vertical blinds can be noisy, especially if their tracks aren’t regularly greased or maintained. Horizontal blinds typically make much less noise.
  • They can last many years without replacement. Because vertical blinds rely on a track with many moving parts, they can be more likely to wear out and need maintenance or replacing.

Ready to Find the Perfect Vertical or Horizontal Blinds for Your Home?

If you’re in the market for new blinds, make sure you know the right type for the windows in your home. After you’ve made your decision, be sure to check out Blindster’s selection of blinds. We offer many varieties of high-quality vertical blinds and horizontal blinds, and products in both categories can be customized and outfitted with additional options to create the perfect fit for every room in your home.

What Are Motorized Shades?

Motorized shades are the window covering industry’s answer to the demand to make everything in homes smarter, easier, and more convenient. As their name implies, motorized shades raise and lower via a motor, which means you don’t have to fuss with lift cords, chains, or even cordless solutions. Instead, all you must do is press a single button to raise or lower one, two, three, or even rows of shades in seconds. After all, if you can turn on and off appliances, televisions, computers, and light switches all from one place in your home, why not be able to operate your shades the same way?

Smart homes that are partially or fully automated are becoming a reality for more and more homeowners. Previously limited to the only the super-rich or science-fiction stories, homes that mostly or even entirely controlled by computers, machines, and remotes is within reach for many families. Everything from refrigerators and dishwashers to thermostats and sprinkler systems is programmable or capable of being operated from afar.

Blindster is proud to offer several varieties of motorized shades, and we believe they’re the perfect options for homeowners who value any of these perks in their window coverings:

Convenience of motorized shades on large windows

Convenience

Homes with several large windows in multiple rooms need large window coverings. And those large blinds or shades may need to be adjusted multiple times per day to get just the right lighting. With motorized shades, you don’t have to manually raise or lower shade after shade. That means no more climbing ladders or stepping over and around furniture. Just push a button and you’re done.

Security of Programming your shades

Security

Motorized shades can be programmed to raise and lower at certain times of day. That means you’ll never have to worry about leaving your shades when you’re raised or when your children are at home. Programming your shades can also give you peace of mind, as you’ll know that your home appears “lived in” even when you’re away for days or weeks on trips or vacations.

Practicality of motorized shades for both homes and business

Practicality

Motorized shades are perfect for homes, but they also make sense for business owners—especially those with large offices or warehouses with many windows. Manually changing the positions of a dozen or more shades every day is a waste of your time and energy. Our motorized shades come with remotes that can be programmed to control up to 15 separate shades, making it easy to raise an entire office-full of window coverings in the morning or lower them in the evening.

Premium-Motorized-Light-Filtering-Double-Cellular-Shades-Uniqueness

Uniqueness

Want a great conversation starter in your home? You can’t go wrong with motorized shades. In addition to being the latest and greatest in home technology, our motorized shades are also made with high-quality materials. Choose from shades with Phifer Sheerweave® 5000, 2390, or 4000 fabric, or get blackout cellular shades for your living room, bed room, home office, or movie room. Finally, choose from dozens of colors, including 41 unique styles offered with our Premium Motorized Light Filtering Double Cellular Shades.

Summer Vacation Home Safety and Sanity Checklist

A summer vacation to the beach, the mountains, or a faraway destination can be a welcome break from the stress and routine of daily life, but being away from home for a prolonged time can put your property at risk. Modern homes are highly complex structures with plenty of potential disasters lurking in plain sight. It’s bad enough when those disasters happen while you’re at home, but they can be catastrophic when you’re away for days or even weeks.

To keep your home safe, secure, and free from both minor and major headaches while you’re soaking up the sun with your family and friends, check out Blindster’s summer vacation home safety and sanity checklist:

 

  • Don’t let your home “go dark” while you’re away.

    Don’t let your home go dark while you’re away.

    A home that has been unoccupied for days is enticing to would-be thieves and burglars. In addition to a home security system, other ways you can protect your property and your belongings is by making it look like nothing is out of the ordinary in your family’s daily routine. That means taking steps like stopping the newspaper and mail, parking vehicles in the driveway or garage, putting lights on timers, and making sure your lawn gets mowed regularly.

  • Use the “coin in a cup” trick to check for food-spoiling power outages.

    Use the coin in a cup trick to check for food-spoiling power outages.

    Whether it’s due to lightning storms or power surges, losing electricity in the summer for minutes or hours can be common in some neighborhoods. Unfortunately, you won’t know exactly how long your power was out if you come home to clocks blinking 12:00. One easy trick to find out is to freeze a cup full of water and place a coin or other small object on top of the ice. If you return home and notice the power went out, check where the coin is located inside the cup. If it’s frozen towards the bottom of the cup, it means your power may have been out long enough for food inside your refrigerator to spoil.

  • Avoid water and central air disasters before you leave.

    Avoid water and central air disasters before you leave.

    Make sure your thermostat is set to a reasonable temperature before you leave. Obviously, there’s no benefit to making sure your furniture enjoys a cool 70-degree temperature, but you also shouldn’t turn your central air off or leave the temperature set too high. To avoid the risk of major leaks, turn off the water supply to your dishwasher, washing machines, and sinks—especially ones that are prone to leaks and drips. You can also set your water heater to vacation mode to save energy and reduce the risk of unit failure while you’re away.

  • Take out all trash and empty your refrigerator of perishable food.

    Take out all trash and empty your refrigerator of perishable food.

    There’s nothing worse than coming home from a relaxing vacation and being greeted with the smell of spoiled food as soon as you step foot inside your front door. Be sure to empty all trash cans and to throw away any perishable food from your cupboard, pantry, and refrigerator before you leave home. You should also clean pet water and food dishes, litter boxes, and other items they need.

  • Call your family, neighbors, and credit card company.

    Call your family neighbors and credit card company.

    Before you leave, make sure some of your family or friends know about your trip—especially if you need someone to stop by and feed your pets, water your plants, or just keep an eye on your home. You also may want to tell a trusted neighbor that you’ll be gone, as they’ll be in a great position to let you know if anything looks amiss at the homestead. Finally, make sure your credit and debit card companies know that you’ll be traveling. Many card companies have fraud protection that will lock access to cards and accounts when suspicious activity is detected—including usage in cities far from home.

 

Fall Lawn Care Tips

Football is back on TV, supermarkets are selling Halloween costumes and decorations, and coffee shops are touting the return of pumpkin spice. Yes, there’s no denying that summer is winding down and fall is nearly here. While the return of cooler weather can be a boon for outdoor activities and reducing your energy bills, it also gives you a chance to prepare your lawn for the spring.

If you were unsatisfied with the appearance of your lawn this summer, you can probably trace it back to the things you did (or didn’t do) last fall. Don’t make the same mistake twice. With a few weeks to go before fall officially arrives, you have plenty of time to take all the steps necessary to have a healthy lawn this fall, winter, and into next spring and summer.

To get your lawn as well prepared as possible for the next 9 months, check out Blindster’s tips below:

Aerate the soil

Aerate the soil

Most grasses are highly responsive to oxygen, water, and fertilizer during the fall, but it won’t do much good if those nutrients can’t reach the roots. A self-propelled aerator can be rented from many hardware stores and rental outlets, and it offers a quick way to aerate even the largest lawns. However, for huge jobs and lawns that are several acres in size, you may be better off hiring a landscaping service unless you want to dedicate several weekends to this project.

Fertilize your lawn

Fertilize your lawn

Just as aerating should be done in the fall, so too should fertilizing. In fact, many lawn care experts say that once-a-year fertilizing done in the fall is sufficient for most lawns and will lead to optimal growth. But don’t be too eager to begin fertilizing as soon as the calendar hits late September. Wait until the season is in full swing and temperatures have started to drop before you break out the fertilizer. Using a walk-behind drop spreader, make sure you hit every inch of your lawn to avoid patchy growth or brown spots in the spring.

Address bare spots

Address bare spots

If the high temperatures and dry weather that’s common during summer did a number on your lawn, fall is the perfect time to repair the damage. Check your grass for any bare or brown spots and use a lawn repair mixture—which will contain grass seed, mulch, and fertilizer—and prepare the soil by loosening it with a rake or aerator. Then, spread the mixture over any areas of your lawn that need extra attention and water it right away. Continue to water those areas at least three to four times per week for the next month for the best results.

Start raking right away

Start raking right away

For optimal lawn growth and health, your grass and roots need constant exposure to oxygen and sunlight. Being buried under a big pile of leaves certainly isn’t conducive to a healthy lawn, so be sure to stay on top of raking once the leaves begin to fall. Waiting too long not only deprives your grass of the nutrients it needs, but it can also expose it to disease. Morning dew and rainfall can accumulate on dead leaves, causing an even heavier weight on your grass and increasing its risk of developing funguses that can harm its growth.

Get serious about weeds

Get serious about weeds

Weeds can be a year-long problem for homeowners, but they’re at their most vulnerable during the fall. Like all plants, weeds go into survival mode during the fall when temperatures drop and days become shorter. That means they can hog even more of the nutrients that your grass needs. Manually pull weeds or use a safe and environmentally friendly herbicide to get rid of them before spring and you’ll have less of a headache to deal with when your lawn is in full bloom.

Back-to-School Safety Tips

School is already back in session throughout many parts of the country, and classes will resume in other states over the next few weeks. As summer ends, it’s important to remember that changing schedules and daily routines can also lead to some safety concerns if you and your children aren’t prepared.

Staying safe involves every aspect of you and your children’s day. From the time you wake up and leave the house, to when your kids are at school, to the time you pick them up, following common sense safety guidelines will help every member of your family have a happy, healthy, and safe school year.

To help your family avoid serious accidents or injuries this year, do your best to follow these tips:

Refresh yourself and your children on bus safety

Refresh yourself and your children on bus safety.

School districts throughout the country are focusing heavily on bus safety in recent years. You can protect yourself and other children by making sure you always come to a complete stop near buses when they’re loading and unloading students. It’s also important to make sure your children know how to safely enter and exit their bus, including when it’s safe to cross the street. Finally, teach your children how to behave on a school bus, including being quiet, keeping aisles clear, and learning how to operate emergency exits.

Make sure your family avoids distractions

Make sure your family avoids distractions.

Distracted driving is an epidemic, but it’s becoming clear that distracted walking can also put people in significant danger. Set a good example for your children by never driving while texting. If you have children who are of driving age, be sure to emphasize how dangerous texting and driving can be. Finally, set limits on cell phone usage for your children when they’re walking to or from school, especially if they use headphones. Being distracted while walking near traffic can lead to serious accidents.

Be cautious when driving through school zones

Be cautious when driving through school zones.

School zones are designed to help children get to and from the classroom safely, and that’s why they have significantly reduced speed limits, crossing guards, and flashing lights. When you drive through a school zone, make sure you follow all traffic laws in that area. That includes obeying the speed limit and any commands the crossing guard on duty gives. Remember that the crossing guard decides who gets the right of way—not stop signs or traffic lights. You should also avoid passing other vehicles in school zones, as children may be walking in an area of the road that you can’t see.

Create a safe environment at home for your children

Create a safe environment at home for your children.

If your children are older, you may feel comfortable allowing them to stay by themselves for a few hours before you or your spouse get off work. Make sure they’re well-protected and that they have everything they need in an emergency, including emergency phone numbers, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and knowledge of your home’s security system or garage entry codes. To further protect your children’s privacy when they’re at home, make sure your windows are covered with thick shades or blinds.

Establish schedules for after school events, such as sports and extracurriculars.

School years can get hectic for families. Between parents having to work long hours and kids having to balance the demands of school, sports, and extracurricular activities, the days, weeks, and months of a given year can seem like a blur. But when kids must stay late for sporting activities, clubs, and other events, they can’t always rely on a bus to get home. That’s why it’s vital to make sure everyone in your family is on the same page when it comes to each child’s schedule and how they’re supposed to get home.

Protect your children with the right clothing

Protect your children with the right clothing.

Giving your kids proper clothing is important, especially as seasons and weather change. If your children walk to school, make sure they have brightly colored clothing and jackets that make them stand out to drivers. They also should have rain boots if they need to walk when it’s raining. Give them flashlights to place in their backpacks in case they need to walk home when the sun begins to set, especially during the winter. In addition to lighting their path, the flashlights will also make it easier for drivers to see them.

6 Tips for Better Home Security and Peace of Mind

As a homeowner, your top priority is making sure your family and your belongings are safe from harm or theft. And while many homeowners simply install automated home security systems and count on these advanced monitoring alarms to keep them and their loved ones safe, it’s important to take extra precautions to get true peace of mind.

To reduce your risk of being a victim, check out Blindster’s top home security tips:

 

Hide, bury, or protect exterior wiring and power lines

1. Hide, bury, or protect exterior wiring and power lines.

Would-be burglars can be savvy, and if they know a home is equipped with a security system, their first order of business may be cutting the power lines to the home or to the alarms. Whether you’re planning on installing a security system or you already have one, make sure the power supply and wiring are either out of sight, buried, or encased in a protective barrier.

Change your locks when you purchase a new home

2. Change your locks when you purchase a new home.

Your first order of business when buying a new home should be changing the locks and getting new keys made for every member of your family. Make sure that all exterior entrances are equipped with new locks. In addition, you also may want to change the locks every few years, especially if you’ve ever needed to give spare keys to housekeepers, handymen, painters, and contractors.

3. Don’t leave spare keys in obvious places.

Almost everyone has been in a situation where they need to drop off a key for a family member or friend, and almost everyone goes to the tried and true “hiding spot” of under the mat, inside the mailbox, or in a planter next to the front door. Unfortunately, burglars are equally familiar with those hiding spots, and many homes have been stripped of their valuables by people who simply helped themselves to a spare key and walked right in. Get more creative if you need to leave a spare key, and never leave it out for more than one day if possible.

4. Use a random garage door entry code.

Many garage doors can be opened with just a four-digit passcode. While that’s enough digits to make it difficult for someone to guess the code, it’s short enough to make entry a breeze if the code uses obvious numbers, including a significant birth year, your home’s street address, or part of your phone number. You also shouldn’t use weak passwords like 0000, 1111, or 1234.

5. Keep family trips quiet on social media until you get back.

It can be hard to resist sharing your family’s travels while you’re on a grand adventure, but live streaming your kids jumping into a pool in Mexico is like putting a big spotlight on your empty home for would-be burglars and thieves. Sharing every detail of your trip on Facebook and Instagram is okay after the trip is over, that is.

Equip your windows with blinds and shades

6. Equip your windows with blinds and shades.

Burglars are much less likely to break into homes if they don’t know what (or who) is inside. Installing blinds and shades on your windows doesn’t just keep the sunlight out of your eyes and protect your family’s privacy—it also helps you avoid becoming a victim of a burglary. For the ultimate home protection and privacy, consider installing routeless blinds or blackout shades.