Category Archives: Home Improvement

The Year of the Metal Tiger is an Auspicious Year

condo construction

Happy Chinese new year! According to feng shui experts, the Year of the Metal Tiger is a good year for the real estate industry. The earth will be the governing force of 2010, and real estate’s close association with the ground makes it off to a good start this year.

Non-feng shui experts also have favorable business forecasts for the year 2010. The Philippine real estate industry was fairly resilient in the face of the global financial crisis, and a number of developers boosted their budgets and launched a number of developments this year – many of them high end. For instance, Metrobank Group of Companies’ property arm will be constructing projects such as the third and fourth sector of the Marquinton Garden Terraces in Marikina, three more high-rise buildings in Binondo, Makati, and Fort Bonifacio. Eton Properties will be launching four to five new projects this year, including the Centris condominium, 8 Adriatico, and Eton Tower City. Finally, Robinsons’ Land Corp has the Signa Designer Residences in its lineup as well as affordable units at Gateway Regency.

Over the next four years, over 5,000 residential condo units will be completed in the Makati Central Business District. Outside this, around 20,000 condominium units will be available for selling and occupancy. With so many options and so many affordable payment schemes available, now is definitely a good time to invest in your own condominium!


How to Clean Up After a Flood

clean up after a flood

Last weekend, a number of residential neighborhoods in Metro Manila had to contend with the worst flood in 50 years. Now that Typhoon Ondoy has passed, those who were affected by the flood are now busy cleaning up the house and their personal belonging. Here are some tips and techniques for cleaning flooded items and sanitizing the house after a flood.

General cleaning

  • Before anything else, talk to your insurance agent and ask if your insurance covers Acts of God like floods and earthquakes. List down the damage and take photos of the house to help your insurance company assess the situation.
  • Remove as much mud as you can from the floors and walls, then use a hose to wash the surfaces.
  • Using an anti-bacterial, all-purpose house cleaner, disinfect every surface and piece of furniture. It’s important that your house cleaner have anti-bacterial properties because floodwaters are teeming with pathogens and bacteria.
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    Feng Shui: Home Tips for the Year of the Ox (2009)

    Most people don’t know that in the Chinese calendar, 2009 or the year of the Ox doesn’t start until February 4 – this is the date when the animal sign changes from the rat to the ox. Regardless of what year it is, all of us have to be aware of three locations in the house – the tai sui (north east), the wu wang (north), and the sam sart (east). These locations are usually occupied by harmful qi, and any disturbances in these areas brings bad luck to those who live in the house. Disturbances means any vibrations in the walls or floors caused by renovation processes like drilling or hammering.

    During the year of the ox, the north east will have the strongest negative qi. Do not disturb this area with renovations and do not sit facing the northeast. All business negotiations should be done with you facing away from the northeast; this way, you are making the other party confront the negative energy of the tai sui, which will work to your advantage.

    The north will be emanating a lot of strong energy this year. Avoid placing open flames like candles or anything red in color because this will strengthen the energy in this area. To negate the energy, place a traditional 5-element pagoda in this area. Be extra cautious in July 2009 if the main door of your house or your bedroom is located in the North.

    As for the East, it can bring injury or sickness when disturbed. Unlike the Northeast, however, you should confront it directly; do not sit with the east behind you.

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    Bedroom Storage Solutions

    Your bedroom is your personal sanctuary; it must be a place filled with positive energy that will rejuvenate and reflect the kind of life you want for yourself. Create a peaceful atmosphere in your room by going through your things, sorting out what you need and what you can throw away, and organizing the ones you decided to keep.

    If your bedroom is filled with clutter, get everything sorted out by separating your objects into different piles. The first pile should be made up of clothes and shoes. Empty your entire closet and shoe cabinet and decide which items you love wearing and which you can do without. Then grab your beddings and make another pile for them; throw out old or torn linens. Make another pile for jewelry and remove pieces that are broken or that you don’t wear. Cosmetics, perfumes, and lotions go into another pile; throw out items that are almost empty or that have been around for over a year. Finally, look under the bed for general clutter and throw out objects you have no use for.

    Now that you’ve sorted through your belongings, it’s time for you to increase your closet’s efficiency by getting rattan boxes in different sizes. They can fit well in corners and can accommodate linens, clothes not often worn, and other items. You can also add canvas hangings for skirts and sweaters or fit in a tiered rack for shoes if you don’t have a shoe cabinet. If your closet already has shelves, place clear plastic boxes of different sizes so you can see at a glance what is stored inside. Keep all socks, underwear, and stockings inside drawers; plastic boxes can also be placed inside narrow drawers to hold your socks and underwear. If you don’t have space in your cabinet for linens, comforters, and other bulky items, place them inside wicker boxes and use the box to decorate the foot of your bed.

    If you have a lot of jewelry and fashion accessories, invest in a jewelry tree – this serves the double purpose of organizing your accessories and being a decorative item on your dresser. Place all your cosmetics in clear plastic boxes with compartments so tubes and brushes can stand upright. Alternately, you can also use tiered or partitioned boxes to store pendants and earrings.

    Finally, install hooks behind your door or inside your closet’s door where you can neatly hang bags, belts, bathrobes, and other items you use regularly.

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    Feng Shui: How Clutter Obstructs the Flow of Chi

    If you can never find the things that you need, it might mean that your house is a mess. Not only does clutter look unsightly, but the constant muddle of so many things makes you feel confused and stressed. The reason for this can be found in the ancient Chinese art of feng shui.

    The Chinese believe that there is an invisible life force or energy that flows through all living and non-living things. This energy is called chi. Balancing and manipulating the flow of chi in the home is a major part of feng shui. The chi that flows through the home needs to do so freely in order to have a positive impact on the people who live there. It enters through the front door, moves through the room in a spiraling motion, then finds an exit through a back door or window.

    Clutter is the biggest obstacle to a smooth chi flow because it acts like a roadblock that chi cannot easily pass through. When this occurs in the hall, which is considered to be the “mouth” of the home, it prevents chi from entering at all. If there is clutter all over the house, chi will move sluggishly, which affects the occupants and make them feel stuck in a rut. Feng shui experts who are sensitive to chi usually sense these stagnant areas by a “sticky” feeling and a stale, musty odor.

    When you surround yourself with objects that you often use and love, they emit a strong energy that encourages the normal flow of chi and helps produce an atmosphere that makes your life happy. Loved possessions nurture and support you. Surrounding yourself with unwanted junk or broken items has the opposite effect – their negative energy will only pull you down, and the longer they stay there the worse their effects get. Start by throwing out all objects that have no particular meaning for you, and you might discover that you feel better physically, mentally, and spiritually.

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    Feng Shui: Decluttering Your Home

    The way your home looks is not only a reflection of yourself; the mess also tends to make you feel lethargic and confused about what you want to do with your life. One of the problems people face when they try to clear out their things is that they feel a strong attachment to some of their belongings. We hang onto memories we associate with objects and that makes us feel secure. While it’s all right to keep some things that remind you of happy times, too many of them will keep new things from entering your life.

    There are certain areas of the home that tend to become hot spots of clutter. If these areas become too overcrowded with things, positive energy or chi stagnates and won’t flow throughout your house. Look at these areas of your home and decide whether they need to be cleared out:

    The entrance/main hall – This is where your family, guests, and friends pass through and get the first impression of where you live. Ideally, it should be well-lit and welcoming but it is also usually the dumping ground of shoes, bags, children’s toys, and newspapers.
    The attic/basement – Not everyone has an attic or basement but if you do, they are usually crammed with junk and things you never use but have not gotten around to throwing away.
    Corridors – Clutter in this area usually gathers beside doorways and in wall crevices.

    Before you start decluttering, assess which objects you want to throw out and which ones you’d like to keep. Go around the house with a pen and notebook and look at these clutter hot spots, as well as inside closets and bedrooms. Make a note of which areas have huge piles of junk and which have smaller piles.

    Once you’re done figuring out where all the clutter in your home is contained, get garbage bags or cardboard boxes and label them according to how you want to dispose of them. Label the first bag as “junk”, for items that you definitely want to throw away. On the second bag, write “thrift store” for useful items that still work well and that other people might find a use for. On the third bag, write “things to be repaired”, for items that no longer work but that you might find a use for. On the fourth bag, write “things to sort out”, items that you’re not sure you want to let go of. Keep them somewhere for six months and keep the ones that you miss; if not, get rid of them.

    When it comes to clothes, be a little more careful – keep only the ones that you enjoy wearing or that you wear regularly. Try on the ones you’re not sure about and if they don’t fit you well or if you don’t like the way they look, get rid of them. Sales and bargains make you buy clothes that you don’t particularly like or need, so make a conscious decision to never again buy items that you’re not 100% happy with.

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