5 Tips for Dealing with Contractors

It’s that time of the year when contractors start to come out of the woodwork, random projects or emergencies pop-up and we’re at the mercy of depending on someone else coming into our home to help us complete vital projects.  To be honest, we hate working with contractors, they all seem to be the same in one way or the other and try to avoid whenever possible… but at the same time as handy as we are, there are a few projects where we just draw the line. So here are some pro tips for dealing with contractors!
Contractor Tips - the bee life
Ask Questions. It’s important to ask questions before you commit; How much? What is this price inclusive of? Are there any extra material costs? What are payment expectations and timing? How far out are you scheduling, how long will this take? And then it’s important to ask questions during the work; How’s it going? Have you run into any roadblocks? Why are you doing that?

Set Expectations. One of the things we’re often at the mercy of when it comes to projects is times and dates – often being inconvenienced during the work week or the weekend waiting around for untimely workers to show up. So not only it it important to set expectations for the work being done, but also set expectations around schedules. We’ve had contractors stay as late as 9:30PM on a Friday night… which was completely longer than they initially said and we were held captive, but also our faults for not asking or speaking up sooner.

Get It in Writing. This may be a no brainer, but it’s easy when you know someone or have a family friend contractor to want to make a commitment via phone or in person. But! These projects can often lead to unexpected things and it’s not uncommon for extra materials, additional time and added costs to creep in. Having the price, expectations, and deliverables in writing helps for peace of mind and something to point back to if things get shaken up.

Don’t Assume. Sometimes when you’re working with a contractor, they don’t aways do the work but bring in guys who do – it’s important to run through everything with the workers as well, even if the contractor already did. We ran into that with our patio this past year – they were going to completely miss a HUGE portion of the project and I called it out… they totally wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t mention it and then A LOT of rework and probably additional money would’ve been needed.

Create A Dialogue. Don’t be afraid to check-in with these contractors as work is being done, it may even be beneficial to set the president of checking in at the start of the day (What are you planning to accomplish today?) and then before they leave (Did you accomplish X, Y, Z? When will you be back?)  B and I often tip-toe around not wanting to hover or get in the way, but guess what! It’s your house, your money, and you can’t be afraid to offend someone, ask questions, or simply check-in on the process – because at the end of the day you’re living with the end product.

Working with contractors and home renovation projects in general is exhausting, expensive and always seems to take longer than originally planned – so that is why it’s crucial to set up the project with these tips to help with some of the headaches!

Image Sources: Bathroom | Kitchen 

Bee’s Tips for Organizing

With the start of 2018 being pretty chilly, there hasn’t been much I’ve wanted to do besides hit the gym, dream of running outside and slowly work through parts of the house for a deep clean! From the pantry, to the freezer, to closets and the basement this year has started with a lot of organizing and purging and it is SO rewarding.  And as much as we are clean/organized people, and have places for everything – it’s amazing when you actually go through things how much crap we really hoard away!
Bee Tips for Organizing - the bee life
So if you are like me and have been purging or have been thinking about it, but just don’t know where to start – here are a few tips and pointers to help.

Start Small. If you’re just jumping in, and not one for cleaning or organizing, start small like tackling your refrigerator or freezer.  Cleaning out condiments especially can really work wonders especially once you start checking dates.

Pro Tip: Plan this around garbage day!

Downsize. If you have containers or organizers that are too big, downsize. For example we had a nice paper organize on our desk in the office – I thought it would be perfect. Well I only ended up piling more papers in each of the slots, never looking at them again. So I downsized, I got a simple 3-section mail holder to replace – much more streamlined plus it makes me be more selective with what I put in it.

Buy Tubs/Containers. If you’re working on a bigger space – like a closet, and are organizing clothes, keep sakes, crafts, gift wrap, all of the things – make a list of containers you need and go make the commitment.

Pro Tip: Label containers on the tops and sides for easy reading 

Make Pile’s.  The best way to get started with any project is creating 3-piles: Keep, Donate, Trash. Establishing these piles, will help you when it comes time to finalizing everything – what you still need space for, what you can throw away immediately, and what you can pass along to those in need.

Getting organized can be a bear, but it’s staying organized that is the real trick – so the key is to set yourself for staying organized, while you get organized. Labeling, color coding, and even just shifting were you keep things can help make a closet a little cleaner or the pantry fuller.

Happy organizing!

 

Image Sources: Right Image | Left Image 

Holiday Hacks – Make A Statement

One of my favorite things about the holidays is presents! But no… probably not what your thinking – I love WRAPPING presents… seriously, it’s all about the presentation.  Although my wrapping game isn’t quite up to par with what I’d like it to be… I’m getting there. So if your like me, and like to make a statement with your presents, and include them as part of your decorations under the tree – here are some easy hacks to do just that!
Bee Holiday Hacks - Statement - the bee life
Pick a Theme or Color Palette. This can tie into the decor of your home if your planning to use these are decor under the tree. Often times I’m inspired by a specific ornament or even spotting some gift wrap in the store and working around that to pick my theme for the year!

Get Wrapping Paper for Each Person/Categories. I know; this is getting a little crazy but I like to wrap all of B’s presents in his very own wrapping paper – this leaves out the need for 20-different name tags.  This could be done by family (yours vs. his) or by person if you have enough variety in your paper selection.

Stock-up on Tags/Ribbon when you See a Good Deal.  And it doesn’t have to be Christmas! I stocked up on a bunch of tags after Valentines day, they were gold, and bright pinks – they’ve come in clutch throughout the year and I’m sure I’ll throw a few gold ones on gifts this year too.  Always be on the look out and stock-up especially if you see one of a kind options at Marshalls or TJ Maxx. Or better yet, print your own with these free printable Christmas tags! Don’t be afraid to keep it simple too and make a statement with ribbons, tags, or greenery.

Invest in some Good Tape. This is a fault of mine; because I scrapbook and go through a lot of tape, therefore I just stock-up at the Dollar Store – however I’ve come to find that this tape and some of the fancy, thicker wrapping paper I’ve picked up don’t go well together.

This is a fun way to spread some extra cheer and make a statement with family and friends.

Photo Source: Cosmopolitan