Composting is becoming a more and more popular way to save money and be more eco-friendly. There are many reasons to compost but some of the most enticing are it costs next to nothing, and if you’re a gardener or have any landscaping at all, your compost pile will save you money. Compost can be used instead of expensive fertilizer and because you are reusing your yard waste you might be able to save on municipal trash removal costs.

Here are some easy tips on how to get started composting:

Storage

You may decide to go with either an open or closed storage system. Containers keep the compost materials neat and tidy and can be built inexpensively from discarded shipping pallets, fencing or chicken wire or leftover treated lumber from another building project. You can also purchase many different types of composting bins.

The least expensive way is to start a compost heap. Make the pile at least 6′ x 6′ and about 5′ to 6′ high in the middle. Anything smaller will maintain low temperatures and will take longer to decompose.

Where should I store it?

Try and store your compost pile in partial shade. This will keep it from drying out too fast. The location should also have good drainage.

What should I compost?

Compost any of the yard waste like fresh grass clippings, dry leaves, dry grass, and wood shavings.

Add food waste like vegetable and fruit scraps, breads, pastas, coffee grounds, egg shells, and tea bags. Do not put meats or fats in your compost pile. These food wastes will attract animals and rodents to your bin.

Paper towels, toilet paper tubes and other shredded paper products can also be added to your compost bin.

Manures from cows, horses, chickens and any non-meat eating animals are excellent nitrogen sources for starting the decomposition process.

Compost has so many benefits; it loosens clay soils and helps sandy soils retain water. It works as a natural fertilizers and can suppress plant diseases and pests. Gardens that are composted produce higher yields of healthier fruits, vegetables and flowers.

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There’s a lot to consider when you’re buying a home and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the possibilities. It’s also easy to fall in love with a house simply because it’s furnished tastefully, smells nice or has a beautiful front lawn. Be sure to look past the cosmetics of the house and keep the most important things in mind when you go house shopping. Don’t ignore a house just because you don’t like the color of the paint or wallpaper, because those are cosmetic things that can be changed to your liking. There are a few key features that are the most important things to consider when buying a house, outside of finances.

Space

Before looking at houses, decide how many bedrooms and bathrooms you absolutely must have for the size of your family. Then, consider if you really need a living room and a family room. Some people buy a house with both, and never even use the living room, making it an unnecessary waste of space. Do you work from home and need an office? Do you have young children who need a big yard to play in? Do you like to entertain and want an adult play room in a basement? Do you want to grow into the house and take future children into consideration, or will a large home just be too much? These are all things to consider before deciding how much home you really need.

Commute

Your commute is important and may be more important than you realize. Many people have made the mistake of buying a home too far from work and underestimating the toll a long commute will have on their lives. A long commute cuts down on your family and social life, increases stress, and may even cause you to lose sleep. Often it is better to find a home close to work and perhaps give up something you think is important in a home. This is all about keeping your priorities straight.

Is Your Furniture Going to Fit

If you have large furniture, or a lot of furniture, consider if it will all fit in your new home. Will that large over-sized dresser be able to be carried up three flights of stairs into your bedroom? Will your expensive, overstuffed sofa fit in the front door of an older home? Will the bedroom be big enough for your king-sized bed or will it take up the whole room? If you have a dining room now, does the new house have one also, or is that something you can forgo?

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