Posts in Kijiji for the Home

Fires, Thieves and Foam Parties – The “ins and outs” of Tenant Insurance

You never know when disaster can strike. The old, “it won’t happen to me” is a common sentiment until Murphy’s Law kicks in. Theft, fire and damage to apartments happen more than you would guess and you should be prepared, it won’t cost you much and you’ll worry less. Check out this neat Infographic resource from one of Canada’s top property managers, they’ve seen it all.

Capreit Tenant Insurance Infographic

What does the monthly Tenant Insurance cost cover?

  • damage to or loss of your possessions if you rent or lease your apartment or home
  • personal property stolen from your vehicle
  • injury caused to visitors (ex. slip and fall on the driveway)
  • Accidental damage you cause to any part of the apartment building or home you are renting. If the bathtub overflows and floods your apartment, or you’re having a foam party (you’ll want to ask about coverage for this one before sending invites, parties probably won’t qualify as accidents). Tenant insurance can pay for the damage caused to your apartment, the building or neighbouring units.

I don’t have any expensive stuff!

Replacing one or two sweaters is no biggie but imagine having to dish out for 4 or 5 new pairs of shoes, not to mention a new laptop, TV or even a new bed! Are you adding this up? My rough count is up to about $4000 on these few items alone and we’re just scratching the surface. You get the point here; what’s a few hundred bucks a year for a piece of mind? If this sounds like scare tactics to you, you’re catching my drift.

flood

Will my insurance cover the full value of my lost/damaged possessions?

There are two standard types of reimbursement and it’s important to understand the difference between the two; it can impact your premiums and affect how the insurance company assesses your claim. When shopping around for home, condominium or tenant insurance, make sure you find out if the quotes you receive are based on actual cash value or replacement value because premiums for replacement coverage will be higher than for cash value.

  • Cash value coverage reimburses you for the value of personal belongings at the time of a claim. If your 3-year-old mountain bike is stolen, you’d receive the value less depreciation. If the original cost was $2,000, you might only receive $1,000, minus the deductible.
  • Replacement cost coverage reimburses you for the full value of an item. If you’d have to pay $2,500 to buy that same mountain bike today, that’s what you’d receive, less the deductible.

Do Students need Insurance?

Starting at college or university comes with brain clutter like exams, parties, co-ops and friends but one thing that rarely comes to mind is insurance, and for good reason. If you’re a student you’ve probably never had the need for your own insurance; living at your parent’s house and driving their car means you’re insured under their policy. Depending on where you stay while attending school, you might need your own.

  • If you’re living at your parent’s home or residence, you’re covered by their insurance
  • There is usually a cap or limit to how much coverage a student can claim from their parent’s plan, make sure to inquire about the limitations.
  • Students living off campus in an apartment, condo or house should definitely get coverage, especially if you’re living with roomates!
  • Best of all, once you have insurance you can now host a raging foam party (I recommend attending rather than hosting, from personal experience)

Moving Out & Tight On Cash? How to Set Up a Home on a Budget

Whether you’re moving out on your own for the first time, setting up a home with roommates, or settling down after globe trotting, setting up a home sure adds up! While you may have dreams of magazine and pinterest worthy interiors, if you’re on a budget you’ll probably need to hold off on the décor until you’ve bought and paid for all the basics.

When you’re starting from nothing, your shopping list will be gargantuan, covering everything from furniture to trash cans to toilet paper, as well as filling up an empty pantry. But even though it’s a big job, getting yourself sorted doesn’t have to break the bank. If you have a budget to stick to, here are some ideas to help you save.
How to Decorate a Home on a Budget
The essentials
Working out what you need rather than what you want will help you cut down on your initial set-up costs. The best way to do this is make a list of all the items you think you’ll need for every room in the house. For example:

Living Room:
Couch
Coffee table
TV
Lamps
Once you know what you want in each room, go through the list and circle only what you’ll absolutely need on day one – things like the fridge , couch, bed, etc. These are the items you’ll want to buy first. Everything else on the list – like cushions, side tables, etc. – can be acquired slowly over time. By prioritizing your essentials you’ll significantly reduce your initial set up costs, allowing you to slowly save up your money for the rest. If you have time to save up and search for the perfect piece, you are more likely to find fabulous statement pieces that really add to the character of the room, as well as more time to hold out for a great deal.

Where to start?
When you’re just starting out, the first things you buy don’t have to be the best; they just need to get you through while you’re finding your feet. One way to stick to your budget is to get as much as you can second hand:

Friends and family: Friends and family love to help, so don’t be afraid to ask. You’d be amazed by how many couches, TVs and other items are just sitting around unused in people’s garages (that they’re probably glad to get rid of!) Sure, cast-offs from family are unlikely to be the hottest new style, but beggars can’t be choosers, right? You will have plenty of time to save up for a leather couch or a flat screen wall mounted TV once you have a good idea of how your monthly budget balances.

Social media: Don’t underestimate the power of your social networks. Let people know what you need and you never know who might be looking to unload a few items for very cheap or for free to a friend.

Kijiji: Of course, for anything you don’t find from friends and family, you’ll always be able to find great second hand deals on Kijiji! There are lots of free items posted daily, which you can jump on easily if you have the time to check often and the means to pick things up quickly (access to a pick up truck comes in handy when moving large furniture items). Set up an alert for items you hope to buy a little way down the line, so you will be notified when one is posted within your price range.

Setting up a new home can be costly, but there are ways you can cut down on costs. By focusing on the essentials and getting as much as you can second hand, you can probably get set up for much less. So take your time, ask around and graciously accept any items you’re offered. It may not look like the house of your dreams in the beginning, but you can always redecorate a bit further down the track.

Do It Yourself: Fixing up an Old Chair

There are some amazing deals on wooden chairs on Kijiji, but often they may be in need of a little TLC to really look their best. How can you restore them to their former glory on a budget?

DIY: Fixing Up an Old Chair on a Budget

Prepare Your Gear

Make sure to get all the tools, materials, and plans that you need before you begin. Write a checklist of all the items required so you don’t forget anything important, and don’t forget about a drop cloth or old newspapers so you don’t damage the floors around your work area.

Repaint Your Old Chair

Repainting old, vintage or retro chair is one of the simplest ways to get a new chair for low cost. Paint stripper, or a fine grade sandpaper can be used to remove old paint to get an even surface before applying new colours. Use masking tape to cover and protect certain areas that you do not wish to paint, or get creative with stencils and designs with some painter’s tape. After you apply the paint or stain, apply thin layer of sealant, wax, or lacquer to protect your new chair from chipping, and really make the piece stand out.

Strip Old Paint

Maybe the ill-conceived paint job from days gone by is what is cramping the style of your chair. There are several ways to go about removing undesired paint from wood. Chemical stripper, sanding, scraping, and paint thinner are all options, depending on the amount of paint. If you choose a chemical method, be sure to use proper protection and work in a well ventilated area.

Bring out the Natural Beauty of Wood

Maybe the oak chair doesn’t match your walnut furniture – no problem! Strip any stain and start over with whatever colour works for your space. Wood stains come in many different colours and finishes, so you can definitely find something that works and updates the look of the wood. If the wood is just a little faded, try oiling the wood with some danish oil or teak oil (for teak furniture specifically). It might be that a bit of oil brings your chair to life in a way you didn’t think possible!

Replace Dated Fabric

If your chair has outdated, damaged, or just less than cool fabric, you can remove the old cover and replace it with a print more suited to your decor. The fabric needs to be stapled to the bottom of the cushion, so remember to get a heavy-duty stapler ahead of time. Alternate the staples between one side and the opposite to prevent wrinkles in the fabric. Have a selection of mismatched chairs? Using the same fabric is a great way to create a cohesive look and bring your room together when dealing with disparate styles.

Re-upholster Your Chair

If your chair needs more than just a new piece of fabric, you might replace older cushioning with a high-density foam to make your chair more comfortable, add more springs if you like a more bouncy seat, replace cushion on the arms, add a sewn-on pillow, or do any number of other adjustments. Once you have decided on the new structure, you can wrap it in a new fabric to give yourself a completely new chair.

Transform Your Chair into Something Else

Maybe that broken leg or structurally unsound back rest isn’t worth your time to fix. However, for a DIY project, with a bit of cutting here and there, sometimes you can turn that old chair into a completely different piece of furniture. By removing the chair’s back, then fixing the cushion or adding a hardwood top, you can transform your chair into a new picnic or dining stool. With bigger chairs, you remove the back and put on new fabric to create an ottoman, or put on a hardwood top for small side or coffee table.

Sell Your Chair and Get a New One

If you really want a totally different chair, or the DIY route seems like too much work for your liking, your best options may be to sell your old ones and replace them with new ones. You can always find tons of cool-looking chairs to give your area new pizzazz. To get the most for you old chairs, it is best if you can fix them up a bit before selling them to increase their value. With a little colour, touch-up, or repair, your chair will have new life and can be sold for a higher price.

Getting a new chair does not have to be expensive. With a little creativity and some simple reupholstering or re-texturing, you can have totally fresh new furniture.

The Benefits of a Piano (and how to get a beautiful piano for free)

Pianos are one of the musical instruments most often given away for free on Kijiji (there are currently over 600 pianos across Canada offered for free), likely due to the cost and effort of moving one. There are some amazing deals to be found on an instrument that not only provides many benefits, but also creates an instant focal point in whatever room they are placed in. Whether for yourself, or for a child or even as a very generous gift, it might surprise you to learn that playing the piano isn’t just for wowing guests when they come over to your home.


Here are 5 surprising ways that playing the piano can make your life better:

Improves Cognitive Thinking

Piano has been proven to stimulate the brain by connecting neurological pathways while you play. Think of it like a muscle- the more your brain is trained to operate this way, the more naturally it’s going to be able to do it whether you’re playing the piano or not. In turn, high-level cognitive thinking transfers over to academics as well as work.

Helps You Learn New Languages

There is research that shows that people who play instruments such as the piano are able to learn language much easier and quicker than people who have no musical background. It may seem like an odd connection, but what happens is playing piano helps train your brain to pick up sound patterns in the midst of noise, which is similar to how we pick up a new language. When a language is new to us, we focus more so on sound than on meaning before it begins to register and make sense.

Teaches Important Life Skills

Learning to play the piano requires an extraordinary amount of positive character traits that can carry over to all other aspects of your life. At any age, people who learn to play the piano are infused with a sense of determination, structure, and discipline. From learning the keys to the intervals, from building dexterity in your fingers to building strength, and from practicing scales to full length sonatas- the time and patience it takes to really learn how to play the piano is immense.

Reduces Stress

Playing the piano as a leisurely activity once you’ve learned the skill is actually known to reduce stress and lower the chance of burnout. Much like running, biking, painting, or other common hobbies, playing piano allows your to zone out from the outside world and just focus on what you’re creating with your music.

Develops or Enhances Coordination

This benefit not only helps younger children but adults as well. For kids, playing the piano builds on the coordination and motor skills that they’ll need throughout their lives. They need to learn how to control the force in which they press the keys and they have to be able to play different notes with two hands while going up and down the piano keys. For adults, playing the piano keeps your fingers from getting stiff, which is a natural part of aging. Think of it as exercise for your fingers- with regular playing as an adult, you keep your fingers loose and dexterous which your hands will thank you for later on in life.

Extra Tips:

  • if purchasing a second-hand piano, always get a professional to come check the piano out with you
  • ask the seller how often the piano is tuned or maintained
  • check carefully inside the piano as well as outside the piano for dents, scratches, parts that may be loose, etc.
  • if you choose a free piano, don’t forget to consider the cost of piano movers and any maintenance that has to be done to it
  • negotiate: if the seller isn’t willing to tune the piano or have the regularly scheduled maintenance done to the piano before you purchase, see if you can get the price down a little lower to make up for what you’ll be spending on the tuning and fixing-up
  • 5 DIY Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solutions You Can Whip Up At Home

    Rather than fall for the gimmicks of commercial cleaning products, we here at Kijiji are all about sustainable, eco-friendly, and people-friendly cleaning products that can be whipped up in your own home saving you money and keeping you green throughout the summer months.

    green clean

    Here are a few cleaning solutions to get you started and ready for the summer adventures that lie ahead!

    1. “Green” Grass Stain Remover

    Whether you’re playing soccer outside or you have little ones running wild in the yard, grass stains are an almost guaranteed mess you’ll have to clean this summer. Using 2 tbsp. of hydrogen peroxide and 1 tbsp. of dish soap with hot water, let your grass stained clothing set for about ten minutes before soaking them in the peroxide solution for another ten. After this is all done, scrub with a brush (toothbrush probably is the most handy) and watch the stain disappear!

    2. Grapefruit and Kosher Salt Bathtub Cleaner

    Hot, humid weather means more showers and more grime being washed off everyday. To keeping the bathtub sparkling, one very easy cleaning method uses 1 grapefruit and coarse salt. All it takes it cutting the grapefruit in half, sprinkling a generous amount of the salt on it and then scrubbing the areas that need cleaning. Extra grimy areas can be juiced with some of the grapefruit juice first before scrubbing. Not only will your tub be shiny and new again, it will smell amazing!

    3. Simple Toilet Ring Cleanser

    You’re not always going to have the time to scrub your toilet bowl down every other day, so for those lazy summer days or when the buildup isn’t too much but you have a few guests coming over, an easy cleaner you can make at home requires only one ingredient you’re sure to have in your cupboards: vinegar!
    Pouring one cup of vinegar and letting it sit for ten minutes should be enough to loosen the grime creating the ring in your toilet bowl.

    4. Quick and Easy Glass Cleaner

    Streaky windows from smudgy hands of children on their summer break are an eyesore, but instead of taking out a commercial cleaner, a “Green” alternative is to create a solution made of 2 cups water, 1/2 cup vinegar, ¼ cup rubbing alcohol, and about 2 drops of any citrus oil. Mix it all together in a spray bottle .

    5. DIY Laundry Softener

    If there was ever a season where fabric softener and freshener was strongly needed, it’s summer when kids and adults are out all day sweating and doing active, outdoor activities. This fabric softener alternative to commercial softeners is chemical free and safe for everyone. Lavender water or your favourite scent of essential oil (think citrus, rose, etc.) mixed with water in a spray bottle creates the perfect solution. All you have to do is spray the mixture on your laundry before it gets put in the wash, and just like that, fresh smelling laundry ready to take on the summer grime!

    While you are cleaning up, sell your unwanted items on Kijiji!