Every child grows up either with a dog or dreaming of the day they will have a dog. And if it’s not a dog, it’s a cat, a hamster, or even a goldfish. But sometimes having a pet is just not an option. Here are a few things to consider before getting a pet.

Allergies: It’s important to know whether or not you or anyone living in your home has any allergies to animals. And it’s best to know before you adopt or buy— there are tests that your doctors can run. It’s never a good situation for the pet owner(s) and animal if the animal has to either be given back or given to someone else due to an allergy. This will put a lot of stress on the animal being moved around too much and it can also cause harm to the people involved, as it is always difficult letting go of a pet. If someone in the home has an allergy you may have to stick with goldfish and hermit crabs. However, there are certain types of dogs that are considered hypoallergenic.

Travel: Do you work long hours? Do you travel often for work? Will there be anyone home when you aren’t? These are all important questions to consider before adopting a pet. These questions don’t apply as much to pets such as goldfish and hamsters (even though they still require care), but are extremely important if you want a cat or dog.

Time: Do you have the time for a pet? Consider the questions above such as work hours and traveling, but also if you have the time between having a social life, taking care of your children, bringing them to soccer practice or dance class, etc. If you think you have the time then you must also consider that there are different breeds of dogs that require more attention and work than others. The same goes for different types of cats. Be sure you are completely aware of the work that goes into the type of dog or cat you want.

Cost: The cost of a pet goes well beyond the initial adoption or breeder fee. It’s important that you consider the lifetime cost of owning a pet and whether or not you can afford an animal. Again this more pertains to dogs and cats rather than hamster and fish. There’s the cost of food, grooming, veterinary care, toys and walkers. And the costs will vary depending on the breeds of cats and dogs. It’s also important that you save for emergency vet visits, as they can be completely unpredictable and very trying at the time. Having money saved up will take a small bit of the stress away.

A pet is a large responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly. You are caring for another life and the adoption or purchase of any animal should be well thought out and something you are prepared for. If that sounds like you then go out and find the pet that’s perfect for you and your family.

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If you’ve lived in your house for more than five years, there’s a good chance that clutter and disorganization is gradually taking over your basement.

While you probably had the best of intentions when you first moved in, that valuable storage space may now have deteriorated into a hodgepodge of scattered furniture, holiday supplies, old toys, boxes, and miscellaneous junk.

If you’re considering selling your house in the near future, straightening your basement will soon become a high priority item. Not only is an organized basement an important aspect of staging a home, but it’s a key step in preparing to pack your belongings and move to your next location.

As you’ll discover when you start sorting through your old belongings, there will also be opportunities to make money, save money, and help other people.

  • Finding old treasures: One result of tackling a basement organization project is that you’ll find usable, lost, and valuable things you forgot you even had. Whether something is valuable or pure junk, stored belongings have a way of getting buried and hidden away for years in basements. Once you start grouping things together and throwing away stuff nobody needs, it won’t take long before a semblance of order begins taking shape! The longer it’s been since you’ve organized your basement, the more satisfying it will feel to get it underway and done!
  • Money-making options: A well-organized garage sale can be a profitable way to get rid of things you no longer use or want. If you haven’t taken the time to pull out belongings that are buried, hidden, or boxed up, then it’s difficult to find what’s available to sell. When your stuff is already organized and ready to be carried outside, preparing for a garage sale is generally easier, faster, and more efficient. If you just have a few items you want to sell and don’t want to be bothered with a garage sale, there’s also the alternative of publicizing it on social media, classified ads, flyers, or word of mouth.
  • Donating to worthy causes: If you happen to have furniture, clothing, toys, electronics, working appliances, or kitchen supplies you no longer need, there’s also the option of donating it to charitable organizations, such as the Salvation Army, homeless shelters, or other community service groups. If you keep good records or get a detailed receipt from the charity, there may be the chance to deduct the donation on your tax returns. The best source of information on tax-related matters, of course, would be your accountant.

Whether you’re planning on moving soon or staying put for a while, taking a few hours to straighten out your basement will not only be personally satisfying, but you could make some money on the side or help underprivileged families in your community.

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