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Tidying up your house affects community

We love it that in Grays Harbor County our city cores are being spruced up by volunteers. Their efforts to seasonally decorate, plant flowers, weed and just in general help us put on our best face, not only helps attract business, it also makes it more pleasant for all of us to live here.

If you haven’t had a chance, take a drive to Hoquiam to see what that bevy of volunteers have done to the downtown core. (We wrote all about it last week.)

Aberdeen and Montesano also have active volunteer groups, plus city-sponsored projects such as new sidewalks and signage that truly make a difference.

However, it’s not just the public spaces that give people an impression of a city, each individual house and yard combine to influence how a community presents itself.

Therefore, showing the lovely place we live in the best light is up to all of us.

Today we will give some tips for you to do just that.


One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, and we know that dealing with various “project” piles can be a sensitive issue in a neighborhood – or even within a household! However, any progress in that area can make a major improvement in how a house or neighborhood looks.

For those of you who have these sorts of items, why not promise yourself that this is the summer you are going to address them. Here are some ways to make a dent.

  • View your property from the street with fresh eyes. What items look “junky” to you?

  • Determine if there are items such as old cars and building materials that you really are not going to use. Make some money by selling them online, going to the metal buyer, etc. Or, donate them to a charity.

  • A trip to the dump is also relatively inexpensive – set a date to go this summer and gather your items together to make a full load.

  • For the rest, consider getting to work on that project!

  • At the very least, gather such items together in one place.

  • Investing in a shed, a gate, or a little privacy screen will also improve the overall look of your property.


The very rain that keeps the Pacific Northwest so green causes lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers – and weeds – to grow at a rapid pace.

However, simply mowing your lawn – or finding someone else to do it – tops our list of easy ways to spruce up your home.

Then, even getting rid of just one area of overgrown blackberry bushes, weeds or vines makes a quick impact on the “street appeal” of your home. Plus, it can be a motivating factor to cause you to tackle the next area, once you see how little time it takes and what a difference an hour or two can make.

For an added touch that does make a difference – a couple of flowers in pots near your door can add a welcoming feeling to your home. (Did you know that geraniums have a natural mosquito repellant? Consider including them on your porch or deck.)

For those out there with tidy, trim lawns and gardens – we all thank you! It makes our towns so attractive!


If you have been reading this column for any amount of time, you know that we recommend that you wash your house once every year or two. A good scrub can prolong your paint job – and makes it look fresh and clean.

In addition, in this climate most houses need to be painted every four to seven years. The paint not only helps your house look beautiful, it actually protects it from water and insect damage.

There does come a point, however, when it’s just time to replace the siding – depending on what kind you have. Yes, it’s a bit costly, but an expense that helps protect your main investment – your home.Is it time to consider replacing your siding – or perhaps your roof? Read ahead if you’d like some financial help to do so.


We now have low-interest loans – just 3 percent – that are available through us at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor for income-eligible people who need to replace their roof or siding or need to paint their house. These loans are for up to $25,000 and can be paid back up to a 15-year period.

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