Deb Evans ABR,CSG - ERA Key Realty Services



Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 12/31/2019

Moving into a new home can often be a frantic, exhausting task. Matters are made worse if the house you are moving into wasn’t cleaned thoroughly after the previous movers left.

 However, the best time to clean a house is before you move in. This is due to the fact that cleaning shelves is easier before they’ve been filled, and vacuuming carpets is simpler if the house doesn’t yet have any furniture.

 So, in this article we’re going to show you the best way to clean your new home before you move in to avoid having to move objects around once you’ve brought them inside.

 Before moving day

 The idea moment to clean your new home is before the moving truck arrives. If possible, pick a day after the previous owners have moved out that is close to your move-in date. Bring all of your cleaning supplies with you, including cloths, towels, a duster, vacuum, hardwood floor polish, glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, and so on.

It might be tempting to just start scrubbing as soon as you’re inside, but first take a moment to walk through the house and make a list of all the cleaning tasks you would like to accomplish before moving in.

Not only will your list help you determine how long you’ll need to clean, but it will also give some organization to your day and keep you on track.

On or after moving day

You don’t always have the luxury of being able to clean your new home beforehand. If you’re moving across states or are on a tight move-in/move-out schedule, you might have to clean your house as you move in.

In this case, the best solution is to organize your boxes and furniture by room. Then, when moving them inside, put them in the corner of a room in a neat pile. This will leave access to most of the room so that you can clean before putting things away.

Make sure you and your family are on the same page in terms of organizing items on moving day. If you have family members who start unpacking boxes, let them know they could be more helpful by picking up a duster or cleaning some windows rather than putting items in their future places.

Room by room cleaning

There are some rooms in your house that require special attention. Let’s start with the kitchen.

When it comes to cleaning your appliances (refrigerator, oven, microwave, etc.), it’s a good idea to spray on some degreaser or baking soda/vinegar solutions in advance to let them soak and loosen up any debris before you start scrubbing them. Soaking them all at once will help you save time cleaning.

The bathroom poses a challenge when moving in for two reasons. Since bathrooms tend to be small and crowded, it can be hard to work inside of them if there are boxes in the way. To avoid this, stack all of your bathroom items outside in the hallway or in the bathroom closet while you clean.




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Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 7/23/2019

Minimalism has taken hold of a generation of new homeowners. Many young families may move multiple times before finding a forever home. Throughout the sorting, packing, loading, moving, and unloading they realize that much of what they carry with them is not necessary for comfortable living. Many folks have accepted the challenge to pare unused and cluttering items from their lives. Whether you are planning to move soon, just moved into your forever home, or are somewhere in-between, you can benefit from paring down and decluttering your life.

Discover freedom

Proponents of decluttering from Marie Kondo, star of Netflix's hit show, "Tidying Up With Marie Kondo," to Genevieve Parker Hill, author of Minimalist Living: Decluttering for Joy, Health, and Creativity, believe that reducing your home’s clutter, overflow, and disorganization help to free up your time, energy, and happiness. The concept of removing disorganization from your life sets you up to more effortless living.

You can join an online challenge ranging anywhere from three days to six weeks to fit your schedule. Alternatively, you can make a pact with friends or siblings to cheer each other through it or challenge yourself to carry out a list of decluttering items in one day or over several days. If you take on the challenge by yourself, create a suitable reward for your efforts.

Clear your mind first

Before you try to clear your home of clutter, take some time to organize your thoughts first. 

  • Write down what you hope to achieve by decluttering: more space? More peace? Better time management?
  • Note where you want to start. You may be able to declutter your entire home, but before you bite of that enormous chunk, create an order of priority. Is the hall closet most important? The pantry? Perhaps your biggest headache is your closet, attic, or garage. Start with that one place. If you try to do too many spaces at once, you may end up discouraged before you start.
  • Set aside the day or days for your challenge. Block off your schedule. Putting it off got you into this position in the first place and any interrupted to your challenge dates might tempt you to indulge in procrastination once again.

Once you have determined the room you will start with, prepare four boxes for sorting: 

  • Discard – items too used or useless to give to a charity or thrift store need tossing. Do not donate anything beyond its useful life. At the end of each day, you will discard these items so that you avoid the temptation to put them back in your house.
  • Recycle – if you no longer use it for its original purpose, but you know you could use it someplace else, put it in the “recycle” box.
  • Give – items you no longer use, but that someone else could go in the “give” box. You can donate these to a charity or thrift store or give them to family members or friends that want them and will use them. Immediately place this box in your car to give away as soon as possible.
  • Keep – this is what goes back in this location, or into another place. Once you clean out the area, return to it only the items that belong there. If you have other keep items, move them to the room or location they belong in so that they no longer clutter up your space.

When you finish, reward yourself. Then, set up the next challenge. If you plan to put your home on the market, to give a deadline to your challenge, have your real estate agent set an open house date.





Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 4/2/2019

It’s almost time to welcome in the spring season. With spring comes a yearly tradition: Spring cleaning! Where do you even start to get the dust, dirt, and clutter out of your home after a long winter? We have a few tips for you regarding all of the areas that you need to address. 


Baseboards, Door Frames, and Walls


These areas of your home are often overlooked, but can accumulate quite a bit of dust and dirt. All you need to do is wash the areas down with soap and water and let them dry thoroughly.  


Wash Your Windows


This sounds like it’s the least fun of any kind of cleaning project, but it must be done! However you decide to wash your windows, make sure that you pick a cloudy day for it. If it’s a sunny day, you could end up streaking the windows quite harshly because the windows will dry too fast.


Deep Clean The Carpets


Although this project may be done only once a year, it’s an important cleaning task to help with springtime allergens. You can have your rugs professionally cleaned. Another option is to rent a deep cleaner for the carpet and do-it-yourself. This can be an all day project, since the carpets need time to dry. If you see any stains in the carpets, be sure to pre-treat them before you start the carpet cleaning process. 


Give Your Furniture A Once-Over


Spring is a great time to vacuum up your furniture and refresh the upholstery. Clean the wood portions of your furniture as well with a polish. Be sure that you clean under the furniture, under the cushions, and all around the furniture as well. Your vacuum hose will come in handy for these tasks.


Clean Behind The Refrigerator


Take the time to move your refrigerator, dust behind it, and really clean all around it. So much dust and dirt can collect around the fridge that it will shock you. 


Dust The Light Fixtures


Your light fixtures can often go ignored. The glass around the bulbs can collect quite a bit of dust and dirt. Take the lighting fixtures apart and wipe everything down with a cloth. Use a mild cleaner for dust and dirt that has really built up over time.


Power Wash The Outside Of Your House


The spring is a great time to power wash the outside of your home. The exterior of the home will appear like new as you get rid of any dust, dirt, and debris that may have built up on the shingles or stone facing over the course of the fall and winter.   

 


Spring cleaning won’t be such a tedious task as long as you take the time to plan what your priorities are in the house.




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Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 10/2/2018

Keep your outdoor surfaces in tip-top shape all year long with these care tips:

Bricks

Bricks are known for their durability but still need to be maintained and cared for. They key here is to be gentle with your cleaning methods as they can wear down and become compromised by the chemicals found in typical household cleaners.

Have you ever noticed how some bricks have a white, chalky residue to them? It’s messy, unappealing and 100% preventable. All you have to do is check labels in Winter time! When shopping for deicer avoid those made with calcium chloride.

Stay on top of culling plants growing between bricks. Where there are plants there is more moisture which will inevitably lead to loosening your bricks. Cut plants that begin growing. They will die quickly and easily pull up. Easily remove moss with a mixture of one part bleach to 10 parts hot water

If for whatever reason you find you need to clean brick only use a masonry specific cleaner and scrub gently when using. If there are stains on your bricks you will need a poultice made specifically for masonry staining.

Concrete

Concrete is another outdoor surface known for its durability but that doesn’t mean it’s invincible. Caring for concrete is similar to the needs of brick.

Clean up oil spills by allowing cat litter to sit on the spot overnight. Repeat until the stain is no longer “pulling” from the litter. If there is a stain left behind a poultice may be necessary (just like with bricks). You will also use the same 1:10 bleach mixture to remove moss from concrete as you would with bricks.

However, when it comes to deicer you will want to avoid a different set of ingredients. Those made with ammonium nitrate or sulfate can break down concrete and so best to be avoided. If you do you gardening in your garage, or your shed has concrete flooring you’ll want to be cautious with fertilizer. Wet fertilizer can actually lead to staining on concrete.

To avoid staining there are preemptive measures you can take. Seal concrete helps to make it stain resistant. And to keep it on top form you clean your favorite household all-purpose cleaner and a good scrub.

Wood

Wood is the more high maintenance surface to care for. Wood needs to be sealed yearly. You may find you will need to sand off an existing finish from the previous homeowners before applying a new one. Apply a preservative or stain to protect from moisture and rot.

Clean wood surfaces by scrubbing clean and manage stains with oxalic acid crystals. Powdered oxygen bleach is best used to eliminate existing mold and it’s spores. Know that you may have to do this process a couple of times to take care of the spores for good.





Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 6/26/2018

Regardless of whether you're buying or selling a home, it is important to keep your house looking great at all times. By doing so, you'll be able to boost your home's appearance and maintain or increase your house's value for years to come.

A professional cleaning service remains a popular choice for homeowners, as this service makes it easy for homeowners to enhance the quality and appearance of a residence. Finding the right home cleaning service, however, may seem like an uphill climb, particularly for homeowners who are searching for a professional cleaning service for the first time.

Lucky for you, we're here to take the guesswork out of finding the right home cleaning service – here are three tips to streamline the process of discovering the ideal professional cleaning service.

1. Ask Friends and Family Members for Help

Friends and family members serve as valuable resources, especially if you're searching for a home cleaning service. These loved ones may be able to offer recommendations based on their past professional cleaning service experiences, ensuring you can find a terrific home cleaning service in no time at all.

Ask friends and family members about their past home cleaning service experiences. This may allow you to find a trusted professional cleaning service, one that can help you transform your ordinary residence into a dazzling one.

2. Browse Customer Reviews

Professional cleaning services are readily available nationwide, so how can you differentiate a great home cleaning service from a mediocre one? Customer reviews, of course!

Yelp, Angie's List and other home service review websites can help you take the guesswork out of finding a professional cleaning service. These websites publish positive and negative home cleaning service reviews from customers, ensuring you can gain insights into various professional cleaning services that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

Spend some time browsing customer reviews online – you'll be glad you did! If you explore customer feedback from across the web, you can better understand what separates a wonderful professional cleaning service from a subpar one.

3. Get Support from a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents offer expert tips and guidance to homebuyers and home sellers alike. As such, they understand the best home cleaning services in numerous cities and towns and are happy to help you discover the perfect professional cleaning service.

Furthermore, real estate agents may be able to help you find a home cleaning service that fits your schedule and budget. These agents understand that is paramount to employ a professional cleaning service that is available at dates, times and prices that work for you. Thus, real estate professionals will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you discover the right home cleaning service at any time.

A home cleaning service ensures you can eliminate dust, debris and odors from your residence. And if you dedicate the necessary time and resources to hire a professional cleaning service today, you can minimize such problems both now and in the future.




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