Deb Evans ABR,CSG - ERA Key Realty Services



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.




Categories: Uncategorized  


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.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 3/13/2018

As a home seller, you recognize that your house is one of many that is available to prospective homebuyers. However, unlike most home sellers, you're willing to go the extra mile to ensure that your residence represents an attractive choice to homebuyers. Although you may commit significant time and resources to get your house ready for a home showing, there are several factors to consider as you prep your residence. Some of the most common factors to consider include: 1. Appearance Of course, your home's interior and exterior should look pristine so they can help your home make a great first impression on homebuyers. Furthermore, you should clean and declutter your house as much as possible before a home showing. This will allow you to highlight how your house represents a spacious, immaculate oasis that a homeowner can enjoy for years to come. Don't forget to hide personal items like photographs before you show your home, too. Ideally, you'll want homebuyers to envision what it's like to live in your house as they walk through it. And by removing personal items, you'll make it easier for homebuyers to imagine a wonderful future in which they buy your home. 2. Smells Strong smells may linger, and ultimately, impact a homebuyer's impression of your residence. Thus, you'll want to pay close attention to any smells that may turn homebuyers off. Focus on using air fresheners and candles that deliver warm, inviting aromas throughout your house. Whether it's lighting a candle that fills your home with a rich natural scent or spraying an air freshener that brings an unparalleled citrus aroma to your residence, you can use odor eliminators to disguise unpleasant smells quickly and effortlessly. You also should consider smells that may develop on the day of a home showing. For instance, cooking bacon on your kitchen stove may be part of your morning routine but can leave a lingering smell. Conversely, home sellers who try to maintain pleasant aromas throughout their houses day after day should be able to minimize repugnant smells immediately. 3. Lighting Illuminate your residence's interior and exterior as best you can, and you'll likely find that homebuyers may be more attracted to your house over others that are available. From dazzling pendant lights in the kitchen to recessed lighting in the hallways, you can make a bold statement with the right types of lighting throughout your home. Also, you should open the windows prior to a home showing to let sunlight fill your residence. By doing so, you can use natural light to illuminate your house and allow fresh air to filter through your home simultaneously. For home sellers, it is essential to devote time and resources to prep your house for an upcoming showing. And if you need extra support along the way, working with an experienced real estate agent ensures that you can receive expert assistance as you add your home to the real estate market. Consider the aforementioned factors as you get your house ready for a home showing, and you should have no trouble generating interest in your house.







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