Spring Cleaning Tips

You are probably quarantined at home right now, and maybe looking for activities to do to be occupied during this period. Coincidentally is Spring cleaning season too, since you have more time available, it is an excellent opportunity for cleaning, decluttering and organizing your home. 

Here are 5  tips that will help you with Spring Cleaning:

1. Get your tools and supplies in order

Having all your tools in one place will make all the process of spring cleaning more manageable, you will save time running from one place to another, looking for the sponge or the multi-purpose cleaner. Some of the items you might need are paper towels, mop, vacuum cleaner, window cleaner, and all-purpose cleaner.

Did you run out of disinfectants? Looking for natural disinfectants? Here is a simple recipe using natural ingredients that you are likely to have at home that can be very handy.

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 5 to 10 drops of your favorite essential oil 
  • 1 squirt natural dish soap

Steps:

  1. Mix up all the ingredients into one spray bottle.  
  2. Shake it up before you use it and spray onto the surface and wipe with a clean cloth. 

 

2. Make a do to list 

Focus in one space at a time, you can even separate your chores into different days of the week, for not feeling overwhelmed and pressured to finish everything in one day. You should prioritize the space that needs more attention.

 

  1. Monday: Kitchen – Clean the fridge, microwave, stove, and do a wipe-down of all the counters.
  2. Tuesday: Bathroom – Germs stay longer on a wet surface, so don’t forget to clean the taps, handles, knobs, mats, and the floor of the washroom.
  3. Wednesday: Bedroom – Wash your sheets, dust side tables, vacuum, and clear clutter.
  4. Thursday: Living Room – Dust and wash all mirrors, frames, and decorative items and vacuum all rugs and upholstery.
  5. Friday: Accessories – Organize your closet and clean your accessories from your watch, shoes to jewelry and sanitize them as much as possible before wearing them.

 

3.  Clean high-touch places where you often put on your hands

Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces is a step you should take, even if you aren’t leaving the house. Anytime items or people come in and out of your home, there is some possibility of exposure. It is essential that you take time to clean these areas to get rid of any germs. Clean the door handles, stair rails, window sills, kitchen counters, toilets, and even your phone.

Every home is a little bit different, so think about the areas where your family and roommates spend the most time.

Here is our checklist of home maintenance you should be doing every spring 

 

4. Have fun while spring cleaning

You might not think cleaning is fun, but to try to make that most out of it, get creative, put on your favorite playlist or listen to your favorite podcast and get started with your chores. You can even set a timer for each playlist, so you know the amount of time it took to do each task. Play some spring cleaning games and set up a reward system whenever you achieve a goal. These will help things feel less tedious.  

5. Establish new routines

Now is an excellent time to establish new routines and cleaning habits. It won’t only be useful due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but because it will make the next spring cleaning way more manageable. Start with a simple routine, organizing your closet every week and cleaning your windows at least twice a month, try decluttering those clothes and accessories you no longer use and donate them if you can. This will help you to have your home beautiful and neat all year long.

Stay Home and Stay Safe!

 

How to Check Your Home for Earthquake Damage After the Ground Stops Shaking

 

Well, Utah just had our largest earthquake since 1992.  It woke some of us up and rattled the windows.  We thought it would be wise to get the word out on how to check for earthquake damage (now that the ground isn’t rocking and rolling quite so much).  Check for injuries to yourself and your family and cautiously evacuate if it is unsafe before taking care of your home.

 

1. Walk the Outside

 

It goes without saying that if the earthquake is severe, you should stay safe and not enter any spaces that look dangerous or unstable.   Let’s just say it again – keep clear until you know it is safe.  Keep an eye out for downed power lines and stay away from them as well.    

Walk the outside of your building and check for earthquake damage.  Be systematic. Check each outer wall, top to bottom.  Look for cracks, signs of instability, indents, or bulging walls.  Take photos of the damage if you can – you might need documentation for insurance claims.    

Look at your roof and gutters and check that you aren’t missing any tiles or that your water spouts haven’t become disconnected.  Don’t forget to check roof ridges if you can get to them.  Are there heavy tree branches or debris on your roof?  If so, your roof might be in danger of collapsing – so be careful about re-entering your house.    

Make a note of anything that looks like it is unstable or still moving.  And DON’T get too close if that is the case.  Finally, check to see if you smell any gas.  If you do, do not go into your house.  Write down a list of all the things that need to be taken care of.  

 

2. Check The Inside

 

The inclination is to clean up any earthquake damage inside first.  But take a moment and make sure that your house is stable from the outside first.   

Check your walls, ceilings and floors for cracks or gaps.  Notice if the floor is creakier than before in a specific area.  Tap your floor tiles and check for a new hollow sound. Don’t forget to check basements and crawl spaces.     

Check your windows and doors – do they still open and close properly (assuming they aren’t broken)? If they don’t, that could indicate some foundational issues that are hidden.

 

3. Check Utility Lines for Earthquake Damage

 

It is critical that once you’ve made sure that the foundation of your house is stable and safe that you check your gas line where it comes into your house.  Look at your meter and check the dials. Check for the smell of gas – especially around the stove, furnace, and hot water heater.  If you smell gas, evacuate immediately.  If it is safe, turn off the gas main.  Here is a video on how to check.    

Look for water leaks – around your water heater, sinks, tub and any hoses attached to your house.  If you discover water leaks, turn off the water main if you can.    

Finally, check your electrical wires, especially in basements and attics, where wires may be exposed.  Check if anything has fallen on them.  If any wires are exposed, sparking or appear damaged, turn off the power at the breaker and DO NOT approach any exposed wires or downed lines.

 

4. Check for Debris & Clean Up

 

The inclination when checking for earthquake damage is to take care of the obvious stuff first, things like broken glass and tipped over furniture.  But making sure that your foundation and utilities are secure first means you can clean up without the fear of your house coming down or of fire.  This wasn’t a quake that majorly damaged most homes in Utah, but something to keep in mind for the future. 

Make sure you have a pair of solid shoes on and sweep up any broken glass, pottery, etc.  You don’t want to worry about cutting your foot.  Check that picture frames are stable on the wall – you don’t want them falling off later and hitting someone because they came loose.   

Put furniture, books, plates, etc. back where they belong (or stack them on the floor if you’re worried about strong aftershocks). 

Take a deep breath.  Have a glass of wine.  Meditate.  Hug your family.  Check on your neighbors.  Or if there *happens* to be pandemic going on at the same time (lucky you) get on social media and check on everyone.  We’ll get through this.  

Looking for help with repairs?  Check out our post on hiring a contractor or check out our list of service providers.

 

 

 

5 Spring Maintenance Tips for a Summer-Ready Yard

 

After a long, harsh winter and months of hibernation, your yard is now ready for warmer temperatures. To ensure that the soil is ready to grow some new grass and flowers, you need to take a few steps to set it up for success.

Resetting your sprinkler system and aerating the lawn can do wonders for your trees, plants, and shrubs.

Read on for 5 essential spring maintenance tips that’ll get your yard ready for the warmer season ahead.

1. Aerate Your Lawn

The first and most crucial step to preparing your yard for spring is to aerate the soil. You can do this by poking holes in the ground using a rake or special aerating tools such as a spike or plug aerators.

This process will help the soil absorb nutrients, water, and oxygen better so that the grass, plants, and trees thrive in the spring.

2. Rake and Mow Your Lawn

After you aerate, you might be wondering when to mow your lawn, especially if leaves are still falling from trees. It’s best to do this right before using soil fertilizers and planting new plants. You want the surface to be clean from debris, twigs, and weeds before you mow.

Once you mow the entire yard, you’ll be able to notice any bare patches where you can reseed grass. Make sure to check your mower before you begin and sharpen any dull blades.

3. Fertilize the Yard

After raking and mowing, your yard is now clean and ready for fertilizing. As soon as you notice the grass growing, you should spread nitrogen-rich fertilizer to help it thrive.

The key to lush, healthy grass is in choosing the right fertilizer for your yard. Consult your local garden center for advice. Different soil types and climates require different fertilizers, so make sure you do your research before you buy.

4. Prune Any Trees or Shrubs

During winter, trees and shrubs lose their leaves as they get ready to grow new ones. By pruning, you help them get rid of any dried or dead parts and make room for new branches.

This is a great way to create additional space for flower beds and decide what type of xeriscaping or landscaping you want to do.

5. Set up Your Sprinklers

Once your yard is all clean, using a sprinkler system will finish everything off and get it ready for spring. No matter how much rainfall there is in your area, the grass may still need additional moisture. For best results, turn on the sprinklers either at night or in the early morning hours to help the grass absorb more water.

Get Your Yard Ready With These Spring Maintenance Tips

Whether you have a big backyard or a small patch of land in the front, preparing it for the spring season is a must if you want lush greenery.

These backyard spring maintenance tips will help you set everything up in no time and give your yard the sprucing up it needs.

Now that your backyard is ready for the warmer temperatures, it’s time to get your home all ready for spring as well. Read this article to get the spring home maintenance checklist you need today.

The Spring Home Maintenance Checklist You Need Today

Don’t just spring clean… Get going on your spring home maintenance today!

Spring is in the air and that means that you’re probably thinking about spring cleaning.  Hold on though! You also need to be thinking about some key spring home maintenance items as well! Doing these 8 things at least once a year will save you time, money, and a big headache down the road.  The goal is to prevent things from going wrong or catching little problems early BEFORE they become major problems.

We created a handy check list of 8 spring maintenance items you should be checking every year.  As a matter of fact, you can probably get these done in one weekend and then you don’t have to worry!

 

1.  Check your gutters and down spouts

Gutters and down spouts get all clogged up over the winter with leaves and debris.  Get up on a ladder every spring and clear that gunk out.  It will save you leaks, breaks, pools of stagnant water and a big repair bill.

2.  Inspect your roof

Most roofs will last around 12-25+ years (depending on the material) IF, and only if they are inspected regularly and repaired.  While you’re up on the ladder cleaning your gutters and drain spouts, take a moment and climb up on your roof.  Look for loose roofing, pooled water, or curling shingles.

It can be very affordable to repair your roof regularly.  If your roof ends up leaking during those springtime showers, it can cost you thousands in damages PLUS the money to repair or get a new roof.

It’s a good idea to check your roof both in the spring and the fall. Just to be safe.

3.  Check seals on windows and doors

Check and repair any seals on window sills, door sills, and thresholds.  Look for damaged or peeling caulk, splinters, loose panes and gaps.  While you are at it, check and repair any screens – you’ll be glad to be able to open those windows and air out your home without bugs getting in!  Here is a handy guide for how to caulk your windows.

 

4. Give some love to your deck

Already planning the first BBQ of the season?  Better get that deck ready.  Just like your roof, you want to inspect it every spring.  Look for cracks, greying wood, loose joints and water seeping in.  Every 3-5 years you’ll want to stain and seal your deck to keep it from weathering.  A final step?  Give it a good pressure wash to get it ready for that backyard party!

5.  Filter out those dirty filters

Guys. HVAC filters get D.I.R.T.Y.  They collect dust, pollen, pet hair and dirt.  And then recirculate all those things back through your house if you don’t clean or replace them regularly.  This is something you’ll want to check several times a year.

 

6.  Don’t forget about your dryer and refrigerator

When doing spring home maintenance, don’t forget to check your dryer vent.  It gets clogged up and makes your dryer work that much harder.  Which makes your electricity bill go up.

And while you’re at it, check your refrigerator coils.  Chances are they need a good vacuum.  Not only are they really gross when they are covered in dust, they also make your fridge less efficient.

 

7.  Drain that water heater

Your water heater should be 100% drained a couple of times a year.  The reason?  All kinds of minerals and sediment build up in the bottom.  Which equals corrosion and water that doesn’t heat as fast as you’d like.

 

8.  Test your smoke detectors

This spring home maintenance item can literally save your life.  Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and put fresh batteries in.  While you’re at it why not make sure that your family knows what to do when an alarm goes off.  A household fire drill goes a long way.

Need a hand?

Check out our list of trusted vendors, contractors, supplier and all around handy types who can help you if you run into problems (or they can just take care of this stuff for you).  They’ll give you a hand with the whole spring home maintenance thing!

Yes. Buying a Home Can Be Stressful.

Yes. Buying a home can be stressful.

Hiring a professional to buy or sell a home is a good way to assist you in dealing with some of the stress points during a real estate transaction. Often times, buyers and sellers are unaware of all the possibilities that may come into play when purchasing a home or selling one. Your realtor is a trusted resource that will help you remain calm.

Here a just a few to consider:

 

  • Sometimes you will have to write many offers in our competitive market before you will secure a contract.

  • Sometimes home inspections do not go well and negotiating repairs can be stressful.

 

 

  • Sometimes closing gets delayed or there is an issue getting your keys once closing has occurred.

  • Often sellers may accidentally leave items at the home that are unexpected or leave the home less clean than anticipated. This can cause extra work to be needed before you may want to move in.

 

  • If you do not understand the home buying process well or your lender and/or real estate agent are not communicating consistently, it can leave you feeling out of the loop and anxious.

  • Feel free to constantly communicate with your agent and lender if it helps you feel at ease during the process. They really are such a valuable asset in so many ways.

 

Broom Clean and Free of Debris

What exactly does “Broom Clean and Free of Debris” mean when selling a home? For starters, this does not mean the home has been professionally cleaned by any means. Also, when sellers take down art and or photos off the walls, there are often nail holes left behind and the seller is not obligated to spackle them.

 

In addition, once furniture is removed, there can be spots on the carpet and other surprises that the buyer should anticipate potentially dealing with as there is no way to see everything when a home is occupied and there is furniture in the way.

 

Often times when a seller moves out and the home is vacant, many things that were not visible in photographs when furntiure ext. where still in the house, are now visible when empty. This can include stain on carpets, holes in walls and perhaps even issues with other types of flooring, like laminate floors with stains or damage.

 

Be prepared to either hire a professional service to clean the house to your satisfication or factor in the time to do it yourself. Expecting that it will already been done, is an unrealistic expectation and one that cathces a lot of buyers off guard.

 

“People’s perception of broom clean is very different, so buyers should plan on hiring a housecleaner so the home is clean to their liking,” Monique Higginson said. “Often sellers will leave paint or other items at the home, but those should be removed by the seller unless the buyer gives them permission to leave the items.”