Jay Allen's Blog
There's no question about it: Being a homeowner can be a very satisfying and rewarding experience! However, enjoying that added privacy, control over your environment, and pride of ownership does not come without a price.
When you go from being a renter to an owner, a lot of things change! In additional to being responsible for property maintenance, repairs, and improvements, home ownership requires an investment of time. For many people, devoting a block of time to painting a room, organizing a closet, or cleaning out the basement can be the trickiest part of getting a project done!
One of the biggest obstacles to starting a home project is the natural human tendency to procrastinate -- especially if the project infringes on your relaxation or recreation time! On the other hand, the satisfaction you'll experience when the job is done will more than justify the time and effort. The overriding question is: "How can I motivate myself to tackle the project and get it done?" While there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to self-motivation, here are a few ideas which might help!
Create a To-Do List: Writing down a list of priorities and revising it several times a week is a tried-and-proven method of getting things done around the house. Writing down your short-term (and long-term) goals engages your attention, serves as a visual reminder, and sets an intention for taking action. When you create a to-do list and look at it a couple times a day, it helps to focus your mind on what you want to accomplish. By organizing your thoughts, it makes it much easier to organize your home and your life. It's definitely not a panacea for all of life's ills, but it can be a darn good starting point!
Announce Your Intentions: Once you tell your spouse, your best friend, or your mother that you're going to clean out your garage or paint the spare room on Saturday, it makes it a little harder to wiggle out of it -- especially, if you've used that project as a reason for declining an invitation or postponing a favor. By stating your intention, it's almost like you're promising to do something. Since most of us are inclined to live up to our promises, announcing your intentions to complete -- or at least start -- a home-improvement or organizing project may be all it takes to get the ball rolling!
Buy or Gather the Supplies: Whether you need supplies for cleaning, painting, or screen repair, having them on hand will make it much easier to get started. On the other hand, not having them in the house makes it all-too-convenient to say, "I'll get to it tomorrow!" And as you may know, "tomorrow" either never comes or it turns into "next year!"
Dogs are a man’s best friends, but the mess they bring into your home? Not so much. Learn how you can have a clean house and a lovable pup at the end of each day. Here are ten tips below to get the best of both worlds.
1. Groom regularly. Keep less fur off your floors and furniture by brushing your dog on a regular schedule. Ideally, this would be a few times a week. Eliminate even more clean up by brushing out your pup outside when possible.
2. Sweep floors in high traffic areas with a microfiber cloth broom each day. The microfiber cloth will grab onto fur and dirt alike and can be reused. It’s also a quick and simple habit to develop and one you can easily delegate as a chore for the kids.
3. Dust often. Stay on top of fur build up by dusting a few areas of the home each night with a microfiber cloth. By just doing a room or two at a time it becomes a less overwhelming task and easier to do regularly. You can even keep a cloth stored away in each room to make the chore even simpler.
4. Vacuum furniture and drapes as well as carpeting. When you have a furry friend your vacuum is going to be working a lot harder around the house. You’ll want to vacuum drapes, furniture, and carpets frequently to stay on top of hair build up. Just as with dusting, you can do a few rooms at a time throughout the week to break up the tediousness of doing the whole house at once.
5. Lint brushes are your new best friend. You might as well fill a handbasket full of them the next time you’re at the store because you’ll never have too many. Store them where they can easily be on hand in closets, bathrooms, the mudroom and your family's’ vehicles. Where there is fur, there’s a way so be prepared to keep clothes fur free when leaving the house.
6. Take care of stains ASAP. Make cleaning up pet stains a no-brainer by putting together an easy to grab bucket filled with cleaning supplies that are made for the job. Be sure to include a pair of rubber gloves, a roll of paper towels, a microfiber cloth and your preferred cleaning solution.
And a bonus for the extra meticulous: wipe paws down with a microfiber cloth after walks. Microfiber clothes are wonderful multitaskers for household cleaners and now you can add “paw wipes” to the list. Before you let your dog run loose around the house after a walk gently wipe their paws with a dry microfiber cloth to catch any loose debris they could track inside.
We love our dogs. They are cute, funny and oh so loving. The messes that come with them, however, aren’t always so welcome. You can easily keep your home spick and span with a little preparation and a regular cleaning schedule. At the end of the day, you can admire your handiwork while curled up on the couch with your pooch.
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.
Children. You love them with all your being. But the mess they can make of the house? Not so much. Keep reading for four tips on how to keep your home clean despite your children’s best efforts. You might even be able to get them to join in on the fun!
1. Cleanup after playtime. Build the habit of cleaning up one set of toys before moving on to the next, this not only keeps the floor from becoming littered in toys but also makes cleaning up more manageable for little ones. A large mess can easily overwhelm small children and by cleaning up along the way you make the task easier for them to participate in.
2. Have an organizational system for corralling toys that works for you and more importantly your children. Make cleanup easy by storing toys in bins and baskets that toys can easily be tossed into. Cleanup is made even easier when you give everything a designated place so there isn’t a chance for toys to end up in organizational limbo. Do a walk through of the house sweep once little ones are in bed to ensure everything has been put in its place.
3. The easiest way to keep things clean is to minimize the amount of stuff you and your children own. Of course, this is harder to implement with little ones but regular clean outs of toys helps to balance the influx of toys that come during holidays and birthdays. Include kiddos in on the process to pick out their favorites and get them excited to donate toys to other children. You can put some toys in storage and swap them out regularly throughout the year to minimize the amount kept in the home and reignite your child’s interest in them as well.
4. Create regular routines around the house to instill clean up habits in your child early on. Create designated areas around the house for play time, quiet time or even homework. This helps children adjust to focus on the task at hand as well as prevent toys from ending up all over the house. By keeping a routine time of day to do a household chore you’ll also teach little ones the importance of having work ethic around the home. You can even involve curious kiddos in the chore by buying them a child-sized broom or vacuum to “help”.
Keeping a tidy home with little ones in the house isn’t the easiest of tasks. But by minimizing the amount of stuff you own and instilling a regular clean up habits you can keep on top of messes. You can even create some fond memories and bonding time with your child by including them in on the fun. Happy cleaning!
As a home seller, you'll want to ensure all areas of your house look great. By doing so, you may be able to generate substantial interest in your house and boost your chances of a quick home sale.
Unfortunately, some home areas are tougher to clean than others. And when it comes to cleaning your attic, it may prove to be a time-consuming process to transform this space from a liability into an asset.
So what does it take to fully clean an attic? Here are three tips to help a home seller revamp an attic in no time at all.
1. Look Out for Dust and Mold.
Dust and mold can be problematic, but these issues may arise if you rarely enter your home's attic. Fortunately, a home seller who spends some time cleaning the attic can minimize dust and mold with ease.
Repair or replace any loose, broken or missing shingles in your attic. Also, check attic windows for missing caulk or cracked panes. Resolving these issues may help you prevent mold from forming.
If you encounter mold, contact a certified indoor air quality professional immediately. This professional can evaluate your attic and offer recommendations to correct the problem.
In addition, dust your attic thoroughly. This will enable you to minimize the risk that dust mites and other irritants could enter other areas of your home.
2. Get Rid of Unwanted Items.
From holiday decorations to family photo albums, your attic may be filled with a broad assortment of items. And if you remove clutter from your attic today, you may be able to save time after you sell your residence.
Go through your attic belongings and separate the essential items from the non-essential ones. That way, as moving day approaches, you won't have to rush to get rid of non-essential items.
Furthermore, wear rubber gloves, eye protection and a dust mask any time you clean or organize your attic. This will enable you to stay safe as you work.
3. Collaborate with Your Real Estate Agent.
Does your attic require a complete overhaul? If so, you may need professional cleaning support, and your real estate agent can put you in touch with the right cleaning company instantly.
Your real estate agent will do what it takes to help your home stand out in the eyes of homebuyers. He or she can offer attic cleaning recommendations and general cleaning tips, guaranteeing you should have no trouble creating a dazzling home interior.
When it comes to selling your home, it is easy to ignore your attic. However, a home seller who performs extensive attic cleaning may be able to differentiate his or her residence from others – something that is exceedingly important in a highly competitive real estate market.
Take advantage of the aforementioned attic cleaning tips – you'll be happy you did! If you revamp your attic, you could improve your chances of maximizing the value of your residence and accelerating the home selling process.