6 Spring Cleaning Projects to Tackle for a Sparkling Home

pexels-jos-van-ouwerkerk-1075960Spring is just around the corner (March 20th to be exact), which means warmer temps, green grass, beautiful blooms and everyone’s favorite – Spring cleaning!

Here are 6 of our top Spring cleaning projects to get you started:

Complete a Thorough Dusting – You may swipe your Swiffer duster through the surfaces of your home on weekly basis, but we’re talking about getting down and dirty here. Remove all of the items from shelves and tabletops and give the surface a good wipe down with a multi-surface cleaner or furniture spray. Now is also the time to tackle ceiling fans and the top of cabinets.

Wash Walls, Cabinets, and Baseboards – Vertical surfaces may not look dirty, but enough dirt and dust cling to these surfaces to justify a seasonal cleaning. Use a clean sponge and water mixed with a few drops of dishwashing liquid to wipe down walls, cabinets, and baseboards.

Wash Windows – Step it up a notch from your normal Windex and paper towel routine and really take a minute to get your windows to sparkle. Vacuum the inside panes, sills, and window frame. Choose a cloudy day to clean your windows to prevent streaks – heat from the sun will dry the glass too quickly. Create a window wash solution by combining 1/2 cup sudsy ammonia (which is a specific type of ammonia), 1 pint of rubbing alcohol, 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, and 1 gallon of water.

Refresh Window Treatments – Just like your walls, they may not look dirty, but dust clings to everything! Take down and throw washable fabrics in the washer and air dry. Intricate curtains and draperies can be cleaned using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum, or you can take them to be dry cleaned. To remove dust from sheers, toss them in the dryer on low with a fabric softener sheet.

Clean Carpets – Rent a carpet cleaner and start with a hidden spot of carpet to make sure the treatment will not cause discoloration. To save yourself some time, move furniture slightly rather than clearing out a room. Place wax paper squares under the feet of furniture to protect the carpet and keep the furniture from getting wet as the carpet dries. Open windows to speed up the drying process. Don’t feel like all the work? Hire a professional to take care of the carpets for you.

Freshen Your Space – Not so much a cleaning project, but a quick and easy makeover for any room is changing up or adding textiles! Put a brightly colored table linen on your dining room table, spruce up your living room with fun throw pillows or a patterned rug, swap out your bedding, or switch out the towels in your bathroom – any of these will revive your home for Spring.

If you need a list to stay focused, or if you love the satisfaction of checking off a task when completed, we found a very thorough downloadable Spring cleaning checklist from Better Homes & Gardens.

Have You Seen The Muffin Pan? 5 Tips For Reorganizing Your Kitchen

kitchen cabinet storageTrue story – Carolyn spent most of this month looking for a muffin pan that she knew was somewhere in the kitchen. But where? The muffin pan odyssey led to a complete “redo” of her entire kitchen cabinets, drawers, and the troublesome lazy susan corner cabinet. This journey led to our 5 tips for reorganizing your kitchen:

  1. Take an inventory of the items in your kitchen and give away your “multiples.” Everyone love a good frying pan. How do you love 7 frying pans stacked on top of each other? Pick your favorites and find another home for the rest. We are giving the extras to a friend who just bought a second home and needs to stock a kitchen.
  1. Group all “like items” together. This advice would have saved hours of time searching for the muffin pan. All baking pans in one drawer. Period. Same advice for mixing bowls. This step, combined with the “inventory of items” led to another donation of two sets of bowls.
  1. Use containers in your drawers. I have to admit, this was not my idea. When a good friend, and, as I discovered a member of a professional organizing group visited my house I took her on a tour of kitchen. When I opened the drawer for pot holders, aprons, and kitchen towels they had already jumbled themselves together. While the grouping of “like items” together was successful the drawer was still messy. She suggested that I put the tea towels, aprons, and pot holders in their own separate plastic cubes/containers in the drawer to keep them divided. Brilliant! Thank you!
  1. Rethink your routines. Pet confession – our dog’s food, treats, medication, and pet bowls took up the entire base of our lazy susan corner cabinet. Every day we would spin the wheel to feed our furry friend. After the purging of the frying pans we had an entire drawer that was empty. To our amazement all of the dog items fit nicely into the empty drawer. Bonus space reclaimed in the lazy susan.
  1. Toss all spices that you never use. I’ll admit this isn’t easy. As soon as I toss the Old Bay Seasoning I will need it for a recipe, right? If your spices are overflowing you have to make some tough choices. If you haven’t cooked with that spice in a few years then it’s safe to say it’s not a keeper. We said goodbye to curry paste, mustard seeds, very old bay leaves, and whole peppercorns (we don’t have a grinder).

Where was the muffin pan anyway? In the midst of the entire kitchen redo we really can’t remember where it turned up. Now it has a home in the baking pan drawer. Blueberry muffins anyone?

It’s Not The Heat, It’s The Humidity: When Do You Need a Dehumidifier

dehumidifiers-kr-2x1-tease-200716It’s been a hot and humid summer here in the northeast. Temperatures and humidity levels have been similar to those in the south. Sometimes the “sticky” feeling creeps into your house making it damp, unpleasant, and smelly indoors. Laundry in the basement level of your house can create the perfect storm of dampness and moisture.

If the humidity level hits 50% then it’s time to take the moisture out of the air. High levels bring unwanted problems – mildewy smell, dampness, and sometimes mold. A dehumidifier pulls moisture from the air and replaces it with dry air. You will need to empty your dehumidifier at least once a day. Many people run a hose to a basement utility sink. Just make sure that the hose doesn’t get knocked out of the sink, then you will have unexpected water on the floor – yes, that’s happened to me, but that’s another story.

Take It Outside: 3 Tips To Stage Your Backyard, Porch, or Deck

deck-decorating-63Summer is officially here and it’s time to get your exterior living spaces “show ready.” Even if you’re not selling your house it’s fun to add some quick and easy items to your outdoor spaces.

From decks to patios to porches, here are our top 3 tips:

Patio pots filled with annuals – Colorful patio pots are trending right now. The bigger the better! Instant color and décor for your pool area, deck, or front porch.  If you’re local, pick one up at Red Barn Gardens, RedBarnGardensVT.com.

Summer wreath for your front door – Wreaths aren’t just for Christmas! Add a decorated grapevine or straw wreath to compliment your style. Looking for inspiration? Lemons, strawberries, or even a red, white, and blue theme will make your front door “pop.”

String lights – There’s always a spot for string lights on your porch, patio, railing, or even in front of your garage. If you don’t have an electricity source try some solar lights.

We specialize in staging your home for sale or just for fun! Contact us today for a complimentary home visit for more tips, tricks, and “on trend” advice.

Let’s Look Outside: What Buyers Notice

GettyImages-1255835530-scaledIf you are selling your house you may hope that potential buyers are familiar with the idiom “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Meaning, in real estate parlance, that you’re hoping the buyers will overlook the sagging gutters, cracked driveway, tired garage doors, and fall in love the interior of your house.

It’s a fact that your house is being judged by its exterior, the grounds, the lawn, and even the garden gnomes dotting your walkway.

Here are the top 5 exterior items that buyers notice:

Exterior Lights – They should match your indoor “vibe.” If you haven’t updated your exterior lights you may be dating your house.

Gutters – Trust us, worth getting them cleaned, there is nothing more distracting than greenery growing from gutters that need attention.

Porches and Patios – Spruce them up with new furniture cushions, patio pots of seasonal flowers, and even some string lights to make the outdoor space an extension of your living area.

Lawn, Grounds – Get out the rakes, flowers, and mulch, nothing smells better than fresh mulch!

Front Door – Is it time for fresh paint? A new door handle? New welcome mat? This upgrade will make a huge impression.

Looking for more specific ideas for your exterior? Luckily, Jennie is an Accredited Staging Professional and can assess your home’s exterior, as well as interior spaces to help get you the best price in today’s market. Contact us to see how we can help get your home sold!

4 Updates to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

sidekix-media-UDDULE_eIBY-unsplashWe all want to get the biggest bang for our buck, especially when it comes to our biggest investment – our home. So how do you get the best price possible when you’re ready to sell? You don’t have to go crazy with expensive renovations, a few small and simple updates can make a big impact.

Here are 4 updates to get your home ready to sell:

Declutter. This one is free! This should be the first step in prepping your home for sale. Take down the family photos and knick knacks and pack them away. If you have a room that feels particularly ‘full,’ edit the furniture – store the excess pieces neatly in the basement, garage, or rent a storage unit.

Fresh paint. A new coat of paint does wonders for any room – and it’s one of the most affordable options to update your home. Stick with neutral colors so that buyers can picture themselves living there.

New lighting. Old (usually brass) lighting fixtures will really date a space. Refresh your home with simple lighting in nickel, black, or even a neutral wood finish. When buyers see these fixtures modernized, it makes them feel the whole house has been updated.

Update hardware. Similar to the lighting – old fashioned brass or porcelain knobs and drawer pulls will make a room look dated. Freshen you kitchen or bathrooms with modern hardware in a black finish or metal finish that matches other elements in the room.

Preparing your home to sell is easier with an experienced professional in your corner. To learn more about getting your home ready to sell, or to start looking for a new property, we can help! Contact The Weaver Team today 😉

Are My Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Outdated?

hannah-busing-5we-PtvuCyE-unsplashTruth be told, cooking at my house often involves a smoke alarm. It’s tempting to climb on a step stool to disconnect the pesky alarm, but I have become efficient at opening windows and doors to “fan” the smoke out of the house. Once the smoke clears it’s a good time to check on the rest of the alarms.

It’s also a good idea for you to check on your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure you have the proper alarms installed.

The State of Vermont’s Fire Safety site (https://firesafety.vermont.gov/) provides homeowner information. It’s always good practice to check on the type of smoke alarm. The site states, “Many existing Vermont homes currently have old outdated ionization smoke alarms installed. These old alarms need to be replaced. The division recommends to homeowners that when you are replacing alarms that you update to a photoelectric smoke alarm now and not wait until the time when home is being sold.”

When you do sell your house the attorney’s require a Compliance Certificate to verify installation to comply with Vermont’s requirements.

Here is the form: https://firesafety.vermont.gov/sites/firesafety/files/files/forms/dfs_forms_smoke_co_cert.pdf

As always, if you want more information on getting your house ready to sell, contact The Weaver Team and we will get you set up for home selling success!

Laundry Room Safety Check: My Story

6a9356e5a1f3b04b68ec25490352d2e5If you follow our blog you know that the real estate biz is not all glitz and glam as represented in the media. If you watch “Million Dollar Listing” or other such shows you may be lulled into thinking that we drive around in our luxury vehicles all day and host lavish buffets at our listings.

On the Weaver Team we spend our time helping clients navigate all aspects of their sale including laundry room safety. This month, Carolyn hired a Dryer Duct Cleaning company to check out her 8-year old dryer duct. Surprisingly the technician found that the dryer duct had separated and lint and hot air was blowing in the attic. Luckily he had the tools to fix the problem. We never would have known if we hadn’t had it serviced.

This month’s blog focuses on safety in the laundry room. There are three things to check in your laundry room:

Dryer Duct Cleaning – one of the main causes of house fires is a clogged dryer duct. Getting this cleaned and inspected is worth the time and effort.

Electrical Outlet – check to see if the outlet servicing your washer and dryer is a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).

Hoses – swap out your hoses for a higher grade model.

If you need trusted service providers to help with getting your laundry room up to today’s codes, get in touch.

We specialize in helping you get your house ready to sell – from staging, quick fixes, and pre-inspections, we’ve got you covered! Contact us to see what your home may be worth in today’s market.

Refresh Your Nest: The Forgotten “Spring Cleaning” Items

adeolu-eletu-101178-unsplashThe days are longer, the sun shines brighter, and, oh, those windows have a dirty film on them! Everyone sweeps floors, dusts baseboards, and neatens up at this time of year, but, how many of us remember to maintain and clean windows, screens, duct work, light fixtures, chandeliers, and bathroom fans?

Sometimes it’s the things you don’t “see” every day that really need to be cleaned. Instead of the usual “spring cleaning” blog this month we are taking a venture into the forgotten areas of the home. Check out these 3 neglected areas of your home:

Let the sunshine in! Windows and screens – What better time to throw open the curtains, open the windows, and let the fresh air in! You may want to hire a window cleaning company for the exteriors. Give your screens a quick sudsy bath before installing, rinse them twice!

What lies beneath? Duct work – Do you have a forced air heating and cooling system? Who gets their duct work cleaned? Duct cleaning professionals suggest getting the duct work cleaned every five years.

Look up! Light fixtures, chandeliers, ceiling fans – Start your cleaning from the top to the bottom. Choose from the many cleaning dusters that are available, there are even special cobweb dusters. While you are sweeping away the dust from the ceiling don’t forget to check on the bathroom ceiling fans.

If you need more information on spring cleaning or want our list of “tips and tricks” get in touch. If you are looking for a professional to help with any household issues we have many recommendations. We are always available to help you “refresh your nest.”

3 Home Improvements That Pay Off

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p: Pinterest

There are likely some home improvement projects you’d like to tackle, but which ones will pay off when it is time to sell? If you are planning on spending many more happy years in your home, your return on investment is really the joy you get from living in a home that you love. But, if you may sell in the next few years, you need to consider which renovations will offer the best return on your investment.

Here are our top 3 home improvements that pay off:

New Roof – A new roof tops the home project list in rate of return. While it is a costly investment, the potential ROI is 109% (according to HouseLogic), and Realtors® say that a new roof helps make a sale over 30% of the time. A new roof will add to your curb appeal and improve energy efficiency.

Hardwood Floors – Most buyers today want wood floors, in fact, they almost expect it. Hardwood floors offer one of the best returns on a home investment – they can add 2.5% to the sale price. A beautiful, durable, and timeless addition you can enjoy until you make your move.

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p: clopaydoor.com

New Garage Door – Okay, so maybe it’s not the most glamorous home improvement, but a new garage door will immediately boost your curb appeal and make your home shine. And bonus – it’s also one of the most affordable improvements! If you have an attached garage, an insulated door can also help lower energy bills.