The Lazy Guide to Spring Cleaning at Home

The Lazy Guide to Spring Cleaning at Home

No one likes spring cleaning (except maybe Danny Tanner) but here are some easy ways to get the job done quickly,

After a long winter, nothing feels better than having a clean and sparkling home. But, actually jumping into a deep clean is another story. Here are some simple tips to whip your home into shape without breaking a sweat:

#1 Wall Cleaning

A Magic Eraser is your best bet for tackling walls — it can spot clean anything from splatters to crayon marks. It’s tough enough to reach the cobwebs that collect in the corners of your walls and ceiling. You can also cover the bristles of a broom with a cloth or old T-shirt and use it to knock down any dusty spots.

#2 Carpets and Rugs

Take a little more time vacuuming the high-traffic areas of your house. (Make sure you don’t forget to spot treat any stubborn stains with a stain-removal product.) If your rug or carpet has lingering odors, sprinkle some baking soda over it and let it sit for a few hours. Vacuum up the baking soda and you’ll find the odors have disappeared.

#3 Mattress Ideas

Give your mattress cover a thorough cleaning in the washing machine — don’t forget to throw in a cup of white vinegar to boost the cleaning process. Sprinkle baking soda on your mattress while you’re washing the cover. You can vacuum it up later when you’re making the bed.

#4 Shower Care

Don’t knock yourself out trying to clean glass shower doors. Add a couple drops of water to your dryer sheets and use them to wipe down your shower doors. You can even let your showerhead clean itself overnight while you sleep. Simply tie a bag filled with white vinegar around your showerhead and let it soak overnight. Remove the bag in the morning for a non-clogged shower experience.

#5 Toilet Scrubbing

Have water stains built up in your toilet? Cola can help you attack these stains with little effort.  Just pour some in the toilet, let it sit for several minutes, then flush.

#6 Oven Shine

If you have an oven with a self-cleaning feature, spring is a great time to finally run that cycle. Otherwise, mix baking soda with a bit of water and use it to quickly clean up grease and various other spills inside the oven.

#7 Clutter Solutions

When you don’t have time to clean but you need your house to look presentable, tackling clutter is the quickest way to create the illusion of a clean house. Zip through each room of the house and put anything that doesn’t belong into a basket. This strategy requires very little work and can make a big difference in your home’s appearance.

Conclusion

Although these tips won’t completely eliminate the effort involved in spring cleaning, they’ll make the job a whole lot easier. Spring is a time of new beginnings — if you use even a couple of these ideas, your home will enjoy a clean and fresh start to the upcoming season.

Turn Your Laundry Room from Drab to Fab With These 8 Ideas

Turn Your Laundry Room from Drab to Fab With These 8 Ideas

HomeAdvisor shares their best laundry room renovation tips to spruce up your work space.

Regardless of where your laundry room is located, making laundry day a breeze isn’t as difficult as you may think. In fact, here are eight creative ways to renovate your laundry room.

#1 Add a Wall-Mounted Drying Rack

Make your life easier by installing a wall-mounted drying rack. No matter the spatial parameters of your laundry room, a wall-mounted drying rack is always a good investment. A drying rack is also the perfect choice for silks and other delicates that shouldn’t be machine dried.

#2 Don’t Hide the Hamper

A laundry hamper is an essential part of any laundry room. But, it’s probably not the first thing you show your guests. Ditch your worn out hamper and consider buying a new, more stylish alternative. Keep an eye out for a good-looking replacement next time you’re shopping.

#3 Use Rolling Drawers

Folding laundry is something most people don’t enjoy. A set of rolling storage drawers can solve storage issues and keep your folded laundry neat and clean. Look for a set of storage drawers that can be pulled out for easy transport.

#4 Install Task Lighting

A lack of light can make your laundry room difficult to use. Install LED light barsunder overhead storage cabinets to gain a better view of the buttons on your washer or dryer. If there are no outlets nearby, purchase battery-powered LED lights. You can find these lights in most hardware stores and online.

#5 Use Modular and Adjustable Racks

Chances are your fabric softeners, detergents, special cleaners and stain removers are cluttering up your laundry room. Make your life easier by using modular and adjustable storage racks. Whether you choose a utilitarian metal rack or a more attractive and colorful plastic model, you’ll increase your storage space and make items easier to find.

#6 Consider Variable Countertop Heights

Adjustable counter heights are extremely useful. If you have a front-load dryer, a high countertop will mean less stress on your back as you remove laundry. If your laundry room includes a utility sink, a lower countertop is ideal for proper (and comfortable) use.

#7 Open and Closed Storage Solutions

Open and closed storage options are useful in any laundry room. If moisture is a problem, you will want a closed space to store your detergents and other powders. At the same time, open storage makes folding dried easier.

#8 Utilize Cabinet Locks

If you have children, make sure to keep dangerous liquids and cleaning agents locked away. The best place to store detergents and other cleaners is in a locked cabinet high above your washer and dryer. You can use the same cabinets to store your detergents, fabric softeners and other essential laundry room items.

Conclusion

Just because your laundry room is a workspace doesn’t mean it has to be drab. The ideas listed above will help you transform your boring laundry room into a space that’s as beautiful as it is useful.

Selling Your Home this Spring? 7 Tips to Help You Prepare

Selling Your Home this Spring? 7 Tips to Help You Prepare

While it still may be chilly outside, the weather isn’t the only thing that’s about to warm up. The spring selling season is right around the corner, and we’ve got seven things you can do now to prepare for selling your home once spring arrives.

While it still may be chilly outside, the weather isn’t the only thing that’s about to warm up. The spring selling season is right around the corner, and if you’re selling your home, that means competition. The good news is, you can get a head start on preparing your home now, so it’s ready to go once the first signs of spring appear. Here are seven simple tips you can do now, to help get your home market-ready.

1. Give a Thorough Clean

Think spring cleaning territory when deciding what level of clean your home requires for sale. Everything from scrubbing baseboards to dusting fan blades and clearing cobwebs from storage areas should be covered as you scrub-down your home. If the task feels overwhelming, simply go room by room until it’s done.

If you have carpet, and it’s in reasonably good shape, a thorough cleaning with a professional carpet cleaner will improve the look and the odor in your home. If carpets are worn and threadbare, consider a reasonable replacement, such as a good quality laminate. Cracked tiles should be replaced now, if it’s in your budget, for maximum effect.

Carpet cleaner giving a deep clean to carpets

Image Source: Flickr/Laura D’Alessandro

2. Do a Minor Update

It’s no secret that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. A quick update to a kitchen can make a huge impact simply by cleaning painting or replacing tired hardware and fixtures. If your kitchen lacks a backsplash, this is the perfect time to add one for maximum appeal.

3. Clean the Windows

Even if it’s too cold to tackle the job from the outside, you can get half the job done now. Scrub the interior side of all windows and don’t forget the window sills, tracks of sliding doors, and the surrounding trim. Buyers will notice the attention to detail once your home is on the market.

4. Paint

Choose the spaces that have the boldest color and tone them down to a neutral palette. The goal should be for buyers to see your home as a blank canvas for their own belongings. Focus on high traffic areas next, and finally, repairing any flaking paint in damp areas such as basements or bathrooms is a must.

Image of a row of paint swatches in a store

Image Source: Flickr/Dean Hochman

5. Pack Early

While you don’t need to pack up everything you own, strategically boxing up personal items that will depersonalize your space is a good idea. Family mementos all serve to remind buyers that this is your space, and you want them to picture it as theirs. Storage space is another big item on a buyer’s list, so consider packing up any out of season clothing and tucking them away to make closets seem larger.

6. Purpose Every Room

Every room should have a clear purpose, so buyers can see how versatile your space is. This may mean removing furniture from a crowded space and moving it somewhere else in your home to create defined living areas. Look for opportunities to create functional spaces like an office area or reading nook, and if you have too much furniture, consider putting it in storage. Less furniture will create an open feeling throughout your home.

A cozy home reading nook, staged for real estate

Image Source: Flickr/Michael Pardo

7. Go Outside

While it is too early to landscape, paint, or deal with the exterior areas of the home, curb appeal is essential to getting buyers to even walk through the door. Assessing your home now, from the garden spaces to the roof and front entry, will let you make a list of quick and easy items you can tackle as soon as the weather warms up, which will make selling your home a breeze.

How to Win at the Organization Game

How to Win at the Organization Game

Try one of these clever storage ideas to tackle sports equipment clutter and we’re sure you’ll come out a winner of the organization game!

We all love to root, root, root for the home team, but when the team’s equipment starts invading our homes, it can feel like we’ve struck out in the game of organization.  If your front hall or garage is cluttered with lacrosse sticks, hockey pads and baseball cleats, try one of these clever storage ideas and we’re sure you’ll come out a winner!

sportsorg_bungee balls

Add bungee cords to your garage storage for an easy way to bounce back into organized shape.  This organization system makes grabbing a basketball to shoot some hoops quick and easy, but clean-up even easier!

Garage Cubbies

sportsorg_garage cubbies

The key to good garage storage is lots of shelving.  This great cubbie system creates space for everything from skates to bike helmets.

Hockey Pad Drying Rack

sportsorg_hockey drying rack

Anyone with a hockey player in their household knows that victory doesn’t always smell so sweet.  Fend off piles of stinky hockey pads by creating a drying rack that organizes gear for the next big game.

Pegboard Organization System

sportsorg_pegboard

Anyone with growing athletes in their home knows that as passions grow, so too does the size of the sports equipment that comes along with it.  This pegboard organizational system is flexible enough to expand with your kid’s activity schedule.

Rollable Bins

sportsorg_triple storage bin

For sports equipment that gets used frequently, this rollable storage bin is a great storage solution. Organize equipment into each compartment by sport (soccer, tennis, baseball, etc.).

Laundry Room Ideas

7 Laundry Room Ideas to Fold into Your Home

These laundry room ideas provide inspiration for the most dysfunctional functional room in the home.

One of the most functional rooms in the house can often be one of the most dysfunctional: the laundry room.  From clothes piled high, stale fabric softeners and leaky detergents galore, our laundry rooms can have some dirty secrets. Here are 7 laundry room ideas to help clean up your laundry act.

We've heard of double ovens, but double laundry?  This is a phenomenal solution for a large family of hockey players.  This Miami Beach home is listed by Jill Hertzberg with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate.
We’ve heard of double ovens, but double laundry? This is a phenomenal solution for a large family of hockey players, or a household with plenty of guests. This Miami Beach home is listed by Jill Hertzberg with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate.
Clean Clothes, Clean Lines
laundryroom_924northclark

A laundry room with a skyline view? Yes, please! But, how about a plethora of storage, clean lines and sleek modern design? This Chicago, IL home is listed by Chezi Rafaeli with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

Here’s a Bright Idea: Natural Light

Natural light can make a big difference in a laundry room.  We love the square window in the laundry room of this St. Helena, California home.

Natural light can make a big difference in a laundry room. We love the square window in the laundry room of this St. Helena, California home.

Storage: More is More 

This Laguna Beach, CA home's laundry room shows that black is always in.

This Laguna Beach, CA home‘s laundry room shows that ample storage and bright natural light can help laundry not feel like a chore.

Consider a Calming Color Palette

Natural wood and soft wall colors make the laundry space in this Redington Beach, FL brings the beach to a home...without the sand, of course.

Natural wood and a soft sandy color palette make the laundry space in this Redington Beach, FL home a tranquil place…without the sand, of course.

Create a Folding Station

We love the idea of adding a folding station to your laundry room like the one in this Blaine, WA home.

We love the idea of adding a folding station to your laundry room like the one in thisBlaine, WA home.

Pack a Big Punch with Little Touches

Adding wall art, or a pretty catch-all basket can bring your laundry room to life, like in this California home.

Adding wall art, or a pretty catch-all basket can bring your laundry room to life, like in this California home.

How to REALLY Clean Your Home

How To Really Clean Your Home Before Your Open House

Cleaning tips to help you sell your home from The Maids.

If you have decided now is the time to sell your house, the first step is to prepare it for the market. Keep in mind, nothing adds to a buyer’s first impression like a clean home.

To help bring your home to pristine condition–one worthy of your selling price–cleaning experts at The Maids offer these tips to create a great incentive for buyers.

Set aside a weekend to get your home in top “for sale” condition. Put your emotions aside and be critical, thinking like a buyer. Have a keen eye on the true condition of your home and how best to eliminate clutter and unnecessary furniture. Consider getting a storage unit for unneeded belongings.

– Clean the entryway carefully; it’s the first area potential buyers see. Sweep sidewalks and steps leading into the house, and look for cobwebs in corners of the porch or overhangs. The condition of the outside is just as important as the inside.

– Give your home an inviting scent. Use aroma sprays, plug-in air fresheners or potpourri to create a fresh-smelling environment. Prior to open houses, consider baking cookies or bread. Going the pre-made route with refrigerated cookies or frozen bread loaves makes it much easier to get an inviting atmosphere fast.

– Dust artificial plants, flowers, and wicker furniture with a hair dryer and soft cloth. Likely these have gone unnoticed during weekly cleans.

– Polish light fixtures and ceiling fans in every room. Even the smallest of details matter. When washing light casings and globes, make sure to place a hand towel or dishcloth in the bottom of the sink to lessen the risk of breaking the glass.

– Look low and high to identify spots that might normally be overlooked in regular housecleaning, such as wiping baseboards and windowsills or dusting tops of wall hangings, shelves, or door ledges.

– Clear away all clutter–magazines, personal photos, and children’s toys, as well as pet food and water. They make a home feel lived-in, and potential buyers want the appearance of a new home.

– Consider removing any kitchen appliance that can be neatly stored versus left on countertops. Again, the less clutter, the more inviting and spacious the room will feel. If it is an appliance used daily, like a coffeepot or toaster, be sure to wipe it clean after each use.

– Straighten the inside of every cupboard, closet and drawer. Buyers look inside these areas to consider how their belongings might fit. This isn’t a time to “hide” clutter behind doors; it’s a time to overhaul every nook and cranny of your home.

– Add some extra shine to your kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Use baby oil on stainless steel sinks and faucets to make them sparkle. Arrange towels neatly in the bathroom and kitchen to convey a look of order.

– Take extra care in cleaning your bathrooms. Spend the time to remove hairspray and product buildup from walls and fixtures. Scour shower doors to remove soap scum.

– Make sure all light bulbs in fixtures and lamps are in working order. A burnt out light bulb may make the home appear dim and poorly maintained.

– For open houses, tie back curtains, pull up mini-blinds, and turn on lights. Make sure windows are freshly washed. The more well-lit your home is, the more open it seems to potential buyers.

If cleaning your home is too overwhelming during the selling process, call in professionals. Just like you hire a trusted real estate agent to ensure your home is marketed to the right potential buyers, you can do the same to get and keep your home in top cleanliness condition by paying for regular maid service.