by Jessica A. | Apr 1, 2021 | Around the House
Spring isn’t the only time of year when you need to do a check up on your house. Each month of each season, there are small things you can do throughout the year to keep your house in tip-top shape! Below are just a few things you can do each month. Download the full checklist at the bottom! Didn’t get the chance to read the Spring Cleaning Series Parts 1-3? Click here to read Part 1- Exterior, Part 2 – Kitchen, and Part 3 – Kids Rooms.
Change furnace filters
Check for Ice Dams and Icicles – this can lead to flooding behind your walls. Don’t know what an Ice Dam is? Read about them here.
Clean and Vacuum curtains
Check caulking around bathtubs and showers
March – SPRING
Check exterior drainage
Get A/C serviced – get ready for those higher temperatures!
Clear dead plants/shrubs – make the front of your home spring ready by also planting bright flowers
Check water softener
Pump and inspect septic tank – make sure the company you hire does BOTH at the SAME time. Some companies will charge you to come back out and inspect it after its been pumped.
Oil garage door tracks
June – SUMMER
Power wash windows and siding – use a water/bleach combination to get rid of any mold/mildew.
Clean out the garage
Clean refrigerator coils
Clean garbage disposal
Check for signs of ants and destructive insects
Get heater serviced – Its about to start getting cool again!
Check weather stripping
October – FALL
Clear gutters and downspouts
Clean and inspect chimney – most house fires start due to a blocked chimney!
Check fire extinguisher
December – WINTER
Inspect appliance hoses
Check sinks and toilets
Download the full printable checklist HERE!
by Jessica A. | Mar 22, 2021 | Around the House
Kids rooms can tend to be the rooms we disregard the most. Have guests coming over? Just shut the door! No one needs to see that room anyway. However, their rooms tend to be the rooms we need to focus on the most since they can be the messiest! Spring cleaning kids rooms is an important step in having a whole house that’s clean.
Kids out grow clothes so quickly. Go through and donate things that don’t fit anymore, and pack up things like winter coats and shoes. Throw out anything that is really worn or stained. If your kids are getting to the age that they want to choose their outfits themselves, take this time to organize things to make it easier on them. Use an organizer like this one and let them choose their outfits for the whole week at once.
First, make your 3 “zones”. Keep, Toss, and Donate. Start with the larger pieces to get them out of the way. If your kids haven’t played with it in the past 3 months, donate it. Anything that is broken, old, or beyond saving, toss it. Now is also a great time to CLEAN your kids toys. If you have a lot of little things (The dreaded plastic kitchen food and utensils) dump them into the bathtub or sink and wash them that way. If you can, wash their stuffed animals. Soft surfaces can hold dirt and dust that can make allergies worse. Next, organize what’s left. Use cube storage that looks nice if you’re storing them in a common area.
Now that everything is sorted and cleaned, it still seems like there’s a lot of toys. Have you tried doing a toy rotation? I have some friends that do this with their kids and they said it WORKS. Take 1/3 of the toys and put them in a bin and store them in the attic or garage. In a month or so, take them down and switch them out for a different 1/3 of the toys. The kids get excited about the “new” toys, and you also clear up some space. Its a win-win.
Dedicate an area to hold their backpacks, paperwork, newsletters, etc. A lot of times important papers get shoved to the bottom of the backpack and then its 3 weeks later and you cant find their permission slip for their fieldtrip. Create a “Drop Zone” where the kids cant put their shoes, bags, jackets, etc. when they come home. You can place bins like these on the wall above hooks, and let them put anything important in there.
by Jessica A. | Mar 18, 2021 | Around the House
* This post contains links to products on Amazon. Impact Realty is no way affiliated with Amazon, and does not receive compensation from the products mentioned. They are mentioned at the opinion of the author*
If you read last weeks Spring Cleaning blog about getting the outside of your home spring ready, welcome back! If you didn’t, I wont hold it against you but you should really check it out. Part 2 and beyond is going to focus on getting the inside clean and organized, starting with the KITCHEN.
On average we spend 12% of our lives in the kitchen. When broken down, that’s around 2.8 hours a day. I know some of ya’ll are thinking between cooking for a family with kids, prepping meals, cleaning, and then starting that cycle over again, it feels a lot longer! Keep reading for ways to keep your kitchen sparkling clean and organized to help with the hustle and bustle.
First, take a look around and try to declutter as much as possible. Find a place to put lunchboxes, backpacks, sort through the 4 days worth of mail on the counter. Go as far as opening the cabinets and drawers and clearing them out. Toss broken utensils, plastic cups you’ve been accumulating, the wad of grocery store bags that is now overflowing, etc.
Take all the food out of the pantry and spread it out either on the countertop or table. Toss items that are stale, expired, empty, or inedible. Wipe down all the shelves with a multi-purpose cleaner. Arrange your food like you would see in a grocery store, placing like items together. I use these bins to hold granola bars, spice packets, and other little things. The boxes takes up a lot of space and I like being able to see when I’m getting low. Label containers that hold things such as flour, sugar, cornmeal, etc.
Remove seasonal items that only get used once or twice a year. Donate items you hardly use anymore and toss old items such as plastic, stained Tupperware. Wipe down shelves with a multi-purpose cleaner and place your items back in the cabinets. Now focus on the cabinets themselves. Wipe down the inside and outside of the doors and if your cabinets don’t go all the way to the top, don’t forget to dust up there.
Take everything out and clean the inside with a multi-purpose cleaner. Place liner paper in the bottom if you would like. Toss old utensils that are broken, and donate any duplicates you have. Use organizers, such as these, to keep everything tidy. I have a system for where the things in my drawers are located. My silverware is closest to where my plates and bowls are. My cooking utensils are beside my stove, next to the drawer that holds my pot holders. Place things where they make the most sense.
Take out everything that you can. Wipe down all the shelves, walls, and inside of your bins. If your bins hold produce, make sure your cleaner is safe to use and non-toxic. Toss any old leftovers and condiments that are out of date.
Stove & Oven: clean the stovetop and burners. I have a glass-top electric stove, and this cleaner is AH-mazing. It gives it a brand new shine. Clean your oven and grates. For me this is my most neglected thing. I have a double oven and to me that means double the work.
Microwave: I have this steaming microwave cleaner that makes the job 1000 times easier. A microwave safe container with a water/vinegar mixture works about the same, but I feel like this little angry lady steams better.
Dishwasher: These Lemi-Shine cleaners have been my saving grace. I have such hard water and it seems like my dishwasher collects all the sediment. I use to spray CLR inside and scrub everything. Then I found these. You just sprinkle the packet inside and run a normal cycle with it empty.
by Jessica A. | Mar 11, 2021 | Around the House
*This post contains links to Amazon for certain products. Impact Realty is not affiliated with nor do we earn money for items bought from these links. They are simply for suggestions, and at the opinion of the post author*
For some people, spring means warm weather, Easter, and the tease of knowing summer is right around the corner. For homeowners however, spring means SPRING CLEANING!! No matter how clean your house stays, you will always have those few things that will always be on the “When I can get to it” list. Spring time also brings certain seasonal checks, fixes, and updates to your house. Over the next few weeks we will cover certain areas of your house, and break them down into ways you can clean, declutter, and update!
Part 1 – The Exterior of your House
Spray for Bugs – Spring time equals warm weather, which equals bugs
Toss or Donate old toys – If your kids have out grown them, or didn’t play with them last year, its time for them to go
Do you have an extra fridge/freezer in the garage? Clean it out and toss any old or freezer-burnt food.
Buy storage totes to store decorations, camping gear, sports equipment, etc in. They look nicer than carboard boxes and last longer! Check out these on Amazon HERE.
Clear out leaves and other debris before those spring showers come along
Tighten any loose downspouts and make sure they are pointing away from the house
Wash them with a water/bleach solution inside and out
Make sure the screens are not torn or bent
Sidewalks & Driveway:
Pressure wash your steps, sidewalk, and driveway. Get a brush attachment to make it easier and faster. I personally have this one and it is GREAT. We’ve used it on our driveway and back deck.
Look for any major cracking and call a professional if needed
Give them a facelift with a good scrubbing, or if possible, a fresh coat of paint
Place bright pillows and fresh cushions to make them feel new again
Also take a look at the patio itself; pressure wash it if its concrete or stone, or give it a fresh coat of paint if its a wood deck
Check all your outdoor light bulbs; porch light, landscaping spotlights, decking lights, etc.
Remove any dead bushes, flowers, or trees
Add fresh mulch to flowerbeds
If you have flower pots, fill them with fresh, bright flowers
by Jessica A. | Feb 22, 2021 | Around the House
Before the Coronavirus pandemic last year in 2020, 4.7 million people worked from home. That’s only 3.4% of the U.S. Workforce (Flexjobs). When the pandemic hit hard around March however, 88% of organizations worldwide either encouraged or made it mandatory to work from home (Gartner). So how exactly do you go about making a home office space that is both functional and comfortable? You want your home office to be an extension of you. What makes you comfortable, happy, and keeps you productive.
The Space: The best place for your home office is going to be in a room away from distractions. For me, that’s in an upstairs bedroom we have specifically designated as our office. Don’t have the space to do that? Clear out a corner in a guest room, bonus room, or even an unused closet that’s big enough.
The stuff: You will need the basics first. Somewhere to put your computer, somewhere to put your work materials, and somewhere to put yourself.
Desk – I didn’t want a bulky desk that took up half the room. My dogs also enjoy being able to walk through under my desk.
Filing cabinet – Gives me space to keep important papers, while also utilizing the top as extra desk space.
Storage cabinet – This is technically an entertainment center my grandfather built me when we first got married. When we moved into our house, we didn’t have a need for it as an entertainment center anymore. So I repurposed it as my storage cabinet. Underneath I have things like other laptops, the shredder, and cable storage. The extra-large drawer holds things I might need in my day to day. Notecards, sheet protectors, extra ink for the printer, etc.
Chair – With us having carpet in all the bedrooms, a cool and pretty rolling chair wasn’t ideal for this room. I found this padded dining chair that was pretty and comfortable and looked good with my desk. I do catch myself wishing I could spin around while I’m thinking though.
After that, incorporate the little things.
Bookends – What Realtor® doesn’t have at least one house related décor item in their office?
Paper storage – My husband and I still share this office during the week, so paper holders keep his grad school work organized when I’m using the office and then vice versa.
Printer – Between printing buyer questionnaires, MLS sheets, and my husband’s grad-school papers, our HP printer has been AH-MAZING. It’s a scanner and printer in one which has become super helpful when I can’t get into the office to scan/fax something.
TIP: Try to Keep everything within arm’s reach. It get daunting walking across the room to get something off the printer, or plug your computer in. Remember, functionality is key.
77% of remote workers say they are more productive when at home, (CoSo Cloud) and 80% said they experienced less work related stress (Amerisleep). Part of that is surrounding yourself with stuff that is comfortable, but not distracting.
A few of my favorite things in my office and on my desk:
Plants in pretty pots – they don’t just look pretty. Its proven that immersing yourself in nature reduces stress and anxiety. Plants also remove toxins in the air which leads to a healthy clear mind.
Rae Dunn coffee cup I use as a pen holder -I love Rae Dunn. What modern southern American woman doesn’t? So when I saw this coffee cup that happened to be turquoise inside, I knew it was meant to be placed on my desk.
Pictures on the wall – Real estate can be HARD. Your offer didn’t get accepted. Your buyer wants this SPECIFIC house type. The house they wanted is already under contract. The bank is being slow approving the loan. No one came to your open house. Especially, like me, when you’re first starting out, real estate can seem overwhelming. So when I saw this picture in my local Old Time Pottery, I knew I wanted it in my office where I would see it every day and remind myself why I do what I do.
I also have a blanket because I am ALWAYS cold upstairs. Also, its a comfort thing.
So there it is! My home office. Its may not be fancy, but its functional. It may not be magazine worthy decorated, but its comfortable, and its me. I get excited to go upstairs and work, which in turn will make me more productive in the long run.