Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning Tips

With Spring finally here we are ready to shake off our winter coats and enjoy longer days and better weather (soon).  But take a rainy day this April (like today!) and make your home clean and tidy with these easy and fun spring cleaning tips.

Dust and clean horizontal surfaces

This often gets overlooked but now is the perfect time to take care of it.  Here is a quick trick too: use a reusable microfiber cloth or rag on a Swiffer handle to wash and reuse without wasting a lot of single use cloths - it also keeps you from having to bend over for shoe-molding!  We also like using a dilute vinegar mixture (50:50 water vinegar) after the quick dusting to truly clean and refresh all of those surfaces.  Even consider putting in a few drops of your favorite essential oil to add a pleasant fragrance.

Wash and put away winter goodies

Spend a little time going through coat racks, car trunks and chair backs to collect heavy coats, scarves, sweaters etc....  Wash what you can and put it away.  If your house is small, consider packing these items away in plastic tubs in the attic or basement with a dryer sheet to keep them fresh until the fall.  This is also a great opportunity to go through those winter items that never got used and consider donating them.  There are a lot of Red Cross donation drop boxes around Cape Cod that accept clothing donations.  Also Goodwill and municipal transfer stations are collection points for these goods as well.

Clean your refrigerator and freezer

Nobody likes doing it but now is your chance.  The best thing to do here is to completely empty the contents.  It doesn't take too long and allows you to take a look at the expiration dates on jars and condiments (mustard from 2015! Shame on you).  Wipe the shelves and drawers and, once you put everything back, you are left with a better organized, emptier and cleaner fridge!  Here is a fun tip for smaller families that will save you energy as well: if you find that you don't use up all of your fridge's space, put gallons of water inside to fill up the empty area.  These will help retain the coldness when you open the door and your fridge won't have to work as hard getting things back to temperature once it is closed, saving electricity.

Make a plan and chip away at it

Don't mark off one whole day to do all of this at once.  Write down a checklist of what you want done and choose 15-30 minute projects to tackle over the next few weeks.  Remember the result is a nice clean home that you will love spending time in!

Do this to get a higher offer on your home when selling

Buyers are looking for homes that sparkle.  Some homes for sale on Cape Cod have been recently renovated and benefit from fresh paint, new floors or carpets, and updated appliances in the kitchen, bath or both.  A home with newer updates is definitely more appealing to buyers (but worth it? Please see our thoughts here) and with our simple trick you too can make your home look its best without spending thousands of dollars.

Ready? Vinegar, warm water, elbow grease.  No kidding.  Too often we see homes that are, quite simply, dirty.  Many sellers do a decent job cleaning their homes by sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping floors.  What so many people miss are the walls!  Spend a little time with some diluted white vinegar and wash every surface in your home.  You will be amazed at how much grime can appear on a rag from, what you thought was, a 'clean' flat wall.  Spend a little extra time by beds, furniture, paintings, and anywhere that people touch (light switches, around door knobs etc...).  Haven't you noticed that light discoloration on the wall when you move the bureau?  When your home is empty and that bureau is gone, every potential buyer walking through will notice it as well.  Another great tip: use a 'Magic Eraser' or similar product for larger marks, but be careful, these can change the texture of paint which is very visible in certain light.  

If you are trying to squeeze every ounce of potential value out of your homes consider this inexpensive way to make it more appealing to buyers.  When someone walks in and can see everything that is wonderful about your home without the distraction of dirty walls, you give yourself a great shot at a higher sale price!

If you are considering listing your home, please give us a call to put two generations of tradition and three decades of experience in your pocket.  And to see a few houses that don't need this treatment take a look at some of our listings here.  Or for some more tips for homeowners check out our blogs tagged here.