Marita Tasse - CRS, ABR, SRES, GRI, LMC - RE/MAX Prof Associates |


If it’s time for a deep clean of your home, you may want to grab the duster and just go at it. Dusting is a task that should be done on a regular basis, but it’s not always the case. There’s a right way and a wrong way to dust. Read on for a few simple tips to make your dusting tasks a breeze.


Should You Vacuum First? 


When you dust, all of the dirt and particles will fall on the floor. It only makes sense to dust first, then vacuum. You may want to get right to vacuuming, remember that dusting first is always the best approach.


Where To Start


When you're trying to tackle cleaning the entire house, it can be difficult to decide where to start. The best strategy is to start at the doorway of any room and work your way inward. You should also start at the ceiling and work your way down to the floor. It can be easy to forget ceiling lights, fans, and other fixtures that are high up but it’s important to get at these areas because dust often collects thickly there. Some other places to be sure you dust are:


Bookshelves

Televisions

Baseboards

Countertops

Microwave

Door frames


The deeper of a clean that you’re looking to achieve the more areas you’ll need to focus. For routine dusting, you can do more of a once-over approach. This way, you won’t need to spend hours on dusting each time you go to clean your home if you keep up with it. 


Frequent Dusting Will Keep Your Home In Better Condition


The more often you dust, the better condition the things in your home will be. Dust can place undue wear and tear on furniture and break down electronic items. Dusting will prevent scratches and blemishes because dirt won’t be on the issues to scratch them. Your furniture will look like new after a deep clean. You’ll appreciate the shine!                 


Other Areas To Focus On 


Don’t forget to dust these other key areas in your home when you’re doing a deep clean:


Vents

Corners of rooms

Doors

Lights

Picture frames

Lampshades


There are even a few ways that you can prevent dust from collecting in your home. Try using area rugs and pull up wall-to-wall carpeting. Use doormats at each entrance to your home to help keep the dust from collecting there. Keeping the windows in your home closed is also a great way to prevent dust and pollen from collecting in your house. 

 


Baking sounds like a lot of fun, especially when you see the outcome of your culinary creation. The hard part is when you have to deal with the spills, dirt and other remnants of your gastronomic exercise as you figure out how to clean the oven. The high temperature of the oven doesn't even make the job easier as everything seems welded into the pans. Little wonder many people shy away from this task. But with a few helpful tips, you may find out that cleaning an oven is not as tough as it sometimes looks to you.

  1. Empty the oven. Remove everything you have in the oven and put them out. Oven racks, thermometer, trays; everything is coming out. That makes it a lot simpler to clean.
  2. Mix your baking soda into a paste. Add up a few spoons of baking soda into a bowl and then mix with a few spoons of water, until you have an even consistency. Depending on the size of your oven, you may need a more significant mixture. Now coat the insides of your oven with this paste, avoid the heating elements while doing so. Pay extra attention to the particularly greasy areas.
  3. Wait. Leave the mixture to sit in the oven for at least twelve hours. You can do this in the evening and let the mixture stay put all through the night. After the 12 hours, the baking soda will have turned into a brownish color. You can use this period to also soak your oven racks and other washable parts in a bowl of warm water with dishwashing liquid
  4. Wipe down the oven. After the twelve hours are over, spread some vinegar gently over the paste and allow them to interact. Time helps to make the paste much easier to scrape off. Now use a damp washcloth, or if the mixture is still too hard, use a spatula or piece of plastic to scrape the paste off. Don't forget the corners and crevices; you should get the entire baking soda paste out.
  5. Do a final wipe down. Spray some more water and vinegar into the oven and then wipe down again until all the baking soda remaining has been removed. Dry your oven racks and then replace them, and your oven is as good as new. 

Congratulations, you just cleaned out your oven. Don’t know where to get baking soda and vinegar? Check your local grocery store.


A lot of people no longer cook with open fires in the world of today with natural gas, electricity, temperature controls, and other kitchen appliances. When you get a new oven for your kitchen with all the latest features and upgrades, there's not a lot you can't use it to do. Are you getting the best out of it though? Here are some tips to make sure that your new oven delivers the most utility to you:

Get rid of that new-oven smell.

New appliances come with that lovely smell that tells you that they are straight out of the production line. After removing all the packaging materials, wash the interior and racks to remove any substances that may remain from the factory like oils or manufacturing liquids. Open up your windows, turn up the oven to the highest temperature and let it run for about an hour. Let it cool down, clean it again. Repeat these steps once or twice more so that your food will not come out with a funny smell when you use your new oven.

Use the bottom drawer to warm food.

Most ovens come with a nice little drawer at the bottom. The drawer isn't a place to keep food while you are waiting to eat it. You should only use this drawer to warm food, not store your racks and baking pans. This warming drawer helps you to keep your food warm until it is ready for serving.

Rotate your cooking pans

After turning on your oven, the way the heat moves may be unpredictable sometimes. After preheating your oven and the heat starts to move around evenly, put your pans in for some time. Halfway through your cooking time, open the oven and turn the cooking pans around. And then swap the top pan with the bottom one if you are cooking with two pans at the same time. Rotating the pans helps to ensure that your food cooks evenly without getting overcooked on the bottom and under-cooked at the top.

Clean your oven regularly.

One way to know that your oven is due for cleaning is when you are unable to see the interior clearly through the glass. Not only does this mean that your oven is dirty, but it also prevents you from seeing how your food is cooking.

If you notice any irregular signs with your oven, contact an electrician for maintenance to get it back to optimal conditions.


Wait, when was the last time you cleaned that ? And how often are you supposed to wash that? Never have to ask yourself these questions again by creating a monthly chore calendar. Creating a chore calendar may seem like you’re taking your house cleaning duties a little too seriously, but by creating a regular cleaning schedule you will set yourself up for success. And you’ll have a guaranteed cleaner home, and who doesn’t want that? Monthly
  • Scrub grout in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Wash pillow and mattress protectors as well as duvet covers.
  • Discard any food in the freezer that has become freezer burnt or is past its time.
  • Wax any wood floors your home may have.
  • Dust fans you have throughout your home. Don’t forget to do this in the winter when they are not in use to avoid build-up.
  • Wipe down and disinfect light switch plates and door knobs.
  • Wipe down and disinfect your home phones and your family’s cell phones.
  • Flush drains. Try a natural solution by pouring baking soda down drains and allowing to sit overnight to deodorize. In the morning pour hot water down the drain to rinse the baking soda out and flush the drain.
  • Wipe down walls, doors and baseboards.
  • Check the fire alarms throughout your home and replace any batteries when necessary.
Weekly
  • Dust each room in your home.
  • Empty all trash bins throughout your home. Don’t forget smaller, less used baskets like in your child’s room or in the office.
  • Clean sinks, toilets, and bath of any soap scum or buildup.
  • Vacuum and mop the floors throughout your home.
  • Wipe down surfaces like tables and counters.
  • Clean mirrors and windows.
  • Wash sheets and pillowcases.
  • Sort through your mail and email inbox. Pay any upcoming bill and file paperwork as necessary.
  • Clean fridge out of any food that has gone past its expiration.
  • Wipe down appliances in the kitchen such as the microwave, stove, and toaster.
  • Wipe down and deodorize trashcans and recycling bins.
  • Put out fresh towels in your bathrooms and kitchen
Daily
  • Tidy up. Keep on top of clutter by putting items away when they are no longer in use.
  • Make the beds and if your children are old enough encourage them to make theirs.
  • Sort out mail. File and discard as necessary.
  • Clean up as you prepare meals to leave time to relax after dinner time instead of spending another hour in the kitchen.
  • Wipe up any spills as they happen to avoid having to use elbow grease to clean up later.
  • Sweep the kitchen floor and any other high traffic areas.
  • Throw in a load of laundry. If you have a large family make laundry more manageable by doing a load a day.
Keeping your home clean is hard work, there is no doubt about that, especially if you have a family. However, by creating a monthly chore calendar you can create a more manageable workload for yourself. With a little planning up front you can have a neat and tidy home you can sit back and truly enjoy!

New England is infamous for its old homes and with old homes comes gorgeous, original hardwood floors. Maybe homebuyers have original flooring at the top of their wishlist when home shopping. While you may know how much you adore your hardwood floors, you may not know how to properly care for them. Keep reading for tips on how to keep your new to you hardwood floors in boast-worthy shape. Preemptively prevent scratches and tough to clean buildup by adding mats to any doors leading outside. Not only do they add a nice visual touch, but more importantly they help prevent dirt and outdoor grime from being tracked over your hardwood floors. You will make daily clean up easier on yourself while saving your floors from potential scratches. Institute a no-shoes in the house policy to further prevent any debris from finding their way throughout your home. You will especially want to avoid wearing high heels and cleats in any rooms with hardwood flooring. These types of shoes can put dents and scratches in to the floor that will require a professional to help resuscitate your floors back to their former glory. Create a mudroom area in your home with a bench and shoe rack. This will make it easy for your family members to follow the no shoe rule. Investing in a mat that catches water and slush run off from shoes on bad weather days is also a great way to prevent water damage to your floors. Sweep your floors daily to catch any dirt they may have found it’s way into your home and onto your hardwood floors. Vacuum once a week for a more thorough clean. Once a month you will want to clean your floors with a microfiber cloth and light mist of water. Ensure that you do not soak your floors as water can cause them to swell and become damaged with time. Avoid cleaners for tile or vinyl surfaces and never steam clean your hardwood floors. Install felt pads to the bottoms of any furniture you have in rooms with hardwood flooring. This will help prevent scratches from everyday furniture use. You will want to regularly replace these pads however since dirt can build up on the bottoms and create a sandpaper-like surface that can lead to damage. When rearranging furniture lift the piece off the floor to carry it over to where you would like it placed and then carefully set it down instead of pushing it across your hardwood floors. While this may entail extra help from a family member to do, it will prevent unsightly gashes along your floors from dragging your furniture across the room. Original flooring in an old New England home is a major selling point for many homebuyers. Restoring old hardwood floors to their original condition can be pricey, however, by taking preliminary measures to prevent damage you can avoid bringing an expert in to fix your mistakes. And when all it takes to maintain your floors is a few minutes each day it’s a win-win situation!



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