Deep clean your house and you’ll brighten rooms and help maintain your home’s value.
Deep cleaning your house is that top-to-bottom, take-no-dust-bunny-prisoners, mother-in-law-quality cleaning that truly maintains the value of your home. Here are frequently overlooked areas that a little spit and polish wouldn’t hurt.
De-bug the light fixtures
See that bug burial ground within your overhead fixtures? Turn off the lights and carefully remove fixture covers, dump out flies and wash with hot soapy water. While you’re up there, dust bulbs. Dry everything thoroughly before replacing the cover.
Vacuum heat vents and registers
Dirt and dust build up in heat vents and along register blades. Vents also are great receptacles for coins and missing buttons. Unscrew vent covers from walls or pluck them from floors, remove foreign objects, and vacuum inside the vent. Clean grates with a damp cloth and screw back tightly.
To deep clean brass door hinges, handles, and cabinet knobs, thoroughly wipe with a damp microfiber cloth, then polish with Wright’s or Weiman brass cleaner ($4). Dish soap shines up glass or stainless steel knobs. Use a Q-tip to detail the ornamental filigree on knobs and handles.
Replace grungy switch plates
Any amateur can wipe a few fingerprints off cover plates that hide light switches, electric outlets, phone jacks, and cable outlets. But only deep cleaners happily remove plates to vacuum and swipe the gunk behind. (OK, we’re a little OCD when it comes to dirt!) Make sure cover plates are straight when you replace them. And pitch plates that are beyond the help of even deep cleaning. New ones cost less than $2 each.
Neaten weather stripping
Peeling, drooping weather stripping on doors and windows makes rooms look old. If the strip still has some life, nail or glue it back. If it’s hopeless, cut out and replace sections, or just pull the whole thing off and start new. A 10-ft. roll of foam weather stripping costs $8; 16-ft. vinyl costs about $15.
Replace stove drip pans
Some drip pans are beyond the scrub brush. Replacing them costs about $3 each and instantly freshens your stove.
Sometimes home values can undergo abrupt changes. One way that can happen is through the ‘Surprise Remodel’ phenomenon. That’s when you wake up one morning to find that your local house grew larger…overnight!
If you are one of the many residents whose children have left for school, the Surprise Remodel is what happened the moment you realized that that you were, in fact, suddenly in possession of an extra room.
Sometimes it takes a few months, but as soon as you conclude that the sentimental value of leaving the high school memorabilia in place is outweighed by the value of transforming the room into more useful space, you have a number of ways to proceed:
Transforming the former kid room into an exercise area is one foolproof way home values can be increased. Remove carpeting and add flooring as needed; place a floor-to-wall mirror to one side; then add any exercise equipment you choose (garage sales can be excellent sources).
Have you always wanted a dedicated home office? Now is the ideal time. Paint the room a rich neutral color, add the desk (freeing up space it used to occupy elsewhere), and then add bookshelves and a guest chair or sofa. Voila!
In the likely event the kids will be back now and then, a subtler changeover to a universal guest room is a good answer. Memorabilia removal will go a long way toward accomplishing that goal, and home values always improve when fancier bedding and pillows are added to any room.
Evansville home values may not seem important until you decide to put your own on the market, but I have often heard clients say they wish they had spruced up the place while they were still living there. Any Surprise Remodel moment is a perfect opportunity to do just that.
Later, when the time comes to list, don’t forget to call me! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Expect to see emerald everywhere — Pantone’s 2013 color queen.
Tangerine Tango. Hello emerald, Pantone’s 2013 color of the year.
Why emerald, or as
Pantone’s swatch names it: 17-5641?
is the most abundant hue in nature — the human eye sees more green than any
other color in the spectrum,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the
Pantone Color Institute, a color consultant to corporations.
emerald sparkles, fascinates, and “brings a sense of clarity, renewal, and
rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world.”
Tango, last year’s color queen (and my new favorite hue), was a pinkish orange
that packed an energy punch. 2013’s emerald is a vivid, verdant green that
“enhances our sense of well-being … promoting balance and harmony,” Pantone
Emerald green: love it or hate
There is a long list of household chores the beginning of each season. If you break it down with one chore a day and bundle a short, easy list on a day off from work, then it can become manageable. After all, you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time!
So first, think of your personality. If you put the worst chore first, would you be happy to get that one over with, or would you simply never start working on the list at all? Order the list to fit your comfort zone.
- Walk around the yard and take a notebook with you. Write down any lawn or outdoor buildings which require maintenance. Be sure to make specific notes, so you will not be scratching your head later trying to figure out your notes. Remember painting as well.
- Get rid of all the old stuff you have not used in a year. Garage sales are great motivators.
- Switch the clothes in the closet from heavy winter to spring.
- Check the roof. Are there any loose or deteriorating shingles? Are the gutters in need of repair?
- The outdoor furniture is calling; pull it out of storage and enjoy watching the flowers begin to grow!
- It may seem silly to think of the upcoming frost, but checking the furnace or heaters now makes sense, instead of having a failure at the worst possible moment.
- Check the screens on all the doors and the assemblies for the sliding glass doors.
- If you use contractors for replacing gutters and other outside household services, now is actually the time to take advantage of that. The fall is when they are typically the most busy.
- The kids will be spending a lot of time on the swing set, is it well maintained?
- The leaves are falling, sigh, time to rake. Make the activity more festive and have a contest to see which family member can gather the most. Remember the gutters!
- When is the last time you checked the insulation in the attic? Do any shingles need replacement after the summer sun?
- Now is the time to aerate the soil, in the front and back yards.
- It’s a perfect time to get a lot of the detailed “spring” cleaning done inside the house. Holidays are approaching and folks will be dropping by for short visits and lengthy meals. Move furniture, vacuum underneath, check the foyer closet for clutter, to make room for heavy coats and umbrellas. Give the whole house a white glove test!
- Change clothes in the closet from summer to winter.
- Check supplies to keep the walks free of ice; shovel, dry ice, salt, etc.
- Check decorations for the holidays.