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Real Estate and *stuff *

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Open House in Sutton MA

April 11, 2019 1 Comment

Wonderful single level living with in-law potential on nearly 3 acres in a great location in Sutton!

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This is not a drive by with over 1,800 sq ft of flexible living space!

You WON’T wait to miss the Open House this Saturday! Come to 77 Central Turnpike from 11AM-1230PM and see for yourself.

The main level features a cathedral ceiling family room

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The eat-in kitchen has a move able island.

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Or go directly to the 3 season room because summer is coming quickly and this house has an amazing yard!

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The front room has large windows and hardwood flooring and can be a formal dining room, sitting room or formal living room.

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Generous sized bedrooms with hardwood flooring and closet organizers.

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The lower level is finished for a media room, rec room or additional living space with a second full bathroom.

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Storage area and utilities are tastefully separate from the living space. Recent updates include septic, well, heating, oil tank, roof, Basement 360, window and central a/c!

Can’t make the open house? Take an interactive 3-D tour by clicking the photo below!

77 CT tour

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10 Things You Should Never Say To A Real Estate Agent

April 10, 2019

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Let’s be clear on one thing: by nature, real estate agents are not fragile beings. We’ve heard it all. And for the most part, we have a great sense of humor about things. In other words, you can tell us virtually anything — in fact, you should if it’s pertinent to buying or selling your home.

It’s just that there’s a handful of things clients say that can rub us the wrong way. These things aren’t offensive, per se’, and you probably mean no harm when saying them. But we need to discuss these things. Thus, this list. Let’s file it under “edutainment” — important enough to warrant a dialogue, but light enough for you to realize it’s not the end of the world if you’ve said these things to an agent in the past.

Here they are.

1. “I want to buy a home, but I don’t want to commit to one agent.”

Loyalty is a two-way street. If you want an agent’s help, understand that he or she will spend a considerable amount of time, money, and effort shuttling you from house to house, scheduling home viewings, and previewing listings on your behalf. The tradeoff for this hard work is to sign a buyer’s agency agreement, allowing them to formally represent you as a client (versus merely a customer). There are major differences between the two. Learn more about agency relationships here.

2. “Don’t show my home unless I’m available.”

Look down. See a hole in your shoe? That’s because you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Real estate agents are busy. Therefore, if you want to maximize your home’s exposure, you’re gonna have to be flexible (i.e., as “hands off” as possible). I get it, though. You cringe at the thought of muddy shoes dragging across your beige carpet (or whatever else your concern may be). You naturally want to be present to keep an eye on things, but try to control that urge. Buyers get uncomfortable with sellers standing over them while they view a home — and that’s if you’re lucky enough to draw the buyer inside in the first place, considering all the hoops created by stipulating that other people’s schedules must align with yours.

3. “But Zillow said…”

Stop listening to Zillow. Relying on Zillow to determine your home’s value is, at best, a crapshoot. Zillow itself even encourages buyers, sellers and homeowners to conduct other research such as “getting a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a real estate agent” and “getting an appraisal from a professional appraiser.” Sure, Zillow’s Zestimates® are quick, easy, and free… but so is dating advice from your thrice-divorced Uncle Larry. The point? Just let a local real estate professional (who will actually see your home’s unique features in person) determine its fair market value.

4. “I’ll get pre-approved for a mortgage later.”

This puts you at a huge disadvantage right out of the starting block. First, an agent worth his or her salt won’t agree to invest countless hours showing homes to someone who isn’t approved for a loan. Secondly, it’s an unfair burden on the seller to bring tire-kickers into their home (which is how you’ll be perceived). Therefore, listing agents and sellers will often require a pre-approval letter alongside your offer. This letter strengthens your offer by instilling confidence in all parties that you’re financially capable of purchasing the home.

5. “I don’t want to bother my Realtor®. Can you just show me the house?”

Not just no, but heck no. To be clear, you’re more than welcome to view it, but there’s a protocol in play here. Contrary to what you think, asking your agent to see a home is not “bothering” them. It’s their job. It’s how they get paid. It’s what they love doing. If there are extenuating circumstances preventing your agent from showing you a home, let him or her call the listing agent directly. Don’t worry, you’ll get to view the home one way or another. But if you’re already represented, then going straight to the listing agent is considered is a faux pas in this industry (and a bit of a slap in the face to your agent). Just don’t do it.

6. “Real-a-tor”

The correct pronunciation is Real-tor. No need to throw that extra syllable in there.

7. “Oh, you sell real estate? You must make good money.”

Hold your horses… not necessarily. According to NAR (National Association of REALTORS®), the median gross income of REALTORS® was $42,500 in 2016, and that’s before expenses like MLS fees, marketing, insurance and everything else. Also, keep in mind that commissions are split between the brokerages representing the buyer and seller. In other words, of that X% you paid your agent to sell your home, he or she saw only a tiny fraction of that.

8. “I’m planning to sell my home by owner. I just want to know how to do it.”

We all know that time is money, but so is knowledge. It’s not always free, and it certainly can’t be passed from one brain to another through osmosis — especially not how to sell a home. So if you ask this question to an agent, don’t be offended if you don’t get the answer you were seeking. It’s not that agents want you to fail… it’s just that advising you how to sell a home isn’t as easy as, say, forwarding a recipe for chocolate pound cake. I should know. Many people tried to replicate my grandmother’s chocolate pound cake. They even had the recipe. But they all failed miserably, every time. Bottom line? If you want to benefit from experience, be willing to pay for it (especially when it comes to real estate).

9. “I’ll only sell my home to a buyer who is (insert race, gender, religion, etc. here)”

This is a big no-no, and one that’s liable to get you sued (unless, of course, you list with a real estate professional who’d certainly know better than to discriminate). Federal equal housing laws were passed in 1968 in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement, and they prohibit renters and home sellers from discriminating against individuals on the basis of race, sex, religion and other factors. So in a nutshell: focus on getting your home sold, and forget about to whom.

10. “I’d love to get paid to look at pretty houses all day, every day.”

So would agents. “Looking at pretty houses” is only one of about 184 things real estate agents do for their clients.

Paradise in Sturbridge, MA

April 9, 2019

Oasis in Sturbridge!

A commuter’s dream!

Sitting on 1.5+ acres with deeded lake rights you can enjoy country living AND an easy commute.

This house has been tastefully updated to open concept living with character.

The chef style kitchen with granite, stainless steel appliances, double wall ovens, center cooking island and gathering island is open to the fireplace living room and upper deck.

Full pantry and plenty of storage!

The main level Master has a walk in closet, accessory office space, separate side entrance and private bath with tiled shower and jetted tub.

The lower level has been updated with a fantastic family room.

The double fire place wall accents the room with a separate entrance, granite, wet bar and stove.There is also additional space for a guest room or office.

Two generous sized bedrooms and a full bath complete the top floor!

Click the photo below to take a 3-D Interactive tour!

The property is also being sold with a .78 acre lot on Leadmine Road for additional frontage! (Optional bomb shelter in basement)

11 “Wow!” Ways to Binge-Organize Your Home in 1 Hour

April 8, 2019

Because you don’t have time for a Marie Kondo-style overhaul.

 

When you’ve gotta get your house organized — and fast! — you don’t want to lay hands on everything you own, or ask if those objects have brought you joy. You just want to clear clutter with a minimum of fuss and muss.

Here’s how.

#1 Whip a Drawer Into Shape With an Egg Carton

Use of all your eggs to make omelets, then fill the empty carton with the contents of your junk drawer.

The carton’s biodegradable, so you won’t be adding to the planet’s glut of plastic. A dozen eggs is $2 to $4, and the carton’s free.

If you’re a vegan with messy drawers, go with tip No. 11 below

#2 Hang Scarves With Shower Curtain Rings

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Stop neckwear chaos in your closet with a clothes hanger and a pack of cheap shower curtain rings. Pull your scarves out of the drawer (or corner) they’re stuffed in, and string them on the rings. Works for tank tops or purses too!

Twelve plastic ones cost $4 to $8. For a sleeker look, go with metal rings. Ooo. Fancy.

#3 Suspend Shower Supplies From a Tension Rod

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They’re good for more than shower curtains.

Use shower curtain rings to hang baskets for small stuff like razors or soap, and shower clip rings for larger items. Just make sure the rod is sturdy enough to hold the weight of the bottles.

#4 Tame the Freezer With Magazine Organizers

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Stop those pell-mell piles of frozen food from tumbling out on the kitchen floor.

Pick up some magazine organizers from an office supply store, and put your pizzas, popsicles, and Eggos in them.

Use plastic ones that can stand up to leaking cartons of Ben and Jerry’s and other gooey messes.

#5 Store Bobby Pins on a Magnetic Strip

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Corral your hair pins by sticking a magnetic strip inside your vanity drawer and putting your pins on it.

A roll of 1-inch-wide, adhesive-backed magnet tape sells for about $7. You can also store barrettes and small tweezers this way.

#6 Slip a CD Holder Into a Cabinet to Organize Plastic Lids

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Arrange them from smallest to largest so you can grab the one you need, fast. If you can’t find a CD rack (which is possible because, iTunes), use a desktop letter organizer.

#7 Tame Cords and Cables With Toilet Paper Rolls

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How simple is this? Coil cable, put it into the roll, and write the type of cable on the roll.

Then you can decorate with washi tape so it looks less toilet paper roll-y, and you’ve escaped cord chaos. The cost of this hack is zero, because you’re buying toilet paper anyway.

#8 Hang Measuring Cups, Spoons Inside a Cabinet Door

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Get your measuring utensils out of the drawer and at your fingertips.

Coat the door with chalkboard paint so you can label them by size and scribble a handy-dandy measuring equivalent chart. Be sure your measuring utensils have holes in the handles so you can hang them.

#9 Stash Your Styling Tools in a Wire Basket

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Put it on the side of your vanity to keep your hair appliances and their cords contained and at the ready.

Use hooks with suction cups so you won’t damage your cabinet with nails or adhesive.

And be sure to use a metal holder so you can put your flat iron back while it’s cooling. Because plastic melts.

#10 Hang Shower Supplies With Suction Cup Hooks and Hair Bands

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Round up that sloppy gaggle of bottles and razors in your shower with this cheap-as-dirt-storage hack.

Be sure to get hooks rated to hold at least a pound so you can hang a full-sized bottle of shampoo.

#11 Put Jewelry in Ice Cube Trays

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Stack a couple in a vanity drawer for a super cheap solution to your tangled heap of earrings and necklaces.

You can get a pack of three for less than your daily coffee fix (less than $3).

Not only will your bling be tidy, you’ll also be prepared if your icemaker dies.

Developable Residential Land Available in Sutton

April 3, 2019

Raw land available on a great street!

17 Fuller Rd Plot Map

Here is a 1/2 acre of completely undeveloped land for your imagination!

What will you do with it?

*Buyer to perform any and all due diligence*

You Only Think It’s True: 10 Myths Costing You Time and Money

April 2, 2019

Save your cash for more important things, like, you know, your mortgage.

You can’t swing a tool belt without hitting a website or TV network offering tips on taking care of your digs. Save money by watering your lawn at night! No, water it in the morning! No, dig it up and replace it with a drought-hardy meadow!

Throw in the info you pick up from well-meaning friends and there’s a sea of home care truisms out there, some of which can sink your budget.

Myth 1: Stone Countertops Are Indestructible

Fact: Even rock can be damaged.

Marble, quartz, travertine, soapstone, and limestone can all be stained. Regular household cleaners can dull their surfaces over time. And marble is maddeningly fragile — it’s the prima donna of stone.

It’s easy to scratch. It’s easy to stain. Here’s the worst part: Mildly acidic substances like soda, coffee, lemon juice, even hard water will eat into marble, creating a cloudy, dull spot in a process known as etching.

“Spill a glass of wine on a marble counter and go to bed without cleaning it, the next morning you’ll have a problem,” says Louwrens Mulder, owner of Superior Stone in Knoxville, Tenn.

And while stone counters won’t crack under a hot pot, such direct heat can discolor quartz or marble, says Mulder. So be nice to your counters, no matter what they’re made of. And note that the best rock for your buck is granite. “It doesn’t stain or scratch. It’s tough because it’s volcanic rock,” Mulder says. Which means it can stand up to all the merlot and barbecue sauce you can spill on it.

Myth 2: Your Smoke Detector’s Test Button Is Foolproof

Fact: The test button doesn’t tell you what you really need to know.

Yes, check your smoke detector twice a year. But all that test button will tell you is whether the alarm sound is working, not if the sensor that detects smoke is working. Pretty key difference there.

The best way to check your device is with real smoke. Light a long, wooden kitchen match, blow it out, and hold it near the unit. If the smoke sets off the alarm, it’s working. If not, replace the batteries. If it still doesn’t work, you need a new smoke detector. And replace those batteries once a year anyway, because dead batteries are the No. 1 reason smoke detectors fail.

Myth 3: Gutter Guards Are Maintenance-Free

Fact: You gotta clean gutter guards, too.

Gutter guards keep out leaves, but small debris like seeds, pine straw, and flower buds will still get through.

Gutter guards can lessen your work, though — sometimes a lot. Instead of shoveling out wheelbarrow loads of leaves and other crap twice a year, you might just need to clean them every two years. But if there are lots of trees in your yard, once a year might be necessary.

Myth 4: A Lemon Is a Great Way to Clean a Disposal

Fact: While wanting to use natural cleaners is admirable, all of them will damage your disposal and pipes over time.

The lemon’s acidic juice will corrode the metal parts of your disposal. The mixture of salt and ice contains metal-eating acid, too. The coffee grounds are abrasive enough to clean the gunk off the blades and make it smell like a cup of americano, but they’ll accumulate in pipes and clog them.

The best natural cleaner for your disposal is good old baking soda. It’s mildly abrasive so it will clean the blades, but it’s a base, not an acid, and won’t damage the metal. Best of all, a box with enough baking soda big enough to clean your disposal twice costs less than a buck.

Myth 5: Mowing Your Lawn Super Short Means You’ll Mow Less Often

Fact: You might not have to mow as often, but your lawn will look like awful.

Cut that grass under an inch high, and you’ll never have to mow again because your grass will die. Mowing a lawn down to the root — a screw-up known as scalping — is like cutting all the leaves off a plant.

Grass blades make and store your lawn’s energy. Removing more than 1/3 of the length of the blade will leave your grass too weak to withstand weeds and pests. It also exposes the roots to the sun, causing the lawn to dry out quickly. Leave 1 to 3 inches of grass above the roots to keep your lawn lush.

Myth 6: CFLs Cost Too Much, and Are Dangerous

Fact: CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) have come down in price since they first hit the market and don’t contain enough mercury to cause any harm.

You can buy one now for as low as $3. And replacing one incandescent bulb with a CFL will save nearly $60 a year for the lifetime of the bulb, says Consumer Reports. CFLs last an average of 5 years, so one bulb can save $300. A houseful of them, say 20, will save $600 each year.

And CFLs are a safe option. They actually lower your exposure to mercury indirectly, because they use 70 percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs. That means the coal-fired power plants that spew 340 million pounds of mercury into the air each year won’t have to run as long to keep our houses lit. Fewer toxins, lower power bills. What’s not to love?

Myth 7: A Trendy Kitchen Re-Do Will Increase My Home’s Value

Fact: Décor trends come and go as fast as viral videos.

Remember those Tuscan-style kitchens with mustard gold walls, ornate cabinets, and medieval-looking light fixtures that were the must-have of the late ‘90s and early aughts?

Today, they’re as dated as flip phones. Instead of remodeling in the latest look, which costs $22,000 on average, try repainting in on-trend colors, which costs $1,700 on average. If you do opt for a full remodel, choose elements like Shaker cabinets, wood floors, and subway tile, a timeless style you’ll love 10 years from now.

Myth 8: A Contractor Recommendation From a Friend Is Good Enough

Fact: Good contractors have more than just your buddy to vouch for them.

Your neighbor’s rec is a good start, but talk to a couple of sources before you hire anyone. Check the contractor’s reviews on Angie’s List or other online rating sites.

Ask a local building inspector which contractors meet code on the properties they inspect. Ask the contractor for the names of past clients you can talk to, how many other projects they have going, how long they’ve worked with their subcontractors, and if they routinely do projects the size of yours.

Look at this as a job interview where the contractor is an applicant and you’re the hiring manager. Make them show you they’re the guy or gal for the work.

Myth 9: Turning Off Your AC When You Leave Saves Energy

Fact: Turning off the air conditioner when you leave could actually cost you money.

That’s because when you turn it back on, all your savings will be lost as the unit works overtime to cool your hot house. A better way to save on utilities is to turn the thermostat up or down (depending on the season) 5 to 10 degrees when you leave, says home improvement expert Danny Lipford of todayshomeowner.com.

And the best option? “Install a programmable thermostat,” he says. Even better, buy one you can control remotely with your smartphone and adjust the temperature before you get home. Because thermostats you have to touch are so 1998.

Myth 10: Permits? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Permits

Fact: You do.

Let’s say your neighbor’s brother-in-law, Cecil, is an electrician. Cecil can rewire your kitchen in a weekend because he won’t inconvenience you with a permit. Should you hire Cecil? No. Building codes protect you. From Cecil. Getting a permit means an inspector will check his work to make sure he didn’t screw up.

Plus, if your house burns down in an electrical fire and your insurance company finds out the work was done without a permit, they won’t cover your loss. Check with your local planning or building department to find out if your project needs a permit. If it does, get one.

Just Listed in Sutton, MA-Open House This Weekend!

March 27, 2019

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Wonderful single level living with in-law potential on 2.85 acres in a great commuting location in Sutton! This is NOT a drive by with over 1,800 sq ft of flexible living space! The main level features a cathedral ceiling family room that flows nicely into the eat-in kitchen with movable island. Or go directly to the 3 season room because summer is coming quickly and this house has an amazing yard! The front room has large windows and hardwood flooring and can be a formal dining room, sitting room or formal living room. Generous sized bedrooms with hardwood flooring and closet organizers. The lower level is finished for a media room, rec room or additional living space with a second full bathroom. Storage area and utilities are tastefully separate from the living space. Recent updates include septic, well, heating, oil tank, roof, Basement 360, window and central a/c!

Join us for the market entrance open houses on Saturday 3/30 11:30am to 1pm and Sunday 3/31 12pm to 1pm

Can’t make the Open house? Don’t be sad–Take an interactive 3-D virtual tour by clicking the photo below!

77 CT tour

How to Make It Up to Your Pet After a Move

March 25, 2019

You have read all the advice on moving with pets, and you have plans in place to make the transition as easy as possible for your dog and/or cat. We will call them Butch and Fluffy (Butch is the dog). The big moving day has arrived and Butch and/or Fluffy are freaking out. And since our pets are more important than life itself, we can’t have them going bonkers, can we? So, here are some good ideas for making your pet (and you) feel at home after a move.

First, make sure your new place has been thoroughly cleaned, especially if it belonged to another pet. Your animal DOES NOT want to smell anybody else in the new place. If this is impractical, put down puppy pads for both cats and dogs. Your house will look awful, but since you have not yet unpacked, it probably does anyway.

Prior to your move, do not wash animal beds or blankets. The funkier they smell, the better, in your pet’s opinion. By the way, moving the animal stuff is a great moving day task for kids.

Next, supervise. Dogs run and cats hide. A dog can easily get lost in a new, unfamiliar neighborhood. As soon as possible, preferably the day you move, take Butch out for a nice walk. Butch will take cues from you, so the more relaxed and pleasant you are, the more relaxed and pleasant Butch will be. (This is where tranquilizers come in – for both of you.)

For cats, it is a good idea to keep Fluffy in for a few days, and expect lots of hiding. Make sure you know all of the new house’s nooks and crannies and make sure they are safe for your pet to hide in – you do not want Fluffy getting stuck inside a wall or escaping from a crawl space. Make a nice bed (with water and maybe even a litterbox) inside one of the closets. If Fluffy wants to stay in there for several days, let her. If you have a multiple cat household, you may need to temporarily give up more than one closet. Hey, you are too tired to unpack anyway, right? Who and what is more important, Fluffy or your shoe collection?

It goes without saying that you will need to use the same food and water bowls for Butch and Fluffy. Put food and water down as soon as you get into the new place. Do not worry if they do not eat for a day but make sure they stay hydrated. Put them in about the same place that they were in your old place – kitchen to kitchen, laundry to laundry, etc.

Here is a favorite trick, although it has an ewww factor. On moving day, take the sheets off the bed in the old house and then put the very same sheets back on the bed in the new house. Bring your pet to bed with you. Nothing will be as comforting for your pet as being safe and warm with their human and being surrounded by familiar smells.

Keep the same routine – same daily activities at the same time, same leisure activities, at the same time – and soon Fluffy and Butch will have their comfortable routines set, too. And they will be as happy in their new home as you are.

5 Tips To Get Your Home Ready For Warmer Weather

March 22, 2019 1 Comment

Spring is in full swing, and you know what that means: the days are getting longer, the temperatures are rising, and in just a few short weeks we’ll be heading into the warmer months of summer.

Summer is one of the best times of year; children are out of school, it’s the perfect time to explore the great outdoors, and of course, everyone’s favorite: good ol’ summer vacation.

After the freezing temperatures of winter and the unpredictability of spring, you and your family are probably more than ready for the warm, summer weather. But the question is: is your home?

Here are 5 tips to get your home ready for warmer weather:

1. Get your A/C checked

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The summer heat is great for beach days and splashing in the pool. But when you’re done enjoying the sunshine, you’ll want to open the door to a nice, cool interior. But if your air conditioner isn’t working properly, you can quickly find yourself with no escape from the rising temperatures.

The best time to get your air conditioning in working order is before summer hits. Start by changing out the filters. Dirty filters make it harder for your A/C unit to do its job, lower the efficiency of your air conditioning system and waste energy. After you replace the filters, let your air conditioning system run for an hour or so to see how its cooling; a test run will give you insight into any potential problems you need to have serviced.

You should have an HVAC professional service your air conditioning system once a year. Even if you don’t notice any obvious problems, servicing your A/C annually will keep it running better for longer. Spring is the best time of year to get your A/C service; once summer hits, most HVAC companies are booked solid through the summer months, and the last thing you want is to find yourself in the thick of summer with a broken air conditioning system and no relief from the heat.

2. Switch out your gear

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Each season required a completely different set of tools, gear, furniture, and decor. To avoid clutter, it’s best to store these items when they’re not in use. If you’re storing your seasonal items, you’ll need to switch everything out as summer approaches so you have everything on hand you need to enjoy the season.

Put your patio furniture out in the backyard so it’s ready for when you entertain guests. Check your grill to make sure it’s in working order and ready for summer BBQs. Switch out those heavy winter comforters with lightweight quilting that’s more appropriate for summer weather.

3. Get your lawn up to speed

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One of the best parts of summer is getting to enjoy time outside, often in your own backyard. But if you’re like most people, your lawn could probably use a bit of TLC after the cooler months.

Survey your property for any visible damage caused by winter weather. Check all playground equipment to make sure it’s in good shape before the kids get out of school. Add a few new plants or flowers to add visual interest to the landscape.

Your backyard will play host to many celebrations, playdates, and lazy evenings with your family this summer. In order to enjoy all the fun of summer fully, you want to make sure your lawn is in the best shape possible.

4. Plant a garden

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Speaking of the backyard, there’s no better time than summer to plant a garden. The warmer weather is the ideal time for a rainbow of vegetables to flourish, including beets, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, peppers, and squash. If you’re new to gardening, pick up a few raised garden beds and plant your seeds now. Before summer hits its peak, you’ll be enjoying fresh vegetables straight from your garden – perfect for a refreshing summer salad.

5. Get painting out of the way

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If you’ve been thinking about painting the interior of your home, now is the time to do it. Painting only gets more challenging as the temperature rises; since you’ll need to have your windows open while you paint, A/C isn’t an option. Not only will the heat make painting feel more physically demanding, but humid weather can make the paint fumes feel more overwhelming.

If you do decide to paint, consider some seasonally appropriate hues, like gold or sky blue, to bring the feeling of summer indoors.

Summer will be here before you know it. And with these tips, your home will be ready for it.

10 Clever Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide

March 19, 2019

Non-toxic. Low-cost. Hydrogen peroxide is your cleaning arsenal’s secret weapon.

When it’s time to clean, have your trusty green cleaners at the ready — baking soda, vinegar — plus another ultra-cheap gem: hydrogen peroxide. You can use it anywhere, and can’t beat the price: A 16-oz. bottle only costs a buck or so.

Here are 10 ways you can use that ubiquitous brown bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide to your home’s advantage:

In Your Kitchen

1. Clean your cutting board and countertop. Hydrogen peroxide bubbles away any nasties left after preparing meat or fish for dinner. Add hydrogen peroxide to an opaque spray bottle — exposure to light kills its effectiveness — and spray on your surfaces. Let everything bubble for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse clean. 

2. Wipe out your refrigerator and dishwasher. Because it’s non-toxic, hydrogen peroxide is great for cleaning places that store food and dishes. Just spray the appliance outside and in, let the solution sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean.

3. Clean your sponges. Soak them for 10 minutes in a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water in a shallow dish. Rinse the sponges thoroughly afterward.

4. Remove baked-on crud from pots and pans. Combine hydrogen peroxide with enough baking soda to make a paste, then rub onto the dirty pan and let it sit for a while. Come back later with a scrubby sponge and some warm water, and the baked-on stains will lift right off.

In Your Bathroom

5. Whiten bathtub grout. If excess moisture has left your tub grout dingy, first dry the tub thoroughly, then spray it liberally with hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit for a little while (it may bubble slightly), then come back and scrub the grout with an old toothbrush. You may have to repeat the process a few times, depending on how much mildew you have, but eventually your grout will be white again.

 

#DollarsandSense: Grungy Grout
6. Clean the toilet bowl. Pour half a cup of hydrogen peroxide into the toilet bowl, let stand for 20 minutes, then scrub clean.

In Your Laundry Room

7. Remove stains from clothing, curtains, and tablecloths. Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a pre-treater for stains — just soak the stain for a little while in 3% hydrogen peroxide before tossing into the laundry. You can also add a cup of peroxide to a regular load of whites to boost brightness. It’s a green alternative to bleach, and works just as well.

Anywhere in Your House

8. Brighten dingy floors. Combine half a cup of hydrogen peroxide with one gallon of hot water, then go to town on your flooring. Because it’s so mild, it’s safe for any floor type, and there’s no need to rinse.

9. Clean kids’ toys and play areas. Hydrogen peroxide is a safe cleaner to use around kids, or anyone with respiratory problems, because it’s not a lung irritant. Fill an opaque spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide and spray toys, toy boxes, doorknobs, and anything else your kids touch on a regular basis. You could also soak a rag in peroxide to make a wipe.

Outside

10. Help out your plants. To ward off fungus, add a little hydrogen peroxide to your spray bottle the next time you’re spritzing plants. Use a 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide added to one gallon of water for your plants.