Spring Cleaning for Real Estate

From a real estate perspective, whether you intend to rent, buy, sell or re-invest in your home: the first step is to clean it ‘til it shines.

The kick off to the official first day of Spring is right around the corner. For most people, this is a time when they begin anew and especially focus on their home. This actually gets me excited because I think your home responds and welcomes you more when you give it some love.

Let’s go over my best spring cleaning ideas, tips and tricks to enjoy your home or grow value.

Basics

No time like the present to do all surfaces and floors! I’ve got kids, dogs and a roughneck husband. I know this is an ongoing challenge, but daily and weekly cleaning will go faster with a strong foundation of clean.

Deep Cleaning

A good deep clean twice a year will help keep your home enjoyable and usable. In real estate, pride of ownership converts to dollars so if you need motivation—just think about how a clean and maintained home pulls a better price!

  • Consider doing a deep clean and conditioning.
  • Do all the kitchen appliances and break out the toothbrush!
  • I love using a razor blade or tile scraper to get gunk gone. It’s also great for a flat top range!
  • Floors and cabinets are often wood and we are so dry here that I suggest using a wood conditioner like Murphy’s or Minwax twice a year.
  • Hit the windows inside and out.  Be sure to wash drapes or steam them.
  • Clean the gutters! Make sure rain and snow drainage are good for the upcoming seasons.
  • Clean the utility room and even wipe down the heating units and water heater.
  • Take it to the next level by cleaning one closet at a time. I like to use FOUR bins—one to keep, one for maybe, one for trash and one to donate. Put the maybe’s in storage and donate after one year anything you haven’t pulled out again or that isn’t precious to you.

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Special Area Concerns

  • We’ve been hit with water and October storms for the past few years. The damage is still all around town. Even a little water damage can cost you thousands in a real estate deal. Consult with us to help you plan a good drainage defense for the next round of wet weather.
  • Giving your trees a trim is highly recommended.
  • Start with clean gutters, and I know many homes without actual working gutters—it is always a good idea to clean and inspect yours regularly.
  • Add 4 foot downspouts and make sure you don’t have any low spots or negative drainage are the foundation of your home.

Remodeling

  • This is where having an experienced realtor can truly benefit you. We love it when you just ask for advice or even come to bounce ideas off of us. We can help you both early on and throughout your remodel to make sure 1) your improvement is an actual improvement, 2) what kind of return you’d gain from it and 3) what has lasting appeal and value.
  • The Realtor Golden Rule on Home Re-investing and Remodeling is One Thing a Year. You’ll simply like your home more and when you go to sell, it will be better.
  • Even in a rough year here are some ideas for sweat equity potential because most people change houses or refinance every 8 years or so.
  • Try to refresh your paint.
  • Replace or refinish the countertops in the kitchen.
  • Borrow our tile cutter and lay a new floor.

Redirecting the Household Flow

  • One of the biggest limiters to enjoying your home is trying to make the best use of your space. Break out a pad and paper or try out my fav–Google floorplanner. Drop in your biggest furniture. Highlight your clutter zones. Break it down by room or floor level if this is a big project.
  • Most people have the same clutter zones: 1) entryways. 2) Kitchen stuff stashes, and 3) the laundry pile.
  • AND re-occuring clutter: 1) papers, 2) clothes, 3) stuff without a home and 4) toys and hobby stuff.
  • Tackle one zone at a time. It usually takes me about a week to plan and implement the plan.
  • Hobby Lobby and Ross are personal favorites for finding stylish AND affordable decorative bins and baskets. I mount them with simple screws in the entry way and kitchen to make a place for everything.
  • I have two school age kids so excess papers are always an issue.
  • To help keep organized, we begin by sorting over the trash.
  • I have a cabinet bookcase in my living room and magazine holders for the papers we need to keep.
  • Papers are then sorted into long-term save, pictures, and homework.
  • Entryways are easy to break down into their common items: shoes, coats and accessories, out-going items like library books or gifts and keys. We have a bi-level so our entry way is s m a l l. We use a coat rack, hooks and a shoe rack with upper basket to help keep things organized.
  • As for laundry, I have found you can plan all you want: but changing behavior is the key or simply acknowledging that chair in your room really is going to hold your clean clothes. If you schedule a day per family member and separate bins per family member, this seems to be the system that works for almost everyone after a few weeks of practice.

These are just a few quick tips to help you stay on top of your biggest investment.  And for all your real estate needs, contact us at No Place Like Home at (307) 234-6659, or follow our Facebook page for fun cleaning and organizing ideas!

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