Archive for the 'cleaning' Category

Get Show-Ready at a Moment’s Notice

Living room with fireplace and stylish decor.
Living room with fireplace and stylish decor.

By Guest Blogger Jackie Waters

Fall in New England is a wonderful time to sell your home. The weather is comfortable and home buyers are interested in getting settled into a new home before the winter. If your home is on the market, today’s Kitchen Views’ blog is for you. Once you’ve found a realtor and learned what you can hope to get for a selling price, now it’s time to make your house someone else’s home. This means making repairs, mowing the lawn, and cleaning. It’s an ongoing process, but one that can help you get more out of your investment.

Preparation Is Crucial

Cleaning a home for real estate showings is not the same as your “everyday” clean. To improve your chances of having a spotless property on showing day, you have to prepare early. The HomeLight blog, which notes that you may add $2000 to the value of your home by deep cleaning, suggests starting with getting rid of clutter. Eliminate any unnecessary items in the home, including excess furniture, family photos, trinkets, and other personal belongings. This also gives you a head start on packing to move.

Now you want to turn your attention toward staging. Staging is simply the process of designing your space so that it looks most attractive. Look at online listings for homes in your area and see how other sellers have staged their houses to look spacious. Your furniture will be the focal point of each room. Make a point to clean it well or hire a specialist to remove stubborn stains. You can use sites, like Angi, and search, “upholstery cleaning near me,” to find a well-reviewed service provider. A special note here: get referrals from at least three companies and steer clear of those that use the same products, chemicals, and tools on all types of material.

To ensure that you can get your home ready at the drop of a hat, deep clean first. Deep clean the entire home, which should include shampooing the carpets, wiping down surfaces, and, if necessary, painting walls that are simply too dirty to clean up. National Lumber has paint experts to help you find the right paint and supplies for any project.

Gathering Your Supplies

Once your home is deep cleaned, it will be much easier to prepare when your realtor calls for a last-minute showing. Since staying ready for buyers requires a plan too, here are tips to help you get your home show-ready at a moment’s notice when the realtor calls. First, you’ll need supplies. At minimum, you’ll want to have:

  • Microfiber cleaning cloth. These are great for cleaning wooden surfaces, such as cabinets, tables, and even windowsills. Buy microfiber cleaning cloths in different colors for different uses. You’ll also want lemon-scented cleaning spray.
  • Swiffer mop. Often rated as one of the best mops for convenience, the Swiffer WetJet (or similar mop with cleaning solution attached) lets you sweep and mop at once, and you won’t need a bucket and water.
  • Toilet brush. Toilets can get dingy quickly, and having a toilet brush next to the loo means that you can polish the porcelain in an instant. Keep your ugly toilet brush and plunger out of sight by stashing it in a vase or behind a decorative trash can. A quick sprinkle of Comet or other abrasive bathroom cleaner will get the job done faster.
  • Other Cleaning Supplies. Paper towels, fabric freshener, trashbags, and window cleaner should all be readily available.

15 Minutes to Get Ready

Filling the dishwasher

Your realtor just called, and you only have a few minutes to get your house ready. Each of these steps will make it easier and more convenient to clean up when your realtor calls for a last-minute showing. Here are the most crucial jobs to tackle:

  • Make the beds. You can make a bed in less than two minutes. Start by clearing the bed completely, leaving only the fitted sheet. Tuck the flat sheet under the corners. Ideally, you have a comforter and matching pillows that you can simply lay neatly on the bed.
  • Fill the dishwasher. Dishes in the sink are a huge turn off for buyers. Move these to the dishwasher. Before you start a cycle, follow the Condé Nast Bon Appétit blog’s advice and load the dishwasher the right way. Sparkling clean dishes inside will show buyers that this appliance works beautifully.
  • Sweep, mop, and vacuum. Run the vacuum cleaner, broom, and wet mop over the most important rooms of your home. This includes the entrance, living room, kitchen, bathrooms, and master bedroom.
  • Take out the trash as you head out the door.

Now that you have a plan and the right supplies on hand, you can be confident of making potential homebuyers eager to imagine themselves living in this welcoming house.

Once you’re searching for your next home, keep in mind that Kitchen Views can help you create your dream kitchen if the property is right, but the kitchen needs refreshing.

Cabinetry Easy Cleaning Dos and Don’ts

Cabinetry Easy Cleaning Dos & Don'ts

Kitchen Views blog header for designer Mary Jane Robillard

So, you have a brand-new white kitchen and you splatter some pasta sauce on your cabinetry. What now? Do you grab a bleach wipe? Do you spray it down with all-purpose cleaner and wipe it off with a kitchen towel?  Do you let it sit on there until you are done cooking and then spray a water-vinegar solution on the cabinets and then wipe with a sponge?

If you do any of these things, you are going to damage your cabinetry finish immediately and the damage will get worse over time. As a seasoned kitchen designer, I am appalled to find that many homeowners are being sold new cabinetry without being properly educated on the care and maintenance of their purchase. I am here to give you some tips on what to do (and not to do!) with regards to cleaning your cabinetry.

Do use a microfiber cloth

Most spills can be cleaned up with a dry or slightly damp microfiber cloth. What could be easier? These versatile cleaning clothes are available everywhere in many colors. You could have some designated for the cabinetry, another color for other kitchen uses, a different color for the bathroom, and still another color for general dusting around the house.

Regularly dust off your cabinetry with a dry microfiber cloth. Most cabinet grime doesn’t appear overnight but is the result of buildup of dust and food particles over time. Removing this dust and debris before it has a chance to settle into the grooves of your cabinets will help prevent staining and mitigate the need for heavy duty cleaning.

Keep your cabinets dry. Almost 70% of new cabinets sold now have a painted finish. Those doors are made up of wood and medium density fiberboard. If water is allowed to sit on the cabinets for a period of time, it will inevitably penetrate the finish into the wood underneath and cause bubbling, cracking, or peeling of the painted finish. This is particularly important to pay attention to on your sink cabinet and your trash cabinet, as those get the most exposure to water and wet items. When you are done washing dishes, make it a habit to just wipe down the front of your cabinet with a clean microfiber cloth to keep that painted finish looking nice as long as possible.

If a deeper cleaning is needed, use only a clean damp microfiber cloth to wipe the cabinets and then dry them off really well with a second microfiber cloth. Kitchen towels and sponges that you use for many things are not good to clean the cabinets with since they typically have soap residue or cooking grease on them. Beware a sponge with textured material intended for scrubbing because it could remove any protective coating your cabinets have on them.

Don't use furniture polish

Don’t use any type of cleaning agent on your cabinets, such as furniture polish, soap, dishwashing liquid, so called cabinet cleaners, bleach or ammonia-based wipes, all-purpose cleaners, beeswax, or anything that has not been specifically approved by the cabinetry manufacturer. Cleaning agents have chemical compounds that can change the color of your cabinets and make them more prone to blistering or peeling.

Don’t leave a spill to linger. If you spill or splatter tomato sauce, wine, coffee, fruit juice, or condiments wipe it up immediately. Acid-based foods in particular can corrode your cabinet finish quickly!

Don’t neglect to use your range hood. When you are cooking, it is very important to turn on your range hood to remove food, spice, and oil particles from the air, so they do not settle on the surrounding cabinets.

Prevention is the absolute best way to keep your cabinetry clean. It’s easy to clean up any spills or splatters when they happen with a handy supply of microfiber cloths. This good habit also saves you time in the long run as it protects your cabinets from damage.

PRO TIP: Ask your designer to order you an extra touch up kit, so you can apply it to any cabinet scratches or dings that occur with normal use and keep that new kitchen looking beautiful for a long time.

Mary Jane Robillard
Kitchen Views, 3356 Post Road, Warwick, RI 02886


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