Spring is in the air and so is pollen and dust. While we are all practicing responsible social distancing and staying home, why not take the time to do a deep cleaning?
Here are some ideas and tips from professional cleaners and organizers to help you get the job done.
- Designate an area to collect items to be donated. A closet, a corner of the garage, or a spare room. This way you can collect everything in one place until you are able to take it to a donation center.
- Pick a method for decluttering: Follow the Marie Kondo’s advice and clean out the entire house by category, in this order: clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous items, then sentimental items. Another approach is to tackle the task by area, one cabinet, closet, or room at a time.
- When cleaning, start from the top with ceiling fans, crown molding, door and window frames, and cabinet tops, and work your way down, finishing with the floors.
- Remember to clean these easily over-looked spots: the top of, underneath, and inside of the fridge, inside the microwave and oven, behind the washer and dryer, the dryer vent outlet, air vents, windows and screens, window blinds, computer keyboards and gaming controls, toys, the shower curtain and drain, the garbage disposal and splash guard, patio furniture, the grill, outdoor trash and recycling containers, and outdoor door mats.
- Set up an annual or semiannual appointment for carpet, rug and upholstery professional cleaning.
- Keep an ongoing list of needed repairs to tackle yourself or have a handyman come in periodically to check things off the list.
- Spruce up landscaping with fresh mulch and plants. Have tree limbs trimmed away from your roof.
- Have your home’s exterior pressure cleaned, including the roof, driveway and patios.
- Launder your bedspreads, blankets and mattress pads. Don’t forget about your pet’s beds also.
- Don’t waste money on a lot of cleaning products. Baking soda and vinegar can accomplish a lot for much less than brand cleaning products cost. Click here for some homemade cleaning solution from Good Housekeeping.
- Spring cleaning is a good time to do a safety check on your home and hold a family fire or emergency drill. Check the pressure on fire extinguishers, test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, make sure doors and windows lock and open properly, and check for unsafe wiring, improperly stored flammable materials, and child safety hazards.
If you are thinking about buying a home this year and aren’t sure if you will qualify for a mortgage, there are several actions you can take to improve your chances of being approved for the amount you wish to borrow.
Lenders look at more than just your credit rating. They want to know that you have a steady income and are responsible with your money. Before you start home shopping, take some time to make sure you are fiscally stable.
- Stay at your present job. The bank will want to see, at minimum, your last two tax returns. If you want to buy a home this year, it’s not the time to start over in a new industry. If you are just getting started in the professional world, you may need to work a while longer in order to show a history of steady income.
- Put off buying a new car. Be careful about buying big-ticket items like a new car or boat or on credit until after you have closed on your home.
- Pay down credit debt. If you are carrying a balance on credit cards, work hard to pay those down or off. Try not to use credit cards if you can’t pay the balance off monthly.
- Pay your bills on time. Incurring late payments will reflect poorly on your credit report, so keep track of deadlines or set up automatic payments before they are due.
- Save up cash for a down payment. You have a better chance of being approved for a lower amount, so try to save up for a down payment to reduce the loan amount.
- Say no to cosigning for others. Now is not the time to cosign on any loans with family members or friends.
- Throw those credit card offers away. Each time you apply for credit, the provider will pull your credit history, which affects your score.
Not sure which lender to talk to? Contact one of our agents to give recommendations on who to work with. You can also try checking out a list here.
The risk is still low, but there are still ways to prepare your house for a possible outbreak in the U.S. Follow the link HERE to get a list of the supplies to stock up on and how to clean your house to keep the bad germs out.
In my opinion, the media has exaggerated this entire situation to where people are scared to do anything at the moment. It worries me that people are going to be so paranoid that they end up taking space at the emergency rooms and taking all of the medicine in stores, which will then cause the people who truly need it to pay the price. The flu has had a much larger affect on people than this virus has, but the media does a great job at scaring people (how else will they get people to watch the news if they say everything is A-OK)? I provided the above link to the article to help some people be at ease and find some tips if they want to go this route.
Have a great week and wash your hands, folks! 🙂