One of the advantages of living in New England is the many colleges and universities that serve the region. Going paperless will bring some benefits to the education process. While a child may not require the sophisticated technology of the adult student, more and more elementary and high schools are also adopting paperless systems for the benefit of the teachers, students, and of course, the planet. Here are a few reasons why you may find this to be a great option for your home.
Warmer temperatures have arrived, and it's time to get your house ready for the new season. Whether you're happy in your current space or want our real estate agents to help you find a new home, a little spring cleaning will help your home put its best foot forward. Instead of sticking to your normal spring cleaning tasks, make sure to turn your attention to items that are commonly overlooked. Here are a few tasks to put on your spring cleaning checklist.
Feel like you've outgrown your current home? Contact us today to explore your options.
There are many reasons people opt for a smaller space. If you've decided to downsize to a smaller home, you'll reap many benefits, including a lower mortgage payment (if you still have one), lower utility bills, and a smaller area to maintain and keep clean.
Before you downsize to a smaller home you have to downsize your belongings. It's important to declutter your current home so your new home can be well organized with items that fit your new lifestyle. Our REALTORS® suggest the following tips help for downsizing to a smaller home:
Get in the Zone…Well, Safety Zone comes to mind if you are in the middle of a mess, but we're talking about creating zones in your home that create a feeling and a purpose to every space you live in.
New to staging? No problem! Here are a few quick tips to get your started!
Dive in to a Deep Clean
"Remember staging your space is putting your home's best foot forward so that you can reap the benefits", explains Interior Designer, Erika Gaudreau.
The first step isn't fun, but it's a must! Dig in to a deep, deep clean (if you haven't already read our first three blogs in our "Clean Up Series", check it out for some key clutter busting tips). We're talking power washing the outside, clean all inside surfaces, scrubbing grout, cleaning windows, steaming carpets and all. It's worth hiring a pro, if necessary.
Staging can be as Easy as Moving Furniture!
The three most important rooms to focus on are the living room, master bedroom and kitchen. Taking these spaces to the next level could be just a matter of moving the furniture you already have, getting rid of extra pieces or renting what you need to create a space that will sell buyers – literally!
Create More Space
Place living room furniture away from the walls (this creates the illusion of more space, we promise) and bring it all together with a beautiful area rug. Make the space into an area where you can envision family and friends sitting and hanging out comfortably together.
Focus on a Focal Point
Highlight one area or unique feature in each room. Just one. Work with the furniture you have and strategically place everything to highlight the positive. Place pieces across from new, bright windows to show off the natural light or an out of this world view. Does your living room have a fire place? Face furniture towards the hearth – it will draw wondering eyes to what you want them to see!
Out with the Old…
Say Goodbye to the couches you've owned for 12 years. Worn furniture gives the impression that the home is not well kept. While you're at it, oversized furniture can go too. You want to create more space, don't take up your entire room with a giant couch. This rule goes for any lamps, tables and odds and ends that are not being used. Throw additional items in storage or get rid of them for good (who wants to move unused items anyway).
…In with the New
Rent or buy furniture to enhance what you have!
Extra room or finished basement? Purchase, borrow or rent an inexpensive bed, nightstands and bureau. Voila! You have a guest bedroom! Dress the bed with a big, soft, gender-neutral comforter and add some decorative pillows and a cozy throw.
If you're wanting your living room space to feel casual, opt for a new sectional sofa and a cozy recliner. Going for formal? Two matching sofas or beautiful sofa and two classy arm chairs across from each other with an elegant coffee table placed in the middle will do the trick.
One Word: Nostalgia
What are your favorite things about where you live? Do you have bike trails? Do you have a bay window that overlooks a gorgeous garden or body of water? You want home owners to feel an emotional connection to your home and all that it offers (beyond the space), after all, they'll want to create their future memories there!
"I bought a $200 vertical bike rack when we listed our home in Boston just so people could imagine commuting into the city or grabbing the bike for a ride along the Charles. You're creating an environment people can see themselves in" suggests Gaudreau.
Just like adding a bike rack, highlight that bay window by keeping the curtains and shades wide open, add lots of pillows, a book or two and a beautiful blanket. Make memories for the house hunters they haven't even thought of yet.
Ready to get rearranging? Staging can be a lot to take on, but remember, it can also mean less time on the market and more money in your pockets. Cha-ching!
If you're anything like the typical couple or family getting ready to sell your home, hiding clutter is your idea of cleaning before a home showing. We know – throwing some clutter in a few bins and storage solutions is a go-to quick fix for emergencies (see our first post in this Clean Up series), but cleaning up and getting rid of the stuff you are just shuffling from spot to spot is key – especially if you're getting ready to move!
"My rule on clothes? If you haven't wore it in a year, get rid of it!" says Erika Gaudreau, Real Estate Agent/Interior Designer.
"That panini grill you got as a wedding gift that's still in the box? Toss it. No one will know" Gaudreau continues, "unused items just take up usable space."
Discard any small appliances collecting dust, outdated food items, opened spices, sauces, flour, etc. that have been sitting on the shelves longer than you can remember! Plus, home buyers will want to SEE your pantry, so, be sure it is organized and not stuffed to the brim.
So, how do you KEEP it all CLEAN for GOOD?
Part of the stress of selling a home is keeping the home you're living in clean – consistently.
Cleaning is CONSTANT.
As you may have guessed, decluttering is more than a one-time deal. It's something you have to keep up with in order to keep things in order. When the entire family is home, set aside time to all focus on cleaning up. Give each person a specific job before they enjoy free time…grown-ups included! Albert Einstein once said; "Out of clutter, find simplicity."
Decluttering will give you the peace of mind you never knew you needed. So, as you prepare to pack and move into a new space, really dig in and dig out of the mess that may be holding you back! Moving won't seem like a huge hurdle when you have fewer things to pack - and unpack!
You've Cleared all the Clutter... now All Hands-on Deck! Parents, get kids in on the clean up before moving out!
Promise, they can help (after they have a meltdown because you asked them to do something other than play Minecraft)! Getting kids involved in your family's home-selling plan gives them some control and makes them feel they are part of the process. It is important to keep rooms, especially bedrooms, picked up before you have an Open House or home showing because we all know; less clutter shows off your space and most buyers are looking for bigger and better! If potential new homeowners see objects scattered around, taking up desks, counters, etc. they will assume the home is too small or it doesn't offer enough storage options. Not to mention, they can't visualize their family's stuff in the home either! So, get your cleaning crew (this is your family, by the way) ready! Here are 5 tips to get your kids to help clean up – quickly!
In general, after playing with toys or games, always clean up before moving on to the next activity. Practice this every time they play so the expectation of picking up is always there. This will become a habit and not a chore…and it will be super helpful when it comes to keeping your new home tidy!
Now that the kids are on board, check out the next post in our cleaning series, Clearing out Clutter for GOOD.
Owning a home and having people live in it are two completely different things, right? If you're like most people, panic sets in when a friend suddenly decides they'll stop by in an hour…even worse…if your home for sale and you have a last-minute showing (Yay for potential buyers, though!). You are well aware that a day wouldn't be long enough to clean up the clutter scattered throughout the floors let alone a measly hour, so now what? Before you tackle what seems to be an impossible task, here are some tips that will have you on the fast track to a tidy home (even if you have to fake it).
SURPRISE! Your house needs to be picked up…NOW!
No one knows the stress to impress like home-sellers! For a surprise last-minute house showing with potential buyers (or any unexpected visitor) you just can't say "no" to, here are a few tools and tricks that will help you hide away clutter before guests knock on the door!
Take a second and catch your breath. Now that you've rested (that was fast, right?), you must find some energy to really clean and organize your home - for good - at some point. Sorry to burst your bubble! Cleaning up comes with moving out. You don't want to pack up anything that will sit in storage and collect dust.
May the odds be forever in your favor.
Before you tackle the bigger project at hand, check out the next post in our series, The Ultimate Challenge: Cleaning with Kids!