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Are You Planning to Sell Your Home?

A clean and tidy kitchen will help to sell your home. Moreover, your real estate agent will love you.

Here are 12 ways to prepare your home for sale related to your kitchen.

Please note that a staged kitchen in a house for sale is not a practical kitchen. Realize that staging your home is the first step in letting go. This can be difficult.

It is time to make the shift from thinking about your home as a place you live to seeing it as a property that is about to be sold. Staging, when done well, can help make your home more appealing to buyers and help it sell more quickly. It can also help you to get the best price.

Set up your home to make its best first impression. You do not have to live through endless open houses before making a sale. Stage your kitchen to help sell your home quickly.

Staging Tip #1

Do not think you have to do a major kitchen overhaul. This can cost a great deal of money. You probably will not fully recoup this investment when you sell.

Instead of a full kitchen remodeling, consider small changes you can make to update your kitchen.

  • Paint rather than replace cabinets.
  • Swap out hardware.
  • Roll out a rug.
  • If you need to replace an appliance to not feel pressured to go super high end.

A clean, fresh, bright kitchen that makes the most of the space will attract buyers.

A successfully staged kitchen:

  • Looks, feels, and smells clean and fresh.
  • Looks and feels spacious and light with plenty of room inside cupboards and closets.
  • Is tasteful and good looking — there are no glaringly bad or out-of-date features.
  • Looks welcoming; it’s easy for a buyer to envision using and enjoying the space.
  • Shows signs of life but is not messy or cluttered.
Staging Tip #2

Have your kitchen professionally cleaned. Having a pro thoroughly clean your kitchen is one of the best investments you can make when preparing your home to sell. Yes, you could clean it yourself, but would it really look as good?

A sparkling-clean kitchen is one that looks its best and needs to be your top priority.

Staging Tip #3

No bad odors! Be hyper-aware of odors. Make sure all garbage, recycling and pet-related items are removed before showing your home. Clean your trash containers and ensure that even these smell nicely. Run a lemon down your garbage disposal.

Nothing turns off a potential buyer faster than a bad smell.

Introduce items that will contribute to a nice kitchen smell such as fresh-brewed coffee or flowers.

Staging Tip #4

Consider fresh paint. Aside from cleaning, fresh paint will give you the best return on your time and dollar investment.

Give your kitchen a new coat of paint in a hue that works with the color of your counters and cabinets — when in doubt, go with crisp white. If your kitchen was recently painted, take a close look at the walls and ceiling and touch up any imperfections, even tiny ones.

Staging Tip #5

Keep windows clean and clear. Clean the kitchen windows, inside and out. If you have heavy window coverings, consider removing them — or at the very least, be sure window coverings are completely open when you show your home.

Staging Tip #6

Clear the counters. A toaster and coffeemaker are just about the only things to consider leaving out on the counters. Put everything else out of sight.

Staging Tip #7

Potential buyers will be looking inside your cupboards. Ensure that your cupboards look nice and organized. If they look overstuffed, then that will hgive the potential buyer the impression that there isn’t enough storage space.

Remove excess stuff, mismatched items and anything that simply does not look good. If you still need to use these things, keep them in a box hidden on a high shelf in a closet during showings.

Staging Tip #8

Organize the pantry. Remove items that give the impression that there is not enough space. Each shelf needs to have some open space. Organize each shelf.

This may mean removing some key items that you use every day but remember that a staged kitchen is not necessarily a practical kitchen! As with items from your cupboards, keep extra pantry goods in a box and out of sight during showings.

Staging Tip #9

Set fancy hand and dish soap on a tray. Get rid of the gross old sponges and goopy dish soap containers, and replace them with nice-looking dish soap, hand soap and lotion and make it look neat and pretty on its own little tray.

Staging Tip #10

Make the faucet shine. A pretty, gleaming faucet makes a good impression. And make sure that there are no leaks. If there are then fix them.

Staging Tip #11

Accessorize the stovetop. A pretty pot or teakettle on the stovetop is a welcoming touch. Just be sure the one you choose is in perfect condition — no scratched-up old pans. Buy a new one if necessary.

Staging Tip #12

Add some tastefull accessories.

  • Add new tea towels that are color coordinated with your kitchen.
  • Set out fresh fruit in a bowl that is color coordinated with your kitchen.
  • Have freshly cut flowers in a nice spot.
Cleaning Your Home for Sale

To help sell your home you need to make it look its best. Cleaning your home for sale or staging your kitchen will be one of the best investments you could make.

If you need some extra help before a major showing or an open house, then feel free to give us a call at 802-295-6065. A Clean Vision has been cleaning homes in the Upper Valley since 1993. We are family owned and operated and take great pride in keeping your home clean and tidy which will help to sell your home.

The post Cleaning Your Home for Sale appeared first on Residential and Commercial Cleaning | A Clean Vision.

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An Organized Home Helps to Keep a Home Clean Some Tips on Home Organization

To organize well you need a process. Once organized it make sense to define some simple and easy rules to follow to keep things organized. If your home is well organized, then your life will be more organized too.

Organization is good for us!

Oh, the battle for organization. It is a constant struggle in many households. We know. With a bit of thought you can get rid of the clutter which can lead to an unorganized area or home. Once you have organized some key areas of your home other areas will follow – take my word for it.

Here is a simple system that you can use to organize just about any area in your house.

Start small. The key is to start. Pick one space in your home and what you pick does not have to be a whole room. To get started select something easy and small – perhaps even as small as one drawer!

Then move on to the next area and then the next. This way you will make constant progress. You will not have a house that is organized overnight, but if you chip away at the clutter, little by little, before you know it, you’ll start feeling organized! Yes indeed!

Organization Step #1 – Take Everything Out of the Space

Sometimes it has to get worse right before it gets better! We have found this to be the case with organizing. Start clean! Clearing out the whole space always helps in multiple ways. Take everything out of the space – everything!

You can then:

  • See what you have.
  • Decide if you really need an item or not.
  • Determine if that space is the right space for each item you decide to keep.
  • Maximize the use of that space.
Organization Step #2 – Purge

Be ruthless. I’m serious. If you want to have an organized home, then make some decision to get rid of things that you don’t really need. If you haven’t used it recently then figure out who could and donate it.

If it’s broken, then why are you saving it. Either fix it or get rid of it. If it is stained or worn out, then toss it. The more you can get rid of, the less cluttered your space will feel. You want to only organize items that you want.

Pro Organizer Special Tip: For certain areas you will have some items that you cannot make a decision about (at least this happens to me). Don’t waste time, at this point, to belabor a decision. A good example of such an area will be your master closet. Clean out your master closet. Make as many fast decisions as possible about what to keep and what to get rid of. This will help you to make progress.

Put the items you are ruminating on in a special place in the closet so you can get to them quickly and easily. Do not make the major mistake of burying these items deep in the closet because you hardly ever use them.

Then . . .

Think about what you kept and later go back and make the hard decision. There is a good chance that most of these items now can be sent to your local glad rags.

Organization Step #3 – Put Like Items Together

After your big purge, separate like items into groups. When organizing your pantry, for example, put all your spices together, all of the canned goods together, all of the baking items together, etc.

When everything is put into categories it is easier for you to see what kind of organization system (boxes, bins, shelf space . . .) you will need.

Organization Step #4 – Define How to Store Things

For each category define an effective way to store and organize it. Make sure you define a way that works for you long-term. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a bunch of fancy bins. You may already have ways in your house that will help. Get creative. Use shoe boxes or a diaper boxes wrapped in pretty paper to store things in some spaces. Add decorative tape to otherwise boring bins. Your storage containers do not have to be expensive!

Pro Organizer Special Tip: To take it one step further, you can put bins inside of bins. This helps control the clutter even more because each item has a specific spot. Items have their own special space and you will be more likely to put it back in its special place.

Organization Step #5 – Label

Labeling helps people to quickly determine where things are and where to put them back. Use your computer and printer to print simple tags. Use a label maker to create a label. You could also hand write some cute labels.

Organization Step #6 – Refill the Space

Now your space is empty. It is now time to put things back. Always start with the items that you use most often and put them in the most accessible spot. Then fill in the gaps until everything you need is back in its own special place.

Organization Step #7 (optional) – Review and Adjust

Don’t be afraid to change systems that aren’t working. Your system for organization needs to be easy and practical. Sometimes you need to make adjustments. Maybe your box on top of box idea makes things too hard to get. Maybe a small storage cabinet with drawers is what you need.

Home Organization – Summing Up

It is best to get started. Start small and build from there.

Different areas of our home may call for different types of bins or dividers or shelving.

If you feel like everything is unorganized don’t get overwhelmed. Know that you can succeed to have a clean, tidy, and organized home.

Remember a wonderful feeling is the satisfaction of having a freshly organized space!

If you need some extra help keeping your home clean then give us a call at 802-295-6065. A Clean Vision has been cleaning homes in the Upper Valley since 1993. We are family owned and operated and take great pride in keeping your home clean and tidy.

The post Home Organization Tips appeared first on Residential and Commercial Cleaning | A Clean Vision.

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We All Want Them but How Do You Get Them?

Have you ever thought about it? The life of a towel is a hard life. Getting wet, friction, drying out then doing it all over again. Moreover, the water may be hard and washing your towels in hard water is more likely to leave a residue.

The result will be that a towel that lives a life as hard as that is sure to not be as soft and fluffy as it once was. How can we maintain that wonderful soft and fluffy feeling that we all desire in a towel?

Here are some tips!

Cut Back on Detergent

Towels can become stiff and lose their softness because they start to build up soapy residue. Use less detergent and your machine’s rinse cycle will have an easier time rinsing out the soap. This may be all that you need to do to restore that soft and fluffy feel to your towels.

Wash in Warm Water

Warmer water – 90 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (32 to 44 Celsius) works best for cleaning towels and will result in less detergent buildup on your towels. Also, for better results let the detergent dissolve in the washer before adding towels – just start the wash cycle, add soap, and wait a minute or two before adding your towels.

Do Not Use Fabric Softeners

Replace fabric softeners with vinegar. Fabric softeners contain silicon that will make towels water repellent. The fabric softeners are designed to cling to the fabrics and over time build up a residue. Therefore, over time towels will not be washed as well.

Soften your towels by using one cup of white vinegar. The vinegar will remove the residue that makes towels feel rough. This method will also bring back the softness and restore them to full absorbency.

If you use bleach, be careful. Mixing vinegar and bleach will create fumes that you will not want to breathe.

Simply run the towels through a regular washing cycle, then redo them using vinegar instead of soap. Use 1 cup per load.

Use Baking Soda

This will help loosen up fibers and clean off any chemicals or soap residue. This will make your towels softer. Just mix half a cup of baking soda with your normal amount of detergent.

There is another nice bonus. Baking soda naturally eliminates musty odors that may have built up. If your towels were put in the hamper a bit damp or left on the bathroom floor for a while then baking soda will give them a nice, clean, and fresh smell.

Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the laundry when you add your regular liquid detergent. Baking soda helps whiten whites, brighten brights, and ensure odor-free clothing.

If your towels are significantly coated with residue then you may need to repeat the vinegar and baking soda steps one more time. To keep your towels fresh, give your towels this treatment whenever they start to feel crunchy.

Lighten Your Wash Load

Don’t put too many towels in your washer at once. Too big a load will it strain the machine mechanically. Moreover, a large load makes it harder to rinse out all the cleaning agents. To have soft, fluffy, and clean-smelling towels it is vital that they be rinsed well.

The same goes for your dryer; if you overload it, there won’t be enough air in the dryer to properly fluff the fabric. So, you’ll get stiff, matted towels, instead of soft, fluffy ones. For most standard machines, try two or three bath towels at a time, along with hand towels and washcloths.

Use A Dryer Ball (or three!)

The towels, when damp, will stick together in the dryer. This slows down the drying process. When you add dryer balls into your clothes dryer the balls will get in-between the towels. The balls help to separate the towels and allow more air to circulate between the towels. This improves dryer efficiency and helps to fluff up the towels.

You can also consider tumbling the towels for a few extra minutes on a low heat setting once the towels are fully dry.

We hope that you will now be able to enjoy soft and fluffy towels. We believe that these tips will help you to keep your towels plush and fluffy for their entire lives. Towels have a tough life and we can help them to be at their best with a little bit of extra care.

Give us a call at 802-295-6065 if you live in the Upper Valley and need extra support with your home cleaning. We have been providing homeowners of the Upper Valley with top-notch home cleaning services since 1993.

The post Fluffy Towels appeared first on Residential and Commercial Cleaning | A Clean Vision.

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Dust – Let’s Get Rid of It!

Dust is everywhere and it gets everywhere. It will be on flat surfaces that are high up in a room such as a ceiling fan, light fixtures, moldings and door frames. Moreover, dust will collect in hard to reach places at the lowest levels of a room such as under the bed and furniture.

Dusting properly is important and first it is important to avoid dusting mistakes so that you minimize the amount of dust and become more efficient at dusting in general.

Here are five common dusting blunders.

Failing to Clean Your Ducts and Replace Your Air Filters

Ducts can be a significant source of dust. This will be particularly true if you have done any home renovation work. Anything that moves air around is also moving dust. Therefore, if you can remove dust from the air then you reduce the amount that is in the air within your home. Consider your heating, air-conditioning, bathroom and kitchen vents.

Having your air ducts clean and your filters replaced is the single biggest way to reduce dust in your home – this would be the ultimate form of dusting.

You can hire a professional who will vacuum your vents out, removing the residual dust in your home.

Forgetting to Change Your Vacuum’s Filters and Bag

I big air mover is your vacuum cleaner. Any vacuuming pushes a large quantity of air. This air could also be pushing a large quantity of dust. Many people know that the best way to dust is from higher levels in a room to lower levels. The lowest level is the floor and cleaning this surface is the job of your vacuum. When you vacuum you are picking up all the dust that may have fallen from the higher levels.

However, if your vacuum bag is full or your filters are not functioning well then, the dust on the floor is pushed back into the room sometimes all the way up to the ceiling were it then settles on all those high surface your just dusted. My goodness.

Do not undo your fine ducting by then vacuuming with a full bag and a dirty air filter. When you vacuum bag is half full it is time to replace it so that it is working efficiently and effectively. Inspect filters and wash or replace as necessary.

Not Using a Microfiber Duster

A high quality microfiber duster will grip the dust and remove it from the surface. A microfiber cloth greatly increases dusting efficiency.

Whatever you do avoid a feather duster. This type of dusting tool is very in effective and for the most part only pushes the dust to some other place.

Avoid Dry Dusting

Small particles can easily become airborne and the smaller the dust particle the longer it takes to settle down again on a surface. Spray your microfiber dust cloth with water a dusting spray or polish for best dusting results.

Water works fine but you can enhance things a bit more by making your own dusting spray. Here are the ingredients that further enhance your dusting.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (cuts through grease and grime & disinfectants)
  • 2 tsp olive oil (shines and protects wood)
  • 10-15 drops of Lemon essential oil (makes your home smell naturally fresh and clean! – substitute your favorite essential oil.
  • Spray bottle

Since the oil, vinegar and water are in the mix be sure to shake the spray bottle well before spraying your microfiber cloth.

Dusting Without A Proper Method

Start at the top of the room and end at the bottom (vacuuming for floor). This top to bottom approach to dusting is the most effective.

Follow these tips and avoid making dusting blunders and your home will not need to be dusted as often and will smell and feel cleaner. If you need some extra help keeping your home well dusted then give us a call at 802-295-6065. A Clean Vision has been cleaning homes in the Upper Valley since 1993. We are family owned and operated and take great pride in keeping your home clean and tidy.

The post Dusting Like a Professional Home Cleaner appeared first on Residential and Commercial Cleaning | A Clean Vision.

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A Clean and Tidy Home (with Kids!)

Home cleaning tips are always valuable. Below are different approaches and ways to keep your house clean even though your little humans sometimes seem to be working against you.

It is always a tough assignment to get your bundles of joy to pick up their toys and to keep their play areas tidy. However, do not despair. You can use one or perhaps all these tips to get your children to help out and to keep your home more organized too!

Establish Some Simple Rules

Explain the reason for each rule and why it is important. For example, a rule may be to play with one toy or set of toys at a time and when not playing with this toy or toy set to put it back where it belongs. Let them learn that in order to keep things tidy and organized they have to put things back when finished. This is important so that things don’t get lost or jam the vacuum cleaner.

Children are logical and just need a bit of help to get them started. When you explain the reason and the importance you will be pleased with what young children are capable of. Set the right expectation and establish good habits.

A caveat . . . if you ask them to put their toys back where it belongs when they are not playing with it then there has to be a place or this will not work. Which leads to our next tip.

Everything Has A Place (and everything it its place)

Kids are more likely to keep their areas clutter-free if items have a proper place when not in use. This is true for adults too. Adults need to put away their tools when not in use. However, we too have difficulties when there are items that do not have a proper place. These items tend to hang around in less-than-ideal places because they do not have a “home”.

When our children were young, we had nice wood bins for their toys. These boxes were stored in their closets. These toy boxes were easily accessible, and the toys had their place when not being used. We did not make things complicated. If the toy was in the box and the box was in the closet, then the toy had been put away properly.

To know where things belong is an essential part of keeping things organized and tidy.

Let Them Know There Are Consequences

When you want your little ones to tidy up their room or play area and it is not done. You can offer to clean up for them. However, also let them know that every toy you pick up for them goes into a special storage bin. This special storage bin can be kept in a locked closet, locked cabinet or locked toy box. What this means is that the toy is now yours. They will not have the chance to play with it.

In order for your child to play with the toy again they will have to earn the right to do so. For example, the child will have to do a chore to earn the item back. Taking this one step further let them know that if the special bin gets filled then it will be time to visit the local donation center to donate the toys to children who will appreciate the toys more.

To make a donation also makes sense for some of the older toys that your children may have outgrown. Selecting toys that are in decent shape but no longer used by your children, for a donation, is good recycling.

Create an Organization Game

Wouldn’t it be cool if our work was more play-like? I have often thought about this concept. What can we do to make keeping our home tidy and make it a fun game for the little humans? This may also help to teach them a life skill too!

Here is an idea. Let the children take turns being the boss for 10-minutes. Teach your children that it is important to provide some motivation and it will also help them to realize that there are goals and objectives that need to be managed. Using a game-like approach will help them to learn to pay attention to details.

Being “The Boss” mean their job is to supervise the other children to ensure everything gets picked up as requested. You need to supervise this activity to ensure that the game remains fun. Use this activity even when your children have friends over for a play date.

If the Vacuum Touches It then It Goes to the Trash

Sometimes the last step to cleaning an area is to bring in the vacuum. Let the kids know that on this cleaning day the vacuum will be used – give them a heads-up.

Tell the kids whatever the vacuum touches either gets sucked up or will be thrown in the trash. This approach can be playful or a consequence, depending on the day! Be watchful for the playful part. My children sometimes wanted a toy or two to be sucked up.

Create Put-Away Bins

Designate and label a bin or basket for each child. As you clean throughout the day, throw items into the basket for your child to put away. It’s easier to carry a basket full of things to their room than it is to carry individual items. Plus, it helps keep your floors clean during the day!

Create a Toy-Free Zone

You need to define the boundaries. If you allow toys to be in every room in the house and your children get into the habit that they can drop a toy anywhere then this will happen. Designate some rooms as toy-free. Explain the reasoning behind this and allow toys in these areas or room only under special exceptions (a birthday party for example).

This will help in significant ways as when your house seems to have toys everywhere the task of cleaning up seems daunting. Plus, toy chaos everywhere can get to you. It can feel overwhelming and you need a break. To have toy-free areas and rooms provides this break.

Teach Your Little Humans (you owe it to them)

I know having kids clean isn’t always “helpful.” In fact, I know a few good friends who feel the need to re-clean after the kids have done a chore. Here’s my advice.  Don’t just let your child “play” cleaning up. Teach them how to properly accomplish the task. You can make it fun, but you also need to be firm.

Here is an article from our blog on Teaching Kids to Clean which you may find helpful.

Teaching Your Children To Be Good Cleaners

Perhaps Some Singing and Dancing

Crank the tunes and make cleaning a PARTY. Set up a cleaning playlist. Be sure to sing perhaps with some made-up verses that relate to cleaning. I often changed the words of a song to fit the occasion.

Remember…

We dream of having a clean house – but no one dreams of actually doing the cleaning. – Marcus Buckingham

We have found that there is a variation in the impact these home cleaning tips will have. A great deal depends on the child and the family dynamics. Some children will only need a little bit of music to get everything to work while others may need a firmer touch. Some or all will work with your little humans. Make and effort and provide some consistency and your home will be much more tidy even with kids and their toys.

Give us a call at 802-295-6065 if you live in the Upper Valley and need extra support for keeping your home clean and tidy. We have been providing homeowners of the Upper Valley with top-notch home cleaning services since 1993.

The post Home Cleaning Tips appeared first on Residential and Commercial Cleaning | A Clean Vision.

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Winter – A Time for Indoor Home Parties

The winter months are a great time to socialize indoors. Many people have dinners or parties which are organized entirely indoors. You may not use your deck, patio or backyard during the colder months – indoors is the place to be!

Here are some thoughts on cleaning for a party in your home. Your home needs some focused cleaning for a special socializing event in your home.

Evaluation Comes First

Make believe – act as if you will be a guest in your own home. Pull you car up to the curb or park in your driveway where your guests will park. You may have a garage that connects to your home through its own entrance and your view of your walkway and entrance could be very different than that of your guests when they arrive. Put yourself in their place.

Stand in your foyer or at your front door. First, look for any obstacles. You are use to your home but your guests may not be. Pay close attention to your coat closet. If it is already filled and overstuffed then this may create awkward moments when guests arrive. You need to be able to handle coats effortlessly.

Move through your house noting any items that need special attention. I want to emphasize that on the day or evening of your party or dinner that there will be many more people in your home. Look for ways to help people move around which may even mean rearranging or removing some of the furniture.

Last of all, consider how certain rooms in your home look even though you may consider them “private” spaces. You may not desire to have guests go into your bedroom or office but they may. Make these areas respectable too.

Make a Checklist

A checklist will help you to remember what you want (need) to address from your evaluation and will also help you to assign tasks to others if you have some help. The checklist will also help you to prioritize (in case you run out of time) and help to prevent you from forgetting something.

Now – The Cleaning

Stick to your list. Avoid distractions.

For example, don’t start to scrapbook those extra photos or sort out that messy drawer. These types of tasks are very time consuming and will prevent you from getting the bigger more important things done.

Tackle the Big Things

The big things may also be the messiest. Make your bathrooms sparkle.

Special Tip: This is where a cleaning service such as A Clean Vision can really help. We can come in and do the bigger messier cleaning jobs. We can save you a great deal of time so that you can focus on other things (decorating, music list, or the menu).

Clutter

We all save things that perhaps do not need saving. These items can build up over time and sometimes we just do not have the exact proper place for these items – once this happens these items become . . . well . . . clutter. It happens to all of us. Something we think of as important or special turns into “clutter” – it happens without our knowledge and without our consent – it just happens.

Pay special attention to clutter and make some tough decisions about whether you really need it or not. If you find you have a great deal of “clutter” perhaps set up a special box and put items that would be worth giving away into this box. If someone else could benefit with this type of donation then this is a nice positive.

Scan Your Living Spaces

Next scan your living areas for things that are not really clutter. These items may be things that you use every day but may be unnecessary for your party and may even get in the way. Clear your tables, countertops, and perhaps even walkways so that these everyday items are not in the way. Your guests will be placing plates and glasses in places that you never do – it happens. Give your guests plenty of room to rest their plates and glasses.

Special Tip: Create a basket or box for each room. Fill these containers with the items you remove. This provides you with an efficient way to put things back. Also, when you look into the basket or box you will have a 2nd chance (now not under time pressure) to evaluate each item before you return it to the room. You may decide that it is not needed or perhaps you can think of a better place for it.

The Kitchen

This is a place in your home that needs to be in tip-top shape.

The Refrigerator: It should be emptied and cleaned. Discard expired food (and that pickle jar filled only with pickle juice way in the back). Make room in your refrigerator for your party food. Ensure that there is room in the freezer for ice.

Small Appliances: If they will not be needed for the party then put them away. This frees up space for, working, serving, and for guests to place down plates and glasses.

Surfaces: Wipe down all surfaces. Start high and go low. Clean the floor last.

Trash Containers: You may want to have an extra trash container. If, for example, you have a small one under your sink, if may become filled very quickly during your party. You also do not want guests hunting around for your “hidden” trash container. If you have a back hall or pantry then it may be just the right space for an extra trash container.

On the day of the party make sure that these containers are empty.

Final Touches

On the day of the party, dust all surfaces. This means everything including bookshelves, framed photos, artwork, knickknacks, display china and any other decorative pieces.

Again, start high and go low. Pay special attention to ceiling fans. Sweep or vacuum the floors last.

Final Walk-Through

With your original checklist in hand, do a walk-through. These gives you a chance to catch anything that may have been missed. You may also notice something that was relatively minor in the first (pre-clean) walk-through that now stands out as something that needs to be addressed. If you have time . . . (and now you do!) take care of these originally overlooked items.

Now you can accent some parts of your home with decorative touches. I would attend to the front door and entry way first. Your guests will be properly greeted when they arrive with a few decorative items as soon as they enter.

Have fun at your party!

Give us a call at 802-295-6065 if you live in the Upper Valley and need extra support with some pre-party cleaning. We have been providing homeowners of the Upper Valley with top-notch home cleaning services since 1993.

The post Home Cleaning – Cleaning for a Party in Your Home appeared first on Residential and Commercial Cleaning | A Clean Vision.

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Prevention and Cure

How high you should fill a red wine glass depends on the event. You could be at home relaxing with a glass of wine or you may be hosting a party.

Note that if you are hosting a special wine tasting events then it is best to serve red wine in a wide-mouthed glass that’s no more than one-third full. This gives you plenty of room to swirl without risking a spill.

I recommend filling to one-third even when being more casual as it makes almost all wines taste better. It also makes for a ‘safer’ glass of wine from a spill perspective. That said, if you’re having a glass of wine with dinner, and the wine isn’t the center of attention, it’s OK to fill the glass up to the halfway mark. The important thing to remember is that you should never fill a red wine glass to the brim, even in casual settings; it will make your wine taste weaker – the flavors cannot be released properly.

Therefore, my first piece of advice is to do what you can to prevent a red wine spill in the first place.

Accidents Do Happen

However, accidents do happen so let’s now examine a stain and the nature of wine.

We need to understand the nature of red wine. We want to note that the red color is completely natural. The grape-based beverage contains chromogens. This is the primary substance in many colorful plants and this substance makes them good as a fabric dye. Yes, a fabric dye (my goodness!). Red wine is essentially made of fabric dye molecules. Red wine also has naturally occurring tannins which is an organic substance used in many ink productions (again – my goodness!) Your red wine stain is essentially a tie-dye experiment gone wrong.

The best approach is to deal with the stain immediately. You can take care of a red wine stain in the morning. However, attending to it sooner rather than later is the preferred solution.

Once red wine hits a fabric it begins to sink into the fibers and the liquid moves throughout the fiber and into the pores wherever it can find space. Red wine, like all liquids, will move in two directions: down and outward.

What Not To Do

Do NOT scrub the stain! Scrubbing will help pull some of the red wine out, but actually negatively impacts the stain as it causes it to spread outward even more. Another undesired consequence is that if you apply too much pressure (easy to do), you may push more red wine into the fabric. This is especially true if you’re dealing with a red wine stain on the couch or on the carpet.

DON’T WAIT too long! While it may be annoying to deal with a red wine stain immediately, I recommend dealing with the stain sooner rather than later. Red wine will sink and settle into fibers with time so time is working against you. Eventually, the wine stain may “set” and become much more difficult to remove. Remember red wine can act as a fabric dye.

Do NOT apply heat! The last thing you want is for the stain to dry. If you apply hot air then the heat can affect the chemical process. Applying heat may make the stain permanent (or nearly so). Do not use a hair dryer and do not put any stained clothes in the dryer until after you have removed the stain.

Cleaning Red Wine

Like any liquid, red wine will move toward anything dry that it comes into contact with. Your best first move is to use an absorbent towel and soak up as much red wine as you can without scrubbing or applying pressure. Then use a dry powdery material and apply it generously on the red wine stain. Good dry powdery materials include:

  • Table salt
  • Baking soda
  • Sodium percarbonate, a.k.a. a granulated form of hydrogen peroxide
  • Dry soap powder
  • Talcum powder, which is used for baby powder

Let the salt (your best option), or any other dry, powdery material you use, settle for a few minutes. In some cases, this may be enough to actually remove the stain completely, especially if you acted fast enough. Otherwise, you may need to apply additional methods.

Wet Heat

Wet heat (in this case) is very different from dry heat. Hot water may be all you need to get the stain out. The water may cause the red wine to dilute and spread out a bit, but the hot water will also cause the molecules in the red wine to lose cohesion with the fabric, making it easier to remove.

Club Soda

The minerals added to club soda may actually make it a better alternative than water. These minerals will actually help absorb and break up the red wine molecules, which you can then blot up more easily. You can also apply some white vinegar to the club soda to help improve the result.

Oxygen Bleach

This type of bleach is a very different cleaner than “bleach”. The main ingredients of oxygen bleach are natural chemicals which are sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate. It is completely biodegradable.

It is safe to use on nearly any fabric and to add to laundry loads for extended periods with no damage to clothing. Oxygen bleach turns to water and oxygen when broken down, so it has no negative impact to the environment and is safe for septic systems.

An oxygen bleach is known as “color-safe” or “all fabric” bleach, since it does not degrade most fabric or strip most color if used correctly, though you must still test colorfastness before using. It is very stable and can be kept for over a year with no loss of effectiveness. However, do not store it in metal or organic containers.

Use it in the same step as laundry detergent, which makes it even more effective and combining steps also saves time. It only works well in hot water, but additives can make it effective in warm water.

Do not use oxygen bleach on delicate fabrics such as silk or wool.

Cleaning Red Wine Stains

The team at A Clean Vision hope you never have to deal with a red wine stain. The first step is prevention. Do not fill up the wine glass too far. Allow for some swirling in the glass as this will improve the flavor. A safer glass is filled not more than halfway (or even filled to one-third).

Next, if a red wine spill occurs, don’t panic, use these tips to address the spill. Accidents happen but they do not need to ruin your event.

Give us a call at 802-295-6065 if you live in the Upper Valley and need extra support for keeping your home clean and tidy. We have been providing homeowners of the Upper Valley with top-notch home cleaning services since 1993.

The post Cleaning Red Wine Stains appeared first on Residential and Commercial Cleaning | A Clean Vision.

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The little things in life aren’t really little. They become the cornerstone of our days and they create the life we live. They gradually paint the masterpiece of our lives. However, we often mistakenly believe that only the big things make a profound difference. Let this be your happy challenge today: be mindful of the smaller details of your moments.

Change some of the seemingly small things and this can lead to a very nice place. For example, imagine or think about an untidy area of your home. Maybe its the mudroom, perhaps the hallway or maybe even the breakfast area of your kitchen.

It you have an area like this, then take a few moments to study the scene. Look at the little details. Ask questions . . . why do you have those two or three (or more . . .) of extra shoe/boots/sandals in the mudroom? When you study your mudroom, in detail, you may even realize that you have not put on those boots in the past two or three winters. I think that, perhaps, they could be put to better use. Can you give them to someone who really may need them and would be use them? Give your old shoes a new home!

For more information on how to give your old shoes a new life check out Shoes for the Homeless, Inc. You may get a good idea from them on how to conduct a shoe drive.

Your mudroom is just a simple single example of how to look at a specific area of your home and make some simple changes to tidy it up.

Here is a quote that I like from John Wooden. He took the UCLA Basketball team to 10 NCAA National Championships in a 12-year time frame. He said:

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”

You don’t have to do something momentous or monumental to tidy up your foyer, mudroom, bathroom or closet. Don’t try to change the world – only tidy up a bit. Most importantly, begin with one step at a time to transform the smallest untidy areas of your home. Take care of the little details and some of the bigger items will fall into line.

My final point is that taking care of the smaller things is not all that difficult. Therefore, once we realize that it just takes a bit of attention then we can start to move in the right direction. These small steps can lead to big things – not only related to having a clean and tidy home but also to have a more mindful and purposeful life. Many things start in the home!

Give us a call at 802-295-6065 if you live in the Upper Valley and need extra support for keeping your home clean and tidy. We have been providing homeowners of the Upper Valley with top-notch home cleaning services since 1993.

The post A Clean Home – It’s The Little Things! appeared first on Residential and Commercial Cleaning | A Clean Vision.

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A Clean Kitchen and Clean Stainless Steel Cookware

Stainless steel is one of the finest materials available for cookware, as it is durable and attractive. Unlike non-stick pans, however, stainless steel can present some tough cleaning challenges if used improperly. It is important to establish a regular cleaning routine for your cookware and to learn how to effectively clean tough stains.

Several methods for cleaning stainless steel cookware are outlined below.

Tough Stains

If the pan has food crusted onto it, start by soaking it for several hours in warm, soapy water (you could also let it soak overnight). Drain the water, and then scrub vigorously with a scouring pad. This will remove most food build-up.

Do not use steel wool pads or copper-based scrubbers – although they do a good job of removing burnt-on food, they can also scratch the surface of your cookware.

Burn Marks

If your pan has heat damage (for example, from being left on a lit burner for too long), you may be able to clean it off using baking soda. Make sure the pan is completely dry, then sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the surface. Rub the baking soda around the pan thoroughly with a dry cloth or sponge.

You can also add a little water to the baking soda to achieve a paste-like consistency.

If you’re really having trouble with burn marks, try a mildly-abrasive cleaner, such as Bar Keeper’s Friend. Just sprinkle a generous amount onto the bottom of your pan and add a little water to form a paste. Scrub with a wet sponge, then rinse thoroughly. Your pans will look good as new.

Water Spots

Water spots are actually caused by the minerals in the water, not the water itself. These will occur more frequently if you live in an area that has mineral-rich water, but water spots can also result from added compounds like fluoride. If you hand dry your pans, water spots are not likely to be a problem. If they occur, swish some club soda around in each pan. Rinse them off, and then wipe them dry with a clean cloth.

Alternatively, you can try soaking the pan in vinegar, then clean as usual with a mild detergent and soft cloth.

Serious Burn or Scorch Marks

Sometimes you may burn a pan in a serious way. What do you do then? You can cook away serious burn marks.

If the pan’s burn marks cannot be scrubbed away with baking soda or soap, you can actually attempt to cook them off. Fill the pan with just enough water to cover the damage, and bring the water to a boil on the stove. Add a few spoonfuls of salt to the water, turn off the heat, and let the pan sit for several hours. Dump the water out and try scrubbing away the damage with a scouring pad. Repeat this process for very difficult stains.

You should only add the salt when the water is already boiling. If you add salt to cold water, it has the potential to “pit” the metal.

Instead of the salt, you could also try adding lemon juice or white vinegar to the pan. Another interesting option is to boil 100% tomato juice in the burnt pan. The tomato’s natural acidity can also help remove stains.

Cleaning Stainless Steel Cookware – Summary

Many people have their attractive stainless steel cookware on display in their kitchen. Even if you do not display it you will still want it looking its best when you are using it. A clean kitchen may not seem quite so clean with stained or tarnished cookware. We hope you found value in these tips for cleaning stainless steel cookware.

The link to the post below also has some tips and advice about the cleaning of stainless steel appliances.

Five Cleaning Hacks for Your Home

Give us a call at 802-295-6065 if you live in the Upper Valley and need extra support for keeping your home clean and tidy. We have been providing homeowners of the Upper Valley with top-notch home cleaning services since 1993.

The post Cleaning Stainless Steel Cookware appeared first on Residential and Commercial Cleaning | A Clean Vision.

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An Easy Way to Clean Your Range Hood Filter

Here is a question for you . . . when was the last time you inspected the filter in your range hood?

If you are like many then it was probably a while ago. This post is about how to clean your range hood filter even if it has been quite a while since it was last cleaned. You can be sure it will be greasy and grimy but this method will help you to get it as clean as clean can be without getting a new one.

Here is an easy and relatively mess-free method that will de-grease even the greasiest range hood filter. You will be pleased with the results. It is the only method I recommend to people. Here is how it’s done, so you can clean up your range hood filter too!

How To Clean Your Range Hood Filter

You’ll need:

  • One large pot
  • Water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda

Directions:

Grab a stock pot that’s large enough to accommodate at least half of your range hood filter. Fill it with water.

Bring the water to a boil and slowly add the 1/2 cup of baking soda. Slowly is the operative word here as the baking soda will fizz up as you add it to the water. Add about a tablespoon at a time.

Once all the baking soda has been added to the pot place your greasy range hood filter into the boiling water. If you have a large filter then you will have to do it in parts – first one half and then the other.

Let the filter boil in the baking soda water for a few minutes. Watch as the grease and grime start to rise to the surface. Once you’ve boiled the whole thing for at least a few minutes, rinse the filter under hot water from your tap. Once the water starts running clean, you’re done! If there’s still some grease and grime trapped in the filter then refill your stockpot with clean water and repeat the steps again.

Finally, prop your clean range hood filter up and allow it to air dry for several hours. Once the filter is completely dry replace it in your hood vent. That’s all there is to it! The boiling water and baking soda do the work.

Give us a call at 802-295-6065 if you live in the Upper Valley and need extra support for keeping your home clean and tidy. We have been providing homeowners of the Upper Valley with top-notch home cleaning services since 1993.

The post An Easy Way to Clean Your Range Hood Filter appeared first on Residential and Commercial Cleaning | A Clean Vision.

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