Spring Cleaning Tips

Are these warmer days giving you Spring fever? How about the itch for Spring cleaning? Now is the perfect time to focus on your home’s interior before it warms up more and you’ll be moving to the exterior of your home. According to the American Cleaning Institute’s (ACI) annual National Cleaning Survey, 78 percent of Americans will roll up their sleeves to spring clean their homes. If you’re one to dig in and tackle the messy closets, windows, and the other often overlooked chores, then here is a list to help you get started. 

The American Cleaning Institute’s latest National Cleaning Survey reveals Americans’ top spring cleaning priorities. While spring cleaners’ top priorities are bedrooms (25%), closets (23%), kitchens (22%) and family rooms (18%), those who never spring clean say it’s because their homes don’t look dirty, they would rather be doing other things, they don’t have enough time or they don’t know how to spring clean.

The annual survey, conducted by Wakefield Research for ACI, also revealed that the top concerns of homeowners when it comes to cleaning are mold (31%), dirt (22%), odors (22%), stains (15%) and dust (12%). And what are the overall dirtiest spots in our homes? Homeowners picked windows (65%), floors (64%), toilets (48%) and shelves (41%) (respondents ranked three items).

We’ve broken Spring cleaning out into a few easy steps. Some choose to work on one room at a time, while others tackle one task at a time. This is also a great time to consider hiring a cleaning company to come in and tackle the windows, blinds, and any other deep cleaning you may not have time for nor personally want to tackle. Here is my personal style of spring cleaning, tackling one room at a time. 

Spring Cleaning Steps:

  1. Tidy – Begin by picking up stray items, toys, shoes, etc. and returning them to where they belong. If you’re going through closets and bedrooms this is a good time to grab three boxes, totes, or even large garbage bags and label them “trash,” “donate,” and “sell”. 
  2. Organize – Clean out closets, drawers and freshly organize your belongings. If you have children this a great time to go through clothes that they may have outgrown. In some rooms of our home, we’ll choose to rearrange furniture at this time.
  3. Dust – Begin at the top and move your way down the room. Dust all surfaces including lights, ceiling fans, baseboards, shelving, and decor. Shake out rugs, vacuum furniture, and wash pillows. If you use stand-alone fans this is the time to use an air compressor or vacuum to deep clean them. Be sure to dust or use a vacuum on your bathroom vents and air returns. 
  4. Wash – Clean windows, blinds, baseboards, scuffs on the walls, and any other hard surfaces. This is a great time to polish wood furniture as well. Be sure to take a look at your light fixtures as most styles will collect dust or become ‘foggy’ due to gas heat, etc. Remove the glass and wash it in the sink or with a glass cleaner. 
  5. Launder – Wash bedding, curtains, pillows and any other soft surfaces that can easily be thrown into the wash. I recommend using Lysol Laundry Sanitizer for disinfecting any laundered items. 
  6. Floors – Save your floors for last. This is a great time to give your vacuum a quick Spring cleaning and ensure it is clean and running at its best prior to the beginning. Move chairs or any light furniture to ensure a clean sweep and don’t forget along the baseboards and behind doors, which are often forgotten during weekly cleaning. 
  7. Appliances – This is also a great time to clean out the fridge, freezer, dishwasher, washer machine, dryer and any other appliances you may have. Run them on their ‘clean’ cycles, and be sure to check your local store for great products to help freshen your machines. Maintenance will help with the longevity of your appliances. 

I personally tackle Spring cleaning one room at a time in our home and work on it over a few weeks’ time. Whatever your style, Spring cleaning is a great way to freshen the home and rid it of any potential sources of mold, mildew, odors, dirt, stains, and dust. Cheers to happy cleaning and a fresh start to the Spring.

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Snow Removal Tips for Homeowners

If you’ve been watching the weather forecast you’re either excited for the snowfall or feeling a little antsy if this is your first Winter in the Treasure Valley. Sometimes one of the most daunting tasks of homeowners is proper snow removal during these storm fronts. It may be tempting to wait and let it melt but with a forecast of snow for eight of the next nine days, you’ll want to put the effort in.

Here are proper snow removal tips to help you through this cold blast we’re feeling.

Snow Removal Tips: 

1. Invest in a Good Shovel 

Shoveling snow is already frustrating but if you have a quality shovel to work with, you’ll make the job a little easier. This is one area you’ll want to spend a little more and buy a heavy plastic or aluminum blade shovel.

Also, be mindful that large shovels aren’t always the best as they mean a heavier load for your back and arms. If you’re looking for a shovel for heavy snowfalls, you will need to buy an s-blade shovel. C-blade shovels are better for lighter snowfalls.

2. Avoid Placing Snow Near The Foundation 

This is easily overlooked as you’re simply trying to move the snow but be mindful where you’re placing the snow. You’ll want to avoid placing the snow next to your home. This may lead to issues with frozen pipes and even potentially cause cracks or leaks into your home’s foundation as the snow begins to melt.

Don’t forget to remove snow from the driveway, walkways, entryways, and porches. It’s best to remove the snow to prevent leaks into doorways as the snow begins melting.

3. Shovel Often 

It’s tempting to wait until the snow is done falling but in reality, it will be easier to stay on top of it. If you wait to remove snow until the next day often it will begin to stick to the ground and sometimes freeze, making your job harder. So during heavy snowfalls, it’s wise to remove snow several times throughout the day.

4.Invest in a Snowblower

If all this snow simply sounds like too much work then you may want to invest in a snowblower. It’s a more expensive option but if you need fast and efficient snow removal then a snowblower will be your best friend, and possibly your neighbors. 😉

5. Don’t Forget the Roof 

For those that lived in Idaho a few years back during the Snowmegadon, this is an all too familiar past time. You may be able to use a roof rake for sloped roofs, which is a long-handled tool that is specifically designed for this season. But don’t forget the flat roofs in extreme snowfall. The weight of the snow could pose as too much stress on a flat rooftop. If it’s easily accessible you may be able to simply shovel the snow off the roof, but you’ll need to be careful not to damage the roof surface. Keep in mind your own personal safety is important so use caution and safety measures if you choose to shovel rooftops.

6. To Ice Melt or Not? 

When it comes to slippery driveways and steps you have several options for clearing the ice such as salt (sodium chloride), calcium chloride, calcium magnesium acetate, and urea. Be sure to do your research and know the potential consequences of using each form of ice melt as they may cause damage to plants, concrete, and other services, or could be harmful to your pets. So please do your research and better yet try to stay on top of snow removal to keep the ice build-up down.

With the cold front looming upon us this week it’s best to be prepared to properly maintain your home. Ultimately protecting and preserving your investment.

Stay safe and warm!

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Preparing Your Home For Thanksgiving Guests

If your opening your home to house guests this Thanksgiving, the following is a quick guide to help ensure their comfort and help you enjoy their company without worry.

Keep it Comfy

Prepare your guest room with fresh linens and have an additional blanket or throw at the foot of the bed for them. Think about the age or preference of your guest and have a fan, nightlight, stuffed animal or portable crib for infants available if needed. 


One thing just about every houseguest is bound to ask for is the Wifi password. You can simply print it out and leave it on the nightstand or in a small frame for their ease. It is also a great idea to have an extra cell charger available and have outlets easily accessible for your guests to see and reach. 


Provide a handful of good books and new magazines for your guests. Keep them visible so they can easily be found and they won’t have to seek you out. If you plan on having a houseful it’s also a good idea to have playing cards, board games, puzzles, and movies available.

Stock The Pantry

Have a variety of foods available in the pantry and fridge that allow for easy snacking. Invite your guests to help themselves in between meals. This is usually a great motivator to get the pantry organized before their arrival.


Be ahead of the game if your guests forgot a toothbrush or bathroom basic. Place a basket with toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, lotion, soap, razor and mouthwash in the guest bath or bedroom with a little sign that says “Please help yourself”. If you have a spare blow dryer you can place it in the guest bath for their use as well. Always keep items visible for your guests so they don’t have to go searching through the cupboards. 

Maintaining the Kitchen

With extra mouths to feed there comes extra dirty dishes. Be sure to run your dishwasher every night, even if it’s not quite full. You may choose to provide disposable paper products for some meals or snack time to reduce the extra dish load. 

Share Your Plans

Prior to your guest’s arrival let them know of any special activities or outings so they may prepare their time and pack accordingly. This will eliminate lots of questions and allow everyone to plan their free time. Choose a space to display your schedule, such as the fridge, dining table or in your guest’s room, to all stay on the same page. 

Prepare and Relax

Taking the time to properly prepare your home will allow you to relax and enjoy your company. This is a great time to hire a cleaning company to come in prior to your guest’s arrival and even after their departure. Another way to help ease the extra work of preparing is by placing a grocery order online for ease of pick up and it’s a great time saver. Now you’re ready to relax and enjoy the holiday with your guests. 

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Selecting Paint Colors for Your Home

Is your home in need of a fresh coat of paint, or maybe you’re looking to update your home’s decor before hosting the holidays? If so, follow these color tips for a great way to give your home a fresh new look. 

Choose a Color Scheme: Select the main color from the largest pattern in the room. Look at your artwork, rug, patterned furniture or curtains for inspiration. If you are redecorating your space choose an inspiration piece to help you select a wall color. 

Decorate from Light to Dark: Designer Mark McCauley, suggests using darker color values for the floor, medium color values for the walls and light values for the ceiling. “Any interior space replicates the outside world,” he says. “The exterior environment is generally darker below our feet (the earth itself), medium-valued as you look straight ahead (buildings/trees) and lighter skyward.” (Source: HGTV.com)

Select Colors According to Your Space: In general, analogous color schemes — colors next to each other on the color wheel, such as blue and green — are more casual and relaxing, and work best in informal or private spaces. This is a good strategy for a bedroom, where you want to rest and recover.

Explore Your Closet for Inspiration: Most people wear colors that are flattering on them or that appeal to their senses. The same concept may be applied to your home. 

Stay Neutral: Not sure where to start with a color or it simply makes you nervous to splash a bold color across the wall? Then don’t be afraid to stay neutral by using the trendy neutral of ‘gray’ with any decor style. There are different shades of gray that will take on a warm or cool tone and pair beautifully with light or bold accent colors in any room. Another favorite is pairing gray with other neutrals such as white and brown tones. 

Use the Rule 60-30-10: When decorating a room and selecting colors, follow the tried and true 60-30-10 rule. Divide the colors into components of 60 percent of a dominant color (walls), 30 percent of a secondary color (upholstery) and 10 percent of an accent color (accessories). This will help keep the space balanced. 

Small Spaces that Standout: Don’t be afraid to go bold with a small space. Keep the space interesting and fun by using a look-at-me color choice. Let your large spaces remain neutral and full of light but let those small spaces standout. 

For more color inspiration check out Sherwin-Williams Colormix Forecast for 2020. Color in Balance introduces 45 trend colors, spun into five welcoming and intuitive palettes that bring joy, serenity and focus to the mind, body, and spirit. 

Call 208.893.5555 to be matched with your NextHome Treasure Valley agent and see how choosing #HumansOverHouses makes a difference in your NextHome experience.