10 Home Chores To Do Annually

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10 Home Chores To Do Annually

Ten chores around the home that you really only need to do annually, minus special circumstances. Let’s dive in!

1. Curtains & Drapes

Unfortunately, we don’t mean the dusting part. You’ll want to dust at least once a month, but when it actually comes time to getting them cleaned, you only really need to do that once a year. You can take them in to get dry cleaned or follow the instructions on their tags if you choose to wash them at home.

2. House Gutters

Gutter guards can be a great investment, especially if you live around trees that shed all year long. These can keep your gutter cleanings minimal, generally about once per year. You’ll want to do this in the autumn when all of the leaves from the trees have already fallen. If you have alot of leaves, we recommend you do this more often.

3. Fireplace & Chimney

After the winter, you’ll want to give your fireplace a thorough cleaning. You can use a shop vacuum to clean up the embers. Make sure to wash down the fireplace tools as well. Go an extra step further and schedule an appointment with a chimney sweeper.

4. Carpets

We wish we meant vacuuming, but that’s pretty much a weekly or biweekly task for most households. In this case, we mean a deep clean. The best time to get this taken care of is right after summer.

5. Outdoor Furniture

The best time to clean outdoor furniture is when you bring them out of storage for Spring. Of course, if messes up happen while you’re using them, you want to clean the spots right away, so you avoid an accumulation of stains in a short period.

6. Mattress

Mattresses have improved through the years but they still need a little bit of attention. At least once a year, give your mattress a thorough cleaning and change the position of it.

7. Kitchen Cabinets & Pantry

Early November is a great time to clean out kitchen cabinets, drawers, and the food pantry to get them ready for the holidays. Do a section of cabinets at a time and empty them out completely. Wipe down the shelves and reline with shelf paper if needed.

8. Linen Closet

Just once a year, empty out your linen closet and give it a thorough cleaning. Take time to vacuum away dust and spiderwebs and reline any shelves.

9. Garage, Basement, & Attic

No one is expecting you to have a perfect garage, basement, or attic. However, a good cleaning at least once a year can help you keep an eye on things, such as moisture or insect problems. It can also feel good to get rid of junk that tends to accumulate in these hidden spaces.

10. Grill

To keep your grill working well it is a good idea to clean the parts. Wearing work gloves, remove the grates and the metal plates under them. Place in a bucket of hot water and regular dish soap.Clean the interior and exterior.

If you’re in the market to sell your home, we can refer you over to some of our preferred vendors that can help you knock out your cleaning tasks. Great Lakes Home Team with Keller Williams Greater Cleveland Northeast is here to help and only a phone call away! Jody Finucan and Danielle Dooley…www.greatlakeshometeam.com.

Save Your Home From Dryer Fires

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washerdryer pic for wp

Every year, more than 2900 home fires are started by clothes dryers. The leading cause of these fires are from a build of up lint from lack of maintenance. The removable lint filter unfortunately doesn’t catch all of the cloth and fabric particles, so maintenance requires a little more than just emptying the filter after each load. Whether you live in your own home or plan to purchase in the near future, it’s important to have safeguards in place for the utilities that you use that could put your home at risk. You want to make sure that the lint that gets trapped in crevices and in the hose on it’s way outside are thoroughly cleaned.

Here are a few warning signs to look for that may indicate your dryer is getting clogged up by lint:

  • Clothes are taking a lot longer to dry, and sometimes not even drying all the way.
  • Clothes may be hotter by the end of the cycle.
  • The outside of the dryer starts to get really hot.
  • The outside exhaust vent flapper isn’t opening much.
  • The laundry room begins to feel really humid.
  • There is a burnt smell in the laundry room.

If this seems to be the case, then you’ll want to evaluate your dryer. The tools you need to clean it are as follows:

  • A vacuum with a long hose attachment.
  • Dryer vent brush kit.
  • Screwdriver
  • UL listed metal foil duct tape

Here are 4 steps to cleaning your dryer:

1. Remove the lint trap filter and make sure it’s completely cleaned off. You want to make sure you’re cleaning the filter after every load to help prevent lint build up.

2. Vacuum the space that houses the lint trap filter. The filter doesn’t capture all of the particles, and this is the second place the lint will begin to accumulate.

3. Disconnect the dryer duct and clean out the duct with a long hose from a vacuum. You can also use a duct brush to help you complete a more thorough job.

4. Make sure the duct is connected properly. You don’t want it cinched in any part of the duct, to prevent crevices where the lint can get stuck.

No one knows the value your home has as much as this real estate pro, keep it protected by taking some simple cautionary steps to keeping everything in running order. And if you’re in need of a brand new laundry room altogether, don’t forget to give us a call. Great Lakes Home Team is here to help. Have a question…ask. Interested to learning more about selling your home or buying a home…we would love the opportunity to sit down and discuss your wants and needs.  http://www.greatlakeshometeam.com

 

Cleaning 101 Before Listing

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cleaning wp picture

Before you put your home up for sale, you’ll want to ensure it’s clean for all of the buyers that will come through. A dirty house isn’t appealing. You want your home in tip-top shape. Cleaning your home doesn’t have to be overwhelming, below we’ve listed the top things to remember to clean for each room. It can be sometimes inconvenient to keep your home tidy at all time; however it will all be worth it when it sells! That is your end goal to keep in mind.

FOYER:

+ Clean the door and hardware.
+ Wipe off all fingerprints on windows/furniture.
+ Clean off scuff marks on floors and door.
+ Replace all light bulbs and ensure light fixtures are working.
+ Tidy/clean up the coat closet. People WILL look in there to see the size.

KITCHEN: 

+ Wipe down all cabinets.
+ Clean all appliances, inside and out.
+ Clean stove hood, on top and bottom.
+ Clean behind the refrigerator, on top and bottom too.
+ Ensure the microwave is clean of food splatter.
+ Clean the space behind the sink.
+ Wipe down blinds/shades.
+ Wash any kitchen rugs, clean the floors and baseboards.
+ Store all of your pet food/food out of sight.

BATHROOM: 

+ Clean behind toilet and under sink.
+ Only display absolute necessities, declutter.
+ Organize and clean under the vanity.
+ Scrub floors and clean grout lines.
+ Keep dirty clothes and towels off the floor.
+ Be sure to lock away any medication.
+ Clean the fan and make sure it’s functioning.
+ Replace any dead lightbulbs.

BEDROOM:

+ Wash sheets, comforters, and blankets.
+ Clean the curtains and rugs.
+ Dust furniture.
+ Remove any obvious stains from fabrics.
+ Keep closets clean and organized.
+ Store away dirty clothes and personal photos.
+ Clean marks on walls.

These are just the basics you don’t want to forget about. If it’s within your budget, we highly recommend hiring a professional cleaner to ensure your home is in its best condition. Have more questions…Great Lakes Home Team is here to help. Call us today to discuss your needs. http://www.greatlakeshometeam.com

 

 

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree at these Northeast Ohio Farms

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Cutting Christmas Tree   Are you looking to cut your own tree this holiday season? Listed below in alphabetic order by city are many located in Northeastern Ohio.  Have Fun!
NORTH CORNER FARM
13800 Butternut Road, Burton Township
440-785-3692
northcornerfarm.com
Open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

SOBUSTA FARMS
11380 Thwing Road, Chardon Township
440-357-8568 or 440-256-1768
soubustafarms.com
Open Nov. 24 through the weekend before Christmas on Fridays from 1 p.m. until dark and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to dark.

SUGAR PINES FARM
9500 Mulberry Road, Chester Township
440-729-1019
sugarpinesfarm.com
Open beginning Nov. 24 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (and the day after Thanksgiving); noon to 5:30 Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and noon to 8 p.m. on Thursdays.

KATHY’S CHRISTMAS TREES
6861 Williams Road, Concord Township
440-352-8779
Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays

MOUNTAIN CREEK TREE FARM
7185 Williams Road, Concord Township
440-354-8928
mountaincreektrees.com
Open Nov. 18 through Dec. 24. Open Saturdays and Sundays and the Friday after Thanksgiving from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesdays through Fridays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays.

DIVENCENZO FAMILY TREE FARM
16101 Island Road, Grafton
440-926-3873
divichristmastree.com
Open on Saturdays and Sundays until Dec. 17, check the website for hours.

RHODES SISTER
12020 Clay St., Huntsburg Township
440-636-5498
Open starting Nov. 24 seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

SARNA’S TREE FARM
1137 E. Jefferson St., Jefferson
440-576-3450
Sarnastreefarm.com
Open beginning Nov. 24 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Monday. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays or by appointment.

BENDER TREE CHRISTMAS TREE FARM
3381 Sheffield Road, Jefferson
440-944-5240
bendertree.com
Open Nov. 24 through Dec. 23 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

WILCOX TREE FARMS
17620 Diagonal Road, LaGrange
440-355-4027
wilcoxtreefarm.com
Open Nov. 24 through Christmas every day 10 a.m. until dusk.

EMERALD RIDGE CHRISTMAS TREES AND WREATHS
7000 Warner Road (Route 307), Madison Township
440-428-6132
ohiochristmastree.org/emerald-ridge
Open beginning Nov. 24 Fridays 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays

WINTERGREEN TREE FARM
3898 Winchell Road, Mantua Township
330-221-3835
wintergreentreefarmohio.com
Open Nov. 24 through Dec. 19 seven days a week from 9 a.m. to nightfall.

PINEY PARADISE TREE FARM
1647 Snyder Road, Monroeville
419-668-9334
piney-paradise.com/index.html
Open Nov. 25 through Dec. 17 Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
677 S. Norwalk Road West, Norwalk
419-668-9334
Open starting Nov. 24 weekdays only from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

MANNERS CHRISTMAS TREE FARM
780 Dodgeville Road, New Lyme Township
440-294-2444
Open seven days a week Nov. 24 through Dec. 23. Weekdays 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

KENNEDY LANDSCAPING & TREE FARM
320 Bowhall Road, Painesville Township
440-352-6769
kennedyco.com
Open starting Nov. 25 seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

GRAND RIVER VALLEY CHRISTMAS TREE FARM AND GIFT SHOPPE
3553 Laskey Road, Rome Township
440-563-1811
christmastreesohio.com
Open Nov. 24 through Dec. 23 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

MCKOSKY TREE FARM
14740 Leroy Center Road, Thompson Township
440-298-1412
Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Nov. 24

SPENCER’S TREE FARM
2611 Chenango Road, Wakeman
440-839-3018
Open starting Nov. 24 on Fridays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

TREASTER’S TREE FARM
13184 Gore Orphanage Road, Wakeman
440-965-7411
Open starting Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. until dark Fridays through Sundays.

KURTZ CHRISTMAS TREES
22350 Quarry Road, Wellington
440-647-3507
kurtzchristmastrees.com
Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, starting Thanksgiving Day.

LOG BARN FARM
8711 Stanhope Kelloggsville Road, Williamsfield Township
440-293-7330
logbarnfarm.com
Open daily Nov. 24 through Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

GREIG CHRISTMAS TREE FARM
35900 Eddy Road, Willoughby Hills
440-487-7158
Open starting Nov. 25 on weekends 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekdays 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The secret to good gardening is . . . lasagna?


If you’re considering putting in a new garden and want to keep it as environmentally-friendly as possible, you might want to consider prepping the ground this year and plant next year.

Creating a great garden space can’t just happen overnight. Getting the soil ready for planting a garden takes some time, work, and organic matter to make some garden lasagna.

What is lasagna gardening?

Building your garden soil through a process similar to composting lies at the heart of lasagna gardening. Made popular two decades ago by a book written by Patricia Lanza called – what else? – “Lasagna Gardening.”

Rather than bringing in yards of soil, Lanza reasoned, you build the soil from the ground up by adding alternating layers of nitrogen-rich (green) and carbon-rich (brown) organic matter. The green layer can include grass clippings, kitchen compost, coffee grounds and herbivorous manure. The brown layer includes fallen leaves, straw, newspaper and even shredded cardboard. Each layer should be at least an inch thick.

Making garden lasagna

This is the perfect time of year to start your soil for a new garden. It will take about a year for your soil to be completely ready. The process is simple.

  1. Mark off your garden plot.
  2. Using a shovel, turn over the soil about a foot deep and break up the sod.
  3. Rake all your leftover leaves from the winter into the spot. Better yet, mulch them to create your first brown layer. Save a week’s worth of newspapers and add a bale of straw and you’ve got a pretty good first layer.
  4. Ask your neighbors to catch their first mow grass clippings to add to your first green layer. You may have to buy a couple of bags of manure to get enough to make a good layer.
  5. Don’t compress the layers. You want to make sure your lasagna is getting enough air and water to aid in the breakdown.
  6. PRO TIP: Don’t add more green than brown; your soil will turn acidic.
  7. You can make as few or as many layers as you want.
  8. When you get to the last layer, cover it in brown matter or soil.
  9. Water it down to start the process.
  10. Walk away – for a year – and let nature take its course.

It’s perfectly fine to plant in the decomposing mulch in the first year. By next year, the soil will be perfect.

Looking to buy or sell your home, visit my remax website…and remember I am only a phone call away. Jody Finucan, REALTOR  440 221-6383

Serving Lake County, Geauga County and Cuyahoga County and relocation services around the world.

Unusual things that your homeowner’s insurance may cover

Insurance is one of those things you have to buy and hope you never use. Homeowner’s insurance is no different.

If you’re like most homeowners, you never take the time to read the fine print of the policy. This could be costly. There’s a good chance that your loss may be covered. Even something that you think “There’s no way it will be covered.” It just may.

Here are some of those things…

Accidental damage or injury

Most people know that their homeowner’s policy will cover injury or damage that occurs in the home, but many don’t know that your policy can cover things that occur, even outside the realm of your home.

Student property

When your kids go away to college and live in dorms, they’re going to take most of their stuff with them, naturally. Your homeowner’s policy may protect their expensive gadgets such as phones, tablets and computers when they go.

Collections

If you have a really extensive (and expensive) collection, you may have to get additional coverage. But if you have a collection of pigs that people gave you because you’re from Arkansas and lose those mementos in a fire, they should be covered.

Expensive cooking ingredients

If you’re a foodie, you may have ingredients in your kitchen that are both unusual and pricy. The internet makes it possible to buy things like truffles, saffron, cheese, and imported olive oil. If you’re a foodie, make sure to save your receipts, just in case.

Dog bites

You’re hosting a dinner party and the family dog gets excited with all the people around and jumps on a guest and bites her. So if medical treatment is needed, check your policy to see if you’re covered.

Interior designer fees

It’s happened before. A homeowner does a major renovation to their home and just as soon as the project is complete, disaster strikes. Your policy may cover fees you paid to the decorator, not just for the furniture and décor.

Of course, these are just a few examples of what may be covered. Make sure to read your homeowner’s insurance policy, especially the fine print. It’s a good idea to know what’s covered and what isn’t. If you do happen to incur some damage, it never hurts to contact your agent to ask.

Looking to buy a home or need information on selling a home, visit my website for more information.  RE/MAX Traditions

Creating a fire evacuation plan

Whether you have children or live alone, in a duplex or a two-story house, it’s a good idea to make a plan for how to evacuate your home.

If you work in an office building, chances are your company has a fire drill at least once a year. If you have kids, their schools have fire drills at least twice a year. Why not do the same thing at home?

With a proper plan and by practicing regularly, you increase the odds that everyone gets out safely in case of a fire in your home.

Tips for making a fire escape map

Any time you stay at a hotel, you’ve probably noticed a fire escape map on the door of the hotel room. It makes perfect sense to draw a map that shows the exits for every room in your home. It’s easy and there are plenty of options online to help you draw one up. Check out NFPA for more safety tips and advice about creating a fire escape map.

Maps should include:

  • Two escape routes for each room in the home.
  • Locations of fire extinguishers in the home.
  • Meeting place outside the home to meet in case of fire.
  • Emergency phone numbers.

After you make a fire escape map

Put the map in the bedrooms and common areas of your home, including the bathroom and kitchen.

Have a discussion with the members of the family to discuss the map and what is expected of everyone if a fire were to happen. Make sure everyone knows where to meet and the emergency phone number.

Above all, make sure to practice. If it’s your first time, do it during the day. Make sure everyone knows the escape routes for each room of the house.

A few weeks later, run through everything again at night. Why? Because most deadly fires occur at night. Knowing this fact is another good reason to make sure that your smoke detectors are installed and working properly.

Do a fire drill four times a year.

Proper planning, practicing, and making sure that everyone knows what to do can mean the difference between everyone getting out safely and a disaster that no one wants to think about.
Find out all the information you need on homes for sale, market data, selling your home and buying a home….click here.  

New Year’s resolutions for homeowners

The end of the year is always a great time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the new one. Many people signify this fresh start with a New Year’s resolution. If you’re a homeowner, here are a few resolutions you may want to consider for your home.

Save energy

There are some simple ways to save energy (and a few bucks). Turning down your thermostat when you’re at work or sleeping is a great first step. A better option is to replace it with a programmable thermostat that will remember to do it for you.

Keep your home safe

Many people install new batteries in their smoke detectors on the day the time changes in the fall and spring. Did you forget? Make it a point to ensure that you have fresh batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Don’t have a carbon monoxide detector? They are fairly inexpensive and as easy to install as a smoke alarm. While you’re at it, check to make sure your fire extinguishers are in working order.

Help the environment

Whether your community requires it or not, recycling helps the environment and is everyone’s responsibility. Save water by repairing dripping faucets, installing low-flow showerheads, and replacing old toilets with new water saving or dual-flush models. When buying new appliances or electronic equipment, be sure they carry the federal Energy Star seal for energy efficiency.

Save money

Home maintenance projects can help you prolong the life of your home and make things more efficient, and therefore, save you money in the long run. Changing the air filter on your central air unit every month or two helps you save energy and allows your system to run more efficiently. If you still have a standard water heater, draining the tank once a year removes any sediment buildup, which can make it last longer and work more efficiently.

Making your home safe for a newborn

One of the biggest concerns you will have as a homeowner and new parent is childproofing your home. Each year, more than four million children are injured in the home. Parents can prevent many common serious childhood injuries by knowing where the dangers are and how to protect children from them.

Here are some tips to help make your home safe for your newborn.

1. Take the guesswork out of bath time

You may like to take a hot shower, but a baby doesn’t. Turn down the water heater so the temperature doesn’t go above 110.

2. Install a toilet lock

Babies are fascinated by water. Watching them playing in bathwater is one thing; hearing them splashing in toilet water is another.

3. Glass doors

Put decals on your glass doors so they are clearly visible and that no one will run into them.

4. Door knob covers

To prevent children from going into rooms they shouldn’t, you should install door-knob covers so your little one can’t open them.

5. Windows

Install window guards so that windows can’t open more than six inches

6. Near the Window

Don’t place cribs, playpens, high chairs or climbable furniture anywhere near the windows.

7. Cords

Tie up the cords to blinds so that a child doesn’t get tangled up in them.

8. Shatter proof

Install safety glass in low windows and French doors so they won’t shatter if a child falls into them.

9. Eliminate shock

Be sure to fill any unused outlets with safety plugs, including outlets behind and beneath furniture that may be overlooked.

10. Set the fireplace off-limits

Be sure to surround your hearth with some kind of cushiony barrier — think couch cushions, pillows or even a store-bought barricade.

11. Baby gates

As soon as babies start crawling, the stairways in your home become an accident waiting to happen. Install a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs to prevent them from heading up, as opposed to placing it at the top, because eventually they will climb up a gate, meaning they would from an even greater height.

12. Clear stairways

Keep the stairs clear of toys and other objects that you might trip over while carrying the baby.

13. Secure furniture

Eliminate any unstable furniture that your baby can pull over. Fasten bookcases to the wall so they can’t be pulled down when they start to climb.

14. Drawers

Keeping drawers shut is important for two reasons. They offer an easy thing to climb and they can be shut on fingers.

15. Poisons

The culprits here are medications and cleaning products. Use childproof locks for your low cabinets, like underneath the sink. Move medications to the highest shelves.

16. Kitchen safety

The kitchen presents the most danger to a toddler. It is imperative that you don’t let your baby play at your feet while you are cooking, but they may still wander in when you are busy. Here are some kitchen safety tips.

  • Turn the handles of pots and pans toward the back of the stove or counter.
  • Use the back burners for cooking whenever possible.
  • Never leave a boiling pot or sizzling skillet unattended on the stove.
  • Teach your child that the oven is “hot” and not to touch it.
  • Keep plug-in appliances, such as toasters and can openers, put away where your child can’t reach them.

17. Cover your pool

If you have a pool or a hot tub, invest in a good, sturdy cover.

Remember that baby-proofing changes as your child develops new capabilities and curiosities. Get down at your baby’s level and check things out at their eye level.

Safety tips for fireplaces

If you’re in the market for a new home, no doubt you made the list of features that you want in your dream home. For many, a fireplace is one of those must haves.

Of course, there are several reasons to want a fireplace. From a practical standpoint, it is a cost-effective way to provide heat during the winter. It becomes a focal point for the gathering of friends and family, lending ambiance to the room it is in. At this time of year, it becomes a place for many homeowners to hang decorations during the holiday season.

There is, of course, a price to be paid for the warmth and memories. Every homeowner has to keep safety issues at top of mind when it comes to having a fireplace. You’ll keep your fireplace safe and operating properly and safely if you keep these safety tips in mind:

Keep it clean

Depending upon how often you use your fireplace, it is recommended that chimneys be swept at least once a year. Find a certified chimney sweep to come out in the late fall or early winter to remove soot and debris.

Check for damage

In addition to cleaning, most chimney sweeps should inspect the chimney structure for cracks, loose bricks or missing mortar when they are on the roof. In addition, chimney liners should be checked for damage.

Cap the chimney

In order to keep debris, birds and small animals from entering the chimney, a cap is placed on the chimney. The cap also needs to be examined for damage when the sweep is there.

What you burn makes a difference

Hardwoods include dense woods such as oak, hickory, ash and some fruit woods. “Seasoned” implies that the wood has been split and stored to dry for at least six months. Green woods and soft woods produce a flammable by-product called creosote, which can build up in the chimney and become flammable.

Building it right

Small fires generate less smoke and less creosote build-up. Additionally, a fire that is too large or too hot can damage the chimney. Logs should be placed at the rear of the fireplace on a metal grate. Don’t use flammable liquids to start the fire.

Use a spark guard

Even seasoned wood can crackle and pop. You can prevent embers from shooting out of the firebox with a mesh metal screen or glass fireplace doors.