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Articles Tagged "De-Clutter Your Home"

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February
21

Spring Cleaning: Don't Forget Your Windows

Spring Cleaning Wagner

Living in Southwest Florida means warm sunshine, cool evening breezes, and lots of fresh air. If you're looking for Sarasota homes for sale or Bradenton homes for sale, you hope to find a home with large windows, sliding glass doors, and great outdoor features so you can enjoy everything a Florida lifestyle has to offer.

When warm sunshine starts filtering through your windows, it's time to shake off the winter dust and tackle some deep cleaning chores in your home, including all those dirty windows that you've ignored during the winter. Before spring arrives, our real estate agents recommend some deep cleaning tips for your windows, so you can open them up, let in the breeze, and enjoy the view.

Take a Look at Your Windows

Before you begin, walk around your home and assess your cleaning tasks. You may have hard-to-reach windows that require a ladder or special equipment to get onto the roof. Don't attempt to clean windows, doors, or skylights that may result in a dangerous fall. For hard-to-reach windows, it's best to call a professional window washer who has the right equipment for the job.

If your home has a second story or multiple levels, start cleaning on the highest level and work your way down. This way, you can make sure that all windows get cleaned in an organized manner, and you won't have to backtrack to check for windows you missed.

Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

Whether you have stationary windows or windows that open, you'll need some basic cleaning supplies and a container to carry them around. Look for a plastic tote or sturdy basket with handles that can hold your essential supplies:

  • A spray glass cleaner, a mixture of mild soapy water, and a mixture of water and white vinegar

  • A squeegee

  • A duster and a hand-held vacuum

  • A synthetic brush or broom

  • Microfiber or lint-free soft cloths

  • Paper towels

Stationary Windows

For stationary windows, start by wiping loose dirt from the glass with a soft, dry cloth or duster. Next, use your synthetic brush or hand-held vacuum to remove dirt and debris from the window frame, sills, and tracks. Apply your cleaning solution to the glass, then remove the solution with a squeegee or clean, lint-free cloth. If you use a squeegee, make sure to wipe the squeegee clean with a cloth or paper towel after each swipe on the glass.

Single or Double Hung Windows

Many replacement windows available in today's market come with a convenient tilt-wash or tilt-sash feature that allows you to easily clean the inside and the outside of the window from inside your home. You don't need to go outside and climb a ladder to clean exterior glass. If your single-hung or double-hung windows have a tilt-sash feature, simply unlock the window, release the tilt-sash mechanisms on the top of the window frame, and tilt your window towards you to clean the glass.

Sliding Glass Doors

If you have interior or exterior doors with window panes or sliding glass doors, you can clean the glass with non-abrasive glass cleaners or mild soapy water. You can use a soft cloth on the interior glass, but it's best to clean the exterior glass with paper towels. Exterior glass can get extremely dirty since it's exposed to the elements. You don't want to ruin your cleaning clothes or transfer bacteria from your exterior glass to other indoor surfaces.

If you're thinking about buying a home in Southwest Florida, contact us to view available properties in desired areas that match your lifestyle and financial needs.

October
4

Home Improvement: How to Prioritize All Your Projects

Home Improvement

Do you feel overwhelmed at the idea of tackling home improvement projects? If you're like most homeowners, you can just walk through your home and see so many tasks awaiting your elbow grease. If you're thinking of listing your home among Sarasota homes for sale, you may want to get a handle on prioritizing projects.

One of the first steps is to decide how you want to categorize your repairs and renovations. You might jot down categories such as these, and then under each one, list projects that fall under that heading:

  • Safety
  • Damage prevention
  • Cosmetic
  • Updating to increase home value

Here are some additional tips for organizing your thoughts and knowing which projects to tackle first.

  1. List Projects that Affect the Safety of the Home
    Safety should always come first. Maybe there are electrical problems that threaten the safety of the home's occupants. Do you need to install security lighting and cameras outside the home and replace failing door hardware and locks? Is the HVAC on its last leg, and does it need replacement, or will some repairs get it into good working order? In most of these cases, you will likely need to call an expert, so plan your budget accordingly. 

  2. List Projects that Prevent Damage to the Home
    After you worked on projects causing an immediate safety hazard, look for ones that prevent potential damage. Do rain gutters need repair to save the roofline? Are there severe drafts in winter because of structural problems or because the windows need weatherstripping and caulking? Is the plumbing or roof leaking? Do trees need to be cut back, so they don't damage the roof? Once again, some projects you can likely tackle while others will need an expert. 

  3. Consider Cosmetic Changes
    Once you prioritize the must-dos for safety's sake, assess the cosmetic changes you think you'll need to sell your home, or if you're not going anywhere, to make you feel better. Cracks in the wall? Do the bathrooms need new tile? Could some of the rooms use a new coat of paint? Tackle one room at a time. You'll feel encouraged to move to the next project once you complete the first one on your list. If you're able to do it yourself on some of these, so much the better. 

  4. Consider Projects that Increase Value
    Exercise caution when it comes to initiating renovations to increase home value. Some will do just that, and some won't. Some projects that will add value: bathroom remodels; kitchen renovations; replacing old appliances with matching, energy-efficient models; remodeled attic or basement; adding a deck; boosting curb appeal by cleaning, trimming, and planting some color in the front yard; and increasing energy efficiency by air sealing your home, adding insulation, and installing efficient windows. Projects that won't increase value include luxury upgrades, garage conversions, and swimming pools. Before starting one of these projects, consider whether you plan on being in your current home for a long time. 

Do you need advice on prioritizing your home improvement projects before listing your home among the Bradenton homes for sale? Our real estate agents can help. Contact us today.

August
21

Decluttering with Kids: 5 Tips for Making it Possible

Decluttering with Kids

If it feels like your home is overrun with stuff or that it never really looks neat and tidy, it's time to add decluttering to your to-do list. Decluttering will make it easier for you to dust and scrub your space, and it'll give your home a more polished appearance. Homes with less stuff in them will also look their best when listed with other Bradenton homes for sale

While decluttering is often a difficult, time-consuming task under the best circumstances, decluttering with children adds an extra layer of stress. Check out these tips to make decluttering with kids as effortless as possible.

  1. Involve Your Kids in the Decluttering Process
    Ask your children to assist you with decluttering. Not only does this set a positive example for children (and demonstrate that it's okay to get rid of items you used to love), but it will provide you with their input about what items they still play with or what things they no longer use. 
  1. Do a Little Bit of Decluttering Each Day
    Life with kids is busy, and children are notorious for having limited attention spans. Instead of trying to tackle one room in a single day, give yourself permission to break the task up into smaller chunks. With regular work, your home will be ready to join the list of Sarasota homes for sale. Make a commitment to spend a certain amount of time (even if it's only 5 or 10 minutes) decluttering your home.
  1. Feel Free to Do a Little Decluttering on Your Own
    This tip might seem contradictory, but you should also carve out a little kid-free decluttering time. This will give you a chance to throw away broken or worn out items that your kids might insist on keeping. You can also thin out old art and schoolwork without risking hurting your child's feelings. 
  1. Give Every Item a Home
    Once you've decluttered a space, you need to make sure that every remaining item has a home. Ideally, items should be housed with other like items (books with books, craft supplies with craft supplies, building blocks with other building toys). This will make it easier for your children to clean up their messes and keep the space looking its best. Make sure that your children know what goes where in your home. You can accomplish this with labels, or if your child is too young to read, use pictures to show them what belongs in a specific space. 
  1. Make Sure the Decluttering is Suitable for Your Lifestyle
    When you're organizing, check that that the organization method is suitable for your family's lifestyle. For example, some families may prefer to organize a closet by type and color of clothing. However, this might not be sufficient for other households. Be sure to ask your child their preferences for organizing and let them have a say in the matter. 

Does your household need more space? Our real estate agents can help! Contact us today. 

May
22

Pro Tips to Organize Your Home

Organize Your Home

Spring cleaning isn't something we all look forward to, but while we're sticking close to home, this is an excellent opportunity to organize and clean house. To make it more manageable, we advise creating a five-day plan, focusing on a section of the house each day. Set some goals, write them down and check them off. Here are some suggestions that you can adapt as needed.

  1. Monday -- Clean appliances and cabinets under sinks.
    Let's get some of the most challenging tasks done first. Start by deep cleaning your kitchen appliances until they sparkle, but first remember to check cleaning recommendations for appliance surfaces, particularly stainless steel. Clean out cabinets under bathroom and kitchen sinks, throwing away whatever you no longer use, disposing of any cleaning products according to local regulations. Vacuum the coils under your refrigerator to keep it running efficiently.
  2. Tuesday -- Clean closets, cupboards and the pantry.
    This is another task you may be putting off, but don't,  in fact, be merciless. Go through clothes, shoes, toys, household items, and if you haven't worn or used something in a year, it's time to say goodbye to it. If possible, box and save these items to donate them to charity. Throw away out-of-date food in the pantry. Clean shelves and redo shelf paper if you use it. 
  3. Wednesday -- Perform outdoor tasks.
    Sweep the sidewalks, porch, and patio. Make your own glass cleaner with 2 cups of water (distilled or filtered is best so it doesn't leave residue), 2 tablespoons vinegar and 10 drops essential oil of choice to cut the vinegar smell) and clean exterior windows and door glass, light fixtures, and patio furniture. Take a look around the HVAC condenser and trim back bushes so the unit can maintain proper airflow. Clear grass, leaves, and weeds away from the base of the unit.
  4. Thursday -- Clean interior glass.
    Grab an old t-shirt (they're pretty much lint-free), and continuing your window cleaning from the inside, along with door glass, and mirrors. Work top to bottom, wiping the water away with a squeegee to avoid streaks.
  5. Friday – Clean the garage.
    Start by separating everything you absolutely need from items you can, want or should donate, sell or throw away. If you don't have shelving, cabinets or other types of storage units, now is a good time to consider them. Everything needs to have a place to avoid piles of clutter.
  6. Saturday – Relax and take the day off.
    Time for a break! If you are thinking of moving, we recommend taking a virtual tour of Bradenton homes for sale and Sarasota homes for sale to see what's available in the area, and of course our real estate agents are happy to help. Contact us today!
July
8

5 Donation Centers in Sarasota-Manatee

Sarasota-Manatee Donation Centers

July 15 - National Give Something Away Day

Our real estate agents are looking forward to making a difference on National Give Something Away Day. Happening on July 15, this is a wonderful opportunity to give to charity and brighten someone's day. It also means you'll have less to lug around if you're about to move!

Lately, many people have gotten excited about the potential of the clutter-free life. One of the biggest challenges in de-cluttering is having one place where every item should always go. Sometimes, getting rid of an item simply makes more sense than keeping it.

Luckily, there are many organizations all over Sarasota-Manatee that will be more than happy to accept your donation. In most cases, all you need to do is visit and drop off your item. While each collection site has its own rules, they all help people in need.

Let's look at five of the top donation centers in the area:

  1. HOPE Chest Thrift Store - 1215 8th Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205
    A short distance from Bradenton homes for sale is HOPE Chest Thrift Store. Hope Chest Thrift Store accepts donations of clothing, household items, furniture, and electronics during business hours. The store is open to the public and all proceeds benefit the clients of HOPE Family Services. Operating Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-4pm. Please call for more information (941)745-2034.
  2. Goodwill Manasota Donation Center – 3614 East Bay Drive, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    Holmes Beach homes for sale benefit from proximity to many nonprofits. One of these is Goodwill, which operates several drop-off points in and around Sarasota and Manatee. While Goodwill is mainly funded by its network of retail thrift stores, it also accepts donations directly from the public. 
  3. Salvation Army Family Store & Donation Center – 2280 17th Street, Sarasota, FL 34234
    The Salvation Army has a number of easy ways to donate items from Sarasota homes for sale. In addition to visiting the donation center on 17th Street, you also have the option of scheduling a free pickup at your home or place of business. The Salvation Army also accepts donations of private vehicles.
  4. Turning Points – 701 17th Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205
    Turning Points is a Florida nonprofit that provides assistance to people who are struggling with homelessness or domestic violence. Single mothers, the elderly, the disabled, and youth leaving the foster care system are just some of the many beneficiaries. Donations are gratefully accepted from throughout the region including Ellenton homes for sale. Bring canned foods, clothing, and toys.
  5. Englewood Helping Hand – 700 East Dearborn Street, Englewood, FL 34223
    The efforts of Englewood Helping Hand go to help the one in five Sarasota and Charlotte County youths who are food insecure. If you're looking at Englewood homes for sale, you're more than welcome to stop by and drop off food donations. The organization is in the middle of a major funds drive with the goal of moving to a bigger location, too!

Our real estate agents are always ready to give YOU a "helping hand" with all of your real estate needs. We bring you courteous customer service and insightful advice you can really rely on.

It's about time you discovered your Florida dream home. Contact us today to find out more.

March
18

Moving to a New Home: Some Tips to Help You Purge Before You Pack

Moving to a New Home Purge Before You Pack

Our real estate agents at Wagner Realty stand by you every step of the way during your home buying journey. That includes move-in day!

Buying a home is an exciting time, but there's one part that gives people pause: Hauling their "stuff" to their brand new home.

With the popularity of things like the "KonMari Method" helping people to declutter their lives, more people are taking a close look at the things they own. Moving is an excellent opportunity for you to get rid of things you no longer need. That's much easier than finding new places to put them!

It's often a relief to start over in a new home. But how can you do it the right way?

Here's how to purge before you pack – and cut out stress for your moving day.

  • Start With Your Closet
    A closet is one place where it's easy to gather things you might never use again. Still, you don't want to get rid of items you really have an attachment to. As you go through the closet, ask yourself these questions about each piece of clothing:
    • Have you worn it at all in the last 12 months?
    • Is it in style or may come back soon?
    • Does it fit the way you want it to?
    • Does it have any stains or serious damage?
  • Donate or Sell Miscellaneous Items
    Furniture, kitchen items, and miscellaneous decorative objects tend to accumulate in unused corners of our lives. Before determining what to do with larger belongings, you should check the floor plan of your new home. Consider downloading a free app, like RoomSketcher, to determine the layout of your new home.

    If you aren't sure about which items of furniture you want to keep, a self-storage unit is a good temporary solution that offers both security and climate control for sensitive items. However, it's important not to use a storage unit as an excuse for not purging - if it becomes an intimidating chore, you may end up paying for many months of unnecessary storage.

    If you need to dispose of things, check with local charities to find out what they will and won't accept. Sell large, pricey furniture items through consignment shops. While smaller goods can be sold online, a neighborhood yard sale is often the most convenient choice.
  • Remove Appliances and Electronics
    Outdated and broken electronics generally aren't accepted for donation, so you'll need to get rid of them. Five years is the usual cutoff point for small and mid-sized items, while large items are no longer accepted at ten years. Remember that items with batteries and certain components may be hazardous. You may need to have these hauled away or leave them out on a special pickup day.
  • Get Rid of Hazardous Items
    Electronics aren't the only household goods that can pose a safety risk. Paint, propane, firearms, kerosene, fire extinguishers, fireworks, and pool chemicals need to be disposed of with care. Many counties have a specific hazardous waste drop-off site that you can use throughout the year to ensure these items will be kept safe. Don't be tempted to leave them in your garage.
  • Empty the Fridge and Pantry
    Last but not least, it's vital to get rid of any food you won't be eating or giving away before moving day. Non-perishable items that haven't been opened can usually be donated to any local food bank or canned food drive. Be sure to eat your frozen foods and open packages before you move so they don't go to waste.

By being proactive and following these tips, you'll be ready to make a smooth move once you get to closing day. If you haven't found your dream home yet, contact Wagner Realty for expert real estate advice.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 06/25/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 06/25/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Stellar MLS (last updated Sat 06/25/2022 6:23:28 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Wagner Realty may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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