10 Home Chores to Do Annually

10 Home Chores To Do Annually

Sing me some graces, there is such a thing as over-cleaning! Here are ten chores around the home that you really only need to do annually, minus special circumstances. Let’s dive in!

1. Curtains & Drapes

Unfortunately, this doesn’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 (or most) of the leaves from the trees have already fallen.

3. Fireplace & Chimney

After the winter, you’ll want to give your wood-burning 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. Gas fireplaces don’t require as much attention, but you should still make sure it is clean and tidy.

4. Carpets

I wish this meant vacuuming, but that’s pretty much a weekly or biweekly task for most households. In this case, I’m referring to a deep clean. The best time to get this taken care of is right after summer.  This is a great time for families with school children, since the kids are back in school, and it’s even better, because your carpets will look their best for the upcoming holidays.

5. Outdoor Furniture

The best time to clean outdoor furniture is when you bring them out of storage for Spring. Of course, if messes 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.

If you’re in the market to sell your home, you can always give me a call, and I’ll refer over some preferred vendors that can help you knock out your cleaning tasks.

Home Staging, what will it cost? – Step 5: The “Wow” effect

The other day I was finally able to visit a store I’ve wanted to see for the longest time.  I’ve been to their website many times, and have longed to see it in person.  Let me tell you, it did not disappoint.  From the moment we walked through their front gate, the “wow” effect took over.  We got there at the last minute, and only had 5 minutes to shop, but the effect of that shop will linger.

Now imagine you are a buyer — maybe you’ve tried to squeeze in a few too many homes to see in one day and you’re out of steam, but you’re down to the last house for the day.  You pull up, and from the time you arrive, you start to notice little details that leave you wanting to slow down and just enjoy every room, every view; you want to just stop, sit down and relax here.  This is the one.

Now that you’ve done all the hard work of cleaning, decluttering, repairs and neutralizing,  it’s time to have some fun.  Make sure you budget carefully, and begin at the curb, working your way through the front door, in and out of rooms, and out to the back.  Look for places where you could set up a little place to read, relax, enjoy coffee or tea; soak in a spotless tub; sit on the porch or walk through a flower garden.  Think about what little items you could add (make a list! stick to your budget!) to create a wow in each area.  Maybe you add a little African violet in a pretty pot on the kitchen window-sill, so that buyers will be drawn to notice a nice view or pretty sink.  Put a rocking chair on the front porch, if you have room, and add a book with some reading glasses.  A bird feeder with a nearby chair and small side table on the back porch or patio beckons your buyers to envision a nice spot to sit and relax with their morning coffee.  An empty upstairs hallway might be just the right place for a comfortable chair, small table and lamp for reading on chilly winter days, or even for rocking babies to sleep.  You may be able to borrow a chair, table, etc.  from another room, or find something at a thrift shop or consignment store at little cost to set up little scenes throughout your home.

My goal in every house was to create at least 20 “wow’s” for buyers to notice.  I feel that number will leave a lasting impression, and it works!  There are countless ways to find ideas.  My favorites right now are Pinterest and Houzz.  Both are free, easy (fun!) and show you hundreds of great ideas for interesting and effective staging.

Good luck!  Let me know how things turn out for you, and send pictures!



Home Staging, what will it cost? — Step 2: Cleaning

When you think of cleaning your home, you may have a list of items that get done daily, weekly and monthly (sweep, vacuum, clean the countertops, etc.).  While those items are still important during the listing period, this is not the sort of cleaning I’m referring to here.

Cleaning to prepare for showings involves things you might not normally even notice.  Baseboards might be scuffed or dingy, and need to be cleaned or even touched up with a small brush and a pint of white paint.  Check doorknobs and doors, light switch plates, stair rails, the kickplate at the bottom of the front door.  Take down light fixtures and clean them thoroughly.  Clean the oven and make sure the stovetop sparkles.  Make sure the fireplace, windows and windowsills are all clean and free of debris.  Go through every single room, closet, cupboard and drawer and ask yourself if it’s clean enough to be inviting.  Make sure the garage is clear of trash, insects and cobwebs.  Give the yard and front porch or stoop a good cleaning, too.  If your welcome mat is dingy or dismal, replace it!  Does your house say “this house is so organized, it practically cleans itself!”?  Or is your house giving buyers the message that storage space is insufficient here and this home is impossible to clean? Will it give buyers a sense that they will be overwhelmed if they live here?

It’s important to think in terms of making your buyers feel a sense of a calm, organized lifestyle in your home.  They are much more likely to feel an emotional connection if they walk into a home that is free of chaos.  Have you ever been to a nice spa?  For me, a sense of calm comes over me the minute I walk in the door.  It’s clean, inviting, quiet and gives me the feeling I can finally relax and enjoy a few moments of peace.  That feeling often stays with me the rest of the day.  That’s exactly what you need to relay to a potential buyer.  You are competing with every other home in your price range in your area and you need to give your house the chance to outshine all the others!

While this may seem like a lot of work, you can be sure it will pay off.  The goal for you is to present your house so well that you can quickly find a buyer and move on to settling into your next home!

Coming up!  Step 3:  Repairing