Pat Baker - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Pat Baker on 12/30/2016

In an age of endless distractions, it can be hard to keep ourselves (and our families) accountable when it comes to doing chores and keeping the house clean. However, the digital age has also brought us an endless number of tools to fight the urge of being lazy and scrolling through our Instagram feeds for hours at a time. In the iPhone app store there are hundreds of productivity apps designed to help you accomplish things throughout the day. The realm of cleaning and chores is no exception. Browsing through those apps, however, can be just as daunting as the chores they're helping us do. So, we've built a list of the top eight most useful iPhone apps for cleaning and chores around the house. (Many of these apps are also available on Android as well.)

1. Chorma

Do you have a full house but it seems like you're the only one doing household chores? Chorma will help you change that. It's designed for family, couples, roommates, and anyone else who is in need of dividing up chores. You'll be able to sync between devices and earn rewards as you complete chores. This incentivizes cleaning (if having a clean house just isn't that big of a deal to you).

2. Tody

I have no problem doing chores. I just always do them days too late. If that sounds like you, then Tody is for you. This app allows you to set the frequency that certain chores need to be completed. There will be small reminders in the app letting you know if and how many days you are overdue for cleaning the toilet. This really adds on the guilt factor if you're the type who needs a bit of extra persuasion to get some cleaning done.

3.  Unfilth Your Habitat

Calling your cleaning tasks "chores" can sometimes make you feel a bit childish when trying to get some cleaning done. Unfilth Your Habitat is definitely not for kids. This is made obvious by the name of the app, which has been censored here to read un"filth" rather than the other "f" word. This app will motivate you with guilt and shame, but will reward you for completing your tasks.

4.  EpicWin

If you like playing video games, specifically role playing games (RPGs), EpicWin is the productivity app for you. The app is an RPG/to-do list where your epic adventures are your chores.

5. BrightNest

BrightNest is the all-inclusive homemaking app. It has cleaning tips, home decor advice, and a personal schedule for helping you spruce up your house.

6. SimplyUs

SimplyUs is the app for busy couples that helps them stay productive together. The app lets you share your calendars (Google, Yahoo, etc.), to do lists, and more.

7. Sortly

If you plan on moving in the near future or if you're a collector of any kind, Sortly will help you catalogue and keep track of your entire home inventory. It helps you print labels for moving boxes, tells you how many boxes you need, and much more.

8. The Fridge App

The Fridge app is an electronic version of the sticky notes you would put in your home for your family. It can sync between your whole family and will give them updates on any new posts or changes that are made.





Posted by Pat Baker on 7/22/2016

Most everyone likes to come home to a house that is sparkling clean, with all areas bright, cheerful and inviting. However, for homeowners that are employed outside the household, it can be quite a challenge to find the time and energy to effectively keep the house clean, well-maintained, and in good repair. Every area of the home needs constant attention. Even a property that is unoccupied gather’s dust: “Dust and time make grime”. If your housework and household chores are getting the best of you and you find it is more than you can keep up with, hiring a professional housecleaning service can be monies well spent. Baseboards And Ceiling Fans Ceiling fans and baseboards are a couple of the biggest dust collectors in any structure. Fans are often inaccessible without a ladder and baseboard cleaning requires a lot of getting down on your knees to dust and scrub. Spotless Bathrooms If daily or weekly housekeeping is too much of a stretch of the budget, you may want to consider hiring a professional cleaning services to come in twice a month to tackle the jobs you find to be drudgery or those for which you do not have the proper tools or equipment. If mold has built-up in shower grout, or on bathroom flooring tiles, a professional cleaning with a steam cleaner and then applying a coat of grout sealer will have your bathroom fresh and clean with nowhere for germs and bacteria to grow and multiply. Maintaining a clean and tidy is important to maintaining a safe and healthy home. If clutter abounds, it becomes a hazard such as magazines and shoes on the stairways or burned-out light bulbs in the hallway. Having draperies, upholstered furniture and carpets professionally cleaned at least once a year removes dusts, odors, allergens and pet hair. Preparing Your Home For Sale No matter if you seek twice weekly cleaning services to help keep your home clean and comfortable or if you are putting the home on the market and want a deep-cleaning to make the property ready to show, enlisting the services of professionals can save time, money and a lot of hard work verses doing the job yourself. When preparing a property for sale, you will want to remove personal photos and distracting clutter. The home should be spotless with windows sparkling and every surface shining. While it may seem a bit costly and self-indulgent to hire a professional cleaning service if you have been used to maintaining the property yourself, you will find that when marketing your home for sale it is more than worth the effort and expense. The off-putting smell of stale cooking odors, garbage that needs to be emptied, or a cat litter box in need of refreshing, can be the stumbling block that subconsciously turns a potential homebuyer away. Don’t risk losing a potential sale because your house looks or smells less than its best. Hire A Licensed And Bond Housecleaning Company Before bringing a stranger into your home, do a background check and only enlist the services of established and reputable cleaning service with verifiable references.




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Posted by Pat Baker on 6/10/2016

It's many homeowners' worst fear to come home to a water disaster in their home. Water damage can cost thousands to repair and will include a lengthy process in order to adhere to safety standards, potentially disrupting your home life for weeks. In this article we'll give you tips on how to avoid water damage and what to do when you discover it.

Water damage vs. flood damage

Many people are unaware of the difference between water damage and flood damage. Water damage can occur when you have plumbing issues such as a leaking pipe or overflowing bath tub. Flood damage, on the other hand, is defined by FEMA as an "overflow of inland or tidal waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters," or even mudflow. Flood damage tends to be the more costly and the more dangerous of the two, as it puts home inhabitants at serious health risk. Part of the stipulation in differing between the two types of damage is insurance coverage; water damage is often covered by homeowner's insurance whereas flood damage is not.

Avoiding water damage

To avoid costly and time-consuming repairs, follow these steps to prevent water damage from occurring in your home:
  • Keep your gutters clean to avoid backups and drainage issues
  • divert rain water away from your house with downspouts
  • Disconnect hoses and turn off their water supply when temperatures drop to freezing overnight
  • Don't leave water using appliances running while you are away from home for extended periods of time
  • Keep up with maintenance on your dishwasher, washing machine, toilets, and tubs
  • Turn off your water main when you go away on vacations
  • Check the water pressure to your home. High water pressure can be nice in the shower, but pressures too high can cause your plumbing to fail
  • Check regularly for leaks. Some water damage may go unnoticed for weeks or months, which subjects you to another danger: mold

What to do if you have water damage in your home

If it's too late for prevention and you've discovered water damage in your home there are several steps you'll need to take to ensure the safety of your home.
  • Turn off electronics in the affected area. If possible switch off power to whole the whole section of your home at the circuit breaker. This first step is to ensure your own safety. Once you've turned off power to all potentially dangerous electronics, you can move on to the next step.
  • Remove electronics and other perishable items from the area. If you remove the items soon enough you might be able to salvage them by drying them out.
  • Soak up the bulk of the water. You can do this the old fashion way by using towels and buckets. Or you can use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck up the water from rugs, carpets, and other surfaces.
  • Dry the area completely. To avoid mold, use fans and a dehumidifier to fully dry out the area.
  • Disinfect. Spray the area to remove any bacteria that may have accumulated due to moisture.
  • Contact the professionals. A contractor will be able to tell you the full extent of the damage and whether any serious repairs will need to me made.
 





Posted by Pat Baker on 5/13/2016

Taking care of your home appliances is a lot like taking care of your vehicle. Both are expensive, and if they aren't maintained properly you'll find yourself pouring money into repairs that could have otherwise been avoided. Today we'll cover five common missteps when it comes to up-keeping your household appliances and show you how to plan ahead to save on repairs.

  1. Clean refrigerator condenser coils or fans Just like changing the oil in your car, the best approach to maintaining your appliances is by keeping a schedule.  The coils or fans beneath your refrigerator aren't something you probably look at often. But they can get covered in household lint and dirt, which will shorten the life of your unit. We recommend cleaning them twice a year (mark it on your calendar!) or, if you're a pet owner, check the coils every couple months--all that fur your dog loses in the spring will end up clinging to your refrigerator coils. Be sure to check your manual on the best way to clean your refrigerator.
  2. Avoid your oven's self-clean feature Many modern ovens offer what seems like a saving grace--a "self-clean" feature. Imagine never again having to reach into the depths of a grease splattered oven. The catch? This popular function can also damage your oven or blow fuses. Plus it'll probably set off your smoke detector in the process. Our best advice? Baking soda and vinegar--consider it today's arm workout and scrub.
  3. Rinse dishwasher filters Many modern dishwashers in the USA crush food debris before draining them to avoid clogging your fixtures. This comes at the cost of being much louder than filter-based dishwashers. If your dishwasher has a filter ideally you should clean it at least as often your refrigerator, but if you start to notice a smell from the washer when it's clean you know it's time to rinse out the filter.
  4. Empty your dryer lint trap after each use When your dryer can't move air efficiently it can't dry efficiently. Running a dryer with a full lint trap places undue stress on the dryer, shortening its lifespan. The best way to remember this one is to make a habit out of cleaning it immediately when you open the dryer door. If you plan to clean the lint trap after you fold your clothes you may forget as you leave to put away your clothes.
  5. Don't overload your washing machine We've all had nightmares of coming home to a soapy lake in our basement. Overfilling your washing machine usually won't cause it to overflow. But it can damage or break the machine. Mind the size of your load when you fill the machine and save those king sized comforters for the laundromat. A good rule of thumb for load sizes: a small load fills a 1/3 of the machine, medium fills 1/2, and a large load fills 3/4.Keep these five cleaning tips in mind and you could end up saving hundreds on your home appliances.







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