Tina McManus | Beverly Real Estate, Salem Real Estate, Hamilton Real Estate, Danvers Real Estate


There's no question about it: Being a homeowner can be a very satisfying and rewarding experience! However, enjoying that added privacy, control over your environment, and pride of ownership does not come without a price.

When you go from being a renter to an owner, a lot of things change! In additional to being responsible for property maintenance, repairs, and improvements, home ownership requires an investment of time. For many people, devoting a block of time to painting a room, organizing a closet, or cleaning out the basement can be the trickiest part of getting a project done!

One of the biggest obstacles to starting a home project is the natural human tendency to procrastinate -- especially if the project infringes on your relaxation or recreation time! On the other hand, the satisfaction you'll experience when the job is done will more than justify the time and effort. The overriding question is: "How can I motivate myself to tackle the project and get it done?" While there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to self-motivation, here are a few ideas which might help!

Create a To-Do List: Writing down a list of priorities and revising it several times a week is a tried-and-proven method of getting things done around the house. Writing down your short-term (and long-term) goals engages your attention, serves as a visual reminder, and sets an intention for taking action. When you create a to-do list and look at it a couple times a day, it helps to focus your mind on what you want to accomplish. By organizing your thoughts, it makes it much easier to organize your home and your life. It's definitely not a panacea for all of life's ills, but it can be a darn good starting point!

Announce Your Intentions: Once you tell your spouse, your best friend, or your mother that you're going to clean out your garage or paint the spare room on Saturday, it makes it a little harder to wiggle out of it -- especially, if you've used that project as a reason for declining an invitation or postponing a favor. By stating your intention, it's almost like you're promising to do something. Since most of us are inclined to live up to our promises, announcing your intentions to complete -- or at least start -- a home-improvement or organizing project may be all it takes to get the ball rolling!

Buy or Gather the Supplies: Whether you need supplies for cleaning, painting, or screen repair, having them on hand will make it much easier to get started. On the other hand, not having them in the house makes it all-too-convenient to say, "I'll get to it tomorrow!" And as you may know, "tomorrow" either never comes or it turns into "next year!"


If you plan to sell your house in the foreseeable future, it usually pays to clean out the garage. In fact, a home seller who declutters the garage today can show homebuyers the true size and beauty of this space, thereby increasing a house's overall appeal.

Ultimately, it won't take long for a home seller to declutter the garage – here are three tips to help you remove clutter from your garage before you list your residence.

1. Identify Excess Items

Old automotive parts, tools and other excess items can take up lots of space in your garage. However, a homeowner who dedicates the necessary time and resources to identify garage clutter can plan accordingly.

Separate must-keep garage items from excess items. Then, you can determine exactly how much space that you'll need to store the items that you want to keep.

For many homeowners, storage cabinets and shelving units make it easy to keep track of items in a garage. Or, if you need extra space to store garage items, you may want to consider renting a storage unit until you finalize your home sale.

2. Sell, Donate or Dispose of Excess Items

When it comes to excess garage items, there is no need to delay the inevitable. If you sell, donate or dispose of garage clutter, you can quickly eliminate excess items from your garage.

Selling your excess garage items online or hosting a yard sale may prove to be worthwhile. In both instances, you can generate interest in assorted garage items and earn extra cash at the same time.

In addition, you may be able to donate excess garage items to local charities. If you reach out to local charities and learn about their donation policies, you can find out which charities will accept your excess garage items and schedule donation pick-ups.

On the other hand, if you find garage items that are broken or damaged, dispose of these items. That way, you can free up space in your garage immediately.

3. Conduct In-Depth Garage Cleaning

After you remove garage clutter, it is important to spend some time cleaning your garage from top to bottom. This will enable you to transform an ordinary garage into a spectacular one.

If you need extra help with garage cleaning, don't hesitate to contact a professional home cleaning company. This business likely employs friendly, diligent cleaning experts who can help you accelerate the garage cleaning process.

Lastly, if you're searching for the best ways to improve your home before you list it, you may want to hire a real estate agent.

A real estate agent can offer honest, unbiased garage cleaning recommendations and suggestions. Plus, this housing market professional will set up home showings, keep you up to date about offers on your residence and ensure you can enjoy a fast, seamless home selling experience.

Want to sell your residence soon? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can bolster your garage's appearance in no time at all.


Dogs are a man’s best friends, but the mess they bring into your home? Not so much. Learn how you can have a clean house and a lovable pup at the end of each day. Here are ten tips below to get the best of both worlds. 

1. Groom regularly. Keep less fur off your floors and furniture by brushing your dog on a regular schedule. Ideally, this would be a few times a week. Eliminate even more clean up by brushing out your pup outside when possible.

2. Sweep floors in high traffic areas with a microfiber cloth broom each day. The microfiber cloth will grab onto fur and dirt alike and can be reused. It’s also a quick and simple habit to develop and one you can easily delegate as a chore for the kids.

3. Dust often. Stay on top of fur build up by dusting a few areas of the home each night with a microfiber cloth. By just doing a room or two at a time it becomes a less overwhelming task and easier to do regularly. You can even keep a cloth stored away in each room to make the chore even simpler.

4. Vacuum furniture and drapes as well as carpeting. When you have a furry friend your vacuum is going to be working a lot harder around the house. You’ll want to vacuum drapes, furniture, and carpets frequently to stay on top of hair build up. Just as with dusting, you can do a few rooms at a time throughout the week to break up the tediousness of doing the whole house at once.

5. Lint brushes are your new best friend. You might as well fill a handbasket full of them the next time you’re at the store because you’ll never have too many. Store them where they can easily be on hand in closets, bathrooms, the mudroom and your family's’ vehicles. Where there is fur, there’s a way so be prepared to keep clothes fur free when leaving the house.

6. Take care of stains ASAP. Make cleaning up pet stains a no-brainer by putting together an easy to grab bucket filled with cleaning supplies that are made for the job. Be sure to include a pair of rubber gloves, a roll of paper towels, a microfiber cloth and your preferred cleaning solution.

And a bonus for the extra meticulous: wipe paws down with a microfiber cloth after walks. Microfiber clothes are wonderful multitaskers for household cleaners and now you can add “paw wipes” to the list. Before you let your dog run loose around the house after a walk gently wipe their paws with a dry microfiber cloth to catch any loose debris they could track inside.

We love our dogs. They are cute, funny and oh so loving. The messes that come with them, however, aren’t always so welcome. You can easily keep your home spick and span with a little preparation and a regular cleaning schedule. At the end of the day, you can admire your handiwork while curled up on the couch with your pooch.




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