Christine Sosa - RE/MAX On The River



Posted by Christine Sosa on 4/16/2018

If your house is already on the market, you're probably familiar with the hectic process of getting it in presentable condition for the next showing.

Since there are so many things to remember, it can be helpful to create a "pre-showing checklist" you can refer to whenever you need it. Your reliance on the list will probably diminish over time, but it can be a good way to become more organized, focused, and efficient.

Even the simple action of writing down your priorities will make an impression on your mind and help reinforce your memory of what needs to be done prior to a showing or open house. Here are a few tips for staying on track, simplifying the process, and remembering important tasks that are all-too-easy to forget.

Stay One Step Ahead of Dust

Ideally, every room in your house should be dusted at least once a week, but that chore often tends to get postponed, overlooked, or just plain avoided! The problem with not dusting on a regular basis is that it tends to accumulate and get worse. What often occurs to home sellers is the sudden realization -- typically, just before walking out the door prior to a scheduled house showing -- that there's a thick layer of dust on your window blinds, baseboards, or book shelves.

If you're literally minutes away from a real estate agent showing up at your front door with clients, it's generally too late to do anything about the dust accumulations. However, if you've tackled those issues a day or two before they're walking up your front pathway, you can put your mind at ease that you've conquered the "grunge factor"! If you happen to have a housekeeper handling those details, it might pay to casually remind them to do an extra-thorough job on those dusty, grungy areas.

If you have kids (and even if you don't), dirt, finger prints, and hand smudges can often be found around light switches, cabinets, and door areas. While that might be the last thing you think about when preparing your home for a showing, it could be one of the first things potential buyers notice. Although perfection is an unrealistic standard to aspire to, "the devil is in the details!" In other words, it can be the small, easily overlooked details that undermine your chances for making a great impression on prospective buyers.

A Word About Mouse Traps

Whether you live in a mansion or a bungalow, nearly all homeowners occasionally have problems with mice sneaking into their basement, garage, or attic. Sometimes the little critters even find their way into your main living area (eek!). That's why it makes sense to set up a few mouse traps in areas where mice are most likely to enter. Mouse traps come in a variety of designs, some of which are better for homes with pets, children, or squeamish adults!

When it comes to preparing for a house showing, it's always a good idea to check mousetraps for "victims" that may have sprung your devices. Ideally, mousetraps shouldn't be placed in conspicuous spots, but you definitely don't want buyers to see dead mice anywhere in your house. Granted, live ones are worse, but -- in either case -- any infestation (or the perception of one) could be a deal breaker!





Posted by Christine Sosa on 7/3/2017

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 Christine Sosa on 6/12/2017

Having a cat turns a house into a cozy home. The mess they bring with them, however? Not so much. If only they could keep your house as clean as they do themselves. Iíve got six of tips for you today to keep your home clean so you enjoy your catís company without resenting them for the disorder they can create.

1. Start with a little pampering for your feline friend. Groom your cat regularly if not daily to stay on top of shedding fur to ensure it ends up in the trash instead of all over your furniture. You may also want to trim claws regularly or invest in a set of claw caps to prevent your cat from scratching up furniture or snagging on fabrics. 

2. Vacuum your carpets, drapes, and furniture weekly to prevent hair from building up on every possible surface. You may even want to vacuum high traffic areas a few times a week to maintain your carpetings condition. Investing in a handheld vacuum is a great way to easily swoop in on messes throughout the week without lugging your main vacuum out several times a week. 

3. Dusting regularly is also ideal to cut down on fur and dander from building up on surfaces. Dusting one room per day is an easy way to stay on top of the chore. Keeping a microfiber cloth tucked away in each room makes it even easier to get the job done and keep surfaces clear of debris.

4. Wipe down counters and tables regularly with disinfectant. While you canít guarantee your cat isnít strolling over your counters when you arenít looking and wiping surfaces down at least daily ensures they are clean. Keep germs at bay especially from paws that may have just recently left the litter box by keeping disinfectant on hand at all times.

5. The litter box. The source of the most dreaded of cat messes. Obviously, scooping daily and doing a full clean out every two weeks cuts down on odor. But putting a litter mat underneath the litter box catches litter outside the box right away and prevents your cat from tracking it throughout the house. Some clever placement can also keep cat litter from finding itís way throughout the house. Place the box in the furthest corner from the door and in a low traffic area.  

6. Clean up hairballs asap. Pick up solid messes with a towel and scrape any excess off with a butter knife. Youíll also want to use an enzyme based odor neutralizer to prevent odors from settling into carpeting. Grooming your cat regularly is a not only a great way to keep hair from clinging to every surface as mentioned in tip number one but also prevents hairballs from happening in the first place.

Owning a cat is such a rewarding experience. The messes they leave behind, however, can feel anything but. With a regular cleaning schedule and the right tools, you can keep a tidy home in a manageable way so you can get back to snuggling up with your cat faster.




Tags: cleaning tips   how to   cat  
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Posted by Christine Sosa on 4/17/2017

Mold is one of the most overlooked hidden dangers in your home. It can start out as a small speck and can quickly turn into an ugly problem and a health hazard to you and your family. 


The good news is that if you do encounter mold in your home, you wonít need expensive chemicals or materials to help clean up the mold. Mold can accumulate in many places in your bathroom from the floor right up to the ceiling. Itís important that you remove this dangerous substance promptly in order to protect the health of you and your family. In a few simple steps, youíll ahev your bathroom back to a better condition. 


What Youíll Need:


  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Face mask
  • An open window
  • Mild detergent
  • Warm water
  • Baking soda 
  • Bleach
  • White vinegar

First, youíll need to identify all of the spots in the bathroom where the mold is. Look around the bathroom for signs of mold which is usually indicated by black spots or slime. 


Next, youíll want to wash off the areas where the mold is with the detergent and some warm water. Following this scrub down, youíll want to rub some baking soda on the affected area. Spray vinegar on the baking soda and leave it for about 5 minutes. This will help to remove the mold. Rinse completely.  


In order to be sure that the mold doesnít come back, create a solution of bleach and water. Apply the solution to the affected areas and let it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing. Dry well.  


Prevent Mold From Returning


After you clean the existing mold in your bathroom, youíll want to do everything that you can to keep it from returning. To do this, youíll need proper ventilation in the bathroom. You may want to consider installing an exhaust fan to help keep moisture levels in the room down. Get a squeegee to wipe down the walls and tile after each person in the home takes a shower. Keep the floors in the bathroom dry. The simplest thing that you can do in your bathroom to prevent mold is actually to open a window.


Another little-known way to prevent mold in the bathroom is to let light into the room. When the bathroom isnít in use for showering and bathing, open the blinds and let some sunshine in during the day. Light is a natural enemy of mold. If your bathroom doesnít have access to windows, you can get some special bulbs to allow more light into the room, helping to prevent mold.





Posted by Christine Sosa on 3/27/2017

3D rendering of a modern light colored kitchenThe kitchen can be one of the most cluttered rooms†in the home. Not only does it house your everyday dining and cookware but thereís also all sorts of seasonal, special occasion and specialty items that seem to take over precious cabinet space. If youíre ready to take inspiration from the minimalist movement and make your kitchen a more sane version of itself keep reading! Begin. Start by clearing out anything you know you donít use. If you are having a hard time ask yourself if you have used the particular item in the last three months. If itís not a holiday related item, you can add it to your donate pile. If the idea of getting rid of half of your kitchen items is overwhelming, itís okay to start slow and move at your own pace. In the end, this is your project so you only need to go as far as you are comfortable and make the tips below work in a way that is best for you. One. The number the average family needs of a particular item and/or set. One measuring set, one silverware set, one bake set, one set of drinking glasses, etc. In our culture more is more. However, how often do you really need more than one of any of the above-mentioned items? Be honest here and cull your stash accordingly. Skip specifics. Consider letting go of any food type specific appliances and gadgets. Items like garlic crushers, lemon squeezers, popcorn machines, waffle irons, or ice cream makers. The list can go on. Of course, if you really value an item and use it on a weekly basis donít toss it in the name of minimalism. The case, more often than not, though is that these types of items are rarely if ever used. Coffee mugs. One section of the kitchen that can grow out of control easily is coffee mugs. Between ďBest MomĒ mugs and vacation mementos on top of your regular set, the average household usually has more mugs than they ever use. Keep the coffee mug situation under control by keeping ones you truly enjoy using. If you have one you love but donít enjoy drinking from it consider using it as a unique pencil cup or flower vase. Get creative. Invest in kitchen tools that can pull their weight by becoming the ultimate multitaskers. Make your own spice combinations instead of buying premade bottles that take up more space. An immersion blender with a whisk and chopping attachment easily replaces itís bulkier counterparts that can only single task. A couple of great knives can do more a whole set of subpar ones. Create a less cluttered kitchen you enjoy using by taking a page from the minimalist movementís book. By cutting down to the bare necessities and buying good quality multitasking items youíll feel like you get more use and creativity out of your kitchen than when it was filled with gadgets. Youíll also have the added bonus of fewer dishes to clean and more time to spend with your family!




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