Elena Langlois - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Commonwealth Real Estate



Posted by Elena Langlois on 8/24/2018

Microfiber cloths have become incredibly popular in recent years. Especially within the “green clean” crowd. And with good reason, while they might look like just another cleaning cloth they are actually in a class of their own.

In fact, you could think of them as the heavyweight champions of the cleaning cloth world. Because of the “micro” in microfiber, these clothes are able to do a lot more of the grunt work without the aid of a cleaning product. And those instances you would pair it up with a cleaner? You would need far less of it than you would if using another cloth material.

I know using less cleaner or even none at all sounds counterintuitive. But here’s why eliminating the need to use cleaning product is a good thing - if you don’t properly clean the surface of cleaning product residue you are going to be creating a dirt magnet. Huh?
Yup! You see it comes down to the chemistry of how cleaning products clean. There are specific molecules inside the cleaner that when combined with water are actually attracted to dirt and grime and able to carry them away. They pick them all up and hold them close. So when they haven't properly cleared away from the surface they keep doing their job! They attract more dirt and more grime, holding on to every last bit they can.

As you can imagine the more product you have to use to clean up, the higher your chance leaving residue behind. This is where microfiber cloths save the day. Their unique two-pronged fibers that are indeed micro are able to pick up and hold onto anything it comes across. All without leaving anything behind it in its tracks.

Use dry for regular dusting and wet for all other uses. And how many there are! Tackle tile, counters, shower walls, and mirrors. All with just water and your microfiber cloth. Seriously, you won’t need glass clean or any sort of cleaning product here.

Use on a Swiffer in lieu of disposables for both dry and wet mopping floors. Keep one on hand in either your bag or car to spot clean any accidental spills on clothes. Yes, they can even tackle clothing stains! Replace germ breeding loofahs out for a microfiber. Store one in the bathroom cabinet for easy access to wipe down the counter and sink each day. And use one to wipe down the shower after use.

The care and keeping is simple. Daily clothes can be rinsed in warm water after use, machine washing weekly. However, avoid bleach and fabric softener as each will damage your cloth and reduce its effectiveness. “Refresh” clothes by boiling them in water with baking soda.  





Posted by Elena Langlois on 10/5/2017

As a home seller, you recognize that your house is one of many that is available to prospective homebuyers. However, unlike most home sellers, you're willing to go the extra mile to ensure that your residence represents an attractive choice to homebuyers. Although you may commit significant time and resources to get your house ready for a home showing, there are several factors to consider as you prep your residence. Some of the most common factors to consider include: 1. Appearance Of course, your home's interior and exterior should look pristine so they can help your home make a great first impression on homebuyers. Furthermore, you should clean and declutter your house as much as possible before a home showing. This will allow you to highlight how your house represents a spacious, immaculate oasis that a homeowner can enjoy for years to come. Don't forget to hide personal items like photographs before you show your home, too. Ideally, you'll want homebuyers to envision what it's like to live in your house as they walk through it. And by removing personal items, you'll make it easier for homebuyers to imagine a wonderful future in which they buy your home. 2. Smells Strong smells may linger, and ultimately, impact a homebuyer's impression of your residence. Thus, you'll want to pay close attention to any smells that may turn homebuyers off. Focus on using air fresheners and candles that deliver warm, inviting aromas throughout your house. Whether it's lighting a candle that fills your home with a rich natural scent or spraying an air freshener that brings an unparalleled citrus aroma to your residence, you can use odor eliminators to disguise unpleasant smells quickly and effortlessly. You also should consider smells that may develop on the day of a home showing. For instance, cooking bacon on your kitchen stove may be part of your morning routine but can leave a lingering smell. Conversely, home sellers who try to maintain pleasant aromas throughout their houses day after day should be able to minimize repugnant smells immediately. 3. Lighting Illuminate your residence's interior and exterior as best you can, and you'll likely find that homebuyers may be more attracted to your house over others that are available. From dazzling pendant lights in the kitchen to recessed lighting in the hallways, you can make a bold statement with the right types of lighting throughout your home. Also, you should open the windows prior to a home showing to let sunlight fill your residence. By doing so, you can use natural light to illuminate your house and allow fresh air to filter through your home simultaneously. For home sellers, it is essential to devote time and resources to prep your house for an upcoming showing. And if you need extra support along the way, working with an experienced real estate agent ensures that you can receive expert assistance as you add your home to the real estate market. Consider the aforementioned factors as you get your house ready for a home showing, and you should have no trouble generating interest in your house.





Posted by Elena Langlois on 1/26/2017

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 there’s also all sorts of seasonal, special occasion and specialty items that seem to take over precious cabinet space. If you’re 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 don’t use. If you are having a hard time ask yourself if you have used the particular item in the last three months. If it’s 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, it’s 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 don’t 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 “Best Mom” 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 don’t 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 it’s 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 movement’s book. By cutting down to the bare necessities and buying good quality multitasking items you’ll feel like you get more use and creativity out of your kitchen than when it was filled with gadgets. You’ll also have the added bonus of fewer dishes to clean and more time to spend with your family!




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Posted by Elena Langlois on 1/19/2017

Using harsh chemicals around your home isn’t always the best way to clean. There’s a natural substance that you probably have right in your kitchen that’s perfect to clean the kitchen and every other room of the house. This substance is vinegar. Here, we’ll give you all the ways that you can use vinegar to clean up even the toughest of dirt in and around your home. Bathroom You can pour a cup of vinegar right into the toilet. You can let the vinegar sit overnight. If the toilet is really in bad shape, you can add baking soda or borax to use as an abrasive scrubbing agent. Once you scrub, flush, and notice how clean your toilet is! Vinegar is also great for cleaning the drain in the tub. You can also use vinegar straight or diluted for general cleaning around your sink and shower, as vinegar works wonders on soap scum. One great tip to get rid of hard water is to use vinegar on your shower head. Fill a plastic bag with vinegar and tie it around your shower head so that it is submerged. Let it sit overnight and remove the bag the next morning. Let the water run for a few seconds and you’ll have a much cleaner shower head! Kitchen When you’re working with food, why would you want to use toxic chemicals around the kitchen? You can wipe up spills in your fridge with a mix of water and vinegar. You can also use vinegar to clean countertops, cutting boards, your microwave and plastic containers. Just be sure to rinse everything after you use the vinegar for a cleaning job well done. Bedroom You can actually use vinegar to disinfect your mattress. Create a mix of rubbing alcohol, vinegar and some tea tree oil. Place in a spray bottle and spray on your mattress to help rid your mattress of dust mites, mildew and other odor causing bacteria. Once it dries, vacuum your mattress and it will be like new. Wood Furniture and Hardwood Floors Mix vinegar with olive oil to clean wood. You can add lemon or orange if you’d like a fresh scent. This will help to clean and maintain your wood furniture and floors. Carpets While you need to test your carpet for colorfastness, vinegar is a great substance to condition your carpets. You can mix vinegar with an essential oil for scent and spray on the carpet to get rid of dust mites. Cleaner Laundry Did you know that you can use vinegar as a fabric softener? By adding a cup of vinegar to the last rinse cycle, your clothes will come out soft and clean. These green ideas are perfect for your green home. Who knew that something as inexpensive as vinegar could be so versatile? .





Posted by Elena Langlois on 1/28/2016

Kitchens sell houses. So having a great looking kitchen is important if you are thinking of putting your home on the market or maybe you just need a fresh new look. Cabinets are one of the biggest expenses in a kitchen remodel but with a little elbow grease and creativity, you can update your kitchen cabinets without going through the hassle of an entire remodel. Here are some tips on how to make your kitchen look like new with a cabinet facelift. Give the wood a Good Cleaning You will be surprised what a good scrubbing can do. Heat, water, grease and food residue all take a serious toll on your cabinets.

  • If you choose to remove the doors, label or number them so you'll put them back in the right place.
  • Make sure to test any kind of cleaner before using it on the entire cabinet. Cleaners with large amounts of alcohol may cause the wood to dry and crack.
  • Clean and Update the Hardware Hardware gets greasy and grimy so make sure to clean those too.
  • Soak the hardware in a soapy-water solution for 30 minutes.
  • Scrub lightly with a soft brush and rinse.
  • Let dry and apply the proper polish.
  • You may decide instead to replace the hardware. In choosing the finish for your hardware, think about what style will look best in your home. Add Some Detail Add some detail to drab cabinets with moulding. Applying a contrasting finish or color is a quick and inexpensive way to change the look of your cabinets. Stripping and Refinishing If after cleaning your cabinets still need some help, you may decide to refinish or paint them
  • Make sure to remove all the cabinet doors and number them.
  • Liquid strippers work best, but be sure to use the gel or semi-paste types.
  • Place doors on a vertical surface. The finish won't drip as much.
  • Let the stripping agent do the work and start with an inconspicuous area.
  • Patch any conspicuous holes, scratches and nicks with wood filler. When dry, sand lightly to smooth out the patch. Before painting, sand lightly and prime.
  • Before painting remember that the wood expands and contracts with the seasons, which will cause the paint bead to separate and expose unpainted wood. So with a little hard work you can have a whole new look to your kitchen in no time.




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