Evelyn Doane - William Raveis Real Estate - Cape Cod



Posted by Evelyn Doane on 11/12/2017

When you’ve gone through the lengthy and tiring process of seeking out, bidding on, and buying a new home and then sell your home, the last thing you want to worry about is cleaning your old house before you leave.

 However, there’s multiple reasons you’ll want to ensure your old house is clean before you leave. First, as a common courtesy, you’ll want the new owners of your home to have a good first experience and to maintain your rapport with them after closing day. However, there are also legal and financial issues at play.

If your contract states that your home needs to have been “broom-swept” or some other form of cleaning before you leave, then your new owners could technically postpone closing. Furthermore, some states have laws requiring that homes are cleaned by their previous owners before they move out.

 Although it can be difficult to define just how clean a home needs to be, legally speaking, your best option is to do your part to leave the home relatively clean, whether that means cleaning it yourself or hiring a cleaning company.

Legal reasons for cleaning your old house

As mentioned earlier, some states state cleaning requirements in the purchase contract when you sell your home. Their definitions of clean can often be vague, but usually include sweeping floors, wiping down surfaces, stripping nails and hangers from walls, and carrying out all furniture and garbage.

These rules are mostly designed to protect people who purchase a home from getting stuck with bulk items and other surprise issues that they’ll have to pay for.

An exception to this is when your home is sold “as is” or when you have some form of written agreement between you and the new owner that some part f your home will be left as is.

Cleaning your house

The ideal time to clean your house is once you’ve moved everything out. However, if you’re moving over a long distance, you might not be able to return to the house once it’s empty to give it a final cleaning.

In this case, your best option is to have your furniture and boxes packed away neatly in the garage, or in the corner of one room. Doing so will allow you to sweep, clean surfaces, wipe down cabinets, and so on, while your belongings are still in the house.

Just be sure to keep a broom handy once you’ve put everything on the moving truck so you can give one last sweep of the floor before you say goodbye to your old home.

Cleaning checklist

It can be difficult to keep track of everything you’ll want to clean before you move out, so here’s a list to go by:

  • Sweep all floors

  • Vacuum all carpets

  • Wipe down cabinets, shelves

  • Try to sweep under appliances, oven, etc.

  • Spray sinks and tubs, leave air freshener in bathroom

  • Wipe inside of refrigerator, if applicable

  • Remove all nails from walls

  • Do a final walkthrough and remove any trash you’ve missed





Posted by Evelyn Doane on 3/26/2017

Whether you’re an empty nester, or just feel that you have too much “stuff” in your house, many people can stand to downsize. If you are planning on moving to a smaller home or if you want to get your family’s amount of “treasures” reduced, it’s not an easy task. We can promise that it will be a worthwhile one! 


Just how can you downsize when you have a houseful of stuff? There’s a few rules of thumb that you should follow in order to keep your downsizing process streamlined and stress-free.


Don’t Try To Do Everything At Once


The more stuff that you have, the more overwhelming your project will be. You may want to be very efficient and try to get everything cleaned out as soon as possible. It’s probably not feasible to get it all done at once. You’ll stress yourself out both physically and emotionally. Think of a realistic time table for you based on how much time you hope to clean over a certain period and how much stuff you actually have. It’s best if you plan to tackle one room and one area at a time.   


If You’re Helping Someone Else, Ask Yes Or No Questions


When you’re in the process of moving or even just getting rid of stuff, the people you’re helping will thank you if you’re direct. Ask yes or no questions about things as the whether it’s being donated, tossed, or saved. This will be especially helpful when working with children and older people.  



Presort Items


You can also expedite the process of cleaning things just by sorting them out. Keep piles of clothing, kitchen items, tools and toys separate. This process works best with items that are numerous like clothing. Once the items are separated, they may be much easier to tackle.               


Know How Much Space You Have


If your goal is to empty out one closet in your home, then you know that space will be unavailable for storage. If you’re moving from an 8 room house to 5 room condo, you may have a bit more purging to do! Just remember that there’s no point in hanging onto things that won’t be used or that have no place to be stored.


Don’t Have An Undecided Pile


Don’t start an undecided pile of stuff. It will just end up back in your pool of things that will need to be cleaned out at a later time. Make sure that you make a clear decision on what you’re doing with each item in the process of sorting. One exception to this rule is paperwork. If you need to sort through a lot of it, place it in a box to go through at another time, preferably once the rest of the house is settled. 


If you focus on sorting and seeing what your most used items are, downsizing should be a less overwhelming task. Once you clean, you can focus on more important things like moving!





Posted by Evelyn Doane on 12/18/2016

Clutter can be categorized as a nuisance, an annoyance and simply the bane of many’s existence. It accumulates so quickly and it seems like it comes out of nowhere. Between you and your family or roommates, there are often multiple people contributing to the clutter. And it can make your rooms feel cramped and look messy. Here are a few tips for cleaning up that clutter and keeping it at bay. Clean: Take note of the areas that attract the most clutter and determine why that type of clutter builds up in that area. Taking control of where and why clutter is piling up will only help you in the future. Once you have a handle of the type of clutter and where it’s coming from, sort through it. Throw out or recycle what can be tossed and put away anything that has a storage location. Dust and vacuum the de-cluttered area after de-cluttering. Storage: Having the appropriate storage is essential for clearing up clutter and keeping it from piling back up. Often times clutter accumulates because there is nowhere to put things. Whether it’s hooks and shoe storage for entryways and mudrooms or drawers or bookcases for bedrooms or workspaces, storage is essential. Process: Whether it’s clutter in your mudroom or entryway, on your dining room table, the chair in your bedroom, or on top of your desk, there must be a process for putting things away and therefore eliminating any chance of clutter. If considering an entryway with optimal storage make sure children hang up their backpacks and coats when they enter the home and store their shoes in the appropriate place. If children usually do their homework on the dining room table then make sure they understand it needs to be picked up each night. Having a small storage container nearby will make this even easier. Eliminating clutter altogether is a feat many cannot conquest, but adding a process will be sure to help. Cleaning and eliminating clutter is the easy part, but keeping that clutter away is a much larger task to undertake. It will take time to remember to put things away or throw out unnecessary things and keep processes in place. However, you will be much happier in a clutter free, clean home. Think of all the extra space you will have to eat, sit and walk! Having a process in place for children, and anyone else for that matter, is essential for having a clutter free home.





Posted by Evelyn Doane on 9/27/2015

Take a drive down any residential road in your town or city, and you're bound to notice a neglected porch or two. Is your porch giving your home the best face it can have? Could your porch use a little spice? Here's how to get the most out of your porch, whether it is only a few feet, or a covered area spanning the length of your home. 1. - Replace things when needed. New welcome mats, address numbers, doorknobs and deadbolts can breathe new life into your porch space. All of these experience significant wear-and-tear in only a short time, and replacing them when needed shows passers-by and potential home buyers that you live in a house that is well taken care of...Even down to the last detail. 2. - Don't be afraid to paint. Often times, painted areas on a porch can be overlooked. If you are in the middle of a deck painting, then don't hesitate to touch up your porch as a part of your project. 3. - Bring a little life onto your porch. Consider buying a few weather-hardy plants that could complement the color scheme of your home. Tasteful plant window boxes installed on the windows closest to your porch can make your porch appear much bigger than it is, and is an optical effect that will definitely work in your favor. Just be sure to pick plants that don't run afoul of your home's outdoor color scheme, and you'll find that bringing a little plant life onto and around your porch is a very enjoyable investment. 4. - Lighting is not only important for looks, but for safety as well. Make sure that your porch light is always in working order, and be sure to choose quality bulbs that match the wattage of the outlet. Some homes have faulty porch wiring, and sometimes lack proper lighting. If you are in one of these homes, consider making a project out of it. Proper lighting will show off your porch at night in all the right places, and will be a welcome safety addition for your family and visitors.





Posted by Evelyn Doane on 12/30/2012

For most of us cleaning is no fun. There are some hidden secrets that can make cleaning just a little bit easier. Here are some little known cleaning tips: -Remove grease and dirt build up from kitchen cabinets. Say to clean cabinets, 1st heat slightly damp sponge or cloth in microwave for 20 - 30 seconds until it's hot. Put on a pair of rubber gloves, spray cabinets with an all-purpose cleaner containing orange oil, then wipe off cleaner with a hot sponge. -Soak old paintbrushes in hot vinegar for 30 minutes and good as new. -Clean that oily, sticky residue off of appliances with a little Cream of Tarter mixed with a few drops of water, add some scrubbing! -Get a clean microwave by filling a microwaveable bowl with 1-2 cups of water and add a dash of vinegar (about a tablespoon or two). Put the bowl in the microwave, shut the door, and turn it on for 5 minutes. -Chalk will remove grease stains from clothes. Simply rub the stain with chalk, then toss in the wash as normal.