6 Ways to Decorate Seasonally (Without Going Overboard)

how to decorate seasonally without going overboardWhen your favorite season arrives, you just want to celebrate. As a homeowner, that usually involves decorating with timely, themed pieces strategically placed around your space. But how much is too much? How can your tell if your zeal is getting a little out of hand? Check out our tips below to help you decorate tastefully for your favorite times of the year!

Continue reading

How to Maintain These 8 Household Appliances (and Make Them Last)

major appliance maintenance tipsOur many household appliances work hard every day to make our lives easier. These unsung heroes of the home help us clean our clothes, cook our food, preserve fresh ingredients, and keep us comfortable throughout the four seasons. We should strive to take the best care of them, especially if we want to keep them around for the long haul. Here are the 8 major appliances you need to pay attention to – and what you need to do to maintain them.

Refrigerator

This behemoth of an appliance requires minimal care. You don’t have to worry about replacing the refrigerant, but you do need to keep the coils on the back of the fridge clean. Break out the vacuum and suck up the dust every now and again with a brush attachment. Clean coils will help remove the heat from inside the fridge, keeping your food nice and cold (That’s right – fridges don’t actually produce cold air on their own!).

Oh, and if you’re moving or getting a new fridge, let it sit for several hours before plugging it in. Doing so will allow the compressor oil to settle and not fill the refrigerant lines.

Stove and Oven

What would we do without our ovens and stoves? It would be very difficult to bake meals (or delicious pies) if they weren’t around. Fortunately, you don’t need to do much to keep them functioning well, especially if you have a self-cleaning oven. Just remember to use the self-cleaning feature once in a while, and that’s it! As for the stove, keep it clean and ensure that the gas burners aren’t blocked. Easy!

Clothes Dryer

Not too much can mess up your dryer, thankfully – these devices aren’t terribly involved. The best thing you can do to extend your dryer’s life is to clean out the lint trap after every single cycle. These machines produce quite a bit of lint, and it builds up pretty quickly (and not just in the trap), which could easily cause a fire if you’re not careful. Aside from cleaning the trap, make sure the dryer vents get cleaned every year!

Washing Machine

Like its counterpart, the washing machine also doesn’t need much maintenance. Just take care not to use too much laundry detergent whenever you wash your clothes, especially if you own a high-efficiency machine. Also, don’t overfill it since it can harm the motor, transmissions, and balances. Other than that, consider pulling the washer away from the wall and checking the hoses for any wear and tear – you don’t want any leaks!

Dishwasher

Not every house has a dishwasher, but if you do have one, make sure you’re treating it right! Like the washing machine, refrain from overloading the dishwasher with too many dishes, otherwise you may wind up running the load again to get everything clean. You can also clean out the filter, which catches large food particles. It can usually be found underneath the bottom sprayer. Do this periodically to discourage any clogs!

Air Conditioner

If your A/C unit could tell you one thing, it would be this: don’t be ashamed of it. Many homeowners try hiding the large box (that is, the condenser) behind bushes, fences, or latticework, but if you want your unit to function properly, it needs to be free. Clear out any obstructions that could get in your air conditioner’s way. Inside the home, you can inspect the evaporator coils, which sit above the furnace. Remove the cover panel and vacuum out any dirt build-up. Should you see ice, you’ll want to call a professional to help you out!

Furnace

Your furnace doesn’t need too much attention. Just replace the air filter every 3 to 4 months so it continues working at maximum efficiency. You can also inspect the flames inside the furnace. If they’re a steady blue, everything should be okay. If you see more orange than blue, call a professional to fix the issue – it means the burner isn’t receiving enough air to work properly (or simply needs to be cleaned).

Water Heater

Want to keep your water heater happy and efficient? Drain it completely every once in a while. This will help get rid of any nasty sediment that might have collected inside, which can harm the water heater. Make sure you turn it off first, though, especially if you have an electric water heater – you don’t want to burn out the heating elements!

Remember, if you’re selling your home and planning on leaving your appliances, this could be a real bonus for the potential buyer! It can also indicate how you care for the rest of your home, so take the time to maintain your machines! When it comes time to sell your home, remember to call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298.

What Does Your Kitchen Say About Your Personality?

country kitchenThey say the heart of the home is the kitchen, and we couldn’t agree more. It’s where family and friends gather to share a meal and connect with one another. We often spend a lot of time in our kitchens, so it isn’t surprising that this important space often reflects our personality and tastes. Have you thought about what your kitchen says about you? See if yours embodies your characteristics!

You Have a Traditional Kitchen

Think we’re gonna say you’re boring? Guess again. You’re an elegant individual with a taste for the classics. Reserved upon first meeting, you warm quickly to new people and enjoy making good homemade food for the people you love. As a cook, you’re efficient and don’t like to leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight.

Your Stove Has a Huge Range

You don’t just enjoy making a bold statement – you also really love having people over. You’re a caring, charismatic host who enjoys providing an array of snacks and exquisite appetites for game nights or holiday meals. When you’re not busy entertaining, you might be found scrolling through Pinterest.

You Have a Country-Style Kitchen

You’re all about comfort, and the kitchen is where you feel most at home. You’re a laidback, welcoming individual who has plenty of snacks on hand for any visitor who stops by. You love taking care of others, especially with food, and your family and friends always feel relaxed in your home.

Your Kitchen is Minimalistic

You’re a no-nonsense person who knows exactly what you want. Precise and methodical, you like to work without distraction and stick to the essentials. To you, your kitchen is but a blank canvas, ready for you to paint (well, cook) the perfect masterpiece for all to savor.

Your Cooking Takes Place on the Island

Does your island feature a stovetop? If you find yourself doing a great majority of the cooking away from the wall, then you like to be the center of attention. Like a renowned hibachi chef, you enjoy putting on a show for your friends and family as you whip up your latest culinary creation for them. You love binge-watching Master Chef and The Great British Baking Show.

There’s an Attached Breakfast Nook with Seating in Your Kitchen

If this sounds like your kitchen, then you’re quite the busy bee. You enjoy new adventures and aren’t one to turn down a challenge. Throughout your hectic life, however, you always make time for yourself and the ones you love the most.

You Have Exposed Shelves

You’re in touch with your emotions and have a tendency to wear your heart on your sleeve. Honest to a fault, you believe that a clear line of communication is the foundation of a strong relationship. You have a penchant for organization and love to see your things looking neat and tidy.

You Have an All-White Kitchen

You like to have things in order, which means you’re not a believer in clutter. You work hard to keep your space clean and full of the things that give you joy – in fact, you’re more than likely a Marie Kondo fan. Time-oriented and competitive though you are, you’ll always take time to throw open the curtains and bask in the natural light every morning.

You Have a Black Kitchen

You are a creative person who loves to experiment with new recipes. You like to take things at your own pace and have no space for drama in your life. Although you enjoy standing out from the crowd once in a while, you prefer to work behind the scenes in most areas of your life.

Your Kitchen Features Bold Colors with Eclectic Accessories

Whether your cooking space is painted electric blue, flamingo pink, or a combination of lavender and goldenrod, you march to the beat of your own drum. You know what you like and enjoy expressing yourself through paint and décor choices. You pay little attention to the trends and stick to what you love!

You’re a Fan of Tile

Calm, collected, and maybe a bit shy, you’re a tentative person who thinks before you speak. You’re very tactile and enjoy feeling your bare feet pad across the chilled kitchen floor on a hot summer morning. You’re a passionate person who cares deeply for your friends and family.

Your Island Has a Seating Option

If this sounds like your cooking space, then you really enjoy being home. Comfort is key to you – if you had to pick, you would choose to live life in pajamas, hoodies, and your comfiest yoga pants. You love having friends over all the time and chatting with them about nearly anything, especially over a batch of homemade cookies.

What’s your kitchen like? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!

8 Easy Ways You Can Be a Good Neighbor

how to be a good neighborWe often like to talk about what makes a perfect home – an ideal square-footage, the perfect amount of bedrooms and bathrooms, and, of course, location. This includes your future neighbors as well. A close-knit neighborhood is beneficial in many ways – in fact, studies have shown that they are often happier, safer places that tend to retain residents for longer.

Whether you’re the new kid on the block or wondering what you can do to improve the community you’ve lived in for years, there are many little things you can do to benefit those who live around you. Here are 8 simple ways you can become a good neighbor:

Continue reading

3 Critical Closet Organization Hacks

Screen Shot 2019-07-25 at 10.16.21 AM.pngWhether you just bought a new home or you’re looking to stage, it’s important to get that closet space under control. There’s a good chance that you were too busy unpacking to think about organizing your clothes when you first moved in. We’re here to tell you that that’s okay! But now, you’re going to need these 3 critical closet organization hacks. Follow along and let us know what we missed in the comments below!

Continue reading

6 Ways to Celebrate Summertime on the Patio

patio

If you’re like us at the Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties, then you had all spring to cut the grass and pick up tree branches from those nasty storms. Now it’s time to get outside and relax. Remember, summer is right around the corner and you’ll want to enjoy it. What’s our suggestion for doing so? Celebrate summertime on the patio. If you don’t quite know how to do so, here’s 6 ways to do just that!

Continue reading