William Manchenton - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by William Manchenton on 10/22/2019

Minimalism has taken hold of a generation of new homeowners. Many young families may move multiple times before finding a forever home. Throughout the sorting, packing, loading, moving, and unloading they realize that much of what they carry with them is not necessary for comfortable living. Many folks have accepted the challenge to pare unused and cluttering items from their lives. Whether you are planning to move soon, just moved into your forever home, or are somewhere in-between, you can benefit from paring down and decluttering your life.

Discover freedom

Proponents of decluttering from Marie Kondo, star of Netflix's hit show, "Tidying Up With Marie Kondo," to Genevieve Parker Hill, author of Minimalist Living: Decluttering for Joy, Health, and Creativity, believe that reducing your home’s clutter, overflow, and disorganization help to free up your time, energy, and happiness. The concept of removing disorganization from your life sets you up to more effortless living.

You can join an online challenge ranging anywhere from three days to six weeks to fit your schedule. Alternatively, you can make a pact with friends or siblings to cheer each other through it or challenge yourself to carry out a list of decluttering items in one day or over several days. If you take on the challenge by yourself, create a suitable reward for your efforts.

Clear your mind first

Before you try to clear your home of clutter, take some time to organize your thoughts first. 

  • Write down what you hope to achieve by decluttering: more space? More peace? Better time management?
  • Note where you want to start. You may be able to declutter your entire home, but before you bite of that enormous chunk, create an order of priority. Is the hall closet most important? The pantry? Perhaps your biggest headache is your closet, attic, or garage. Start with that one place. If you try to do too many spaces at once, you may end up discouraged before you start.
  • Set aside the day or days for your challenge. Block off your schedule. Putting it off got you into this position in the first place and any interrupted to your challenge dates might tempt you to indulge in procrastination once again.

Once you have determined the room you will start with, prepare four boxes for sorting: 

  • Discard – items too used or useless to give to a charity or thrift store need tossing. Do not donate anything beyond its useful life. At the end of each day, you will discard these items so that you avoid the temptation to put them back in your house.
  • Recycle – if you no longer use it for its original purpose, but you know you could use it someplace else, put it in the “recycle” box.
  • Give – items you no longer use, but that someone else could go in the “give” box. You can donate these to a charity or thrift store or give them to family members or friends that want them and will use them. Immediately place this box in your car to give away as soon as possible.
  • Keep – this is what goes back in this location, or into another place. Once you clean out the area, return to it only the items that belong there. If you have other keep items, move them to the room or location they belong in so that they no longer clutter up your space.

When you finish, reward yourself. Then, set up the next challenge. If you plan to put your home on the market, to give a deadline to your challenge, have your real estate agent set an open house date.





Posted by William Manchenton on 7/16/2019

Changing your air filters in your home can be a chore that is quickly forgotten and overlooked, but it is crucial to the overall health of your home. To keep your home air system functioning at its best, be sure to have your HVAC system checked, maintained, and changed regularly.

  1. Prevent Damage. By keeping your system up to date on routine maintenance, you can prevent extensive and unwanted damage from happening. By allowing your HVAC filter to get clogged, you risk your system straining to get clean air through. With less clean air able to get into your home, your system will go into overdrive by running longer and working harder. Neglecting routine maintenance will ultimately cause your HVAC to fail.
  2. Clean Air. When you have a clogged filter in your air conditioning, you are getting less clean air throughout your home. This is beneficial for everyone in your house, but especially for the elderly and children. Having healthy air in your home is also essential for family members who struggle with allergies or asthma. Keep dust, pollen, and other small particles out of your lungs and breathe clean air by changing your filter regularly.
  3. Save Money. Aside from preventing expensive damage to your HVAC system, replacing a dirty filter can also save you a significant amount in operating costs. A dirty air filter will cause your air conditioner to run much longer than it would need to with a clean filter. This will ultimately result in a higher electricity bill. By making a habit of changing your filters regularly, you can obtain a savings of around 15% off of your energy bill. 
  4. Protect the Environment. Failing to replace your dirty filters routinely is ultimately failing the environment. While your system is running more often to replenish your air, it is also producing large amounts of carbon monoxide and other greenhouse gases into the air. By running your home in an eco-friendly manner, you can benefit the environment while never skipping out on the comforts of your home. Changing a filter once a month is a small step with a significant impact.

Neglecting your HVAC system's maintenance is sure to result in the failure of its capabilities. Changing your air filter once every month will result in cleaner air, saved money, and a healthier environment. Don't miss out on these benefits by turning your back on this painless chore. If you're concerned about your home's air system, contact a local HVAC technician to evaluate the function of your system.





Posted by William Manchenton on 6/11/2019

If you cook in a cast iron skillet or use other cast iron cookware, you’ll know that periodically, they need what is called “seasoning.” But just what does that mean? The way that cast iron works, oil baked into the service prevents the iron from forming rust and keeps food from sticking too much. As long as the pan is adequately protected, the seasoned finish improves with age, giving you that much sought-after easy-release veneer.

What you need

  • The manufacturers of newer pans sell special soybean-based oils that are highly refined to use on their cookware.
  • If you’ve inherited grandma’s cookware, however, she probably used cooking oil or even lard to keep her pan seasoned. If you cook in the pan all the time, lard (pork fat) or tallow (beef fat) still are excellent seasoning choices. But, when you use it only occasionally, both lard and tallow can become rancid and ruin the flavor of your food. Additionally, you may use melted shortening or vegetable oil.
  • A cleaning kit (sold at better homeware stores) or a soft, lint-free cloth.

How to

With a clean, dry skillet, cover the pan inside and out with a thin layer of oil (or lard/tallow). Be sure to get the bottom and the handle as well. For best results, rub the oil on with a lint-free cloth.

Heat your oven to 350°F. Place the pan upside down on the top rack of the oven and place a sheet of aluminum foil or an aluminum cookie sheet on the bottom shelf to gather any oil drips. Let your pan season in the oven for one hour. Let your pan cool completely before using.

Troubleshooting

If your pan feels sticky, excess oil may have built up on the surface, or the oil has not fully converted to seasoning. Turn your oven on to 400°F and place the pan upside down on the upper rack. Allow it to bake for an hour. After your pan has cooled, test the surface again. If it is still somewhat gummy or sticky, repeat the process at 400°F for an additional hour.

If dark residue appears on your cleaning cloth, your pan may be reacting to high heat or an acidic food such as tomato sauce. Just wipe it out as much as possible and continue to use your pan regularly. The darkened areas should resolve.

If your pan has rust, perhaps from improper storage, or because you picked it up at a garage sale, gently remove the rust with very fine steel wool or a scratch-free scrubber. Then, wash the cookware in hot, soapy water to remove all the metal filings and loosened rust. Let your pan dry so that you can see if all the rust is removed. Once is it completely clear of rust, follow the seasoning instructions above.

As your property professional if there are cooking classes in your area to become a pro at using your cast iron skillet.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by William Manchenton on 12/18/2018

Keep your outdoor surfaces in tip-top shape all year long with these care tips:

Bricks

Bricks are known for their durability but still need to be maintained and cared for. They key here is to be gentle with your cleaning methods as they can wear down and become compromised by the chemicals found in typical household cleaners.

Have you ever noticed how some bricks have a white, chalky residue to them? It’s messy, unappealing and 100% preventable. All you have to do is check labels in Winter time! When shopping for deicer avoid those made with calcium chloride.

Stay on top of culling plants growing between bricks. Where there are plants there is more moisture which will inevitably lead to loosening your bricks. Cut plants that begin growing. They will die quickly and easily pull up. Easily remove moss with a mixture of one part bleach to 10 parts hot water

If for whatever reason you find you need to clean brick only use a masonry specific cleaner and scrub gently when using. If there are stains on your bricks you will need a poultice made specifically for masonry staining.

Concrete

Concrete is another outdoor surface known for its durability but that doesn’t mean it’s invincible. Caring for concrete is similar to the needs of brick.

Clean up oil spills by allowing cat litter to sit on the spot overnight. Repeat until the stain is no longer “pulling” from the litter. If there is a stain left behind a poultice may be necessary (just like with bricks). You will also use the same 1:10 bleach mixture to remove moss from concrete as you would with bricks.

However, when it comes to deicer you will want to avoid a different set of ingredients. Those made with ammonium nitrate or sulfate can break down concrete and so best to be avoided. If you do you gardening in your garage, or your shed has concrete flooring you’ll want to be cautious with fertilizer. Wet fertilizer can actually lead to staining on concrete.

To avoid staining there are preemptive measures you can take. Seal concrete helps to make it stain resistant. And to keep it on top form you clean your favorite household all-purpose cleaner and a good scrub.

Wood

Wood is the more high maintenance surface to care for. Wood needs to be sealed yearly. You may find you will need to sand off an existing finish from the previous homeowners before applying a new one. Apply a preservative or stain to protect from moisture and rot.

Clean wood surfaces by scrubbing clean and manage stains with oxalic acid crystals. Powdered oxygen bleach is best used to eliminate existing mold and it’s spores. Know that you may have to do this process a couple of times to take care of the spores for good.





Posted by William Manchenton on 12/26/2017

Technology has streamlined our lives at work, at home, and during our leisure time. We're constantly updated with emails and notifications from our bosses or our friends about upcoming deadlines or family parties. However, many of us are still old fashioned when it comes to using tech to improve the way we run our homes. There are apps that can control the electronics in your home, remind you when it's time to clean out the refrigerator, or even tell the people in your house when it's their turn to take out the trash. We've built a list of the most useful apps that will help you spend less time planning and organizing around the home.

Smart house

Wifi technology is slowly escaping our cell phones and computers and making its way around our homes. Smart TVs are now the norm, and Amazon makes buttons that you can store in your cabinets that automatically order new paper towels or laundry detergent when you run out. Part of this home automation revolution is the introduction of apps that allow you to remotely control your home. Kits like SmartThings or WeMo allow you to control lights, coffeemakers, and garage doors all from your smartphone.  What's more, you can control them from work as long as you have signal on your phone. Many of these apps allow you to schedule items to turn on and off at certain times as well, which can help you save on electricity.

Apps to ease the moving process

If you've moved recently, maybe you used a checklist app on your phone to keep track of items while packing. What you probably didn't know is that there are apps that help you even further, including choosing the best prices on moving companies. Unpakt lets you add items that you're moving to a list and tells you how many boxes you'll need. Then it gives you a selection of movers and lets you compare prices.

Keeping up with the chores

The app stores are inundated with tools to help you stay on top of your schedule. But recent additions take it a step further to target other household needs. Do you run a tight ship at your house? Or would you like to? iRewardsChart lets you track your kids' progress on their chores and reward them for good behavior. You can award them cash allowance, time watching television, or whatever else you see as suitable rewards. If you and your family or housemates have a hard time keeping track of whose turn it is to wash dishes, check out Chorma. It's an iPhone app that let's you add chores and coordinate them with other people in your house. No more excuses for not knowing it was your turn!

Creating your dream home

The best home and living apps aren't just about chores and reminders. There are some great apps that are out there to help inspire you to personalize your home. Brightnest is an app that provides cleaning tips, recipes ideas, and DIY projects so your home can keep evolving as you do.