How to add a little sunshine to your laundry routine

 

For many of us doing laundry is a never-ending chore.  Everywhere you look there is something needing to be washed, and fabric care can be tricky!

Here are a few tips to make your laundry routine a little more pleasant during your week.

Define the space:

Whether you have a dedicated room, a closet, or a corner in the basement, your laundry space should be clearly defined.    If you are working with a corner in the basement, try adding an indoor/outdoor rug to outline your work area.

Storage and Tools:

Investing in a sorting system and extra baskets will help you tame the evergrowing pile of clothing that tends to accumulate on chairs, corners, or even your treadmill.    Everything needs a home, so make sure your laundry has a home when it’s dirty, and when its clean.

Make sure you have a good supply of your favorite detergents and softeners.  If you have products you like to use, you will be more likely to wash the clothing.  A table for folding is a luxury but makes the task much more enjoyable.  Finally, make sure you keep a variety of stain-fighting formulas on hand so you are ready to battle when accidents happen.

Drying:

If you can install additional clothes rack or drying bar it can save time and money.   We have found that if you hang most clothing dry it eliminates the need for a ton of ironing.

It is always a bonus if you have an area in your yard that you can install a clothesline.   There is nothing like sun-dried sheets on your bed.  Just remember that some colored clothing may fade in the sunlight from overexposure.

What are your favorite tips?  Share them below!  We would love to hear from you!

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

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Caring for Succulents

Succulents have been gaining in popularity for several years now in the home decor landscape.   These easy to care for and colorful plants are great for adding a little greenery to your outdoor or indoor space.

Here are a few tips for helping your succulents thrive!

Sunlight-  They prefer to have at least half a day’s worth of sunshine so make sure they are placed in a well-lit area.

Water- Surprisingly these plants need very little water.  Just water when the soil becomes dry.

Soil- These plants love soil that drains well.  If you can use cacti soil, which you can find in the gardening section of many home improvement centers.  It is recommended to add crushed gravel to the bottom of the pot to make sure roots do not sit in water.

Fertilizer- Add a small amount of general purpose fertilizer to water once a month.

That’s it!  Enjoy!   These make great hostess gifts as well!

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

 

 

Creating A Custom Beverage Station

 

If you love coffee and tea, you know that it is a habit that can get expensive pretty quickly if it is your daily habit to stop at a franchise.

Creating and stacking a station at home not only saves money but makes it easy to entertain guests.

1.) Identify a space in that would work well for the station.   Look for outlets for appliances.

2.) Search for an appropriately sized buffet table or bar cart that meets your storage needs.

3.) Consider incorporating a mini-fridge into the set up to free up space in your kitchen refrigerator and to keep supplies neat and at hand.

4.) Invest in matching mugs, glasses, and decor for a cohesive look.   If all else fails, stick with white or clear glassware as it will match any existing decor.

5.) Stock up! From iced coffee to a tea chest, to a selection of classic liquors turn your station into a beverage oasis!

6.) Bonus Tip:  Keep fresh fruit and mint close by for garnishes!  These extra special touches will make your guests feel like they are at a hotel spa!

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

 

 

How To Clean Outdoor Furniture

It’s time to get your outdoor furniture looking ship shape for company.  Cleaning and maintaining your outdoor furniture will ensure that your investment will be able to be enjoyed for many summers to come.  So what are the best ways to spruce up your furniture?   It depends on the material the furniture is constructed from, and the method you wish to clean it by.

This article recommends gathering many cleaning products you already have around the home to tackle tough jobs outside.

Baking Soda

Baking Soda is a gentle cleanser that will remove tough stains.   Use a sponge and baking soda on resin furniture for an effective, gentle scrub.  This will require a little elbow grease.  Then rinse well and air dry.

Bleach & Vinegar

Plastic furniture can be cleaned with a few tablespoons of bleach, a mild dish detergent, and about a gallon of warm water.  If you are looking for a more eco-friendly solution try Vinegar instead of Bleach.

Power Washing

 

Most types of furniture can be power washed on a more gentle cycle.    Do a test area to make sure that the strength you have chosen will not damage your furniture.   Then safely blast away dirt and grime!

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

 

 

What To Do When Your Basement Floods

Do not panic!  This happens to many homeowners, and taking smart action can keep you safe and protect your home from further damage.

>Cut off the power.  If you cannot cut off power or are unsure how to do it you should call a professional electrician to help you.  Never enter a flooded area with the electric on.

> Take action as soon as you notice water coming in, and try to identify the source.

>Wear boots and gloves for protection, you never know if the water is contaminated.

>Determine the source of the water. If a burst pipe is the cause of the flood, shut off water to the basement.

>If your basement has a floor drain, check to make sure it didn’t become clogged during the flood. Keeping it open and functioning will help drain the water.

>Start removing water from the basement. Depending on the amount of water, you can use a sump pump, a pool pump, a wet/dry vacuum or a mop and bucket.   Large push brooms are handy for redirecting water.

> Remove any water damaged materials to avoid mold and mildew

>Once the area is clear and ready to dry you can start running fans to help speed up the drying process

>Consult your homeowners insurance and ask for professional help if the damage is severe.

> Take steps to waterproof your basement to avoid future floods.

 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

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Let’s Make A Container Garden!

The best part about warmer weather is spending a little time outdoors and enjoying sprucing up your front porch.   The best part about container gardens is that the sky is the limit with what type of garden you want to create.

Elements of a great container garden.

Spiller-   A plant that will grow like crazy and needs room to spread all over.  Look for plants with vines, flowing leaves, and “waterfall” like properties.

Thriller-  A centerpiece that is a pop of color or an unexpected surprise.   Think big, think bold, think something that could compliment any color scheme you already are working with outside on your porch.

Filler- Choose plants to fill in the gaps.   Look for leafy full greenery, types of pants that will bloom all season.

Whimsey- Add a little something special, an ornament, a sign with a positive saying or if you have kids perhaps a fun figure or character.

What are your favorite container garden tips?   Share below we would love to hear them!

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

 

 

 

 

How to Care for Lilac Bushes

Have you recently moved into a home that has lilac bushes?   Do you wish to incorporate these fragrant beauties into your current design?  Check out these great tips from our friends at THE OLD FARMER’s ALMANAC to take the best care of these gorgeous purple blooms in your yard.    If you care for them now they will reward you with wonderful blooms for years to come!

CARE

  • Each spring, apply a layer of compost under the plant, followed by mulch to retain moisture and control weeds.
  • Water during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.
  • Lilacs won’t bloom if they’re overfertilized. They can handle a handful of 10-10-10 in late winter, but no more.
  • After your lilac bush has finished blooming, spread some lime and well-rotted manure around the base. Trim the bush to shape it, and remove suckers at the same time.

Pruning Lilacs

  • Lilacs bloom on old wood, so it’s critical to prune in the spring right after they bloom. If you prune later in the summer, you may be removing the wood. Here’s a tip: If your lilac flower clusters are getting smaller, time to prune!
  • Every year after bloom, remove any dead wood. Prune out the oldest canes (down to the ground). Remove the small suckers. Cut back weak branches to a strong shoot. Cut back tall canes to eye height.
  • If your lilac is old and in really bad shape, remove one-third of the oldest canes (down to the ground) in year one, half of the remaining old wood in year two, and the rest of the old wood in year three. Another option for old lilacs is to chop the whole thing back to about 6 or 8 inches high. It sounds drastic, but lilacs are very hardy. The downside to this option is that it takes a few years to grow back. The upside is less work and more reward, as the lilac will grow back bursting with blooms.
  • It must be recognized that severe pruning results in the loss of blooms for one to three years. For these reasons, a wise pruning program aims to avoid severe and drastic cuts by giving the bushes annual attention.

 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.