connie vallone

12 Ways to Keep Your House Sparkling Clean Year-Round

In Curb appeal, Home Buying, Home buying in West Houston, Home Improvement, Home Maintenance, Home Selling, Home Staging, Houston Real Estate, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on September 16, 2015 at 10:15 am

If the idea of spending hours on end deep-cleaning the house doesn’t appeal to you, take the “spring” out of “spring cleaning” and try monthly deep-cleaning instead. When you tackle one room in your house each month throughout the year, the only thing you’ll have to think about come next spring is enjoying the weather.

Here are some suggestions for what to tackle each month to keep your house sparkling clean year-round:
January is an ideal month to clean out closets. Go through your family’s clothes and donate anything your kids have outgrown or you haven’t worn in a year or more. Try using space-saving vacuum bags to keep seasonal clothes tucked safely out of the way until they’re needed.
February is all about floors. For a deep clean, you’ll need to set the Swiffer aside and go for a more industrial machine. If you don’t already own a floor scrubber or carpet shampooer, it is easy to rent one. Scrub and wax hardwoods and shampoo and deodorize carpets.
Tackle the laundry room in March. Clean and deodorize your washing machine. If you store cleaning supplies in the laundry room, check the bottles for leaks and expiration dates. Then, toss out anything that is old or damaged.
April’s showers aren’t just about flowers — it’s time to deep-clean the bathrooms. Try this vinegar tip to clean grout and the rest of your bathroom. It may also be time to re-caulk around the tub and sinks. If you’ve been ignoring that slow drip from the sink, go ahead and tighten the plumbing, too.
Now that the weather is better, get outside and clean up around the house. Organize the garage and make sure all your lawn equipment is in working order. Clean out the flowerbeds and get the garden readyfor planting.

June brings warmer weather, so let the sunshine in! While you’re opening the windows, go ahead and give them a good cleaning. Toss the towels and go for a squeegee instead to get a beautiful streak-free finish.
July is the time to focus on the kitchen. This means cleaning the cabinets inside and out as well as the refrigerator and stove. Grab a toothbrush and dig into the creases around faucets. Check the food in the freezer and toss anything that looks bad.
In August, it’s all about looking up. Look up at your ceiling fans, lights and vents and get ready to dust and vacuum. Cleaning air vents is especially important if anyone in your family has allergies. You don’t want to be circulating dust and mites through the air in your home.
The living and dining rooms are on the list for September. Vacuum all the furniture, wash curtains and pillow covers and dust behind the entertainment center. If you have a china cabinet, open it up and wash the dishes and dust the shelves.
O is for October and “office.” Take some time to sort through the piles of papers and receipts. File everything you need by month to make tax season a breeze. Get on the computer and clean off your virtual desktop as well. Save photos and documents to an external hard drive to leave more room on the computer for new information.
Before you settle in for a long winter’s nap, deep-clean the bedrooms. Vacuum and deodorize mattresses. Clean your pillows according the manufacturer’s instructions. Sweep under the bed and behind the dressers. Break out your winter clothes and pack away the summer attire.
It’s time to make room in the playroom. Sort through the toys and toss anything that is broken beyond repair. Replace dead batteries. Gather all the pieces to playsets together and place them in a bin or Ziploc baggie, so when the kids go to play, they will be able to find everything they need. Donate the toys your kids no longer play with.

Taking a monthly room-by-room approach to deep-cleaning makes the tasks seem much less daunting. You’ll have a clean house year-round and more free time, too.

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for winning real estate tips and tricks for you and your clients.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

I am ready to help you buy or sell your home! Please call Connie Vallone at 713-249-4177 or email me at .

Housing Trends August 2015 Newsletter

In Home Buying, Home buying in West Houston, Home Values, Pricing your home, Selling Your Home, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on September 1, 2015 at 11:04 am

Welcome to the most current Housing Trends eNewsletter. This eNewsletter is specially designed for you, with national and local housing information that you may find useful whether you’re in the market for a home, thinking about selling your home, or just interested in homeowner issues in general.

Please click on this link to view the Housing Trends August 2015 Newsletter

The Housing Trends eNewsletter contains the latest information from the National Association of REALTORS®, the U.S. Census Bureau, reports and other sources.

Housing Trends eNewsletter is filled with local and national real estate sales and price activity provided by MLSs and the National Association of Realtors, U.S. Census Bureau key market indicators, consumer videos, blogs, real estate glossary, mortgage rates and calculators, consumer articles, and local community reports.

If you are interested in determining the value of your home, click the “Home Evaluator” link for a free evaluation report: 

Sound decisions can only be made with accurate and reliable information, and I am happy to be a trusted resource for you. Thank you for the opportunity to provide you with this monthly eNewsletter, and I look forward to answering any questions you may have and to the opportunity to be your REALTOR® in the future.

Please contact Connie Vallone for your real estate needs at or call (713) 249-4177.

10 Quick Checks a Year Can Keep Your Home in Top Condition

In Home Buying, Home buying in West Houston, Home Improvement, Home Inspections, Home Maintenance, Home Value Reports, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on August 27, 2015 at 7:15 am

If you live in cold weather, fall is when you put in the storm windows. If you live in a warm climate, summer is when you step up the pool maintenance. No matter where you live, however, checking on – and maintaining – 10 areas of your home each year is one good way to ensure your home stays in peak condition.

From the home maintenance consultants at Home Depot, here is where – and how – to begin:

1. Roof – In early fall, check around vents, skylights and chimneys for cracks or leaks and repair or replace tiles as necessary.

2. Gutters – clean gutters so leaves won’t clog them, and be sure they drain away from the house.

3. Fireplace – Clean out any leftover ashes. If heavily used in winter, you may want the chimney professionally cleaned. Make sure the damper is closed tightly.

4. Filters – clean or replace furnace filters once every month or as needed. Check and clean the dryer vent, air conditioner, stove hood and room fans regularly.

5. Safety equipment – Be sure smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are in good working condition. Replace batteries twice a year.

6. Air conditioner – In cold climates, put on waterproof covers when you cover or remove outdoor furniture.

7. Refrigerator – Test door seals once or twice a year to be sure they are airtight. Test by closing the door over a dollar bill. If you can pull the bill out easily, the seal may need to be replaced. If you have a coil-back fridge, the coils should be vacuumed twice a year.

8. Faucets – Check for leaks in kitchen and bathrooms and replace washers as necessary.

9. Windows and doors – Replace seals as necessary to keep heat in and drafts out. If you added up all the tiny cracks where heating and cooling escapes, it could be the same as having a window open.

10. Siding and paint – Look for cracks or peeling areas. Repaint or replace caulk as necessary.

By Barbara Pronin

Contact Connie Vallone with all your real estate questions – (713) 249-4177 or

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.


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