Maureen Roberts | Billerica Real Estate, Chelmsford Real Estate, Dracut Real Estate


Baking sounds like a lot of fun, especially when you see the outcome of your culinary creation. The hard part is when you have to deal with the spills, dirt and other remnants of your gastronomic exercise as you figure out how to clean the oven. The high temperature of the oven doesn't even make the job easier as everything seems welded into the pans. Little wonder many people shy away from this task. But with a few helpful tips, you may find out that cleaning an oven is not as tough as it sometimes looks to you.

  1. Empty the oven. Remove everything you have in the oven and put them out. Oven racks, thermometer, trays; everything is coming out. That makes it a lot simpler to clean.
  2. Mix your baking soda into a paste. Add up a few spoons of baking soda into a bowl and then mix with a few spoons of water, until you have an even consistency. Depending on the size of your oven, you may need a more significant mixture. Now coat the insides of your oven with this paste, avoid the heating elements while doing so. Pay extra attention to the particularly greasy areas.
  3. Wait. Leave the mixture to sit in the oven for at least twelve hours. You can do this in the evening and let the mixture stay put all through the night. After the 12 hours, the baking soda will have turned into a brownish color. You can use this period to also soak your oven racks and other washable parts in a bowl of warm water with dishwashing liquid
  4. Wipe down the oven. After the twelve hours are over, spread some vinegar gently over the paste and allow them to interact. Time helps to make the paste much easier to scrape off. Now use a damp washcloth, or if the mixture is still too hard, use a spatula or piece of plastic to scrape the paste off. Don't forget the corners and crevices; you should get the entire baking soda paste out.
  5. Do a final wipe down. Spray some more water and vinegar into the oven and then wipe down again until all the baking soda remaining has been removed. Dry your oven racks and then replace them, and your oven is as good as new. 

Congratulations, you just cleaned out your oven. Don’t know where to get baking soda and vinegar? Check your local grocery store.


One of the biggest challenges of putting your house on the market is keeping it clean, organized, and ready for the next showing!

This is no easy task, especially if you have pets, messy kids, and/or a hectic schedule. If you're like most people, you're probably contending with all three conditions!

Although it's human nature to get immersed in our own view of the world, it's helpful to try and see things through the eyes of prospective home buyers. When buyers walk into your house for the first time, they're not going to immediately know about all the improvements you've made to your property or the many ways your home has served your family's needs for all these years. They're not aware of the "big picture" and may never be. They only know what they see, hear, and smell during their brief visit to your home.

Anything which makes a negative impression can sour them on the idea of buying your house. It's a delicate balance and it doesn't take that much to tip the scales in either direction. That's why it's so important for sellers to get into a routine of keeping their house clean, orderly, and well maintained.

It's amazing what a difference 24-hours (or less) can make on the appearance and cleanliness of your home. Rest assured, if you've said or thought the words, "But I just cleaned it, yesterday!" -- you're not alone! Cleaning your house when it's on the market is a lot like shaving: It doesn't take too long for that "five o'clock shadow" to start creeping in!

Reminding everyone in your family to clean up after themselves is the first step to being ready, but it also pays to have a checklist to refer to when preparing for a real estate showing. If you don't use a task list, chances are you'll forget something important -- like wiping off the kitchen counter, sanitizing the toilets, putting away dirty dishes, or cleaning the bathroom sink. Floors almost always require a quick sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming, and waste baskets need to be emptied. Crumpled towels, bath mats, and bedspreads may also be in desperate need of straightening and smoothing out! If you own pets that tend to have "accidents" or kids who haven't quite mastered the art of cleaning up after themselves, you might also want to allow a few extra minutes in your routine to take care of the "unexpected."

While it's true that you want your house to have a "lived in" appearance, it's all-too-easy to cross that thin line into a whole different category! No reasonable house hunter will expect your home to be spotless and perfect in every way, but if it looks messy, disheveled, or neglected, then that could be a potential deal breaker!


When you’re short on space, it can be difficult to see how you could ever possibly declutter your closet. It is, after all, a convenient hiding space for all of your items that you have no idea where to put! There’s a few tips that can help you to get on the road to decluttering your closet and getting organized.


Make Things Accessible


One reason that clutter builds up is that things are not very accessible. As you’re trying to find something, items fall and become misplaced. By spreading out your organization system a bit within the closet, you’re able to see what you have and exactly where it is. 


Group Like Items Together


In the same light of being able to find things that you need, grouping like items together makes it easier to find what you need. If you know that all of your haircare items are in a certain bin, you’ll be able to reach in the same spot without thinking.   



Find Places You Can “Drop” Things


Closets tend to be that kind of space where we just drop things and forget about them. We always think “I’ll deal with it later.” When later never comes, we end up with quite a cluttered closet. Keep baskets or trays handy in the closet in order to keep things that you may empty out of your pockets or put away at a later time. This way you’ll only have to clean out one basket instead of the entire closet. 



Make Use Of Drawers


Drawers are incredibly useful in a closet space. You can place a dresser in the closet if space permits. If you don’t have room for a dresser, you may want to create your own drawer units. For an alternative option of storing things, try installing shelving units and placing baskets across the shelves, giving the illusion of drawers.   


Encourage Tidiness


Everything that you do to organize your closet should have the goal of keeping tidiness in mind. If the closet is a walk-in, you’ll organize it much differently than if you have a smaller space. No matter the size of the closet, you’ll want to divide the space into zones of sorts. This way, you’ll know where everything goes and how to keep it neat.   


Light The Space


Without adequate lightning in the closet, it’s pretty difficult to find what you’re looking for, no matter how organized you are. If your closet doesn’t have a lot of natural light, you’ll need to install some lighting. Whether you put in overhead bulbs, or install touch- activated portable lights, the brighter the better when it comes to your closet. Be sure that there’s lights in key areas like darker corners where the main light source doesn't reach.