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Rena Ripp

Rena Ripp

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What Your Carpet Is Hiding From You

(Published on - 3/28/2019 1:42:38 PM)

Puppies on Carpet

 

How many carpeted rooms in your home appear clean at a glance? Even if you think they all look clean, those carpets may not be very sanitary. Spring is here which means if you have snow, it has likely started to melt - exposing dirt and pollen that can now be easily tracked into your house.  Carpets trap dust and odors and can attract mold when they absorb moisture. So often, we forget what our carpet could be hiding because it just doesn't look dirty. You want to make your carpet last as long as possible, and the only way to ensure that is by keeping your carpets cleaned and sanitized. Here are some steps to take to keep that carpet in the best shape possible, and as clean as ever.

1. Vacuum Weekly

Make a habit of vacuuming once a week, even twice a week in high traffic areas. While it is easy to rush through vacuuming, try taking it slowly to ensure your vacuum is pulling up as much dirt and dust as possible.

2. Use Door Mats

Door mats can help reduce the amount of dirt and dust being brought into your home in the first place. Use both indoor and outdoor mats and be sure to clean them when you vacuum each week. 

3. No Shoes, No Problem

It probably isn’t hard to believe that 80% of the dirt in your house is carried inside on people’s shoes. Ensuring that your family members and guests remove their shoes before entering your home will help to greatly reduce the amount of dirt and dust.

4. Treat Spots and Spills ASAP

To avoid permanent damage, make sure you are always cleaning up messes as soon as they happen. It can be easy to quickly wipe up a spill without really cleaning it, but spot treating to remove any residual mess is the best choice. It is much harder to remove a stain once it has set!

5. Vacuum Under Furniture & Rugs

It is easy to forget about the dirt and dust that collects under rugs and furniture. Aim to clean in those hidden spots monthly or bi-monthly.

6. Deep-Clean Your Carpets

If you don’t own a carpet steam cleaner, consider renting one for a deep-clean twice a year. The high-powered water extraction system will clean, disinfect, and sanitize your rugs and carpets to remove anything that regular vacuuming leaves behind. 

Keeping your carpet clean is a great investment for your home. By following these steps, you can prevent the need for carpet replacement for many years to come. 


Make That Small Closet Look Bigger

(Published on - 3/5/2019 2:31:16 AM)

If there is one thing that can turn a potential client away from a home they may be on the fence about, it is a tiny master closet. When a potential buyer falls in love with your large bedroom only to find that the closet is a fraction of the size they expected it to be, it could make them want to keep looking at other houses on the market. While that may not be the case for everyone, there are plenty of women (and men) who enjoy having a nice closet space. While you may not be able to expand the square footage, here are some steps you can take to make that small closet look bigger and more appealing to potential buyers!

 

1. Marie Kondo your closet

The KonMari method is all the rage today so many people are cleaning out their closets - and the rest of their homes - in an attempt to live a little more like a minimalist.  With this movement being so popular, many people searching for new homes might be even more aware of clutter, especially in small spaces. Declutter your closet and donate anything that doesn’t “spark joy.”

 

2. Add some paint and light

Even large closets can look small if they are have dark walls and not much light. Since most closets don’t have windows, consider adding a light fixture to brighten the space and a mirror to multiply the amount of light bouncing throughout the closet. By painting the walls a nice bright white or off-white, the room will expand and look inviting.

 

3. Organization is key

Once you’ve removed the clutter, you may still have a lot of items that you aren’t willing to let go of. By adding shelving or even a closet organizational system, you can fit more into your closet without taking up as much space. If you want to stay on budget, try a DIY closet system that is easily installed and can be purchased at your local home improvement store!

 

4. Show off your favorite items

While decluttering is key, displaying the things you love on nice hangers or placing those handbags/shoes you adore on your newly installed shelving can help potential buyers picture their own favorite items in your closet. Keep it neat and organized, but show off the things you love most!

 

These tips will help you ensure that your closet space doesn’t prevent you from selling your home. Remember, if you are ready for a home with a bigger closet, call me and we will find you the walk-in of your dreams!


Valentine Day in Madison Wisconsin

(Published on - 2/12/2019 11:17:23 AM)

 

Date Ideas in Madison

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, the time to plan a fabulous outing is now. Madison dining opportunities abound, but why not add something special to the day like a walk in nature, a soothing massage, a fun class, or an entertaining show?

Keep reading for some excellent Valentine’s Day date ideas in Madison.

 Sol Escape Healing Arts Salt Cave

Visit the salt cave at Sol Escape, located on Atwood Avenue, for a memorable and relaxing experience. The Himalayan salt used by the therapists is said to be naturally anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Many believe that the salt caves promote both mental and physical relaxation as well as offer relief from things like asthma and eczema.

Pamper Yourselves at a Local Salon

Valentine’s day is the perfect occasion to splurge for a couple’s massage, skin treatment, or even just a day of full on pampering. Couples massages are said to promote intimacy, relaxation, and general well-being and happiness.

Taeko Aesthetics down in Stoughton on West Main Street offers a couple’s massage complete with foot-soak, beverages, strawberries, and chocolates. And Rockabetty's Salon and Spa, one of the best nail salons in town, offers some of a variety of skin, nail, tanning, and waxing treatments that are sure to make your special someone feel their very best.

Experience the Outdoors Together

Although it may still be cold outside, the Olbrich’s indoor tropical garden remains open all year. Take your significant other there for a quiet walk and pretend you’re both on an island out in the Pacific.

For something a bit more energetic, head to Lake Mendota or Monona for fat biking or ice skating. Just make sure the ice is at least three inches thick before venturing out.

Date night offerings at Lake Kegonsa State Park in nearby Stoughton include a Candlelight Ski with bonfire on February 9th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Bring your cross country skis and enjoy an evening together under the stars.

Splurge on a Wonderful Dinner

After the massage, biking, nature appreciation or salt cave session, a good meal with good company is an amazing way to top off the day.

Located on South Pinckney Street, L’Etoile Restaurant has a Valentine’s menu consisting of five courses with optional wine pairings. Main course choices include NY strip and braised chuck, lamb, and scallops.

Lucille, situated on three stories in an historic building, serves up locally sourced wood fired pizzas and other Pan-Latin cuisine. Select rums, cocktails, and craft beers are available. Deep within the First Settlement District on King Street, Lucille’s prides themselves on their hospitality and entertainment.

Osteria Papavero on East Wilson Street doesn’t normally take reservations, except on Valentine’s Day. Osteria serves authentic Italian cuisine complemented by their extensive wine list. They run specials every day and promise to have some extra ones on Valentine’s Day.

See a Show and/or Go Dancing

Nothing says date night quite like an evening of live music and dancing. Madison provides many opportunities for just that.

The High Noon Saloon, located on East Washington Avenue, presents their annual Les Cougars Valentine’s Day Burlesque and Cabaret show on February 14th. Bring your partner or your friends and enjoy a night of entertainment like no other. Doors open at 6:00 pm, show begins at 7:00 pm.

For the 60s music lover in everyone, the Fab Four Beatles tribute band performs on Valentine’s Day at the Barrymore Theatre on Atwood Avenue. Show begins at 7:30 pm.

Visit a National Landmark

For a wonderfully unique Valentine’s Day date near Madison, head out to Cave of the Mounds. Their Valentine event, appropriately named “Love on the Rocks”, takes place on February 9th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. A harpist and guitarist provide live music in the cave. Couples enjoy an after-hours at-their-own-pace cave exploration. The event includes a champagne toast, red rose, souvenir photo, hors d’oeuvres, and truffles.

No matter what your Valentine’s date style may be, Madison has you covered. Spend some time with your loved one while enjoying some of the varied and eclectic offerings of this wonderful city.

 

Courtesy of Lexi Carr


Using Baking Soda in Your Laundry Room

(Published on - 2/1/2019 4:16:04 PM)

Laundry Room

 

Using Baking Soda In Your Laundry Room

 
 

That orange box of baking soda tucked away in your fridge or kitchen cabinet can also be an inexpensive, and earth-friendly, solution for your laundry needs. It’s safe to use in both standard and high-efficiency washers and is one of the best products available to reduce your dependence on chemicals. Let’s take a look into the top 5 ways baking soda can be used in your laundry room:

  1. Reduce and Remove Laundry Odor

    The body odors found on our clothing and linens are caused by different types of bacteria. These bacteria are removed when the detergent’s molecules break them up and flush them away from the clothing. Less expensive detergents generally don’t have strong enough enzymes to remove all of the bacteria, so baking soda will be a great boost to your detergent’s bacteria fighting power. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to each laundry load to make your detergent work more effectively.

  2. Boost Bleach Performance

    Bleach is often used to removed odors and stains from our laundry; however, if the water is to acidic, bleach doesn’t do it’s job as effectively. Just as it boosts detergent performance, baking powder can also help how effectively your bleach works. Which equates to less use of bleach and it’s negative impact on our environment.

  3. Use As A Natural Fabric Softener

    Baking soda is great for regulating your water’s pH level in your washer. It does this by making sure the rinse water is not too acidic or full of alkaline. 1/2 cup of baking soda to each rinse cycle with balance the mineral deposits in the water and keep them off of your clothes. It’s the minerals that make your clothing feel stiff, baking soda is a shield for your clothes from these minerals.

  4. Great For Cleaning Irons

    Baking soda is a gentle and earth-friendly abrasive. The face plate of an iron is notorious for building up starch and scorch deposits. To remove this build-up, mix a paste of water and baking soda and rub the paste over the face of the cool iron with a white cloth. Gently wipe the build-up away. You can finish with a wipe of white vinegar with a fresh towel.

  5. Controls Water Suds

    If you accidentally use regular laundry detergent on a washing machine that requires HE detergent, you’ll get a mess of suds. They might be fun to look at, but they are a pain to clean up. If you make this mistake, just grab a box of baking soda and sprinkle it directly on the suds to break them down. The baking soda is good at absorbing the moisture and will make clean-up much easier.


Eliminate Pet Odors In Your Home

(Published on - 1/22/2019 10:52:34 AM)

Eliminating bad odors from your home is incredibly important, you want to make sure you've removed them before putting it on the market. Often times, the first thing buyers notice upon entering your home, is how it smells. If there is an odd odor, it will instantly put them off. No matter how beautifully staged and presented it is, strong odors or stale air can make your home unappealing to prospective buyers. Opening windows and exhaust fans will only go so far in removing foul odors, but won't generally eliminate it completely. To ensure you don't lose potential buyers, follow these odor eliminating tips to ensure your home smells and feels fresh and new.

Don’t Use Artificial Freshening Sprays

Don't make the mistake of spraying artificial room freshener sprays in hopes that it will remove the bad odor. Deodorizers will quickly fade, and only mask the smell, sometimes in an overwhelming way. If a buyer walks into your home, your air freshener can cause a reaction, like a runny nose or a headache, and will make them suspicious of an underlying foul odor. Instead of trying to mask it, locate the actual source of the bad odor and get rid of it.

Best Pet Carpet Cleaners for Accidents

We all love our furry friends, but unfortunately, they can get your home pretty smelly. Whether the smell is on the carpet, furniture, or even on the walls - it's essential to have it removed. Most odors stem from accidents. You always want to attend to the accident right away. Blot them with a paper towel and use mild dishwashing liquid to help remove the odor. Once completely cleaned, blot again with fresh paper towels to dry the spot. If the accident is not recent, use an enzyme cleaner to eat the bad bacteria. Another great idea is to use activated charcoal. It is a form of carbon that has been activated to make it extremely porous. You can get activated charcoal meant for pet odors at most pet stores. 

Green Cleaning Products

Using natural odor eliminators is a great green alternative to most of the chemicals sold at stores. One of the most recommended products is to use baking soda. You can place an open box of it in a room to help absorb unwanted smells. It also helps to remove musty aroma in dark spaces, like a basement. On top of being used to remove pet odors, it also works great for cigarette smells. If you don't wish to use baking soda, most pet supply stores will have green cleaning products that help remove odors, while still being safe for your household. 


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