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Posted by Hillman Homes on 2/27/2019


Can anyone keep up with this New England weather? We sure can't. The good thing is, spring is right around the corner and with the random 60+ degree February days, it's a great opportunity to get a jump start on your spring cleaning checklist so you're not stressing about it when the weather finally stays nice (hopefully.) Check out this article for some great spring cleaning tips: http://massrealestatenews.com/outdoor-spring-cleaning-tips/

If you're still not feeling motivated, don't worry, we've got you covered. Give us a call or send us a message if you're looking to list your home and we can put you in touch with some great professional cleaners!

Posted by Hillman Homes on 11/20/2017

As house sizes grow ever larger more people find themselves with spare bedrooms in their homes. These bedrooms are often called "guest rooms" by default, even though they're usually just a place where all the extra furniture ends up. When guests do come to stay over, you shouldn't have to worry about cleaning out their room. Ideally, a guest room is low maintenance and includes everything your guest will need to feel comfortable away from home. So, instead of filling the room with the 25 old pillows that have been accumulating in your house, here are some essentials that every guest bedroom should have.

Decorate like you'd want to sleep there

Use bright, but calming colors on the walls, put a bedside table with a beverage coaster near the bed, use curtains that can be closed to block out the morning sun or opened to let in as much light as your guest would like. The important thing to remember is to avoid clutter and personal objects. If your guest feels like they're surrounded by junk they won't feel very at home. Similarly, if there are personal items like your photos, notebooks, or clothing in the room they will feel like they're intruding in your space. Instead, keep your personal items in your own bedroom or office and think of the guest room as more of a hotel within your home.

Essential items

We won't discuss the obvious necessities of a bedroom (i.e., beds and beddings). Rather, here are some items you may not have thought to include in your guest room that will make your guest feel more at home.
  • Cell phone charger. Odds are your guest only brought one charger with them. But if you have an iPhone or Android (micro USB) charger ready for use on the bedside table, it will let them keep their own charger in their bag for use outside the house.
  • Wi-Fi name and password. Write the Wi-Fi name and password down on a notepad and place it on the bedside table. This way your guest won't have to worry about disturbing you late at night to remind them of the log-in info. It's also a good idea to leave a pen with the notepad in case your guest wants to leave themselves any notes.
  • Empty storage space. To help your guest feel organized, make sure they can use the closet or dresser to unpack their clothes and belongings and store away their suitcase.
  • Tissues and wastebasket. A common, but overlooked, courtesy to include for your guest is a box of tissues and a wastebasket.
  • Ear plugs. Even if you don't live in a noisy neighborhood there may be some late night sounds that have become white-noise to you but that your guest isn't familiar with (i.e. trains, heating or AC sounds, wildlife).
  • Shower caddy with useful items. You can buy a small shower caddy at the dollar store and fill it with useful items for your guest, such as: soap, shampoo, shower sponge, razors, Q-tips, headache medicine, and band-aids. Your guest can bring this back to their bedroom and won't feel like they're taking up space in the bathroom.

Posted by Hillman Homes on 10/10/2016

When you're a new homeowner, it's hard to refrain from walking down the aisle of Bed Bath & Beyond and dumping everything you see into your cart. Initially, when making a shopping list for your new home it will seem like you need everything  and you need it now. It doesn't always make sense, however, to go on shopping sprees and starting several different renovation projects at once in your new home. Whether you need to be conservative with your money or you want to take your time and furnish one room of your house at a time, creating a household spending budget can be an invaluable tool. In this article, we'll cover how to make your own personalized household budget that you and your family or housemates can use to keep yourselves accountable when it comes to making your new house uniquely your own.

Set priorities

Moving into a new home can be sort of like camping out for the first few nights. Many of the basic things you take for granted might not be unpacked  or set up yet. Other items you might still need to purchase. This is a good reminder of which items matter the most when moving into a home. When you prepare to make your budget, think about the items on your list that are the most vital to your daily life. This may be different for each person. If you're an avid yoga practitioner but your yoga mat got ruined in the move, buying a new one might be higher up on your list of priorities than the average person who occasionally stretches. The best way to find out what items are high up on your list is to go through a few days in your new home and write down everything you need, then arrange it in order of importance. From there, we can start setting your budget.

Budgeting tools

Depending on how comfortable you are with technology, you have several options when it comes to ways of keeping a budget. In your Appstore you'll find a plethora of free budgeting apps that all fit a specific need. One of the most popular, Mint, connects securely with your bank account and lets you set up several budgets. It will track your income and spending and categorize your purchases automatically (groceries, gas, bills, etc.). You can set a "household" budget in Mint and make sure all your home purchases go into that category. If you're more inclined to using a spreadsheet, you can use Google Sheets, or a program like Excel to create your budget. The benefit of using Google Sheets is that it is easily shared and synced with others, allowing you to collaborate on the budget together. Your final option is to use a good old fashion hand-written budget. If you don't want it to be forgotten, you could hang it on the refrigerator or write it on a whiteboard hung somewhere highly visible in your house.


The hardest part of budgeting is committing to it. You and your housemates will need to work together to make sure you keep track of your purchases and take the time to plan out your budget, be it weekly or monthly. The best way to do this is to set a reminder in your calendar for a budget planning day once per month with your housemates. Decide what needs to be purchased and who will be buying it. Once you've made a habit of keeping your household budget, you'll be on your way to completing your home in a way that makes sense for you financially.

Tags: budgeting   home   house   tips   advice   apps   budget   appstore  
Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Hillman Homes on 10/3/2016

Woman doing chores in bathroom.The bathroom is, indisputably, the grossest room in a house to clean. Since your bathroom has so many sources of water (sink, toilet, tub, and steam from the shower) that leaves a lot of opportunity for the growth of mold and mildew, and the spread of all kinds of bacteria. As such, cleaning the bathroom thoroughly and often is one of the most important chores you can do in your home. Unfortunately, the bathroom is also a room that takes a long time to clean, in spite of it usually being one of the smaller rooms in your home. Luckily for us, there are several cleaning hacks that will help you save time scrubbing away in the bathroom and help you save money on expensive cleaning supplies. If it's your turn to clean the bathroom, read on for a list of helpful tips to save you time and money when cleaning the bathroom.

  • Grout cleaning. The grout between your tiles can get pretty filthy. To make it shining and white again, combine baking soda and vinegar (not too much vinegar; you want it to form a semi-thick paste). Then use an old toothbrush to scrub the grout and rinse it dry with your shower head.
  • Shower head. Speaking of the shower head, is it getting brown or "rusted" looking? Mix equal parts vinegar and water into a plastic bag. Place the bag over the shower head so it's fully submerged in the solution and wrap a rubber band around it to keep it in place. Forget about it for an hour or so then wipe it off in the tub.
  • Toilet scrubbing. After you scrub your toilet bowl clean, pour some extra cleaner into the bowl and submerge your scrubber in it for an hour. Then rinse and let it hang dry. For added cleanliness, pour some disinfectant in your scrubber holder.
  • Drain cleaning. Straighten out a metal wire hanger and then bend a small (about 1in.) hook into the end. Fish around in your pipe and remove any hair or buildup. Then, pour 1/3 cup baking soda into the drain and add vinegar until it foams to the surface. Let this sit for a half hour and then rinse it down the drain.
  • Toothbrush holder. Toss it in the dishwasher. If it isn't dishwasher safe, add a drop of dish soap and let it soak overnight, then rinse.
  • Curtain liner. Many are washing machine safe. Wash them with a couple hand towels and be sure to use a cold, gentle wash setting. To avoid mold growth, wipe them down with a towel after you shower.
  • Ceiling vent. Rather than trying to reach your vacuum to the ceiling, use a can of compressed air to blow any dust and buildup from your vent.
  • Chrome fixtures. It seems impossible to keep the chrome fixtures on your sink clean and free of water marks for long. After you wash them, let them dry and then polish with plain baby oil to help them shine longer.

Tags: cleaning   bathroom   tips   advice  
Categories: Uncategorized