Matt Gamache - Touchstone Realty



Posted by Matt Gamache on 9/11/2019

During the winter season, many people are forced to stay indoors, exposing them to different kinds of allergens like pet dander, dust, and mold. These indoors allergens have a lot of adverse health effect like stuffy nose, sneezing, teary, itchy or red eyes, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, wheezing, coughing, and Itching.

One of the ways to reduce the levels of allergens in your home is by using environmental control products. These products will help minimize the effect of the indoor allergens on your health. The five tips to reduce indoor allergens are as follows:

Replace the furnace filter

You should not overlook the furnace filter when getting rid of allergens in your home. Allergens like pet dander and dust can accumulate in the air duct. The use of an high-efficiency furnace filter is an effective way to minimize the amount of harmful indoor allergens in your home. Make it a point of duty to change your every ninety days. 

Change your bedding 

Carpets, mattresses, pillows, and rugs are some of those things we use in the house that harbor allergens. To help minimize allergens in the home, consider the use of box springs, encased mattresses, and pillows covered with allergen-proof material. By so doing, you will reduce your exposure to allergens while you sleep. 

Tidy up your house regularly 

Dusting the house when necessary will help cut down on allergens like pet dander and dust mites. For proper cleaning of your home, you can use a HEPA filter to vacuum the whole house and use an electrostatic cloth or a microfiber when dusting your books and other necessary areas of the house. A microfiber or an electrostatic fiber cloth that will attract the dust is essential because the dirt will stick to the surface of the fabric rather than moving around while you are dusting. 

Avoid pet dander

Just like humans, winter season forces pets to stay indoors. The saliva and dander of common pets such as dogs and cat are allergic. You can minimize the amount of dander your pet sheds by bathing them once in a week. Moreover, always wash hands thoroughly after petting a pet and keep the pets out of bedrooms. 

Monitor Humidity Level

Many people use humidifiers in their homes to improve the amount of moisture in the air during winter. Humidifying is an excellent way to prevent dryness, but if you don't monitor the level of humidity, you might be making your home favorable for the growth of dust miles and mold. Employ the use of humidity meter to control the level of moisture in your home.

Consider the tips given above to reduce the indoor allergens in your home and put an end to its adverse effect on your health. If you’re shopping for a new home, let your real estate agent know about any hypoallergenic needs so they can find properties with integrated air filters and other similar features.




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Posted by Matt Gamache on 5/29/2019

You recently moved to a new house so, good for you! You upgraded to a larger living space. The kids each have a room, and the house has a living room and a den along with a kitchen nook and a formal dining room, office and plenty of bathrooms. You're all set to start your new life of entertaining, playing and enjoying your new home. There's just one thing, you have all this new space, and now you have to clean it. Tackling housekeeping with a large house can be daunting and exhausting if you can afford a cleaning service, excellent! Do it. If not, here are some tips to making housekeeping manageable in your new home.

Little by little. Not all at once. 

You might be tempted to set aside one day a week, or every other week for cleaning. Don't make the novice mistake of believing you can quickly knock out all rooms and get your house in tip-top shape all in one day. You might pull it off the first couple times, but it's exhausting and can easily lead to burning out and not cleaning at all, ever. You don't want that. Instead, inventory the rooms in your home and the chores you need to tackle to keep your home looking pristine. Then, create a schedule with a couple of tasks assigned to each day. Depending on your home size, you can create a weekly schedule or bi-weekly plan. In your planning don't forget to give yourself a day or two off each week that can be hassle and chore free.

Room by room, or task by task? Tackle your housekeeping in the best way that works for you. If you function better and get a better sense of satisfaction from completing an entire room, then schedule a room or two each day and stick to just that room. It might work better for you to plan a specific task and apply it to the house as a whole. Start with dusting all rooms, then sweeping all floors, then vacuuming or mopping. Have one day for laundry or do a load every other day to stay on top of the dirty clothes. Whatever your preference, find a way to split up the work over a week or two weeks to keep yourself from burn out.

Hold your family members accountable. 

Employ your family to help you maintain your home. Put each child in charge of keeping their own spaces clean. If they share a bathroom have them take turns cleaning it each week or have them clean together. Assign daily dish duty and laundry folding to stay on top of constant cleaning needs. Ask your partner for help in maintaining the home. Maybe they sweep, and you mop or they pick up the daily clutter and run loads of laundry while you tackle the cleaning projects.

Moving into your new house should be exciting and exhilarating. Don't let the task of maintaining your new home negatively impact enjoying your new life. If you're in very early stages of your home search talk with your real estate agent about your living space needs and about your lifestyle and available time to find the best house to suit your family without bogging, you down with housekeeping.




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Posted by Matt Gamache on 4/10/2019

Finding a stain on a cherished piece of household furniture can be infuriating. Removing stains can become difficult when not treated properly and promptly. Keep your furniture always looking as good as new with these helpful stain eliminating tips.

Food stains on furniture

Every once in a while dinner is eaten on the comfort of your couch. While this can be a relaxing evening habit, it also puts your furnishings at risk for unwanted stains. Every kind of fabric will require different treatment for blemishes, but here are a few common ones. 

  • Untreated Leather- Cover the stain with a few spoonfuls of baking soda. Use your fingers to blot it into the affected area. Once baking soda is applied, let it sit for 15 minutes and then use your vacuum to remove the powder. Be sure to utilize the brush attachment on your vacuum head to brush off most of the residue.
  • Cotton or Linen- Mix together one tablespoon of white vinegar and two-thirds cup of rubbing alcohol in a bowl. Dip a sponge into the liquid and blot it onto the affected area. Let the treatment sit for a few minutes then wipe clean with a cloth until mixture is absorbed.
  • Microfiber- To clean this material, you'll only need a bottle of Windex and a clean rag. Spray the Windex onto the affected area and scrub the fabric with a brush or sponge. Let it sit for a few brief minutes and then wipe it dry with a clean rag.

Water rings on wood

When a guest comes over, it can be challenging to monitor if they are using a coaster on your wooden furniture. Placing glasses with moisture can result in an unattractive white ring leaving evidence where the beverage once sat. Remove this stain with this simple solution. Place a dry rag over the affected area. Then, place a hot iron (with no steam) over the cloth and let it sit there for one minute. Once you remove the iron and rag, your wood should be as good as new.

Carpet Stains

Removing stains from your carpet or rug may seem like a day’s work, but with three simple ingredients, you’ll have a fresh looking floor in no time. For this task, you’ll need an empty plastic spray bottle. Mix together two ounces of hydrogen peroxide, one ounce of dawn dish soap, and two tablespoons of baking soda. Add the contents to the spray bottle and shake to combine the ingredients. Spray the stained surface and let sit until the area is completely dry. Lastly, run your vacuum over the treated area for a finished result. 

Getting rid of most household stains does not require expensive products or services. Most of the solutions can be found right in your kitchen cabinet. Share these helpful tips with friends and family during your next dinner party accident.




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Posted by Matt Gamache on 11/7/2018

Microfiber cloths have become incredibly popular in recent years. Especially within the “green clean” crowd. And with good reason, while they might look like just another cleaning cloth they are actually in a class of their own.

In fact, you could think of them as the heavyweight champions of the cleaning cloth world. Because of the “micro” in microfiber, these clothes are able to do a lot more of the grunt work without the aid of a cleaning product. And those instances you would pair it up with a cleaner? You would need far less of it than you would if using another cloth material.

I know using less cleaner or even none at all sounds counterintuitive. But here’s why eliminating the need to use cleaning product is a good thing - if you don’t properly clean the surface of cleaning product residue you are going to be creating a dirt magnet. Huh?
Yup! You see it comes down to the chemistry of how cleaning products clean. There are specific molecules inside the cleaner that when combined with water are actually attracted to dirt and grime and able to carry them away. They pick them all up and hold them close. So when they haven't properly cleared away from the surface they keep doing their job! They attract more dirt and more grime, holding on to every last bit they can.

As you can imagine the more product you have to use to clean up, the higher your chance leaving residue behind. This is where microfiber cloths save the day. Their unique two-pronged fibers that are indeed micro are able to pick up and hold onto anything it comes across. All without leaving anything behind it in its tracks.

Use dry for regular dusting and wet for all other uses. And how many there are! Tackle tile, counters, shower walls, and mirrors. All with just water and your microfiber cloth. Seriously, you won’t need glass clean or any sort of cleaning product here.

Use on a Swiffer in lieu of disposables for both dry and wet mopping floors. Keep one on hand in either your bag or car to spot clean any accidental spills on clothes. Yes, they can even tackle clothing stains! Replace germ breeding loofahs out for a microfiber. Store one in the bathroom cabinet for easy access to wipe down the counter and sink each day. And use one to wipe down the shower after use.

The care and keeping is simple. Daily clothes can be rinsed in warm water after use, machine washing weekly. However, avoid bleach and fabric softener as each will damage your cloth and reduce its effectiveness. “Refresh” clothes by boiling them in water with baking soda.  





Posted by Matt Gamache on 10/10/2018

Moving day is an exciting day but it’s also a lot of work and can even be a little stressful. Everything is boxed up and feels near impossible to find when you need it. Avoid scrambling through boxes to find a trash bag or paper towels.

Be prepared on moving day no matter what comes your way with a cleanup toolkit on hand.

Messes happen even on moving day. By packing a special box that is clearly labeled with these items inside you’ll be ready for anything.

  • Ziplock bags

  • Permanent marker

  • Trash bags

Have ziplock bags on hand to wrangle up loose screws and other bits and bobs. Use a marker to write on the bag what the contents belong to. Trash bags are for the obvious: trash. No matter how much you clean out and clean up you will find you have some sort of trash on moving day. Have at least one ready and waiting.

  • Dustpan and brush

  • Paper towels

  • Window spray

  • All-purpose spray

  • Dusting clothes

  • Microfiber cloths

  • Spray bottle

For messes left behind by the previous owners and any spills that may happen. Dust items before putting them away on shelves or hanging back up on walls. Wipe down windows and mirrors. Run a dusting cloth over shelves and banisters. And always have a few paper towels at the ready - just in case.

  • Hand soap

  • Hand towels

  • Toilet paper

  • Plunger

Because the bathroom will be the first to be used so have the essentials in place. Let’s be honest, these are not the things you want to dig to the bottom of a box for. Pull these out and set up the bathroom as soon as you first step into the new house.

  • Air freshener

  • Disinfecting wipes

Not necessities, but certainly nice-to-haves. Wipe down counters, doorknobs and switch plates with a disinfectant wipe. Air fresheners take care of any funky smells left behind from previous owners or from sitting vacant for a while.

Having a cleaning kit on hand and at the ready allows you to clean up as you go. You don’t want to start cleaning up after you’ve unpacked and put everything away. Do it beforehand for an easy, seamless moving experience.  

Tackles messes as they come up, proactively clean as you start moving items in and avoid digging through boxes to find disinfectant wipes or a trash bag. Clearly label your box in large print and/or color code it with a bright colored packing tape. This way you’ll know exactly which box has your supplies and where it is at all times.

Make your new house your home by freshening it up before unpacking. It will feel so good to have a clean organized home from day one.




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