Rachel Lutts - Marblehead, MA Real Estate, Swampscott, MA Real Estate, Salem, MA Real Estate


The garage can be a haven for your vehicle or a total dumping ground for everything else under the sun. Sometimes that space can become the black hole that you just toss items at when you're in a hurry to move on with other activities. 

Then Spring cleaning fever hits and you are determined to get the garage cleaned out and make it more useful to you and your family. Envisioning space for your car(s), sports equipment, tools and holiday decorations you dive into the weekend project of sorting through and organizing all the stuff.

Useful and Necessary

Emptying everything out of your garage space out into the light to sort through can be half the battle, so enlist the help of the entire able-bodied household member. Put your items in categories when you take them out, this will make evaluating what to keep easier. Take your lifestyle into consideration and then rank each grouping by how often you use them. By the frequency of use, you can assign the proper location. 

Once empty, you can see the layout of your garage space and how to create areas for storage. Frequently items up front towards the garage door for easy access. Holiday storage or seasonal items stored in the back or even up high on shelves or ceiling racks. Once you understand what things will be going back into your garage and the space you have available for storage you can decide how to keep your items organized.

Containers galore

You may dream of neat and tidy boxes all in a row, clearly labeled and uniform in size. That is mostly just a dream. Your items are of all shapes and sizes and need their own individual way of storage. Try to stay away for cardboard boxes since garages can be damp. Clear boxes can help you find your items quickly without having to label. Remember that you can hang things on the wall like yard tools or sports equipment. 

Many creative storage options can be found out there to help you make the most of your garage storage possibilities. Taking a look online can help you find what may work for you. Whatever you choose make sure it has ease of use for those individuals that will be assessing those items on a regular basis.

Take a tour of your local open houses and make sure to peak into the garage space and note the storage possibilities.


Ever have one of those random mornings that everything goes wrong? Worst of all, everyone in the house managed to get ahead of you into the shower and now there's no more hot water. Ugh!

You demand hot water! At least, you'd like to. And you can make demands with an on-demand hot water system.

On-demand Tankless Water Heater

Long used in Europe and other parts of the world, on-demand water heating units typically heat water at that the time the tap turns on rather than heating a tank full of water. According to Energy.gov, an instantaneous-type water heater avoids standby energy losses associated with tank storage water heaters. That can save you money on utilities over time.

Here’s how it works: Tankless water heaters heat the cold water running through the pipe and into the unit. Either electric or gas, the units supply constant hot water as long as the tap is open. And since you don’t need to wait for a tank to fill up, the last person to get in the shower receives the same amount of hot water as the first person.

There are limitations, however, that have to do with the rate of flow. A typical tankless unit will provide between two and five gallons per minute, so if you're used to more water pressure, you might be disappointed. Also, if you install one central until to heat water for the entire home, you'll find this limitation is problematic when running both the dishwasher and the shower or filling a tub at the same time you're washing a load of clothes on hot. To overcome this limitation, install more than one unit in parallel or install several at the point of use: so, place one in each bathroom, one in the laundry room and one in the kitchen.

Point of Use Water Heaters Tank

Another option that works for small amounts of instant hot water, such as to fill a kitchen sink for dishes, is a point-of-use water tank. These are small tanks that hold between two and five gallons, placed on the hot water line near to where you might use them. A two-gallon might work under the kitchen sink so that water for rinsing is available immediately. A larger version, say a five-gallon unit, might go inline to your washer in the laundry room if you need to wash in hot water on a consistent basis.

An advantage of these tanks is that the water is available in the location you need it most, while still being in-line with your main household water tank. The distinct disadvantage is that if you need more hot water than the tank holds, you must wait for it to arrive from the household unit anyway.

Either one might be just the perfect solution for you. Contact a certified installer to give you an idea of your options. And check with your local real estate professional to see how adding one of these units can increase your home’s value.


Before you even set out to buy a home, you may think that you need to look at a magic number of homes in order to find the house that’s right for you. There’s always a fear among buyers that they didn’t look at enough homes before settling on one. The number of homes that you look at is up to you. There is no magic number that will dictate finding the perfect home. The most important thing is to trust your own intuition. In A seller’s market, you also may not have much choice. When inventory is low, if you find a home you love, you’ll need to move to make an offer on it! 


The Average Buyer


People looking at condos take between 1 and 3 months to find the property that’s right for them. Those looking for single family homes tend to take a bit longer- between 3 and 6 months to find a home. Buying a traditional house seems to spark more questions and more uncertainty, which leads buyers to take their time to find what they’re looking for.


Know Where You Want To Live


Before you start your home search, you should have a good idea of where you want to live. Have a list of cities, towns, and neighborhoods narrowed down to make your search a bit easier from the start. Take a ride around potential neighborhoods and get a feel for them. See the stores, restaurants, and nearby parks to really understand the area. 


Match Your Lifestyles


Where you choose to live has a lot to do with your lifestyle. Think of the following:


  • Where your friends live
  • Where your family lives
  • Where you work
  • What you do for fun


Whatever you love and whatever you love to do should be a factor in your home search. If you love the beach, you don’t want to be a three hour drive away if you can help it. You also don’t want a 2-hour commute to work. Find the balance to make your life happier in the new space you choose.      


Make A List


It sounds simple, but making a list of what you must have, what you’d like, and what would be a bonus can really help you in your home search. This holds true whether you look at 2 homes or 50 homes. The number of homes that you look at isn’t as important as your needs and wants. Buying a home is a huge investment and you need to be happy with your decision. While it’s not completely advisable to buy the first house that you see, if you have a good idea of what you want in a tough market, it’s best to put an offer in.


Although you've enjoyed your residence for many years, all good things must come to an end. Now, as you get ready to embark on the next stage of your life, you've decided to leave your neighbors behind and sell your house.

Ultimately, there are many reasons why you should include your neighbors in the home selling process, including:

1. Your neighbors can help you promote your residence.

It may be tough to tell your neighbors that you plan to relocate in the foreseeable future. However, doing so may help you stir up interest from many potential property buyers.

For example, a neighbor may know a family member or friend who is interested in moving into the neighborhood. And if you give this neighbor a heads-up about your intent to sell your house, you may already have at least one person who is interested in buying your house as soon as it becomes available.

Your neighbors also can share your property listing with assorted family members and friends. In addition, don't forget to encourage your neighbors to promote your house on social media.

2. Your neighbors may be able to offer home selling insights.

Your neighborhood likely is full of property owners who understand the ins and outs of buying a house. Furthermore, your neighbors may be able to provide home selling insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.

It never hurts to ask a neighbor what he or she thinks of your home. By doing so, you can gain honest, unbiased feedback about your residence and may be able to identify problem areas that you previously did not consider. Then, you can allocate the time and resources to improve your home's exterior and interior and ensure your house stands out in a competitive real estate market.

3. Your neighbors can help keep your neighborhood looking great.

Your neighbors may want you to stay in the neighborhood. But if your neighbors are true friends, they will probably do whatever they can to help you achieve your desired home selling results.

Letting your neighbors know that you plan to list your house may lead them to upgrade their properties as well. This may enable all of the houses in a neighborhood to stand out to visitors and will make it simple for homebuyers to envision what life would be like if they moved into the neighborhood.

Lastly, if you need extra help as you get ready to sell your home, feel free to reach out to a real estate agent. With a housing market professional at your side, you should have no trouble navigating the home selling journey.

A real estate agent will provide expert tips throughout each stage of the home selling process. Plus, he or she will set up home showings, negotiate with property buyers on your behalf and do everything possible to simplify the home selling cycle.

Collaborate with your neighbors throughout the home selling journey, and you can boost your chances of a quick home sale.


At times, trying to organize and declutter seems like a never ending task. You may have made attempts to declutter without many results. The truth is that with a plan, even the most disorganized among us can get on track to organization and freedom from clutter. Follow some of the tips below to get your home in order. 


Have A Goal


If your organizational attempts never seem to go anywhere, you may just need a goal. The idea is to pick one area and complete it. Organizing a little here and there won’t make any kind of a dent in your organizational needs. It will also look like you haven’t done anything to improve your mess. Work on one room, one area at a time and you’ll be on your way.


Utilize All Of Your Shelves


Many times the bottom or the top shelf of a closet or utility unit ends up getting unused. The problem could be that the shelves are so tall that no one can reach them and they go unused. You can fix this problem by simply moving the shelving or placing rarely used items up there that can be accessed by a step ladder.


You Have Too Much Stuff And Nowhere To Put It


Rather than buy a bigger house, you might want to go through your stuff. Between you and your children, you’re bound to have quite a few items that can be either sold or donated to a good cause. Consider setting up a donation pile in your house, where family members can put items that they no longer need or use. As an extra tip, don’t let the items that are for donation sit there. When the bin is full, put it in your car and head off to the donation center.  



You Have A Lot Of Little Things With Nowhere To Place Them


This is a problem that can be solved by the right containers. If you can find a container that’s best suited for what you need to store, it will be much easier to find and access these items.  


Things Have Sentimental Value


It’s nice to have a few things that you cherish and bring back good memories, but sentimental value items can really get out of hand. If you think of when you last looked at something or how much memory an item truly holds for you, it can be easy to get rid of a lot of things when you put your mind to it. You can ask a friend to help you go through things. An outsider can advise you on what to save and what you should get rid of.


Your Refrigerator Is Gross


If you’re finding a lot of spoiled food and moldy leftovers in your fridge, don’t fret. Just develop a clean out schedule to help you get rid of any food that is past its prime. Make it a point to have a designated day of the week to clean out all of your leftovers and expired food to keep the clutter that can spoil at bay.




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