Helping the Elderly Clean Their Home

Posted Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Ensuring that your loved one lives in a clean home.

We all want to do our best for our aging relatives. The National Family Caregiver Support center recently issued a study that shows over 45 million people are caring for a disabled, elderly or chronically ill family member every year. On average, these people provide 25 hours of care per week—the equivalent of a part-time job. That’s also twice the amount of annual care as that provided by paid caregivers, making recent developments in self-sustainable elder care like bath lifts and stair lifts important for several reasons. If you are helping care for an elderly relative, think about these steps so that you can provide the best care while staying healthy yourself.

Tackling the mess with an elderly relative.

A cleaner space is a safer space and a healthier space, so many caregivers are motivated to cut some of the clutter, and certainly to eliminate dirt, debris and mold. However, older people can find it difficult to let go of possessions, or even handle the physical demands of cleaning. Given the difficult and personal nature of this task, it’s usually up to family to handle it. It’s helpful to be prepared for the emotional and logistical issues that arise. This may be a good time to ask for other family members for assistance in helping your relative sort through the valuable and the sentimental.

Reasons that older relatives struggle to organize.

Your relative’s failing health makes routine tasks much harder than they once were. But that’s not the only reason that cleaning can become such a thorny issue. Once people reach a certain age, some struggle with certain psychological barriers to throwing things out. Even rearranging can seem daunting. For some, possessions help fill the ache of loneliness. For others, depression makes even the simplest tasks seem overwhelming. And many older people, losing the independence they’ve had in other areas of life, value having control over their personal space, including decisions about which things go and which stay. Work with your relative as much as possible to help them retain a sense of control over their life.

Remember to respect your loved one’s choices.

This is a difficult time of life for caregivers but also for those who are increasingly dependent on your help. Just because someone is getting older shouldn’t mean their opinion doesn’t matter. When something happens that makes you think someone needs help cleaning and organizing, talk with them. Bring up your concerns, and ask if you can work together to decide what has to happen. The more involved they are, the less anxiety people feel, and the more you’ll be able to tackle these problems as a team.

Make a plan.

Going through someone else’s home is a big job. Ahead of time, walk through the home and make a list of issues that you will need to address. The most urgent tasks are health and safety hazards. You’ll want to check that the fire alarms are working, walkways are clear, food is fresh, etc. Second, address hording or organizing issues. Is the basement a maze of boxes and closets stuffed to the brim? Finally, consider how you can make the space feel welcoming and familiar, noting particularly special possessions you can showcase. The end goal is to make your loved one secure and happy in their home.

Come with the right tools for the job.

Whether it’s a weekend project while you visit from out-of-town, or a sustained effort at nearby relative’s home, get everything you need to work ready before you show up. This will be different depending on the scope of the undertaking. Think about whether you need to arrange for a dumpster, or maybe to rent a storage unit. When you arrive come with boxes, trash bags, tape, gloves, and any cleaning products you plan to use. Ask friends and family to help out – it’s important to take care of yourself too.

Try the three box method.

If you’ve gotten all the obvious health and safety hazards under control, then it’s time to think about what to do with a lifetime of heirlooms, junk, and everyday objects. As much as possible, include your relative. Walk through each room and divide what you find into three piles. One is to keep, another to donate, and the last to toss. This can take hours and be emotionally draining, so allow people with fragile health time to rest.

Finish with a deep clean.

Once you’ve done some basic decluttering and housekeeping, finish with some deep-cleaning. Particularly if this is a short visit to a relative’s home, you want to leave everything as clean as possible. Since you may be tired after your earlier efforts, you might consider hiring someone to thoroughly clean bathrooms and appliances.

Don’t forget that upholstery, draperies and carpets trap odors, mold, dander, and bacteria as well. A professional carpet cleaner can take care of this dirty task for you. Modernistic has flexible scheduling, which allows us to work with you to leave your loved one’s home as clean as possible. After using our services you’ll know they are as comfortable as possible until your return. Use our easy online scheduling tool to make an appointment today.

Helping the elderly clean their home in Jackson, Michigan for 40 years.

Staying Dry by Sealing Your Basement

Posted Friday, January 27th, 2017

April showers bring basement floods.

It may still feel like the dead of winter now (because it is), but with Michigan’s changeable weather, you never know when a sudden thaw might leave you in an ocean of trouble. As spring approaches, we can look forward to rain and melting snow raising the water tables in our neighborhoods. Especially when you have had a water problem before, this is the time of year you might start getting anxious. You can hire a professional to waterproof your basement, but if that is out of your budget there are a few simple things that you can do on your own.

Check Gutters and Downspouts

Water that pools around your house needs somewhere to go. Unfortunately, that place is usually your basement. If you know you need new gutters, that your existing gutters need cleaning, or that you should extend your downspouts, take care of it as soon as the whether warms. That way you’ll be prepared for spring storms.

Have your sump pump serviced by a professional.

There are many things that can go wrong with your sump pump. Tethered floats, the most common kind, are known for getting stuck on the side walls of the pit, or the mechanical pressure switch can fail.  Sometimes your sump pump simply doesn’t have the capability to pump the amount of of water necessary, especially if your home is in an area with a high water table. The best way to keep everything running like it should is to have someone service your pump regularly. That way you’ll know there is a problem before your basement floods.

Seal the small vertical cracks in your foundation.

Basement walls will naturally form small vertical cracks as the house settles. This does not show a serious foundation issue. Wide horizontal cracks, on the other hand, indicate a larger problem that requires the attention of a foundation professional immediately. However, water will seep through any opening, so after the house settles seal any cracks you find. You can use DIY sealants from any hardware store, but for absolute security, hire a professional.

If you already have standing water in your basement.

Shut off any electricity that runs to this area before doing anything else. Then look for the source of the water. If it is coming from an interior leak, like a burst pipe, shut off the water to that section of pipe and call a good plumber. If it is coming from outside, your first priority is dry out the space and then address the larger drainage issues.

In either case contact Modernistic for immediate flood mitigation services. We will be there in less than two hours, any time of day or night. Our IIRC technicians can determine the cause of the flood an immediately begin removing standing water. We will also provide top quality restoration services and assign you a specialized case manager to handle the insurance claims process.

Helping Royal Oak, MI residents recover from flood damages for 40 years.

Cleaning your carpet can help you sell your home

Posted Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Trying to sell your home? Cleaning your carpet may be the trick you need.

Whether you’re changing jobs, growing a family, or emptying your nest, selling your home can be a lot of work. Fortunately, a good realtor can help you maximize your efforts and net the most cash at the end of the sale.

One of the most important aspects of selling your home is staging it well. You can’t change your home’s location, and while doubling the garage size or adding an extra bedroom would up the property value, it takes more time and money than most sellers want to invest. So a good staging can add that extra oomph your house needs to attract interest.

What is staging?

Staging your home includes everything from taking out the trash to deep cleaning: anything that will make a house more homey and inviting to a potential buyer. Since you want your potential buyers to envision their home in your house, efforts to “depersonalize” your home can help give it a boost in the potential buyer’s mind. Removing family pictures, clothes, boots, toothbrushes, and heirlooms can help keep the buyer thinking about how their own personal touches would appear in the house. But don’t worry if your house begins to feel empty: A house most attractive to potential buyers has about 60 percent of the amount of “stuff” that most people like to have to live in. That means it’s helpful to clear out all your clutter and, if possible, some of your furniture and art.

Cleaning is a vitally important part of staging.

Have you ever been a guest in a dirty home? It’s hard not to wonder what’s growing behind the toilet or how long that spill on the counter has been there. Nothing makes people feel less at home than someone else’s mess. If the house isn’t clean, potential buyers will have a hard time feeling comfortable, and comfort is a must in every home.

So cleaning your home and carpet can help you sell your home, but how clean does your house need to be? The short answer is: very. Sweep, mop, brush, vacuum, wipe—give your house the works. Having the house deep-cleaned can give it a crisp, fresh new feel that can have potential buyers feeling right at home and ready to make their own fresh start.

Let’s take a look at the carpet.

What does your carpet look like to a potential buyer? Perhaps more importantly, what does your carpet smell like to a potential buyer? Cleaning your carpet can help you sell your home, so take a look around: are there dog hairs lining the walls or mysterious stains peeking out from below the furniture? You might not think much about a stain if you remember your toddler taking a tumble with a cup of juice. But don’t forget that potential buyers don’t know the story, and they’re probably going to feel uncomfortable walking on it.

Do I need to deep-clean my carpet?

If your carpet is old, has stains, smells funny, or hasn’t been deep cleaned in a few years, a good deep-cleaning can take care of these problems. Unfortunate odors and stains in carpet are usually caused by food, animal dander, or the mold that comes from trapped moisture. Good professional cleaners with high-quality equipment can remove these from your carpet, so it will look and smell its best.

As a bonus, deep cleaning will reduce the allergen count in your rooms. Dust mites, mold, and animal dander are some of the main allergy triggers for people who have household allergies, and they often hide in carpet. A deep-clean will clear these out and cart them away. Even if you don’t have home allergies, a potential buyer might, and triggering an allergic reaction won’t help them feel comfortable. And that’s just one more way cleaning your carpet can help you sell your home!

What about carpet protection? Is that worth it?

If your house is on the market, you’ll have lots of potential buyers tramping in and out with their realtors, taking a look at the place and assessing it, until it goes under contract. You just cleaned your home and paid for a deep-cleaning. How do you feel about their muddy boots and hot coffee on your carpet?

Carpet protection can keep spills, stains, and dirt from doing their worst damage. How do they work? First, it prevents liquid from soaking into the carpet fibers, so a quick-response blotting can remove more of the spill. And second, they prevent spills from attaching themselves from the fibers, so the next vacuum or deep clean can more easily collect the grime and take it away.

If cleaning your carpet can help you sell your home, keeping it clean is just as important.

Home sweet home

With a beautifully staged and professionally cleaned home, you’re sure to have solid offers before too long. If you have a good realtor to guide you through the process, you’ll soon close on the house, have some more cash in the bank, and be ready to move on to life’s next adventure.

Helping residents of West Bloomfield, Michigan, stage their homes for 40 years.

Protect Your Home From Frozen Pipes

Posted Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Don’t let frozen pipes flood your home.

Water expands when it freezes, which makes icebergs float and pipes burst. Any enclosed water that freezes will expand putting extreme pressure on water supply lines, pipes (including metal pipes), hoses, and water sprinkler lines. Sometimes the unfortunate result is a burst pipe, which, as soon as it thaws, will flood your home with gallons of water. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety says that this could cost you on average about $5000.00 dollars. Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect your home from frozen pipes.

Know where the pipes are likely to freeze.

You need to be the most concerned about pipes running anywhere cold. Pipes in unsealed crawl spaces, uninsulated attics, garages, or along exterior walls are the most at risk. Sometimes if your walls are insufficiently insulated, pipes inside cabinets that run along these walls could freeze. Do you feel a cold draft when you open cabinets secured to exterior walls? Keep an eye on the pipes inside.

Before the temperature drops take precautionary measures

You know where your pipes are most likely to freeze. Now, take some steps to keep that from happening. Shut off inside valves that supply water to outdoor water hookups and spigots. Open these hose bibs to allow any water inside to drain out, and leave them open. If you know that a pipe is poorly insulated, use a handy product like a pipe-sleeve, or UL listed heating cable to keep it warm. The American Red Cross reports that even a ¼ inch of newspaper wrapped around your pipes can make a noticeable difference (if the pipe isn’t in prolonged freezing temperatures).

Think about larger issues.

It may take a licensed professional, but here in the north you might want to take serious steps to avoid burst pipes. Be sure to insulate your crawl space, and maybe think about sealing it. All pipes should be on the interior side of the insulation. Landlords should consider winterizing the plumbing on vacant properties, so that you don’t have any unpleasant and expensive surprises. This is also something homeowners should consider doing for second homes, especially vacation houses here in Michigan where the temperature is routinely below 20 degrees in the winter.

Don’t leave home without doing these things.

Open cabinet doors on cupboards with pipes, allowing warm air to circulate. Make sure that the air is warm enough to prevent frozen pipes by setting your thermostat no lower that 55 degrees, even while you’re away. You might think that going lower will save you money, but that reduced energy bill won’t offset the cost of a flood from a burst pipe. Finally, let water drip from any tap that is connected to a pipe that might freeze. The flowing water will help prevent freezing.

Keep a few key phone numbers in an accessible place.

You don’t want to waste time comparing plumbers while your family heirlooms float past your feet. Write down the number of a trusted plumber somewhere readily available. Put your insurance agent’s line down as well. Finally, remember that Modernistic’s IICRC certified technicians are available 24/7 with a lightning fast response time. Contact us any time of night or day—we’re ready to bail you out (literally).

Helping homes recover from frozen pipe damage in Battle Creek, Michigan, for 40 years.

How to visually inspect your plumbing

Posted Friday, January 20th, 2017

Knowing what to look for can save your home from flooding

Becoming a homeowner is a big step. Some of the skills you need to keep your home running smoothly are pretty easy to figure out, like shoveling your sidewalk or paying your energy bill on time. Others are a lot harder to master. The good news is that you can easily learn a bit about your plumbing, even though it might seem daunting at first. Moreover, the effort is well worth it. You’ll avoid the expense of learning something is wrong only after leaking water has caused a great deal of cosmetic and structural damage. Here’s a short list of things to look for that signal trouble.

Inspecting exposed pipes

For this job you’ll need a good flashlight and some patience. Look under your laundry, bathroom and kitchen sinks. Once you’ve cleared away a year’s worth of old cleaning supplies and half-used bottles of shampoo, check all the valves and connections. Even if you don’t see water dripping currently, is there corrosion at any of these points? That’s a sure indicator you have a leak on your hands. You should also look at the bottoms and backs of cabinets. Water stains and mildew here are like neon signs blinking “Leaky Pipes.”

Check your supply lines.

The supply lines in your home bring gas and water to your appliances. Water supply lines will run to the dishwasher, icemaker, toilet, water heater, and washing machine. These lines have supply valves which will cut off the flow of the water. Make sure these are working, since it’s important to be able to turn off the water before leaving on trips. Look for dripping water or leaking. Some of these supply lines carry a lot of water, and a broken line can cause a big flood. Again, corrosion around the connections or valves signals impending leakage.

Look on floors and ceilings.

Do you see water-damaged, cracked, or warped flooring near the base of the refrigerator (if it has an icemaker), bathtub, shower or dishwasher? Persistent dampness in these spaces will damage the floors, and probably means that there is a leak. If your bathtub or shower is not properly sealed, the accruing moisture can destroy the subfloor as well, creating an expensive repair. Brown watermarks on the ceiling show that the water is leaching through the subflooring. Act fast if you see them on the ceiling directly below a bathroom or a major appliance.

Check for drainage issues outside the house.

If your gutters are clogged or blocked by ice, water spills over the edges and lands right along the foundation. This water presses along your foundation walls looking for somewhere to go. You’ll end up with anything from elevated levels of dampness and mildew to a river water running through your basement. Make sure all your gutters are draining properly and that your downspouts carry the water at least five feet away from the house. Worst case scenario, untreated drainage issues outside will cause structural damage to your foundation and cost you tens of thousands to fix everything.

Loose toilets are often leaky.

Put your hands firmly on either side of the toilet and shake it gently. Does it rock back and forth at all? If the toilet is loose it often begins to leak around the base. To see if it is already leaking flush the toilet 3–5 times, then look carefully along the sides and behind the toilet. Water around the base will damage the floor, so even if you don’t see much leaking water, look at the flooring to see if it is cracked or warped. Finally, a spongy feel to the floor around the toilet means that the water has already begun to damage the subfloor materials.

When should you call a professional?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably not a plumber. While every responsible homeowner should know how to inspect their own plumbing, once you’ve identified the problem, call for reinforcements. A licensed plumber can confirm what you suspect and tackle the problem right away. Of course, sometimes you know there’s a problem only because you are floating boats across your basement. As soon as you’ve called your trusted plumber, make another call to Modernistic. We’re here with a 24/7 emergency response team to get that water out before it damages your home permanently. When disaster strikes, Modernistic is ready.

Bailing out residents of Mt. Pleasant, MI for 40 years.

How to choose new carpet for your nursery

Posted Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

4 tips for choosing new nursery carpeting.

Bringing a baby home is a joyful occasion. Your family is growing, and when the tiny newest member comes home for the first time, you want to have a cozy place ready and waiting. For the first few months, your little one will probably spend most of his or her time in your arms or in the cradle. But before you know it, it’ll be time to explore.

Children spend a lot of time on the floor, scooching, crawling, walking, tumbling, and finding things to put in their mouths. So, in addition to color and texture, it’s important that the carpet in the nursery be safe and child-friendly. Here are four things to consider when you choose new carpet for your nursery.

1. Carpeting or not?

A padded floor can be a great advantage in a nursery. It keeps your feet warm during middle-of-the-night trips to calm a crying child and, more importantly, protects a child from the bumps and bruises that often accompany the first attempts at walking. It’s also quieter to walk on, making it less likely that you’ll disturb your child at nap time, and that they’ll disturb you less once they start tumbling about and making a ruckus. So if you’re trying to decide whether or not to carpet a nursery, carpeting is definitely the way to go.

On the other hand, if you already have hardwood floors, consider adding a rug to help cushion the area. This will help protect your toddler in case of a fall, and will also prevent toys from breaking to pieces if they’re dropped. Rugs are also easier to replace if they get ripped or stained, and you can update them to suit your child’s tastes and interests as they grow.

2. Install early and give it a good clean.

While carpets are a great option to help keep a room padded and baby-friendly, it’s best to install a new carpet early and give it a good clean before the baby arrives. This is due to that “new carpet smell” which adults recognize and easily forget about, but which can be much more troubling for babies. While it may sound odd to clean a brand-new carpet, Modernistic can help remove any residue left over by the manufacturing and installation process. And all our cleaning agents are pet and child-friendly, so there’s no need to worry about your little one crawling over the carpet.

3. Soft, safe, and secure.

When considering carpet or a rug, run your hands along it and think about how it feels. You want to choose a fiber that feels naturally soft to protect your baby’s delicate skin. Remember, this is where your baby will be practicing tummy time and pre-walking army crawl. Also consider choosing a natural fiber for your carpet. They may be a little more expensive, but they have other benefits, such as being naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic.

If you’re looking at an area rug, remember that they can slide all over a hard floor if they’re not secured in place. So find a carpet pad that will grip and protect the floor below, and, as a bonus, add some extra padding for those toddler tumbles.

4. But how does it look?

The most obvious consideration in choosing new carpet for your nursery is how it looks with the rest of the decor. You want to create a space that’s inviting and calming and beautiful, but that also provides fun colors, patterns, and textures for your child to explore.

If you’re already planning lots of patterns and prints in the room, a solid color on the floor is your best bet to prevent the room from looking too busy. Consider the rest of your decor: What color do you want to highlight? Try to find a rug or carpet in that color. A splash of blue on the floor will bring out the blue in the patterns on the curtains and furniture.

On the other hand, if most of the nursery is blocks of solid color, the rug can be a fun place to add some pattern. Try to find a rug with one or two colors also used elsewhere in the decor to tie the room together. You can also use a patterned rug to highlight a theme in the nursery. A kid’s zebra-print rug can enhance an animal theme, or a leaf pattern can boost a woodsy theme.

Be sure to measure the room and make a plan before purchasing an area rug. Size is important, but so is shape and position: if the crib or dresser has one leg on and three legs off, it will wobble.

Keeping your nursery carpet clean.

Carpets and rugs are far and away your best choice for nursery decorating, but they need regular cleaning to stay that way. Blot up spills as soon as they occur, and vacuum on a regular schedule of at least once a week. When you do, make sure to go slowly in both directions to help pull up dust and dander from lower down.

And with all the excitement of bringing a newborn home, don’t forget to keep up with your semi-annual carpet cleaning. As parents, you know how important it is to keep your children healthy and safe. Regular professional carpet cleaning will cut down on allergens buried in the carpet fibers, and our truck-mounted extraction system will go even further, removing 96% of all bacteria and allergens with every cleaning. You’ll keep your growing family healthy, and extend the life of your carpet while you’re at it.

When you’re ready to set up an appointment, contact Modernistic. We’re here to help you create a clean and cozy environment for when you bring your new baby home.

Keeping nurseries clean in Middleville, Michigan for 40 years.

Have an Emergency Plan for Dealing with Frozen Pipes

Posted Monday, January 16th, 2017

Michigan winters are tough. Make sure you know what to do if your pipes freeze.

You did everything you could to prevent frozen pipes this winter. You added extra insulation, safely dismantled hoses, wrapped pipes in extra insulation, and kept the house warm. Still, once the temperature falls you should have a plan for dealing with frozen pipes, just in case.

Inspect your pipes for signs of freezing.

Check on the pipes you think are most likely to freeze. If you see frost along the length of a pipe or an area that looks abnormally swollen your pipe is probably frozen. There is another less obvious indicator that your pipe is frozen as well.  If you turn on the tap and nothing comes out, you may have a frozen pipe. You may not know exactly which pipe carries water to that section of the house, but check any nearby that lie along the exterior walls.

Shut off the water to the frozen pipe.

You should familiarize yourself with where water shut-off valves are located. In a crisis you don’t want to be running around like a slapstick comedian, getting soaked and looking for the shut-off. If learning where all the shut-off valves are seems too intimidating, at least know where the main water shut-off valve is for your home.

Thawing frozen pipes.

When you locate the frozen pipe there are a few things you can do to thaw it out before it bursts. Warm the pipe with a safe heating source, like an electric heating pad, a hair dryer, a space heater, or heating tape. Never use a heat source with an open flame, particularly on plastic pipes. As you warm the pipes, leave the faucet open. When some of the ice melts, water will begin to run through the pipe, speeding the thaw. You’ll know you’ve melted all the ice once water pressure is back at full strength.

What to do after a pipe bursts.

The first thing to do when a pipe bursts is shut off the water supply to this particular part of the house. You want to cut off the gushing water quickly as possible. Then call a licensed plumber who is qualified to make the repair, and your insurance agent. Finally, contact Modernistic. Freezing temperatures might be round the clock, but we’re here too with 24/7 emergency assistance. Our mitigation crew will arrive within an hour and a half to begin assessing the damage and extracting the water. When frozen pipes flood your home, Modernistic is there.

Serving Berkley, Michigan, for 40 years.

How to Set Up a Regular Cleaning Schedule

Posted Friday, January 13th, 2017

How to keep your house clean (and hardly try at all)

There’s a certain mystique about clean houses. Everyone knows someone who just seems to effortlessly have a tidy home. No matter when you arrive, things look orderly, bathrooms stay sparkling, and toys seem to remain in designated areas. We know that these mythic homemakers can’t really always have a clean space, but we can’t help but wonder how they do it. The cleaning professionals at Modernistic are here to solve the mystery. Almost anyone can have a spotless home without feeling overwhelmed by chores. All you need a realistic cleaning schedule.

Realistically consider your time and energy.

Pick your most productive times for cleaning. If you know you’re consistently tired in the evening, don’t save all the dishes for after supper. Tackle them in the morning when you’re energetic. Remember that time, like money, is usually lost in small increments. It can be hard to find an hour to work on cleaning, but most of us have five or ten minutes to spare. Pay attention to little moment of time that are easily wasted. Try establishing productive habits, like wiping the counters every morning as you wait for the coffee to brew.

Decide what must be done every day.

Some chores are manageable if you do just a little bit every day, but left unattended for even forty-eight hours they become incredibly daunting. Focus on putting in small regular amounts of time, rather than needing to finish the task entirely. If you can wash, dry, and fold one load of laundry every day, you’ll never need to scale an Everest of dirty socks and underwear. Other chores need to happen daily or they will turn into larger issues. Dirt on hardwood floors and tile will scratch the wood and stain the grout. Prioritize small chores, like sweeping, to avoid bigger tasks in the future.

Think about what should happen weekly.

Some chores have to happen every week, like cleaning the bathroom or vacuuming the living area. Some people prefer to do their weekly chores all on one day, usually Saturday or Sunday. Others find this an overwhelming commitment on already busy weekends. If you’ll consistently avoid an afternoon of cleaning, try tackling the chores throughout the week and combining them with pleasant activities. Clean the bathroom and scrub the tub before a relaxing bubble bath, or vacuum the main floor in your workout gear for some light aerobic exercise.

Get the whole family involved in keeping a clean space.

If you really want to set up a regular cleaning schedule, you’ll need to enlist the help of the barbarian hordes, otherwise known as your beloved children. Picking age-appropriate chores for young children can instill an early sense of responsibility and respect for public space. And having an honest conversation with your partner about what you are both willing and able to do at home will help you work as a team to keep your home pleasant.

Commit to a monthly deep cleaning task.

Once a month pick one thing that has to be deep-cleaned. Dust the bookshelves, vacuum under the beds, clean the tops of the cupboards, or power-clean the deck. If you can do more than one, that’s great! But doing one a month will keep the forces of dust and dirt at bay. You might also consider hiring cleaning help on a single day a month. Delegating the more intensive and exhausting chores can make cleaning feel more effortless. You can focus on daily and weekly chores, while someone else moves furniture and scrubs the oven.

Focus on beauty as well as cleanliness.

It can’t be hard to want to clean a space that, even clean, we find uninspiring. A few simple changes, like a vase of fresh flowers in the kitchen, or pretty toy chest in the playroom can make the results of your hard work feel much more satisfying. Even selecting cleaning products that smell appealing can make a clean space psychologically attractive, uniting our aesthetic tastes with the experience of a tidy room.

Find a trusted provider for regular professional cleaning.

To preserve your carpet, upholstery, tile, and hardwood, as well has your large appliances like your dryer and HVAC system, you need professionals who can provide regular deep-cleaning services. These experts have equipment and techniques that you can’t match at home. Talk to someone about the right cleaning schedule for your home. They can recommend the best schedule for cleaning carpet, couches, floors, and air ducts, so that your home is really sanitary and grime-free, with high-quality air.

Modernistic specializes in these types of home services, and our staff is polite, honest, and ready to work with you on a custom cleaning plan. Contact us today to set up your personal consultation.

Serving Saugatuck, MI for 40 years.

How to Choose the Best Lighting for Every Room

Posted Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Making Michigan January a bit brighter.

When you move into a home many of the choices about general lighting have already been made for you. The builder or landlord has installed overhead lighting in each room that provides each room’s ‘natural’ light. However, most of us want something to make the room feel more inviting, and that will make the room work better. In our forty years of experience of home care and repair, we at Modernistic have learned some design secrets. Here’s our short guide to picking the best task lighting for every room.

Focus on counter space in the kitchen.

The counters are where all the work gets done. It’s important to see well while you chop and mix. Also, under-cabinet lighting illuminates the shadowy space above the countertops, which makes the whole room feel more spacious and clean. There are many permanent and temporary solutions for under cabinet lighting. You can have a contractor install a hardwired system, or mount the plug-in variety, which are a great option for renters.

Living rooms follow the rule of three.

The lighting design team at Real Simple recommends lighting three out of four corners of the living room. You’ll get the best effect if you use lights at different levels, and which vary between casting light upwards and downwards. Try for a mix of floor lamps and table lamps, and choose bulbs with a warm tone. Light as much of your seating as possible. This will make it easy to relax and read or converse in the evening.

Light your office space for productivity.

It goes without saying that you’ll want a bright focused lamp at your desk. However, make sure that the rest of the room is well-lit with alternative work spaces. Set a floor lamp by a comfortable armchair, or a table lamp by a couch. This is also a fun place to experiment with bookshelf lighting. Like under cabinet lighting, there are several affordable plug-in systems that make it easy to get a custom look.

Bathroom light should be flattering.

A common mistake in bathrooms is to make all the lighting overhead lighting. A ceiling fixture and an overhead vanity lamp will cast unflattering shadows on your face. If you have the option as a homeowner, consider installing two lights on the side of the mirror, which will give the most flattering illumination, and be functional for applying makeup or shaving. If you can’t, consider buying an illuminated makeup mirror. Some of these can even be mounted on extendable arms by the sink, for easy use.

Hallways can be more than walkways.

With the right lighting you can turn your hallway into a mini home gallery. You can angle a row of track lights on the ceiling to accent favorite art pieces, or, if a permanent change isn’t an option, add a framed piece with one of these LED wireless picture lights. You can easily mount it above a favorite print, and remove it just as easily later.

Bedroom light should help you wind down.

At the end of the day you do not want to be laying on your back staring up at a glaring ceiling light. If you have the space for nightstands, set up two beside lamps. These can be in any style, but make sure that the light is not angled to shine directly on your pillow, since a soft glow is more soothing than a spotlight. If you don’t have room for nightstands, think about mounting two sconces on either side of the bed, so that you’ll have good light for bedtime reading.

Different sorts of light need different kinds of bulbs.

Different tasks require different kinds of lighting. In the bedroom and living room look for a package that says “Soft White/Warm White,” which will cast a cozy glow. You could also experiment with pink bulbs in these places. For bathrooms, especially dim ones, look for packaging that reads “Daylight.” It creates the most contrast between colors, making it the ideal lighting for applying makeup.  These bulbs are also the better choice for the kitchen, which should look bright and natural.

Light Therapy for SAD

Since Michigan’s gloomy months often lead to seasonal affective disorder, you might want to purchase a light box for your home as well. These therapy lights provide light exposure while filtering out harmful UV rays, and are said to reduce the symptoms of SAD. Since these lights should be used first thing every morning, think about where you’re most likely to be thirty minutes after waking up. In the kitchen drinking coffee? At your desk catching up on last night’s emails? Put the light in the room where you’re most likely to use it.

Are your new lights showing up your dirty carpets?

Now that you’ve clearly illuminated every room, you might see your carpets are looking a bit dingy. If so, schedule an appointment with our easy online scheduling tool today. Together we can make 2017 your home’s best year yet.

Serving Bay City, MI for 40 years.

Building Community in the New Year

Posted Monday, January 9th, 2017

Should auld acquaintance be forgot…

It’s Friday night at ten o’clock and you are home scrolling through Facebook instead of out with your non-cyber friends. Somewhere in between the irony and the glass of Chardonnay in your hand, you decide to do a better job of building your real world community in 2017. It’s a popular resolution. Nielson reports that spending more time with family and friends is one of the top five New Year’s resolutions. As it should be, since strong social bonds are shown to improve your sense of well-being and even your health. This January, Modernistic has some recommendations for making that resolution a reality.

Put some time into your existing friendships.

You probably plan out your weeks, allotting a certain amount of time to work, to appointments, to caring for children or pets, to exercise, and anything else you want to make a priority. Realize that maintaining friendships takes time and effort, and plan accordingly.  If you only have a half hour a week right now, spend some time sending off postcards to old friends, or calling a close one for a short chat. These little things can have an outsized impact on relationships.

Get things on the calendar well in advance.

Set a small goal, like “I will meet the girls for a drink one time this month,” and then plan well ahead to make it happen. Instead of texting all your friends forty-eight hours beforehand, make things more fun and predictable by sending out real invitations. People will take the commitment more seriously, and everyone is more likely to have time to attend.

Use technology to as a way to create real-life encounters.

We all are online a lot, catching up with friends nearby and far away. If our interactions never move offline though, we can end up feeling increasingly isolated. Still, social media makes it easy to get in touch with people. Why not use it to invite someone over for coffee? Or, if you haven’t yet made it to your resolution of keeping a clean and orderly house, suggest meeting somewhere else like a local concert or a bookstore.

Buy a non-electronic address book.

Sending an email is easy. A handwritten letter or thoughtful care package means a lot more. Chances are you haven’t had a real address book in a while, but you can pick one up when you grab you new 2017 calendar. Collect your friend’s addresses and start filling it out. It will get you excited about snail mail again!

Make new friends who share your passions.

Just moved to a new city and looking to form some new friendships? Join a class at the local rec center or community college, or sign up for a book club. A shared interest is an easy way to bond with a new person. Maybe after chatting with someone about your mutual love for murder mysteries you’ll find you share other common interests.

Establish a family time once a week.

These days, families are overbooked. Getting the whole gang together for a family dinner can feel harder than getting a reservation at a popular restaurant. Still, carving out even a few hours every week to focus on each other will help you all reconnect and develop close relationships. You’ll enjoy the benefits for years.

Build community in the New Year by volunteering with an organization you care about.

A great way to be involved in your community is to give to your community. Sign up and do a few hours of volunteer work every month. You may want to work with animals or lead a dance class at a community center, but you’ll feel more connected to your community when you find a way to make it a better place to live. You’ll also meet fellow volunteers who share your commitment to the cause, which is a great foundation for friendship.

Create a list of trusted service providers.

You’ll want to complain to a friend when the basement floods or the cat pees on your carpet, but you also need to know the right person to call take care of the damage. When you fill out your new address book create a page with the numbers of service providers you trust to take care of your home, your pets, your kids, and your car. That way it’s all in one place for quick reference.

Be sure to include Modernistic on your list of trusted professionals. Whether it’s burst pipes or dirty carpets, our certified technicians are here to help 24/7, while adhering to the highest standards of quality. You can also experience the Modernistic difference immediately by scheduling an appointment with our easy online scheduling tool today. We can’t wait to serve you in the New Year.

Serving Grand Blanc for 40 years.