Category Archives: Survival Guides

Quick Tips: Moving into a new apartment.

Living in a new environment, whether as a first time home owner, veteran property professional, or college student in a new dorm… can be stressful. This weeks’ “Quick Tips” are all about your new home; getting things organized, cleaning what the previous tenants left behind, and general household upkeep with a twist. After the chaos that was Sept. 1st, 2012 (See our survival guide HERE)  we will to take a look at some steps you can take to make your new house a home.

Around the House


Candle wax on your new floor? Use a brown paper bag and an iron to clean up the mess! Place a paper towel or brown paper bag over the dry wax spill and press with an iron on low heat. The wax will stick to the paper and lift right off your floor!


Wooden furniture legs scratched during the move? Take a raw walnut, rub it over the scratches and watch as they disappear. The natural oils in the walnuts help to seal the scratches on your wooden furniture, making them look brand new.


Polish chrome items with baby oil. Just a dab on a cotton cloth will make everything shine!


Drains clogged? Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar and
pour down a clogged drain and cover it with a warm wet cloth. Let the mixture settle in the pipes for about 5 minutes, uncover and run steaming hot water through the pipes.


Greasy dinner make a mess on your clothes or furniture? Toss a little cornmeal on top of the grease stain and let it absorb your mess for about 10-15 minutes. Dust or vacuum over the cornmeal and, viola! No more grease stains!


Water stains ruining your furniture? Turn that hair dryer on high and aim at the stain. Watch as the water ring disappears! Once the ring is gone, dab a little olive oil over the surface to keep the wood moisturized. A hot iron over a towel will work wonders on those water stains as well.

In the Kitchen


Cleaning your food processor or grinder regularly can be a chore but it will keep residual flavors from mixing together and creating a not so tasty treat. For a quick fix, toss a piece of fresh white bread in and run your processor/grinder. This will lift any residual oils or smalls pieces of food out of the appliance.


Hate the self cleaning function on your oven and heavy duty chemical cleaners? By making your own paste from baking soda and water you can clean your oven more naturally!

How to: Mix baking soda and water to a paste consistency and coat the oven surfaces evenly (but don’t cover the heating elements!). Let this sit overnight to break down the grease and grime that has accumulated in your oven. The next day (preferably while wearing gloves) take a plastic spatula, scrape it all up and wipe down with a damp paper towel. Once your ‘new’ oven is clean and ready to go, cover the bottom with an oven liner available at most home goods stores.


Do your coffee cups have dark tea and coffee stains? White dishes stained and you haven’t been able to remove them? Fill your sink with warm water, drop a few denture cleaning tablets in the water and let your dishes soak until the stains are gone! Rinse and repeat as needed to remove the stains completely! For ceramic and enamel items with stains and dark scratches, try Bar Keeper’s Friend. Bar keepers friend is a great cleaning agent that will make your dishes look brand new!


Microwave oven have stains or a weird odor? Fill a bowl or mug with water and a teaspoon of vanilla extract and heat on high for 2-3 minutes. Leave the microwave door shut for an additional couple of minutes to allow the steam to penetrate caked on food. Wipe down the interior with a damp cloth to remove grime. Leave the door open for a few hours to dry and let additional odors escape

Coming Up!

Next week we will have an update from Al Norton, Rental Manager for Prudential Unlimited Realty as well as market updates to help prepare you for the winter months. Don’t forget to come in, call or visit us at for all your Real Estate needs in Boston, Brookline, Jamaica Plain and the surrounding areas.


Also, to learn more about our ongoing FIRST TIME HOME BUYER SEMINARS and other educational services we provide, please CLICK HERE

September First Survival Guide 2012

If you’ve never been in Boston on September First, congratulations! You have successfully avoided what I’d like to call a circus, except that would be an insult to circuses! To say that the city is a chaotic mess is an understatement of epic proportions and if you can avoid it you should do so at all costs. This year, it is likely to be worse than usual since 9/1 falls on a weekend, and not just any weekend but Labor Day weekend, so the madness will be spread out over 72+ hours.

This basic punch list isn’t for the new student moving in, but for those of us who already call Boston home… with some simple planing and a little patience, you’ll see the other side of Sept. 1 with little or to no stress.



If you live in a part of Greater Boston with on-street parking and you have a parking space on Friday night, you will lose it if you move it. There will be many, many moving vans and extra cars over those three days and if you give up an on-street spot, the odds of getting it (or any space near it) back are minimal.



It’s the perfect storm of bad driving – people behind the wheel of vehicles (U-Haul’s, moving vans, trucks) they don’t usually drive navigating tricky neighborhoods they aren’t familiar with – and you don’t want to be stuck behind them.



While you may just need a few items, all these new people have entire kitchens, pantries, and dorm rooms to stock with food, drinks, and various household items, meaning supermarkets, Targets, CVS, and Wal-Mart are likely to be overflowing with customers and light on inventory. Get your gallon of milk, loaf of bread, Clorox Wipes, Pepsi Max, and Hot Pockets now so you don’t have to do battle with someone who’s got two full carts and trying to use the self-checkout.



Again, there will be 1000’s of new-to-the-city folks plus their friends and family that have come to town to help with the move, and those people are much more likely to go with national chain restaurants & businesses they are familiar with than the neighborhood places you already know are much better.

Some of our Favs : FuGaKyu, Temptations Cafe, The Purple Cactus, CafeNation




Boston’s population grows by almost 300,000 every fall, that means a change of pace for the entire academic year and more considerations need to be taken for Boston’s full time residents. If you know what is coming then you are ahead of the curve. With that know-how, take a break this weekend, spend some time out doors, with the family and or even away from the city.


Sure, traffic is going to be much worse with school back in session (and if you think driving is bad then, wait until the first snow of the season, which for some new Bostonians will be the first snow they’ve EVER driven in) but overall, things calm down and people start to learn the in’s

and out’s of the city and wrap their heads around the concept that cars in the rotary have the right of way. Things will get easier, I promise, and having Survived September First just makes that transition even easier.

For more information on how to handle the rush, to give us your input on surviving September First or for ideas on where to go to avoid it all together, remember to follow us socially!


Next week we will be discussing a few DIY quick tips for those moving into new homes and apartments this fall. Also, be looking out for our FALL/WINTER give-aways featuring Trader Joes, Home Depot and more!