April is right around the corner!

Sweep up the dust and make your home sparkle!
It’s that time of year again: Spring. Which means warm weather, green gardens and summer vacations are right around the corner. It’s also the time of year that homeowners – new and old – brush off their brooms, dig out their dusters and begin barreling through the clutter that piled up during the winter months. While some people find it fun to organize the mounds of chaos, the rest of us need a little help putting the “merry” in our maids. Here are several tips to make the most of this year’s spring cleaning.

Slow and steady wins the race.
The chaos of clutter in your home can make anyone feel frazzled. Keep your nerves in check.  Schedule your de-clutter days in advance. Go out and buy any and all necessary cleaning items beforehand so that everything’s readily available. (The last thing you want is to be in the grocery store – yellow gloves and all – looking for toilet bowl cleaner) Then map out your plan of attack. Start with the hard stuff first while your energy is high then little by little inch away at each room.
To keep or not to keep?
That certainly is the question. To make it easier, find (or buy) three boxes. Label the boxes “Put Away,” “Give Away/Sell” and “Storage.” Then grab your trash can. Now you’re ready. As you peruse through each pile of paper or stacks of stuff, ask yourself which box the item belongs to. Hint: If you don’t throw anything away, you may need to reevaluate how you’re organizing your clutter.
All hands on deck.
Now that you’ve removed all unnecessary clutter from your home and have packed away any “Put Away” or “Storage” items you’re ready to yank on your yellow gloves. It’s easy to remember to clean the obvious places – here are some not so obvious places that may also need some TLC: Windows and Skylights, Baseboards and Walls, Tile as well as Closets, Cabinets and Computer Areas.
Having a clutter-free home isn’t easy – but it is achievable. Make your spring cleaning a family affair. Assign chores and reward yourselves with a fun night out. And if all this sounds like too much work – hire someone to do it for you. I know of several services that come highly recommend. Give me a call – I’d be happy to give you’re their information! 

The First-time Homebuyer Tax Credit Expires soon!
Purchase a home on or before April 30, 2010, and get up to $8,000 through the extended 2009-2010 tax credit. But you must act quickly to find and buy your home before this legislation expires.
If you’d like to find out if you qualify for either the $8,000 first-time homebuyer or the $6,500 repeat buyer tax credits, please give me a call or e-mail me for more information. We’d love to help you get on the path to homeownership!
Uncle Sam says “Go Green!”  April 22 is Earth Day!
Tax season is once again upon us and the filing frenzy is soon to begin. If you made any energy efficient home improvements this year such as installing insulation or replacing doors and windows in your primary residence, you may be eligible for important tax benefits. Here’s a breakdown of the benefits you can get back from Uncle Sam.
• The new home energy credit allows you to claim a tax credit equal to 30% of the cost of making energy-efficient home improvements, up to a maximum of $1,500. The cap applies to one’s combined credit for 2009 and 2010 meaning if you claim $1,000 in 2009, up to $500 may be claimed in 2010. If you claim the full $1,500 in 2009 you are not eligible to claim any additional credit in 2010.
• The tax credit (which reduces the amount of taxes you owe is better than a tax deduction which simply reduces the amount of income taxed) applies to super efficient heating and cooling systems, including heat pumps, central air conditioning units (CACs), furnaces and water heaters. It also applies to windows, doors, skylights and insulation.
• Homeowners who installed renewable-energy devices qualify for an even bigger tax break: 30% of the total cost, with no maximum. These include: solar photovoltaic and hot water systems, small wind systems, and geothermal heat pumps.
For more information visit:
http://www.energytaxincentives.org/ or energystar.gov.
Make the community you live in a clean one! Earth Day marks the celebration of our planet and the environment we are able to call home. Founded exactly 40 years ago in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin) as a teach-in and later became a world-wide observance with more than 20 million people participating that first year. Today, Earth Day is celebrated by numerous countries and environmental organizations dedicated to making the world a cleaner place to live. 
Visit energystar.gov. to find out about events and volunteer opportunities in your community.
Spring is here, and Easter is right around the corner! April 4th is Easter Sunday!

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