HomeReal Estate February 26, 2024

Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning has long been a cherished tradition embraced by households worldwide. Stemming from a practical need to freshen up living spaces after the long winter months, this annual ritual has evolved into a symbol of renewal and rejuvenation. Beyond simply tidying up, spring cleaning holds significant importance for both physical and mental well-being. By clearing out clutter, dust, and grime accumulated over the winter, we create a cleaner and healthier environment for ourselves and our families. Moreover, the act of spring cleaning can have positive effects on our mindset, providing a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, and a renewed energy to tackle new challenges. Embracing this tradition allows us to start the new season on a clean slate, fostering a sense of optimism and positivity as we welcome the warmer days ahead.

Follow along for a comprehensive spring cleaning checklist to help you tackle every corner of your home:

Declutter and Donate

  • Make your home more inviting by decluttering. Go through each room and declutter by getting rid of items you no longer need or use.
  • Donate, sell, or discard items that are no longer serving a purpose for you. Consign your items at places like My Sisters Closet, or host a yard sale and feel a sense of accomplishment when you can fund something new. Whatever you find yourself still left with donate to a local thrift store. Island Thrift, WAIF Thrift Shop , and Treasure Island-Antique and Thrift  are just a few of the many options on Whidbey Island.


  • Open your windows and breathe a breath of fresh air.
  • Dust all surfaces, including shelves, countertops, furniture, and electronics.
  • Don’t forget to dust ceiling fans, light fixtures, and vents.

Clean Windows

  • Spring brings so much outside beauty. Make sure you can enjoy it all with sparkling windows.
  • Wash windows inside and out, including the window frames and sills. If your window has weeping holes, be sure to make sure they are not clogged so that excess water can drain properly.
  • If cleaning your windows is out of reach there are companies like A Clean Streak or Oh Say Can You See that can help.
  • Clean blinds, curtains, or drapes according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Vacuum and Clean Floors

  • Vacuum carpets and area rugs thoroughly.
  • Sweep and mop hard floors, paying special attention to corners and baseboards.

Deep Clean Kitchen and Restrooms

  • Clean and disinfect countertops, cabinets, and drawers, all bathroom surfaces, including sinks, toilets, and tubs/showers.
  • Clean appliances inside and out, including the refrigerator, oven, microwave, and dishwasher.
  • Degrease stove hood and filter.
  • Scrub tile grout and remove any mold or mildew.

Organize Closets and Cabinets

  • Out with the old and in with the new… or maybe just move the sweaters to the back (we are still in the PNW and occasionally will still need those sweaters), but break out the vibrant tank tops it is spring already!
  • Declutter and organize closets and cabinets, donating or discarding items as needed.
  • Use storage bins or baskets to keep items organized and easily accessible.

Freshen up Bedding

  • Launder bedding, including sheets, pillowcases, and duvet covers.
  • To increase the life of your mattress, rotate and flip it for even wear.

Clean Upholstery and Furniture

  • Vacuum upholstery and cushions to remove dust and debris. Make sure you get behind and underneath.
  • Spot clean stains and spills on furniture.

Tidy Outdoor Spaces

  • Sweep or pressure wash outdoor patios, decks, and walkways.
  • Clean outdoor furniture and cushions.
  • Trim bushes, trees, and clean up garden beds.

Inspect and Maintain

  • Ensure your families safety every season.
  • Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, replacing batteries as needed.
  • Test and clean ceiling fans.
  • Schedule routine maintenance for HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical systems.

Final Touches

  • Brings some of the outside in.
  • Add finishing touches such as fresh flowers or plants to bring life into your space.
  • Sit back, relax, and enjoy your freshly cleaned and organized home!

Spring cleaning isn’t just about tidying up—it’s also an essential part of home maintenance and preparation for the warmer months ahead. For homeowners, it’s an opportunity to refresh their living spaces and ensure that their property is in top condition. Beyond the aesthetic benefits, a thorough spring cleaning can enhance the value of a home by improving its curb appeal and overall appeal to potential buyers. By decluttering, organizing, and performing deep cleaning tasks, homeowners can showcase their property’s full potential and make a positive impression on prospective buyers. Additionally, addressing maintenance issues early can help prevent costly repairs down the line and contribute to the long-term health and durability of the home. So, as spring approaches, embrace the tradition of spring cleaning as a valuable investment in both your home and your well-being.

If you are considering selling this Spring, connect with us.


To help get you motivated listen to our Spring Cleaning Playlist Here.

CoupevilleDestination WhidbeyPlacesThings to Do on Whidbey February 19, 2024

Coupeville Whale Bell

Make your way down the Coupeville Wharf and into the big red building at the end. Your reward can be seen by looking up! A ceiling display of Rosie the Whale, Handsome Samson the Stellar sea lion, and Rudy the Dall’s porpoise greets you! You can also enjoy Harbor Gifts, The Cove Outfitters along with public amenities. What often goes unnoticed during the off-season is the weathered sculpture of a tribal whale atop the back patio railing with an attached bell. However, from late February to early June residents and tourists alike ring the bell when they see a whale and alert others to join in and celebrate the sighting.

Connect with us here.

Check out the rest of Whidbey’s beautiful destinations from this series here.

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Things to Do on Whidbey February 12, 2024

Random Acts of Kindness

Performing random acts of kindness can be a great way to brighten someone’s day and make the world a better place. The best part is that these acts of kindness don’t have to be big or extravagant – even small gestures can make a big impact.

We have compiled five simple things you can do as a random act of kindness:

  1. Buy coffee for the person behind you in line: Next time you’re waiting in line for your morning caffeine fix, consider buying a coffee for the person behind you. Not only will you make their day, but you will also inspire them to pay it forward.
  2. Create kind notes for your mail carrier: Our mail carriers work hard every day, regardless of the weather, to ensure that our packages and letters reach us safely. Take a few minutes to create some kind notes thanking them for their hard work. You can leave them in your mailbox for your carrier. You can also leave a small gift, like a snack or a drink, as a token of your appreciation.                                                                                   
  3. Do something kind for your significant other: Whether it is doing the dishes, folding the laundry, or making their favorite meal, doing something kind for your significant other can show them how much you care. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture – sometimes the little things mean the most.                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  4. Pick up trash at the park: The environment is something we all share, and taking care of it is everyone’s responsibility. Next time you are at the park, take a few minutes to pick up any litter you see. Not only will it help keep the park clean, but it will also set a good example for others. You can find Washington State Parks here.                                                                                                                                                           
  5. Write a gratitude letter: Finally, taking the time to write a gratitude letter can be a meaningful way to show someone how much they mean to you. It could be a friend, a family member, or even a coworker – just take a few minutes to express your gratitude and let them know how much you appreciate them.                                                                                                                                                                                                   

In conclusion, performing random acts of kindness is a simple but powerful way to make a difference in someone’s life. Whether it’s buying coffee for a stranger or picking up trash at the park, every act of kindness has the potential to make the world a better place. So the next time you have the opportunity to do something kind, seize it – you never know how much it might mean to someone else.

ClintonCoupevilleDestination WhidbeyOak Harbor February 5, 2024

Our Three Gateways

Whidbey is an island. Fortunately, while many may appreciate our natural moat, life here is much easier because we have many threads to tie us to the mainland, and the mainland to us. If you move here you will need to add the bridge and ferries to your conversation starters because everyone has used them and has a story about them. Keep reading to learn about our three gateways.

Ah, but not everyone. Some people were born here and haven’t found a reason to leave because we have everything we need – almost all of which came by truck. Of course, babes and toddlers may be the only people who haven’t had the time to consider traffic.

Our Three Gateways

For everyone else, there are three main avenues: Deception Pass Bridge to Skagit County, the Coupeville Ferry to Jefferson County and the Olympic Peninsula, and the Clinton Ferry to Seattle and its suburbs. Few use them all. Commuters have well-practiced habits, making daily round trips via their preferred path. They know the prime times to miss the worst traffic, or at least how long it is going to take them to get to work. Assuming…

Driving to and from the island has assumptions and asterisks

Deception Pass Bridge is narrow, is in a beautiful park with windy roads, and tourists. Oh yeah, and winds. Windy roads and winds are an interesting combination that means gawkers may slow down to see the show, or are cringing as they drive across the tall gap as the road leaps between each island. Winds can slow trucks, and sometimes even topple high-light loads. The bonus of the bridge: it is free.

The Clinton Ferry

The Clinton Ferry is an option, for a fee. It is the second most trafficked route in the Washington State Ferry system, which is the largest ferry system in the U.S. They run the route every half-hour. Even with that, the boats can only cram so many cars onboard. Depending on the boat, many max out at 144 cars.

Check the signs as you approach Clinton. The ferry system posted signs along the ferry line, so you know if the wait is an hour or so. Wait time isn’t usually an issue. However, the line coming onto the island on a Friday in August can be three hours, and the same on Sunday as tourists finish their visit. On occasion there are wait times due to equipment issues, or lack of enough crew (want to work on a boat?). It is a commuter route, so it starts early and runs late, but don’t expect 24-hour service. Be glad that it runs in almost all weather.

Check out the WSDOT Ferry website to get a sense of how packed the ferry might be.

The Coupeville Ferry

All-weather does not describe the route from Coupeville to Port Townsend and back. On glass-smooth days, it can be one of the prettiest routes in the fleet. Whidbey in the east, though actually a bit north, and the Olympics in the west, though a bit south. Almost every ocean-going vessel heading to Puget Sound’s ports passes through, giving riders a plethora of views. Views of cruise ships, aircraft carriers, container ships, and even the occasional mega-yacht. The other thing that passes through that passage is over three-quarters of the tidal waters that flow in and out of the Sound several times a day. Making it tricky at times especially when the weather is not ideal. The west side of Whidbey has no deep-water harbors. The spot they use is narrow, shallow, and bordered by tidal currents strong enough to raise whitewater-style waves, and tides low enough to ground a less-well-designed ferry. Throw in some wind and white caps and see why that route is one of the most likely to have to cancel for safety’s sake.

By the way, both ferries can also deliver the treat of slowing to watch the whales go by. As one ferry worker noted, whale-watching boats charge a lot more for that experience. On the ferry, there is no extra charge.

Does that all sound too troublesome?

The reality is that it is all manageable because they all work more than well enough to sustain the communities of Whidbey Island.

There are alternative options to reduce your commute

Work from home and shorten your commute dramatically. Carpool and let someone else do the driving. Buses and carpools are busy for various reasons, one incentive is getting to avoid the ferry lines. Check out Island Transit here for what they have to offer. 

That’s not all. It is only fair to acknowledge the Navy’s air facilities and a scattering of local airfields. Got a plane? Want to charter one? Watch the low-flying skies and see floatplanes making custom stops at residents’ docks and beaches. (Check with those companies for which sites are workable.) A couple to look at are Kenmore Air and DeLaurentis Airport.

Thinking about the water, Whidbey’s public marinas and private docks provide ways to get about regardless of bridges and ferry schedules. Finally, a real reason to have a boat. Anecdotally, at least one sailor claims to have powered from the southern tip of Whidbey to downtown Seattle in 35 minutes. That’s faster than weaving through King County’s traffic, but waves are probably not as comfortable as smooth pavement.

Islanders who regularly drive to the mainland learn when it is time to switch routes. Drive from Deception Pass Bridge to the terminal in Mukilteo and cross the halfway point on the island somewhere between Smokey Point and Marysville. Planning on taking the ferry to Everett but finding a three-hour line because of a ferry malfunction? Do a legal U-turn and drive up the island and down the mainland. Is the bridge closed to clear an accident? Drive to Clinton and the ferry and navigate to your destination from Mukilteo. Decided to go to dinner in Port Townsend, then learn that winds canceled the runs for the rest of the day? Welcome to the scenic tour of the peninsula that can include Hood Canal Bridge, The Kingston-Edmonds Ferry, and finally, the Clinton Ferry. Fuel up or charge up or both for that one, and yes, it’s done.

Island life is a bit different, but we adapt

We have our gateways over our moat. An island sets itself apart, but we benefit by our connections. Islanders tell stories, but delays are few enough, yet familiar enough that they become ice-breakers that we can share with strangers. They don’t just tie our cargo to our stores; the stories help tie us to each other. They are something we can share.

Now, as to upgrades to bridges and boats, well, that’s another source of stories. Stay tuned.

Considering moving to Whidbey? Perhaps you would like to discuss housing options. If you are not currently working with an agent connect with us here.