Jason Robie: Simple spots around the house to keep clean

You survived round one! You made it through Thanksgiving and you are still alive and kicking! Perhaps at this point you are simply thankful that all of your relatives have finally gone home. This year it was just my girlfriend, her mom and me for a yummy turkey dinner. It was great, simple and we were on the couch by 7 p.m. For Christmas this year, we will have an additional five guests in the house: Mom, dad, Tyler (brother), Mel (his wife) and Lily (lovable greyhound). We are excited for them to be here and I haven’t seen Lily since July (oh, and it will be good to visit with the humans as well)!

One thing that we all do, regardless of our guests imploring us not to “make a fuss” is clean the house before they get here. As I was reviewing my task list of cleaning, it occurred to me that there are hot spots throughout the home that we all tend to forget about or miss during our whirlwind cleaning tours. These are also very common spots we see homeowners (sellers) miss when it comes time for a showing. If you are like me, you clean the house every week (or two). Basically, these are the spots that don’t tend to make the cut during those regular cleanings.

The first (and often grossest) are the ceiling light fixtures. I’m going to go ahead and assume that everyone reading this article can look up at their ceiling and say “Oh yeah, me too.” This is one of those areas that prospective buyers (and mothers-in-law) will notice almost as soon as they walk through the front door.

“As a buyer in the past, I’m always interested in the light fixtures around the home,” notes Badger Realty agent Roland Turgeon. “We can all spot the cheap ones and the overly ornate ones. I want to know what I’m going to have to replace if I buy,” he continued.

Roland is spot-on with this observation. While the buyers and guests may not be specifically interested in the cleanliness of the fixtures, they are still most certainly going to be looking at them much more closely than you and I.

Another not-so-pleasant trouble spot is the outside of the toilet. Of course everybody is going to clean their toilets and make sure that the most obvious and visible areas are spotless. But with family coming or a showing appointment coming up, it’s time to take a closer look. For some reason beyond the confines of logic, toilet makers continue to include the snake-like shapes on the sides of the porcelain. These are superb spots for dust, dirt and hair to collect. These are also spots that most of us skip right over during our weekly cleaning. Take a little extra time to wipe down the whole exterior of your commode. You’ll be amazed (and slightly horrified) at the difference it makes.

My parents are always fumbling around our kitchen for one thing or another. Whether it is finding sugar for the coffee or a spoon or a drinking glass, they are forever rummaging through every drawer and cabinet in the house. For this reason, and because potential buyers are going to want to test out your drawers and cabinet doors as well, it is a great idea to target these areas for cleaning. The biggest culprits are those drawer organizers. We can all hide a layer of dirt and crumbs under the piles of stuff in our “junk drawer.” But as soon as you put one of those handy organizers in place, the crumbs and dirt start to collect (and show!).

While you are in the kitchen, take a good look at your appliance handles. We touch them every single day without a thought. Last night, I made some scrumptious chicken fingers in a frying pan on the stove. The remnants, besides the pervasive smell of cooked olive oil, is little spots of grease on the stove knobs. These are typically really easy to remove and clean and the fridge and oven handles can be quickly shined up with a paper towel and some cleaner. If you tackle this the morning of the showing (or the arrival) your kitchen will shine and your appliances will even look newer!

Last but not least, be sure and clean all of the mirrors around your home. Nobody expects you to wash your windows this time of year, but the mirrors can always use a quick shine. Whether the bathrooms, closets or hallways, be sure to hit them all because someone will always stop for a quick look.

Cleaning your home in the springtime can be a bit of a daunting task. It includes the windows (inside and out), under the beds and appliances and maybe even a floor scrubbing or carpet cleaning. For the showing or the arrival of guests, just tackle these quick and simple spots and save the big stuff for the warmer weather. All of these trouble spots will be scrutinized and you can rest easy with one less thing on your mind. Now you just need to find a place for everyone to sleep!


Northern Pass to host job and supplier fairs for workers and businesses

MANCHESTER — New Hampshire workers and businesses, including suppliers, subcontractors and the services and hospitality industries, will have the opportunity to meet with the team leading the construction of Northern Pass at two upcoming job and supplier fairs.

Attendees can discuss the kinds of jobs, subcontractor opportunities and supplies that are needed to complete Eversource's 192-mile hydroelectric transmission line, and businesses can learn how to reach some of the 2,600 people who will be working on Northern Pass over the multi-year construction period.

Job and supplier fair in the North Country will be held Wednesday, Dec. 13, 3 to 8 p.m., at Mountain View Grand Resort, at 101 Mountain View Road, in Whitefield. In Manchester the fair will be held Wednesday, Jan. 10, 3 to 8 p.m., at the Grappone Conference Center, 70 Constitution Ave., Concord. 

"Northern Pass has long been committed to hiring New Hampshire workers first and these fairs are a way for us to follow through on that commitment," said Eversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlan. "We encourage everyone to attend and learn about the many opportunities available for local businesses and workers."

Some of the opportunities available include:

Construction jobs: lineworkers, electricians, administrative/office personnel, project managers, traffic control personnel, safety personnel, mechanics, land surveyors, landscapers, laborers, fence installation personnel, building construction personnel, steel erection personnel, fiber-optic splicers, heavy equipment operators, truckers, material managers, welders, testing/commissioning personnel, traffic control, road building personnel, clearing/grubbing contractors, paving contractors, matting contractor, loggers and well/HDD drillers.

Logistics/services jobs: lodging, campgrounds, restaurants, graphic design, environmental testing, equipment rental and maintenance, printers, office supply, security, photographers, snow removal services, caterers, apartment rentals, Porta-John rentals, portable office rentals, waste disposal, fuel suppliers, gravel/aggregate suppliers, hay suppliers, groundwater consultants, concrete and cement suppliers, asphalt suppliers, sign companies, hardware suppliers, lumber suppliers, street sweeping, material stockpiles and laydown yards. For a full list, go to northernpass.us/job-registration.htm.

Participants in the job and supplier fairs include:

• PAR Electrical Contractors, Inc., the largest outside plant electrical contracting company in North America and is the General Contractor for the Northern Pass construction project with offices located in Bow, N.H.

• Quanta Services, the leading integrated infrastructure solutions provider for the electric power, oil and gas and telecommunications industries. Quanta Services is the parent company for PAR Electrical Contractors, M.J. Electric, and Realtime Utility Engineers.

• M.J. Electric, LLC, a nationally recognized prime electrical contractor in the electric transmission, substation, distribution, renewable energy, power, industrial, instrumentation, and civil/foundation construction industries. M.J. Electric is tasked with construction of the converter station at Franklin.

• International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 104 of Barrington, serving New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and Vermont.

• International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 490 of Concord.

• Coos County Business and Employers Group, an organization of businesses and contractors in northern N.H.

• Realtime Utility Engineers, Inc., a national recognized utility engineering firm providing engineering services for the project.

• Milwaukee Tools.

• Buckingham Tools.

The project expects to conclude the federal and state approval process in early 2018, and anticipates construction will begin by mid-April 2018. For more information call 1-855-NPT-JOBS or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


NH Grand celebrates 10 years of promoting the North Country

LANCASTER — Since 2007, North Country businesses of all sizes have partnered with New Hampshire Grand, northern New Hampshire’s marketing initiative that promotes the region, its businesses, attractions and Chambers of Commerce to residents and visitors to the state.

Using a multi-faceted tourism website, nhgrand.com, an active Facebook page and a comprehensive, targeted advertising and public relations campaign, NH Grand’s goal is to create awareness of the region’s many attractions, including restaurants and lodging, tax-free shopping, events, recreational opportunities and more that draw vacationers to the area.

NH Grand offers cooperative marketing and sponsorship opportunities. Other initiatives that return a great benefit to members include bi-monthly e-newsletters, the NH Grand Blog, the NH Grand Downloadable Guide Book, digital and print advertising, and representation at national and international trade shows.

“NH Grand successfully promoted over 40 tourism-based businesses in northern New Hampshire during 2016-17,” said Katelyn White, NH Grand Marketing Manager. “During 2017-18, our partner businesses will be part of a $60,000 comprehensive integrated marketing campaign promoting tourism in the North Country. We intend to reach new audiences and potential visitors by developing unique pitches around events and activities in the North Country.”

“NH Grand’s promotional platform presents a unified approach for highlighting what our region offers the travelling public through adventure, downtown venues, and multi-day itineraries,” said Chris Thayer of the Appalachian Mountain Club. “AMC has been a cooperating partner since the program’s inception and finds value in the collaboration and audience reach that NH Grand achieves through tourism economic development.”

“Experience New Hampshire’s Grand North” is the brand of New Hampshire’s North Country marketing initiative — also known as NH Grand — and is the official visitor information source for the Great North Woods and the Northern White Mountains.


RE/Max donates to Operation Warm

Recently Realtors with RE/Max Northern Edge Realty made a donation to Operation Warm. On hand to receive the donation were Berlin Firefighters Noah Hallgren and Brandon Bisson. Since partnering in 2012, the International Association of Firefighters has provided brand-new winter coats to 250,000 children living in need. Their mission is to provide brand new coats to children living in need across North America — positively impacting their school attendance, self-esteem and overall health and well-being.

ReMax Donates to Operation WarmFront row (from left): Berlin Firefighters Noah Hallgren and Brandon Bisson; second row: Realtors Carl Mercier and Jennifer Stewart; back row: Realtors Chris Lunn, Wayne Micucci, Steve Grone and Mark Danoski. Missing from the photo: Matt Martel, Lucie Remillard and Brent Bouchard. (COURTESY PHOTO)