Becky Dalke and Associates - Shrewsbury MA Real Estate, Northborough MA Real Estate, Westborough MA

3D rendering of a modern light colored kitchenThe kitchen can be one of the most cluttered rooms in the home. Not only does it house your everyday dining and cookware but there’s also all sorts of seasonal, special occasion and specialty items that seem to take over precious cabinet space. If you’re ready to take inspiration from the minimalist movement and make your kitchen a more sane version of itself keep reading! Begin. Start by clearing out anything you know you don’t use. If you are having a hard time ask yourself if you have used the particular item in the last three months. If it’s not a holiday related item, you can add it to your donate pile. If the idea of getting rid of half of your kitchen items is overwhelming, it’s okay to start slow and move at your own pace. In the end, this is your project so you only need to go as far as you are comfortable and make the tips below work in a way that is best for you. One. The number the average family needs of a particular item and/or set. One measuring set, one silverware set, one bake set, one set of drinking glasses, etc. In our culture more is more. However, how often do you really need more than one of any of the above-mentioned items? Be honest here and cull your stash accordingly. Skip specifics. Consider letting go of any food type specific appliances and gadgets. Items like garlic crushers, lemon squeezers, popcorn machines, waffle irons, or ice cream makers. The list can go on. Of course, if you really value an item and use it on a weekly basis don’t toss it in the name of minimalism. The case, more often than not, though is that these types of items are rarely if ever used. Coffee mugs. One section of the kitchen that can grow out of control easily is coffee mugs. Between “Best Mom” mugs and vacation mementos on top of your regular set, the average household usually has more mugs than they ever use. Keep the coffee mug situation under control by keeping ones you truly enjoy using. If you have one you love but don’t enjoy drinking from it consider using it as a unique pencil cup or flower vase. Get creative. Invest in kitchen tools that can pull their weight by becoming the ultimate multitaskers. Make your own spice combinations instead of buying premade bottles that take up more space. An immersion blender with a whisk and chopping attachment easily replaces it’s bulkier counterparts that can only single task. A couple of great knives can do more a whole set of subpar ones. Create a less cluttered kitchen you enjoy using by taking a page from the minimalist movement’s book. By cutting down to the bare necessities and buying good quality multitasking items you’ll feel like you get more use and creativity out of your kitchen than when it was filled with gadgets. You’ll also have the added bonus of fewer dishes to clean and more time to spend with your family!

Are your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors up to date?  Whether you are thinking of selling your home or not, now is a great time to investigate those safety features in your home.  As of December 1st,2016-Massachusetts updated the requirements for smoke and CO2  detectors.  The changes only apply to one and two-family residences built before January 1, 1975 that have not been substantially altered. 

Homes built prior to 1975 MUST be equipped with a smokedetector with a 10-year life span.  These detectors are sold as 10 year sealed lithium battery power smoke alarms and canbe purchased at local hardware stores.  Also remember that current rules require photoelectric detectors covering the area within 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom containing a bathtub or shower. The 10 year sealed detectors are sold with both photoelectric and the older ionization technologies

1975 was the date chosen for these new requirements because homes built after this dated were already required by state building code to have hard wired power supplies for smoke detectors.  But it is also important to note that hard wired detectors also have a battery back-up that should also be replaced every 10 years.  Details on the new requirements can be found by clicking  HERE  


Roses are the favored flowers for Valentine’s Day. They are spectacular flowers, wildly colorful and fabulously fragrant, yet very delicate. Few people know the secret to extending the bloom time of this magnificent flower. Once you know the steps to follow when working with roses then you will enjoy them for a week or more.

  • When purchasing roses look for ones that have very tight buds that have not yet begun to open.
  • If you buy them from the store be sure to cover them well when bringing them from the store to the car. By tying a bag over the blossoms you will protect them from the winter cold which can damage them instantly
  • Once you have them home place them in cool water. Cut the stems at a diagonal, under water. They should be cut at least 2” up from the bottom. The diagonal cut allows for more water absorption.
  • If the floral supplier did not give you a packet of floral food to add to the water then add in a couple teaspoons of sugar.
  • Remove the outside 3 petals from each flower. I am not certain why it is but this helps the flower to create a larger bloom. (For a romantic treat you can add these petals to a steaming bubble bath).


The first“First Night” festival took place in Boston back in 1976, organized by a small group of artists who wanted a way to celebrate the new year by staging indoor and outdoor performances in an alcohol-free environment. The event was a success, and the “First Night” movement soon caught on and spread to dozens of other cities. If you are trying to plan a fun festive night out, here is a sampling of the FUN happenings in our area or just a short drive away:

First Night Worcester

Noon New Year at the Ecotarium: 

Ski Wachusett with Fireworks:

First Night Boston

Bowling Parties at AMF Shrewsbury

Polar Bear Plunge, Rhode Island: 

New Year Cruising on the Boston Harbor

Becky Dalke & Associates would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy 2017!!

2-A Whitehall Cir, Shrewsbury, MA 01545



Full/Half Baths
Back on market due to buyer not being able to sell their home. Their loss is YOUR GAIN! Stunning custom colonial w/ open floor plan.... perfect for entertaining! The heart of the home centers around a gorgeous, oversize, sun-filled gourmet chef's kitchen w/ vaulted ceiling, Viking appliances, 6 burner range & dbl oven, oversize ctr island & generous dining area. Kitchen flows directly to family room & cathedral sun room surrounded by windows overlooking private backyard. Separate mud room entrance leads to first floor office & playroom. Master bedroom oasis features sitting area, dressing area, balcony & spa-like bath w/ double vanity, soaking tub & cathedral ceiling. All other bedrooms are generous in size w/ample closet space. Convenient 2nd level laundry room is a dream. Home features walk-up attic AND Walk-out basement for future expansion. Home is ideally located in a quiet neighborhood w/ EASY access to the T-Station, major routes, Wegmans & Tufts Veterinary.
Open House
December 18 at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Cannot make the Open Houses?
Location: 2-A Whitehall Cir, Shrewsbury, MA 01545    Get Directions

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