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With the New Year we create resolutions, and one I know for many is to remove some of the clutter from our lives. The question that arises when you encounter some of the stuff is “I might need this…” How do you decide if the stuff is a valuable possession or just clutter?
My mother in law is in a position where she needs to downsize from her house to a smaller one. To give you and idea, she is a lover of “things” as I call it. She would rather take the last $5 in her wallet and spend it on items she has no use for at a yard sale, then to fill up her car with the needed gas to get home. Hey, everyone has their priorities.
But now when we talk about her about selling her home, she is in complete denial that any of her “possessions” need to be edited, or given away, or sold, because she might “need them where ever she ends up.” This brings me to how we view our “stuff.” Possibly this will help you identify what is necessary to keep, and what is clutter.
First you need to identify what the stuff really is and why you have it. We in the United States tend to navigate toward the material possessions, although studies keep popping up stating that the trend is going towards a life that is more simplified for everyone. If you are not there those changes are a big step.
In May I saw an article in the Wall Street Journal titled ‘Possessions.’ It comprised of small interviews with famous people about their possessions. Some of the points they made were …” A person’s character is much more important than the stuff they own. Still, it’s natural for people to collect the things that reflect their character.” And …” my favorite possession isn’t as tangible as a pair of heels or a purse—it’s imagination and my ability to inspire.” Although we own objects, the important thing to take away is to understand the importance of the possessions we own. If they will continue to contribute to our lives in a positive, meaningful way then they are worth keeping. If not, it is something that can be removed to give you more space in your life for significant possessions.
Let me know if you have decided to review your possessions; which did you keep, which did you edit?
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With the holidays behind us and the New Year approaching everyone likes to make a few New Year’s Resolutions. The best way to approach resolutions, and being successful at them is to not set your goals too high or too big. As my mother use to say “inch by inch life’s a cinch, yard by yard life can be hard.” Being organized can help accomplish the simplest things and allow you to feel more positive. Here are a few suggestions to try:
1. Clear Clutter
Start small in one room, kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom pick a drawer to start, each week clean one. I have found that sometimes when I am just chatting with friends on the phone I can get a drawer organized by the time we finish our conversation- albeit over a half hour, it gets the job done without feeling like I could be doing something better. Once the drawers are finished move to the closets, and keep going throughout the house- if it takes a year so be it; but you will feel more at peace once everything is in order.
2. Out with the Old
We all tend to hang onto books, medicines that have expired, clothes that are not in fashion any more, etc. you know what I am talking about. This is the time to pick one of those things that you know have been accumulating and you have not addressed in a long time. There are many things we can remove if you really think about it. Move them out of your home, donate to charities things that you think they could use. A clear living/working space is a clear mind.
3. Clean and Update
After you clear your clutter, rid your home of old items, and organize your room, make sure you clean the room. Dust the cob webs from the corners of the ceiling, clean the flooring, evaluate the room- do you still have your 1980’s style wallpaper borders up in the room? It’s time to update, it can be as small as adding a current accessory or updating your bedding, maybe a new current color is in order for the room- mauve, tangerine something different and fun. This is a great way to bring positive energy in.
4. Identify Things That Rob Your Time
Evaluate what your current situation is, routines, schedules, and goals. Learn to limit and adjust those things that you know are robbing your time that prevent you from living a productive and fun life. If you need to set a timer when you are on Face book, surfing the web, or emailing buddies, watching TV, playing Wii, set limits. Once you organize your time, limit those things that rob your time, you will find that you can do more than you ever thought!
Have a wonderful productive, energetic New Year! Let me know how you do with your resolutions
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Property Sellers sometimes are on the fence if they should invest any money into staging their house, or leave it “as is.” I have heard the argument that “I have loved my property, as my friends and neighbors, so will everyone else.” What you lose with that view point is that you are not necessarily creating a product that the market wants, or desires, because it speaks of your taste, thus narrowing the market that you could possibly attract and sell to. Here are five reason to hire a professional stager when listing your house.
5. Staging creates a vision for buyers in each room, it allows the buyer to picture themselves in a house, aspiring them to live that lifestyle. If you leave your home with all your decor and personal items, it will not feel like a home a buyer can relate to or see themselves living in. In fact only 10% of buyers can see the potential of a home.
4. Objectivity is necessary to stage a house. A seller may feel that they have done a great job “clearing and de-clutter” per the advice of their Real Estate agent but the problem is a home seller cannot objectively look at their HOME and envision it as a HOUSE that needs to appeal to the masses of buyers. A house on the market is now a commodity that needs to stand out to sell.
3. Expertise in design, is necessary to stage a house. Many homeowners love their “things, decor and color choices ” and believe they are experts. Unfortunately those “things” do not allow the buyer to see the house, they might see the sellers “things” but not be able to look beyond, hence not making an offer on the house. Hiring a professional home stager helps the seller highlight important selling features buyers desire.
2. A home that has been staged first sells about 30% faster than a home that has not been staged. The cost of staging a home on the average results in a 299% ROI (return on investment) for the home owner. The typical cost to stage is usually less than 2% of the listing price of the house. For every month a home continues to stay on the market the sale price will fall around 1% a month, to add to that, the seller has their caring costs (electric, taxes… etc.) which add up month after month. Simple solution – stage first, and sell faster.
1. Not staging a home only helps sell your competition. If you want to sell your home quickly and for top dollar, common sense, call a home stager to help you merchandise your home to market it properly the first time! Their objectivity, creativity and expertise will pay off with a faster sale.
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When you have visitors you want them to feel welcome and comfortable in your home. Holidays are in particular, a time when it seems that our front door is like a revolving door! To make your life a little simpler and still make guest feel comfortable and relaxed here are some suggestions to create the perfect retreat for you guests.
Obviously the most important thing is the bed in your guest room. You will want to ensure the mattress is comfortable. Building from a good base is easy with nice sheets. There are many on the market but having a higher thread count does make them feel more luxurious. Natural fibers like cotton, linen and silk “breath” so you are more comfortable throughout the night.
Next add the layers. Some people prefer a fluffy down comforter, while other people like to pile on the blankets. Either works, just ensure your guest will be warm throughout the night. Of course being aware of allergies there are comforters that are hypoallergenic. Pillows should be selected with this in mind also for a guest bedroom. I typically offer two pillows one firm, one soft which will allow your guest to adjust to their liking.
Lighting is important in any room. In a guest room having a light that can be turned on when you enter the room with a switch is ideal. Also having a light near the bed for reading that is on a separate switch will allow your guest to read when they retire if they choose, it also prevents them from having to get up to turn off the room light. Some people like to sleep in complete darkness, while others like a little light if needed when it is pitch black. Supply a small night light that has a switch so your guest can choose which they prefer.
Add niceties; when I travel, hotel rooms typically have small bottles of sundries, those that I do not use I will bring home to provide for my guest in case they forgot to bring something. I put these in a small basket for their use. I also will provide bottle water on the night stand along with magazines and books for guests to read.
Providing a few basics in your guest room makes your visitors feel welcome, and you know you will not be running around at the last minute trying to find small items to make them comfortable. A little planning ahead of time makes everyone happy.
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Selling a house today is something totally different than ten years ago. The presentation of the home really impacts the desirability to buyers. Of course we typically think “who wouldn’t love my house, everyone says they do!” But living in a home, and selling a house are two totally different things. Here are five simple habits to maintain before selling, and will ease your life when selling.
Home buyers are looking, looking on line, looking as they drive by, looking all the time. This is why it is essential to make sure your curb appeal is up to par. Regularly maintained yards are attractive, keep the lawn mowed and cleared of debris. Maintain the shrubs and trees around your yard by trimming when needed. Any repairs that need to be done, do them because when it’s time to sell, you do not want to be investing $10,000 or more on a new roof, for the new owners.
Control the clutter. I know it’s difficult, but work one room at a time. Rid your house of unnecessary clutter. I tell my clients pick it up once, decide if it is essential, if not, get rid of it by donating, selling or throwing out. Look at your furniture, do you have too much, maybe somethings can be moved around in your house to different rooms. It might just give your house a completely new look without spending a dime! Set up systems to keep organized and clutter free. Baskets are great organizing tools. Items you use less go up high or packed out of the way. Things you use regularly keep in easy access.
Neutralize your wall color: OK I get it, you love dark rich colors, maybe you’re a big fan of pink, but when selling, the color on the walls can literally make or break a sale of a house! I have had sellers say “that’s too much work to paint over that red wall.” You don’t think a buyer is thinking the exact same thing?? This is the time that if you are thinking of selling in the next five years, consider a neutral color but enjoy bold colors from art and accessories in your room to still make it feel home. You never want to give a buyer a reason to turn away if it was simply painting a room.
Keep all things in good repair. These means if your rugs are too worn to clean and need to be replaced, do so. Try and keep surfaces clean. Regularly- even if it is every other week give each room a good cleaning. Note anything that needs repair- like caulk around a bathtub or sink, hardware that might be falling off, doors that squeak, stains on counters… take care of these things as you see them, this way the tasks will not become excessive
Sit back and look at design magazines and other resources at least once a year. Yes, take a look at what is the style now. There are so many clients homes that I will consult in to find the last time they updated their house was when they moved in. Look at the style of your furniture, rugs, accessories, lighting fixtures, and the colors throughout your house, maybe it’s time for an update. Yes, just like the avocado appliances, they were so popular at one time, now a turn off. If you are not sure call a decorator in for a consult, they have an objective eye and can set you in the right direction.
Consider doing the simple five steps and you will find, when the time comes to sell you will feel it’s not that over whelming to prepare your house for buyers.
Additional Good Reads
Realtorage.com is a website that provides sellers with wise advice when it comes to selling your house. They seek the advice of experts in their field, pool the information so that the professional insider information is available to you.
We were quoted in an article they wrote:
They revealed statistic that might help you understand the impact that staging can have in the overall selling process.
These were found on the National Association of Realtors study. They hint towards the advantage of professionally staging a property not only resulting in better price offers, but also more interest from the buyers when they are searching the field of houses available. Staging does help make the house (the product) stand out, and it does amazingly help buyers overlook any faults they might see in the property because the house is resonating with their emotional side, which is why they decide on one house over another due to the staging.
So is staging worth the investment? Yes. Because if you bring a Professional Stager they will be able to help you improve your product to appeal to your market.
Realtytoday.com is full of information to help sellers get their bang for their buck. But what if you are not planning on selling right away? I call you the dwell to sell type of homeowner. One that might be considering selling in a short time but you know you might need a few improvements to your abode before you take that jump. So where should you invest your hard-earned money so you do get a return? Take a look at this article we are quoted in with other professionals in the field.
To start, keep in mind everything should appear well maintained throughout the house, and outside when you are selling. Any maintenance that has been neglected, needs to be addressed. My philosophy is, why not enjoy it while you are living there? Double bang for the buck! If you are not sure what color paint, type of flooring or other hard surface material to choose would be best, call in a professional. Many will provide a consult for you at a minimal fee that will ensure your hard-earned money is being spent wisely.
Not sure, send me pictures and we can help you choose what will work best for your project.
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Realtor.com knows the real estate market and they seek expert advice to help sellers when it comes to putting their house on the market. In a recent article they elaborated on Must-Do Home improvements, we, Design Solutions KGP were quoted!
Jamie Wiebe wrote: “Selling your home might feel like a rush to the finish line. The market is hot right now, you think—so you should hurry up while you can still get a good price. Or perhaps your dream home was just listed, but you can’t move in until your current place sells … so you should expedite this, right?”
The problem is, if you move too fast, buyers see right through the fact that you skipped important home renovations. And this, my friends, might end up costing you time and money; lots of both, in fact.
So take the time to sell your home right. These six home improvements will make your home sell faster and for more cash. And some of them aren’t even very much work.”
Read the full article here:
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I have heard someplace that Halloween sales are second to Christmas. People obviously love decorate for this holiday. I tend to lean on the simpler side when it comes to decorating for holidays, decorate for the season, not so much for the holiday. So with that in mind I thought I would share some inspirational ideas I have come across for decorating you table for fall that could take you right through the winter holidays.
Tabletop Holiday Decorations
I do love the look of the white pumpkins. They come across so clean, and obviously coordinate with anyone’s décor no matter what colors you use! By adding other items like grapes, fruits, leaves or branches they can set a festive mood.
Another great option is to use things you can find in and around your home, like branches of leaves, wheat, or even feathers I love!
Go elaborate, or go simple I believe if you are decorate for the season you will reduce some of the stress in your life, because you will avoid all the extra effort of setting up, taking down, storing. You can get a few months out of your efforts and they will look festive!
I would love for you to share your ideas that you have used for season tabletop decor
Arranging furniture right in a room can sometimes be a challenge, especially if you are moving into a new house and all you have are vacant rooms. But arranging the furniture can be easy if you follow a few basic rules.
all in mind.
The balance of the furniture should sit proportionally in the room. Balance is pleasing to the eye. So when you have a bed as a focal point, it looks best with two bedside tables on either side. Think of a fireplace, if you can place the furniture on either side, it will create balance and frame the focal point, your fireplace.
Flow is important, being how people can move through the room. If you have a chair, table or something in the way of the traffic flow it can be terribly annoying. Also small spaces can be troublesome to move through, so keep the furniture in proportion to the room.
This brings me to size. It is important to keep in mind the proportions of a room when you are arranging furniture. Although the room may feel large when it is empty, measure it, lay it out on paper if needed so you have a good idea of the furniture in proportion to the room, and allow enough space so that it is easy to move around the room. Likewise you do not want the proportion of furniture to overwhelm the space, meaning adding a big overstuffed sofa to a room just because it is comfortable.
The key to arranging furniture is measure the room, and play with the above suggestions of balance and proportion. Keep in mind the traffic flow through the room. Try and keep some of the pieces away from the walls too. By rearranging some of the pieces you already have can make a room look completely new again! Send me some pictures of your “new” rooms after you give this a try!
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