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For buyers, kitchens are extremely important and weigh more heavily on the final decision than the other rooms in the house. To ensure your kitchen astounds buyers, prepare your kitchen before selling.
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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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Organizing does not really necessarily fit with love and money right? I dabble here and there with Feng Shui, because many of their principles apply to good design. Clutter is the number one thing they tell you to remove from your spaces. Here are some ideas and principles that might just get you to organize and who knows, gain you some love and money.
To bring in more prosperity it is important to have a clutter – free home. The clutter can lock up good energy and can lead to procrastination. If you have a lot of clutter in a room you get lost, you get side tracked causing you to become unproductive. That obviously is not good for prosperity, and with the clutter it can bring anxiety which is defiantly not good for love.
Each and every room throughout the house can be a positive energy center, but first removing the excess and minimizing what you have in the room will help bring it forward. By removing the clutter you can then hold a yard sale, or sell some of the items that you don’t use, love or need. Space brings opportunity.
Some areas I would suggest to concentrate on when thinking of improving your home so that love and money can begin to flow forth are:
It is the place where the flow of energy enters. If there is not a clear path; or plants, debris, and other detritus is about, it will block the positive flow. If the path is clear to your house it can bring you opportunity. Make sure the door is painted in a color that you like, obviously if you paint it red, and you dislike red you won’t feel invited into your own home. Choose a color that you like and is inviting to others. Fountains stimulate prosperity and energy, so if you have space consider adding one.
If you have an organized pantry and refrigerator with fresh food you will save money because you will know what you have and only need to purchase what you don’t. Create a dining space that includes every member in the house, even if they do not eat with you every night, symbolically this shows love. If you can situate a round table where you eat it’s even better because everyone can share in the conversation better. Isn’t food typically a way to a man’s heart? Hmmm some love going on there!
First off, treat it as your escape from the day’s stress, it’s your area of solitude, and relaxation. It should feel cozy to you, if not arrange it so it does. Your bed should be in full focus when you enter the room. Since it is the focus make sure it is made with bedding you LOVE. Remove the exercise equipment, TV, computer, and all the things you deal with throughout the day. If you are single, leave room for someone else, add an extra nightstand, leave room for opportunity. Add something that makes you smile so when you enter the room it puts you in a good mood.
If your spaces are organized you will begin to spend less time dealing with the “stuff” that isn’t important, and more time on the “stuff” that is. So by organizing your area’s you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, even money and love!
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When it comes to selling, or just living in your house, clutter is one of those things we always realize we have. There are so many items though that we can get rid of. Here are 20 items that you don’t have to agonize over to depart with when de-cluttering. This is the easy stuff!
Once you de-clutter a space it feels more inviting. By removing all the extra stuff, giving it a home the room feels more relaxed. Start with one room and see if it gives you a new perspective.
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Identifying our clutter is hard to do for some. Are those weights you purchased to strengthen your arms clutter or useful? Here are four categories of identifiable clutter that you probably can get rid of once you understand what it is.
Sentimental Clutter, OK I probably am the worse with this. I will tell my kids to clean out their rooms and then see in the piles they are throwing out an item and say “but you made that in first grade, don’t you want to keep it?” Of course I get “Mom, that was 15 years ago, what am I going to do with it?” You probably have other clutter throughout your house that is similar. That birthday gift your sister in law gave you and you have no idea what to do with it. The ornate picture frame you received as a wedding gift ten years ago and have never used. Yes, we all have it and you need to donate, give away, sell it or throw away. Move it on out so it is not collecting dust.
Inspirational Clutter, this is all the stuff you acquire when you think it is going to improve something for you in your life. That treadmill sitting in the room that has never been used in years, the fancy dress that you thought would make you look awesome, wore it once and never again. The expensive appliance you bought for a recipe that you never made again. The hobby or sport you thought was so fun to take up, and you just got frustrated at. All of those things you have accumulated are inspirational clutter that needs to be moved out to make space for clearing your mind.
Clutter With No Home, my parents use to say to me when I was a kid “a place for everything, and everything in it’s place.” When you have an organized space within your home, every item has its own “home.” It might be a drawer, a spot in your closet, a storage container but the object has a place it belongs. Then we have the clutter that has no home- you know the clutter that piles up until we sort through it and decide what to keep, what to save, what to throw away. This applies to everything you bring into your home, if you do not have an intended use and place for it, don’t hang onto it or bring it in.
Bargain Clutter, at the time it was the incentive to buy __________, because you got ______________ for free even through you never used the free ___________. Yup you get it. We collect bargain clutter because we think it’s such a great deal. But what’s so great about something that sits around and collects dust? These are items that you can give or throw away and free up you space and mind.
So when it comes to decluttering your spaces think about what type of clutter those items are. If they fall into these categories most likely they can be donated, tossed out or maybe they have some value to sell them. Whatever they are, if you have not used the item in over a year the key is to get them out of your spaces to free up clutter that you have.
Sometimes when things get out of hand we finally decide it’s time to get organized. For some it is a simple procedure, others might dread it, keep in mind that perfectionism is the mother of procrastination. So even if you get your closet organized by color, feel great, because the next step can be by style like all shirts together, and then you will start eliminating so you feel real organized. Step by step, creating a system helps.
So what are some systems you can put in place when organizing anything?
First when cleaning out a room, closet or even drawer, decide what you will do with the clutter and put into three piles:
When going through items remove space wasters. You might be one saying “what’s a space waster?” They are items that you probably haven’t used, touched or thought about in over six or more months. They are taking up valuable real estate and need to be either sold, donated, or thrown away. Yes, it’s time for someone else to take hold of those things you really have no need for. Still having a tough time deciding if you feel it is a space waster? Ask yourself: when was the last time you used or needed the item. Again, if it has been more than six months it most likely is a space waster that needs to be addressed.
Once those space wasters are removed, it’s time to evaluate what is left. Start sorting through the items you feel are something you need to keep and are easily accessible, and what can be stored– i.e. seasonal items, large appliances that you might not use every day but still use on a regular basis. When storing be organized. Store like things together, all holiday items, and each holiday in it’s own bin, clothing- fall/winter items in their own bin, gardening items- tools together, gloves together, fertilizers all together. Your getting the idea kind of like sorting block when younger, all the same shape together, color together etc.
The items you use frequently, sort through and set up a system or a home to keep them organized. Maybe it’s using bins that are marked, setting your closet up with shelving or additional rods for hanging, labeling shelves help some to keep items in their ‘home’. The key is creating a home for things – “a place for everything, and everything in its place” and then making sure that you put items in their places and not just put them down wherever latter.
If you try it in just one area of your house you might find that you can translate it to other areas to the point of being completely organized. Let me know what systems you have put in place to keep organized and the clutter to a minimal.
Moving day is exciting and exhausting all the same. Of course with a little planning moving can be easier for everyone and having the essentials on hand in one place will help with that. Create a First Box to be Opened, it should be the last box packed from your old house and the first one opened in your new. Here are some necessities that should be included to help make Moving Day easy.
If you can, show up to your home before the movers get there. The essential box can contain cleaning items you need so prior to movers arriving you can do a pre-clean of your kitchen and bathrooms, and take care of any floors that might need sweeping or vacuuming. Pack paper towels, cleaners, sponges, rubber gloves, dish soap, toilet brush, toilet paper, tissues and a shower curtain liner.
Pack up a mini first aid kit with band aids, Ace bandage, some antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and a few ibuprofen. To have a small toiletry kit available is also helpful with toothpaste, tooth-brush, soap, shampoo, deodorant towels and wash cloths. Don’t forget any of the medicines that you take on a daily basis also.
A set of sheets, blanket and a pillow for each bed for each member of the family. Light bulbs, batteries, charging cords for devices. A set of clean clothes for everyone after the first day of moving, include sleeping clothes it will make you feel more at home the first night.
You might find eating out is a little easier when you are moving but packing some disposable cups and “tableware”, paper plates and napkins can come in handy. A can opener, serving spoon, and pan. Don’t forget about your four legged friends. Pack their serving dishes and at least two days of food for them, if they have a preferred bed it is wise to bring that too if you can.
Make sure you have the keys, essential phone numbers, paper and pen, duct tape, scissors, small portable tool kit that has hammer, screw driver, flashlight and pliers at least. Last include something that feels or helps you make your new house feel like yours; a candle, favorite throw or pillow, or a radio to play your favorite music while you unpack the rest of your belongings.
Welcome to your new home!
Other posts that might be of interest:
You have finally sold your house- Yippee now comes the time to move. Here are some points to make the whole process a lot easier whether you are doing yourself or having someone else doing the packing and moving.
Once you have everything removed from your house and before the driver leaves your home, do one last check for anything that might have been left behind. Be sure to check attics, storage sheds, and basements. Make sure you go through and also turn off all lights, your furnace, and your air conditioner. Lock your windows and doors, and leave behind your keys and garage door openers for the new occupants. Enjoy you new home!!
When preparing your home to sell I hear it from clients all the time; “what should I do with all my clutter” Preventing the clutter in the first place would be ideal, but not realistic for many of us with mail, the laundry, items we have through the house, gifts that we don’t know what to do with and then the purchasing of items we don’t necessarily need. Don’t despair there are ways to prevent clutter before it takes over your house and your life. Here are some suggestions.
Have too much clutter in your kitchen, start in one area. If you don’t have enough storage area start there in the cabinets and drawers eliminating utensils and items you don’t use on a regular basis. Keep only the basic essentials that you need or use on a regular basis. Do you really need your holiday serving platters, or roasting pan to be taking up space that could be used for something essential? Remove the clutter off the counters; you will enjoy having the work space when needed. This is always a recommendation to sellers is too, keep counters clear of nonessentials; it will make your kitchen feel like it was intended for, to cook.
Another problem we all encounter is mail- we get too much. Probably a lot of it we do not need or want, so how do you reduce this clutter? Do not provide your personal contact information without asking yourself if it is really necessary. Same goes for your email address. This can be a time consuming task too if your inbox has mail from senders you have no interest in. Think first before giving out the information if you really want to be contacted by that company, this will reduce the garbage in your inbox and time you spend deleting unnecessary correspondence.
Plan before you buy. We usually have a reason why we are going to a store to purchase something but sometimes find that bargain that we can not live without. We bring it home and realize that it was not as great as we thought, but never return it. Plan and think before you buy. Stick to your grocery list, when purchasing furniture and accessories, have a plan as to what will fit in the space, what you really need. If it is not needed or works as you thought, return it or give it away.
Closets are a place where many of us could declutter. Each season BEFORE you go shopping go through the contents of your closet and edit out anything that you did not wear last year. Anything that is worn, or looks not up to your standards, get rid of. Don’t hang onto something that you think “someday I will fit into it” unless you are on a plan to make sure you will be fitting into it, chances are by the time you do, it will be out of style. Pack up and give to the Salvation Army or Goodwill it can be considered tax deduction.
While on the subject of closets, organize your closet similar to a high end department store. Group similar articles of clothing together pants, then shirts, etc. within those sort by color. Yes sounds a little obsessive but it does help you when picking out clothes to wear and when shopping. You will have a better idea of what you have so you do not duplicate and end up with a cluttered closet. Do the same with your shoes too. This is another area I tell sellers to concentrate on when preparing a house to sell and to give the closet a pulled together appearance use all the same hangers.
Each season is a good time to edit other areas of the house like the attic, basement and garage. These tend to be places that catch all the “stuff” we don’t know what else to do with. Stop that habit now. With spring here this is a great time to go through everything in the garage, if it is broken, hardly working, or you have no idea what it goes to, get rid of it. Do the same with the basement and/or attic. Yes you do need to store something’s, but store only what is useful.
Last if you are tired of your spaces consider re-decorating versus throwing everything out and starting new. Not sure how to even begin the process? A great resource is a Professional Home Stager that specializes in interiors. They re-invent people’s spaces for selling and can create magic in home reducing clutter and getting the spaces balanced with the right amount of furniture and updated style you maybe looking for.
Share with me any simple organizing ideas you have.