Category Archives: create income

turning stuff into cash

Do You Gazelle?

5 Steps to Staging Your Home For Sale

When preparing your home for sale, consider these five steps to make your home really seen and unforgetable to the home buyer.

  1. Hire A Professional Cleaner – This is probably the most important task when selling your home.  Unless you are an exceptional cleaner, hire a professional.  I can not stress this enough.  Everyone’s idea of clean is different.  Get the job done by someone who has excellent cleaning standards and takes care of all the nitty gritty tasks of taking the curtains down and cleaning them, cleaning behind the stove, dusting and cleaning inside the closets, to washing the garage floor.  It is so important to have the house look its best.
  2. Clear Clutter – remove all items that would distract the buyers when they come to look at the house.  That includes an excess of magazines, photos, toys, anything that is personal.  The fewer the items, the better.  The prospective owners want to feel like they can move right in to the house and make it their own.  If there are a lot of photos of the current owners, the prospective buyers may not think of the house as potentially theirs.  Leave instead a floral bouquet on the dining room table or kitchen counter.  Fresh flowers are a great welcome to dreary house hunting.
  3. Paint – Any area that needs it should get a fresh coat of white or off white paint.  Paint makes everything look new.  What better image for the prospective buyer to see.
  4. First Impressions – make the front door sparkle.  You only have one chance to make a first impression.  If the front door needs a paint job, be sure to give it a fresh coat.  Pick a color that is appropriate for the outside and inside of the house.  When you leave the door open to the living room, that color should work there as well.  If there is space, add some potted plants at the front door.  The front door and entryway should be fresh and clean looking.
  5. Curb Appeal – There’s no question about it, the approach to the house it very important.  In addition to making the front door “sparkle”, make sure the lawn is in good shape, the mailbox gets a  fresh coat of paint, the shrubs are trimmed.  Anything you can do to help the prospective buyer feel comfortable and excited about the home helps to keep your asking price stable.

Extra Tip: Bake some brownies shortly before the showing.  Leave them out for the prospective buyers.  It shows them you care about your home and the home has a warm cozy, home cooking kind of feel to it.

Paying Bills is Fun

Paying bills can be fun.  When I had only a few to pay each month, I just paid them at the post office, socialized like crazy and went off to a full day of activities. It’s a little different today.  My friend says that she pays her bills at the end of the month after shes receive all her paychecks. Others pay them as they get them.  I keep them in my purse until I’m ready to pay them.

Many prefer to pay on-line and that is a super way to cure some of the clutter associated with bill paying. Your local bank can help set you up for this.  However, for me I like the feeling of accomplishment when I seal that envelope up.  I budget as much as I can each month and try to think and re-think about what is currently important to me and what my current needs are.  I ask myself “how important is this to my life right now?”

Creative Money Management:

  • Purchase your vacation flight tickets when you are most flush or get a bonus.
  • Open a travel account for vacation time.
  • Make or find a snazzy box to put your bills in to make it more fun.
  • Use a credit card that will give you flight miles.
  • Ask your landlord or mortgage company if you can pay two smaller payments each month instead of one.
  • Have your monthly bill deducted from your account or charged to your credit card.
  • Pay bills by check?  Keep them all together in the same place where you can find them and not forget them.
  • If you have always struggled with bill paying, pay someone to do it for you or ask them to give you some guidelines in budgeting, sorting through and keeping a good system for paying and filing.

Make Money From Clutter

1.  When you clear clutter you “uncover” lost items that have already been replaced.  When you organize these “like” items  you may discover there are two or three of some items.  Sell extras at a yard sale.

3. When you clear clutter you will no doubt discover many items you no longer need.  Perhaps you never used them or used them very little.  These items can be great ebay or yard sale items.

4.  When you thoroughly clear most or all of your clutter you may find that you can live in a smaller home as you no longer need the  extra space that your clutter took up.

5.  Estate Sales and Yard Sales can bring in much needed extra income.  Many of my clients have lots of inherited items they did not have the time to sort through when they obtained them.  When we set aside the items they wish to keep, there are often many items to be sold.

6.  Make money by saving money.  Clear out any storage unit and give away or sell those items that you no longer hold dear.

7.  “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”  Make extra money by selling these items at an estate or yard sale.  Put them in a consignment store,  on ebay or get a table at your local Flea Market and sell away.