Tag Archives: create space

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.

Closets – Yes You Can

This is a not just a post on clutter clearing.  It’s about why we have busy, cluttered, “I can’t find anything” closets in our bedrooms.  The reasons I hear most often are:

  • “I will wear this someday.”
  • “It was given to me and I want to wear it the next time that person comes over.”
  • “It does not fit now, but it will someday soon.”
  • “It’s going to come back in fashion.”
  • “I am saving it to give to…?”
  • “It costs a lot of $$$ and I can’t throw it out.”

I will wear it someday…the truth is you probably will not.  We only use 20% of what we own and that goes for clothing as well as stuff.  Ask yourself, “Do I really love this and will I love wearing it?”  You may find that in answering this question, the truth is no.

It was given to me and I want to wear it the next time they come over…the truth is most of the time the giver would not even recognize it if we did wear it to show them how much we appreciated the gift.   Some will, most will not.  Don’t hold on to a shirt that you do not like just because “they will appreciate seeing me wear it.” We appreciate each other, the gifts are secondary.

It does not fit now, but it will someday soon…this is a tough one, but really, styles change so much and by the time you lose or gain the weight to wear it again, you will probably not feel the same way about it.  You’ve changed, your perspective has changed, and more than likely your style has changed.

It’s going to come back in fashion…the type of style perhaps, but anything that is a distinct style may not. How long has it been in your closet taking up space? If you are not willing to wear it now, you will probably not wear it when it comes back in fashion.

I am saving it to gift to…? this is the case of something being stored in the wrong place.  If you want to give it away, put it in the car, mailer, box.  Get it on its way.

It costs a lot of $$$ and I can’t throw it out…the truth is:  every time you look at it and think “it was so expensive, I can’t possibly throw it out or give it away”.  I am here to tell you:  YES YOU CAN!  You can sell it at your local consignment store and make some $$$ back on that pricey item.

When organizing your closet, the first step is always to remove those items that are creating the most clutter because they get pushed and thrown, stuffed and placed for years in our closets.  Take notice of those items that are relatively new that get moved around the closet a lot.  Do you really want to keep them?

Give Away Your Clutter

For all of you out there gathering up all the stuff you no longer want, consider this:  On May 14, 2011 -Give Your Stuff Away to someone who is looking for it and wants it.  Recycle some of that stuff you keep holding on to for a yard sale.  Whether it be a kayak, old bicycle, vintage typewriter, bestselling novels or whatever else someone might enjoy.  Once you put your pile of stuff out on the curb, check to see what your neighbors are giving away, but don’t take in too much stuff.  More Clutter Fun!

Clutter Fun?

When I work with clients, I ask a lot of questions.  One time I worked with a man who really did not know where to begin with his clutter.  He had clutter in his office – lots of it and in the office storage area.  So much so that we had to crawl into the space to see it all.  There was a pressing need to use that space to sit down and look at drawings and storage for office supplies.  It was currently being used for storage after a move.  Moving from one house to another without clutter clearing first can be problematic.  In this case, he had already been living part-time in this space and had all the necessary household items.

It takes time, but of course  it is far better to get rid of what you do not need before you move.  Fewer boxes for the moving company to move can save you lots of money and time.  But the big benefit is to arrive at the new place with so much less to deal with.  How many of us take the time to put everything in place the first two weeks we arrive at our new home?  Usually, we do not take enough time to “move in”.  So many times, I am called in to help people organize, set up systems and areas after a move.

When the boxes have been sitting there for months, we can clearly see what we need and do not need.  I’m never going to tell anyone what they need to “throw out”.  What I will ask is: “Do you love this item?  Do you use it regularly?  Can you live with out? I can usually tell what is important to them by the way they answer.

My client with the cluttered office got the de-clutter bug right away.  Sometimes, we just need a little help to get started.  After a slow 2-3 hour process, with questions such as, “what about this, I should keep it right?” I responded, “it looks old, out of shape and dated…”  “I could run it through the dishwasher and paint it?”  “Will you?” “No.”  I could see it was sinking all in.  It was important for him to decide not to keep the item and why.  At that moment, everything changed.  He started picking up item after item and showing me that he was throwing it away.  “Look, I’m throwing this away.”  Not everyone can pick up the clutter fun so quickly, but wouldn’t be fun to try?  See if you can be that detached and or ruthless with the clutter in your space?

Have fun with it.  Enjoy carefree, detached clutter fun!