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Archives for : October2018

Decisions for Downsizing

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How to Make Decisions for Downsizing:

You have decided to organize your garage and you are so pumped to get this huge project done.  You go out there and look around, then panic a little inside.  Where do I start?  How am I going to get this done?  What should I keep and what should I get rid of?  Would anyone that I know need or want this stuff?  Where do I put it if I decide to keep it?  This is a very common process for anyone who is starting any purging and organizing job.

As a professional organizer you would think that every job is completely different, but even though the space and items are different the way people react to the situation is very similar.  I call these the five decision making barriers.  Yes, there are five barriers that everyone hits when it comes to making decisions but there are also ways to get past them.  Here they are:

  1. Fear of the “What If”:  This is where you run into an item and you are so afraid to get rid of it because “What if I need it” or “What if someone I know needs it”.  This can be paralyzing to many people.  The way to get past this one is to ask your self the worse case scenario if you got rid of it and can you solve or live with that worst-case scenario.
  2. Lack of Information: This is when you find an item and you don’t have enough information to decide if you should keep it or not.  An example is finding an old clock that might be worth something.  You don’t know at that time so you need to set the item aside and create a deadline of when you will find that information out.  If you don’t find out by that deadline you really don’t care and should just get rid of it.
  3. Lack of Confidence: Where should I start?  How can I get this all done?  Every consultation that I go on for a new job this is what my new client says.  Having the confidence to just do something takes a lot of practice and patients.  If a whole garage is to overwhelming for you then just look at one box in the garage.  Is that to overwhelming?  Can you complete one box?  You can and then you can move onto the next.  You will complete the whole garage by doing this method.
  4. Others Influence or Opinion: Having family and friends to help is awesome but sometimes it can add a few obstacles that you have to get over.  When I work with clients that lean more towards hoarders then the family can have a negative effect on the process.  It is your stuff and you are the only one who knows what is important to you and what is not.  Be confident in your decisions but still listen to your loved ones.  This can be a group effort where everyone can be happy with the results.
  5. Loss or Emotional Attachment: When a loved one passes or you have items with a strong emotional attachment to them it can be really hard to let those items go.  You first need to think about what your loved one would want for you life.  Then when you are going through the items talk about the memories and see if that item will achieve what your loved one would want for you life.  This one is the hardest to work through and will take the longest so be patient and take this process as a way to remember.

Those are the five barriers that everyone runs into when organizing and downsizing their stuff.  Each of these takes practice and can become an amazing skill.  Just take your time and you can get past all five barriers and have an organized home.


About Our Guest Author:

Sarah McKinney, owner of Sarah McKinney LLC, is an interior designer and professional organizer whose focus is creating solutions for your home or office, residential or commercial, that will improve your everyday life. With a degree in interior design and a lot of experience moving around the world, Sarah new that she had a unique skill that could help many others.  While completing her degree, Sarah noticed that in every project she would focus more on the functionality of the space before the beauty.  Her belief is that if a space functions then you will feel comfortable in it and will want to stay.  Function creates beauty.  Now she has worked with many homes and businesses to make them function so her clients feel comfortable and see the beauty.

In for the Sale

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How to Draw Potential Homebuyers and Close the Deal

Selling a home can be stressful, so it’s understandable if you want to lure in potential buyers by the droves and finalize that sale as quickly as possible and at maximum value. That requires some expert tactics and a bit of elbow grease to pull it off. Success is more likely if you make the right moves:

Adding a Coat

Besides increasing the value of your home by up to 5 percent, a fresh exterior paint job could also make the house appear larger if the right colors are used, thus attracting more buyers and increasing your odds of a quick deal. Protect Painters suggests selecting neutrals, whites or creams with brighter colors for the trim and frames.

Redoing the Floors

Once that project’s done, take a look at what you’re walking on. It turns out that buyers prefer certain types of floors depending on the room. Hardwood and tile are by far the most popular materials for kitchens, getting the nod among 90 percent of homeowners polled by Massachusetts Real Estate News. For bedrooms, it’s hardwood once again with carpet in a close second. Pay close attention to trends, as this could all change in one season. It’s also important to keep your floors exceptionally clean, no matter their material. If you don’t have one already, invest in a quality cordless vacuum, which is lighter and more portable than other models and is much smaller, making it easier to hide during showings.

Brightening Up

Although you can’t make rooms larger, you can make them appear so through effective lighting, and that could make all the difference between a visit and a done deal. Some tips include using multiple light sources such as floor lamps and table lamps in the same room to cast shadows out of dark corners. Wall lights and pendants serve the same purpose.

Deep Cleaning

Once the renovations are finished, it’s time to get rid of unsightly stains and repellent odors that could turn buyers away. Much more than just a sweep and mop, deep cleaning involves scouring behind large appliances and under sinks (another reason a good vacuum cleaner is a sound investment). Your first step? Eliminate clutter. And don’t forget the refrigerator, which may generate a funk you don’t notice because you’re used to it.

Adding Curb Appeal

Get potential buyers hooked while they’re driving by for their first look. The exterior paint job was an excellent first step, but there’s more work to be done to generate real curb appeal. Before you begin the job, have a walk around the outside as if you were looking at someone else’s house. You may notice room for improvement right off the bat. House numbers and mailboxes could almost always use some sprucing up.

Finding the Right Agent

Agents can help you get the best return on your investment and find qualified buyers quickly and efficiently. Begin your search with referrals, then interview at least three before settling on one. Remember to work together in setting a competitive price and time to hit the market, which is during the spring season in most places.

Promoting Online

You can begin attracting potential buyers even before finding an agent by putting your house on the market online at a number of real estate websites, and you’ll expand your target audience by posting on as many as possible. Focus on the best features when writing the description, then back it up with some professional photographs or even a video tour.

Setting the Stage

Visits are where all of your hard work comes together, so you’d better be sure that your house is wearing its Sunday best. That’s where staging comes in, and the devil is in the details. After you’ve removed unnecessary items of furniture so spaces look larger, you’ll want to make a strong visual impact by moving around accessories to add a splash of color where needed. If you’re not sure where to start, working with a professional home stager could be a lifeline to finding a buyer for your home.

Following these steps should have the buyers lined up and ready to sign on the dotted line. It’s up to you to finish the deal.


About our Guest Author:

Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.


*As any linked websites are outside sources, I apologize if any link becomes inactive in the future.