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Prepare for move

Fireplace Safety

Roof ViewDon’t forget to have your fireplace cleaned and serviced before you use it!  We had Jack at Wolfman Chimney 210-551-5445 clean our fireplace and found out that the chimney cap was a fire hazard….so this is the new, custom chimney cap.  Love it…but I also love that we didn’t burn down the house!

Closet Organization

Easiest way to get ready for a new year is to eliminate time needed to get ready in the morning….makes your day a lot easier if you aren’t thumbing through your closet trying to find what you think you want to wear.

How to begin?

  1.  Take everything off the top shelves.
  2. Inspect.  If it is worn or torn, throw away.  If you haven’t worn it in over a year, donate.  If you still want to keep it, make a stack sorting items that are the same.
  3. Buy boxes that are the same size and label the outside so you know what is inside (what a concept!)  In my case, I had a bunch of beautiful boxes full of stuff but I didn’t know what was in each box.  I bought boxes from Thirty One, Your Way Cube 12.5 x 12.5 with lids so dust wouldn’t get inside the box.  I then wrote in chalk what was inside each box.  WOW…how wonderful to be able to know what I have up on those high shelves!

I also tried on all my clothes.  If they didn’t fit, I donated them.  If they were torn, I threw them away.

Before hanging everything back up sort them into sections:  dresses, pants, tops.  Then sort them by color.  You might be amazed at how many black tops you have (are they even different?  Why do I like to buy the same thing?)

I did have a few items I just couldn’t get rid of (beautiful shoes) that I decided to keep for one more year….if I haven’t worn them in a year, they will be donated or sold (Too Good to Be Threw is my favorite place to sell….Salvation Army is my favorite to donate).  Ask me in 2017 if I have honored this!

When we built our closet we had all the walls lined with cedar (keeps out moths plus smells fabulous) and installed closet shelving from Lowes.  I also went to the Container store and bought linen shoe boxes that have clear outsides so I could see which shoes were inside along with matching boxes for my more expensive purses.  This will keep dust off them and will remind me next year if they were  a worthy enough item to have paid the money to store them properly.

Imagine how good it will feel when you walk into your closet to get ready for your day and know where everything is….and that everything fits.  Great way to begin 2016!  Happy purging!

 

 

 

Staging to Sell

Sometimes….we aren’t the first agents to list a house.  If the house didn’t sell….they need us to do a little more.  We like to combine decorating skills with psychology in order to make a home more appealing to buyers.

Staging is not decorating. Staging is about preparing a house so a buyer can walk in and imagine themselves living there.

When working with clients we depersonalize and declutter, removing personal knickknacks and sometimes photos so potential buyers won’t feel as if they are intruding in someone else’s space. We also sometimes add artwork, colorful pillows, furnishings and plants.

The results are worth the effort, according to the International Association of Home Staging Professionals. The group’s website, stagedhomes.com, says 95 percent of staged houses sell in 11 days and bring 17 percent more than unstaged homes.

Even in a hot real estate market, where everyone has heard stories about houses selling so fast that they are only on the market a day or two, staging helps a home compete for attention.

Sometimes we have to recommend painting a room or two if the colors are too personal.

At least nine out of 10 shoppers begin their home search online. Photos of a staged home are more likely to catch a buyer’s interest.

Making a good impression on the web is crucial.

Barking Dogs

Hate your neighbors barking dog? This birdhouse just needs a battery….it has sold many homes for us that couldn’t be sold in the past because of loud barking dogs. Set it out in an area that faces the barking dogs….they will quit completely and you’ll get your home sold! It doesn’t hurt the dog….just trains them to quit barking. Best product!

Bird House for Barking Dogs

Starter Home

I loved living at home with Mom and Dad.  One day they asked me if I could be available the following day to go look at 2 rent houses they owned (Mom was a Realtor)…..my first response? “Why?”  Mom and Dad looked at each other and stated it was time for me to be on my own…..on my own?  “Why?”

Guess you can imagine how that conversation went…but the following day I was up and ready for a trip with them at the unreasonable hour of 1 in the afternoon on a Saturday.  Keep in mind…. I was almost 21.

The first house was near a lot of really cool bars I liked to frequent……in fact, I could walk to them from the house.  2 bedrooms and one bath.  Kind of a shabby neighborhood.  Years later….still a shabby neighborhood.

The second house had 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.  920 square feet…..and was in a neighborhood that didn’t look too scary. Off Broadway.  Near 410.

Mom said “which one do you like?”  My answer:  “maybe one in your neighborhood?”

I ended up deciding on the 3 bedroom.  Rent would be $375 a month.  2 roommates made that $125 a month.  I could afford that.  Now….trying to find 2 roommates that paid their bills and wouldn’t borrow my clothes?  That’s another blog….but when I got married a few years later my folks let us buy it from them.  Sometimes kids need a little push to get them out the door, huh?

Downsizing….Hard work or fun?

Betty helping

Anyone getting rid of over 1,ooo square feet can get a little stressed….even if it was your decision and choice to do so!  I began getting ready months in advance…..beginning with my attic.  16×12 and full of boxes and stuff I hadn’t looked at in years.  Took 3 months…..I put a shredder next to the kitchen table and did one box at a time.  Some were boxes of taxes we inherited that were my mother in laws……some were photos of relatives we didn’t know……I even found an autograph book from when I was in the fourth grade (I didn’t bother shredding that but did check for famous folks names…ha,ha).  Watching TV while shredding made it a lot easier…..our house wasn’t on the market (yet)….just the beginning stages of how to get ready to sell and move to a smaller place…..watch a movie while you go thru each box…..make a box for each kid if you find things that they might want…….mail photos of long lost friends to them.  I got lots of calls from people who got their photos mailed…..we laughed, they thanked me and a few called to thank me as they didn’t have that picture of their husband (or wife) who isn’t around anymore and it made them feel good that someone cared enough to keep the photo for years and then send it to them………what is stuck in the attic might actually be something precious to someone else and a stamp or two makes their day.

Always take your time during the attic clean out……you want to remember what you threw out or donated or gave away so you aren’t looking for it after you move…..and find a special place to donate things that might be resold.  We picked the Salvation Army….they are helping one of our friends kids get recovered from alcohol….so giving to a place that is special to you makes getting rid of stuff a lot easier.

Hang in there…..deep breaths

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