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This Week's Top 10 Items That NEED to be packed away When Your Home is being Shown for Sale

Posted on November 21, 2012 at 12:15 AM

This is the first installment of a weekly post revealing a week in the life of an Edmonton Home Stager.


We want to showcase actual inappropriate items we have found out in plain view in homes for sale in the Edmonton market during our various Home Staging services performed for our clients.


Our goal is to help our sellers see their properties SOLD. A buyer’s psyche is working in over-drive while viewing potential “New Homes”.


It can sometimes be a seemingly very small detail that deters them from making an offer on a property.


The items we list, if left out in plain view during a viewing of your property, absolutely HAVE to be packed away to ensure you are not offending, frightening, or disgusting a potential buyer.


Top 10 Offensive items we saw this week that ABSOLUTELY need to be packed away for showings:


1. The highchair, blankie, bottle, and key-ring toy all set up in the basement cold-storage room (that had an exterior lock installed) with the back of the chair facing the door.

2. The master bedroom en-suite bathroom’s sink full of sudsy water in which various sex-toys were soaking.

3. The large bulk box of Tampax sitting open on the floor beside the toilet in the main bathroom with the waste basket full of related refuse.

4. The sex-swing installed in the basement with one of the kids’ teddy-bears strapped into it.

5. The coffee table completely littered with Holocaust literature.

6. The kitchen island with the beautiful fruit bowl that was also doubling as a storage caddy for Preparation H, Vagasil, Denture Cream, and Senokot.

7. Large decorative urn as the only accessory on the fireplace mantle with Grandpa’s name engraved on the front in bold, obvious font.

8. Package of the seller’s Boudoir Photo Package prints spread out on the kitchen table.

9. Large amount of very intimate lingerie strewn out on the bed in the master bedroom as if seller had wanted to take stock and clearly see every single piece she owns all at once.

10. Open, and obviously sticky, Econo-sized bottle of KY Jelly sitting on the bed-side table in the teen-aged son’s bedroom.


As I typed this out, I realized that it may seem far-fetched that home-sellers actually leave these types of things out in the open. But, the truth is that if a property sits on the market for some time, the occupants become complacent and tend to forget that strangers may be traipsing through the house at some point that day. I always say, “The longer you can manage to live as if you are in a hotel, the faster your home will sell”.

We plan on documenting our strange finds every week, and will only list the Top 10 worst offences.

 

How does Kids' Clutter fit into Staging your Home For Sale?

Posted on July 27, 2012 at 2:10 AM

Are you desperately trying to keep up with the every-day clutter that comes along with kids?

 

This post will offer solutions to speed up the sale of your home in just 4 Steps!

 

If you are thinking of listing your home for sale or have already, and can't seem to wrap your head around the idea of keeping things looking tidy and clutter free for showings, read on to find some easy and affordable ideas to speed up the sale of your home!


 

 



These pictures are of average, every day clutter that we all know and hate. It seems that the second you tidy up, the kids have hauled out a thousand more toys, arts and crafts items, and left a trail of dirty laundry all over the house. Don't be too hard on yourself though! We all combat the same problem. I do, however, have a few simple steps that will ease your mind and lighten your work load while making your house presentable and clutter free. Take a deep breath....and read on.

 

Step 1:

 

It is very important that the whole family is on board with this plan. Have a family meeting and explain that in order to sell the house, everyone will have a task to do. In addition to getting the kids and family to agree to help maintain the home once tidied up, you must also decide which items you use on a regular basis and what can be packed away. I recommend giving your children complete (well almost complete) control over this step.

 

The average amount of time that homes sit on the market before selling is currently, at the time this article was written, 51 days. In order to reduce clutter in your home, you must come up with an acceptable number of items that each individual will need to use over the 51 days after listing your home. Think of this assignment as packing for a vacation. Decide what the bare essentials are and choose a number that represents these items. This can be made into a fun game for the whole family. Find a laundry basket, plastic bin, or box for each family member. Item by item on the list below, ask each family member to gather the following: (you can increase or decrease the numbers I have suggested, but please keep in mind that this is an exercise in minimalism)

 

-Ask each individual to gather the essential toiletries they will need for the next two months, ie, hair brush, toothbrush, shower supplies, hair accessories, shaving items, tweezers...etc. Have each person put their essential toiletry items into a shoe box labelled with their name and store these boxes in a cabinet or drawer in the bathroom or linen closet. As each person readies oneself for the day, the items can be placed back in their own box and neatly stored away.


 

-Keeping the current season in mind, ask each family member to choose 7 entire outfits that they will rotate wearing over the next two months. Make sure that everyone keeps out a few items for different occasions and weather conditions. Remember socks and underwear too! Don't worry about outerwear at this point...that’s coming next! Have each person separate their chosen items into one drawer or area in the closet.

 

-Again, keeping in mind the current season and weather conditions, ask each family member to choose a few jackets or sweaters, three pairs of shoes, a hat, and whatever sports items are needed.

 

-Ask each child to choose 10 toys and 10 books that they can't live without for the next 51 days. This may be the most difficult task, but keep reminding the kids that it is only for a short amount of time and they will have all their possessions safely packed away and ready for them at the new house. If possible, encourage your children to choose smaller, less bulky toys to keep out.

 

-If you have an arts and crafts area set up for the kids, help them to decide on a few essential items to keep handy and set them aside.

 

-If you have a home office, decide what is essential to have on your desk and set those items aside.

 

Step 2:

 

Now that you have decided what your essential items are that you will need to survive the next 51 days, we can move on to step 2! In this step, all non-essential items will be packed away and stored neatly. If you are feeling overwhelmed with the idea of packing all the extra items, you may want to consider hiring Revealing Assets Home Staging And De-cluttering Services to do it for you. We offer our services, to come in and carefully pack up all non-essential items to be stored while your home is listed. All you will need to do is provide us with boxes or rubber maid type bins with lids, and some bubble wrap or packing paper, and we will take care of the rest.


 

Check out our "Services/Products/Rates" page on our website to read about all the packages we offer!

 

Once all of the non-essential items are packed up, the boxes can be neatly stacked in the garage or basement, or you may want to consider a short term rental of a storage facility to keep the home as clutter free as possible.

 

Step 3:

 

At this point, you should have all non-essential items packed away and all essential items left in the home. At this stage, you now need to organize the remaining items as neatly as possible. If you have hired Revealing Assets to help, this step will also be taken care of for you! The key here is that all surfaces should now be clear of clutter. All closets should only have very few items with the floor area completely clear. All cupboards in the kitchen and bathroom should be mostly bare except for the essential items. All of the children's toys should be put away neatly with floor space maximized. Revealing assets can also make suggestions about placement of your furniture for the best energy flow and appearance as well as placement of key accessories to highlight the best-selling features of your house.

 

Your home should now be ready to list to sell!!! 

 

 

Step 4:


One final step....maintaining the cleanliness! The key to successfully keeping your home looking neat and tidy is daily maintenance. With only the essentials left in the home, it should only take a matter of minutes a day to put everything away, out of sight. It may be helpful to have a small plastic bin, for each family member, labelled with names. Choose a time of day when everyone will take 10 minutes to gather their own items in their bin and put them away. Straighten cushions, fold throw blankets, a quick dust, and tidy throughout and you always be ready for a spur of the moment showing! The best part is, that when your house sells, you are done most of the packing already!!!

 

Submitted and Written by Guest Blogger and partner Home Stager: Toni Harris

Revealing Assets - Home Staging and Decluttering Services has been successfully Staging homes for Sale in Edmonton, Alberta and surrounding areas since 2009.

 

 

Simple, yet effective, De-cluttering Tip #4

Posted on March 21, 2011 at 9:16 PM

So, the corporate giants love to pretend to have their customers' best interests at heart when stocking their shelves with new products.

How many large stores have you gone into in search of products that offer you wonderful storage solutions?

How many of those stores seem to have aisles and shelves and display tables absolutely brimming with nothing but those ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING drawered storage towers and bins that are see-through?

This couldn't anger me any more!

These are the BIGGEST waste of a consumer's hard-earned money on the planet when it comes to seeking an escape from the clutter chaos in our homes and offices!

So, you get said "storage solution" home from the store after struggling and wrestling it in and out of your vehicle. You pull it inside, and end up finding time to get around to transferring your crafts, paperwork, bills, or your child's toys into the drawers of the tower, or into your new bin.

You seal the puppy up, stand back, and, strangely enough, you don't feel any different than before your purchase.

Why?

BECAUSE YOU CAN STILL SEE ALL OF YOUR CLUTTER!

All you have succeeded in doing is collecting all of your clutter, and put it into a smaller pile, stuffed it into a bin or a drawer, and have now effectively put it right behind a grand magnifying glass.

There it is! Right out in the open. Your clutter on display for all to see in its magnificent glory.

It is a blatant reality that the majority of clutter-related stress is visually inspired in people. 

This stems from the idea of being able to consistently SEE incomplete To-Do lists and tasks that you keep meaning to get around to.

What does the above photo remind you of? "Oh, awesome, now I can see all of the excess linens that I hang on to, even though I no longer need or use them!"


The ability to see free-standing clutter or tasks-undone causes extreme brain clutter.

So, no, don't fall into the clear-storage-solution traps!

Of course, I ALWAYS suggest NEVER simply transplanting your clutter into a storage container of any sort until you have thoroughly sorted through your clutter, determined what you no longer use or need, purging it, and THEN, and ONLY THEN, storing what you have deemed necessary to keep!!

Save your hard-earned dollars and purchase storage solutions with doors, or, at the very least, bins and drawer-towers made of the opaque plastic. 

How do you find items in those bins if you cannot see them from the outside? Neatly label containers/drawers/cabinets. You will find that, after a while, you won't even need to be referring to the labels, and may even be able to remove the labels (which just further reduces your visual clutter).

'Nuff said for now.

 

Simple, yet effective, De-cluttering Tip #3

Posted on March 14, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Through life, we have loved ones who pass on and leave us their treasures or simply gift them to us while they are still with us.

Some examples of these items can be any of the following: Doilies, hand-knitted goods, excess kitchen utensils, "decorative" baskets, dated furniture pieces, LP collections, rusty "handy" took kits, sealed tins of shortbread from 1964, stemware, traveller collector spoon collections (this was my particular beasty), and the list goes on and on.

You get the picture.

These items fill boxes, bags, bins, and simply take up precious space. We move them from home to home as we travel through life. The items stay somewhat sealed in boxes and tossed in the corner of our storage spaces in our home.

Are you treasuring these gifts? Do you have them out on display for you and all of your visitors to enjoy? 

Or are they packed away, gathering dust, getting beat up, and being generally neglected?

If you answered yes to any of  the second line of questions, then you are disrespecting these items. But, not only that.....wait for it....you are directly disrespecting the person who gifted the items to you. 

The first question I always ask myself is whether I believe that I am paying proper respect to the item. I then ask if the loved one who gave it to me would appreciate knowing where the item was being kept. 

If my answers to the above questions are a big, fat NO, I now realize that I NEED to donate/sell/gift the item. Pass it on to someone else who WILL treasure and display the item for others to enjoy.

If you are truly struggling with how you are going to part with the item, regardless of your reasoning, I will give you THE De-cluttering tip for today:

If in doubt, TAKE A PICTURE!

Take a photo or two of this item that you are emotionally attached to, and even start a photo album of your acquired treasures over the year. If you are a scrap-booker, then you can also creatively add a story to the photos. Memorialize your treasures from your loved ones, and never forget the sentiment. 

BUT, a photo album takes up remarkably less space in your closet/basement/shed/drawer/spare bedroom!!!

Simple, yet Effective De-Cluttering Tip #2

Posted on February 27, 2011 at 12:41 AM

How many of us hang on to articles of clothing for way too long because we are absolutely convinced that we WILL fit into them again....some day?

I used to do this. I was certain that I would some day return to 135 lbs, which was my weight for ages 15-24. So my mentality was, "If I was able to maintain that weight for such large chunk of time, how could I NOT achieve that weight again in life?"

Many of us have gone through this battle, or are still going through this battle. And, it is not at all enjoyable.

The issue, when related to hanging on to all of our "what-if" clothing, grows extraordinarily.

Many of us have boxes, bags, totes, garment bags, rolling garment-racks, and piles of clothing that we continue to clutch and move with us from residence to residence. Then, we are constantly faced with a "lack of storage space", largely due to our ridiculous amounts of clothes.

Sound familiar yet?

Here is a tip that I read somewhere a few years ago. This tip literally made me stumble backwards and clutch my heart. It was the biggest epiphany I have come across in my de-cluttering journey.

CLOTHING TIP: It is, indeed, very possible that a human will obtain a goal weight in life that matches a body-weight from earlier years in life. But, the absolute fact is that, even though you may reach this same weight, your body-shape will NEVER be the same again. Through our lives, our body shapes change in ways that are tough to imagine (until, of course, you try to fit into those jeans you bought when you were 20). 

Through life, most humans lose height due to spine curvature, spinal discs compressing, posture changes, etc. Through life, we go through differing phases of where we individually tend to carry our excess weight (little pot bellies can shift upward or downward). The positioning of our hips vary throughout life. And, the list goes on. 

A Chiropractor is a great reference for these facts. 

I read this tip, and I immediately realized that even if I did return to 135 lbs, many things on my body would simply no longer be sitting in the same position. 

I realized that if I did lose the weight, and attempted to get "all dolled up" in my goal-clothing to go out and celebrate, someone may think that I was dressing up for Halloween as Steven Urkel!

This tip alone was what I personally needed to push me to do a HUGE purge of clothing. 

What do you do with all of your clothing that you are purging? Donate, consign, sell, donate, donate, donate. There are so many options out there for charities who are in constant need of clothing for those less fortunate than ourselves.

Think this tip over, and I truly hope that this helps at least one person "see the light".

Another thing to be mindful of: How can you expect to ever purchase yourself a nice new outfit if there is no room to store it when you get it home. MAKE ROOM FOR THE NEW!

Simple, yet Effective De-cluttering Tip #1

Posted on February 19, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Join us here regularly for amazingly simple and quick, yet effective and impactful De-Cluttering tips for your home and/or office!


Tip #1


Pick a closet, any closet. But, pick a closet where you hang apparel of some sort.


This can be an entry-way/mud-room coat closet, a bedroom closet...etc.


Open the door.


What do you see in there?

Does it look like AND feel like chaos?

Take a look closer at the actual hangers being used...


Are you looking at a row of hangers made of varying materials/colours/sizes?


Have no fear, as the majority of human beings own a very ecclectic collection of hangers in their homes/offices.


Much of the angst we get when we open our closets comes directly from the visual chaos, which is increased monumentally by the make-up of your hanger collection.


Try this: Run out to Zellers or Walmart and purchase as many cheap clothing hangers as you need. Take them home and remove all old hangers from a single closet. Transplant the clothing onto the new, ALL MATCHING, hangers that you have purchased. Hang everything back up.


Close the door.

Stand back.

Approach that closet door once again, and re-open that door.


Ahhhhhhh. You will be absolutely floored at how much better that looks. But, more importantly, the shift in feeling evoked from opening that closet door is amazing!!!


Now, what to do with the hangers that you removed from the closet?


You can take them to any dry-cleaner or laundromat and donate them, as they always have a need for hangers. You could also try an assisted-living community, as they may use them for crafts or visitors' coat closets.


Have fun!!

Is your Christmas tree still up at home?

Posted on January 23, 2011 at 1:41 AM

Are you finding that you often forget which holiday season we are actually in the midst of?


Does it take a grocery trip to Safeway and seeing the Valentines candy already out for sale to realize that it may be time to end Christmas at home?



How many of you had to physically remove Halloween decorations in order to make room for your Christmas decorations?


How many of you answered “yes” to one or more of the above questions, and also feel ashamed?


Well, I am here to say that there is NO NEED for you to feel ashamed.


There is also no need to feel like a lesser human being or like you are the epitome of lazy.

If you are finding that you are beating yourself up for not taking the Christmas Tree down yet, here at the end of January, I have an assignment for you.


Instead of laying in bed at night, tossing and turning, worrying about your mounting To-Do list, grab your car keys, no matter how late it is, and take a little drive down some residential streets. This is actually provides more benefit to you if it is later at night. Drive around and look for the houses/condos/townhouses that have window coverings opened at least part of the way. You will quickly realize how MANY people still have their trees up.



You are NOT alone. There is nothing wrong with you.


Society, as a whole, is simply busier than in the past. We lead hectic lives. We are working more hours, getting our kids involved in more activities, taking more night-time classes, and, generally, burning our candles at both ends.


This short blog is simply a reminder to step back, take a deep breath, and accept the fact that it is okay to not be a super-human. Take time to reflect on and appreciate all of the enjoyment experienced from all of the crazy daily life activities. But, mostly, remember that the tree still being up is part of what makes up the “small stuff”. And, as Jack Canfield so simply puts it, “Don’t sweat it”!

 


If you are a Parent, Clutter in your home is NORMAL!

Posted on November 27, 2010 at 5:08 PM

This is the first in a series of Clutter-related articles geared specifically towards parents with young children at home.

 

The first thing I want to stress is that, if you are a parent, Clutter in your home is completely normal, and almost unavoidable.

 

Clutter in our home is way more common than most of us think. And, this is a shame. We tend to be embarrassed and very hard on ourselves if we are not able to keep on top of our clutter.

 

I am not a mother yet, but from my De-cluttering experience and through watching the flurry of activity in my Sister's home with a 5-yr old and a 3-yr old underfoot, I can fully appreciate the enormous amount of energy it takes to keep a home tidy.

 

Does this sound familiar? PILES of clothing and toys!!!!

 

And, as you tidy or organize these piles, your little ones are literally undoing your hard work right behind you. This is normal. Kids are busy. Kids grow tired of toys. Kids have re-kindled interest in toys that are tucked away. Kids grow out of clothes like wild-fire. And, so the cycle begins.

 

I will be updating this blog regularly with amazing tips, tricks, and techniques for parents that have helped my past clients tremendously in the daunting task of keeping a fairly un-cluttered and organized home.

 

Check back often, and feel free to shoot us any questions you may have!!

How long has it been since you have had company over for the Holidays?

Posted on November 21, 2010 at 1:42 AM

The Holiday season is approaching quickly, and, for many of us, this time of year is quite bitter-sweet.

 

This is supposed to be a joyous time of year where we get to spend quality time with loved ones.

 

But, more people than we realize are plagued with the inability to invite visitors into their homes due to large amounts of clutter. Society has dictated that we are less-than-stellar humans if we are not able to keep on top of our “stuff” in our environments.

 

So, what do we do when we are not comfortable having others in to our homes for the Holidays?

 

We accept invitations to others’ homes.

 

What happens when we get there? Well, the lovely corporate Retail Big Boys have managed to turn the Holidays into a strongly commercial time of year. Advertising aims at, and targets those of us who love to shop. And, societal norms are now laden with the expectation of giving material gifts to absolutely every single person we have been acquainted with.

 

So, when we leave our home and close the door on our clutter to travel over to a friend’s home for some Holiday Cheer, what do we end up bringing back to our home? Gifts!! More material possessions to simply add to our piles of “stuff”. Lovely!!

 

The worst part of it is that, because these people are acquaintances, the “stuff” we receive as gifts during the season is most likely “stuff” we will NEVER use. But, what do we do? We hang on to all of it for fear of insulting others.

 

Clutter truly is much like a snowball rolling downhill on a mild day. It grows and festers like mouldy cheese.

 

I, for one, was TIRED of this cycle, and have managed to implement a new mutually accepted tradition within my extended family. No one buys gifts for any other adult in the family. All the children under 18 get gifts, and that is it. 

Quite a movement.

 

But, guess what? Our family has now returned to enjoying family time during the holidays. We no longer have to fight crowds at stores, and the stress is greatly reduced. Happiness, bonding, eating, laughing, and watching the children play with their new toys.

 

Ahhhhhh, the way the Holidays were MEANT TO BE!!!

 

How do we "downsize" our home when Clutter is stopping us in our tracks?

Posted on November 7, 2010 at 6:58 PM

There comes a time in many of our lives where we are faced with having to move to a smaller home.

 

If we are moving to assisted living, we are plagued with a very daunting task, as it is probably the biggest transition there is. We face having to stuff a whole life worth of memories and belongings into a small apartment or a 20' x 20' space.

 

When we move into assisted living, we are now forced to make very emotionally charged decisions regarding which of our memories and belongings are THE most important to us.

 

How much of our "stuff" can we take with us?

 

Do we need to consider the additional cost of renting storage solutions on top of our monthly costs?

 

If we need to part with a large portion of our "stuff", do we have family members or friends who can use these items?

 

How do we feel about donating some of our "stuff" to a charity of our choice?

 

Do I have to part with some valuable things, and how do I sell them?

 

These are all issues that many of us don't have the time or energy to deal with, on top of all of the other mounting tasks of moving to a smaller home.

 

Many people don't have the benefit of having family or friends close by to help out.

 

We are here to let you know that you don't have to do all of this alone. We offer many solutions to our clients who need a helping hand when it comes to their "stuff".

 

We will de-clutter for you, sort for you, help you determine which charity you would like to donate items to, arrange for delivery or pick-up of items for family and/or friends, pack for you, and help you determine which items will go with you to your new home.

 

Let us help take a load off for you! ;)