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*Home Staging in Edmonton, Alberta and surrounding Areas*

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Articles, tips, and discussions revolving around Real Estate, Home Staging, and Home/Office De-cluttering in Edmonton, Alberta and surrounding areas.

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Dogs....Man's best friends? Maybe, but...

Posted on October 6, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Okay, I have to start off by saying that I have not only owned dogs (and other pets) my entire life, but I also firmly believe that animals end up being the most loyal of companions throughout life.

Provided pets are adequately cared for, loved, regularly exercised, fed, and kept warm, I am a strong advocate for people having them.

 

But, there is a time and place for an animal to be present. And, when you are trying to sell a home, this is not an optimal time.

This is a delicate subject that is not being communicated to sellers.

This is more than evident when we browse through interior photos for listings. In fact, I just closed a Realty Office website, where I found photos of a beautiful home listed for sale. My browsing session was going wonderfully, until I clicked to enlarge the photo of the living room. I gasped to find a beautiful, big-eyed Bull Mastiff, dead-center in the photo, staring me down. He/she was the focal point of the photo. And, if you know Bull Mastiffs, you are fully aware that this is one of the largest dog breeds out there.

 

Although this dog is beautiful, and the owner is probably very proud of it, the buyer's psyche automatically starts its crazy, rampant processes.

8 out of 10 buyers automatically believe that there will be an odour, damage to the property throughout, stains that are impossible to get rid of, and even a build-up of animal hair and/or dander.

The true case may actually be that the owner takes immaculate care of the property. Maybe that dog was just visiting for the afternoon. Maybe there is actually no trace of a pet within the home.

 

We are talking about assumptions based on visualization and imagination. Including photos with pets in the frames is something we really should be avoiding, at all costs.

They are just acting as a trigger, sending the majority of initially interested buyers running away from the listing.

They will NOT call to schedule a showing. Remember, buyers are not at all interested in listings that make them feel that they will have to complete work on in order to move in. Pet damage/odours/stains translate into "work".

 

Best case scenario, the home-owner should enlist the help (pet-sitting) of an outside source right from the moment they decide to list their home, until the new home-owner takes possession. This, of course, is most important in the case of indoor pets.

At the very least, we should be ensuring that the photos used in marketing materials, on-line and off-line, do not include pets of any sort.

 

But, THE MOST important thing that we impress upon our clients, is that pets cannot be present on the property when the home is being viewed.

But, not only must the pet be absent, all signs of a pet must be removed or packed away as well. This means food dishes, beds, toys, treats, hair, and all stains must be out of sight, taken care of, thoroughly cleaned.

We also have to remember that there are many people out there who have pretty severe allergies to animals (hair/dander). If a potential buyer enters a property they are interested in, but starts to have an allergic reaction, this is an obvious deterrent. This buyer will promptly leave, and become discouraged with the property. Most likely, you won't hear from them again.

 

The main thing we tell our clients is that the process of purchasing a home is one of the most important decisions people make in life. Because it is so emotionally charged, and involves a large investment, the psyche of buyers works in mysterious ways, and creates lasting/concrete impressions in the brain that just may not make common sense to you and me.


How about we start with that nasty crock-pot?

Posted on September 27, 2011 at 1:30 AM

By now, we have all heard the following:

"When selling your home, it is important to de-clutter!"

We have also heard that kitchens are one of the two most important spaces within a property to expend a lot of time/energy/elbow-grease.

It is a fact that the top three things that buyers have said, over and over again, that they are willing to pay more money for are fresh paint, updated flooring, and LOTS OF STORAGE SPACE.

So, now I have you focusing on your kitchen. Perfect!

When buyers view your home, they NEED to know that their kitchen supplies will easily fit into the available storage space. So, first they will quickly scan the ktichen, and provided the counter-tops are not loaded with items, they will then eye up the number and size of cupboards, whether there is an island, if that island has storage space incorporated into it, number of drawers, and then whether there is a pantry.

The vast majority of buyers WILL open at least a few of your cupboards to get an idea of depth and shelving configuration. They also want to see if there is added value by way of organizing systems installed.

First things first, however! Take a look at the following photo, and think about your first impression of this kitchen:

Now, granted, this photo is pretty extreme. But, I am pretty certain that you immediately thought, "Wow, there is absolutely no storage space in this kitchen!"

Even though you may think that this kitchen is abnormally cluttered, I do come across this situation at least a few times a week in my profession as a Home Stager. 

So, it is all fine and dandy that we hear these tips regarding having to de-clutter when selling a home. But, the question I am asked all the time is, "Where do I start?"

Our daily lives tend to be busy, hectic, and tiring. Then, we add the stress of selling our home on top of that, and our brains are literally cluttered. That is where a Professional Home Stager comes in. We are there to alleviate that headache and provide you with an easy-to-follow, step-by-step to-do list. 

A Professional Home Stager is there to help you minimize the amount of time, energy, and money you spend on preparing your home for sale. Nothing is worse than toiling away for hours or weeks on a project in your home, only to find out after the fact that you will not see any return on investment when you sell your home.

So, where to start when de-cluttering your kitchen counter-tops, cupboards, drawers, and pantry?

How about we start with that nasty crock-pot???

There are no bigger space bandits than large kitchen appliances!

Larger kitchen appliances are robbing your kitchen of VERY valuable Real Estate!

And, the funniest part is that we rarely actually use many of these large appliances.

It is never too early to start packing. After all, the end you are working towards is selling your home and moving into a new one, correct? Wouldn't it be great if you had much less packing to do once your home sells?

I say to start by packing away your crock-pot for many reasons which include the following:

* The crock-pot simply does not fit into any cupboard or pantry nicely, and many times we end up storing it on top of our cabinetry.

* The crock-pot is used to slow cook food all day long so that we have a nice, warm, and savory meal waiting for us when we get home at the end of a hectic day. So, not only have you cooked an aromatic meal, but you have allowed it between 8-10 hours to permeate your carpets, walls, and all of your soft furnishings. Lovely! BUT, one of the worst things to do while your house in on the market is cook anything spicy or "savory". The BEST scent in a home for sale is NO SCENT AT ALL!! Food smells can turn off a buyer in an instant!

* Because cleanliness is next to Godliness when selling a home, don't we want to avoid the bubbling remnants that sneak out from under the lid of the crock-pot as it cooks for 8-10 hours?

So, start with your crock-pot, move on to the mix-master, then to the blender, over yonder to the popcorn maker...to the George Foreman Grill, and I am sure you can also part (temporarily) with your toaster oven and make due with your toaster.

You get the drift. Simply go through your kitchen and pull out any and all appliances you can do without for your time on market.

And, guess what??? The more thorough you are at this step, the shorter the time-frame during which you have to do without your appliances. 

Pack it up now for the ability to use it quicker in your new HOME!

Home Staging Works - Reason # 10,115

Posted on September 15, 2011 at 1:55 AM

Are you wondering how you missed the previous 10,114 Reasons?

Well, it is never too late to start reading my blog posts!

Ready for it? Wait....wait.....ok....

Another BIG reason that Professional Home Staging in a property for sale works is that you are simply casting your net as wide as possible. You are ensuring that ALL buyers in your target markets (buyers interested in your particular type of dwelling, location, price-point) will be seeing your property in its BEST light.

Sound cliched? Maybe. But, it is the simple, brutal truth. 

You are marketing a PRODUCT for sale. It needs to be effectively merchandised for a successful sale! Accentuate the property's assets, polish and shine every nook and cranny, minimize attractive distractions, and eliminate visual obstacles!

Home Staging Service for the DIY types out there

Posted on September 11, 2011 at 1:40 AM

So, you have heard all the buzz about Home Staging, and how important it is when selling your home?

You have probably also seen at least a couple of the shows on HGTV where sellers are shown how to take their listed property from "blah" to "wow" for a quicker sale.

Maybe you are planning on listing your home for sale, or have already listed it with not a lot of success.

Maybe you are aware that some changes need to take place with the overall presentation of your home, but have no idea where to start.

Perhaps you are eager to learn where the changes need to be made so that you can apply the concepts yourself.

There are many people just like you out there, which is why the following package of ours is such a success. 

Take a look at all that this package has to offer you!


 

The "Basic Guidance Home Staging Package":

 

 

I meet with you at your property, and spend anywhere from 1 1/2 - 4 Hours with you. Together, we comb through every single square inch of the property, starting with all-important Curb Appeal, right through to the back of the property.

 

 

Along the way, I educate you on the importance of marketing your "product" in its absolute best light. I teach you how to, and the importance of, drawing the buyers' eye to important architectural features.

 

 

I give you positve feedback on concepts or areas where you have already done a great job on your own.

 

 

I point out obvious structural isses that should be addressed, as well as any recommended upgrades (new paint, flooring, cabinet hardware, etc). I educate you on where you will see the most "bang-for-your-buck", give you estimated ROI figures, and also suggest service providers and/or retailers with whom I have preferred partnership discounts.

 

 

Then, in every space, we address floor-space, and I make suggestions and give directions on how to best optimize floor-space. I tell you exactly which items (big and small) NEED to be packed away out of sight from buyers. I help you re-arrange furniture pieces along the way. And, we address de-personalizing of spaces.

 

 

It all comes down to the bottom line. My suggestions will get your property sold quicker and for maximum value. So, EVERYONE wins.

 

 

Once we have completed our Guidance Visit, I go back to my office, and do up an Official To-Do List for the you, broken down space-by-space, and e-mail it to you. This is a complete detailed summary of our entire visit. You then print out the list, and complete it one item at a time and check off each task as you complete them.

 

 

I then also list your property on my website under "Staged Properties for Sale" with a direct link to your on-line listing. This gives your listing even more marketing exposure.

The price for this fantastic Home Staging package, you ask?

ONLY $225 plus GST!!!

For YOUR convenience, I accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Debit, and Cash.

Also, for YOUR convenience, we work evenings, weekends, holidays, and week-days!

SIMPLY GO HERE TO CONTACT US WITH MORE QUESTIONS OR TO BOOK YOUR SERVICE!

 

 


Home Staging gives REALTORS that competitive edge...plain and simple!

Posted on September 11, 2011 at 1:25 AM

Your time is limited and very valuable, BUT I promise you that if you take the time to read this blog post, you will have discovered something that will SAVE you incredible amounts of time, headaches, and money.


You have stumbled across an incredible asset when it comes to the increased number of showing-ready listings you will be able to have under your belt at a time, with no more effort on your part.


I am very passionate about the vast advantages Home Staging brings into the livelihoods of all parties involved in a Real Estate transaction.


If you are tired of reading at this point, click here to read a thorough summary of our "Basic Guidance Home Staging Package" that is an absolute favorite of sellers and REALTORS alike:


You are a REALTOR®, so I don't have to define Home Staging or De-cluttering for you. But, I am finding a general lack of understanding in the Edmonton area regarding how much of an impact Staging and/or De-cluttering can make on not only the length of time a listing is on the market, but also the impact on the bottom line, dollars made in the end.


Not only that, but Home Staging is rapidly becoming the norm as part of a REALTOR’s® marketing plan.


And, to sum it all up, in order to stay competitive, Home Staging is becoming mandatory.


As I browse MLS listings and FSBO listings in Edmonton and surrounding area, I am pained and feel so badly for some of the home-sellers out there.


The quality of photos show-casing their properties are so far less than stellar.


People tend to over-fill spaces with furniture and accessories, and spaces are not at all being de-personalized for the sake of selling.


And, we both know, that no matter how much cleaning has been done, cluttered properties do not show well.


Because it can be so emotionally traumatic to people when they are told that there favourite trinkets or memorabilia have to be packed away, or that their family photo collages need to come off of the walls, I can't imagine it being easy for the REALTOR® in that situation.


You, as a REALTOR®, wear an enormous number of hats throughout your client relationships.


I have to say that I don’t envy you, but that I truly admire your drive, perseverance, diligence, and extreme hard work.


What I hate to see, and I see it way too often, is when a REALTOR® does an extensive amount of ground-work for a client, only to see the listing to sit on the market for entirely too long.


I also know how frustrating it must be when you make the first visit to a potential Listing-client’s home, only to find that they have created “lovely” accent walls in many rooms, have outdated and stained berber carpet throughout, the home stinks of seafood and curry, and every room is cluttered beyond belief.


We all know that maintaining this client’s trust and loyalty from start to finish is paramount to you. So, how difficult and awkward is it for you to address these issues?


People, if we are not compassionate and careful, can feel attacked and get defensive when we try to explain to them that they need to emotionally separate themselves from their home to sell it. They need to see it as a product, and no longer as their home.


For example, how easy is it to tell the owner that there is a foul odour in their home?


We would be honoured to be the "Bad Guy" for you. We are formally trained in the art of breaking "bad news" to home-owners, and have no qualms or hesitations in being blunt and to the point, with just a touch of sugar.


We have no issues with pointing out a funny smell and giving them solutions for eliminating it. We have no trouble spending a bunch of time explaining to the owner why we need to eliminate furniture, clutter, and personal effects.


We won't hesitate in asking if they have access to window coverings that aren't hot pink.


This way, you don't have to even worry about it anymore.


When the agent faces these situations, they hold high stakes in the reaction of the home-seller. There is definite risk of having the client pull the listing or decide not to list with you at all.


We know that this would take at least a little of the stress out of your job. And, we both know, it would put more money in your pocket in the big picture. Your listings will show better, and sell quicker.


This is where we come in. Revealing Assets to the rescue!! No, really.


When an occupied OR a vacant property is professionally Staged:

It sells in half the time

It sells for 6-10% more money.


No matter what way you look at it, the ROI of our services, typically, ends up being about 547% (statistically proven figure). Take a look at all the statistics on our website.


I have many photos of my projects completed for various clients, and testimonials on my website for you to review.


The bottom line is that we NEED each other!


Without partnerships with Real Estate Professionals, we are lacking an invaluable link in our business.


You, without partnering with a Certified Staging Professional, are simply not obtaining the level of success and abundance that is possible.


Our services help everyone involved succeed.


We ensure the property is going to show well, appeal to the masses, stand out from the comparables on the market, and we create a warm, welcoming atmosphere.


In turn, the listing sells in less time, and for more money.


You are happy, as is the home-owner, because it means more dollars in the pocket for both of you, and less time had to be invested in order to close the deal.


We also win because we just made two parties very pleased, and hopefully our name would be passed on at some point.


CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THE HOME STAGING PACKAGE OF OURS THAT WILL MAKE YOU MORE MONEY, FASTER!


 


Annihilate The Fluffy Bath-Mat!!!

Posted on June 12, 2011 at 4:20 PM


What is it that I LOVE to do as a Professional Home Stager? That’s right! I LOVE to ruffle feathers!

However, I plainly define the “ruffling of feathers” as this: SPEAKING IN ABSOLUTE TRUTHS

Nice, fluffy, fuzzy, warm, cuddly Bath Mats and Toilet Lid Covers have absolutely no place in bathrooms, ESPECIALLY when one is attempting to sell their home!

The first word that comes to mind is DISGUSTING!  



Since when did we visit a friend’s home with the sole intention of finding a dirty pair of undies on their floor and bee-lining it over to them just so that we could stand on the crotch of them? Probably never!

A little harsh? I think not!

Let’s really put our thinking caps on here. What is the intended use of a bath mat? Most of us think that they make our feet nice, comfy, and toasty warm when using the facilities. What does a bath mat actually end up doing in the process? That is right! They are a nice absorbent pad laid out on the floor of a room in which we expel bodily fluids on a very regular basis (some of us more regular than others).

Why, then, don't we simply duct-tape together many used tampons, and hand-make our own bath-mats? After all, hand-made is always better, right? 

I am especially fond of the little accent mat that nicely hugs the base of the toilet!

Here is a tip: TRY SLIPPERS ON YOUR FEET INSTEAD!!

What is the intended use, or allure, of the matching toilet-seat-lid cover? Really? What is it? Not to warm our behinds up...as the majority of us will lift the cover before depositing anything into the toilet. So, what is its purpose?

Awesome!!! It is a protective absorbent pad to prevent us from having to clean the lid.

Funniest part of the whole thing is that these “linens” are not at all easily laundered. In fact, I have witnessed more than a few people take these beauties outside and shake them out to “clean” them. Okay, so here is a little lesson in house-cleaning. Fluids dried and crusted onto linens will NOT simply shake out!!

Everyone out there has the right to use whatever they want in their homes, of course.

But, if you are trying to sell your home, PLEASE remove those bathmats and toilet-seat-lid covers. Do not allow them to be seen in your listing photos and please do not have them anywhere visible when buyers come to see your home.

Reason #1: They are disgusting, and you will be hard-pressed to find a buyer who will actually set foot into the bathroom of your home if there are bath mats in there. Can you imagine if the mats are still damp from a shower? Need I say more?

Reason #2: The top 3 things that buyers have stated they are willing to pay more money for are Fresh Paint, lots of Storage Space, and....wait for it....quality, updated, trendy FLOORING. Also, we all know that the most important rooms in a home when selling are the kitchen and the BATHS. So, when you combine these stats, it is ALWAYS better to show off as much floor in your bathroom as possible.

Want a little more of my opinion? I really don’t care what your answer is, so here goes:

Bath Mats should be sold in the same dispensers that Moist Feminine Wipes are sold in, and should, by all rights, be DISPOSABLE. Bath Mats should not be marketed as “more-than-one-use” products!!!

Rhonda Wilson of Revealing Assets, OUT!

‘Nuff Said.

 

 


Home Staging is a Frivolous Expenditure! Right?

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 1:15 AM

WRONG!


There is a common misconception among consumers that Home Staging services come along with an enormous price-tag.


Most of us now realize that the benefits of Home Staging when selling Real Estate are endless. We have all seen and heard the statistics, or at least know someone who has experienced success from hiring a Home Stager.


The problem is that between television shows and the pricing across the U.S., we are left with a general impression that one needs to invest at least $5000 to hire a Professional Home Stager.


In fact, it is simply understood, in the U.S., that one needs to anticipate spending approximately 3% of the sale price of their property on Home Staging services. WHOA!!! That means, on a $400,000 property, a seller should be expecting to pay a Professional Home Stager about $12,000.


I bring great news. No way in heck will you find a Home Stager in Canada who charges anywhere near 3% of your listing price.


Home Staging is GUARANTEED to cost you less than the amount of your first listing-price-reduction.


You may have heard this stat before. But, I will break it down for you. It has been proven over and over again that un-Staged listings and vacant properties do take at least double the amount of time to sell. This translates into more time on the market. Most sellers get anxious after that first 30-day period when there have been no offers. AND, if the property is vacant, more times than not, carrying costs are also adding up.


So, they ask their REALTOR® for suggestions.


And, way too often, the suggestion ends up being a reduction in listing-price. How much?


The first listing-price-reduction typically falls in the range of $5000-$15,000.


This is an age-old technique thrown out there in order to grab renewed interest in a listing, or perhaps grab the attention of buyers only searching for properties within specific price-ranges. Oh, and sure, once you lower the price of a property to below market value, of course it will sell! But, what does that also mean? The seller has lost $5000-$15,000! And, the REALTOR® has also lost income.


I absolutely cannot fault REALTORS® in the Alberta Real Estate industry for jumping so quickly to reduce price. Home Staging is still a fairly new and growing industry in Alberta. And, the truth is, how can one suggest a service that they know nothing about?


Cold Hard Fact: All properties WILL sell....for the right price!


Second Cold Hard Fact: Buyers need to see that the value in your property is a close match to the asking price before they even consider making an offer. A poorly presented property (cluttered, dated, dirty, in need of repairs) usually tells a buyer you are asking too much for it. Even though the value may very well be there, poor presentation blinds a buyer.


Quick Example: One does not usually attempt to sell a dirty, cluttered car with flat tires if it actually runs like a dream.


So, what do the various levels of Home Staging services actually cost, you ask? I will tell you what Revealing Assets’ pricing looks like, and you can be assured that the majority of other Home Stagers out there are charging very similarly.


“Basic Guidance Home Staging Package” - $225.00 plus GST

This is the most sought-after package amongst sellers and REALTORS® alike. It is perfect for the DIY’ers out there who would simply like to be given detailed instructions on how to best present their property for selling. This is completed in occupied properties only, and we work with the furnishings/decor you already have in your property. We spend up to 2 hours with you in your home, fully assessing all nooks and crannies. We discuss with you all tasks that should be completed prior to listing and having your property photographed for listing. We address which items should be packed up, furniture re-arrangement for optimal flow and optimization of available floor-space, accessory/artwork placement, de-personalization required, curb appeal, etc. We will also address any suggested upgrades/repairs/renovations that could be done for a high ROI (return on investment). We don’t want to see sellers wasting any time or energy on things that simply will not bring them any return, or won’t make a difference in the buyers’ minds. We also give you feedback on areas in which you have already excelled with presentation. Within 2-5 hours after your appointment, you receive a full summary of our visit, in the form of an itemized, space-by-space To-Do list.


“We Do It All for You Home Staging Packages” - $395 plus GST (4 hours) and $692 plus GST (8 hours)

We come into your property and transform it into a perfectly show-ready and photo-ready property utilizing only your existing furnishings/decor. We start work on your major buyer-impact areas and work our way through your property, completing all we can in the amount of time we have been hired for. The tasks we complete can certainly be tailored to your preferences, and can include de-cluttering/de-personalizing/furniture rearrangement/packing boxes/moving all excess items into pre-designated storage area/re-purposing of furnishings and decor throughout home/etc. These packages are great for sellers who simply lack the time and energy to prepare their homes for sale on top of their hectic daily schedules.


“Vacant Property Staging/Showcasing” –

$1300-$3000 Monthly (30 days) Furnishing/Decor Rental plus one-time fee of $600-$900 plus GST for Staging Fees

Your actual total investment, of course, all depends on the type/size/structural features your property has to offer. For example, condos will be at the bottom end of these ranges. To determine your actual proposed investment, we come out and walk through your property (1/2 hour), and create for you a Promise for Investment. This process is absolutely FREE of charge and NO obligation to you. Once you decide to go ahead with our services, we head over to a 4000 sq. Ft. Warehouse full of amazing furniture and decor, and choose all of the perfect pieces to highlight the features of your property. We then schedule in the freight company, and can usually have your property Staged within 4 business days of when you decide to go ahead.

 

So, as you can see, it is TRUE!! Home Staging is GUARANTEED to cost you less than your first price reduction. And, because Home Staging is going to dramatically reduce your time on the market, your stress levels are reduced. Also, Home Staging ensures that buyers are easily able to see the full market value of your home, both in the listing photos, AND in person. So, when you hear that Staging is guaranteed to make you 7-10% more money on your sale, this is where that stat comes from. Buyers do not have x-ray vision, and therefore, cannot see past clutter, dated decor, etc. So, the monetary value they place on your property includes the entire vision, yes, even those doilies.

 

 


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!


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