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Articles Tagged "Organizing your Home"

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July
11

Moving houses can be one of the most stressful endeavors any person experiences. Problems may occur at any stage in the process, particularly when relocating personal items. Find out what some of the common moving problems can be and how to avoid being a victim.

 

Bad Movers

Many horror stories surround poor companies or personal movers who promise but do not deliver. Some of the common problems include:

  • Late movers or no-shows. Once an agreed-upon time comes and goes with no sign of a moving van, this can signal trouble. Stress and wasted time can make the process more difficult.

  • Careless or inexperienced movers. When movers arrive late, with a smaller than requested moving truck or lack proper knowledge and equipment for the job, relocation can quickly turn into a nightmare. Amateur movers may ruin property in the moving process.

  • Scam artists. Worst case scenario, an individual falls victim to a moving scam whereby movers request money for extra services and hold items hostage until the fee is paid. Some may steal expensive belongings and discard the rest.

 

Careful research and a thoughtful hiring process can make sure people deal with licensed, experienced professionals who can be trusted. Insurance for belongings can bring peace of mind to the process and save aggravation down the road.

 

Traffic

Traffic and road accidents can make a move more difficult. For instance:

  • Traffic jams: a moving truck is delayed, postponing the relocation goals until the next day or some days down the road.

  • Traffic accidents: a moving truck has to wait until damaged vehicles are removed and normal traffic is restored prior to moving on after a road accident. All possessions may be lost or in bad condition if something happens to the truck.

  • Breakdown: a moving truck may need to wait for help if the truck breaks down on the way to pick up belongings. In another scenario, items are damaged in transit.

 

Not much can be done to prevent accidents or breakdowns but selecting a moving company with experienced drivers with a positive reputation is a good place to start.

 

Get Organized

Many problems can be avoided when moving house if relocation plans are meticulous and done in advance. Some of the following ordeals may ensue, otherwise:

  • Packing more than movers agreed to relocate including items which won't fit in the truck, mislabeled boxes or not being ready when movers arrive.

  • Large furniture which does not fit in the doors may force items to be left behind or request additional services to move.

  • If utilities aren't transferred, electricity, gas and water will not be ready move-in day. License and registration needs to be updated or fines accrue. Documents can cause wasted time and money.

  • Booking movers last minute will surely cost more than booking in advance. Set a realistic moving budget, pack items after sorting and stick to the plan.

  • Avoid injuries and accidents by practicing safety first.

 

Get more advice on how to make sure you avoid these moving nightmares.

Contact one of our agents today.

June
7

The entryway is a high traffic area in most any home. Coats, backpacks, shoes and accessories tend to be dumped as soon as people enter the door which leads to an accumulation of stuff which makes it difficult to wade through. Learn some practical tips and ideas to help manage a high traffic hallway with minimal effort.

 

Display accessories. Outdoor clothing is usually stored near the exit but does not have to be hidden from view. Find attractive hooks to hang coats, hats and scarves to avoid a messy pile up. Swap out the winter accessories for sun hats, beach bags and blankets in the summer.

 

Add furniture. Create more surfaces to place items such as an upholstered bench, basket and coat rack for the hallway to provide spots for outerwear. The space will also look more cozy and welcoming with a personal touch.

 

See through a child's eyes. Kids need dedicated pegs to hang coats and hats easily without throwing items in a heap on the floor. Let kids choose a hook and give lessons on how to install safely for a fun learning opportunity which can motivate kids to use the hooks.

 

Repurpose dishes. A small dish or plate on a table can create order with minimal effort. Creating a small space to drop items quicklysuch as keys or loose change keep things orderly.

 

Use ledges or shelving to elevate items. Install a small shelf or ledge to place bags or purses on the wall. Not only will this save space but makes it easier on the body by not lifting heavy objects off the floor.

 

Opt for open. Rather than hiding the family's items from sight, create a system of open storage that makes it easy to grab and go. Separate pieces can add character to the hallway.

 

Line up baskets. Crates, baskets and salvaged drawers are an affordable yet visibly appealing way to create extra storage. Make the most of a series of containers against the hallway wall.

 

Make a feature. Get creative by making a beautiful backdrop for coats and bags and other bobbles which accumulate around the hallway. Frame the space with antiques such as a dressmaker's mannequin to hold coats or hats and similar pieces which add a bit of fun and flair to any space.

 

Stay hidden. Large pegs and shoe racks help keep items hidden with minimal fuss behind doors. Install shelves and hooks where needed and work out where the family will place individual shoes, gloves, helmets and other items to keep the space clutter free.


Upgrade the umbrella stand. The messiest item in the house (aside from muddy boots, children coming in from outside and pets) is a dripping wet umbrella. Leave it by the door in a fancy stand which keeps water from the floor, avoiding a potential slipping hazard.

 

Get more advice on unique ways to keep your hallways tidy!

Contact one of our agents today.

November
6

As time marches on we tend to collect, some might even say hoard, so many "things." They might be personal mementos such as letters or various and sundry memorabilia from our school years, they might be "fangirl" collections from a book series, shot glasses from every state in the country, or baseball cards. Regardless of what is collected, humans like to gather.  It's in our nature.

Effects of a Cluttered Living Space

The problem with this is that eventually all this gathering leads to clutter, and clutter can lead to mental unease or distress. We're all very sensitive to our surroundings and the state of our living space often has a dramatic impact on our own emotional and mental state.  Cluttered closets and messy houses make for a lot of pent up anxiety and emotional baggage.  It might not seem obvious but the subtle effects of your surroundings have been studied and observed in cultures around the world for centuries, from Asian Feng Shui to modern Western Architectural Design principles. However, it's not always easy to part with our treasured collections of stuff.

 

Some of the most common reasons people refuse to get rid of these "things" are:

1. This is a family heirloom, so it would be wrong to let it go.

2. But it was a gift.

3. What if I need it someday?

4. I paid a lot of money for it.

 

Chances are, if you find yourself having to make excuses to yourself to keep the item(s), then you probably don't need them in your life or home. It's perfectly okay to have special mementos, but you don't need to hold onto every last thing you encounter in your life. Nor do you have to just throw away those relics.

Choose a few key pieces and create a shadowbox or a scrapbook. Consider donating your great-grandparents clothes to a local theatre organization where they can be used and appreciated by helping to bring the past to life . . . on stage. Perhaps you have some valuable china or crystal, or even art pieces, but they don't fit the style of your home and you never really liked the piece anyway . . . check with museum curators. You might have something that would be perfect for one of their displays (and this way you can go visit the stuff anytime you feel the urge to lay eyes on it again). Schools are always happy to take donations of gently loved books, toys, and clothes.

Minimizing, and thereby decluttering, your home will make you feel better. Don't keep things out of guilt or feelings of obligation. This is YOUR home, YOUR life, so make it a sanctuary. A happy place to be. You'll thank yourself for it.

 

Get more advice on ways to declutter your home and life.

Contact one of our agents today.

October
7

Selling a home rarely happens overnight, yet sellers can find it frustrating if it seems that too much time is passing without closing the deal. On average, a home shouldn't take more than six weeks to sell—if the market is strong and the property is priced appropriately. If it sits much longer, buyers can become wary, so let's look at some ways to generate interest if your home isn't selling as fast as you'd like.

 

Location, Price, and Condition

While you can't just move your home to a different part of town if traffic is low, you can reassess the price you're asking, and whether it's comparable to other homes in the area in addition to what the property itself offers.

If you've got some time, and have received consistent feedback over issues with the house, then you may want to go ahead and take the house off the market for a short time to address those issues. There are low-budget fixes you can do to make a house more desirable. Sometimes it's as simple as decluttering, slapping on a coat of a fresh paint, and putting out fresh flowers. In other instances, it could take a little more . . . maybe updating the kitchen and/or baths will be what it takes.

If you are unable to spare the time or money for a remodel, or the location is out of your hands no matter how nice the house actually is, another option is to go ahead and reduce the asking price.

 

Do You and Your Realtor Have the Same Goal?

As large an investment as a home is, you want to be sure that your Logan County real estate agent has your back. Be honest with your expectations from the first meeting with them. Also, be open to their suggestions and recommendations. Remember, they do this for a living and it's their job to know the market you're trying to crack. A good agent won't let you undersell or overprice, and will be willing to pursue offers by following up with any potential buyers who've shown interest.

 

If you are having trouble selling your home, let us help!

October
7

Before you take on any kind of major redecorating, you're going to want to take some preliminary steps. Like determining what your working budget for the project is, and taking a good long look at not only your likes and dislikes, but those of the other people living in the space with you, especially your significant other. If you aren't both on board, one of you could end up miserable in your home—the place that is supposed to be a sanctuary.  Discuss these home decorating tips with your family and see what ways you can spruce up your living environment.

 

"Spend an hour or two on the computer and look at some things together and talk about them. Ask your partner: 'What do you like about it? What don't you like about it?'"~Alana Homesley, interior designer (Woodland Hills, CA)

 

Having a plan in place before you begin will help make the process smooth and painless. 

That being said, there is no reason not to go after your 'dream space'. Have fun collecting pictures and ideas of what you would do if money and time were no object; create a wish list of sorts. Investing time—months, if necessary—in this step will give you a jumping point and allow you to really figure out what appeals to you, and what doesn't. This can also be an insightful tool in the event that you hire a professional home decorator.

 

"If you don't have that master list, it's hard to prioritize." ~Amy Luff, interior designer (Viva Luxe Studios in Bristol, VA)

 

Good questions to ask yourself when creating your vision:

  • What colors are comforting, welcoming, and relaxing?

  • Do you have pets that need to be accommodated?

  • What building materials 'speak' to you? Sterile and clean (marble, travertine, silk), warm and inviting (wood, bamboo, cotton and linen), et cetera.

  • What era, or style, are you most at home in? Victorian, French Country, Museum Chic . . . the choices are endless.

 

With the ideas flowing, now you need to start narrowing down your home decor ideas in order to achieve a realistic budget. Review what you have in terms of furniture and large décor pieces, and decide what can stay and what absolutely has to go. A whole new room can be created around existing pieces. Maybe you adore the design of your sectional couch, but the upholstery doesn't fit the new color palette you're considering . . . it may be cheaper to have that couch re-covered than it would be to go buy a brand new one. Love the frame on your mantle artwork, but the image itself isn't going to work with your new theme? Reuse the frame by replacing the print.

Think outside the box and be open to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Your pocketbook will appreciate it, as will mother Earth.

 

If you need an experts advice on decorating tips,

Contact one of our agents today.

October
7

Fall is in the air and the days are getting cooler. Time to pack up summer, then pull out the winter gear. This is also the perfect time to give your closets a good tidying. Here are some suggestions from professional organizers for organizing your closet space.

 

Sort 

The chief design officer for California Closets, Ginny Snook Scott, suggests the first step you need to take on is pulling everything out of your closets and then sorting the stuff into four distinct piles.

  • Now Pile—often used and worn

  • Someday Pile—special occasion clothes that still fit

  • Never Pile—face it, you're never going to put these items on again (Geralin Thomas, who is the president of Metropolitan Organizing in Raleigh, North Carolina, recommends that any "trophy garments," those that do not fit or you're keeping only because you paid a small fortune for it but are honestly never going to wear again, need to go. The money isn't coming back and all these items are doing are cluttering your space.)

  • Seasonal Pile—self-explanatory

Ms. Scott recommends going through your Someday Pile once again, see how much you can move to the Never Pile.

 

Sort Again

The first step is always the easiest, but now comes the hard part. Eliminating. For real.

Most people find that their Never Pile is often much larger than they anticipated it would be—up to 40% or more of the closet content. With this discovery usually comes motivation to keep going, to do more. Use this mindset to revisit the Now Pile; see just how much of it you can shift to the Someday and Never Piles.

 

Keep Up Your Resolve

Get that Never Pile boxed and bagged, ready for repurposing by either donating them to a goodwill store, passing them on to friends or family who can and will use them, or setting aside for a garage sale. DO NOT STORE these bags where you will be tempted to sift through or have 'one last peek'.

 

Organize the Seasonal Pile

  • Wash (or have dry cleaned) anything that is getting packed up. You don't want any lingering toiletry products on the clothes as this will draw insects. **Make sure all items are completely dry before they get stored. Unpacking your clothes to discover them threaded with mildew is nobody's idea of fun.

  • Use air tight, clear plastic containers which have been clearly labeled with what is inside.

  • Store the bins out of sight, but in an easily accessible place.

 

"Never store clothes in plastic bags like those from dry cleaners. Store them in cotton zip-up bags. No mothballs. No exceptions."  ~ Geralin Thomas

 

You're Almost Done!

 

Take advantage of the fact that the closets are empty by getting in there with the vacuum. You want to suck up all those lingering dust mites which destroy fabric and play havoc with people's allergies.

This is also a good time to evaluate your hangers. Wire hangers should go back to the dry cleaners or get recycled; these are meant for temporary use, using them long-term will stretch and ruin the shape of your clothes.

As you return the Now Pile items to your freshly cleaned closet, professional organizers suggest you "group" like items, i.e. shirts, dresses, pants, et cetera. If you want to go all out, you can do each group by color or style.

 

Enjoy the fruits of your labor. It's okay to go treat yourself to one or two new items, just don't go too crazy.

 

Get more advice on organization in any space.

Contact one of our agents today.

 

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