Getting Organized to Sell Your Home

When you’ve lived in it for a long time, getting a home ready to sell can seem daunting. If you are considering selling your home this year, try to get started early. That way, whether you decide to sell or not, your home is organized and easier to maintain.

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Stop adding to the clutter. If it is your habit to purchase multiples of sale items, stop! Or, if these are items you use all the time, reduce the number of multiples to no more than you will use in a month or so. Instead of ordering large quantities, place items you use consistently on a schedule for reorder instead. That way, you’re not filling up your shelves and closets with the extras, but you won’t run out either.
  • Plan where things go. Set aside a couple boxes or bags to handle items you plan to give to charity and those you plan to give to family members and set aside what to sell at a garage sale. Consider keeping the boxes or bags in your trunk. That way, as soon as they get full you can deliver them where they need to go. For items that you intend to keep, take them to the location they belong immediately.
  • Choose one thing. This week, simply choose one thing to organize.

  • It can be a drawer, a closet, a storage bin… It really doesn’t matter what you choose, but make sure it is achievable in one day. So, if your attic is a massive project, don’t start there. Each week (or each day if you’re really motivated) choose another item to organize. Even if it is just your medicine cabinet, organize it by getting rid of expired medicines (take them to your pharmacist for proper disposal), old make-up and items you haven’t used in a couple years.
  • Don’t fear your piles. Sometimes, when you’re in the midst of getting organized, you need to have piles, stacks or other groupings of things that need long-term storage or that you need to deal with. If the item is long-term, you can set it in one of your planning boxes. If it needs to be dealt with soon, choose one evening (or morning) each week to quickly go through and file, mail, respond, etc.
  • Find a way to handle paper. There are a few papers that must be kept: original birth certificates, marriage licenses, contracts, etc., but many items we keep in paper form could be kept digitally in far less space. Consider getting an organizing scanner such as a “NEAT” that can scan and organize receipts, bills, business cards and myriad other paperwork for you.
  • Let go of items you don’t use. Just because Aunt Sally gave you a toaster for your wedding six years ago, don’t let it fill up your counter or cupboard space if you’re not using it. Donate it to a charity that can get it into the hands of someone that will use it. To make certain to protect the sentimental value of the gift, start a virtual scrapbook with images of items you give away, and a short note of who gifted you with the item, a special memory about that person and where you gave the item.


Organizing is just the first step toward getting ready for a sale. I have helped many sellers get ready by performing a “pre-listing walk-through” of their home. I can advise what to organize, what to fix or update, what to store, etc. I have referrals for estate sale experts, cleaners and more. Call me today if you want to get started.






Single Level Home in Laguna Niguel

There are some beautiful older homes throughout Orange County. Many are on larger lots and are sprawling single level homes. There are a few such homes in Laguna Niguel on Paseo del Campo off a golf course; many right on the course with fabulous expansive views. Values have gone up substantially in the last few years.

I recently previewed one of these wonderful ranch style homes. It was three bedrooms with an office and about 2300sf. Had a wonderful feel to it. It ws not recently updated, but it did have some updates and an ideal single level floor plan. Bedrooms all had access to a patio or porch and views. I took a few photos. Enjoy!

Feeling Cluttered? Need to Pack and Store Things? Let Me Help

cluttered kitchenThere always comes a time when you need to organize, pack, move, store or simply de-clutter. If you are moving, this can be overwhelming, especially if you have decades worth of accumulated items. You aren’t sure where to start or what to do with everything. Maybe you have to tackle it alone or don’t have a place for everything. It can seem like a mountain! Your first step will be to turn it into a molehill by realizing it will be a step by step process, perhaps taking months to finish. The pictured kitchen is that of a dear client of mine who had accumulated decades worth of lovely treasures. But these things hid how light and lovely the kitchen was and what a great view he had!

Start with the obvious: things that can be thrown away. Slowly begin to toss things in the trash (shredding as needed), maybe going room by room. Perhaps rent a small dumpster. Once the trash is out, it should be more obvious what items can either be donated or stored or kept.

Orange County Garage SaleDonate things you don’t need to keep but can’t bear to throw away. You can schedule a pickup online with the Salvation Army, the Orange County Goodwill or a host of other worthy causes. Maybe even call your friends who can come and take items off your hands.

A garage sale is a good way to go if you have the time and help and space to do so.

If you have a lot of items of value, an estate sale may be a good move. The sale organizer will assess, price, organize the items, advertise and conduct the sale and then pay you the proceeds minus whatever their commission is. Call me for referrals.

If you have items you intend to save, but need to store, the thing to remember is to be organized! Baggies, bags, plastic and cardboard boxes of all sizes, tape, markers and labels are your friends. Make sure to store things in easy to lift boxes. Keep like items together. See-thru bins with lids are great! They are waterproof and see-through so you can see what you have stored. They also tend to be sturdier than cardboard. Keep in mind that you usually wind up needing more storage supplies than you originally thought. If you don’t have a garage, you may have to opt to store things in an unused bedroom or in a storage facility.

Store Items in Your GarageUse your garage or an unused room as a staging area to place things until they can be tossed or donated or sold or properly packed away.

What you have left are things you must have around you for your day to day life. Can any of this be organized? Again, take it slow and go room by room. Maybe start in the bathrooms and toss out old toiletries or makeup, etc. Organize the remaining. Get storage baskets or wall shelves for the bathroom/dressing area.

In the living room and family room, are there too many photos or art on the walls? Are there too many knickknacks displayed, making it harder to enjoy the best pieces? Highlight a few good pieces by properly displaying only them.

The kitchen can perhaps be left more cluttered since it is a workspace, but try to organize the counters and the drawers to be a more efficient workspace.

Once the job is done, I think you will feel invigorated and happy, almost like you have a new place to live! You have more space to breathe with less distractions. Check out the photo below; don’t you feel happy just looking at the sunny clean kitchen?

Call me for referrals or help as you begin the process of getting ready to sell 949.525.5905.

Irvine Single Level Home
Clutter-Free Kitchen




A Home You Can Afford is a Home You Can Love

Small Living SpaceYou don’t have to spend a million dollars to find happiness in a home here in Orange County. There are many affordable alternatives in nice locations that would make good investments and great homes. Let’s face it; if you dread that monthly house payment, there is less room for enjoyment in your day to day living. If you find you can’t afford the home you really really want right now, try to count all the good things in a home you can afford.

A small home or condo will seem more attractive in a location you love. It may not have as many bedrooms you want or the upgrades you desire, but if it is in otherwise good shape and in the good location, it is still a good investment. If it does not make sense for you to wait until you can buy the size home you want or with the upgrades or space you need, then try to buy the best you can in the best location. While you are living there, its value will most likely increase, and you may be able to afford to move to a larger home in the future.

Small Orange County HomeIn the meantime, love that little home. After all, it is yours and working for you to help you build wealth and keep a roof over your head. If it needs some updating, try to do so in stages to increase its value when/if you decide to sell. Smaller, more affordable homes will always be in demand as first or starter homes, and an upgraded home will always be more attractive than one on original or dated shape.

So take care of that little home and it will take care of you. It will be affordable, livable, it will help you grow some money and make some memories. Who knows; you may not want to move to a larger home after living there for a while!