A Few De-Cluttering Projects That Take Less Than an Hour

If you want to de-clutter or clean it can seem overwhelming, especially if you haven’t done so in many years. It may be a good idea to set a goal for yourself of cleaning one key area at a time. I bet these few areas can be cleaned and cleared in less than an hour. The before you know it, you are finished!

Clear Out a Bookcase: I have done this one. It may be tough to let a few fave books go, but I bet you will find some you don’t need or want any more and would be happy to donate, sell or give away. When I cleared my shelves, I filled a few shopping bags with the books I decided to “edit” out. I set them aside in the garage and then called the donation truck to pick up along with a few other items.

organized kitchen counter space Your Kitchen Counter: This can be easier than you think. I am sure there are items you don’t use every day that can be stored away. Loose papers or files that can be thrown away or stored and filed elsewhere. Pencils, rubber bands, to-do lists, etc that perhaps could be better organized. Maybe a tray or basket in a designated area.

Winnow Your Wardrobe: Look through your armoire or a single chest of drawers and see if you can donate or give away some old sweaters, handbags, belts. Maybe you can toss some old socks. Keep it simple; just one or two drawers at a time unless you feel energetic.

How About That Bedside Table: If yours is like mine, it can load up with pens, pencils, receipts, books, photos and excess decor. Take about 30 minutes to toss any old notes or papers, file anything necessary, put away items that don’t belong and narrow down to keep the space simple. I think you may be happier waking up to some fresh flowers (or lovely silk ones) or a simple inspiring book on the nightstand.

organize arts and craftsOrganize Art and Craft Supplies: I am an artist, and it feels good to have your colored pencils organized, your brushes cleaned and ready, your different kinds of papers and boards sorted and put away, ready to use. Keeping these items clean, organized and handy may inspire you!

The Kids’ Toys: If your kids are like mine, there could be a LOT to go through, so just sort through as many as you can in about an hour. Storing or donating outgrown ones and organizing the keepers in baskets, chest or cubbies for easy access at play time and easy put away after.





Behind the Sale: Mission Viejo Home

These days it takes a little more than sticking a “For Sale” sign in the yard, holding open houses and following up on calls. Today’s home buyer can be more savvy and perhaps more finicky than in years past, even in a seller’s market. They often have high expectations, and if you want a quick, smooth sale, as a seller, you should try to meet some of those expectations before you even list it for sale. That is what I advise my sellers to do, and I often go the extra mile by preparing a plan and helping execute that plan.

Here is the story behind the scenes of a sale of smaller Mission Viejo home where I helped the seller to stage and prep their home before going on the market.

The photos below show the home as the sellers lived. A cute home in good shape, but a little bland, and the decor was not very cohesive. There was pretty much no curb appeal either.

I needed to appeal to a wide range of buyers PLUS keep the sellers happy while they lived there. I decided to keep the sellers’ cottage/vintage style, but make it more cohesive, add focal points, de-clutter and add a modern/updated look with new decor. I also needed to add life and color with plants.

I implemented my Simple Staging by bringing in some of my decor and small furniture from my own inventory. This is a complimentary service to my sellers. It takes a little time and effort and planning, but you can see the huge impact it makes. It is a different home!

The master bedroom (pictured above) was really transformed to something more charming and inviting and upscale, too.

Even the back yard went through a huge transformation. One of the big selling points of this home was the size of the yard, privacy and view. Before, though it had a cute fence and a nice fruit tree, the yard was a little rough and had dirt planters. I added some cottage-type plants, used the owner’s pots, bench and other accessories and created an enchanting retreat.

We weren’t sure what to price it at since there had been so few sales recently of the same model, and this one was so much better than the others. We priced it well above the latest comp, took professional photographs, held back on showings for a few days to drive demand, and then had a huge open house. We received multiple offers, all over asking price, then selected the buyer that seemed most motivated and qualified. We got it into escrow in a week with a wonderful buyer.

My wonderful clients were then ready to find a new home! And that is another story….






Your Home’s Personality and What It May Be Saying

I love my home and how I have it decorated. But I am certain it may not appeal to most folks looking to buy a home. From window coverings and paint color to faucets and knickknacks, your home definitely has a personality that comes across and speaks to potential buyers.

What type of personality do you think a home should have when trying to attract a buyer? In my opinion, you should take into consideration the neighborhood and what type of buyer may be looking at your home when answering this question. Do you want it to say, “I offer value” or “I like to party” or “I offer privacy and peace” or should it say “I will let you do your own thing”? I don’t think any of these is a wrong question or answer.

However, in an upscale neighborhood where you are trying to get the most money, your home should at least say, “I am worth just as much and maybe more than the home that just sold down the street.” In a first-time buyer neighborhood, it should say things like, “I will make your life easier”, “I am in pretty good shape and won’t cost extra money to fix,” “I am a pretty good value and will attract a lot of buyers, so get me while you can!”

How you get your home to say things like that may take an experienced eye like mine to help get you there. Call me! 949.525.5905


Keep the Warmth Inside When Staging Your Home to Sell

When you are selling your home, you want to make it as attractive to as many buyers as possible. You may decide to incorporate some staging. But that doesn’t mean you remove all aspects of yourself in an effort to make your residence look like a model home. In fact, it may work against you.

I do believe you should remove as much clutter as possible and make sure the decor is pleasing and does not take away from the beauty of the home and its location nor distract the buyer. The goal, after all, is to help the buyer see all the best aspects of the home and picture themselves living there. That leaves a lot of room for aspects of the homeowner and the livability of the home to remain and be highlighted.

For instance, in a living room, you can still use your favorite colors, decorate with a favorite theme and perhaps use some favorite pieces of decor. It’s all about moderation! You don’t want a buyer to walk into a stark and empty room and feel cold and unwelcome.

I would suggest to try and keep a theme throughout the home if you wish to keep your own decor. Perhaps implement a unifying color palette throughout, utilize approximately the same amount of decor in each of the major rooms, etc. This will appeal the most to a buyer’s senses and help them feel relaxed as they tour your home.

Thinking of selling and want to know how your home may benefit from my staging and other marketing techniques as a listing agent? Call me! 949.525.5905

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