What are the first steps a homeowner should take before putting their home on the market?
The first steps to prepare your home for the market are mostly the same things you should be doing to prepare to move. So it’s a great opportunity to hit two birds with one stone!
The main issue we see with our home organizing clients is simply too much – too much furniture, too much decoration, too much stuff. Homeowners accumulate items over the years and become immune to the first impression others get from their home.
Buyers put a LOT of weight on first impressions, and homes look larger when they have less furniture in them. This is why model homes are very sparsely decorated, with just a few select pieces of furniture.
So I recommend homeowners go through the home and look for things to donate or get rid of. There are even organizations that will come and pick up your donation free of charge like the Salvation Army or St. Vincent De Paul.
If there are items that you’d like to pack in advance, make sure to write a general description the contents on the outside of the box, and store them out of the way in the garage or basement, where they won’t affect a buyer’s first impression.
What about putting items in storage while the home is on the market, and then moving those items into the new home?
I try to direct homeowners away from storage units as much as I can. Most likely that storage unit will never get 100% cleared out, and you’ll pay for it month-after-month to store things you don’t use.
Plus items like photographs and keepsakes don’t do well in non-climate-controlled units, so there’s always a chance your items will be damaged in storage.
I recommend going through your home and letting go of anything you’re not currently using. If you absolutely must use a storage unit, here are a few tips:
Keep everything off the floor.
Make sure you leave aisles, and label your bins so that everything is accessible.
For safety purposes and to avoid lower bins from being crushed, don’t stack storage bins too high.
Put everything in plastic containers to protect from critters and from water damage
Many homeowners use professional movers, any tips for working with a moving company?
Yes! We help a lot of homeowners prepare for that type of move, and we have some great tips.
First, remember movers are flexible; you can hire them for certain parts of the job, or let them handle everything. I do recommend if you handle anything yourself, it’s the UN-packing. Movers are not organizers, you will spend less time looking for things if you unpack yourself or better yet, leave that job to a professional organizer.
A quick counter-intuitive tip: Professional movers are experienced in packing and moving fragile items, so if there’s one thing you leave to the pros that would be it.
If you have very valuable items such as high end art work, we suggest you move these items yourself or hire a company that specializes in packing and moving these types of items.
Beyond that, keep your movers (or helpers) happy, provide donuts in the morning or sandwiches for lunch, drinks in the afternoon, tip them well if they did a good job etc.
Lastly, if you do your own packing, make sure each box is clearly labeled with the box’s contents, and the room it’s going INTO, not the room it came FROM. You can also put up signs on each room to match the labels on the boxes, so that everyone knows exactly which room each box goes into.
The most important thing to remember is that whatever you pack first, will be the last to come off the moving truck. So do not pack items that you will need right away until the last minute.
Where can people learn more about home organizing and preparing to move?
We have some great tips for handling pets on moving day, which items to pack last, and so forth. You can visit us at www.cleanclutterfree.com or call us at 402-443-9673 and we’d be happy to answer any questions!
Thanks to the good folks at WestOmahaHomeGuide.com for interviewing us!
If you’re looking to buy a home, we highly recommend their site.
It features all sorts of useful information about West Omaha homes for sale, neighborhoods, events and local businesses like ours.
Click here to search all homes for sale in West Omaha.
Do you find yourself wasting time searching for a specific spice you know you have, but can’t find?
Do you tend to have duplicates or even triplicates of the same spice taking up space in your spice cabinet because you accidentally bought a replacement thinking you were out?
If so, you may have a black hole residing in your spice cabinet. Spices go in, never to be seen again, then just as fast as they disappeared, they show up again, right AFTER you purchased another bottle. Am I right? Well do not fear, you can get rid of the black hole and keep your spice cabinet organized for good by following these easy steps:
Step 1: Take all of your spices out of your cabinet and sort all like spices together.
Step 2: Check expiration dates and throw out all expired spices. I find more expired items in spice cabinets than in any other room in the house.
Step 3: Remove all duplicates of the same spice and set them aside. Be sure to leave the bottle that is closest to expiring with your main spices to be used.
Step 4: Now it is time to organize. I recommend grouping spices according to category rather than alphabetically. For example: Place all of your grilling spices together, all garlic and onion salts and powders together, all herbs together, all sweet spices together (Cinnamon, ginger, cloves etc.).
Step 5: Use helpful organizing tools such as Lazy Susan’s, tiered shelving and plastic bins to make spices easier to sort, see and find. I try to arrange everything so that each and every spice can be seen at a glance with no bottles hiding behind other bottles. Group like spice categories together, ie: All herbs on the tiered shelving, all salts and powders on the Lazy Susan, all grilling spices in a plastic bin etc.
Step 6: Place all of your duplicates together in a separate location to ensure that they do not get used before the older bottle is gone (ie: In a plastic bin on the top shelf of the spice cabinet where they are accessible but out of the way).
Step 7: The most important step of all is to develop and stick to a simple maintenance routine; Always check the duplicate area before you buy replacements, and if it is time to buy another because the one bottle you have is nearly gone, place the new bottle in the bin until the old bottle is gone. When you run out of a spice, immediately write it on a grocery list so that you don’t forget to buy it. Remember to return spices back to their designated locations as you use them to keep them sorted and grouped together.
Congratulations! Your spice cabinet is organized and you have just eliminated that nasty black hole from your kitchen. All of your spices can now be seen and found easily!
Written By Laura Coufal
June 19th, 2015
Clean & Clutter Free
Laura is the Owner of Clean & Clutter Free, professional organizing services.