Archive May 2019

3 Steps to Effective De-Cluttering

Spring cleaning is a yearly ritual that most homeowners find themselves tasked with annually. While some people enjoy the activity, others find it tedious and difficult. When attempting to sell your home, you may be even more wary, as such daunting tasks can cause added anxiety and stress.

Here are a few tips on how to help get rid of your stuff:

Look for support. Friends and family are often great motivators for getting rid of clutter. Think about asking other people’s opinions on what should stay and what should go. If you’re in the process of selling your home, your REALTOR® could be a trusty resource. They have experience in helping people just like you prepare their homes for prospective showings and eventual moves.

 Professional help may be necessary. Sometimes the task at hand may be a bit too much for homeowners to handle. Years of clutter and storage build up quickly and figuring out where to even begin can be tough. So enlisting the help of a professional organizer could go a long way to speedily cleaning your home.

Consider your options. When you are actually ready to de-clutter, the question then becomes: Where should all the stuff go? There are a few options to think about when cleaning:

  • Sell. Some things you may want to consider selling, such as antiques or collectibles.
  • Donate. Old clothes and furniture that you don’t use anymore may be better suited for others in need.
  • Store. Consider getting a storage unit off-site, if you are unsure about getting rid of your possessions.
  • Trash. Some items you have stored have no value or are damaged. Throwing them away is a quick way to create much needed space.

DON’T SWEAT the sale

The process of selling a house can induce many different emotions in people. Some get excited about new adventures on the horizon, while others get nostalgic about memories made in the past. But one feeling that is extremely common for sellers is anxiety. How can you help manage these stresses in order to make your home selling experience more pleasant? Here are some tips to help you relax:

Schedule a designated “worry time”—Try setting aside a brief window in your day where you allow yourself to worry. During that time, write down all of your fears or issues about the selling process and try to generate solutions. This will give you a better sense of control over the situation.

Use a “time out”— If your anxiety is interfering with the rest of your normal routine on a daily basis, try a more definitive approach to de-stressing. Working out, doing yoga or even meditation can help your anxieties drift away.

Nighttime no-no—Avoid talking about or discussing your home selling plans at night. Stressing over the sale late in the evening could end up costing you sleep, which you’ll need so you can make informed and rational business decisions.

Consult the informed— Many people fall into the trap of asking the opinion or taking the advice of an untrained or uninformed source. Don’t do it! This only furthers the stress. Stick to the sound advice of your real estate professional for the sale of your property.


It’s easy to get excited when you start looking for a home to purchase, but don’t let that adrenaline rush cloud your judgment! Sellers who are eager to sell might not be totally forthcoming in revealing any existing issues with the home. Here are a few red flags you should be on the lookout for when attending an open house:

1 Something smells. While at first it may seem pleasant, prospective sellers may try and add overwhelmingly powerful scents to their home for the showing. This could be an attempt to mask a serious odor problem in the home.

2 Amateur tiling. When looking at all the floor and kitchen tiling, you need to notice the details. If there are spaces or grouting issues, that’s a sign that the homeowners have done the tiling themselves, which may lead to an
expensive future project for you.

3 Cracks in the foundation. Of course, every home has its share of small cracks. But it’s important to observe whether the base of your prospective new home has serious foundational issues. Check to see if doors or windows stick when opening and closing them, signifying a shifting foundation. Also, look for large, noticeable cracks on walls, floors or ceilings.

4 Freaky fungus. Make suret to check out all pipes and drains in the home to see if there is any mold present. Take it a step further and check to see if there are any faults or leaks, which may lead to fungus growth later on.

5 Cosmetic enhancements. If any changes to the home seem extremely recent or out of place, that could be a sign that the owners are trying to hide something. Fresh new paint or plaster on the walls could be a sign of mold growth. A brand-new rug on the floor can mean there’s a stain or flooring issue that’s being hidden.

Garage Storage Mistakes

If you use your garage as storage space, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, because the space isn’t climate-controlled, it’s best to keep these items elsewhere, according to

➊ Family photos. Pollutants, moisture and heat can quickly destroy your photos. Digitizing all photos is the best practice, or keep printed copies in a dry area inside your home.

➋ Propane tanks. These should never be kept indoors or too close to your home because they can leak or ignite. Store them outside on a flat surface instead.

➌ Car batteries. Batteries can be greatly affected by external moisture. Don’t store them on the floor; rather, place them on a piece of wood or cardboard.

➍ Artwork and collectibles. Dampness can cause tarnish and mold to grow. Insects can infest and rodents can feast on certain items. Dirt and dust can cause stains and buildup on almost anything. And car fumes can penetrate textiles and canvases. Keep prized possessions indoors.

➎ Food. Unless you have a refrigerator or freezer in your garage, fresh food can attract vermin even in a sealed container. Canned foods are best indoors, as sweltering heat can hasten their spoilage and freezing temps aren’t great either.

➏ Paint. If not sealed correctly and exposed to extreme temperatures, paint can actually spoil. Find a space that’s dark, dry and cool, like a utility closet, laundry room or mudroom.

➐ Carpet and rugs. Fresh air is vital for rug fibers and garage spaces aren’t usually well-ventilated, which can cause mold and mildew. Store in a place with low-humidity levels. Or if the garage is your only option, block any direct sunlight and place a dehumidifier near it.