Home Staging

Sure, an immaculate, well located home such as this one could easily sell without any staging effects whatsoever, but if only a few simple, softening touches attract more prospective buyers, why not put in a little effort to do so? This wise seller did! I  worked with Operation Organization from Dallas, TX on this home staging project here in SA.  I am so thankful to have been involved in this fun, rewarding project!  I learned so much from Katrina – an expert in all things organizing! This beautiful spacious home will be listed this weekend (April 2018) and I am certain it will not last long! Staging a home prior to listing it dramatically increases the odds of a faster, more profitable sale.  (Thanks to Trader Joe’s for the flowers. They have such fantastic, helpful staff!)

You can easily stage your own home with three main points to remember:

1.) Declutter liberally – Get rid of EVERYTHING that isn’t needed.  If it’s not adding beauty, hide it.

2.) Buy NEW towels

3.) Add Fresh flowers and plants

Happy Staging! Here to help if needed!

Amanda

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Paper Control

Seemingly without exception, the homes I enter have paper piles. Even in our ever-advancing electronic world, we still seem to be inundated with incoming paper (invitations, junk mail, tax documents, bills, magazines, receipts, school paperwork, coupons, newspapers and the list goes on.) Many times, fear  that “I may need it someday” keeps us from letting go of surplus paper.  I believe the reason paper accumulates is because we lead fast-paced, lives leaving little time for the tedious task of paper sifting and sorting and purging.  Sifting through the trivial and worthless papers to find and appropriately place those that are critically important.  Solution: intentionally schedule time to make decisions about each piece of paper.

All incoming paper can be sorted into four categories: Reference, Read, Recycle and Requires Action.

Reference: Reference items are papers that you don’t usually need to frequently access, are important to hang on to, yet should to be easily retrievable when needed. Some examples include: Insurance Policies, Mortgage Deeds, Tax Documentation, Legal paperwork, Titles, Memorabilia, Financial documents, etc.

Read: Items that you intend to read within the next 30 days would fall into this category (magazines, books, catalogs, newsletters, correspondence etc.) Store these items where you would likely read them such as on your nightstand, in the bathroom, or on the coffee table.

Recycle: Completed, graded school paperwork unless it is deemed “keepsake”, junk mail, flyers, advertisements, old catalogs, newspapers etc. Also in this category I include shred items. I burn all my “shred” items in my burn barrel because, it is much easier, time-saving and fun!

Requires Action: Anything that requires you to respond in a timely manner (i.e bills, invoices, invitations, banking correspondence).  Store these items together in a safe, easy-to-access area and schedule time to take action on them this week!

Helpful tips for contending with all that paper:

#1) Stop it at the door. Toss as much as possible in the recycle bin BEFORE it comes into your home. If you know you won’t buy what they’re selling in the next 24 hours, let it go. You will receive another offer to buy from that solicitor later anyway. The key to getting reducing unwanted mail is to get your name off of the mailing lists. Helpful sites: directmail.com Direct Marketing Association Contact DMA via mail at: DMAChoice Data & Marketing Association PO Box 643 Carmel, NY 10512

#2) Put all paper in one location such as a large basket and purpose to go through weekly. Then you’ll know where that invoice or receipt or letter etc. is when you need it. Then once per week, sit down and go through each piece of paper then take action on it, file it or toss it. This idea is explained in greater detail  by Organize365 here: Lisa Woodruff’s Sunday Basket a great resource!

#3) Begin with your current, active paper piles. If you have long-forgotten-about filing cabinets, just abandon the old system and start over with a temporary plastic bin made for hanging files (you’ll use this same bin later for your “achieved files” in step 5). Go through each piece of paper, item by item and begin sorting it into categories. File items according to how you will look for them.

#4) Implement a system to stay on top of your incoming paper. Set weekly file and shred times (i.e. every Tuesday evening).

#5) Reclaim your old, over-stuffed file cabinets by purging out-dated papers liberally and achieving only the essentials into sturdy plastic filing boxes. Lable and stow in an out-of-the-way place separate from your current, active files.

Have you heard that old saying “How do you eat an elephant?” the answer is, ” One bite at a time.” And I would say that is also the answer to managing paper. Focused, consistent time each week is all you’ll need to get it under control. Or you can hire a professional organizer and get in all done in a weekend! To get on the “fast track” to Paper Control, please reach out! Sometimes, to regain order, we just need a little focused attention and a bit of direction. Here to help when you’re ready. All the best!

Amanda

amanda@abcorganize.com

 

Time to Declutter! 3 Ways to Let it Go!

As one year ends and another begins, people often seek to make  a “fresh start”.  Making resolutions to become more intentional, stronger, exercise more, become more organized.  Of all these noble aspirations, I’d like share a couple thoughts on organization.  I believe the key to effective organization is clutter elimination.  After all, you can’t organize well if you simply own more than your square footage allows for.  Might I suggest, letting go of the things that weigh you down?  Scale back. Pare down. Declutter. Purge.  Anyway you put it, less is more when seeking order and simplicity. Having a hard time making decisions about your stuff? Here are three tips to get you started in the right direction:

  1. Envision your ideal.  Consider the vision you have for your life, your home and your surroundings.  Describe it.  This picture that you’re painting in your “mind’s eye” will be critical in the purging process. Be as specific as possible in envisioning and describing your ideal surroundings and don’t be tempted to skip this important step. It will be the foundation upon which the decluttering decisions are made. It will be easy to “say goodbye” to your surplus stuff if you understand its holding you back from realizing your envisioned ideal.
  2. Identify a donation location.  Where will your unwanted or unneeded items go? Once gathered, they must leave immediately!  So deciding where to send them is vital. There are many options to choose from.  You may choose to host a yard sale. Contact the Salvation Army to Schedule donation pick up , or take items to a nearby donation station. Consider taking your items to Revolution Thrift,  which is my top pick for donations! Identifying a worthy location for your unneeded surplus will help you to part with your items, knowing someone else can make good use of them!
  3. Choose a starting point.  Begin with an area that will reap the highest reward. Consider the area that drains the most of your time or causes the most frustration.  This may be the desk or the closet.  Excess paper and excess clothing are high stressors. Roll up your sleeves and empty the entire space.  This is like beginning with a blank canvas. Every item you just removed from the space is a decision. At this point remember the ideal life you envisioned. Ask yourself if holding onto the item will help you achieve your vision. This is where it can get difficult which is why step one is so critical.  Stay put. Make piles. Don’t leave the space you’re  working on because there is a high probability you may lose focus and motivation. If something belongs in another room, make a pile for it.  You don’t need to decide what to toss, just decide what to keep!

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Are you among the millions seeking a “fresh start”?  Would you like to resolve to become more organized?  You can! Contact amanda@abcorganize.com if you need assistance getting started or at any point in the process!

Also, I would love to hear your success stories and see pictures.  Please email amanda@abcorganize.com

Happy Organizing!

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10 tips to have a successful yard sale

Hosting a yard sale is a fantastic time to declutter while simultaneously making some cash! Win-win!!
1. Display everything you’re selling into meaningful groups/ categories-just like they do in stores.
2. Whenever possible, cover tables with sheets, towels, tablecloths, or runners. It adds a bit of class to your garage sale. Remember, it’s all about that first impression!
3. Put a price tag on every single thing you put out to sell — no matter how small. You’ll make more money at your sale, plus pricing every individual item also helps to avoid the slew of questions all day: “How much is this?”
4. Use plastic zip-top baggies to hold small parts & pieces that go with specific items.
5. Have a plugged-in extension cord handy, so buyers can see that the items do work.
6. Don’t put anything directly on the ground. Whatever you’re selling will instantly drop in value. Use a tarp if items must be placed on the ground.
7. Hang clothes on hangers (always). Don’t fold them (ever). People will pay more for clothes that are on hangers than for clothes that are on sheets, in boxes, or on tables.
8. When using boxes to group similar items together for your display, don’t cram too many items inside each box. It’s best to have fewer items inside more boxes, than to have more items in fewer boxes.
9. Bundle items whenever possible. If you have lots of the same (or similar) items, ask a higher price for one of them and a really good price for several of them.
10. To Sell everything: Post a sign advising that all merchandise will be half-price after 2 p.m. Alternately, stock up on grocery sacks and announce a “dollar a bag” special for the last hour of the sale. Buyers pay a dollar or two for each full bag — and you avoid the need to trek the unsold items to a charity site. Whatever you do, don’t let the survivors back in the house!

Have fun!!