I spoke to a lady the other day about her desire to sell her home. She said she was overwhelmed by what it would all entail. The thought of organizing and downsizing seemed impossible. She explained that her home was spacious and she had accumulated so much over the years that she didn’t know where to begin. After conversing with her for a while and offering my assistance, I came away thinking how many people have said the same thing to me lately. 

One of the questions she asked was should she hire a stager?

Here are some of our ideas about how to tackle the big job of downsizing and staging your home.

What is staging?

Staging is a form of visual merchandising.  Staging done, in good taste, can be advantageous. It can be magical. It goes beyond cleaning and decorating. A stager comes in after you’ve decluttered, cleaned, painted and made repairs. Over the years, we have found that rearranging the furniture, plants, pillows, and a new area rug can give the home a fresh look.  

A house that has too much furniture, too many pictures, plants and knick-knacks can be a turnoff. The home will look small and the buyers cannot imagine their own furnishings in your home. Personal pictures are a definite deterrent. Buyers spend more time looking at your pictures than the home.  

Vacant homes show better with staging and sometimes require a professional stager.

I personally, (Shirley) have attended a staging class and feel that an experienced Realtor may be able to advise you on what you need to do to make your home salable. Use your own furnishings and accessories to stage. Try a little rearranging. Most people we find do not want to spend the money to stage when they are selling their home. 

The downsizing issue

The key to downsizing is to take one room at a time when packing. When I (Shirley) moved this method helped me and I was relieved from the anxiety.

  • Downsize the Big Stuff: If you are moving to a smaller home, go from room to room and decide what furniture will not fit into your new home. Eliminate what you cannot use.
  • Take the small items with you: Take with you the items that you are still using.   Keep items with sentimental value or of practical purpose.  
  • Go through every Box: This can be a joyous occasion. What fun it is to go through boxes that have been stashed away for years and you sit and reminisce about those good ol’ days. Keep what you feel is important and junk the rest.  
  • Follow the one-year rule: I know how hard it is to hang on to things that you no longer use (especially clothes), I’ll fit into that outfit someday. Get ride of anything you have not worn or used in the last year. It’s amazing how soon you will forget that item.  
  • It’s all just stuff: Sometimes yes. But when paring down your life, get rid of as much as you can, but save things that your children or maybe your grandchildren may treasure someday.
  • Digitize whenever you can: Most documents can simply be scanned to a computer and saved as a PDF file or uploaded to the cloud. 

Moving can be made into a fun experience if you have someone helping you. I (Shirley) have had personal experiences by assisting people who were not able (Healthwise) to do it on their own. Offering them a chair and going thought items with them, I would put articles in save and giveaway boxes. We breezed through rooms and were done in no time. 

Our lives will always bring changes. Get excited about your new home and the move will be a snap. 

Thought for the Day: The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible. (Winston Churchill)

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