Windsor has taken a huge hit to our housing market over the past few years.  In some areas we have lost 10% of the value of our properties, which is a staggering number when you add to that 6% realtor fees.

Despite this huge loss, we are still putting our home on the market. We are prepared to take a loss on this home for the chance to make a gain on the new house.  But in a tough market like this, we will be inundated by thousands of other comparable homes on the market also looking for a quick sale.

There is one sure fire way to set your home apart from all the others.  We can’t make it bigger, but we can give the illusion of space by keeping it clean and organized.

The term for “decluttering” and readying your home for a sale is called “staging” and it is as important to a quick sale as pricing your home right.  We have looked at many homes, and despite knowing to look past the furniture and personal belongings, it is an almost impossible task.  A house full of papers, kids toys and jammed packed closets is not a place I want to call home, so why would anyone else?

Now that our home is on the market, I am doing the same thing everyone else does; purging garbage bags of “junk” we wouldn’t want in the new house anyways.  Why do people wait until they want to sell to get their home looking its best?

I think we should all “stage” our homes for everyday living, whether we want to sell our not! We all deserve to live in a beautiful, restful space and it’s easier to make that happen than you think! Here are some quick “staging” tips for everyday living.

  • Make your entrance way inviting! Whatever room you use to enter your home should be a top priority on your daily cleaning schedule.  Even if you’re not selling, you should have the first room you come home to always looking its best.
  • Clear off the fridge! We all have kids artwork, calendars and those scraps of important paper, but let’s find a better place to display it. Hang a bulletin board for a “command centre”, use the insides of cabinet doors or make a binder system.  Keeping the fridge clutter free will make your kitchen look and feel so much better. 
  • Three or less rule. Keep objects on surfaces to three or less. This is a tough one, but the results are impressive.  Dressers, end tables and fireplace mantels are a good place to start. Keep the display items on top to 3 or less (including picture frames).  What if you have a large collection? Keep it to all together on one surface, like a bookcase, and keep only your favourites.  
  • Give your closets some breathing room. Are you holding onto clothes that don’t fit or that you never wear? Is your linen closet bursting with blankets “just in case” 10 people decide to drop by and spend the night? Are you closets home to kids toys, games and baby stuff that you’ll probably never use again? Get rid of it! It’s so hard to part with things we have spent good money on, but holding onto things we don’t use, love or need is costing us much more than money!  Our “extra” items cost us peace of mind, energy and time.  In some cases our extra clutter can cost us our happiness or even our relationships. That old blanket or pair of pants is not worth what it is taking from you.

  • Contain the toys. Pick one room or two rooms in your home that toys will live and make a spot for each and every one of them.   Kids have too many toys and they seem to never play with most of them.  Believe it or not, having less toys and putting them out of sight will make the ones that are available more appealing to your little ones!  When there are toys everywhere, it overwhelms both you and your children! Have shelves or toy boxes in your family room and when they’re full, they’re full! Put other toys away in a closet or under a bed and rotate them every couple of weeks.  It will be easier to clean up and your kids will be more interested in their toys when most of them are out of sight.

  • Clear Counter Tops. Remove bathroom products from your counters and clear off your kitchen counter of appliances you hardly use.  Purchase a medicine cabinet for your bathroom if you’re short on space and keep your counter free of stuff.  It will make your bathroom look bigger and it will make cleaning it quick and easy.  Find a home for all those things on your kitchen counter by cleaning out and purging items in your cupboards you hardly use.  Purge extra mixing bowls, Tupperware and pots and pans to make room for the toaster, coffee maker or that basket full of papers!

You deserve to live in a home that looks its best, so pretend you’re getting it ready for a sale! Stage your home for you and your family and you’ll fall in love with it all over again.