Posted by Philip Dennesen on 2/19/2021

Two of the most important ingredients in a successful house-marketing campaign are competitive pricing and making a great first impression on prospective buyers. Although your real estate agent can assist in achieving both of those goals, keeping your home in "show ready" condition will be up to you and your family.

When your home is actively being shown, the process is not unlike a job interview. The main similarity is that you don't get a second chance to make a good first impression. Potential buyers have a mindset that's similar to that of a hiring manager: They are intensely focused on making the right decision. Since the last thing they want to do is make the wrong choice (or a less-than-optimal choice) it's up to you -- the home seller-- to present your home in its best possible light.

Other than keeping your home squeaky clean and your lawn looking as manicured as possible, it's also to your benefit to reduce clutter. A house that's filled with clutter will definitely send the wrong message to prospective buyers searching for their next home. Clutter takes many forms, so it often requires a concerted effort to identify and remedy it. Here are a few key areas to focus on:

Furniture clutter: Having too much furniture in a room or entryway can give visitors the impression that your home is cramped, too small, or disorganized. If you've had a tendency to add furniture to your home, over time -- without putting some pieces in storage -- then you may have inadvertently created a cluttered "look and feel" to your living space

Surface clutter: Have you ever noticed how things that belong in drawers, cabinets, and recycling bins often end up on tables, counter tops, and bookshelves? If that's taking place in your home, rest assured you're not alone! However, if you're preparing to put your home on the market, you'll make a much better impression on potential buyers if you remove as much surface clutter as possible.

Storage-area clutter: Although there's a lot of truth to the saying "Out of sight, out of mind," that usually doesn't apply to preparing your home for the real estate market! Serious house hunters are pretty thorough, and are generally going to glance in closets, basements, attics, and garages. So if you simply move your clutter to another part of the house, it will still be noticed! Granted, your clutter will be less prominent in storage areas, but it will still have a detracting effect on the overall impression your home makes. The solution involves a combination of strategies, including selling or donating unwanted belongings. In some cases, you might even consider renting a dumpster or calling a reasonably priced junk-hauling service to get rid of things you don't want and can't donate, sell, or give away.

It's not always easy to be objective when staging your home or evaluating its marketability, so an experienced real estate agent can provide you with invaluable guidance, advice, negotiating help, and marketing assistance





Posted by Philip Dennesen on 3/31/2017

When you stop and think about it, there are a lot of aspects of our lives that need continual organizing. The ideal scenario is to set up an organizing system when you first move into a new home, and then maintain it on a daily or weekly basis. Unfortunately, many people wait to organize their closets, pantries, or home offices until those areas are in a state of utter chaos. By then, the clutter has taken on a life of its own! Not only is it difficult to find things you're looking for, but your frustration can spill over into other aspects of your life. Kitchen Organizing Tips Being organized is the bedrock of a well-managed life. While it's far from a panacea, the results of organizing your home and work space can be far reaching. Take your refrigerator, for example. How many times has perfectly good food been wasted because it was pushed back into a corner and forgotten about until it turned into a "science experiment"? Although refrigerators are designed with organization in mind, it's all too easy to throw vegetables in the meat drawer and haphazardly wrap up leftovers without labeling them. As a side note, if you write the current date on the label, you'll be able to keep track of how long it's been in the fridge and whether it's time to throw it away. (Note: The U.S. Department of Agriculture advises that cooked leftovers be used within four days. Its food safety "window" for raw poultry and ground beef is even shorter: only one or two days.) Whether your goal is to organize your refrigerator, kitchen cabinets, bedroom closets, or garage, the benefits are worth the time and energy. Before getting started, though, it's helpful to make a trip to a local office supply outlet, kitchen retailer, or dollar store to pick up an assortment of small containers, canisters, drawer dividers, a marking pen, and labels. The Benefits of Organizing Your Home Getting started is the hardest aspect of home organizing, but there are many sound reasons for taking the initiative:

  • Improving the appearance of your home rewards you with a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of personal satisfaction.
  • When you organize closets, cabinets, or other storage areas, you'll stumble upon things you thought you misplaced or lost, long ago.
  • You'll get rid of miscellaneous junk and clutter, which will free up space for things you want to save, refer to, or use in the near future.
  • Organizing your household supplies, tools, and kitchen accessories will also prevent you from having to buy replacement items that you already have. Knowing where things are will save you time, money, and aggravation!
Maintaining a Semblance of Order Getting your family to clean and organize their own rooms and work spaces is a separate challenge, but setting a positive example is one of the first steps. In the case of children, clear expectations need to be set and daily routines established. When all else fails, bribery has been know to work, too!