I have been an Interior Decorator for over 25 years and offer my services FREE to my clients.  My services include Home Staging, custom drapes, custom floral arrangements, holiday decorating, room design and much more!

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4 Ways to Help Tackle Clutter!

One of the most cost-effective ways to prepare a home for sale is to organize it, but I know for many home sellers it’s no easy task. It’s important to contain and, in fact, erase clutter for three reasons:

  • Gain more square footage.
  • Showcase the positive features in the home.
  • Buyers can visualize living in the space.

Clutter comes in all different forms and it lingers in most homes. So if you see piles of paperwork, clothes on the floor, stuffed closets — it’s time to declutter! Here are some tips:

1. Start small. Organizing is an evolving process that changes as the needs of a home owner change. Start small: One room, one closet, one corner. Just start somewhere! To make it count, tackle the first cluttered area a home buyer would see as they walk into the home.

2. Schedule it. Many times a home owner never starts the decluttering process because of time constraints. Schedule blocks of time (2-4 hours) or even just 15 minutes a day depending on what needs to be organized to make your goal a reality.

3. Find a home. One reason why clutter can build up in a home is if an item is homeless. Creating a place for each item in your home is a crucial part to obtaining an organized home. Of course, keeping the space in order only happens when you return an item back to it’s home after use. 

4. Adopt “good habits.” By always returning an item home, you’re building in a maintenance system in your organizing process. Another good habit to adopt is to take 5-10 minutes every night and put items away. This way when you wake up in the morning, the house is ready to show off

Glazed Ceramic Lamps! Finally!

Lamps have become such a fashion accessory for the home that they are considered the jewelry of the room.  Don't be afraid to accessorize with different shapes and colored lamps in a room.  It will add character and enhance the design you are trying to achieve.

Certain dated design features in a home can really make some home buyers cringe. Could your home have one of them?

1. Popcorn ceilings: The speckled ceilings can attract dirt and be impossible to paint. Plus, if the home was built prior to 1980, the ceiling may contain asbestos and need to be tested by an inspector. Fix it: Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for removing popcorn ceilings; it can get messy. It’ll have to be scraped off and the ceiling then will need to be repaired. Plus, you’ll want to have it tested for asbestos before scraping. Home owners will likely want to consider hiring a professional to do this.

2. Carpeting everywhere: Many home buyers today have a fondness for hardwoods over wall-to-wall carpeting. Carpeting can show spots and dirt, which can serve as a quick turn-off to potential buyers who prefer the more polished look of hardwoods. Fix it: Have the carpet professionally cleaned if you can’t afford to swap out the carpet for hardwoods. Make sure the carpet is spot-free and looking new. If sellers are willing to spend some money, they might consider installing hardwoods on just the first floor or in just the dining room (pre-finished laminate can cost less). This allows the home to be marketed as having hardwoods, which could possibly draw in more potential buyers who won’t consider a home without.

3. Brass fixtures: Shiny brass fixtures are viewed as out-of-date by most people’s standards nowadays. More on trend is satin-nickel or oil-rubbed bronze finishes. Fix it: Big-box retailers offer plenty of affordable lighting options nowadays to make this an easier, more budget friendly do-it-yourself project with big impact.

4. Vanity lighting strips: The Hollywood-style strip with a line of bulbs of rounded lights hanging over your bathroom mirrors can also quickly date a home. Fix it: Find a lighting fixture that has shades for each bulb in a finish that matches your faucet. It’ll make the bathroom look more contemporary.

5 Simple Swaps For a Healthier Home

1. Make a shower curtain switch:  Polyvinyl chloride - or PVC - is a soft plastic used to make common household items such as vinyl shower curtains.  The plasticizers in PVC are suspected in causing developmental delays, liver damage and respiratory problems.  Replace it with a PVC free liner, made with a safer plastic known as EVA, or use a cotton or polyester liner.

2. Swap out the soap:  Triclosan is the main ingredient in many antibacterial soaps, gels and body washes.  It is believed to interfere with thyroid function.

3. Replace certain Pots and Pans: Not all cookware is created equal.  Many non-stick coatings can actually leach a chemical known as perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA - especially if scratched.  This has been linked to birth defects.  Switch to cast iron, ceramic and stainless steel pots and pan for safer cookware.

4. Ditch dirty dry cleaners:  Conventional dry cleaners use toxic chemicals to clean clothes.  These chemicals have been linked to everything from headaches to organ damage.  Switch to a GREEN cleaners, they are popping up everywhere.

5. The safer cleaners:  Most household cleaners are not required to list the chemicals on the label.  It's time to swap those out for non-toxic cleaners that are also dirt cheap!  Also, baking soda is a powerful non-abrasive cleanser, white vinegar is an all-natural disinfectant and kills viruses like the flu on most surfaces, and hydrogen peroxide works in place of chlorine bleach to kill bacterial like salmonella and mold.