Everyone likes an upgrade and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Home buyers are no exception. Home sellers can help to entice more buyers by upgrading from builders’ basics and the return on investment can be significant. A professional home stager can help you determine which basics need the boot. Let’s take a look:
According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Cost vs Value report, upgrading the Garage Door will offer the greatest return on investment, on average 98%. Buyers will be struck by the beauty a garage door can add to the overall curb appeal. They will also be impressed by the added safety of new smart home technology found in custom doors.
While we are on the subject of curb appeal, don’t forget to evaluate your house number and mailbox. On the home, swap out any reflective stickers for a decorative metal number in a finish that coordinates with other exterior finishes. The size should ideally be viewable from the street. Think of the mailbox as a welcome sign for the home. If snowy New England winters have wreaked havoc on it or it is too personalized and reflects your hobbies (we have all seen a fish mouth mailbox), be sure to replace it with one consistent with the quality of the home. Upscale mailboxes can be personalized with the house number and even street name.
Photo Credit: Grandinroad
Bathroom remodels can return 50-70% on your investment, but even smaller updates can make a big impact and provide a positive return. Replace standard full wall mirrors over the sink with more decorative framed mirrors for a custom look. Replace chrome raceway vanity lights, single knob faucets, towel and toilet paper holders with updated brushed nickel or oil rubbed bronze fixtures which will give the entire bathroom an upgraded quality.
Ceiling Lights and fans have come a long way. Consider lighting that reflects an upgrade in quality and style but be careful not to go too trendy. It should enhance the beauty of the room but not be a distraction. Sometimes the least expensive updates provide the greatest return. Replacing cabinet hardware can breathe new life into dated kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
Photo Credit: strictlyhardware.com
Changing out basic brass door knobs for a lever knob in a different finish will be more appealing to buyers. Don’t forget to match the door hinges. Also take a look at switch plates and vents and replace plastic with metal.
These simple upgrades over the builder’s basics will give your home the edge it needs to sell faster and for top dollar.
Ready to get started? Give SOLD Home Organizers a call today to schedule a consultation.
Nothing can transform a space like an area rug. The perfect area rug can lighten up a dark room, warm up a cold space, add a punch of color, partition a large room, as well as add personality and functionality anywhere in your home. Even better, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here’s a look at some A+ rated area rugs we have used and love!
Hirano Distressed Silver Area Rug by Bloomsbury Market
A beautiful silver oriental rug draws together all seating in this traditional living room.
Lada Abstract Waves Gray/White Area Rug by Mercury Row.
This is a low pile, synthetic, machine woven rug. Its abstract beauty adds modern movement to this living room.
Samantha Cozy Shag Contemporary Waves Gray Area Rug by Ebern Designs
It’s all about the SHAG in this child’s bedroom. Kids like to play on the floor and this shag rug added function and style. You’ll notice this rug is not anchored by furniture, so we added the Deluxe Rug Pad by Birch Lane for added thickness and stability.
Honesdale Hand-Woven Ivory/Beige Area Rug by Three Posts
A subtle, handmade, jute rug in a Chevron pattern is a classic. It looks and feels beautiful. It could be used in a living room as shown here but would also be a great addition to a dining room.
Olga Gray Area Rug by Laurel Foundry Modern Farmhouse
This fun geometric pattern gives an updated look to a traditional space. It is versatile and compliments many colors and styles. It would look equally gorgeous beneath a dark or light wooden dining set.
Delana Traditional Faded Oriental Dark Blue/Teal Area Rug by Beachcrest Home
The tranquil color and pattern make this a personal favorite. It is equally beautiful to grace a formal sitting room or add a feminine touch in a bedroom.
Ash Navy Area Rug by Zipcode Design
This tufted, cotton, trellis pattern rug is a statement piece. Its bold color and pattern will draw attention. Design a room around it and you will not be disappointed. It is also extremely comfortable on bare feet.
Madison Collection Cream and Multicolored Bohemian Chic Distressed Area Rug by Safavieh
This distressed, faded, multicolored rug easily compliments any room. The 4’ round size was used to compliment a small seating area, but it could easily be used in any room. We have even used it to dress up a large master bathroom.
Distressed Cream 4620 Area Rug by Persian-Rugs
This vintage looking rug with hints of blues and browns just screams to be paired with a rich leather sofa to complete a relaxed, traditional sitting area or living room.
Have a rug you love? Send us a picture and description.
The first step of organization is always sorting what you have & then assessing the tools you need to create an organized space. Many times those tools are very simple, clear containers & storage totes, items readily available at your nearest target or home goods. Here are a few of the more unique organizing tools that can help you simplify your space.
A big problem for me has always been cabinet space and how to easily store numerous pots, pans & lids so that they are accessible when preparing a meal. This holder stores skillets, lids & sheet pans vertically or horizontally saving you space and keeping you organized.
Another way to save space in cabinets for mixing bowls, casserole dishes, and other appliances are these stackable shelves. They instantly add a layer of space. These would also be great in bathroom cabinets as well as a pantry.
Where to store all of those collectible mugs from family vacations & holidays? Mugs can take up a lot of cabinet space. Check out this under the shelf cup rack or this convenient utility station to keep your cabinets clear.
On The Go
The following items help make your travel life, whether your everyday commute in the car or a family road trip, more organized.
These head rest hooks give you an easy space to store your purse, briefcase, backpacks or lunch totes.
The back seat entertainment organizer has eight pockets, perfect for holding a box of tissues, DVD player, DVDs, books, toys, snacks or anything else your children might need within arm's length while on a road trip.
This cargo pocket slips over the backseat head rest and gives you five extra pockets for your car essentials...kids sporting gear, first aid kit, extra windshield wiper fluid, umbrellas or paper towels. You no longer have to hear everything roll around when you take a turn. Or is that just us?
For those who travel a lot for work and use their car as an office, check out the Tote on the Go. You can clip the tote to the front of the seat and swing it to the back when you have a passenger and it neatly holds all of the materials you'd otherwise throw on the front seat.
To learn more about any of these items, click on the image or visit our Clever Container site. If you'd like to place an order with free shipping, private message us as we'll be placing a combined order at the end of March. Remember if you place an order any time in March you'll have a chance to win this Insulated Market Basket which retails for $39.
-Leslie & Christine
Everyone loves taking a vacation, but the to-do list before you go & when you return can be overwhelming. Fortunately, with a little organization and planning your transition to and from vacation can be stress free. Here are our tips:
-Christine & Leslie ~SOLD Home Organizers
"Disney's Frozen made this phrase catchy, but when it comes to organization & clutter, "let it go" is the perfect mantra. In a time where "one-click order" & "same day delivery" is a thing, it's no wonder we've become inundated with "stuff." It's easier than ever to accumulate. The key to balancing the new stuff with the old stuff is figuring out when you can let the old stuff go.
Have you ever heard of the KonMari Method for organization? Marie Kondo writes in her book "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" that you should hold items in both of your hands and ask yourself if it sparks joy, if it doesn't you should toss it. I'm sure this is what you're thinking...
Us too! But we get where Marie Kondo is coming from; simply stated if you haven't used it, worn it, known you owned it, or unpacked it, let it go.
So you've committed to organizing, but where do you start? Kondo advises organizing by category not by room, meaning go through and organize/donate all of the clothes in your house rather than organizing one single closet. While this approach makes sense, for a family of 5, that can be a daunting task. Most of us have to chip away at these projects between school hours, work hours, days off, drop off & pick ups; our thinking is do what you can, when you can. If you have 15 minutes, open a drawer, take out the contents and throw away anything that is "junk" and put the contents back in the drawer in an organized manner (ie. group pens, paper clips together). If you tackle a drawer or closet a day, before you know it you have a number of completed, organized spaces.
Now that you've committed & started to organize, how do you maintain it? This is something you may have to work at. It's easy to swipe everything off the counter into a drawer or throw the clothes at the bottom of the closet for later, and sometimes, given our busy lives, that has to happen. The key is to be cognizant of clutter and maintenance. What does that mean? If you had to throw some stuff in a drawer, make a mental note to go back later and pull those things out and go through them. If you had to stuff some clothes in the closet, go back and put them on hangers or in a drawer. If you make the pile a priority (even if it's down the list) & remain cognizant of it, it'll start to become habit. Mail drives me nuts; I hate junk mail. One piece of advice I offer with mail is to go through it immediately and throw out/recycle the junk & file away (whether placing it in an office or in a bill organizer) the important documents & bills. If you do this, your mail will never accumulate and you'll never lose track of the important documents.
Our hope for you in this New Year is that you can begin to "let it go" and remember if you need help, we are here.
-Leslie & Christine
Can an organized home improve your quality of life?
The late comedian, George Carlin said “a house is just a place to keep your stuff while you are out getting more stuff.” In our fast paced, consumer driven society it can certainly seem that way. Over the years many of us have a hard time parting with our stuff and slowly we become overwhelmed by it. Suddenly our home, which should be a sanctuary, can become a source of stress and anxiety, and even embarrassment. So what is preventing you from getting your home in order and what impact is this having on your quality of life?
Social Impact: Home is where we gather with friends and family to celebrate life’s milestones. If you break into a sweat at the thought of hosting the next book club or poker night you could be denying yourself meaningful personal connections.
Financial Impact: When items are not stored properly they don’t hold up over their intended useful life and you will waste money on replacement costs. You will also waste money buying items you already have but were unable to locate.
Nutritional Impact: If your kitchen counters are covered with appliances, dishes, your child’s homework, and an abandoned craft project you may not feel inspired to tackle a home cooked meal. A cluttered refrigerator, cabinets, and pantry makes it hard to take inventory for effective meal planning and grocery shopping. The end result is likely fast food and guilt.
Creative Impact: Bright open spaces and clear work surfaces are meant to inspire. If you feel the weight of your piles closing in on you it may be hard to start a new project. Before you know it you have missed the opportunity to make a photo album of your latest family vacation, or plan a surprise party for your dear friend.
Familial Impact: You may feel like you are letting those around you down. Tensions can rise when you are hit with a barrage of questions or accusations from family members unable to locate an item especially if it is found dirty or damaged at the bottom of a pile.
Performance Impact: A cluttered space can make your mind feel cluttered as well. It may be hard to focus on the task at hand as well as keeping track of important dates and deadlines. Performance at work or school could suffer without a strong organizational plan.
As the New Year approaches make your resolution to get organized and remember SOLD Home Organizers are happy to help you make it happen with no judgment, just encouragement.
Life events may present a need for a professional organizer.
Major life events can be happy or sad, and all can be stressful. That’s because change is often difficult, especially when it causes a disruption to your home. Your home should be your sanctuary, no matter the size, no matter the location, no matter with whom you share it. What’s important to remember is that it is ok to ask for help. You possess the ability to adapt and SOLD Home Organizers will help you.
Growing Family: What to expect when you are expecting? A ton of baby gear and a nursery in need of set up for starters. If the new baby’s room will be displacing your home office or if you are playing room swap with other children, you may also need additional reconfiguring.
Moving Out: Selling your home? The longer you have been in your home the more daunting this task can feel. Before you call your realtor, call your organizer. We’ll get you decluttered and staged to sell. Moving In: Your house won’t feel like home until the boxes are unpacked and your pictures are up on the wall. If you don’t have the time or energy, we do.
Marriage or Divorce: When families come together or drift apart so do their home goods. Newlyweds suddenly surrounded by twice the stuff they once had may find their home feels cluttered and mismatched. Divorcees may find themselves in need of new furnishings for a fresh start.
Downsizing: After a lifetime of raising a family and collecting memories the move to a smaller, more manageable sized living space can be appealing. The challenge is sorting through what you have and deciding what you can take with you, sell, donate, or discard.
Caring for Elderly Parents: As loved ones age you may assume the role of caretaker. This can include sorting through their home in preparation for sale in addition to making accommodations for them in your own home.
You only get one chance to make a first impression
The goal of home staging is to create a space that appeals to the majority of buyers given current home trends. These days buyers are looking for bright open concept homes. No matter what your floorplan there are many ways to give this light airy feeling to potential buyers.
Declutter: Reduce Reduce Reduce! Clear off countertops and table tops, limit bookcase storage, remove unnecessary or oversized furniture and don’t stuff those closets. Even a large home can feel cramped when it is overstuffed.
Depersonalize: Remember you want buyers to envision themselves in the space not you. Remove personal photos, trophies, and mementos.
Lighting: Light and bright spaces appear larger. Clean windows, remove heavy drapery, and replace old dull light bulbs.
Purpose and function: Arrange each room as it was intended. If you are currently using a formal dinning room as a playroom, it’s time to reconfigure.
Smell: How your home smells is just as important as how it looks. Consider a dehumidifier in basement to eliminate musty smells. Keep surfaces cleaned with fresh scents such as lavender. Avoid strong cooking smells like eggs or strong spices.
Curb appeal: Don’t forget the exterior. Power washing is a great way to remove mold and mildew. Consider repainting your front door or window boxes with a pop of color. Trim overgrown plants and bushes and add some plants or potted flowers.
How can SOLD Home Organizers help you?
Spaces: Our team is ready to transform any space in your home or office: kitchen, pantry, closets, office, attic, basement, garage, shed, pool house, bedroom, or playroom. Have another space in mind? Just ask!
Our Process: A member of the SOLD team will discuss your needs at a free in-home consultation. We will discuss your storage and design goals and identify your budget. A project estimate and design plan will be presented shortly after your consultation. We will identify organizer tools and design elements required and create a shopping list. While organizing your space we will define work zones, identify expired, worn, or broken items that can be discarded, as well as items which can be donated to charity or sold.
In the finished product you will have a simplified, organized, functional, fabulous space that can easily be maintained.
Larger Jobs: If your organizational needs are substantial we will help you coordinate with additional services including: dumpster rental, trash pick up, donation pick up, painting, electrical, and handyman services.