Moving Management: Organizational Tips for Staging A Home to Sell

staging a home for sale is part of the tasks a clear path executes through is senior move management processIf selling your home is on the horizon, here are some moving management and organizational tips to help you stage for a quick and successful sale.

Moving can be a stressful process, particularly when it comes to selling a home. With summer on the horizon and so many looking for new homes across the country, staging has become more important than ever. When potential buyers enter a home or virtually tour photos on a real estate listing platform, they not only want to see a future there, but they also want to be sure that the space is clean and organized. A tidy home can make it sell for more money as well as attract more buyers. While hiring a moving manager or home organizing services can take some of the work off your plate, there are ways you can both organize and show off the space yourself, too. 

Organize the exterior 

The first impressions of most homes on the market come from the outside, which makes a neat, attractive exterior all the more important. Any red flags on the outside of the home can send a buyer in the other direction before even entering the house. That said, fresh landscaping, flowers, groomed trees, and any paint touch-ups can make a home look brand new. This will also hint to buyers how dedicated you’ve been in terms of maintenance, inside and out. Outdoor furniture, a freshly sealed driveway, or an updated porch can help the home sell faster and for more money. 

Highlight home office space

to help declutter a home office use the professionals at a clear pathIn this new age of remote work, home offices have become staples to everyday life for many. Creating a designated, productive workspace can help a buyer who works from home see their lifestyle fitting with the house. Keep in mind that professionals prefer certain aspects of a home office, like natural lighting, storage space, and distance from heavily trafficked areas of the house. You can also stage a multifunctional space that can serve as a home office, craft room, laundry room, or spare bedroom. 

Cut back on furniture

Believe it or not, some of a home’s most valued furniture pieces may not be beneficial throughout the staging process. Extra end tables, coffee tables, or chairs can make the space look cluttered and claustrophobic. Remove these to open up the space. Avoid putting furniture in front of focal points like fireplaces or built-ins so they’re easily visible and accessible. When choosing which pieces to keep or stow away, think about buyers walking through the home and how easy the space is to tour. 

Coordinate closet space

Organized closet space is a high priority for many buyers. Before they tour the bedrooms, remove any unnecessary articles of clothing and other clutter to make the closet appear larger. Add shelving where necessary to maximize the space, and stage with storage bins or compartments that show visitors how it can be efficiently organized. Shoe racks, drawers, and over-the-door storage can also help buyers see how much of their belongings they can store in the closet. Don’t forget to keep the home well-ventilated for great air quality and a fresh aroma for in-person tours.

Deep clean

A tidy home isn’t as effective without a deep clean. A major factor that turns buyers away from homes for sale is cleanliness. It indicates how well you tend to the home, and is instrumental in the visitors’ experience. Cleaning every square inch of the home is vital before allowing a home to be photographed or toured in person. Dust or scrub every square inch from the floor to the ceiling so that buyers will have no critiques. Also remember that pets, their toys, or their furniture can store some unpleasant smells that a handful of buyers will disapprove of, so be sure to take those out of the house and eliminate any pesky pet odors.

De-personalize 

While staging, be sure to reduce the amount of personal items in the home. Family photos, mementos, art projects, personal hygiene items, andstaging a home is one of the task that can be handled by A Clear Path as an A+ accredited by NASMM senior move manager clothes can all add to a cluttered home. Not only that, but having these items visible can make it very difficult for buyers to imagine the home as their own and connect to the space. Instead, fill some of the space with neutral decor, books, plants, etc. Arrange any built-in storage, shelving, or wall space with items that illustrate how the space can be used, while leaving it a blank canvas for potential buyers.

Hire a professional

If you’re inexperienced when it comes to moving, thankfully, there are a number of moving and organization experts that can make the transition smoother every step of the way. To make the process easier, here are some examples of professional services you can use:

  • Packing and unpacking services: carefully packing items, trash removal, delivering packing boxes and materials, etc. 
  • Senior moving specialist: guiding your downsizing/transition while catering to the special needs of your senior loved one
  • Estate clearing: providing itemized lists of keepsakes, shipping items to family members, selling valuable pieces, etc.
  • Virtual organizers: online sessions with organization experts to tackle your home one room at a time

Conclusion

Selling your home doesn’t mean simply listing it on the market and hoping for the best. It takes a lot of thought and hard work throughout the staging process. Maintain an organized home, take advantage of experts, and consider some of these organizational tips for an efficient home sale.

How can we help you?

Photo Credits: Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash; Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash; Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

6 Easy Steps to Create a Home Inventory

Creating a home inventory will help when you move or strat a de-cluttering of your home

These tools and tips can help you recoup thousands of dollars when disaster strikes. 

According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), over 50 per cent of Americans don’t have a home inventory of their belongings putting them at a risk for inadequate insurance coverage in case a disaster strikes.

What Is a Home Inventory?

In simple words, a home inventory is an up-to-date record of all your possessions. It’s created so that in case of a disaster, you can easily and quickly get your claims settled.

Creating and updating your inventory of personal possessions is an excellent way to make the most of your renters or homeowners insurance and makes filing a claim efficient and easy.

Creating a home inventory is simple and can help you save a lot of money (and headache) in the longer run. 

Why Should I Create a Home Inventory?

It’s important to create a home inventory as:

#1. It helps you purchase the right kind of insurance

An accurate list of your personal possessions will enable you to have a better conversation with the insurance personnel when making decisions about renters or homeowners insurance coverage. It’s one of the best ways to get the best of your insurance. 

#2. It makes filing a claim super easy

Most of us can’t remember what we had for dinner last night, let alone recall everything that we possess. Disasters are stressful and scary that makes creating a list of damaged property for claims more challenging. A handy list of your belongings will prove to be a huge relief in such times.

#3. Aids in financial assistance

Following a disaster, you can only qualify for disaster assistance or a tax break is if you can substantiate your losses. An organized home inventory will prove to be useful during such a process.

Fires, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes: disasters can strike any time. And when that happens, most of us aren’t in a position to recall everything that we owned. 

Unless a proper account of everything that we owned is provided to the insurance professionals, you’ll not be entitled to a proper claim. 

Therefore, the key is to have a detailed home inventory. Here are 6 easy steps to create a home inventory:

#1. Choose the Right Storage Method and a Software

  • Taking a few pictures or scribbling in a notebook is okay but not the best options to create a list.
  • Choose a software program designed to create home inventories such as What You Own that’ll make the entire process easier. 
  • You can also opt for free options by creating a DIY list using free templates from Canva or by creating a spreadsheet.
  • Do a little research to determine the best option for you before getting started.

#2. List your Personal Belongings

  • The best way to get started is by starting with an easy spot— like your handbag shelf or kitchen appliance cabinet. 
  • Write down the name and value of everything you own in that contained space before proceeding to the next area. 
  • If you want, you can also group items falling in the same category or of the same types such as books or kitchen utensils. 
  • Make small notes of the condition and model number of each item and staple the receipts next to the item if you have any.

#3. Take Help of Technology

  • If you’ve been using a pen and paper until now, it’s time for a little upgrade.
  • Take pictures, record videos or use an app that’ll help you create a room-by-room record of all your belongings.

#4. Finish the Paperwork

  • Replacing identification, reports, legal and financial documents can be a hassle.
  • Take steps to protect and preserve such documents.

#5. Create a Separate List of Valuable Items

Valuable items such as electronics, collectables and jewelry require separate insurance and therefore, it’s wise to create a separate list for them. Be extremely thorough when creating this list and include:

  • Multiple photos of each item
  • Purchase location and date
  • Serial number
  • Model
  • Make
  • Receipts (if you have any)

Follow the golden rule: if you paid more, then document more.

#6. Keep Copies in Different Places

  • No matter how you chose to create a home inventory, always create a few copies away from home.
  • Don’t limit the storage of your list to a single place such as your computer or mobile or even a hardcopy in your house—they could all be destroyed in the disaster. 
  • Save your list in the cloud or send out a few physical copies to your friends and family for the sake of safekeeping. 

The Takeaway

  • Creating a home inventory can be daunting but not if you’re using our tools and tips. 
  • Easily verify losses for your insurance claim and income tax returns by creating a home inventory. 

Need help Starting your Home Inventory

Picture credits:
Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/bAA06m4O7co
Shristi Patni is a content writer and owner of F and B Recipes. She enjoys creating a List of Citrus Fruits or a list of “Things That Make Happy” or coming up with creative Food Blog Names. Formerly the Chief Content Officer at Raletta, she is currently working on her second cookbook. 
shristipatni@gmail.com
Social Media Handles:
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/f-and-b-recipes/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/FandBRecipes/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/F-and-B-Recipes-100232271852184
Twitter: @FandBRecipes
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fandbrecipes/

How to Declutter and Organize Your Closet

Having to clear out your home for whatever reason can be challenging. You’re aware that there’s quite a bit of work ahead of you and dread even thinking about beginning. However, procrastinating will only make matters worse, as you’re probably very well aware. This is why you should take a breath and decide to start. The sooner you do, the sooner it’ll all be over, and you’ll get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. That being said, you shouldn’t rush into this process; there are some things you should inform yourself about prior to diving in. In the spirit of painless beginnings, let’s go over how to declutter and organize your closet without a lot of fuss.

Make an inventory of everything you own

making a list is a first step i a decluttering process when using a professional organizerTake the time to sit down with yourself before you start to organize and declutter your closet. Clear your mind and
thoroughly examine everything that you possess.


Write down your belongings in categories
in as much detail as you seem fit. You should find the right balance, meaning that the inventory should be informative to a productive degree. Don’t clutter the list that’s supposed to help you declutter. Whether you’re downsizing your home or just doing some spring cleaning, this step will benefit you greatly. Making home inventories in advance and adding to the list as you go along can save you a lot of time. However, it’s completely understandable if you’re not that kind of a person.

 If you wish to organize and declutter your closet, you should make an inventory first.

Detect your weaknesses from the start

If you’re someone who cannot focus on tasks such as decluttering and organizing your closet, admit this to yourself. By pinpointing certain areas of your character that are flawed, you’ll be able to aid them in the right way. If you’re too much of a perfectionist ever to start this process, make yourself get up. If you have a problem with being organized, write everything down and hire estate clearing services or a similar organization to help.

Clean your home

One of the biggest misconceptions about organizing and decluttering your closet is that it doesn’t include cleaning. A tidy home and a clean one go pretty much hand in hand. You cannot do one without the other. So when you start cleaning, decluttering, and organizing, make sure you use the right products. It will help you immensely. If nothing else, once you’ve purchased everything you’ll need, you’ll be much more motivated to start.

Hire a professional company to declutter and organize your closet

Much in the same way you’d hire move management and relocation specialists or cleaning services, you should think about hiring professional home organizing services to help you declutter and organize your closet. Especially if you’re not the most organized of people, there’s no harm in having someone to guide you through the process of decluttering and organizing your closet

Divide and conquer

criteria for separation is a key to good organizingIf you want a neat and tidy closet, you don’t necessarily need organizing services. Although hiring someone would help you out quite a bit, that doesn’t mean it’s required. You can involve your family and friends and delegate the work. This is especially advisable if you own a lot of things. Try not to look at this as some dreadful task. Make a fun day of it. Turn up some music, order a pizza, and reward yourself and your trusty helpers with some wine to help it all go down a bit more smoothly.

 

If you want to declutter and organize all your clothes, you should be decisive and get to it right away.

Organize a yard sale

Once you’ve separated the good from the bad, you then need to get rid of all the things you’ve deemed useless. One of the best things you could do to help this process move along quicker is to organize a yard sale. This way, you’ll earn and get rid of the old stuff. It’s a win-win situation. Of course, if money doesn’t play a grand role, you could also donate some of the items you’ve decluttered and organized in your closet.

Storage ideas

On the other hand, anything you don’t want to give away and get rid of, but you don’t want in your closet either, you should store. If you can make use of in-house storage ideas, go right ahead. Nonetheless, you can, of course, use a storage unit if you don’t have enough space. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to do it properly. Divide your belongings safely and efficiently so as not to have wasted all the time spent decluttering and organizing the closet.

Don’t stress about things not going exactly according to plan

Simply said, don’t stress over everything that might come your way. There will undoubtedly be some moments that won’t go as planned. That’s fine. Trusta job like decluttering can be stressful, but not if you are using a professional organizer with a decluttering specialty that you’ve done enough. Better yet, reward yourself for everything that goes right instead of punishing yourself for the mistakes that are out of your hand. Organizing and decluttering your closet can be very therapeutic if you let it be.

 Try not to stress out over the things that aren’t in your control.

 

Don’t keep items for the wrong reasons 

As the world has gotten to know people like Marie Kondo over the years, some things have become common knowledge. However, just in case you’re not yet familiar with the inner-workings of one of the most organized people known to man, we’re here to help. She’s practically given the world of decluttering and organizing closets a completely different meaning. One of the most important things she’s preaching is that we should attentively think about what we should keep in our homes and hearts

Here are some questions to help with decision-making:

  • Do I love this item, and is it giving me joy?
  • Do I still fit in this outfit, or am I holding on to an older version of myself?
  • Does it project the picture that I want to show off?
  • Do I feel comfortable in this?
  • Am I trying to impress people by owning something that’s just not me?

Sometimes asking yourself some simple and seemingly shallow questions such as these can really help. You’ll be able to declutter and organize your closet much more efficiently if you’re not holding on to specific pressures and triggers. Minimalism has never seemed more appealing.

A rack of clothes that can help you declutter and organize your closet.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/clothes-hanged-on-clothes-rack-3965545/
https://unsplash.com/photos/oa7pqZmmhuA
https://unsplash.com/photos/jLjfAWwHdB8
https://unsplash.com/photos/i-ePv9Dxg7U

Smart Ways To Prepare For A Successful Declutter

de-cluttering sounds easy until one gets overwhelmed with all that must be accomplished, but help is there if you are using a professional organizer like A Clear Path

 

Disorganization causes 80% of all household clutter, according to one study by the Soap and Detergent Association. For those looking to declutter their homes, however, getting started often seems like a daunting task — especially if you’ve just moved, or your home is on the larger side. From preparing yourself mentally before you begin to making yourself actually get started, here are just a few fundamentals when it comes to getting the job done successfully and with as little stress as possible.

 

Set goals before you begin

 

Physical and mental preparation are key to successful organization, with one important aspect being to let go of any guilt beforehand. This will make a world of difference when it comes to actually being able to part with items and meet your organizational goals, especially if you have a difficult time parting with things that others have given you. Making a plan that includes a task list and creating a set schedule before you begin decluttering is also necessary to ensure productivity, and will allow you to set and reach your goals clearly. This will be particularly beneficial if you have a larger house, or if you plan to declutter your home over a longer period of time, since you’ll have a written record of what you plan to accomplish.

 

Choose an organizational system

 

After preparing to declutter your home, actually getting started and making progress often follows with difficulty, which is where having some kind offrom messy to clean all done with a professional organizer with a specialty in decluttering organizational system or strategy in place will help greatly in getting the job done productively. One smart way to do this is by doing one room at a time, and tackling the rooms that need decluttering the most first. This allows you to break up the task of decluttering into smaller, more attainable goals.

When it comes to actually sorting your belongings, using a system such as the “four box technique” will help in prioritizing your things. With this method, you simply label four different bins (keep, donate, throw away, and store), which will allow you to have a visual aid as to how much you’re keeping vs. donating. If you’re finding difficulty in deciding what to keep, one rule of thumb is to keep in mind whether or not you’ve used the item recently, which will aid in determining how useful it is to you. When putting things away again, it’s also important to keep elements like convenience in mind to ensure that things stay organized in the future — for instance, designating a place by the door for your keys will prevent you from misplacing them. 

 

Make a plan for your unwanted clutter

 

Perhaps one of the most important things when preparing to declutter your home is having a plan for getting the unwanted items out of your home once and for all. If you have the time, organizing a garage sale or setting up a page to sell the items online is one way to do so effectively while making a profit, which will be useful in getting your money back out of those expensive, lesser used items. For instance, if you put some thought and planning into a garage sale, you can easily make between $500 and $1,000, according to the New York Times. Any items that you don’t sell can be just as easily donated to local organizations that will give them a second life. 

 

Decluttering and organizing your home is often distressing — especially if you’ve recently moved and your things are in disarray, or if your home is particularly large. However, by preparing beforehand, having a system, and considering resources for getting your clutter out of your home, you can effectively organize everything you own.

Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

Use Organizing Services to Transform Your Home Into an Income Stream

clean-up and decluttering is best accomplished with help from an expert organizer like Regina F Lark

If you’re thinking of picking up a side hustle, you aren’t alone. According to Zapier, one in three Americans now have a side gig to supplement their primary income stream. The key to success is utilizing resources you already have at your disposal, like your house. There are a number of ways that you can monetize your property and turn it into another source of income. If you’re successful, you might even turn your side gig into a full-fledged business.

Before you can monetize your home — for example, by showing it off on social media — you’ll need to get it looking its best. A Clear Path offers decluttering and organization tips to help. Read on for more tips to follow if you want to create a clear home to transform into a gorgeous, money-making machine.

Document your home improvements

HGTV shows like Fixer Upper have become popular in recent years. Country Living notes that ratings for such “home genre” shows are high. Seize the momentum of this trend. Document your own home improvements, big and small. Make sure to use appealing visual formats, like YouTube or Instagram. Shane Baker provides tips on figuring out which platform is best for you, like considering your niche and current follower counts.

decluttering is one of the specialties of A Clear Path a professional organizer.

Monetize your blog or website

You can also document your home improvement journey in writing via a blog or website. This opens up yet another source of possible income — selling ad space. For example, if you write about a plumbing disaster, you might have ads for plumbing services. Diggity Marketing provides other pointers for monetizing a blog, from using Google AdSense to accepting visitor donations.

Check out affiliate marketing opportunities with home organizing services and more

Look for affiliate marketing opportunities that make for logical collaborations. As Big Commerce explains, this is a type of performance-based marketing where marketers (called affiliates) earn a commission for marketing another company’s products. Their sales are tracked via links. You might team up with home organizing services like A Clear Path, home remodeling companies, homewares providers, and more.

No clue how to do affiliate marketing? Ahrefs provides a quick step-by-step guide. Here’s an overview:

  • Pick a platform, like a YouTube channel or blog.
  • Select a niche to narrow things down. For example, maybe you want to focus on gardening and houseplants.
  • Research affiliate programs that are a good fit.
  • Sign up for your chosen program.
  • Create compelling content to engage your audience.
  • Drive traffic to your affiliate collaborator.

From there, all you have to do is cash in, and you’re already making money from your clean and clear home.

Boost traffic with social media ads

If you’re going to monetize a blog or website, you need to have consistent traffic. More visitors means more visibility. When it comes to points like selling ad space, this ups your brand’s value. Goins Writer explains how to drive blog traffic through social channels. They recommend asking others to promote your blog through social bookmarking sites, like Reddit and Stumbleupon, and implementing sharing tools on your platform. 

preparing to rent or sell your property? Use a professional organizer like A Clear Path

Transform Your Home-Related Business Into a Real Company

Ideally, you will grow your side hustle with time. You will attract more followers on social media, boost website traffic, and raise your profile overall. At some point, you may discover that your “side hustle” has become a legitimate business. Grasshopper provides tips for determining whether you’re ready to quit your day job, such as:

  • Try a beta test: Start treating your side business like it’s a full-time business for one full day per week and see how it goes.
  • Assess your confidence: Making the leap can be daunting. Assess your confidence and determine if you’re emotionally ready.
  • Write a business plan: Writing a business plan that includes financial projections will help you determine if this is a viable path forward.
  • Consider financials: Finally, consider whether you need additional funding to get your business going.

If you do think that it’s time to create a full-time business, make it official. Establishing a formal legal entity like a limited liability company (LLC) protects your personal assets in case you run into business problems. You have to register your LLC with the state. While this requires some paperwork, it’s not a super complicated process. Business formation services can help you get it done in as few as five steps.

The Final Word

You won’t transform your home into a money-maker overnight, but you have to recognize the signs. Be patient! With perseverance, you will be able to take your home-related side hustle to the next level.

A Clear Path Professional Organizing and Productivity can help you get your home ready for the spotlight through decluttering, virtual organizing, and other services. Check out reviews from former clients.

 

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels
Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels
Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

1 Habit for a Thriving Home Office

Dr. Lark earned a Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of Southern California. Her dissertation focused on the relationships between Japanese women and American soldiers who met and married during the U.S. Occupation of Japan. After graduation, Dr. Lark served as an adjunct professor at a community college. In early 2000, Regina worked with UCLA Women’s Studies program and then joined UCLA Extension for adult learning. In 2008, two months after an unexpected lay-off from her position as a Program Director, Dr. Regina Lark founded her professional organizing company, A Clear Path: Professional Organizing and Productivity.

About the 1 Habit For a Thriving Home Office:

1 Habit for a Thriving Home Office
is for anyone who wants to avoid traffic, a long commute, reduce their carbon footprint, save time, minimize interruptions in their workday, have more control over their schedule, focus on priorities and make significant contributions to their business, company, clients or the world.

 

 

You might be interested in a free copy of the Table of Contents and 1st Chapter of my Book

Download a complimentary copy of the 1st Chapter of Regina’s 3rd Edition of her book, Psychic Debris

Dr. Regina Lark

regina@aclearpath.net

 

Organizing Services Can Make Remote Work and School a Breeze

decluttered home office desk organized by a professional

All over the country, families are about to enter a grand experiment. The question: Can we handle working remotely while our children take virtual classes? Unless your family happens to be naturally suited to this setup, it’s probably going to be a bit of a challenge. One of the simplest ways to make it easier: A solid organizational scheme. 

Home organization is about more than simply putting things away. When everything has a place (and everyone knows what that place is) you save time and eliminate chaos. Moreover, you can use your organizational scheme to create psychological barriers between workspaces and living spaces. This will be one of the most valuable tools in your pocket when it comes to keeping everyone sane during the upcoming school year. 

Invest in professional organizing services to ensure your family is well prepared to juggle work and school from home. Here’s a look at a few of the ways that this service can help keep your family productive and happy while you adjust to this new normal: 

Enhancing Professionalism 

If you weren’t working remotely before the pandemic, odds are your home wasn’t set up with this in mind. In the early days, no one thought twice of barking dogs or messy desks in the background of Zoom meetings. Now that we’ve all had some time to adjust, however, you need to be thinking about how to stay professional during remote work. Think about what your webcam shows in your background: An organized office is going to give a much better impression than a messy, cluttered space.

Your kids should have this in mind as well. After all, virtual learning is going to be tough enough for them and their classmates without a ton of distractions. When your home is well organized, you can limit distractions on video calls and keep yourself, your kids, and work (or class) on track. 

A Clear Path’s Ninja Organizers can make sure your space gives the right impression, as well as ensure you have all the tools you need to thrive virtually, including: 

  • A high-quality webcam to join virtual meetings or classes
  • Ergonomic desks and chairs to stay comfortable throughout your workday 
  • Drawers, baskets, cubbies, and other organizational tools to keep you and your kids on track 
  • Fast, reliable internet that can support work, school, and downtime

school work from an organized decluttered space

Facilitating Focus 

Your headspace can make or break remote success. This is as true for you at work as it is for your kids at school. We need defined boundaries between work and life to be able to focus properly. When that’s all happening in one space, we have to create those boundaries for ourselves. Keep this principle in mind when working with your professional organizer, and ask for their insight about how to create these psychological barriers. Here are some ideas to consider: 

  • Specific workrooms: If you have spare rooms in your house, consider turning them into an office for you, or a study space for your child. Depending on your workflow and your child’s school schedule, you could conceivably share a space
  • Visual barriers: When you can’t set up a workspace in a specific room, visual barriers such as room dividers can help create mental barriers. Home inventories are a great way to figure out what should go where and define each area’s function with items you already have. 
  • Avoid blurring lines: Wherever possible, avoid setting up your workspace in an obvious relaxation area such as a living room, den, or bedroom. Not only will this make it harder to focus during work and school, but it can also get in the way of unwinding and getting a good night’s sleep. 

Overcoming Roadblocks

As if this year weren’t complicated enough, many families are bound to face obstacles that make it even harder. For example, you might need to move at some point during this year. On your own, juggling remote work while packing, unpacking, and organizing your new home can be a nightmare. With relocation specialists on your side, however, this process can be a breeze. Not only will you have an easier time with the move itself, but your move manager can also set your home up for virtual success from the get-go. 

a move manager can help re-arrange items to create a clean organized space

Here are a few more roadblocks that are much easier with an organizer on your team: 

  • Starting your own business or expanding a freelance career 
  • Managing a blended schedule, where children transition between in-school and virtual classes
  • Keeping a multi-generational household happy, healthy, and productive. 

Finally, go easy on yourself as you begin this upcoming school year. Your family has a major transition to navigate, and there are sure to be challenges along the way. Professional organization services can set you up for success, and a flexible mindset can keep you sane while you learn how to function in a brand new environment. 

Thanks for reading!

3rd Edition of Psychic Debris, Crowded Closets by Regina F Lark, Ph. D.

You might be interested in a free copy of the Table of Contents and 1st Chapter of my Book

Download a complimentary copy of the 1st Chapter of Regina’s 3rd Edition of her book, Psychic Debris

Dr. Regina Lark

regina@aclearpath.net

 

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3 

Should This Stay, or Should This Go?

Should it Stay, or Should it Go?

Professional Fiduciaries are first responders. They are often first to advocate for the welfare and well-being of a new client, and, more often than not, first to step foot in the door of a home overrun with benign neglect, or, basically intact but filled with a huge number of things. 

Responsible for the health, welfare, and fiscal oversight of their clients, Fiduciaries are called upon to make some hard decisions. Sometimes this means finding room for caregivers or divesting a home filled with a trove of old and new treasures. 

Your client lives here

Home is where the heart is. It is also the place of deferred dreams and incomplete projects. It is the place where folks stash their bowling trophies, grandma’s plated silver, and signed first editions. Over years the home becomes the repository for everything life has to offer – clothes, kitchenware, and place-settings. The “average” household often contains the possessions of adult children who had long ago moved from the family home but never quite got around to removing yearbooks and toys,always organized Barbie dolls high school ephemera, and everything else assigned to the category of “memories.” Don’t forget the so-called “collectibles” – from Hummels and Barbie dolls to entire runs of Playboy and National Geographic magazines. 

Why do we own so much stuff? It’s a difficult question to answer. Older adults who lived through America’s “Great Depression” tell us that growing up with nothing means holding on to everything. While that may or may not be true, I wonder how we understand younger generations’ seemingly insatiable consumption, or how we account for the growth of self storage

Fiduciaries will of course come across clients’ self-storage units. Dark and depressing, public storage facilities are frigid cold in the winter, overwhelmingly hot in the summer. With a multitude of enticements to bring in the customer, it takes a lot of time and planning to get out. If you’ve seen A&E’s Storage Wars you know that there’s no guarantee of hidden treasures behind the padlocked door.

Hold tight

We tend to cling to our things for two very broad reasons. First, we don’t want to let go of stuff we may need “someday” (note cards, car wax, vases), or that we may wear again “someday” (golf shirts, skinny jeans). Of course any and all items may have future use but if we’re not already in the habit of writing notes or losing weight, then these “someday” items do not have current value; they just clutter our lives today. At the same time, we hold on to things that have been in our lives forever such as Grandma’s good china, music boxes, report cards – contain therein our “memories,” along with the stories we attach to each and very item. 

With a tight hold on that which we may need someday (the future), and an emotional hold on that which has already happened (the past), our “stuff” tends to hang around. The longer it hangs around, the value of the “stuff” either increases or decreases.  

It’s tricky business determining the value of art and clothing, furniture, first editions, and the array of what is unearthed in clearing the path for what’s next in the life of the client or the life of a trust.  And so I asked a pro. 

collectables can be organized in reduced space or sold as part of decluttering What is it really worth? 

Joe Baratta, the vice president of Business Development & Valuations with Abell Auction Co., is a USPAP-qualified generalist appraiser with over 15 years’ experience helping fiduciaries separate “the wheat from the chaff.” I caught up with Joe at his home in Los Angeles to talk about the value of “stuff” he comes across when he’s called in to appraise the contents of the Fiduciary clients’ home. 

Everyone has “stuff,” some of which is brought home to serve an immediate need (a bed or a dresser) or purchased because of the item’s perceived “someday” value. “Beanie Babies” are a perfect example of this,” Joe surmised. The stuffed toys had a high market value at a particular time but many people held on to their “collection” believing that the value would soar the longer it remained in their possession which hasn’t been the case (although there are exceptions). True collectors follow the appropriate markets for their collections through trade shows and major auction houses. Still, anything that is mass produced will usually not hold its original value nor see an increase in value. 

Joe offers compelling insights about what he sees daily. Fiduciaries may find this information helpful when faced with downsizing a client’s home: 

  • Traditional dark wood furniture (tables, cabinets, couches) – not all dark wood furniture  held its value due to mass production over many decades. Chairs with cushions could be reupholstered especially if the bones of the chair are in good shape (think Eames or similar), and these items are often in high demand. 
  • Technically, an “antique” describes any item produced 100 years ago, or, before the year 1920. Still, not all antiques are desirable in the current market.  
  • The Industrial Revolution of the 1870s led to the mass production of wash basins (before indoor plumbing), armoires (most homes didn’t have closets), and sewing baskets (when people repaired or sewed their own clothes). 
  • Samovars: Every Eastern European family brought one or more to the US as these were important to family ceremonies, and carry a lot of sentiment. While some samovars have value, there is a large supply of them without much demand for today’s market.
  • Supply and demand: By mid-20th century, the marketplace was saturated with formal dining tables, china sets, table linens, silver sets, chafing dishes, ice buckets, and other forms of items designed for their entertainment value. 
  • Front entry, living room and dining room are the areas of the house where families display their most “prized” possessions – from art to furniture to home decor. 
  • Tricks of the trade: when Joe walks into a home, the first thing he notices are the walls – “Money is on the walls… most people want to show off their art. They are proud of what they accomplished.” 
  • Flora Dania Royal Copenhagen is among the most valuable dish sets today. 
  • The politics of “value:” When China closed their borders in the early 20th century, so too did the outflow of Chinese goods. Today, many wealthy Chinese are paying high margins to repatriate items seen as valuable to their upper-class heritage (Chinese silks, scrolls art, porcelain, furniture). Similar to Russia after the fall of the Berlin wall (think religious icons, Faberge, Russian silver – considered very valuable mid-1990s through early 2000). 
  • $10,000 and generational attitudes: Our grandparents may have used the money to buy something to enhance the home (think beautiful oil painting in an expensive frame). Baby Boomers’ purchases may extend to fine dining and travel. The millennial mindset covets watches and handbags. 

A Clear Path can coordinate the valuation and selling of collections as part of their organizing serviceBottom line

People have hard time letting go of items, regardless of perceived or real value. The family members in possession of the “family jewels” are stewards to protect the family legacy. Joe reminds us, “We’re custodians of items and feel obligated to hold on to at least some of it because of our family connection.” 


Are there 300,000 Things in a Home?

300,000 Things in a Home

I didn’t begin my professional life as an organizer. Rather, I spent the bulk of my career in higher education – as a student, a professor, and an administrator. Budget cuts in 2008 led to a job lay-off at the tender age of 50. It was the beginning of the 2008 recession and the first time in my life that I couldn’t find a job. So I created one.

In those first few months of stepping foot into A Clear Path, I read everything I could put my hands on the topic of de-cluttering and organizing. One thing I remember reading impressed the hell out of me: The average household contains about 300,000 things.

In order to grow my company, I needed clients, which I found by speaking to numerous groups and organizations about clutter, and where I often referenced “300,000 things.”

Are there really 300,000 things in a home. Probably if you count every little thing.

I’ve asked some colleagues and a few clients to conduct informal surveys in their clients’ home or in their own home. We’ve concluded that items in homes could very well number up 300,000 if one were to count every single thing from underpants to office supplies to photographs to silverware.

I’m serious. Go room-by-room in your home, starting with the kitchen. Count:
• pots and pans and lids
• storage containers (and their lids!)
• utensils, plates, cups and bowls
• spices
• cereal boxes

You get where I’m going? Next up, do the living room.
• Books in bookcases, tsotchkies on shelves
• TV, speakers, laptops, and myriad techy stuff
• A couch, chairs, and fluffy pillows

Dining room? Where do you eat? Count chairs, a table, cupboard, and table linens. And don’t forget candle holders and candles.

I often see a lot of stuff in home offices. My clients love office supply stores, and here’s what they take home:
• Packets of Post-it Notes in several sizes and colors and shapes.
• Copy paper, envelopes, file folders, hanging file folders, boxes filled with notecards and thank you notes, and birthday cards.
• Wrapping paper.
• Tape, scissors, stapler and staples.
• This is actually a nearly endless list – but you get the drift.
• Oh, and don’t forget the box of cords.

A working desk, but a little too much clutter. Some good organizing can reduce this to a manageable state.

Let’s move to the bedroom. How many pair of black pants does one need to own? Start counting:
• Shirts and blouses
• Undergarments
• Socks, shoes, purses, totes, robes, work-out clothes, jackets, belts. And all the furniture.

Don’t forget the bathroom.

And this is a small house!

I’ve often wondered if I had it in me to conduct a study about the average number of items the average household contained. If 300,000 things is where we land, it would be nice to finally put the query to bed. And I will never be out of work again.

 

3rd Edition of Psychic Debris, Crowded Closets by Regina F Lark, Ph. D.

You might be interested in a free copy of the Table of Contents and 1st Chapter of my Book

Download a complimentary copy of the 1st Chapter of Regina's 3rd Edition of her book, Psychic Debris