Estate Clearing Secrets

timing and use of timelines are part of the relocation experience when using a Sr. move manager

Whether you are looking to declutter your own home or simply clearing your house in preparation for sale, the process is often tiring and emotionally consuming. It is even more challenging when you are clearing a deceased estate for settlement or sale with your loved ones items still left inside.

Besides these challenges, estate clearing is usually time-sensitive. Each project is different and has specific timelines and goals surrounding it. But with the right tips, you can manage the whole process without feeling emotionally drained.

Here are five estate clearing secrets

1. Formulate a plan

For an effective estate clearing, plan and start early. First, you should know when you will start and the time to finish each task. This will reduce the burden as settlement or sale days approach. Try to estimate the time needed to clear the whole house. Depending on the amount of possessions and size of the house, allocate at least a half a day for clearing each room. The process could take up to a week or even two weeks.

2. Find and keep aside all key documents

Before moving things in different rooms, it is crucial to find and secure key documents such as wills, bank statements, certificates of titles/property deeds, insurance policies, stocks certificates, tax returns, and receipts. Executors and solicitors of the estate may also use them in winding up any legal and financial matters related to the estate.

While searching for these documents, make sure to pay attention to details. Sometimes, people may store valuable items in unlikely places. It is, therefore, important to take time and search all the closets, including drawers, coat pockets, and high shelves.

3. Set aside wanted from unwanted

After finding the right documents, the next stage is to identify items that you want to keep and those that you would discard. The best way to simplify the process is to have family members identify the items they would like to have from the estate. This way, the remaining possessions can be removed more efficiently. On top of this, try to remove the wanted items first. It is also less burdensome to clear one room at a time. Clearing one completely before moving to the next will enable you to work methodically and stay on track.

With the items that you don’t want, categorize them into three subcategories: items to be given away, items to be sold, and items to be recycled. Selling some of the items will not only simplify the clearance process, but it will also bring in revenue, which you can use to offset some of the clearance costs.

4. Selling and donation process

Once you have sorted the items into different piles, you can then go ahead with the removal. It is better to have auctioneers or second-hand dealers come first. To speed up the process, engage a reputable firm to give you quotes for valuable items. After that you can donate what remains.

The good thing with items that go to charity is that companies usually come and collect the items from your property. Even if they can’t come, some local charities have small stores where you can take your donations. For the items that need to be disposed of, you can engage your local council to see if you can take advantage of their services before engaging a rubbish removal firm.

Alternatively, you can organize a garage sale. The only challenge with this approach is that it requires some planning.

5. Get professional helpbased on the circumastance a sr. move manager will develop a proper plan for estate clearing

If the estate has a substantial amount of valuable items, it is usually worthwhile to engage a credible estate clearing service. Apart from being physically and emotionally straining, some tasks are just time-consuming and monotonous. Other tasks such as moving furniture, cleaning, and hauling items require physical exertions. This is where professional estate clearing services could come in handy.

The main benefit of working with a property clearing firm is that it can offer its clients a customizable and comprehensive package that manages all the activities relating to this complex task. Trustworthy firms usually have a network of service providers who could offer useful support during the process. Moreover, they understand the logistical and emotional nightmares that come with estate clearance.

They will discuss with you about your priorities in the estate clearing process, determine if there is a need for maintenance, help you with selling valuable possessions, and may recommend a sales or rental agent.

Use A Clear Path as your estate clearing partner

If you are dealing with the daunting task of clearing an estate, you need a professional partner who is patient and understanding. With many years of experience helping our clients with estate clearing tasks, we understand the emotion and challenges that come with the process. Let our well-trained crew relieve you of these stresses.

 

Using a Checklist before downsizing will create an easier less stressful move

6 key issues using a Senior Move Manager

If you’re moving out of your old home late in life, you’ll be overwhelmed by all that needs to be done. Some of the considerations you need to make include packing, packing and unpacking for boomers with a Sr. move managerdecluttering, scheduling movers, and selling the home. A senior move manager can help you with all aspects of moving you from professional packing, downsizing, to arranging furniture in a new space, so it feels like home. If you’re moving to a nursing home, the manager will also play a significant role. Here are some of the key issues of using a senior move manager.

1- Planning

The most important step in the moving process is planning. Senior move managers will liaise with your family members to agree on a timetable for the move. Senior moving services work depending on your pace and will walk you through all the steps of the move. One of the main aspects of planning is liquidating and downsizing.

A senior moving company will help you liquidate unnecessary assets. A senior move manager will help you sort the possessions you should keep and those you should discard. Move managers work with family members and seniors to determine which the fondest keepsakes are and what should be left to the new owner. Ultimately, a senior moving director will facilitate realistic decisions on the current items that should move and fit into your new home. Planning can be time-consuming. If you don’t know where to start your plan to move, consult a senior move manager.

2- Financial Exploitation

Hiring ordinary movers to handle your relocation may be a costly affair. Movers usually consider the tasks involved, such as sorting, packing, loading, and offloading, when setting their rates. Working with NASMM movers is different.

According to NASMM, senior movers have the experience of assisting in lifestyle transitions. These professionals also possess the emotional expertise to support you through the difficulties of moving at a late stage in their life. In this regard, NASMM movers don’t exploit their clients by charging exorbitant prices for their services.

3- Anticipate Challenges

There are some challenges you may overlook when moving. For example, you may have too much stuff that cannot fit in the new house, or the person you intend to leave your possessions when moving to a nursing home may not have enough room in their home. Hiring a senior move manager ensures that all these challenges are catered for.

Senior move managers are experienced in moving. This means they’ve seen it all. Therefore, the professional will not take anything to chance and will make sure they account for everything.

4- Prepare Adults For Assisted Living

Seniors are hesitant about moving to assisted living because they want to age at home where there are familiar possessions and memories. Sometimes adult children cannot convince their parents to move to assisted living homes. Many elderly parents think that when they go to a nursing home, they’re being sent away because they’re a burden. They’re afraid of isolation and loneliness.

A senior move manager will help the elderly understand the benefits of living in assisted living conditions. The move manager will mediate between the elderly and their adult children and try to address their concerns. The move manager will also recommend a nursing home that will best fit a senior based on their concerns.

5- Unpacking and Resettling

If a senior isn’t moving to a nursing home, the senior moving company will help them settle comfortably in their new home. Whether you want your new home to be like your old home or get rid of old memories, the manager will fulfill your wishes. This includes consulting you on aspects such as where furniture should be placed and what items should be stored in the garage or attic.

re organizing after a boomer move with a Sr. move managerA senior move manager is involved in unpacking your items. The manager will ensure all possessions are moved to the appropriate rooms and quickly unpack items you need immediately, such as crucial documents and medications. The manager will also arrange all items to optimize storage.

6- Support After The Move

A senior move manager’s role doesn’t end when you’ve settled in at your new home or the nursing home. Your manager will ensure all the possessions you left behind are donated or distributed to relatives. Your senior move manager will also be responsible for sprucing up your home before it’s sold.

The senior move manager will be involved with cleaning your old home, yard work, renovations, and repairs. The manager may also assign a real estate agent to undertake the sale of your home. The manger could also manage the estate sale and ensure the proceeds of the sale reach you or are distributed according to your wishes.

In Conclusion

Moving is quite a stressful experience, especially if you’re doing it late in life. With all the possessions you’ve accumulated over the years, you may have a difficult time downsizing. If you’re moving to a nursing home, you may want your possessions taken to your next of kin. If you’re moving to a new home, you may be worried about settling into your new home. A senior move manager can help alleviate your stress and facilitate a smooth transition to your new life.

Using a Checklist before downsizing will create an easier less stressful move

Steps for Boomers Relocating To More Desirable Locations

As the wealthiest generation in America, baby boomers are starting to wrap up their roles of ‘parents’ and begin their new stage as ‘grandparents.’

seniors can be helped by professional move managers to ease the downsizing and de-cluttering The multi-bedroom family home boomers have been holding onto for decades now seems empty and quiet, and some boomers have felt the effects of loneliness as the kids begin to leave the nest.

Downsizing is not only the perfect solution for couples seeking smaller, comfier homes — but it also may be the solution for a housing supply shortage of detached homes. Since boomers have been encouraged to stay in their homes as long as possible — millennials are finding it very difficult to find detached, single-family homes on the market. 

If you’re a boomer looking to downsize in favor of a more desirable location, follow these tips for success!

Don’t be afraid to start your moving endeavors now

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many prospective buyers and sellers anxious about starting or continuing with their real estate plans. However in HomeLight’s Q2 survey, realtors reported a heavy increase in buyer and seller activity since May. 

Worried your home won’t receive any attention in the market? In actuality, buyer demand remains strong. So strong, in fact, that the majority of real estate agents (60%) in Home Light’s Q2 survey believe the biggest challenge facing the 2020 market is the lack of supply to meet demand. If you put your home on the market now, chances are you’ll have plenty of buyers knocking on your door. 

Vice versa — boomers looking to downsize will find it much easier to compete in the buying process as well. According to the survey, 44% of real estate agents believe the top reason motivating their clients to move is the need for more space — especially as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps the nation at home all day..

This is good news for all boomers seeking to move from their large family home into something more comfortable. You won’t have to compete with the swarm of buyers looking for large homes, and you’ll be selling exactly what those other buyers are seeking. 

How senior moving specialists are key to downsizing

Relocating isn’t all fun and games. Along with the fun of touring new homes and decorating a new abode comes the challenges of finding a reliable moving company, prepping your current home for market, packing and unpacking your belongings, and picking a dependable real estate agent.

Set yourself up for success by accepting the help of senior moving specialists. This will help you turn what’s supposed to be one of the most stressful processes in your life into a seamless, pain-free experience.

There are tons of behind-the-scenes tasks that need to be completed before and after the move, but reliable organizing services and relocation specialists take care of them all — so you can simply relax and imagine all the new memories you’ll create in your new home!

Presenting a clear home for virtual or in-person showings

Looking to get the most for your home during the selling process? Whether you’re going to allow in-person showings or conduct most of your business virtually, there are 3 main projects you should focus on: 

  • Deep Cleanfind a sr. move manager for organizing and de-cluttering to complete a senior downsizing
  • Declutter
  • Depersonalize

While cleaning your home might seem like an obvious step in your selling process, a home that’s been lived in for many years is going to need serious decluttering. Over the years, your closets have been filled to the brim, all your storage spaces are packed with clothes you haven’t worn in years, the fridge is decorated with your children’s kindergarten art, and let’s not even mention the boxes filled with personal mementos in the basement

While daunting, decluttering can increase a home’s asking price by 3-5%. Even storage spaces and closets need to be sorted and organized to receive the most competitive price for your home. Prospective buyers are always looking for extra storage, so — if the closets are overflowing — buyers won’t be impressed. 

Thankfully, organizing services can help. Boomers aren’t as young as they once were, which means taking on huge challenges — like decluttering a home that’s been lived in for over a decade — isn’t such a simple task. A Clear Path can transform all the daunting tasks of moving into a clear and simple plan, so contact us today!

Using a Checklist before downsizing will create an easier less stressful move

5 Rules for downsizing

Downsizing for seniors is a stressful and laborious task. Sorting through a household full of possessions and a lifetime of memories is quite a daunting task. It is even more challenging if you need to downsize unexpectedly because of health concerns or other emergencies. Many seniors find it difficult to part with items they do not need. Here are five rules for retirement downsizing with senior move managers.

1- Develop a Plan

A professional move manager will help your downsizing with helpful checklists.A good rule of thumb is to prepare for a move in advance and not wait until the 11th hour to start making plans to move. You should make plans before you list your home or at the first sign of failing health. It is advisable to consult a senior move manager to help you make an efficient plan.

Start with the three main rooms: the living room, kitchen, and family room. These are the most cluttered rooms because they are used daily and have a high emotional value. Separate all the items in four piles- things you are going to keep, items you are going to donate, items you are going to give to your family members, and items you will throw away. After you are finished with these rooms, work outwards to garages, attics, and shades.

It is also good to create a system of downsizing. Some of the standard systems are de-cluttering, donating, and documenting. A senior move manager can help you employ a method of downsizing that is best suited for you.

2- Consider the New Space

It does not matter if you are moving to an assisted living facility, a small apartment, or a family member. You need to develop a plan of where items will go according to the available space. First, determine the amenities that you are going to need. What security measures or physical needs will you require. You should plan your new space based on these accommodations.

It is also essential to consider size. If you are moving from a large house to a small apartment, you will have to do a significant downsizing. In this case, you should consider the most critical aspects of your lifestyle. For example, if you like writing, do not get rid of the desk. Make room for things that matter in your life. It would help if you considered hiring a storage unit for essential items that may not fit in your new space.

3- Eliminate Duplicates

This is very common in the kitchen where you may have several stockpots, different cookie sheets, a handful of spatulas, and so on and so forth. Since you are reducing clutter, you can do with one kind of everything. If you do not feel like donating kitchen pieces you feel are emotionally valuable to you, consider giving them to your child or grandchild.

4- Donate

The best way to make the most out of precious items is to donate them. Donating gives you a feeling of relief, knowing that you are giving back to society. Things like civil war memorabilia are best suited for a school or museum. You may even receive special recognition for legacy gifts in the form of plaque and tax deductions. Items that will Donatoins are a great way to help downsizing with a professional move managernot fetch much at a yard sale should also be donated where they will be more helpful, like at a children’s camp.

5- Make Some Extra Cash Through Sales

Nowadays, it is easy to sell things yourself through online sites such as eBay and Craigslist. There are also Smartphone apps that enable you to make quick sales. Yard sales are a fast way to sell items, but the prices are usually low. On the other hand, Craigslist has a broad audience, and you have a good chance of getting more for your items. Consider consignment for handbags, furniture, and unnecessary accessories. They have reasonable prices and you will be able to get rid of substantial items like furniture. If you are not handy with computers, you can request for the help of your children or grandchildren who may be more computer-savvy and will efficiently market your items through popular online platforms.

In Conclusion

Moving as a senior can be depressing if you are unprepared or cannot let go of your possessions. Many senior people struggle with sorting out what they do not need because they are fond of all their memorabilia and precious items. In such situations, it takes the expertise of a senior move manager to help with downsizing. Some of the rules of retirement downsizing may not be easy to agree with, but they are necessary and help to declutter your home before you transition into a new home. Make sure you consult a senior move manager in advance to help you adjust to the prospect of downsizing and moving to your new home.

 

Baby Boomers Are Downsizing: What This Means For The Real Estate Industry

Baby boomers are currently the wealthiest generation across the nation. Aged between 54 to 73, they have years of hard work and the savings to prove it under their belt. Most baby boomers are beginning to be grandparents, as the baby fever spark is re-ignited among their millennial children. This places most boomers at a stage in their lives where they are seeking both comfort and peace. Often, this means downsizing.

Downsizing your home after retirement isn’t only a way to save money it also prevents the strangeness of living in an empty house. It isn’t uncommon for parents to depress a little once they have become empty nesters; the constant reminder of absence is present every time they walk past certain rooms. If your children have left your home and you’re wondering whether you should move to a modern little flat or a smaller townhouse, you are not alone. Baby boomers downsizing is a global trend. Here’s what this means for the real estate industry.

Boomers Are Putting Their Homes Up For Sale

There are plenty of reasons to put your home for sale, but money is often the most significant motivation. Boomers are aging, and this usually means more bills. Boomers across the country have average savings of $152,000; however, 45% of baby boomers have none at all. This can be alarming, as medical expenses and children’s tuition begin to pile up for most adults around retirement age. For baby boomers, pensions and other retirement income often pale in comparison to the wages they have just relinquished.

Once boomers reach the average US retirement age of 62, they’ve likely paid off their mortgage. However, their home itself might have become their biggest bill.

With plumbing and roofing having limited lifespans, it isn’t uncommon for boomers to face challenging remodeling expenses early in their retirement. This can be highly disparaging, considering they have probably spent years paying off their homes. What better way to reward yourself for years of disciplined spending, budgeting, and scheduled bank payments, than cashing out on your most expensive bill? Boomers downsizing allows them to reap the fruits of years of financial responsibility while shifting the burden of remodeling projects to new buyers. A Clear Path A+ Accredited from the National Association for Senior Move Managers

Boomers Are Going Back To Renting

Renting is, to many, the lesser appealing alternative to a home purchase. However, for baby boomers, rent is often the logical option, because it doesn’t require the long-term contract mortgages entail. Rent also does not take a huge chunk from their savings all at once; if anything, it seems sensible, particularly when renting out their own homes provides them with a stable monthly income.

With the urbanization of towns across the country, condos and townhouses are being erected everywhere. This availability of choice makes downsizing for boomers appealing, especially when their rental provides added services, such as 24/7 security and/or elevators.

A Solution For The Housing Supply Shortage

While smaller dwellings are being built everywhere, there is a shortage of detached homes around the country. It has become increasingly difficult for many millennials to find a home fit to witness the growth of a family, because boomers are encouraged to stay in their homes as long as possible and only sell once it has peaked in value.

This approach isn’t exactly beneficial to the real estate industry; not only does it minimize commission earnings, but it also makes the American Suburb Model less appealing. Suburbs were once the symbol of the American dream; the white picket fence would witness a child’s first step, or their first time on a bike. However, suburb populations are getting older, which can be a deterrent to younger prospective home buyers.

A Finishing Word

Boomers are the most financially powerful demographic in the country. Therefore, many markets, including the housing industry, are dependent on their spending. Encouraging boomers’ downsizing is welcoming an increase in the housing supply, which may benefit American welfare as a whole. By moving into smaller homes, baby boomers are passing the mantle to the younger generations who are as avid as they were to find the space to create new family memories.

If you’re a baby boomer looking to downsize by selling your home, you can be certain that this is one of the most financially exciting times for you to do so.

Baby Boomers Are Downsizing: How to Cope with the Crisis

Baby Boomers are slowly downsizing, but a new crisis is arising in the housing industry since few Millennials want their homes, particularly big and outdated ones. According to a recent report, the housing demand from younger generations is inadequate to fill the void left by the crowd of departing older owners. Overall, seniors are projected to exit more than 21 million homes over the next two decades. As they exit their huge homes and downsize, there is going to be massive investment implications across the country. So, what can you do to cope with the challenges of baby boomer downsizing?

Aging in Place vs. Downsizing

Many baby boomers wish to retire by the age of 60 and settle closer to their children or grandchildren, but finding affordable houses to downsize to is a huge challenge. As a result, there is always a tug of war between staying put or downsizing. So, which is the better option?

According to a 2018 Survey of Home and Community Preferences, AARP revealed that 76 percent of Americans aged 50 and above prefer to remain in their current homes, and 77 percent would wish to live in their current neighborhood for as long as possible. On the contrary, just 59 percent of older Americans envision the possibility of staying in their community, either in a smaller home within the area (13 percent) or in their current home (46 percent).

Baby boomer downsizing is faced with several challenges as many boomers enter their golden years with substantial mortgage debt. Much of the mortgage borrowing is carried by households with no pension and below-median incomes and assets. This is perhaps the reason why many baby boomers opt to remain in their current homes. Other factors, such as living in familiar territories, retaining home equity, or a lack of affordable housing options, may also drive the decision to stay put.

Aging in place, on the other hand, can be harder to achieve if the home isn’t equipped to meet the future needs of the boomers. There is a close linkage between housing and health care, and making your house accessible for in-home health care is of paramount importance. However, this can be a big challenge in lower-density areas with limited transportation and accessibility to medical practitioners.Organizing and packing for a downsizing boomer

The Solution!

As a baby boomer stuck in this dilemma, there are multiple options you could explore to cope. They include:

1- Tapping Equity to Stay Put

Mobility and health issues are the biggest retardants for seniors looking to stay in their current homes. You may need amenities such as bathroom grip bars, wheelchair ramps, walk-in showers, and wider doorways and hallways. However, such home improvements can be costly. Fortunately, if you own your home outright or have adequate equity, you can borrow some cash against your home’s equity to help pay for the modifications. Some of the best options to consider include home equity loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOC), VA financing, and reverse mortgage.

2- Tapping Equity to Stay in your Community

The increasing shortage of affordable housing coupled with skyrocketing mortgage rates creates a significant barrier to baby boomer downsizing. However, higher rates create a huge mobility barrier to all cadres of the society, including the millennials. If you have significant equity in your current home, you have an upper hand in competing for smaller, less expensive houses, thanks to the inflated appreciation.

Instead of trying to relocate to more expensive neighborhoods to be closer to family, you can look for a smaller home within your community and tap into your current home’s equity to raise funding.

3- Thinking Outside the Conventional Housing Box

In many communities, the limited housing options complicates everything for baby boomer downsizing. Surprisingly, some older folks are devising more creative solutions that buck tradition. According to an AARP survey, adults aged 50 and above are today open to new housing alternatives. To be precise, 32 percent prefer home sharing, 31 percent are open to building an accessory dwelling unit, while 56 percent prefer living in villages that provide services that support aging.

Whether your aim is to gain companionship or attain economic viability, you can think outside the box and opt for unconventional housing solutions. The “Golden Girls” system of roommates is one example of shared-housing arrangements that are gaining steam. As the affordable housing crisis continues to brew, unconventional solutions are increasingly becoming less taboo and more accepted.

Another alternative is to build an accessory dwelling unit that suits your senior needs. An accessory dwelling unit is simply a smaller, secondary building that attaches to your primary home or situated on the same lot. Think of it as a mother-in-law suite or granny flat that offers a livable solution for seniors. It’s a great option if you wish to age in place while generating extra rental income from your main house. However, check with your local zoning or building authorities if it’s possible to get approval for an accessory dwelling unit in your region.

Final Thoughts

Whether your plan is to downsize or stay put, housing expenses will undoubtedly play a critical role in your overall retirement plan. It’s important to craft a financial plan for retirement. Talk with a financial advisor or a mortgage lender to figure out what options will help you live comfortably without jeopardizing your retirement income. Other than affordability and having a comfortable place to call home, baby boomer downsizing should be informed by accessibility to family, doctors, hospitals, transportation, and social amenities.

Is Virtual Staging the Solution to Your Home Sale?

staging is an important task for preparing a home for sale

Image via Unsplash

Whether you’re looking for a safer way to sell your home during the coronavirus pandemic, selling property from out of state, or selling a vacant home, virtual staging can help you show off your home’s best side. Not only that, but virtual staging can be much more affordable than traditional home staging. Want to learn more? Read on to learn all about virtually staging your home to sell.

How Virtual Staging Works

Virtual staging eliminates the need for expensive rental furniture by using digital applications to insert furniture, artwork, and other staging elements into real estate photographs. Virtual staging apps let agents choose from a gallery of furniture and décor options in order to decorate a home to appeal to a specific set of buyers.

While virtual staging is simpler and cheaper than traditional home staging, it’s not a DIY solution. Designing a space that appeals to buyers takes skill. That’s why agents use apps and software that let them upload photos and receive professionally staged rooms in return. Luckily, the costs are much lower than traditional home staging: Even the most high-end staging apps are only around $120 per photo.

Virtual Staging and Your Selling Strategy

Staging is just one part of your home-selling strategy. If you’re opting for virtual staging due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, you also need to consider how you’ll show your home safely.

Live video chat tours have exploded in popularity during COVID-19. With a live agent leading a virtual tour, buyers get all the benefits of an in-person walkthrough minus any health risk.

Video tours are beneficial outside the current climate as well. Out-of-state buyers in particular may opt for a live video tour rather than traveling to view a property in person. 3D walkthroughs are also popular with both local and out-of-state buyers. By including a 3D walkthrough on their listing, sellers ensure only serious buyers schedule tours. In some cases, a 3D tour can eliminate the need for an open house.

Whether sellers opt for a 3D walkthrough or not, they shouldn’t skimp on real estate photos. Professional photography is the curb appeal of modern home buying, and without it, you’ll have trouble getting buyers to take a closer look at your listing.

Preparing Your Home for Virtual Staging

Virtual staging works best on vacant homes. With rooms already bare, it’s easy for staging professionals to add furniture and décor.

That doesn’t mean you can’t virtually stage your home while living in it, however. It’s possible to virtually stage furnished homes by first editing out furniture, clutter, and cosmetic flaws. Keep in mind, however, that this adds to the cost of virtual staging. Sellers who occupy their home while selling still need to spend time preparing the property in order to avoid overpaying for virtual staging.

Take these steps to prepare for virtual home staging:

1. Declutter

The less in your home, the better. Sellers should eliminate any and all clutter as well as move bulky furniture into storage. While storing items in closets and cupboards can work for virtual staging, keep in mind that buyers will see inside these areas during a home tour.

2. Depersonalize

Don’t forget family photos, unique artwork, and other personal decor when decluttering your home for virtual staging. If you plan on offering in-person home tours, be sure to secure personal items, too.

3. Repaint

Virtual staging is all about creating a clean look. However, that’s hard to do when a home’s interior is painted in unusual colors. Create a neutral backdrop by repainting rooms with shades of white, beige, or another popular paint color.

4. Rethink window treatments

Dirty or dated window treatments can also get in the way of virtual staging. If your window treatments have seen better days, consider removing them for your real estate photography session.

5. Make repairs

Don’t think you can hide problems through virtual staging. Whether they’re viewing virtually staged photos or taking a 3D walkthrough, buyers notice little problems like missing outlet covers, water stains, and cabinets that don’t close. Take care of minor repairs like these before investing in staging.

6. Deep clean

Finally, ensure your home is spotlessly clean before virtual staging. Many buyers opt to hire a professional cleaning crew to handle this step rather than deep clean themselves. If you do opt to DIY a deep clean, use a checklist to ensure you don’t miss anything important.

Virtual staging is an easy and cost-effective way to get your home market-ready. However, it’s not a free pass for sellers. Even with virtual staging, home sellers should expect to spend time and money getting their house ready to sell. By transforming their homes into a blank slate, sellers can get the best results possible from their virtual staging experience.

Thanks for reading!

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

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Smart Organizational Tips for Downsizing to an Apartment

Smart Organizational Tips for Downsizing to an Apartment

Downsizing to a smaller apartment can be overwhelming. But, if you plan ahead and take it one step at a time, you’ll find the entire experience not only enjoyable, but also cathartic as you begin the organizational process to simplify your life.  

Renting a smaller apartment comes with plenty of benefits, from lower utility bills and rent to less space to clean and keep organized. A smaller space can even be a simpler way of living, while also allowing you more time and money for yourself. 

But, before you get started, check out the tips below that will relieve some of the stress associated with downsizing and keep you on track for a smooth transition. 

Preparing Your Belongings

Downsizing is always about boxes, packing them and then unpacking them. Pack by room is the best.Start preparing for your move in advance, perhaps even months ahead of time. If you know you want to downsize, begin working on the following now. Doing so will help you tremendously when the time comes to start packing.

  • Keep Track of How Often You Use Things

You probably notice these things every day, but don’t give them much thought. When you’re deciding what to wear, what plate to eat on, what glasses to drink from, and other small decisions like these, you always lean toward certain things. So, start keeping track of the items you use every day and those that you only use once a week, once a month or not at all. Then, track these habits on a piece of paper to visualize the usefulness of your items. This will make it easier to discard some of them when it’s time to pack for a new place. 

  • Find a Use for it

Sometimes, you keep things just because. Although it’s important to have personal trinkets and items you treasure — even if they’re not particularly useful — be careful about becoming an emotional hoarder. That means being unable to get rid of things with which you are emotionally connected. In time, they’ll pile up and you’ll have boxes upon boxes of memories that you just can’t give up. If you have a hard time letting go, ask for help from professionals and check out our guides for coping with hoarding.

So, while it might be tough, try to find the purpose in all of your things. Does that picture make you feel something or is it filled with emotion? If so, then it’s probably something you want to keep. On the other hand, if it’s just something you’ve had forever that doesn’t really speak to you, then it’s probably time to let go

  • Discard Unused Items Regularly

Sometimes, we buy stuff we think we’ll use, but then we never do. These items often include kitchen tools that are too complicated or a hassle, or spur-of-the-moment purchases for that new hobby that we never actually begin. If it’s something you’re keeping just in case you’ll want to pick it up some day, you should probably discard it.

Preparing for the New Apartment

Now that you have a basis for your organization, you can start to prepare for your move.

  • Measure the Space 

Once you’ve decided on the apartment you want to rent, go for a visit before you begin packing. Check everything out, measure the space and write down the dimensions of all of your rooms. As you wander around the apartment, visualize your things in each room and how you will interact with them. You might even want to write down the main items you want in each room. At the very least, have a mental image before you start bringing in boxes. That way, you’ll know what to put where and unpacking will be much easier.

  • Pack by Room, not Item Type

Making lists for downsizing is highly recommended, particularly for boomers.Group your items by room, not by type. For instance, if you’ve visualized a small library in your living room, but you also have some books you like to keep close to your bed, then don’t be afraid to separate those. The same goes for everything else — from pillows to artwork. 

Note that you don’t have to keep the design from your previous home. This is crucial if you downsize. With fewer rooms in your new apartment, an exact transition might be difficult. So, when you pack, think of the new apartment, not of the old one. Having the list from the previous section will make the transition simpler. Additionally, remember to label your boxes and drop them off in the appropriate room.

  • Adapt for Your Lifestyle

Finally, know that there’s no such thing as the perfect recipe for downsizing. It all depends on your lifestyle and choices. Although guidance is sometimes necessary and welcome, no one can tell you exactly what to throw away, what to donate or what to sell, because you’re the only one who knows that. Try to detach for a bit and imagine your life with or without certain things. Then, see how that affects the way you live every day. It’s a process you have to be ready for, so make sure to prepare mentally, as well. 

Downsizing is not a burden. It’s a purge and a path to liberation. Embrace this change and remember that it’s not permanent. The choice will always be yours.

About the author: Mihaela Buzec is a passionate reader and writer with an affinity for language and linguistics, as well as the latest technological developments. She discovered her passion for real estate at RENTCafé, and you can read more of her articles on their blog.

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