The House is Listed,  The Holidays Are Here, & Guest Are Arriving!  Having your house on the market to sell during the holiday’s is challenging enough as it is.  You are constantly having to keep the house picked up, staged, the kitchens & bathrooms sparkling clean, eliminate any food or pet odors and shuffle everyone out of the house when you have a showing.  It’s not easy to live in a “showing condition” home while it’s on the market.

Try adding out of town guest and Holiday decorations and you’ve got the ingredients for a huge disaster or with a few simple tips and some planning ahead, it can be one of the best holidays ever.
1. Try to keep the holiday decorations to a minimum.  Put a simple wreath on the door, remove a few accessories to replace  them with special holiday accessories and keep the clutter down as much as possible.   It won’t be much different from “non-holiday” staging,  however will still create the spirit of the  holiday’s.
2. Prepare quests in advance, that your house is going to remain on the market during this time while they are visiting.  You may even want to place a check list in their room or central location of the house so that everyone knows what tasks need to be completed in case of a last minute showing call. 
3. Be sure to provide your guests with as much storage as possible.  Somewhere to hide their luggage, a tray to corral their toiletries or tote to use so they can be stashed under the vanity in a hurry.   Keep the throw pillows on their beds to a minimum so they won’t have to worry if the bed is made up exactly the way you want it.  KISS….Keep It  Simple Silly!
4. Provide them with a map of your area, special events they may be interested in attending, movie showings & times so they/you will have something fun to do while the house is being shown.  I’ve heard of some showings taking as long as 2 or more hours.  If your house is being viewed that long by a potential buyer, that’s a great sign and you certainly don’t want to rush them into a decision that might keep them from buying your property because you and/or your guest came home too early.
5.  Plan on having some of your meals out.  This will  help keep the food odors down, although some holiday baking fragrances have been known to create a special “Welcome Home” feeling  for a buyer and we all know emotions are a huge factor in making a decision on purchasing a new home.
I hope you have a Great Holiday Season and a Merry Christmas. 



Go Green…Use What You Have

Everyone is going green or at least talking about it, but how can you be “green” in decorating? Use what you already own.

Who has the luxury of throwing out all of their furnishings and accessories and starting all over? In this economy, not many people. We may be able to afford an occasional new piece of furniture or new accessory that we bought on sale somewhere, but how do we make it blend in with our old stuff?

That’s when having a re-designer come in and offer suggestions, really pays off. For about $75 – $150 per hour, you can have someone come in and look at your space with a fresh perspective. They’re able to see things that you haven’t even thought about, because you live there and once you have your space set up a certain way, it’s difficult to imagine it any other way. A re-designer can even go into the attic or basement and use pieces that you forgot about and you’ll think “why didn’t I think of that”?

Repurposing items is another way to use what you have. Perhaps that old toothbrush holder would make a great little flower vase for daffodils….it already has holes in it and you don’t have to worry about arranging them. How about that old bar/table that used to be your grandmothers? I’ll bet it would make a great “entertainment” console for the T.V. and components. It’s a great way to incorporate the modern conveniences of today with the sentimental pieces of your decor.

At Southern Staging & Redesign, working with what home owners already have is a specialty of ours. Give us a call. You’ll be surprised at what a difference a few hours can make.

Happy New Year

It’s time to pack up the Christmas and Holiday decorations, get organized and live in a less cluttered environment. While you are putting away your decorations, consider going through them and culling out the ones that you haven’t used or put out in a few years.

If your house was on the market during the holidays, this is an excellent time to start packing for your move. Go through and ask yourself if you have used them over the last few years and if not, get rid of them to show off the “great storage” space that your home has to offer a potential buyer.
Donate decorations to local charities so that others may enjoy them over the next years. If you have been saving your adult children’s “special” ornaments over the years, it’s time to let them have the decorations for their homes and families.

My sister, who is great at cleaning out her closets, basement and such, suggest creating a memory box. Each member only gets one box and once your box is full, you have to get rid of something before you can add anymore “memories”.

So, push up your sleeves and get in there and start organizing and de-cluttering. You’ll be so proud of yourself when you see how much easier it is to get to the decorations next year.

Talk later,

P.S. Why is it so hard to get motivated to un-decorate the house for the Holidays than it is to decorate it?