Decluttering as a Family

Fun and Cooperative Strategies for the Family

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A clean and organized home can greatly add to our enjoyment of it. If you have a cluttered, poorly decorated, or somewhat disorganized living space, home relaxation can be virtually impossible! Fortunately, we have some tips that can ease the stress. We are pleased to introduce our guest writer, Jackie Waters. Ms. Waters is a mother of four boys, and lives on a farm in Oregon. She is passionate about providing a healthy and happy home for her family, and aims to provide advice for others on how to do the same with her site Hyper-Tidy.com. In this article, she shows us how with a little help, your home could be the clean and organized space you dream of.

Here’s how:

When decluttering, people sometimes fall victim to the “I-may-need-this-again” mindset, an irresolute and counterproductive view that can leave you with the same mess you started with. One effective and enjoyable way to stay faithful to the objective of decluttering is to use a system of accountability that involves everyone in the decision-making process. It may take a bit longer and there will be some debate — some of it spirited — but this approach interjects a healthy element of group responsibility into the process.


Checks and Balances

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Everyone who participates has an equal say in how to dispose of each item based on the proposition that no one “owns” anything while decluttering. To help avoid sentimentality, everyone has a right to question three decisions based on the following criteria: you either use an item regularly or intend to pass it on to your children. Otherwise, it needs to be recycled, donated, or thrown out. If someone challenges a decision, the others vote “yea” or “nay” based on the goal of getting rid of as much stuff as possible.  

Space and Well-Being

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The aim of decluttering is to free up space in your home and, in so doing, improve your sense of well-being and happiness. With that in mind, as you begin to go through each possession, consider whether you really need it, whether it’s something you just can’t live without, and whether keeping it is important enough to sacrifice your goal of creating a freer, more open living space. Answering these questions honestly should help in overcoming the often overwhelming impulse to retain objects needlessly.

The ‘Two-Bag’ Treatment

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The “two-bag” approach will help you differentiate between items based on what you intend to do with them. For example, there may be some items you’re not ready to just throw away but which you can’t justify keeping. In one trash bag, place anything that’s going to be donated, recycled or given to someone outside your household. In the other bag goes all the stuff you’re resolved to throw away. It’s a simple, straightforward approach designed to discourage the impulse to hang onto stuff that’s not needed anymore.

Slay the Paper Monster

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The daily mail is a major source of clutter in most households and needs to be dealt with resolutely. What’s needed is a system designed to pare down the mail to bare essentials — no junk mail, just bills and very little else. Delegate someone to clip coupons from flyers and circulars, then toss the rest into the recycling pile. Take a similar approach with catalogs: If no one is purchasing from a catalog, recycle it. Personal mail, including letters, credit card offers, membership renewals, and so forth, should be reviewed and acted on or disposed of.

Clean It, Keep It Organized

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Once you’ve got your living environment under control and everything that’s staying is in its place, give the house a good, thorough cleaning. Pay particular attention to the bathroom, often one of the dirtiest rooms in the house. Make sure you have a vacuum that’s effective on tile flooring and has attachments that can reach into tight spaces. Also, keep the house clean so it doesn’t fall into the same disarray that led you to decluttering in the first place. You can hire a cleaning service, but this create added cost, so give careful thought about whether you can afford the expense. If you are looking for a cleaning service, the Maple + Main team have some great referrals for that!

Create a ‘Profit Pile’

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Most of us have belongings that can generate income. That includes books, CDs, DVDs, records, sports equipment, clothing, shoes, and old jewelry. As long as you’re going to the trouble of decluttering, you may as well try to make a few dollars out of it. If you decide to challenge someone’s decision to keep a questionable belonging, point out that it could be worth something and that they don’t simply have to throw it out or recycle it. A great many things can be sold on eBay or Craigslist and a host of other “second-hand economy” websites.

Decluttering can be a lot easier and more enjoyable if you make it a group effort rather than a nebulous task that’s at the discretion of each individual. Getting rid of familiar and comfortable objects can be a difficult emotional process. Sometimes, we need the support and strength of others to help us stay focused on the task at hand, and the end result will be well worth it!

$22,000 Rehab = $79,000 Profit!

One of the biggest questions we get asked when working with home sellers is,

“What do I need to do in order to get the most money when I sell?”

We wanted to walk you through how our latest client invested around $22,000 into rehabbing their home before listing, which resulted into a $79,000 profit!

However, there is a delicate balance when it comes to this concept of rehabbing your home. While you don’t want invest too much, you don’t want to invest in too little and not receive a worthwhile profit. For example, if you were to put in $20,000 but only get $20,000 more when it sells the investment wouldn’t be worth your time and effort.  

Here at Maple + Main it’s so important that we bring our knowledge of this Puget Sound market, combine it with our design expertise and make sure we are giving every one of our clients the recipe to a successful sale that yields them the most money possible. 

The home is simply another example of how we help put tens of thousands of dollars into our clients pocketbooks.

Brighton Place

Brighton Place was a home built in 1990. Although fairly recent, the owner had started updating some trim and the flooring on the main floor. Everything else was the original, so to create more appeal work needed to be done.  

To get the home in salable condition the basics of painting, carpet replacement, landscaping and general repairs were a must. If the owner did simply the basics they would be able to list the home for $675,000.  

The kitchen and bathrooms all had standard style oak cabinets with formica counters. We determined if they remodeled the kitchen and all 3 bathrooms they would be able to price the home for $725,000 with the chance of having a bidding war over the asking price. 

So, what was the result? 

Initially, this home could sell for $675,000 without the kitchen and bathroom remodel. 

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The owners invested $22,231 into the remodel projects making the new minimum listing price $697,231.

However, with these new improvements we listed the home for $735,000 and it sold for $776,000!  The owners ultimately made a profit of $78,769. Not too shabby!  

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Brighton Place is the perfect example of why you should always consult with a top expert in your area before selling your home.

Here at Maple + Main we can help you determine what needs to be done to yield the most money and whether those investments make sense for you.

Of course many factors go into a listing pricing like location and the current market. It doesn’t always make sense to do major repairs like this but maybe just the simple carpet and paint updates. Having the Maple + Main team visit your home before listing it will give you the best opportunity to prepare the home for maximum return. 

If you’d like a complimentary consultation, reach out to us by visiting our website maplemain.com.

How to Add Value to Your Home Before Listing

We all have our own personal style, especially when it comes to decorating our home. Selling our home becomes a different story as you need to change your perspective from having your space with the character of your daily life to the perspective of the eye’s of the buyer.

Our eyes tend to work from the ground up and this reflects to the eye’s of the potential buyers when looking for work needed to be done on any home.

There are three areas to a home that show the most wear and tear but are also the easiest improvements:

  • Flooring

  • Wall treatments/Paint

  • Staging

Flooring -

Both carpet and hardwood floors show where the high-traffic areas are in your home. Whether the hardwood is more faded (from lots of sun or people exposure) or the carpet is more matted or discolored, the potential new home buyers will immediately notice.

Refinished or repurposed hardwoods, new carpet, or a professional carpet cleaning, will add thousands of dollars of value to your home. The floors will appear seamless, clean and up-to-date focusing the buyer’s eyes elsewhere, which you want to do!

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Wall Treatments -

Take a look at your home’s walls and notice the condition of what they are in along with what is currently on them. Are all walls painted or is wallpaper or a different texture in the mix? Are there chips, scratches, finger prints, dirt on the walls? Most likely you’ll need at least a fresh coat of paint. A simple, inexpensive solution that will end up adding to the value of your home with little cost to you. The walls are your home’s canvas and will be easy to tell if they’ve been updated.

Doors of any kind are important to consider as well. In the home above, we simply painted the wood closet doors white and it made a world of a difference to lighten up the space and blend together with the walls rather than be the room’s focal point.

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Staging -

Staging is a unique aspect Maple & Main focuses on as we not only want to help you sell your home, but create a home and space that fits your lifestyle and a potential buyer’s. The design behind the staging is what will make the difference of not just selling a home but making sure it is the best fit, not to mention quickly!

When setting up your home the key objective is to simplify your spaces. Too much furniture or decor makes a space look smaller than it really is and takes away from beautiful features of the structure of the home. Clean lines and no clutter is the goal.

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The above three improvements may be $5,000 — $10,000 of an investment but will add tens of thousands to your home when selling.

Happy fun fixer-upping!!