So You Need to Stage Your Home?

FrontBeing in property management for sometime now and since I have been told that I am pretty good amazing at organizing, I thought I’d share a few tips when it comes to home staging. I don’t think that a professional is always required when it comes to home staging because it’s pretty easy to do if you follow a few important steps. It also helps to enlist a few decorating savvy friends, because it’s really about presentation, details and making things look as inviting as possible to potential renters/buyers. While I am not a home staging professional, I have seen extremely bad and very pleasing to the eye when it comes to staging.

Whether you are looking to rent, sell or shoot some marketing photos, I recommend keeping the following in mind.

1) DE-CLUTTER WHEREVER POSSIBLE – When accessing your home, take note of areas that could use de-cluttering. Now I’m not saying you should simply shove things into closets, but maybe now is the time to give those random items that are lining your wall their permanent homes (closets, garages or storage areas work best). Clear those kitchen counters of all those gadgets and things that you are simply storing. A few choice gadgets, such as a coffee machine, are okay but put everything else away. The only exception to this would be in the kids room. You don’t have to put ALL the toys away because well, it’s a kid’s room. Parents will understand that those stuffed animals on the bed actually belong there and it will look lived in. Lived in is a good thing as the feelings you want to evoke are warmth and comfort.

Bathroom

2) OPEN UP SPACES – Keep the flow of your furniture in mind when you are staging. Most of the time, simple and neutral is better. Think about the positioning of couches and tables and try to make them flow with your rooms. Try not to box areas in or prevent easy access to living spaces. If you have to squeeze past the couch and the wall, then it may not be the ideal configuration to appeal to interested parties.

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3) KEEP THE BEDROOM & OFFICE SEPARATE (Provided you have the space) – If you have the room to have a separate office, then make that extra room an office. Do not clutter your bedroom with that desk if you don’t have to. Bedroom spaces are supposed to be your escape and area of relaxation, not an extension of your work area. Put away documents and keep the bare minimum on the desk. A tidy desk is ideal and no one wants to see your stack of paperwork that you need to sort through.

Before-MasterAfter-Master4) NATURAL LIGHT WORKS BEST – When taking photos, using natural light is the best way to go. Don’t forget to open up blinds/curtains to be able to brighten up the rooms. For smaller areas (like bathrooms) turn on all the lights prior to taking the photos. Make sure that all the bulbs are working as well. When shooting an exterior photo, dusk is a great time because it allows you to turn on the interior lights and minimizes the chances of shadows based on the location of the sun.

5) IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS – Sometimes you are so used to your home that it is often difficult to discern what changes you should make in general. It helps to employ help from friends, family or your real estate agent, in order to suggest helpful changes. If necessary, you can always hire a home staging professional, but before you do that consider your resources first.  Also consider what items that you may already have at home that would assist in home staging. Sometimes moving around key pieces of furniture can do wonders in changing the appearance of a living space.

The process of home staging can be daunting, but it can also give you that long awaited opportunity to sort and organize your home at the same time. Don’t be afraid of stepping outside your comfort zone for the greater good. Simple changes can yield huge results.

Thank you to my sister for allowing me to “stage” her home and her custom flyer looked awesome as well.

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Monster High Birthday Spa Party

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Recently, I decided to help a friend out with her daughter’s 7th birthday party. She went with a Monster High theme, which seems to be somewhat popular for girls her age (so I’m told). She hosted it at a nail salon after hours for a small group of girls (awesome idea). My job was to plan the decorations and make the goody bags to match the theme. Many of the items were purchased at the local dollar store and simply personalized with the Monster High colors.

Since it was a spa theme, many of the goody bag items were centered around that theme. Gifts inside included a nighttime eye mask, shower puff, chap stick, nail polish and kit, colorful comb, washcloth, monster high stickers and a color hair extension (it’s a monster high thing).

I also created a punch board game, of course with the Monster High theme which actually turned out pretty cool. For a small group in a small space, it was perfect. I simply used a tri-fold poster board and cut out the shapes. You can pretty much tailor it to whatever theme, but would need a larger board for more guests.

When it comes to little girl parties, I think that adding ribbon, sparkles and sometimes feathers is all you need. Happy 7th Birthday Taylor!

Get ready for girly-ness at its best.

Nail polish

chapstick
kits
bags
oreos
water

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Teacher Appreciation Gift Time

With my little one’s Pre-K Graduation rapidly approaching, I have been prepping the teacher appreciation gifts to be given out this week.  After scouring Pinterest for several days, I was surprisingly not inspired immediately, as I normally would be with such a wonderful website. My biggest problem was that I just couldn’t find anything that I had truly liked to put everything in. While I generally love mason jars, I just didn’t feel like using one nor did I want a basket or some other pencil-esque design that they wouldn’t like.
Finally I decided to just go with a cosmetic bag from Forever 21 and selected a different one for each teacher. Personally, these things are awesome and great for multiple uses.
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The other items purchased: bath salts, eos lip balm, hand sanitizer, body cream and a starbucks gift card. All of which are items I would be very glad to receive.
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Then I wrapped everything neatly together in cellophane in order to make it easy to place in each bag.

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Since I have a large supply of ribbon, I used different bow for each of the bags and then personalized the card from my daughter. I color coordinated the cards (sort of) to match the bags. I used photo paper for the cards because it looked much better and was of course thicker than regular copy paper.
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My personalized teacher appreciation gift, all for under $18.00. Obviously the price will also be dependent on how much you add to the starbucks card, but I put $6.00 on each. If anyone would like the template, I would be happy to post it.