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Five Smart & Cheap Ways to Stage Your Home to Sell

Five Smart & Cheap Ways to Stage Your Home to Sell

When you stage your home to sell you have to create the “wow” factor. Here are five easy tips that let you create the “wow” and keep your bank account intact.

1. Make It Bright, Cheery, & Inviting

These are the three must have’s when staging your home to sell. Bright simply means light it up! Clean the windows, use higher wattage bulbs and freshen up the paint.

One of the most cited wants of a buyer is light. You want as much natural light as possible to come into your rooms. Pull back your curtains, open your blinds, and make sure the window panes are spotless. If you have older blinds, it may be a good idea to either remove the blinds or replace them with inexpensive blinds. The discoloration of older blinds can be a turnoff to buyers.

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Rooms should look fresh. If it has been a while since you painted it is a good idea to freshen up with a new coat of paint. Be careful of bold colors. They may not be as appealing to a buyer as they are to you. Instead, paint common areas neutral colors that are welcoming. Save your bold colors for interesting pieces strategically arranged throughout the house.

New bulbs in all of your current lighting will do wonders for a room. Try to have 100 watts every 50 square feet and mix it up with ambient and task lighting if possible. If a bulb shows through your fixture, consider an old fashion or decorative bulb that will add a touch of uniqueness.

2. Taking the Home out of the House

Selling your home is usually an emotional experience. Everywhere you look there are memories. Family photos line the hall wall and decorate your refrigerator. Your realtor advised you to put away the personal items that may remind a would-be buyer that someone else lives here. But, how can you take down and put away all of the items you hold so dear?

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Although it is true you must depersonalize your house to increase your odds of selling quickly, it simply means you need to remove the outdated or personal items temporarily until the house is sold. Try and pretend you are visiting the house for just a short while. What items are important for your short stay? Any item that does not serve a purpose or add to the decor should be put away. After all, once you sell your house these items will need to be packed so think of it as pre-packing for your new home.

3. Remove any Unnecessary Items

It’s a good idea to rent a storage unit to remove any unnecessary items from your house. If you’ve been in your home for a long time, chances are you’ve accumulated a lot of “stuff”. Go through each room and make piles. One pile to keep, one pile to donate, one pile to store. Not only will removing unnecessary items make your house look bigger while it is on the market, but it will make it much easier to move once your house is sold.

If you are confused about an item being necessary, ask yourself if you would “need” that item if you were staying somewhere for a month or two? If the answer is no, then you can move that item to storage.

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4. Play Room Swap and Be Creative

Just because the couch sat against that wall for the past twenty years doesn’t mean it has to sit against that wall. Think outside of the box when staging your home. Move items around to different rooms until you get the magazine look. If you struggle with this, you can ask a friend with a knack for decorating to help. If you don’t have any design savvy friends, hire a professional stager to help you out.

Professional stagers are not as expensive as you may think. Often they will charge around $125 an hour and be able to stage your whole house in a couple of hours with your own furniture. Sometimes something as simple as moving a chair to another room can open up an entire area. They can also help you understand better what is necessary and what is not. Simply move what is not necessary to storage if it is a keep item.

5. The First Impression May Be The Only Impression

Curb appeal cannot be overstated when you stage your home to sell. Lawns should be well manicured and bushes should be trimmed so that they do not cover windows.

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Color scattered throughout the porches and yard will add pop. Use shepherd hooks and containers to stage your yard. The good thing about container gardening is if it doesn’t look right or your plants fade you can easily replace them with a new pot of flowers.

Another great idea for curb appeal is to paint your front door a bright color. Remember, the idea is that any would-be homebuyer that drives by for a peek prior to a showing is so impressed with the outside of the house they cannot wait to see the inside.

Featured photo credit: Romi via pixabay.com

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How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

Sight – Visual Stimulation

The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

1. Maximize your exposure to light.

Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

3. Take note of your environment.

Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

4. Engage in conversation.

Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

5. Listen to upbeat music.

Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

6. Work your nose.

Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

7. Have a good breakfast.

Start off with the most important meal of the day.

Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

8. Drink lots of water.

Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

Touch – Tactile Stimulation

Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

10. Splash cold water on your face.

Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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11. Use acupressure.

Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

12. Get moving.

Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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