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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true you must depersonalize your house to increase your odds of selling quickly, it simply means you need to remove the outdated or personal items temporarily until the house is sold.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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Missy Yost

Missy is a business owner and writes about everyday lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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