How to get your house ready to sell

May 14, 2013
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Getting your home ready to sell

This is a great time of year to sell your home. Recently, I have helped several clients to prepare their home for potential buyers. The number one thing to remember is that many buyers want their new home to be “move-in ready”. The second item buyers want is to be able to picture themselves living in your home. You do not have to spend a lot of money remodeling your entire home to achieve these goals. Here are some easy tips you can do that will help sell your home quickly and get you a higher asking price:

#1. Landscaping/ the outside: If your home doesn’t look clean and fresh on the outside, your buyer may never even see the inside. Plant some flowers, keep the lawn mowed and pressure wash anything that looks mildewed. If the front door looks old, put a fresh coat of paint on it. Also remove any items in the yard or deck that look rusted or broken.

#2. Detail clean: I recommend hiring a cleaning service and tell them you want a “detail cleaning”. Most companies will charge $100-$250 to clean your house top-to-bottom which includes blinds, fans, inside cabinets and refrigerators, ceilings, vent covers and baseboards – THE WORKS! Of course you can also clean it yourself for no money at all just some time and elbow grease.

#3. Let there be light: The lighter your home is, the warmer and more inviting it looks. Put new light bulbs in all lamps and light fixtures. Use the highest wattage you can for each fixture. Keep all windows and glass doors clean and your blinds and curtains open.

#4. De-personalize: If a buyer is going to be able to imagine themselves living in your home, it helps to not have photos of you and your family all over the house. I know it sounds strange but what if a family with four children walks into the home of someone with no children; they may think there isn’t enough space for all of their kids even if there is. Also, put away anything that shows your school or state spirit. Could a UGA fan buy a house from a Georgia Tech fan? Probably not! You don’t want to lose a buyer for any easily avoidable reason. Pack up your framed photos, your fanfare, your “collections” and anything that may be offensive. Also, remove the photos and the magnets on the fridge.

#5. Clean floors, clear shelves and open spaces: The more of the floor you can see, the better. This goes for every room but especially closets. You want the closets to have as little on the floor as possible and some space on the shelves open so they look more spacious. It is also good to have open space to walk from room to room and around furniture. You don’t want anyone having to squeeze past the dresser to get to the closet.

#6. De-clutter: Moving is the perfect time to de-clutter! If you have not used something or worn an item of clothing in 1 year, donate it. Take the time to go through your old books, papers, tools, kitchen appliances, clothing, toys, VHS and cassette tapes (you know you will never use them again) and get rid of it. If you pack these items up, you are wasting money paying someone to move them just so you can toss them later.

#7. Pack it up and store it: Anything you do not need to use for the next six months should be packed up and stored elsewhere. This includes the bread maker, the train set and the skis. Move the out-of-season clothing out of your closets so they look more spacious. If you can get a POD great, if you can’t, at least have it out of the way in a garage, storage area (like an attic) or under the bed. Use Space Bags to get the bulky comforters, sleeping bags and coats smaller so they won’t take up so much space.

#8. Touch up paint: Paint is the cheapest and easiest way to make a room look brand new. A buyer may not appreciate your love of pink and purple polk-a-dots. Try to make each room a neutral color. The whole house doesn’t have to be painted beige but you should try to stay in the gray, taupe, beige or white family. If you have holes in the walls or scratches on any doors or molding, use touch up paint or the Magic Eraser (how does Mr. Clean do it?).

#9. Decorating and staging: Less is more! You do not have to have every surface decorated or every room full of furniture. The most important rule here is every room should have one purpose (if possible). A buyer should be able to tell what the room’s purpose is easily. For example, a bedroom should not have a desk, treadmill and kitchen table in it. If a room has too much furniture in it, it looks smaller. If all the tables, dressers and mantels are covered with knick knacks and picture frames, it looks cluttered. Your home should look clean, spacious and welcoming.

Let us know if you need our help: Simply Organized 404-825-2105 or Heather@SimplyOrganizedYou.com

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Tax prep 101

April 13, 2013
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Accordion fileSo another year and another April 15th deadline. We all dread tax time because we have to gather lots of paperwork, documentation, receipts, etc. together and try to do our own taxes or give our information to an expert to do them for us. It’s not only time consuming but can also be confusing especially if you’ve had a big life change like a move, marriage, child or divorce. Do yourself a favor for 2014 and start now!

Print out a checklist from your tax prep software or your CPA as a guide for what you will need to have next year.

Go out and buy an accordion file. You can get them anywhere they sell office or school supplies. I recommend the hearty plastic kind with the closure. There should be 8-12 tabs inside; label the tabs with your personal tax items ex.: charitable donations, mortgage, medical, insurance, auto, etc.

Every time you get a receipt that is tax deductible or pertinent to your taxes, put it in the accordion file according to it’s topic. At the end of the year, you will not need to do anything else except total the receipts in each tab. Walla – magic – no more stress about tax time.

If you have lots of paper work, I suggest a quarterly accordion file or totalling your receipts quarterly. Put a date once per quarter on your calendar and spend an hour taking care of this. Again, this will take 4 hours during a year’s time instead of countless hours close to your tax filing deadline.

In march of 2014, you won’t be frantically looking for documents or trying to convince your CPA to take a huge box of jumbled crumpled papers. This will save you time and money!

Happy April 15th!

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Helpful time-saving websites and apps

March 19, 2013
Helpful time-saving websites and apps
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Here are a few of my favorite websites and apps for de-cluttering, donating and time saving:

Websites and Apps:

Donations: www.donationtown.org

Recycling: www.georgiarecycles.org

E-mail:Unroll.me (unsubscribe to all sites or get one e-mail per day)

Back-Up files: Carbonite.com (back up computer)

Apps: Hoot Suite (all social media in one place)

For more organizing tips, visit my blog: www.simplyorganizedyou.com/blog

Organizing photos site:https://pinterest.com/simplyorgyou

 

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Time Management

March 19, 2013
Time Management
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With our increasingly busy lives, I wanted to take a moment to try to simplify them for you. I have listed several tips below that should help you add more time and less stress to your life. As always, if you need help, please contact me at 404-825-2105 or heather@simplyorganizedyou.com.

Time Management

  • Focus on one thing at a time and complete that task
  • Multi-task only one physical (ex. On phone and fold laundry)
  • Set reasonable and attainable goals (only a few per day)
  • Block off time on calendar (include drive time)
  • Do not procrastinate (set a 20 minute timer)
  • Do not over-commit = it’s o.k. to say “NO”

Have a Routine

  • Set dinner time
  • Set homework, bath and bed times (prep clothes night before)
  • Set up carpool = 2-3 days per week (school, sports, parties)

Errands

  • Try to get a couple done on your way to work, school or on your way home
  • Get your prescriptions where you buy your groceries
  • Keep your lists in your car so you can check them off each day

Cooking

  • Weekly meal plan and grocery list
  • Cook several meals at once and freeze
  • Use the crock pot for cooking while you’re away
  • Let kids prep b-fast and lunches the night before

 

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Simplify Your Life speech at IKEA March 9th at 12pm

February 5, 2013
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Heather Rogers, owner of Simply Organized, speaks at IKEA about Home Office Organization.

Heather Rogers, owner of Simply Organized, speaks at IKEA about Home Office Organization.

IKEA is having a BYOF (Bring Your Own Friend) day on March 9th. I will be speaking about organizing your home and life at 12pm in their Work Department. Come in for a chance to win 5 $200 gift cards and lots of other prizes. http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/img/local_store_info/atlanta/AtlantaBYOFAgenda2013.pdf

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Simply Organized Speaks at IKEA

January 20, 2013
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Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking at IKEA with Jonda Beattie about Home Office Organization.  It was a 20 minute presentation which included topics such as: Creating a Vision for your office, Arranging your desk, chair, lighting and storage, Filing systems, Controling your e-mail inbox and more.  If you would like help with your home office,or any other room in your home, call me for a free assessment 404-825-2105.

Heather Rogers, owner of Simply Organized, speaks at IKEA about Home Office Organization.

Heather Rogers, owner of Simply Organized, speaks at IKEA about Home Office Organization.

 

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GO MONTH

January 9, 2013
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Get Organized
January is GO Month which stands for Get Organized! I know, January is the start new routines, better habits and can you say the word GOALS? I know blah, blah and yada yada but it’s also a great time to declutter, get a new calendar and start fresh!

Baby steps: start by donating some old clothes, toys or anything you have not used in a year. Shred your old bills, recycle some old magazines. If you do a room each week, you can tackle it in no time.

If you can’t face it alone, call Simply Organized and I will help you with no judgement, just alot of support and patience. 404-825-2105

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Thanksgiving Planning

January 4, 2013
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Turkey Day time-saving tip: Only 10 days until Thanksgiving. If you are hosting, plan your menu today, know your total head count by Friday the 16th and start shopping and cooking this weekend. You can prepare many side dishes ahead (mashed potatoes, mac-n-cheese, stuffing, broccoli casserole, etc.) and freeze them so all you have to do is reheat on Turkey Day instead of cooking for 12 hours.

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