• Life & Family,  Neat & Tidy,  Organization & Storage,  Tips & Tricks

    How We Sold Our Home In One Day

    It has been a little over three months since we closed on The City House and I want to share with you the secrets of how we sold it to the first buyer who walked through (on the first day). Obviously, the title of this post “How We Sold Our Home In One Day” may be a little deceptive. There is a lot more involved in selling a home than just finding a buyer. You must do all of the prep work before listing (we used a realtor), plus getting to closing can take a couple of months or more, depending on negotiations, inspections, loan approvals, etc. However, getting started on the right path can ensure that you get the perfect buyer into your home as soon as possible.

    As a former realtor, I think one of the most important parts of finding a buyer quickly is making your home look as appealing as possible before listing. (Picking a reasonable listing price and deciding how willing you are to negotiate will also be very important.) Here are some tricks and tips on how to do it!

    How We Sold Our Home


    This should be apparent, but fixing the big and small problems in the house (i.e. small holes in the wall, doors that don’t latch correctly, lighting problems, landscaping issues) should be one of the first things on your to-do list, once you decide to sell your home. Take care of all of the problems you know of and you won’t have to worry about them showing up on later inspections.

    Our kitchen counters were looking pretty bad after a failed DIY attempt. So, we replaced them with an inexpensive, yet, nice looking option.

    Kitchen Final

    Curb Appeal

    Buyers will definitely have an opinion about your home before they even walk in. Curb appeal is important since it is the first thing that people see. Make sure to tidy up outside by cleaning walkways, cutting the grass, weeding flower beds. You can even add some potted plants and a seasonal door wreath to pretty things up.

    My favorite boxwood wreath hanging on the front door.

    Boxwood Wreath


    Many people don’t realize that cleaning and decluttering are two different things. With decluttering, the point is to remove all of the things that make the rooms look, well, cluttered and busy. Removing mail, tchotchkes, and excess furniture from each room will help the space feel more inviting and open. Decide whether each item you are decluttering should be thrown out, donated, or stored until you move.

    We didn’t have a lot of items to purge, but we did move a lot of extra stuff to our Country House and donated quite a few things. If you don’t have space to store items in your home and your budget allows, consider renting a storage unit until you move. You could also ask friends/family if they would mind allowing you to store a few things in their homes until your home is sold.

    Our dining table was pretty big for our breakfast nook, so we swapped it out for a smaller one to make the room look a little more spacious.

    Dining Room Final


    Again, this should go without saying, but your home should be pretty much spotless. We opted to hire a cleaning company to come in and really deep clean everything. Getting the major cleaning out of the way, saved us so much time and helped us focus on other tasks, like painting the walls.

    We were also lucky enough to be able to move our pets to our new Country House before listing. We knew that then they wouldn’t get in the way with showings and it would be one less thing to worry about cleaning up. Pet odors can be a huge turn off for potential buyers! If you must have your pets around during showings, consider crating/kenneling them. Also, make sure their areas (food bowls/litter boxes/etc.) are pristine. Don’t forget to clean rugs and vacuum furniture well to get rid of smells, hair, and dander.

    Our kitty Rowan, lounging like he does.

    Remove pets during open houses and showings


    For many people, hiring a home stager is not in the budget when they are trying to sell their house. The good news is that you could do a pretty good job at staging your own home. As I mentioned before, decluttering will really help open rooms up to feel more spacious. A few other ideas to consider would be:

    • Room Rearrangements – Move furniture around to be more inviting for conversation, especially in the living/family room. Also, make sure that each room has furniture in it to compliment the exact type of room a buyer may want. If you have 3 bedrooms, but use one as an office or playroom, consider changing it to make it look more like to a bedroom while your home is listed. Also, make sure that large furniture pieces are not in front of windows which may stop natural light from coming in.
    • Neutralize – There are a couple of ways to neutralize your home. First, consider painting rooms with bold color choices a more neutral tone (i.e. changing bright yellow to soft greige.) Second, think about storing some personal items, such as family photos, toys, and collections. You don’t have to necessarily rid your home of every last one of these items, but a buyer will be less distracted if a home is neutralized and it will be easier for them to picture themselves living in the space.

    Neutral colors and welcoming furniture placement from our living room.

    Spring Fling Home Tour

    Good luck!

    So, those were the major things we did that we believed to helped us sell our home so quickly. Even though I can’t guarantee your home will be sold in one day, I hope that you can use these tips and tricks to get your home sold as quickly as possible! Selling your home can be so nerve-racking. It is even ranked up there as one of the most stressful life events a person can experience. To say that I’m happy to be done with the selling process, would be an understatement. However, I’m glad that we spent a little extra time preparing our home before listing because it certainly paid off! Best of luck to you too!

    Click here to see how we prepared for showings!

  • Home Decor,  Neat & Tidy,  Organization & Storage,  Printables

    Create a Simple and Functional Command Center

    With both of my kids in school this year, it was time to figure out an organizational system for our paperwork. Not that we aren’t organized normally. However, with two rugrats bringing home enough paper to equal half of a rain forest worth of trees, we needed something that would keep everything in check. Enter the command center!

    Create a Simple and Functional Command Center

    This post contains affiliate links for convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure.

    Over the years, I have seen some pretty amazing command centers.

    These spaces are usually centrally located in the home. They contain everything needed to keep the household running smoothly. Stuff like calendars, clocks, chalkboards, bulletin boards, binders, folders, files, menu planners, and the list goes on. I knew that I didn’t have room for all of that business (just a tiny wall in our kitchen). So, I had to figure out how to create a simple and functional command center in a small space.

    To cover the basics, I ordered all of our main command center pieces from Ikea. (Ikea didn’t compensate us for any of this; we just really liked the price and how the pieces came together.)

    Command Center Organization Station

    Our calendar is something I whipped up and had printed as an engineering print (18″x24″) at our local print shop. I placed it in a large Ribba frame (19 3/4 x 27 1/2) with the mat. We can write the important stuff on the front of the plexiglass and erase it easily. Hopefully, this will keep us from forgetting dance/soccer practice and anything we need to be available for.

    Dry Erase Calendar

    This printable is free of charge and for personal use only. Download this printable from THE GALLERY.

    Calendar Printable

    To organize all of our papers and bills, I ordered the Kvissle Wall Magazine Rack. Each of the kids gets one slot for important school papers. The rest are designated for bills and other mail. And the Etc. slot holds blank paper for note taking and a weekly calendar for menu planning.

    Hanging File

    I placed a striped painted cork board  in another smaller Ribba frame for little bits of fun or info.

    Painted Cork Board

    All of the colored dry erase markers are corralled in a small canning jar, along with a few extra pencils, and placed on the counter for easy access.

    Marker Pencil Holder

    Because of this little wall in our kitchen our family organization is not up to par! And I am feeling a lot less anxiety with this system in place.

    IMG_8807Do you have a family command center? How do you keep organized during the school year? We would love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below!

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  • Neat & Tidy

    22 Spring Cleaning & Organization Ideas

    22 Spring Cleaning and Organizing Ideas_edited-1

    Spring is here and it is time to clean! Today we are sharing 22 Spring Cleaning & organization ideas to help get you in the mood. Enjoy!

    Spring Cleaning Checklist
    Spring Cleaning 5

    Remove Oil Based Primer
    Remove Oil Based Primer 1

    File Cabinet Turned Garage Storage
    File Cabinet Garage Storage 1

    Tips for Cleaning Your Clothes Iron

    Industrial Numbered Storage
    Industrial Numbered Storage 16

    Cleaning Tips and Tricks
    Spring Cleaning 4

    Numbered Wooden Crates

    Chalkboard Clothes Pins
    Chalkboard Clothes Pins 5

    Weekly Cleaning List
    April 2014 Printables 1

    Toy Organization Toy Organization 4

    Mason Jar Paint Storage
    mason jar paint storage 7

    Closet Organization
    Closet Organization 9

    Getting Rid of the Excess
    Get Rid Of Things 4

    Moving Tips
    moving tips 1

    Toy Rotaion
    Toy Rotation 1

    Paint Dipped Box Baskets
    Paint Dipped Box Baskets 1

    Pet Food Canister
    Pet Food Canister 1

    Workspace Organization
    Vanity/Workspace 6

    Turn Boxes into Baskets

    Easy DIY Apothecary Jars
    apothecary jars 4

    How to Clean Your Make-up Bushes
    clean brushes 4

    Entertainment Stand Dresser Entertainment Stand Dresser 4

  • Family, Kids, Pets,  Holidays & Seasons,  Home Decor,  Neat & Tidy

    Wood Box Caddy

    Wood Box Caddy

    It’s March 15th, which means that it is time to share our Monthly Home Depot Gift Challenge post. Last month, Emily showed you how she used copper fittings, combined with other supplies, to make an Industrial Book Rack. This month’s challenge item was a wooden dowel and the project was supposed to be a gift for a child. After a little brainstorming and chatting with my sis and hubby, I decided to make a Wood Box Caddy that could be used as an Easter basket for my kids.

    New graphic
    This challenge is in no way associated with The Home Depot. We just love their stuff!

    Since we have two kids, I obviously had to make two caddies. I bought our boards and wooden dowels from The Home Depot and they cut everything for me while I was there. Behold the wood!

    Wood Box Supplies

    These caddies are pretty easy to whip up, so if you have minimal wood working skills, do not fret. You can do this!

    To make one wood box caddy you will need:

    • 1 – 1″ X 4″ furring strip (cut into 3 – 12″ pieces and 2 – 7.5″ pieces)
    • 1 – 1″ Wooden Dowel (cut to 12″)
    • Pencil
    • Drill with 7/8″ Spade Bit
    • Electric Sander or Sandpaper
    • Wood Glue
    • C-clamp
    • Hammer
    • Finishing nails

    To start, figure out where the hole for the the dowel will go in the two 7.5″ end pieces and mark it with a pencil. Use the drill with a 7/8″ spade bit to make a hole in each end by lining up the tip of it with the mark on each board and drilling through. Lightly sand any rough areas.

    Drill Wood Holes

    Lay out the 5 boards of the box. Apply wood glue to the edges that will be meeting up by following the guide below.

    Board Placement Gluing

    This caddy is basically one 12″ bottom piece that is sandwiched between the other two 12″ boards on the sides. The 7.5″ end pieces are placed on top of the bottom piece and also in-between the side boards with all of the ends lined up.

    Glue Wood Box

    Assemble the pieces together and use a c-clamp to hold them in place while the glue dries.

    Clamp Wood Together

    Is this thing reading like stereo instructions? Stick with me. We are almost there.

    Insert the dowel through one side of the caddy and add some glue to both ends. Then push the dowel into the second hole and make sure the ends are flush. Wipe away any excess glue.

    Wood Dowel Caddy

    Finally, secure the sides of the caddy with some finishing nails.

    Wood Box Caddy Nails

    I decided to get crazy and paint both of these caddies white with some chalk paint. Just kidding. I tend to paint everything white. *wink*

    Chalk Paint

    Aren’t they purdy? I’m so excited for the Easter Bunny to deliver some goodies for the kids in these. The best part is that once the holiday is over, the kiddos can use these for a multitude of purposes. Matchbox car holder? Check. Nail polish storage? Check. These will be perfect for toting things around the house.

    White Easter Egg Caddy

    Oh, and I can’t forget the wrapping! As part of the challenge, this gift was to be wrapped in an item also from The Home Depot. Since these will be used as baskets and set out on Easter morning, I didn’t want to hide everything inside, so I decided to go with a clear plastic drop cloth and a lovely white bow. Cute, right?

    Easter Gift Caddy

    Like how we tackled this challenge? Head on over to check out all of the other awesome projects involved by clicking on the images below!

    Image Map