The holidays are almost here and like many of you, we are gearing up for house guests. YAY! I even put together a fun little Guest Room Welcome Basket with all of the essentials. Yes, I know that we don’t have a designated guest room (sorry, family!), but this container of goodies will work perfect on an air mattress or next to the pull out couch. *wink*
One thing that has been on our minds lately is trying to avoid the massive amounts of sickness that our family experienced last winter. (Can you say flu, strep, ear infections, pneumonia, and even a broken foot? Yikes.) So, we’ve been using Nice ‘n Clean Antibacterial Hand Wipes on pretty much everything. Hands. Hard surfaces. You name it.
As I was putting together our Guest Room Welcome Basket, I knew I had to throw some wipes in. Our guests certainly don’t want to get sick while traveling and if we can help them minimize that, we are glad to. So, what are these essentials that guests may need?
Well, for starters…
- Towels – Everyone needs to shower at some point.
- Toiletries – Shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, razor, lotion.
- Tissues – Can always come in handy.
- Water – Thirst quenchers.
- Snacks – Midnight munchies, anyone?
- Candle – Ambiance.
- Books – Late night reading.
- Wifi Password – Of course.
- Nice ‘n CLEAN wipes – For extra clean hands and surfaces.
So what’s with the hand wipes?
You are probably asking yourself why I didn’t just include some hand sanitizer gel instead? Well, these natural, moisturizing wipes are actually better than gel because they can kill 99.99% of germs. Plus, they can be used to remove soil and bacteria from not only your hands, but also hard surfaces, such as door knobs and switch plates. Even high chairs! You know that germs can certainly hang out there.
These hand wipes are great to have around the house and will help keep the germs away for the holidays. I found mine at Walmart, so head over there and grab a 5 x 20ct. Family Value Pack for yourself and your guests!
I hope that our guests like the little basket we have prepared for them!
I believe it is important to make your house guests feel welcome. Sometimes guests may feel uncomfortable asking for items they may have forgotten or need, so this little bin makes it super easy to have all of that stuff in one spot, ready for them to use. Would you add anything else?
May was a crazy month around our house! And you may have noticed my lack of blog involvement. But no worries. I’m back! With the exception of a couple of dance recitals this weekend, our crazy time has normalized. I’ve been saving this post for awhile and am excited to share how you can save some dough if you DIY your own window treatments
This post contains affiliate links for convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure.
Curtains and rods can get pretty pricey, depending on several factors.
The size of the window, the number of windows, and the materials you use definitely make a cost difference. If you only have one window to worry about, then maybe sticking to a budget isn’t the highest priority. However, dressing multiple windows at once is a good way to put you in the poor house if you are not a millionaire.
I have a couple of super, budget-friendly curtain ideas. First, is the trusty ol’ canvas drop cloth. You can get them in almost any size and they look like linen, so that is a bonus. 9′ x 12′ drop cloths are really cheap when you consider that you can get two large curtain panels by cutting them in half. I think I paid around $15 per drop cloth at Menards.
Second, I love to use basic white twin flat sheets as curtains. I snagged some from Walmart for $5 each for our bedroom. For our living room, I had an extra king flat sheet in storage and decided to cut and hem it. Don’t they look great!?! So for about $10 you can have a set of curtains for one window. Score!
Adding a wooden dowel to existing curtain rods can extend their length for only a few dollars!
As for saving money on curtain rods, I came up with this handy trick. We bought basic black curtain rods that were just too short for our larger windows. After a little brainstorming, I decided to buy a wooden dowel rod ( our was 7/8″ x 48″) and paint it with black chalkboard paint.
The color was pretty much on point and after adding it inside of the existing rods, we had super long curtain rods for only a fraction of the cost we would have paid for something bigger!
If you have extra money in your draperies budget, you can always snag some ring clips to hold the curtains up. Or, you can just cut a slit in the end of each top of the sheets and create a pocket to run the curtain rod through!
You may have noticed that all of our windows have wood blinds on them as well. This is because our curtains are more decorative than functional. We have electric baseboard heaters and will have to have to curtains up and out of the way during the cold season. Ugh.
Anyway, I hope this little insight into how to DIY your own window treatments encourages you if you are looking to dress up your windows without breaking the bank. I love how curtains can soften a room and if you hang the rods high, they can even make a room look bigger!
Last week, I shared How We Sold Our Home In One Day and I promised to also share How To Prepare For A Showing/Open House. As a former real estate professional, I have a few ideas on what buyers like and also the things that can have them running for the door before they even get through the foyer. Even though there are tons of infographics and lists out there on the internet, these are definitely things you want to focus on if you are trying to get ready for a showing.
Buyers love a home with good lighting! (O.K., there may be some who enjoy the dungeon look, but they are few and far between.) Open up those curtains and blinds, clean the windows, add lamps if necessary and turn on all lighting. Adding mirrors to a room will also help reflect light and make the room appear more open.
Pick up and put away anything that is out of place. Make the beds. Wipe down counter tops and appliances. Put out the good towels. Make sure that sinks/mirrors/toilets are sparkling clean. Close the toilet lids. Fluff pillows and add some pretty flowers in a vase. Vacuum/Sweep the floors. Take out the trash. Definitely, clean up any pet messes/areas.
Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes, so make them shine, like the sink from our powder room.
Make sure the temperature of your home is set to a comfortable level for the season. If you are selling in the heat of summer, a buyer will appreciate walking into a home cooled with air conditioning, plus it will show that the mechanicals are working properly. The same applies to the winter with a furnace.
Every home has its own scent. Some homes smell stronger than others, but no one wants their home to be stinky. When preparing for a showing, be careful not to use strong scents from room sprays and candles. These scents can lead buyers to believe you are trying to cover something up. Plus, many people are allergic to them. If you must use something, my advice is to keep it simple. Use natural scents, such as those of citrus, vanilla, basil, or cinnamon. And remember the best smelling home is a clean home.
I hope that these tips can help you if you are trying to sell your home. Keeping these things in mind will help you to better prepare for a showing/open house and hopefully get your home sold fast!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!