Self storage units and snowmen: Home Staging In the Winter
All right — enough’s enough. You’re giving in. You thought of a million reasons why you should hang onto your house for just one more year, but you know that it’s time.
Maybe it’s the fact that you were last in line to use the family’s one bathroom this morning. Again.
Maybe it’s because your neighbors think it’s OK to use your garage as a self storage unit. Boundaries, guys! Come on.
Maybe it’s because you have such limited storage space that every closet is packed tighter than a keg of dynamite.
You’re itching to pitch the “For Sale” sign in the front yard, but you also realize that it’s the holiday season. You’re staring down two months’ of gift shopping, eggnog-fueled parties, and long hours with the in-laws. Is it possible to successfully navigate the holidays, leap into the housing market, and maintain your sanity?
Yes — but first, you need to convince someone to buy this place.
The Holiday Home Staging Guide
First things first: get a self storage unit and start clearing out the clutter. I assume your dwelling is not packed floor-to-ceiling with old newspapers, but — and I don’t mean to insult — it’s also probably not what anyone would describe as the perfect, everything-in-its-place model home.
Picking up the piles of periodicals and running a couple good loads through the dishwasher and washing machine are obvious first steps. Now keep that momentum going by purging the things you can live without, like that massive ottoman eats up a third of your living room floor. Creating the illusion of additional space is your goal here. It’s got to go that self storage unit (or, maybe, the thrift store. Look at that thing!).
Real estate professionals also advise the jettison of personal mementos and photographs, as they inhibit would-be buyers from imagining the house as their own. Pack these safely in boxes and run them over to a self storage unit. Grandma and Grandpa can make a re-appearance in your next home.
Don’t expect to finish decluttering in one weekend. Devise a schedule like you’re completing a project at work. Every day, take care of a few more pieces. Make a bi-weekly run to the self storage unit, and pack it efficiently. You’ll enjoy your son’s holiday concert more when you’re not debating whether you should shampoo the carpet when you get home.
What about the lights and the yard display and all of the stuff the kids look forward to all year long? Go ahead and decorate! It is the holidays, after all. Just remember to keep it in balance. Nothing damages curb appeal quite like a tangle of deflated blow-up decorations or neighbors angrily shielding their eyes from your radiant display.
Richard Kline, a home staging professional, advises against “outlandish and gaudy décor, but a Christmas tree and even a cherished nativity scene would not offend most home buyers.” If a tree crowds the room, move a piece of furniture to a self storage unit with the rest of your cast-off belongings.
Relocate gifts to a different hiding place (again, a prime place would be your self storage unit). With home staging focused on enhancing the appeal of your pad, why would you clear out space and refill it with piles of presents? And do you really want a potential buyer to inadvertently stumble into your cache of gifts? Seems a little awkward.
With the combination of disciplined preparation and an affordable self storage unit from your friends at Uncle Bob’s Self Storage, staging your home during the holiday season isn’t such a big deal after all. After all, wouldn’t the greatest gift this holiday season be a fat down payment from the new owners? Now go forth and enjoy your wassailing.