Much like we discussed in Part 1, everything starts with a critical eye. Today we’ll continue to talk about the inside of your home.
It likely sounds like a broken record at this point but continue with the less-is-more philosophy continues in your bathrooms. Countertops should be cleared and reduce toiletries to a decorative few (3-6) and consolidate on a tray or decorative basket. Everything else should be kept in drawers or cabinets. Again, baskets are a great idea for you to group like-items and easily grab when needed. Throw out anything used or dirty like your hand soap. If you have a dual vanity and replace with a cute and decorative bottle or two.
Coordinate all towels with one or two colors or matching patterns. Fold in thirds and hang neatly every day. New towels can be purchased very inexpensively if the ones you have don’t match. Same goes with your shower curtain, shower rings and especially the inside liner. If your liner is full of rust or residue, it’s time to replace it. Also, look at the floor and assess your bathroom rugs. Too many of them around the sink, tub and toilet may make the room feel smaller. If that is the case, remove them in their entirety or replace with one larger rug to hit most of the areas.
What is the common denominator in future home repair that we have discussed previously? Water. We all need it but left to its own devices can cause thousands of dollars in repairs. Look at both the ceiling and the tub surround. Is there cracking and peeling in the ceiling? Perhaps a new exhaust fan is needed to remove the moisture from the room after bathing. Too much moisture and not enough air flow equals another major concern, mold. Get in front of and repair any areas that look suspicious. Scraping off and a fresh bead of silicone caulking around your tub edges can make your tub shine like new.
A damp basement is nobody’s friend. Be aware of smells, musty odors, and dampness. A dehumidifier will work wonders to help alleviate any odors. Basements fill up fast with storage and it easy to just put piles anywhere there is room. Invest in some shelving and Rubbermaid containers and try condensing to one or two general areas. Keep in mind that when you do go to sell, you still need to have access to all your major mechanicals and electrical box. Don’t forget to get your furnace cleaned and checked to avoid small issues that may turn into a full replacement down the road. Furnace filters should also be changed out several times a year.
The salt our cars drag in from winter road maintenance can destroy the garage floors so keeping it cleaned and swept is an easy way to avoid major problems. Sealing them is also a great idea and can be a DIY project. If you must use part or the entire garage for storage, that’s fine, just keep it neat and organized. If you are selling, keep your cars parked in the garage instead of the driveway if possible. First impression of a buyer may automatically lead to the conclusion you have run out of room and so will they.
Where do I store all the stuff I took out?!
If you read thru this series of articles and have started making some changes, CONGRATULATIONS! As you continue to evaluate your belongings, organizing and packing you may wonder what the heck am I supposed to do with all this?? Don’t be afraid of using your basement and your garage if needed for a bit. The key is to keep it organized and to the point that your belongings don’t look overwhelming to a casual observer. Some other options are renting a storage unit (PODS, U-Haul are a great alternative and will deliver your items to you at your new home!). Consider an online estate sale with companies that specialize in downsizing, packing space planning, and moving such as Caring Transitions of Waukesha County. Have a garage sale, donate to charity (many organizations will pick up from your home – some do require furniture has to be on a main level) and as a last resort sacrifice a spare, smaller bedroom and fill it full.