Thursday, August 26, 2010

Get Your Kitchen Ready (to sell your house)

We have lived in this house for four years with blue countertops. NOTHING else in the entire house is blue. I have no idea why someone put blue countertops in this house...the other colors were browns with deep reds in some of the wallpaper. And blue countertops in the kitchen...

But now, they are not blue laminate any more! They are a very pretty soft-black solid surface. I love them! I wish we had changed them four years ago so we could have been enjoying them all this time. But...I would definitely suggest that you consider doing a little updating in your kitchen before putting it on the market...especially if you have blue countertops...

We also put new pulls that are an oil-rubbed bronze color. Our old pulls were shiny brass with plastic cream middles. I know.
Since I was essentially choosing these for the next homeowners, I was torn between a neutral cream and black. So I used the very scientific method shown below...I laid out a cream colored tablecloth and a black skirt...and I stood and stared at it. I'm very glad I went with the black. It makes much more of a statement than the cream would have.
Below are the old blue countertops the day we were about to tear them out. And you can see the old, lovely pulls...
We took the countertops off very carefully and were able to save the tile backsplash. Not that I love the backsplash...I most decidedly do NOT. But we were really trying to do our updates for as little money as possible.
By only doing the countertops and pulls, we did not spend that much, but the kitchen really does look a WHOLE lot better! An update I would highly recommend...


Monday, August 02, 2010

Clear Out Closets and Clutter Before You Put Your House on the Market!

This is Part 3 of "Get Ready to Sell Your House."

Two weekends ago we had our garage sale. We started on Thursday - definitely the day to start a garage sale. About 3/4 of our stuff was gone by noon on Thursday! Friday morning I sold a little bit, and then I just started telling everyone to take whatever they wanted. And did the same thing on Saturday. It's all gone now! I was more interested in it going away than in making some money on it.

People told me they liked my signs because they were easy to see and to follow. I just bought those cheap $3 small garage sale signs at Home Depot, and I covered them in hot pink posterboard, and drew big arrows on them. Make your signs easy to see and easy to follow!

So now I am in the "cleaning out closets" stage. When people look at your house, you want them to see how big your closets are. Also, not a good idea if your closets need a sign hanging on the door knob warning of possible avalanche if opened. So if your closets are packed to the brim, pack some of your stuff and go rent a small self-storage unit.

And think about things like this - I had been storing some of my odd kitchen stuff in the linen closet down the hall from the kitchen. Things that I don't use much, so I didn't want them taking up prime space in my kitchen. But...if people open my linen closet and see that it is full of kitchen stuff, they are going to instantly assume my kitchen doesn't have enough storage. NOT what you want them to be thinking! So I am packing the kitchen stuff that is in the linen closet, and it is going to go to the storage unit, too. After I get all the kitchen stuff out of this closet, I will round up the towels and sheets that are stored here and there, and put them all in their proper home in the linen closet - they have not been in there in four years!

As you are clearing out the clutter, throwing away or giving away as much as possible, make sure you clean as you go. Dust shelves, clean the baseboards, etc.
And while you are decluttering your closets, clear the surfaces in the room. You need to just have one or two items on top of your dressers and coffee tables. You want buyers to be able to picture their own stuff in your house, not be overwhelmed with all of your stuff.

We have about a week to go before our house goes on the market. And still have so much to do! I need for there to be about three more of me...