Sometimes we can see the "good stuff." What do I mean by this? Well . . . let me tell you a personal story. I had a close relationship with my 92-year old grandmother. I call her Nanny. Just recently, Nanny passed away.
For the past 12 years, she had been living in a one-bedroom condo, which she loved. Even though I wouldn't considered it cluttered, it was still filled with all the typical possessions that anyone would have for daily living and "treasures" from days gone by. Additionally, as a senior, Nanny kept more paper than necessary because she was always afraid she might need it someday.
Prior to her death, my mom asked me to get the condo ready for sale, since Nanny could no longer live independently. This meant, of course, that I would need to declutter, organize and stage it for the sale (in my humble opinion.) As a professional organizer, you would think this would be easy for me. Well, yes and no.
This was close to home for me, going through her private and personal items that had connections to my own memories and her extended family. I spent hours getting things donated and given away to family members and made lots of trips to the condo dumpster, but when I was done with the personal and typical household items, her adorable home now looked like it would need some TLC before putting it on the market.
Not Your Grandmother's Condo Anymore
So I asked my friend and colleague, Bernadette Flaim of The Flaim Group - Home Staging and Redesign to assist me in making this small abode appeal to the greatest number of prospective buyers. Knowing what I do for a living, Bernie said, "JM, all we need here is a "quick fix." So, in less than two hours (I am not fibbing), with all her interior, redesign and staging talent, she rearranged art, furniture and accessories while I continued to eliminate the non-essentials. As she was making decisions on what pieces needed to stay, I was following her like a puppy dog happily purging what was to go.
We were like two busy bees, pollinating flowers in this sweet and simple, but slightly dated condo. When we were done, there was no evidence that an elderly person occupied this space. The plethora of tchotchkes, cut-glass pieces, Hummels, several end tables, old, thin towels and a rocking chair ALL disappeared. The decades of collecting items from grandchildren and great grandchildren were given back to family members if they wanted them.
I am sure half of what my Nanny owned was gone but not missed. Instead, the space looked better then ever; even spacious. Heck, I even wanted to move into my Nanny's place! Many of her things went to charity because they were not plentiful and valuable enough to sell and she would have preferred they help others anyways.
Thanks to a professional organizer and a stager, only the gems remained; good pieces of furniture, cozy bedding, clear views of the picture windows, space to move through the rooms with ease, new fluffy white towels in the bathroom and a sprinkling of live green plants (which I was told photograph beautifully!)
So even though this condo was staged to sell, the interesting part is that you don't need to be selling your house to enjoy a "quick fix." The concept of what Bernie and I did in a couple of hours by donating, discarding and designing is now available through POSSE Partners LLC. How awesome would it be for a person to transform a space in their home in just one day? This is what I learned that morning from Bernadette -- one space, one day, DONE!
Oh, by the way, the condo received four offers in two weeks and sold for $5000 above asking price. So if you ever decide to sell a piece of real estate, please don't forget there are services available to help you "maximize the dollars and minimize the stress."