Top 10 Reasons to Stage Your Property in a HOT Market

Hey wait a minute, they are the same reasons to stage in ANY MARKET!

  1. BE COMPETITIVE! You always want your property to look better than competing properties, or recently sold comparable properties so that you can justify/demand an even higher price.

    Regardless of Market, Which House Would You Buy?

    Regardless of Market, Which House Would You Buy?

  2. MAXIMIZE ROI! A property/home is usually a home-owner’s single most valuable asset—by investing in taking it to its full potential, you will maximize your return on selling that asset.
  3. MORE INTEREST—MORE OFFERS! A staged home will look better in photos and attract even more buyers, leading to a faster sale and higher chance of even moremultiple offers, driving the price higher still.  So what if every property is already selling “over asking”.  You should sell yours for “way over asking”.
  4. BE CATALOGUE-READY! It is not uncommon in a hot market for buyers to purchase a property sight unseen, especially if purchasing internationally.  So at least if the pictures of the property listing look incredible, it will attract more attention among these buyers, and drive the price up.

    Click and Buy Me!

    Click and Buy Me!

  5. ALLEVIATE HESITATIONS! In a hot market, buyers don’t have the luxury of time to think through whether or not they want to buy a property. They need to be ready to make an attractive bid to the seller that will win them the property in a multiple offer situation.  A staged home will make that buyer ready to pull the trigger without hesitation.
  6. YOU’VE GOT THE POWER—SAVE YOUR MONEY! With vacant properties, in a hot market, you want your buyer to give you the soonest closing date possible in order to minimize potentially thousands of dollars in carrying costs (e.g. property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, condo fees if applicable, etc.). A staged home will create more competition among buyers to give you the best offer, with no conditions, and an ideal closing date.
  7. OFFSET ANY NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF THE PROPERTY! Even in a hot market, not every property will benefit.  Location may play a factor, for example (not all neighbourhoods are created equal). A staged home will increase the value of the property to offset some of those factors.
  8. BE THE FAVOURITE! Other real estate agents are more likely to show the property to their clients if it shows well and looks move-in ready—an easy sell!
  9. CREATE GREATER MASS APPEAL! For occupied properties, a staging consultation provides an objective opinion about the property, and staging will help to ensure the property appeals to the target buyer. The key is to neutralize the property so that it appeals to as many people as possible.
  10. SELL A LIFESTYLE THAT PEOPLE WANT INSTANTLY! For vacant properties that would otherwise feel empty, staging creates an inviting atmosphere and makes a property feel more like a home. It helps the prospective buyer to visualize living in the property. In addition, empty rooms tend to look smaller when they are not furnished.
    Welcome Home!

    Welcome Home!

    At the end of the day, if your home is not at 100% when you sell in this HOT market, will you regret it and always wonder if you could have done better? Have no regrets and make the most of your most prized possession.

Happy selling!

Erin Lazer

Owner, SpaceStyle Home Staging, Organizing and Design

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at info@SpaceStyle.ca, or suggest a topic for a blog post.

www.SpaceStyle.ca

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Creating an Inviting Family Home after Divorce or Separation

Article written by Erin Lazer at SpaceStyle, featured at http://www.benmor.com/cas.php#25 Benmor Family Law Group

 

When a couple decides to part ways, it is often hardest on the children.  They are forced to adjust to a new routine and a new or secondary home.  To ease them into their new reality, parents need to create a warm, inviting and personalized space for the children so that they feel comfortable. Here are some tips on how to make a new or second dwelling feel like home:

1)  Create a ‘Kids’ Zone’. Ensure there is a designated space for the children. Having their own bedroom will make them feel less like a guest and more like they’re at home.  If finances don’t permit, try to make the shared space special to them or designate a part of that space specifically for the children.  Ensure the space has the functionality the children require such as sleep space, homework space, play space, space for friends, etc.

2)  Involve the children in the process. No matter how old they are, have the children help decorate.  If hiring a professional, have them consult with the children too.  If they are older, set a budget and partner with the children in the design of their space. If they are younger, let them pick out their own pillows, bedding and decorations. If budget is a factor, create some DIY projects they can help with to save money. If they have a hand in creating their space, they will be more excited about it and it will be a more positive experience for them despite their parents’ separation.

3)  Don’t be a hotel. Ensure they have a second set of key things so that they do not have to pack a suitcase every time they come over. They need to feel like it is their home, not a vacation. They may even want their room decorated the same way as their other home – which is fine. A second toothbrush and other toiletries, a good supply of clothing and pajamas, linens, toys, school/art supplies, etc. would be great to have. If they have a specific item they are attached to, try to purchase a second one. This way when they come over, they are coming home, rather than coming to visit.

4)  No surprises. Keep a calendar visible that shows the children’s extra-curricular activities, when they will be with mom and dad, any family events they will participate in, etc. This way, they will feel more in control.

These tips will help ease children into their new environment and routine. If they are in a happy space, it will definitely help boost their mood and help them better cope with some of the feelings they may be having related to the separation. Even if it takes a small investment, it will be well worth it in the end.

By Erin Lazer, Owner of SpaceStyle Home Staging, Organizing and Design, www.SpaceStyle.ca, erin@spacestyle.ca

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Decorating a Toddler Room on a Budget

With Baby #2 on the way, it was finally time to transition our toddler to her “big girl” room. Sad as it was to admit she’s growing up, it seemed like the right time. We did have a bit of a hitch to deal with though. We are planning on moving in about a year, so we didn’t want to invest too much into decorating the room, furniture, etc. My goal was to repurpose as many items we already had in the house, and only purchase what was necessary, all the while making the room fun and exciting for her.

Toddler Room Decor

The most important thing to consider was furniture, of course. She needed a bed, a night table, some shelving, and enough place to store her clothes.  We took the Queen mattress and box spring from our guest bedroom which we rarely used and I purchased an inexpensive metal bed frame for $50. I did have to purchase 2 bedrails for safety at $30 each at Toys R Us, but they fold down and under the mattress so are invisible when not in use.

Shelves before and after

Shelves, Before and After

For shelving, I took a shelving unit my father had made for me as a child, which I had converted into a “bar” 2 houses ago, and re-painted it white. Only cost for this was a quart of paint.  For a night table, I borrowed a white IKEA table from our basement playroom that wasn’t really used. As for clothes storage, the room we moved her into had a small walk-in closet, so by adding cloth shelves($20) and an extra rod that doubled the hanging room ($15), as well as a night table from our guest room with 2 drawers, I was able to store all of her clothes without needing a dresser.

Toddler Bedding

Next comes décor, and this is the fun part.  I started, of course, by choosing bedding that would be the inspiration for the room. I didn’t want anything themed that she would grow out of quickly, so I searched for a great patterned set in a colour that was fresh and fun, and I happened to catch it at 30% off, for a total of $175 including a sheet set, duvet cover and 2 shams at Sears! I bought an all-season duvet and 2 very flat pillows at IKEA for $66, plus a bedskirt to cover the frame, and some pillow protectors ($25). I used extra pillows from my guest room for the shams.   Everything else in the room was chosen and created to work with the fabulous bedding.

Headboard

Painted Headboard

Because I didn’t want to invest in a headboard until we move to the new house, I painted a headboard onto the wall, rather than purchasing a headboard. This way I was able to customize it to match the bedding.  To make the wall soft, I simply used the pillow shams that came with the bedding for her to lean up against if she chooses.

Lamp Before & After

For lighting, I purchased an inexpensive $20 lamp with a plain white shade from target, then I prettied it up using some great decorative paper flowers and fabric ribbon from Michaels that I glued onto the shade ($6.00). To prevent the glue from re-melting, I used a CFL bulb which also meant the bulb wouldn’t be as hot, or dangerous for my daughter. I also picked a lamp that turned on by pulling a short chain, rather than the knobs commonly used where you had to reach up into the lamp, or the ones with the switch on the wire. I figured this would be easiest for my toddler to turn on herself.

DSC_0012

For the walls, I did a number of things that would tie in with the bedding. First, I repainted the letters that spell her name from her nursery to match the headboard and bedding. I purchased 2 $9 large white frames from IKEA and framed sheets of wrapping paper ($4 at Homesense) in a hounds tooth pattern that matched the colour of the bedding perfectly. These can now be used to tape up some of her artwork to display in her room. I purchased a few faux flowers in coordinating colours at Michael’s ($12). I also purchased 3 small square canvas prints from Target (3 for $45) to add a bit more colour into the space, but still coordinate perfectly with the bedding.  For drapes, I kept it simple and purchased off-white drapes from IKEA, as well as a black-out curtain liner ($60). I hemmed both myself using special hemming tape that irons on, saving myself from going to a seamstress (and I certainly don’t sew!).   And to fill the shelves, I just transferred all of the things she has collected since she was born and displayed them.

DSC_0007

The result was a beautiful, coordinated, and fun room that she loves, and it only cost about $600 including supplies! She hasn’t stepped foot in the nursery since we unveiled her new bedroom, so hopefully she’ll have forgotten about it when the new baby takes over.

Happy Decorating!

Erin Lazer

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at info@SpaceStyle.ca, or suggest a topic for a blog post.

www.SpaceStyle.ca

 

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Creating an Inviting Entryway

The entryway of your home is the first impression for guests, or prospective buyers if your home is for sale. In those few seconds when others enter, consciously or not, they will form this impression. Not only that, but when you yourself walk into your home from a long day, wouldn’t it be great if it was a nice, welcoming space? Here are a few tips on taking that entry from drab to fab with a few simple additions.

Entryway 2-sm

1) Seating: It’s always great to have a bench or stool where you and your guests can have a seat to put on or remove shoes.  It also says, “come in, sit down”, which is warm and inviting. In the example shown located in Vaughan, Ontario, we’ve used an ivory leather bench (easy to clean!) with amazing chrome nail head studding, complete with reclaimed wood base and legs.  You could also invest in a storage bench if you are short on space. The bench could hold winter accessories like hats and gloves, pet supplies like leashes, or handbags year-round.

bench, entry seating

2) Textile: Most entryways will have a hard flooring surface like tile, in addition to the hard walls, doors, and windows. Bringing in a great entry rug will instantly warm the place up with a soft surface. While functionally, the indoor/outdoor rugs you can buy at any big box store will work, you can actually be more dramatic and make the space more impactful with a beautiful area rug. And don’t be scared to go big! Especially if you have a large entryway–you don’t want a 2×3 mat for all your guests to try to balance on before taking off their shoes. Make sure it’s large enough so they can come well into the home to allow everyone in the party inside. In the example shown, we’ve used a gorgeous rug that is relatively thin. Because this home has a mudroom where the occupants generally enter from the garage, the front entry is used mainly for guests, so investing in a nicer rug makes sense as it is not exposed to everyday traffic.

Textile, rug, area rug, fabric, warmth

3) Console Table: It’s always great to have a table of some kind right by the entry. Functionally, it’s somewhere you can put a few things down as you take off your coat and shoes. But it’s also a great place to showcase a few decorative pieces, again, to add warmth and personalization to the space. In the example shown, we’ve used a bowl where people can leave their keys or loose change, a family photo of the owners, and a sculptural piece.  It’s would also be amazing to have a large vase of fresh flowers for when you are entertaining–a great way to bring life to the space any time of year. The console table shown here is glass and chrome, however, there are many options out there. You could even get one that does double duty as a storage unit, with some drawers, or a cabinet area to store hats, mits, handbags, and even shoes.

Console table, entry table, sofa table, decorating entry

4) Art: Adding art to any space in your home is the way to perfectly finish it off.  Without art, a space can seem empty, drab, and impersonal. Adding a fabulous mirror or large piece of art right at the entry is a great way to create instant impact. In the example shown, we had a challenge with the light switch and alarm key pad being located right in the center of the feature wall, making it impossible to install a large scale piece of art. Instead, we opted to create a gallery of black and white architectural photos that camouflages these unsightly, but necessary, things. (What was the builder thinking?!) The photos themselves were actually taken by the owners on their various travels around the world, again, making this feature very personal.  You could also do family photos.  We purchased matching frames in a few different sizes. You could also do a grouping of mis-matched frames for a more eclectic feel.

Wall collage-sm

5) Flow: When decorating your entry, take into account the look and feel of the rooms that it flows into. In particular, if the home is open concept, you want to ensure the design works with the rooms visible from the entry. In our example the entry opens right onto the living/dining room, so we used the same pallet of neutral colours, but played more with the pattern in the rug to add some interest.

As you can see, transforming your entry can actually be very simple, and not involve a huge investment. But the impact can be huge given its importance in forming the first impression.  So while you might be decorating other rooms in your home, don’t forget about the very important entry!  It’s a place that can not only be functional, but stylish too!

Happy Styling!

Erin Lazer

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at info@SpaceStyle.ca, or suggest a topic for a blog post.

www.SpaceStyle.ca

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SpaceStyle Recognized Among Top 10 Rising Star Home Stagers of the Year North America by RESA

Home Staging Association Award Finalists and Top 10 Lists Announced

Erin Lazer of SpaceStyle Home Staging & Organizing in Vaughan, Among Them

 

RESA Award Winner Erin Lazer

RESA Home Staging Industry Award 2013
Top 10 Rising Star Professional Stager of the Year Erin Lazer

Vaughan, Ontario- December 20, 2012 A Vaughan business woman, Erin Lazer, owner of SpaceStyle Home Staging and Organizing, and a member of the Real Estate Staging Association, the trade association for professional real estate stagers and re-designers, was named as one of RESA’s Top 10 Rising Star Home Stagers of the Year™ North America.

Erin Lazer will go on to compete for the overall title of RESA’s Rising Star Home Stager of the Year™ North America.

Erin Lazer operates SpaceStyle Home Staging and Organizing and has been a professional real estate stager since early 2012. Lazer services the Greater Toronto Area.

In support of our ever-growing industry, we are pleased to announce that the Real Estate Staging Association® (RESA®) is recognizing leaders within the staging industry for their outstanding contributions and personal accomplishments in 15 total categories.

“It is an honour to be recognized by the industry association for my accomplishments in the one year I’ve been in operation. I am truly passionate about what I do which is why I believe I have experienced so much success in such a short period of time. With my background in Marketing and my passion for real estate, interior design and organization, marketing properties through home staging has come as a natural talent. I am very much looking forward to 2013 and all of the opportunity it holds for my business, and myself personally”, said Lazer.

“We would like to thank everyone for their participation in the awards process. Without the support of our membership we would not be able to recognize so may well deserving people in our industry. All of the finalists in all categories can be seen at www.HomeStagingIndustryAwards.com . All of the winners will be announced at the annual Home Staging Industry Awards convention and banquet January 31 to February 2, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City, just outside of legendary San Francisco” said, Shell Brodnax, President/CEO Real Estate Staging Association.

About The Real Estate Staging Association®

The Real Estate Staging Association® (RESA®) is the trade association for professional real estate stagers and re-designers.  For more information about the awards please visit www.HomeStagingIndustryAwards.com.   For more information about real estate staging, contact Shell Brodnax above, or visit the RESA® Web site at www.RealEstateStagingAssociation.com or the Canadian site at www.resa-canada.org.

About SpaceStyle Home Staging & Organizing

SpaceStyle offers a wide range of services, including home staging consultations, staging of vacant and occupied houses and condos, furniture and accessory rentals, and assistance in managing repairs and small renovations that will increase the value of a property.  In addition, SpaceStyle offers design services and professional organizing services for clients looking to improve their existing spaces. SpaceStyle is owned and operated by Erin Lazer, MBA, Certified Staging Professional® (CSP®), and a member of RESA, and the Professional Organizers in Canada® (POC®). For more information, please visit www.SpaceStyle.ca, or contact SpaceStyle at 289-597-3321, or info@SpaceStyle.ca.

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SpaceStyle is in the Houzz!

SpaceStyle at Houzz event in Toronto

SpaceStyle attends Houzz event at SOFA in Toronto

If you haven’t already heard about www.houzz.com, then now is a good time to check it out. Based on what I’ve seen, it’s going to be huge and could really revolutionize the interior design industry. On November 29th, I attended a great event hosted by SOFA–the Source of Furniture and Accessories, (@visitSOFA) where Houzz (@Houzz_Inc) presented some great research findings. My biggest takeaway was just how big this online platform can be not only in helping design professionals, including home stagers like myself, showcase their work, but also helping home owners to define and communicate the vision that they have for their spaces.

Are you thinking of tackling a home renovation, decorating or design project?  Are you looking to sell your home, or purchase a new one? Houzz should definitely be your first stop.  You can browse through hundreds of thousands of photos of projects completed around the world.  Be as specific as you’d like in your search. You can select a specific room that you’re thinking of working on, and specific style of design that you like (e.g. traditional, modern, etc.)  If you see something you like, you can simply click “add to idea book” and save it. You can make notes on exactly what you liked in the picture so you can remember what it was later.  Maybe you just really loved the chandelier in the picture of that dining room. No longer do you need to rip articles out of magazines and save them in an inspiration binder (if you’re organized like me). You can create as many idea books as you want, say, one per project.

One of the great features is that you can share your idea books. And you can use them to collaborate. For example, if you’re thinking of hiring a designer or decorator for your space, you can share your idea book with them. If you allow it, they can add photos to your idea book as well if they think they’ve found something you’ll like. It’s an amazing tool to help you better communicate with the design professional you have hired. Rather than saying, “So, I want to redesign the living room, but I can’t explain what I want”, creating an idea book in houzz will save tons of time and in the end, money, because you can pinpoint the type of look you are going for right off the bat.  I know I’ll want my clients to create an idea book so that I can understand better what they’re looking for.

Of course, the design professional who posted the original photos that are viewed and saved will be given credit, so if you find a design that you love so much, you can actually locate that designer if you wish.  You can also use Houzz just like any directory to find the professional that’s right for you. Again, using a search function, you can search for the type of professional you are looking for, like a Home Stager, Designer, Landscape Contractor, etc., and of course you can narrow your search by location, like Toronto, or Vaughan, as well to find local professionals.

SpaceStyle currently has a Houzz  profile which can be viewed at http://www.houzz.com/pro/spacestyleco.  Up until now, we haven’t been too active on Houzz, but given all I’ve learned today at the Houzz event, I can’t wait to dive in deeper and have some fun!

If you’d like to share your idea book with SpaceStyle, feel free! We’d love to see what you love!

Happy surfing!

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at info@SpaceStyle.ca, or suggest a topic for a blog post.

www.SpaceStyle.ca

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Ten Ways to Welcome Fall Into Your Space

Although it’s always sad to reach the end of the summer, and say goodbye to our flip flops, Fall is probably the most beautiful season we have here in Canada and I look forward to it every year. So if you’d like to embrace the beauty of Fall and incorporate it into your décor, here are some ideas:

  1. Lighting: create warmer lighting by dimming the lights slightly. Not only does this create a warm, cozy atmosphere, but it saves on energy costs as well.
  2. Fire: If you have a fireplace, use it! So many of us do have them (myself included) and we hardly ever do! If it’s a gas fireplace, you have no excuse. If it’s wood burning, yes it’s a bit more work, but definitely worth it. Another way to warm the room up is with candle light. Be safe of course, especially around the kids.
  3. Scent: If you love the smell of apple, pumpkin, vanilla, or spices like cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, ginger, vanilla, etc, get some scented candles or air fresheners. Baking something with these ingredients, like apple or pumpkin pie, is always a yummy way to create these scents naturally. Involve the kids in the baking too, and it’s an activity the whole family can enjoy.
  4. Fresh produce: Display seasonal fresh produce in your home in a decorative bowl or platter. Go apple picking as a family and display the “fruits” of your labour proudly. Or go to your local market and pick up a variety of squash (they often have a pre-packaged beg that include some “mini” pumpkins, along with other interesting looking squash).
  5. Floral: I definitely don’t have a green thumb, but you can plant (or buy like me) seasonal plants like Chrysanthemums, better known to most of us as “mums”. How fitting!  They come in a variety of warm, fall colours, and you can buy potted mums pretty much anywhere when they are in season. Display them on your front porch to welcome guests, or on your back patio to enjoy. You can also buy your favourite flowers in the warm fall colours of reds, oranges and yellows. If you’re really creative, buy white flowers, put a bit of food colouring in the water and watch the flowers change colours. The kids would have fun with this too. Another option is to have the kids collect some colourful leaves outside, and simply fill up a vase or bowl with leaves. They may not last long, but it will look great until they dry up.Decorating for Fall with Flowers
  6. Wreaths:  Display a seasonal wreath on your front door to welcome guests, and the Fall season. They can be as simple as some twigs with cranberries woven in, or intricate with various plants and flowers in the gorgeous fall colours.
  7. Textiles: Don’t be afraid to change up a few things in your interior décor for the season. Buy a few throw pillows for your living or family room in the warm, fall colours. Buy a cozy throw blanket in a fall colour as well. These will, of course, work best if your décor incorporates these colours, or if you have a relatively neutral palette with you main furniture pieces, floors, paint, etc. A pop of red or orange would look amazing.
  8. Paint? If you love to paint, and you love colour, why not do a feature wall in one of the fall colours, like a deep red or orange? It will add drama and warmth to your space. The warm colours will reflect off of other surfaces—even your skin! And again, if you love to paint and you get tired of the colour in the Spring, just pick up that paint brush again, prime, paint, and repeat!
  9. Family Photos: The best time of year to take photos outdoors is the Fall. Do a family photo shoot outside when the leaves have changed colours, then display the photos gallery-style in your home. The photos will add that fall warmth to your home, but can stay up for years to enjoy. And if you don’t want to be the star of the show, let the fall colours be the star, and just take some beautiful landscape photos (in high resolution), then have them printed out large scale, or on canvas.Family Photos Fall Theme
  10. The Obvious: Ok, so the obvious way to bring fall décor into the home, of course, is Halloween décor! That’s a whole separate article, but it’s fun for the kids, and the whole neighbourhood. So carve that pumpkin, and hang some of the artwork your kids bring home from school. They’ll love it and so will you!Fall Decor-Halloween pumpkins

Happy Styling!

This article was also published at http://pinkandbluebaby.com/2012/10/ten-ways-to-welcome-fall-into-your-space/.

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at info@SpaceStyle.ca, or suggest a topic for a blog post.

www.SpaceStyle.ca

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Creating Broad Appeal When Selling a Home

One of the most important things I tell clients, or prospective clients (i.e. home sellers) and real estate agents is that staging is about creating broad appeal in order to attract as many buyers as possible. Many believe that home staging is the same as decorating, but that could not be further from the truth. When I am working with a client to design or decorate their home for them to live in, the most important thing is to appeal to their personal tastes and likes, and to create a space that will feel like home to them. When I am working with staging clients who are selling their home, the most important thing is to appeal to everyone else.

As a case in point, I recently staged a condo in Toronto. My client was a lovely, single woman. One of the first things that I recommended be changed were the paint colours in her 2 bathrooms and her kitchen. The bathrooms were both painted in a soft pink colour, and the kitchen was painted in a dark, intense orange.  She loved those colours, and could not understand, at first, why they would have to be changed. I tried to explain to her exactly what I spoke about earlier–that we are trying to appeal to as many people and demographics as possible, so neutral colours would be more effective at doing that. What if the prospective buyer was a young, single male? would he be able to picture himself shaving in a pink bathroom. Likely not.

By painting the bathroom in a neutral colour, replacing the feminine shower curtain with a crisp, fresh white one, as well as adding accessories to give the space a spa-like feel, we were able to create a space that would appeal to any buyer.

Master Bathroom-Before Staging

Master Bathroom-Before Staging

Master Bathroom-After Staging

Master Bathroom-After Staging

For the kitchen, the first step, of course, was decluttering. Taking everything off the fridge and most items off the counter created more space. The orange paint and coordinating orange-striped window treatment made the space feel small, like it was closing in. By brightening it up with a neutral colour, changing the light fixture to a more modern pendant, and accessorizing with hints of green to add freshness, the space was completely transformed.

Kitchen-Before Staging

Kitchen-Before Staging

Kitchen-After Staging

Kitchen-After Staging

We also removed an office desk and instead brought in a shelving unit from another room to create an area for more kitchen storage which did wonders to make it a true chef’s kitchen.

Kitchen Eating Area-Before Staging

Kitchen Eating Area-Before Staging

 

Kitchen Eating Area-After StagingKitchen Eating Area-After Staging

So after all was said and done, the condo sold in FIVE DAYS, my client got the price she wanted and was able to purchase the property of her dreams for the next phase of her life.

Happy Selling!

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at info@SpaceStyle.ca, or suggest a topic for a blog post.

www.SpaceStyle.ca

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Tips on Minimizing Paper

Pile of Paper

Tip #1: Don’t hang on to documents for longer than you need to

Do you hold on to everything that is paper that comes into your home and across your desk? If you do, you’re not alone. Many people are afraid to discard any paperwork, so it builds over the years until it becomes unmanageable. When it comes to personal, or financial documents, particularly in relation to income tax reporting, what people don’t know is that they only need to keep records for a minimum of six years from the end of the last tax year. What I do is keep 7 years just in case. The best way to organize your records is to dedicate a folder or filing box, depending on how much paperwork you have, for each year. This means that at any given time, you’ll only have 7 files/boxes. Simply label them by year, and when you celebrate a new year (or fiscal year-end), simply shred the contents of the oldest box, and relabel it with the new year. There may be some exceptions (e.g. paperwork related to the sale of a property), so be sure to read the information at the link below, and contact a professional if you are unsure.

Some people also think you have to keep ALL of your bills, etc. for years at a time. The fact is, unless you are writing them off for tax benefits, you don’t need to keep them for so long. I always recommend that you keep on hand 1 year’s worth of bills, so that you have a record of your payments to your suppliers. Again, this is if you are not writing these bills off.

Another related tip is to store any records that are over 1 year old somewhere else (e.g. basement, etc.). Only keep records that are less than 1 year old handy in your home office filing cabinets. But do make sure that your older documents are stored in a safe, dry place. This will free up space and help you to feel better in your current work space.

For official government guidelines on how long you are required to keep your records, go to the following links: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tp/ic78-10r5/README.html

For additional tips, please see the full article at:

 

Tip #2: Minimize Paper Coming In

Junk Mail

Tape a “No Junkmail” sign to your mailbox or mail slot. If that doesn’t work, download this form and mail it to your nearest Canada Post Outlet: http://www.reddotcampaign.ca/downloads/RedDot-LettertoCanadaPost.pdf

Sign up with the Canadian Marketing Association’s Do Not Contact Registry: http://www.the-cma.org/?WCE=C=47%7CK=224217

Bills

Sign up to receive your bills online(e.g. Rogers, Bell, Telus, TD, 407, etc.).Your workplace may offer this in lieu of pay stubs as well—ask your payroll department. http://www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/personal/epost/default.jsf

 

Tip #3: Don’t be a “Piler”, be a “Filer”!

Don’t let papers pile up in your home office, or on your kitchen table. Address paper immediately as it comes in. It’s likely that 80% of the paper that comes in can be recycled. Throw out flyers, envelopes, and statements that you don’t need record of. The more you stay on top of it, the less overwhelming it will be. Even if you set out one 1/2 hour per week to go through papers and file as needed, you will see a huge improvement be able to stay on top of things. If your issue is that you already have a huge pile to tackle, don’t despair! It takes roughly 1 hour to go through 1 foot of paper, so take it one hour at a time, and you’ll see how quickly you can get through it.

Bonus Tip: How do I get off telemarketers’ lists?

https://www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/index-eng

 

Happy Organizing!

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at info@SpaceStyle.ca, or suggest a topic for a blog post.

www.SpaceStyle.ca

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A Great Day of Home Staging in Markham

Wow…What a transformation in this modest Markham home. Although the 40 degree heat made it challenging for a staging day yesterday, this property turned out amazing! After our consultation, this family of four worked really well together to execute the recommendations I provided them with.  Less than a week later, this property was ready to be staged.  We brought in select key furniture pieces that seemed to be missing to create a more inviting living room. We also brought in new linens for the extra bedrooms–our client made the investment in two new double beds which was a great decision. Finally, we took the home to the next level with artwork and accessories, and by rearranging existing furniture to create better flow and showcase the great space and selling features.

The client was so happy, she wants to know where she can buy some of the accessories, and how to book a consultation to decorate the house they’re moving into.

Here are a few before and after shots.  To see more, visit https://www.spacestyle.ca/Photo_Gallery.php or click on any of the photos below. Enjoy!

Occupied Home Staging-Living Room Before

Living Room Before Staging

Occupied Home Staging-Living Room After

Occupied Home Staging-Dining Room Before

Dining Room-Before Staging

Occupied Home Staging-Dining Room After

Dining Room-After Staging

For more pictures, please visit:  https://www.spacestyle.ca/Photo_Gallery.php

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