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Based on the book: 

This Week: The Hinterlands

Welcome to February! You have this month and next to get your home fully ready for the tournament. This month, you will concentrate on the overall picture, focusing on the "forest" vision of your home. In March, we will zoom in to the "tree" level. If you are renting, or hope to rent, this month begins the manageable week by week "to-do" list. If you are new to renting, veteran renters will tell you...don't put it off. If you stay with us each week, you will welcome your renters with ease and create a well-organized home for your family to enjoy for the rest of the year.

Week one of February means hitting the hinterlands.... your garage, storage spaces, and laundry area. If you have a garage, pull the cars out and really sort through things. Do you need to donate rarely used sports equipment? That old spare tire? Sort the tool area and find spaces or toss the clutter that is hiding in corners. If your renters enter your home through the garage, is it organized? Could they find a screwdriver to fix a piece of luggage? Is there a place for them to store coolers, chairs, or golf clubs? Organize and sweep out the space so it is welcoming.

Next tackle your laundry room. We organize our laundry space with pretty white plastic bins, labeled with their contents: "laundry powder", "paper products", "cleaning supplies", "lightbulbs" etc... on wire shelves above the washer and dryer. Next, clean your appliances and sink. Your washing machine and dryer should be great condition. Don't forget to clean out the inside of your machines, wiping behind the seals that so often attract mold. Be sure your dryer vent is not constricted and take this time to get behind your machines to gather any stray items of clothing that have fallen behind them. We leave our renters with laundry detergent and dryer sheets, as well as a few laundry baskets. If they are staying the week, they will use your laundry. This is also a good time to gather some cloths they can use to wipe off their shoes if it is a very rainy Masters. A little basket of shoe rags will keep them from using your white washcloths to clean up their muddy golf shoes.

If you have a large laundry room, this may be a great place to set up your housekeeper's "Command Central", the area where your housekeeper/s will set up sheets and towels for that day. We use a large, labeled table for the sheets with three baskets below for bath towels, hand towels, washcloths. My housekeeper takes the linens to her home each day for washing so it helps to have a labeled area to stack the incoming sheets. In past years, we've also used an inexpensive five shelf wire stand that can be taken down after Masters. You will need two sets of sheets for every bed and two sets of towels for every guest so having a place to store and sort these things will make your housekeeper's day much more organized.

Two months may seem like a very long time to get your home in order. But I will caution you....March will come in like a lion. Tend to these rooms now so that you can focus in on the finer details of your rental next month. Happy cleaning!

Laurie Easterlin is a home stager and professional Masters preparation specialist. To learn more about her services, please visit:


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