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Based on the book: 

How to think about the holidays if it's the last one in your current home.

If you are like me, you are having an unusually tight relationship with your attic, basement or storeroom. We celebrate Christmas, and this is our first Christmas in this house. I was surprised to learn how little I could use from my old house in this new house. And frankly? I'd like to put less emphasis on "stuff" and more emphasis on people. So I gave away a stunning amount of Christmas decorations. My husband asked, "Why did we pay to bring it all here if you weren't going to use it?" Well, I didn't know that as soon as I'd packed up Christmas, I would fall in love with a different home, leaving our home of 20 years.

But some of you already are moving. This is a perfect time to really think about your favorite things. Once your house is decorated, take photos of your holiday decor. Also, use this time to clean up and organize your storage space. Can you now reach things that were trapped behind the Christmas decor? Would it be a great time to sweep out the attic? Get ruthless with the clutter in the basement?

Once the holidays are over, it would be beneficial to PACK things in order of priority. I wish I'd had three bins of "I will use these things no matter where I live". I wish I'd stored the fabric items separately. (I have never had a basement before and although this was a dry summer, my fabric items all had to be washed or aired. They won't be going back into the basement.) . I wish I'd labeled things more clearly...such as "Ornaments for the Tree" (we don't have one quite yet; no need to open that box.) ....wreaths for the porch...etc... I wish I'd taken more pictures of our old home, dressed for Christmas. It would have helped me to sit on the couch in my new house and plan where things would go


Lastly, if you are putting your home on the market this spring, the time is drawing near to REALLY declutter. As a stager, my goal is always to make the online photos of a home look gracious and welcoming...allowing the incoming buyer to imagine THEIR family in that home. That means personal photos and religious items come down. Rooms are clean, free of clutter, balanced. You may want a bin for such things, going ahead and storing them while you prepare your home for sale.

If you feel unsure as to how the home should be organized and decorated for marketing, please contact me. For 150.00 I will come and walk every room, giving you a plan for setting up each room in the best way and using what you have or suggesting what to store. My own real estate clients get this service for free, so if you don't have an agent, I would love to assist with that aspect as well.

Meanwhile, enjoy the holidays. Your memories in the house you are in will be a precious part of the quilt of family time. Enjoy every minute.

Laurie Easterlin is a realtor with Keller Williams Augusta Partners, a home stager with Staged2aTee, and a golf rental preparation specialist. She can be reached below:


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