Recently I found myself home, in bed, or in my easy chair after a nasty fall in my house. Not because of clutter but because my dog is black, and the lights were all off. While recuperating, I watched a lot of different things on my Roku TV, including YouTube.
I came across a TEDx Talk by an organizational expert called Sandra Lane. I love TED talks, at least mostly, but this one, I knew would be beneficial. Not just for me as a reminder, but for me to share with you, and possibly with prospective clients.
Clutter is one of the biggest issues I repeatedly come across in Real Estate. Elderly parents or family members pass, and their children, or others are left to deal with the clutter. Another, very common scenario takes place over time, many years in fact, living in the same home. Clutter just happens. No one seems to know how or when, but often a very nice, well-kept house, begins to grow piles, or collections and soon, the residents are overtaken.
I'll get a call to look at the home to sell, and I struggle to tell people they have to de-clutter and get it cleaned up first. If the potential buyers are OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), even a very light case of it, clutter can absolutely overwhelm them. Some will just walk away, even if the home is perfect for them. Or if they are just organized people, and like a neat and tidy home, then clutter will make them feel like something is wrong with the home, even when it is in good shape. It is often very hard for them to picture themselves living there, they can't imagine the space without the clutter.
Decluttering is absolutely essential to selling a home. It is also absolutely essential to mental and physical health, as well as a more comfortable environment. There have even been some families who wanted to sell because they needed more room, and once they decluttered found out they didn't need to move. They just needed to better utilize the space they have.
Did you know clutter also costs you money? 1 in 10 families rent an outside storage unit on a regular basis, just to handle the stuff they don't have room for. The more clutter in your home, the more your HVAC system has to work to cool down, warm up, and even moderate the air around all of the clutter. If the clutter is in the wrong places, or is a home to unwanted 'critters', it can cost your health. And, if it prevents you from being able to find crucial pieces of information, ie bills, or important documents, it could cost you in the long term.
I could go on, but you get my drift. I am a recovering 'clutterer.' I struggled for years with this issue, but after having to deal with it in my own life, the life of family, and now with clients, I thought I would share this wonderful video with you.
Take a few minutes to watch it and start decluttering. You may decide you love your house again after all. If not, give me a call, I'd love to help you sell it, and move onto a new life!
There are many other decluttering techniques out there as well. Do some research, but don't take too long. You do need to start decluttering sooner rather than later. You will be glad you did.
You are only 1 decision away from a totally different life, just 1. It may be big, it may seem simple, but it can change your world.
What is your 1 decision?
I recently started a podcast series called 1 Decision. It is not specifically about real estate, but I have seen so many issues with this in my work, I thought I’d write about it. So here goes.
Remember that inaction is an action, indecision is a decision. Purposeful decisions allow you to have control over the direction you go. Make that 1 purposeful decision and see where it takes you!
The reason for the name 1 Decision is that a few years ago, my husband and I had gone through some tough times in our lives, and I learned the power of 1 decision. We were really struggling. We had gone through bankruptcy, family issues, health issues, etc., and while we didn’t lose our house, we did end up having to sell it. I found myself, after many years having owned a business and a ministry, going back into an entry level job. While I enjoyed the work, it was nowhere near what I really wanted to do or where I wanted to be.
Then, one day a meme popped up on my Facebook page. I realized in that moment that I really was only 1 decision away from making some real, positive changes in our lives. At that time, we were in a rental home that was miserable, and while I enjoyed my job, I needed more. When I saw that meme, I knew I needed to make a change. So, I sat down and prayed and asked God to give me direction to make a change in my life.
I had become friends with someone who was a realtor and one day, my husband Earl and I were talking about retirement. We were getting close to age and while I can never see myself as being someone who totally retires, I still have to do something. I had my real estate license many years before and he mentioned that maybe I should get my license again. Suddenly we both felt like that should be the direction I take.
He had a good job, and we were comfortable financially, but knew it was going to be a struggle to get through the classes. So, I worked very hard, studying before work, during lunch, and even after work and 6 months later I took the test and passed. And I was off, into the real estate biz.
Initially I worked full time, but after a bit realized that I could not handle my clients well if I was only working at it part time, so I quit my job. Eventually my husband retired, and I am continuing in real estate, living a very comfortable life.
In real estate, whenever I have a property listed and we receive an offer from a buyer, I always tell the seller that they have 3 choices. The seller can accept, reject, or negotiate the offer. We have those same 3 choices constantly in our life.
We can accept where we are, or we can reject it, and make the choice to make a change, or we can negotiate and maybe pivot toward a change. In other words, we can make a smaller decision that eventually can lead to a bigger decision.
One of our biggest problems though is procrastination. We can almost become polarized when faced with making a decision. I have struggled a great deal with procrastination, but indecision is a decision. And whether we like it or not, it is changing your life. So, there are many areas you can make changes in to make your life better.
Health, marriage, finances, relationships, job, investments, you name it. But knowing you need to make a change, then continually procrastinating is a decision really to not do that thing.
Day 1 is much better than 1 day. In other words, when you make a decision to make a change, make it day 1, don’t put it off. If you make a decision, do something daily towards that decision. Even if all you do is write out the decision and maybe set goals, that is something. Forward movement.
But making the decision to make a change, then never doing anything about it, will cause you to soon forget it and put it on the back burner day after day. Then you will see that you wasted a lot of time.
I had clients that told me they wanted to sell their home in a metro area and move out to the country. I sent them some information, asked to set up a meeting to come to their house and discuss it, and waited. They kept telling me they wanted to find a house first. While that may sound like a good idea, I have found that is really not a good idea at all. Often people are unaware at just how long it takes to get everything ready to sell a home. Then it makes it easier to move forward with the information you need, in order to purchase a home.
Occasionally they would send me homes they wanted to look at to buy. However, because their house was not on the market, and they had not gotten pre-approved for a loan to purchase a home, it was hard news to continually tell them that looking at houses before they were ready to sell, was not wise.
Eventually an entire year went by, and they missed an opportunity they had their hearts set on.
Procrastination caused devastation.
It doesn’t matter if it is a big thing, or a little thing. If we continually procrastinate, it can keep us from being where we want to be in life, and before you know it, you have a lot of regrets.
So just simple choices can affect our life all the time.
If you make a decision, make a plan, set goals, set deadlines. Nothing worth having is without sacrifice. You may have to sacrifice time, effort, money, whatever. Just do it and make this day 1.
If you have made a big decision and it seems daunting, then break it down into small increments to make it easier to take.
Many times, we don’t see the results we are looking for because we are setting the wrong parameters for our goals. So initially make a small change, then make another change after a week or two, then soon, you will begin to notice the fruit of those changes.
If you make decisions every day to live a better, more joyful, more glorious life, you can. Our economy is kind of crazy right now. You can either sit in your life right now, complain, mumble, grumble, moan, and accept where you are, or you can make a change to make a better life. Even if you can’t make the entire change right now, make the small changes to become better and change your life. Don’t put it off.
Let’s say you want to buy a new home. I deal with this a lot in real estate, but if you have credit issues, or no money to buy a home, then get with someone who understands how to do it. Don’t ask just a friend or family member that has done it once, often that advice is really not the best advice. Get with a professional, reach out to a realtor, lender or financial person. Make a plan, a long-range plan then break it up into short term goals. Before you know it, you will see your dream come to pass.
Often people make really bad decisions on the fly. They decide to buy that expensive car that they really don’t need, just because they like it. A big thing now is to buy the latest smartphone. Those things are so expensive, and you pay for it for years in your plan. Maybe you don’t ‘need’ it like you think you do.
I read an article years ago about a homeless man sitting on the street in New York talking to someone. The man saw Donald Trump walking down the street and the homeless man said, ‘I wish I was like him.’ His buddy reminded him that he was better off than Donald trump. At that time, Trump had gone through some huge financial losses and bankruptcy. His buddy reminded the homeless man that he was in better shape than Mr. Trump because ‘at least you aren’t 92 million dollars in debt.’
It's all about perspective. Stay strong, make that 1 decision.