Purchasing and selling a house is one of the biggest decisions anyone can make in a lifetime. This is a major purchase for anyone, no matter what the economic status. There should be careful thought put into buying homes since this can affect your credit score and your finances in the future.

buying a house or selling a house

If you are considering purchasing a home in US, here’s a quick guide to help you in the process:

Your budget. This is the first thing to consider when you’re making any financial decision. Know how much you can afford and how much mortgage you qualify for. This number will be a good basis for your purchase.

Your needs. You don’t need a lavish five-bedroom home if you’re still a young couple. However, every family is different. You may prefer having a townhouse or even a condo. Make a list of the things you need in a home for your family.

Buy at the right time. There is such a thing as right timing in home purchasing in US. The seller’s market is usually around March and April since this is the time when families move to find nearer homes to school districts.

• Find a good agent. Throughout the process, you need an agent to assist you and take into consideration your apprehensions. He/she can help you in seeing through with your purchase to get the home that you want.…

A great deal of time, hard work, and money is often required for staging your home for sale, and if you’re still leaving in your home during open houses and scheduled walk-throughs, the stress of keeping it looking its absolute best at all times can quickly make you feel as though you’re living on a movie set. It is in times like these that it’s of the greatest importance to view your home as though you are the one considering buying it; try your best to see it through a home-buyer’s eyes. A home buyer wants to see signs of maintenance and care – they want to see clean floors, ceilings without water spots, freshly-painted walls and woodwork, and so much more. In short, they want to be sure they aren’t buying someone else’s problems. There will always be small things to upgrade and tend to here and there; no home is perfect as is. But your goal should be to present a home that looks move-in ready from a maintenance perspective, as well as a home that is large enough to live in comfortably without clutter. Granted, if your home is 1,000 square feet and a prospective buyer needs 2,500 square feet, your home isn’t the best fit for them! However, for those that are in the market for a home that is roughly the size of yours, they can find confidence that they will have enough room if they can see that you have enough room. How to accomplish that goal? Make sure your home is clutter-free, cozy, and has clean, well-organized closets!

home closet

Our first recommendation when staging your home is to invest in storage for items that you aren’t currently using, such as out-of-season items to include clothing, decorations, and maintenance tools, such as garden rakes, shovels, sleds, and such. If you have very few belongings to begin with, this step may not be necessary, but if like most of us you have your fair share of clutter, it’s best to store it away now so it doesn’t detract from the spaciousness of your home. This is in part creating an illusion of more space than you might actually have, but illusions usually work! We will caution you not to go overboard, however. Ensure that you leave enough items in your home that it still has a ‘lived-in’ look. People can more easily imagine themselves living somewhere when someone is already living there. They can see their kitchen table where yours is, their couch where yours is, and their clothes where yours are. And that is why a clean closet is a must! Closet space can make or break a deal for many buyers, and if it looks like you don’t have enough space for all your things, they can assume that they won’t either.

You will need to keep some clothes and accessories in your closet, and that is a perfectly fine thing to do. As we mentioned above, people will be opening that closet door, and if they see that you have plenty of closet space with your things neatly organized, they can more readily imagine their own things in there than they might be able to if they opened an empty closet. While kitchen and bathroom upgrades are an important part of preparing your home for sale, closet upgrades can also help you earn top dollar for your listing. When you are preparing your home for sale, it is important to invest in home updates that you will see a return on, and if you’ve ever watched House Hunters you understand exactly how important it is for people to have enough closet space! Investing in a luxurious wood closet or Rubbermaid closet system can make a huge difference. Potential buyers are making a mental tally of all the little things that separate one house from another, and all the little things that will make living in each home more enjoyable and comfortable. You likely remember all the little details from the homes you toured before deciding on the one you’re selling and/or buying now, so you know that the difference between choosing one over another can and often does come down to the finer points. If I was on the fence between 2 homes I loved and one had an overstuffed closet with no organization while the other had a fresh, functional closet system built in, I know which one I’d choose!…

We are all familiar with the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” but when pictures are used in your closet, they can be worth a thousand minutes! To be fair, we haven’t figured out the exact number of minutes pictures can save you each day, but we’re confident that once you realize how simple this organizing step truly is, you’ll gladly take any extra minutes you can get – especially since pictures can cut down on not only time, but plenty of frustration as well.

Many of us use baskets and boxes in our closets to keep smaller things from falling about, such as scarves, gloves, wallets, lingerie and shoes. These boxes not only tidy up our space, but also protect the items inside from dust, dirt and damage. The only problem? Trying to remember which items are in which boxes or baskets when it comes time to retrieve them! This is where pictures can play an important role in helping you find what you’re looking for fast; they also add a fun flash of color and interest to your closet, so it’s a win-win.

I don’t remember if I first came across this tip on a television show or in a home décor magazine, but to see it in action is truly a thing of beauty. All you have to do is take a quick snapshot of what will live inside the box before putting it in, pack away the contents, and clip the picture to the outside. That’s it! If you have a Polaroid camera, you won’t even have to print, and it lends a certain nostalgic quality that I personally adore. If a box will contain more general items, such as all your gloves, you can save some time by writing the word ‘gloves’ on a note card and pinning that to the outside of the box or basket. The idea is to end up with a better organized closet that saves you time and looks great doing it, so whatever way makes the most sense for you, your space and your style is the right way!

Not sure how to attach the pictures? Some options include:

- For baskets or boxes with openings, you can punch a tiny hole in the picture, run a pretty ribbon or piece of twine through, and tie it to the box through the opening.

- Tape! These likely won’t be pictures you’ll be concerned about preserving, so a simple piece of tape on the back should work fine, as long as it won’t damage the container itself, which depends upon the materials you work with.

- One of my favorites lends a cottage-y vibe to the closet – a clothespin. This works well for open containers, such as rattan baskets. Simply clip the picture or note card to the basket, and you’ve got a serious side of shabby chic with your amazing closet organization!…

Looking for a Mother’s Day gift that she’ll really love this year? Something beyond the obvious choices of chocolates and flowers, as wonderful as those things are, too? We admittedly may be just a bit biased, but we think that most women would be nothing short of thrilled with a new closet system! Imagine the gift of organization – the gift of peaceful mornings – the gift of being able to find exactly what she’s looking for every time, every day. A closet system may be a bit of a non-traditional gift, but it’s truly a gift that keeps on giving!

At HomeStorageInc.com, we offer closet organizing systems that work well for closets of all sizes, and wardrobes of all types. Perhaps your mother or wife doesn’t splurge on lots of clothes, but needs more space for shoes and jewelry? A custom closet system will ensure she has exactly what works best for her needs to keep her clothing and accessories tidy and protected. Not confident you can design her dream closet without her input? We don’t blame you one bit! A closet system is an important investment, and getting it exactly right without help from the person who will be using it would be a tough task to say the least. We recommend using an innovative way to let her know a new closet is on the horizon so she can customize to her specifications and enjoy the process along the way. Not sure how to let her know? Here are a few fun ideas…

1. Buy her a gift that will go inside the closet, such as a new top, pair of shoes or handbag. She’ll open this and think the gift is complete, until you ask her to read the little note you’ve left inside. You can be clever in your wording, or get straight to the point with something like, “Hope this looks amazing in the new closet you’ll be getting soon!”

2. Go shopping together to a home improvement store and strike up a conversation about the closet systems or accessories on display. Wait for her to say something about how she’d love to have this or that for herself and say, “This? You want this? This is nothing compared to the beautiful closet system I’ll be getting for you! Oops, did I just say that? Wink, wink!”

3. Purposely muss up her closet a bit, and wait for the, “What happened in here?!” Take that as your cue to step in the room and say, “Sorry, I just wanted to see it at its worst before I see it at its best . Care to help build your dream closet, on me?”

However you let her know, she’ll know the most important thing of all – that you love her and want her to have a Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Every Day!…

We sometimes lose sight of the fact that the things we use every day should ideally enhance our lives. Sure, sometimes we will love something despite its impracticality, such as a beautiful handbag that we can never find our keys in. But overall, we should strive to streamline our lives whenever possible with the many methods and products that have been created to do just that. Nothing will work for everyone, but there are steps we can adapt to suit our needs that can create volumes of difference in how we operate, how we feel, and what we can accomplish.

The closet may be just one aspect of our homes and lives, but what we have learned over the years is that it is usually a very telling space. Closets keep no secrets, letting anyone who opens their doors see all your dirty laundry (literally!). But it isn’t just dirty laundry; it is also clean laundry, crumpled laundry, torn laundry, too-tight laundry, too-loose laundry, and so forth. Closets like this, even when built with the best of closet organizing systems as a foundation, do nothing to help us feel good about our clothes and ourselves. They are an overwhelming encounter in the morning, and can hold us up and hold us back. With that in mind, we’ve put together a quick and easy list to help you bring calm and function to your closet – in short, to make your closet work for you, as it should.

  • Clear out the entire closet and ready the full-length mirror. Create enough space to easily try on any clothes you aren’t sure of, allowing room to turn around, move around, and generally see yourself from all angles.
  • Once the room is ready, you can neatly put the items you are sure of back into the closet. These items will include pieces that: are in season, fit well, are clean, require no tailoring, you are certain you want to keep. Essentially, these are the pieces that are ready-to-wear as they are.
  • Now that all the clear winners are back where they belong, get ready to create a few piles. We love piles at Home Storage Inc., so you’ll find piles mentioned in quite a few of our posts! These piles will vary by the individual, with popular possibilities including: clothes that need laundering, clothes that need dry cleaning, clothes that are out-of-season, clothes that need tailoring and clothes that don’t fit.
  • Next, tackle the piles. Clothes that need laundering is easy – put them in the hamper! For clothes that need dry cleaning, put them in a bag or basket and carry it to your car. No more forgetting them at home, no more putting it off until another day. As soon as you will next be passing the dry cleaner, you can pull right in and drop them off. Clothes that are out-of-season can be laundered if necessary before packing away (never store clothes dirty; it can lead to stains and tough odors and attract bugs and critters), or if clean, simply packed away in containers or spare room closets. Clothes that need tailoring should be treated similarly to clothes that need dry cleaning. Take them to your car, and the next time you are passing the tailor and have some time to spare, you can stop in and have them mended or altered. Think of how great it will feel to get them back! For clothes that don’t fit, see the next bullet point.
  • There are very few among us that don’t have at least a few articles of clothing that don’t fit well, whether the fit is just off overall, or they are generally too big or too small. There is no time like the closet-organizing present to decide if these clothes will ever realistically work. Will we have those that are too big taken in at the tailor; is it worth it to us, do we like them enough? How small are the clothes that are too small, and will we ever realistically fit in that size again? And even if we are confident that they will fit again, how long will it take to achieve that goal, and will we even want to wear them when they do fit? Get real with yourself – be honest. Don’t toss something you love just to make space if you’re only a few pounds away from it fitting, but don’t keep it just to keep it, either.

These are your clothes, and this is your closet. Both should make you feel good about yourself and enhance your life and lifestyle. That will be much easier when you can open the doors and know that everything inside is clean, in season, and fits your body and your style. No more getting dressed only to realize the zipper is broken, or its 80 degrees out and you’ve accidentally worn wool pants in your hurry. Imagine all the precious moments you can save in the morning, and all the frustration and negative thoughts you can avoid!…

We have all been there. No matter how carefully we have shopped, or how disciplined we have been in regularly evaluating our wardrobes and donating or selling what we don’t want or need, we have all stood in front of a full closet and thought, “I have nothing to wear!” We know this isn’t true, of course, as right there before us is rows of tops, jeans, slacks, skirts and more. But at that moment in time, they might as well be empty hangers swinging in the breeze, because we don’t want to wear any of it! The usual solution? Shopping! That great American pastime that makes us feel fantastic…until the credit card bill arrives. Then we find ourselves hiding in our wood closet full of clothes for fear of opening that thick, scary envelope.

This isn’t to say that splurging on some new things now and then isn’t both enjoyable and practical. After all, we do need to have clothes. Walking around in the buff is still illegal! But if your budget simply can’t take on a shopping trip, or you just want to try a new way of ‘shopping’ that is really fun and lets you stow away some extra savings, we encourage you to give a ‘Clothes Swap’ a try!

Clothes swaps have been growing in popularity in recent years, and with many good reasons. While many of us are working with a smaller budget than we were just a few years ago, we are also spending more time at work and home, which can mean less time with friends. We don’t always realize the toll this is taking on us until we do get a chance to catch up over coffee and realize how much we missed each other. Clothes swaps give you an opportunity to get together at home, score some new clothes and accessories, and most importantly, spend time with the people that help make us our absolute best. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

So where to get started? Simple. Go back to that closet full of nothing to wear, and find the things you like the least. Those will be the clothes you’ll swap with the friends and family members you invite, who will be bringing their own unloved clothes to swap. If clothes are tattered, stained, or otherwise unwearable, it is best to toss them in the trash or recycle them as they aren’t really ‘swap material’. But as long as things are clean and in good condition, they’re likely fair game. Feel free to go beyond clothes as well and add accessories, handbags, shoes, whatever!

Good things to have ready before guests arrive include: refreshments, snacks, fun music or favorite movies to play in the background, full length mirrors, and at least one space where modest guests can try on clothing in private. Of course these sorts of events are perfect for customization, and no one knows your friends better than you! In your thirties and want your swap to have a nostalgic feel? Slip a Molly Ringwald DVD in and keep Madonna, Tiffany and Debbie Gibson at the top of your playlist. Prefer something a bit more glamorous? Encourage guests to give each other mini makeovers. This is your clothing swap; make it fit you and your guests, and everyone is sure to have a great time and get some new clothes – for free!

While you can start a swap of your own with a few friends, if you want to up the ante and have oodles of options to choose from, taking part in a larger scale swap is a great idea too. This will also be of more benefit to you if you and your friends wear very different sizes. These can take place both physically and virtually – yep, there are quite a few great online swaps! The Budget Fashionista put together a list of Six Great Online Swap Sites over 2 years ago, and it appears 5 of the 6 are still alive and well. Some good sites to check out for ‘in person’ swaps include ClothingSwap.com and ClothesSwap.Meetup.com. Don’t see anything in your area? Start something yourself! After all, that beautiful wood closet you love so much isn’t going to fill itself. Break out your pioneer spirit and get ready for some new clothes, new friends, and plenty of fun.…

While it may seem like just yesterday that crammed closets across America were full of what was once the norm and is now dreaded – the wire hanger – we have actually slowly been working our way toward this modern time full of a perfect hanger for everything we wear! There were quite a few missteps along the way, which were typically available exclusively through 80s and 90s infomercials, but I think we have reached an age where the average consumer is aware of which hangers will do what, both for and against their clothing. But just in case it’s been a while since you’ve upgraded your hanger collection, or in case you are still a secret wire hanger user, it’s time for you to take a trek to your local home storage or discount retail store and see what’s available!

Because finding a favorite hanger may take a bit of trial and error, we recommend purchasing the smallest pack possible to be sure you actually like the way they hold your clothes. In addition, it’s important to be happy with the way they look in your closet, and the space they provide. Hangers with a slimmer profile typically allow you to hang more clothing in the same space, but you may find you’re willing to sacrifice some space for a thicker hanger that is more substantial. As a closet system fanatic, I’ve tried out more hangers than most over the years, including: brightly-colored plastic hangers that left little tents in the shoulders of all my tops – plush, satin hangers for delicates that had strange-smelling potpourri packed inside – and Wonder Hangers, which many people really love, but I never really cared for no matter how hard I tried. But all is well that ends well, and I am happy to announce that while I do rely on a few styles of hangers to keep my wood closet organized, I have a favorite whose numbers far outweigh any other style. That favorite is the cherry-hued wooden hanger with rubber insets from the Michael Graves collection at Target!

While this hanger is for tops only (it doesn’t have a hanger bar for pants or skirts), this works just fine for me as I typically keep my pants and skirts folded. For those that I do hang, I find the Michael Graves pants hanger from the same collection is also my favorite. For the shirt hangers, the sides extend far enough that they easily hold tops of varying lengths from shoulder to shoulder, and the rubber insets ensure that my clothes never fall off the hanger or slip. I’ve had so many knit tops fall out of shape over the years from hangers that simply couldn’t hold on, so this is a major bonus in the preservation of my clothes and my sanity! There are also notches in the hanger that make hanging tank tops and spaghetti strap dresses a cinch, and the hangers themselves hold up beautifully. Plus, they’re very affordable! Target is known for bringing accessible luxury to the masses, and they certainly don’t miss a beat with the Michael Graves hanger collection.

I’ve tried the popular ‘fuzzy’ hangers that are super slim and allow you to fit more clothes in your closet, but I have found the fuzziness makes them tricky to slip inside my shirts when hanging them, and this quickly makes me cranky. I have tried the foam covered hangers, which do have a unique feel and look, but I’ve never liked using them long enough to determine if they are durable enough to invest in. I’ve tried wooden hangers without the rubber insets, and found myself with very expensive hangers I hated using as my clothes slipped just as badly as they had on cheap plastic hangers. I may not have tried them all, but I’ve tried a lot! And after giving my Michael Graves hangers a week or two trial period, I knew they were the ones for me and invested in a closet’s worth. I’ve been using them a few years now, and they continue to make me smile every time I hang my clothes. I can’t promise you’ll love them as much as I do, but I definitely recommend trying a pack to see! They cost roughly $5 for a 4-pack, and are worth every penny.

It should be noted that this is in no way a sponsored post. I’ve simply been sharing my love of these hangers for years with friends and family, and wanted to take an opportunity to let you know about them as well. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do, but understand that many of you may already have a favorite hanger that is serving you, your wardrobe, and your closet system quite well. If so, we’d love to hear about it so we can share it with all our readers! Just as there is no one wood closet that suits everyone’s needs perfectly, there is no one hanger to use in that closet. Please let us hear about your favorites in the comments below, and let us know why you love them! 🙂…

Clutter is a nightmare. Pure and simple. Besides taking up valuable space, clutter can leave us feeling stressed out and frustrated. Now is the time to take control. Before spring cleaning season gets into full swing, you can make your home feel much more organized by cutting through the clutter. Not sure where to begin? How about with these 10 tips for cutting through the clutter?

1. Make the time. Most people suffer through the clutter because they don’t make time to clear it out. Start out by setting aside a few minutes a day to clean up the clutter. Or, if you prefer, take a whole day. Either way, start making the change by making time.

2. Schedule regular de-cluttering sessions. Make it a habit to clear the clutter before you go to bed, before you go to work, etc. See if you can schedule time every day (or every other day) around the same time so it becomes habit.

3. If it’s gathering dust, consider it’s place in your home. If your clutter is mostly knick knacks or things that have never been used, really take a closer look at whether or not it actually belongs in your home. If it’s new but won’t be used, consider selling it or donating it. If it’s used and won’t be used, donate, sell, or toss (depending on the item’s condition).

4. Simplify. By bringing your lifestyle back to basics, you reduce your chance of accumulating clutter and instead, spend more of your time enjoying what you already have.

5. Limit your addition of new items. Love to shop? Cut back on the trips to the mall and instead save up for an experience, like a vacation or a spa day. Either way, you’ll still get to have some fun – just without adding more clutter to the pile.

Once you’ve cut through the clutter, you can feel free to start using closet organizers, garage organizers, and other essentials to get your home in order. But before you can mount your first storage shelf, you need to get rid of the junk. Set aside some time in the next few weeks and get it done 🙂…

If there is one type of television show that I will watch without fail, every time I see it peeking back at me from the guide, it is that most interesting of all reality programs – the clutter show. The clutter shows are available in many varieties, with some featuring people who simply have a few too many sweaters and Christmas decorations, and others who have built mountains of memorabilia and tons of trash into a true fire hazard and impediment to a functional home. All of them interest me! And I learn a lot from all of them as well – lessons I can take into my own life and share with others who are looking for some help with home organization.

The biggest and best lesson of all is also the simplest and most satisfying, and that is to create categories when deciding what to keep and what to toss, donate or sell. Of course you can feel free to dispose of any definite toss items along the way as you create categories, such as garbage or broken items not worth repairing, but the rest can go into piles of ‘like items’. I first saw this tactic in action on the past TV show Clean Sweep – my favorite of all the clutter shows – and I was impressed with how well it seemed to work for everyone on the show.

Creating categories is simple, as you can further streamline them as you go along. In the beginning, you can keep clothes with clothes, shoes with shoes, candles with candles, etc. Whatever you have a lot of, whether it’s lotions and perfumes or pens and notepads, keeping it all together in a common pile will help you to pare it down to what matters most, and what you truly need. You’re likely to be surprised by how many of certain items you have, and seeing them all together makes it easier to choose your favorites and get rid of the rest!

If one category becomes overwhelming in size or scope, break it out further into smaller categories. Clothes can become piles of shirts, shorts and pants, or separated into seasons if that makes more sense for you. If you have a large quantity of handbags, for example, you might want to separate those into clutches, tote bags, and so forth, before deciding how many of each to keep. Keep paring down until you’re confident that you have reached a reasonable amount of items for your life and your home, and then get to organizing!

Clearing the clutter before you invest in closet organizing systems and/or garage organizing cabinets helps you decide which system will truly work best for you and your requirements. You don’t want to dedicate time and money to holding onto things that don’t matter to you when you can create a custom organizing system that matches your needs perfectly! Plus, donating items feels good for the soul, and selling them feels good for the wallet. Either way, it’s a win! And once your home is full of only the things that you use, value and treasure, it will also feel really good to treat them properly by organizing them smartly with home organization solutions. 🙂 …

While I enjoy many television shows, including everything from Project Runway to the various incarnations of Law & Order, there are no other shows on television right now affecting my actions quite like A&E’s Hoarders and TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive. While I am not and never have been a hoarder, I do often have a difficult time parting with things. And while I do watch these shows with my mouth agape in disbelief much like others I’ve talked to who watch, I also feel a profound sympathy for the majority of people on the show.

A word that is used time and again, episode after episode, is “overwhelmed”. We have all been there – overwhelmed – whether at work, in school, or in a more general way, from stress and obligation. But the overwhelming feeling these hoarders have is so tangible, so harshly judged, so seemingly insurmountable at times. And with my sincere sympathy for all they are literally and emotionally up against comes a personal call to action – to never let that happen to me.

It is highly unlikely that most of us will ever wake up to a home as filled to the brim as the home of a hoarder without an ongoing awareness of what was happening. After all, a floor to ceiling pileup of goods doesn’t happen overnight. However, it does happen one item at a time. One pair of shoes, one Christmas decoration, one expired can of soup at a time. Luckily, ridding yourself of things and the possibility of ever becoming overwhelmed with physical goods also happens one item a time. One pair of shoes, one Christmas decoration, one expired can of soup at a time. And that is exactly how I pare my things down to ensure I never wake up to more things than I can use, enjoy, store, or quite simply, handle.

I don’t say this to downplay the mental, emotional aspect of what hoarders are dealing with, as I am certain there is something very strong at play that prevents them from being able to part with items as easily as most of us can. But as someone who does feel a sense of loss at letting go of certain items, I am increasingly aware of how important it is that I not let that sense of loss win. And the reward for reigning triumphant above it is far-reaching and fantastic. By keeping only what I love, I get to enjoy it more, whether it be a knickknack or a pair of well-fitting pants.

Each week, after watching an episode of Hoarders or Hoarding: Buried Alive, I tackle a new clutter project. These projects are usually small, such as going through all my socks and tossing those that I no longer wear, or those with holes. Each of these projects amounts to small changes that become big changes. For one, I never accidentally wear a pair of socks with holes in them again! For another, the basket in my wood closet that holds my socks is no longer filled to the top, making finding a matching pair a tricky task while detracting from the attractiveness of my closet itself. It’s an all-around win!

If you’re like me and you feel what I’ve termed “The Hoarders Effect” kick in after watching one of the many clutter shows on television – you know, the desire to throw everything away! – I invite you to join me on the journey to a life of less unnecessary stuff, a greater appreciation of the things you do love, more breathing room, and a neater, more functional home. I hope you’ll love looking into your wood closet full of only your favorites as much as I love looking into mine. And I hope you’ll take time to really grasp that getting organized and investing in things like closet systems is about making your home and your things work for you instead of against you. All while wearing a pair of socks without a hole to be found. 🙂 …