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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Recycling the turkey oil

If you are deep frying your turkey, don't pour that oil down the drain - recycle it for biofuel. Check out for instructions. If you are not from the Bay Area, check the internet for places to take your oil or put it on for pickup by a hungry car.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Seasonal staging

A Realtor called and asked my advice on staging a house for sale during the holiday season. My suggestion is to stage for the time of year, not for a specific holiday.

When you stage your home for sale you are creating an interesting but neutral palette. If it's winter you can use wools or velvets, darker colors or even winter whites, a fire in the fireplace (or a fireplace video on the TV), and a pot of warm apple cider on the stove to make the home feel cozy and comfortable, especially if it's raining or snowing during your open houses.

Remember, the idea of staging is not to interfere with the buyer's ability to see themselves in the house, but to give them a sense of what the house would be like to live in. Too much decorating and all they will see are the decorations and not the house and if the decoration is not to their taste, then they will be less inclined to feel good about your house. In this market, enticing and pleasing the buyer is more important than ever.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Out with the old

As we enter the holiday shopping season, there are some things to keep in mind:

1. Let's use up all of the old wrapping paper and ribbon before we buy new.

2. Let's use up the old leftover holiday cards from years ago before we buy new.

3. Let's include instructions on how to properly dispose of the old television, cell phone and computer when we give the new.

4. Let's put a "donation" bucket in our children's room so they can pick out what toys/books will go to make room for the new.

5. Let's think of people and the planet first, and things a distant second...

Friday, November 7, 2008

To do lists

Today I was going over my TO DO list, which lately has grown into double digit numbers, something I promised myself I would not let happen. However, not only do I have a life to lead, but I have a business to run which doubles everything I have to do.

As I went down my list to dust off those items that have been there for a while I realized that I have violated one of the basic principles of time management. Just listing items to do does not help you get things done. It's the ACTION you have take to accomplish the task that gets the ball rolling.

For example, #5 on my list is to "decide what networking groups to join". Great, can't get more open ended than that. Not to mention that I've allowed myself to skip over that one for quite sometime. Deciding means that I have narrowed my choices and to date, I don't even have a list of choices, I'm no where close to figuring out what to do about networking groups.

To get anywhere close to making a decision there are several steps I have to take first. I have to ferret out groups I am interested in and I need to attend some of their meetings. I need to decide where I want to put my few hours of "free" time, distance I am willing to travel, costs of joining and on and on.

So, I need to move #5 to my goal list and replace it with: Call friends and colleagues and get a list of networking groups they belong to and recommend, get invited to a meeting and go. Those are action items I can do.
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