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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Staging 101 - update

This week I was asked to stage this lovely home. The owner's wanted to use their own furniture and accessories rather than bring in rental pieces.

For purposes of staging, I want to give people a sense of what the home is like to live in, but not dictate how they should decorate when they move in. And I want to show off the homes best features. In the case of this living room, a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Mount Tam. Here's the BEFORE...

Here's the AFTER... I moved the sofa away from the wall and the chairs away from the window. I want people to be able to walk completely up to the window and look out at the incredible view. I took the room down to just the essential furniture and created a friendly sitting area. I pared down the accessories and found another piece of artwork for the fireplace. It won't be long before there is a "sold" sign on this house!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

When a move goes bad

KTVU recently ran a story about a local moving company that has been holding people's belongings hostage for more much more money than their original moving quotes. They come to your home, quote you a price, you sign the papers, they take your things and then you get call that you can't get them back unless you pay double, triple or more. You can read this story at:

Unfortunately, these stories pop up every year about this time - the moving season. Given the difficult circumstances that people are finding themselves in, adding to it a moving company who refuses to give you back your possessions is just a nightmare.

Here are some tips for protecting yourself when moving:

1. Get bids from several companies - if someone is bidding way less than your other quotes, be suspicious.
2. Check out your movers with the CPUC
3. Check out under their BayList Best section.
4. Check YELP or other local opinion sites
5. Make sure your contract has a NOT TO EXCEED clause.
6. Pay by credit card so you can dispute the charges if you have to.
7. Be suspicious of a mover who asks for cash.
8. Ask for a Certificate of Insurance to make sure their coverage is up to date.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My "other" office...

This week I picked up my new car. I spent the rest of the day transferring all my stuff from the old car to the new one. I never expected that it would take so long or be such a chore! Afterall, I am a professional organizer and yes, I have one of the most organized trunks west of the Mississippi, but STILL, where did all this stuff come from?

There were problems to solve, like the trunk floor not being level, so I had to come up with a way to flatten the surface out so it would hold my cases upright - Tools, Tapes, Cleaning Supplies, Marketing Materials, Labelers and Misc. Then finding just the right spot for sunglasses, hand cleaners, note pads, GPS cords, phone cords, maps, gum, water bottles, umbrellas, snacks, earthquake kit, first aid kit, blanket, window cleaner, paper towels, leash and animal food (just in case a stray shows up and needs a lift) AND my step stool. Reminded me of Mary Poppins pulling all that stuff out of her carry bag... one thing after another.

My new rolling auxiliary office and mobile supply closet is now ready for duty!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Receipts file

I keep my tax deductible receipts in this accordion file. Each section is one month and at the end of every quarter, I transfer the data to Quicken. Then I bundle the receipts and leave them in their section until tax time. I get the accordion file at Office Depot.
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