Home Moving? Stage Your Home for Selling

When trying to get your home moving off the market, advice I’ve heard from stagers when asked about staging a home for sale is, “Try to see it through a buyers eyes”. You want your home to move quickly through the sale process, so everything you do should be moving you towards this goal. Scrutinizing your home “unattached” means not being sentimental. You need to be able to clear your home and make everything look as appealing and clutter free as possible. I know you love your pictures and all your personal items, but for selling a home, these are not essential items. Take a walk through a model home, it can help give you some ideas for clearing and staging.

  • TOP PRIORITY:

Staged Livingroom

De-clutter and make spacious! Box up loose items. Tip: When packing use plenty of paper! If you don’t want to get your hands gray, you can buy plain newsprint from moving and storage companies. If you need help getting started or just want to hire someone to do it all, you can call on someone like Organizer Amanda of Kuzaks Closet to help. Check out some of her before and after photo’s below.

  • FURNITURE:

When I was going through this process, my realtor advised storing my custom-built dining table, and staging with a smaller one. That alone “enlarged” the space incredibly. Many Bay Area moving companies provide storage facilities. Ask about storage services as part of your staging plan.
BOTTOM LINE: Remove superfluous furniture—regardless of size— to a reputable storage facility, or to your garage.  See prior blog on Home Moving Security.

  • COUNTERTOPS:

Staging Kitchen

After

Staging Kitchen

Before

Make countertops clean beautiful spaces. Remove everything that isn’t absolutely necessary! The phone message pad, the can full of pens, extra cookbooks and wine bottles . . . put them all away. Buyers are unlikely to look inside drawers, but a spacious, clean countertop is essential. Box up items you can live without. Display one or two tasteful, decorative items. Consider something fragrant, like a candle or potpourri crystals.

  • CLOSETS:

Closet After

Closet After

Messy Closet

Closet Before

Buyers will look inside closets. Pull everything out of closets and make three piles: “Donate/Sell”,“Seasonal,” and “Keep.” Remove any items not currently in season—clothing and decorations! Pare off another 25-50% of non-essential “Keep” items, and remove them too. Hang clothes in closets nicely spaced apart, with like colors near each other. Line shoes up neatly, and fold items on shelves without overhang.

 

One more note:

Don’t forget to clear your refrigerator of pictures and magnets!

And by all means “Have Fun”

 

The Importance of Climate Controlled Storage

Climate Controlled Warehouse

Storage Vaults

The importance of climate controlled storage is well known for wine. Now we look at the detrimental effects of extreme environmental shifts on organic materials, like paper, books, photographs, leather, fabric, and wood. This pertains to musical instruments, too, as they are comprised of these materials.

It is always a good idea to use climate controlled storage for important documents, keepsakes and pictures. As with wine, chemical reactions exponentially accelerate at high temperatures. Paper contains natural and added chemicals, which break down over time causing pages to yellow, and pictures to fade.

Without proper climate controlled storage temperature fluctuations occur and are closely linked to humidity levels. Warm, moist environments are attractive to insects, molds and mildews, which feast on paper and other organic materials, and also cause physical breakdowns, like curling, swelling and shrinkage. Most of this is due to water being absorbed from the air. The thinner the material (i.e. paper) the quicker the damage occurs. Warping, peeling and cracking results when varying thicknesses, densities or grains of materials expand and contract at different rates. Glued items may fall apart, as glue becomes porous and wet, losing its ability to bind materials that are working against each other. Fabric threads contract in length and expand in width, becoming weak, susceptible to rotting, breakage and fading. Leather also absorbs water, resulting in cracking if the humidity drops rapidly, color fading, stretching or buckling if on furniture.

Paintings become ruined as their different layers (paint, canvas, frame) break down at different rates and in different ways (swelling, contracting, warping). Sadly, damage to pictures, paintings and other organic materials often cannot be undone, so the best way to ensure a long, beautiful life is proper storage in the first place. Control temperature and humidity levels at home as much as possible, and keep books stacked closely together. If you must store items, even for a little while, consider a climate-, humidity-, dust- and pollution-controlled environment.

Home Moving Security

Home SecurityWhile packing and getting ready for your home move you need to think about where to put all those boxes and how to keep things safe. In a perfect world, theft, burglary and taking things that don’t belong to us would never happen. Sadly, however, stealing does happen, and people use tough economic times as an excuse to cross the line.  More and more people are finding themselves victims of break ins. Especially at a vulnerable time such as during a move, it pays to be prepared and vigilant.

Prevention is your best defense. This article will focus on garage safety, since if you are moving your home you are likely to begin stacking boxes and valuables in your garage.

Did you know that there are videos on YouTube, which show how burglars can open an electric garage door in less than 10 seconds without breaking anything? There are inexpensive deterrent devices you can buy online to prevent this. Check out The Garage Shield for more information.

Think about it: if you were a thief, wouldn’t you rather simply walk away with a couple of packed boxes, rather than juggle a bunch of separate bulky items?

It is difficult, but up until the actual moving day, try to never let it look like you are moving. If your garage is attached to your home, keep the garage door closed. As you are packing move packed boxes into the garage for storage. If your garage is detached, it is not always practical to keep the door lowered as you move boxes back and forth. If possible, use the side door, or obscure the activity in your garage by parking cars in front of the garage.

As a general rule, keep your garage door lowered whenever possible, even when you are home. If you have a garage side door, be sure it has a deadbolt, and keep it locked when not in use. If there are decorative glass panes at the top of your garage door, or a window on the side of the garage, cover them with paper from inside.

You won’t be able to completely hide the fact that you are packing to move your home and storing items in your garage, especially from someone who is intent on looking, but your vigilant behavior will be a deterrent. Try to change your routine, install motion sensor lights over the garage, a barking dog is always a good deterrent. You can install inexpensive motion detectors which can be purchased at your local Lowes.

With a few simple precautions, your garage can be a safe storage area until moving day.  If you are moving things to your new home ahead of time. Remember to secure that garage and house, no one is living there yet which makes it an easy target for someone to enter during the night and take everything you just moved over.

Silicon Valley Moving and Storage

Storage Vaults

Storage Vaults

In Silicon Valley when moving into Storage at a professional facility your items are placed in what is called a Vault. A vault is a wooden box measuring approximately 8 x 7.5 x 5.5 feet. Your items are picked up at your home or office inventoried, disassembled, blanket wrapped and brought into the warehouse and placed into the wooden crates for storage.

To properly store items in a vault all small items must be in a box. Check out our Helpful Tips page for tips on packing.   Movers pad wrap furniture

Vault

Storage Vault

and/or shrink wrap for protection. Loading the vault to utilize the space takes practice and skill. It’s like a Jenga Puzzle, everything goes in the vault a certain way to ensure nothing gets damaged and the shipment is condensed down to save space therefore saving money for the customer.

Storage Vault

Forklifing Vault

Once a vault it full they close it up and forklift it into place for safe keeping until the customer calls for the items to be returned. At All Reasons Moving  our facility is more secure than a public storage because no one has access except our staff. Our facility is clean, alarmed and secure as well as climate controlled.

If you are in Silicon Valley and are thinking about putting your items into a moving company’s storage  go visit their facility ahead of time. Make sure the moving and storage company has their own warehouse and are not putting your items in an off-site facility. Is their warehouse clean and organized? Do they have security? You wouldn’t move into a new house or apartment without checking it out, make sure you know where your belongings are going to be while in storage.

Self Storage Security

Storage Facility1 in every 10 households rents a storage.

How safe are the Self Storage Facilities? There have been many reports on the news about break-in’s at these facilities. There are self storage facilities that are safe and have adequate security but they are not all the same. Be smart! don’t just base your decision on price or because of a special they may be running. Protect yourself by doing some research ahead of time. It can be helpful to check on-line reviews to see what others are saying about the facility you are considering.

Some of the tactics being used to gain access into units are:

  • The Thief rents a unit and actually breaks through the sheet rock wall into the units on either side allowing them easy access undetected by anyone
  • Facilities that do not have adequate security camera’s make it easy for a thief to break the locking mechanism and just open the roll up door. It only takes a few minutes to break a lock. They then remove the items and put them inside their own unit located in the same row. Close the roll-up door, put the lock back and everything appears normal until coming to remove your things and see it has been broken into.

If you do need to rent a self storage facility there are things to watch out for to help protect yourself.

  • Be careful of facilities offering first month for $1.00. These facilities are more likely to be targeted since the Thief doesn’t have to put much out of pocket.
  • Visit the facility,
  • Walk the grounds.
  • Inspect the unit they have available for you to rent
  • Is the facility clean? If it’s run down and not well taken care of then chances are their security system isn’t well maintained and probably out of date as well.
  • Is the facility gated? does the gate work? There is usually a man-door next to the gate does that door have a working locking system?
  • Are the units Individually Alarmed? Look for a facility where each unit is individually alarmed.Security
  • Do they have working camera’s. Camera’s should be located throughout the facility NOT just at the entrance. If it’s an inside storage facility camera’s should be on each floor. Outside facilities should have camera’s throughout the grounds.

Don’t forget to insure your items while they are in storage. In case of a loss you want to make sure you are covered. It can be a good idea to take pictures of the items and have an inventory for the insurance company.

Packing & Moving Perishables

FridgeWe get calls all the time asking what to do with food when moving. Yes, the refrigerator needs to be emptied. It will be tipped and everything inside will slide around and could break and or break the shelves. The refrigerator cannot be moved full.

When the movers arrive they will start loading the bedrooms first. While they are working on the rest of the house you can unload the refrigerator. Load condiments into book boxes and label “fridge”. The more perishable items can be put into an ice chest. The refrigerator and  boxes containing food will be loaded onto the truck towards the end of the load so it is one of the first things off the truck and you can get your items put back in the refrigerator right away.

While we advise eating or throwing out things like ice cream that melts quickly. When moving locally the rest of the food items are typically fine during the short ride to get to your new home.

Moving is a great time to check the date on your condiments and throw out anything that has expired. How often do you check the dates on the items we tend to store in the fridge?

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