Creating Lifestyles that Sell

Tips to Keeping Your Storage Controlled

Recently Dream Home Interiors helped a family downsize their belongings and prepare for an estate sale before staging. They had lived in that house for many years. As the weather turns cooler, you may have some time to tackle that hall closet, downstairs storage room or crawl space and vow to never let it get out of hand again. Do you even know what is in there or at the back of that closet? Here are a few tips to remember:

1. A sale price is not a good buy if you don’t use what you purchase. Only purchase what you will use within the next year or you are wasting your money. Remember, products that go on sale usually do so every year and most likely around the same time.

2. Cosmetics do have an expiry date. Do not use these products after two years from opening. As soon as you open a product bacteria starts to grow so throw out any cosmetics that are past the two year mark. Unopened cosmetics also have an expiry date as the product will naturally break down over time so that 5 year old mascara that was a great price at the time should be thrown out.

3. Perfumes and Cologne have an expiry date. Cologne and perfume after two years will not have the same scent as when purchased. Plus, scents go in and out of style. No one wants to smell like yesterday’s roses.

4. Yes, fashions do seem to come back in style however there is always a slight difference in the cut and the season’s hot new colour. If you haven’t worn it in two years, there is a reason for this. It either doesn’t suit your style (see point #1) or it's out of style. Donate it.

5. If you must store items, use storage bins on shelving and extensively label the contents including expiry dates of the products inside. Put items with similar expiry dates together. Put bins with earlier expiry dates closest to the door.

6. If you have a piece of furniture that you move from room to room because you just can't seem to find the right spot for it - Sell it or Donate it.

7. Yes you can have too many Holiday decorations. If you don’t use it after two years of being in storage, it has been replaced by your new favourite. Donate it. A young couple starting out or a newcomer to Canada who can’t afford the little ‘nice-to-have’ things could benefit from your donation at one of the thrift stores.

8. Take a look at your kitchen – do you still have the left over, mismatched plates and bowls from University? When will you use these? Or how about 5 whisks – when will you use all 5 whisks before washing the dishes? Donate them.

9. Unless it has real sentimental value and it’s something that your children covet, recycle it. Your children don’t want your stuff just like you don’t (or didn’t) want your parents’ stuff.

10. Don’t have a maybe pile. Be definitive. Don’t let yourself get side tracked or you’ll end up keeping all of the ‘maybes’ which will stay unused for another 2+ years eating up storage.

11. If it’s chipped, stained, cracked or broken, pitch it. If an item cannot be sold by a thrift store or charity don’t waste their time having to sort through and discard unsaleable items.

The larger the house, the more storage space, the more you accumulate. Be ruthless about what you put into storage.The cost of hiring a team to deal with your storage issues can be expensive if you let it get out of hand. It can be a daunting, over whelming task if you are faced with a deadline. And over the years it’s easy not to find the time to get rid of surplus items.

Embrace the Purge! You'll be rewarded with a feeling of accomplishment every time you walk by that area of your home.