It’s OK to say No

It’s OK to say No

  Some people have no problem with “No.” For others, the struggle is R-E-A-L. If you are a member of the latter group, listen up (and don’t say “No” to this!) It’s OK to say NO. I was about 6 years into my real estate career and I was involved in everything. I chaired committees, led business meetings, held presentations for groups, was a member of civic organizations, helped coach networking groups, mentored newer agents, attended association and networking events, oh – and ran my business. That is not to mentioning trying to have a personal life full of family and friends. I never wanted to let anyone down. If I was asked to help out, I would. If someone needed to step up and lead, I was there. I was exhausted. The other side effect was my attitude. I found myself becoming negative and disillusioned. So what did I do? I agreed to meet with someone to take on yet another role – sound like anyone you know? Well, it was a turning point for me. As I met with this leader, he asked what could the organization do to help me. My answer came out of left field. Here I was, considering taking on yet one more task to fill up my 24 hours and I said, “I need to learn to say ‘No.’” Something wonderful happened at that very moment. I was empowered. I had let the cat out of the bag. I had told the world that I was doing too much and that I couldn’t and didn’t want it to continue. We all go through times in our lives when we are busy. We run from meeting to appointment to events, to dinner, but at some point, we have to say, enough is enough. We have to learn to say No. My schedule is still full and some would say I take on too much but that’s how I like it, for the most part. However, if I am invited to an event and my calendar is already a sea of color blocks, I decline. We need to take care of ourselves and make sure we are doing what is truly important and/or beneficial to us and our business. Don’t feel guilty if no one will step up to lead the group – that doesn’t have to be your role. Don’t worry that you’re going to lose a client if you don’t drop everything at the last minute and meet with them. Most people understand. Most people will respect you for taking control of your schedule and probably be secretly jealous of the great life you have made for yourself. So, by all means,...

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Home Organization: Preparing For The Sale

Home Organization: Preparing For The Sale

When buyers imagine their dream home, what do they picture?. Maybe it’s a downtown loft, a mid-century modern, or a plantation home in the country. No matter what type or style of home they desire, nearly everyone will picture a place that is clutter-free, well cared for, and immaculately clean. Sellers should take this seriously when they prep their home for sale. Organization in all rooms is important, but having specific rooms exceptionally well organized is key. Here are the rooms and areas of your home you should focus on organizing before you list your house! Clean All Bedroom and Hall Closets Start by tossing out or putting into storage items that are not in season or not worn. Install shelving and add pegs for ties or scarves or purchase baskets for these small items. A shoe rack will contain multiple pairs of shoes, freeing up floor space in the closet and making it look larger. Consider adding a dual-rod shelving system to double the amount of space for hangers. This is useful even if there is not enough clothing to fill both rods. Empty closet space adds to the impression of bountiful storage. Organize the Pantry Every home should have a spacious, organized pantry. Always use containers to increase storage potential. Plastic containers of cereal are easy to stack, but open cereal boxes are not. Lidded containers prevent items like flour and sugar from spilling from their bags. Consider installing a Lazy Susan to maximize the space (they are available in floor-to-ceiling models or small versions that slide into cupboards). Small bins mounted to the walls or doors are convenient places to tuck away bulky bottles or packages that do not store neatly on an open shelf. Labeled bins and baskets make it easy to corral snacks, baking supplies and other items and makes them easier to find. Store cookware and storage lids in slotted racks. Prepare the Laundry Room In the laundry room make certain nothing is stored on the floor or on top of the washer and dryer. Install a wall-mount, expandable drying rack. Hang the ironing board on the wall or the back of the laundry room door. Add shelving for laundry soap and other cleaning supplies. For a folding table, consider installing a fold-down wall mounted desk. These are are a great way to maximize usable space in a laundry or utility room. While laundry sorters do take up space, they look more organized than multiple clothes baskets filled with dirty clothes. Single hampers are great for small rooms and collapsible models make it possible to fold them up and tuck them aside before showing the home. Most importantly, make sure there are no...

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10 Great Apps for House and Home

10 Great Apps for House and Home

  It is 2016 and everywhere you look, people are on their smart phones. We use them for directions, for calculations, to email, to text, to check up on our old boyfriends and some of us even talk on them. So, why not use them to find a new place to live or to revamp the one you have? Here are 10 great apps. We’d love for you to comment with your favorites too! Dwellr – This U.S. Census Bureau app will give you details about a particular area or neighborhood. If you are open to moving across the country, it will even give you ideas on what cities fit your lifestyle. This will give you demographics, facts and figures about your desired area as well. http://www.census.gov/mobile/dwellr/ Walkscore – If you want to be able to walk or bike more than sit in a car or mass transit, this app will help figure out good areas for you to nest. You’ll find things like the fact that New York is the most walkable U.S. City and Minneapolis is best for biking. https://www.walkscore.com/cities-and-neighborhoods/ GreatSchools – Do you have children or are you concerned with schools for rentability or resale? This app is for you. As I tell my clients, everyone has different needs and thoughts about what a great school is. You may have a special needs child who needs a program that caters to them or your daughter may be a tennis player and want to be somewhere where the tennis program is nationally recognized. This app will give you the resources to help you find the school that best fits your needs and objectives. http://www.greatschools.org Houzz – Thinking about remodeling, adding on, or building brand new? You will be able to spend hours (warning: time suck alert!) finding ideas. The best part is, you can also get bids and hire professionals to facilitate those dreams, right from the app. http://www.houzz.com Planner 5D – A MUST-HAVE if you are remodeling or building. This tool doesn’t take a degree to use. This is a great place to start if you are toying with ideas. Once you’re ready to pull the trigger, you can show your ideas and plans to the professionals who can bring your ideas to life in the best way possible. https://planner5d.com WikiHow – This is not just a home related app, but it is pretty cool. Want to know how to install a dimmer switch in the bedroom or make a perfect cheesecake? You can find it here. Disclaimer: I always think it’s a good idea to hire a professional, but for some small projects or tasks, I like the feeling of accomplishment when I take it...

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10 Things You Never Knew You Needed For Your Home

10 Things You Never Knew You Needed For Your Home

  I see a lot of houses. With that, I see a lot of cool things for houses. I also see a lot of room for improvement. Here is a list of some things I have seen, things I own, and things I wish I did!   Chick-A-Dee smoke detector http://www.dutchbydesign.com/chick-a-dee-smoke-alarm We all need a smoke detector. Now they don’t have to be ugly!   U Socket http://www.homedepot.com/b/Electrical-Dimmers-Switches-Outlets/U-Socket/N-5yc1vZc34hZajk Plug your electronics in next to your light without the need for an adapter.   Lego sockets http://www.yankodesign.com/2010/12/23/lets-play-lego-sockets/ How many things do you need plugged in next to your bed? A clock, a lamp, your phone, a diffuser, a sound machine, I could go on. The only problem, they can’t all go on one power cord because the plugs are different sizes. This is the solution.   Nest https://nest.com/ I love this product. It is a thermostat that can be programmed from your phone, tablet, or computer. Think you forgot to turn the air up when you left for the day or don’t want it hot when you come home? You can set it or you can program a regular schedule. You can also choose to let the Nest learn your normal routine and set it for you. There are also a ton of products that work with Nest so you can breathe easy.   Sonos http://www.sonos.com/en-us/home This is probably the one thing I am glad I don’t have to live without. I LOVE music. I love music in my house. I love music outside of my house. Am I clear? Instead of wires and the inability to take it with you, Sonos is a system that allows you to have speakers throughout the house, even outside. You can be listening to jazz in the kitchen while the kids are listening to Disney tunes in the playroom and your spouse is rocking out on the patio. Can be used with your personal music collection or internet radio stations.   Wine Barrel vanity https://www.etsy.com/listing/69294830/wine-barrel-vanity-with-hammered-copper?source=aw&awc=6220_1473194889_47b46b8301333785c1cda3b2810620bc&utm_source=affiliate_window&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=us_location_buyer&utm_content=141392 Having just traveled to Napa Valley, California, I am wondering if there is a place for this in my house!   Coloring wallpaper http://www.muralswallpaper.co.uk/collections/colour-in Do you have an artist in the house? Maybe you’d like to give the kids a room that is OK to color the walls in or just harness some of your inner child. This wallpaper could be a conversation starter or even a way to make your guests feel welcome and leave a bit of themselves with you, always.   Grass rug https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01A0FR6PG/?tag=097-20&ascsubtag=v4_1_4_3m3_147048_4_66638405702.70087602811 If you live in a highrise or you just don’t get outside much, bring the outside in and relax on this grass rug. I don’t know about it taking the stress...

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