Our homes are where we eat, sleep, play, sometimes work, and store things we’ve finished using but somehow can’t bear to throw away. There are many reasons we may want to hold on to stuff we no longer need, but where do we put it all?
Granted, some homeowners achieve living on the light side where nothing is hidden and what you see is what you get. Or, they’ve gotten religion just before the sale of a home. The homes on the market which show best are those where all the traditional storage spaces – the attic, basement, garage and large closets -- are bare.
In my own home, my attic looks like a commercial storage facility, but not as neat. A few years ago when my wife and I went through one of our phases of wanting to sell our home, we hired a crew to clean out our basement which had been packed with stuff from cement floor to beams overhead. There was clear evidence there of many different careers and lifetimes, including those of our parents and grandparents, along with leftover materials from house renovation.
One helper took me aside and told me how dangerous it was to have saved enamel paint and paint thinner so close to the boiler. Fortunately it was before I started writing a newspaper column called The Home Guru, so I was only half embarrassed. At first, it was a visceral experience to instruct the workers what to throw out for bulk pick up. But as the project wore on and I wore out, memories were discarded wholesale. It felt liberating.
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Bill Primavera is a Realtor (www.PrimaveraRealEstate.com) in New York representing all of beautiful Westchester and Putnam Counties above Manhattan. He also is a marketing practitioner (www.PrimaveraPR.com) specializing in the lifestyles arena, and writes a syndicated column called “The Home Guru” which deals with all aspects of the housing market, design, decorating and landscaping. He can reached directly at bill@PrimaveraRealEstate.com or call 914-522-2076.