Let me say that I primarily stage, decorate or redesign occupied homes. I do work on an occasional vacant home, but not many. In addition to being a capable stager and decorator, I find that more and more I am utilizing my organizational skills! This is true especially in the Midwest, where we don’t “throw anything away”! Many of my clients have homes where they store not only their own stuff, but “mom’s stuff” in addition to “Grandma’s stuff”! The key for me is to help them either contain & conceal all of this “stuff” or assist them in removing it!
• To Get Rid of Stuff: I do suggest clients try to find a reputable Resale Organization that benefits great causes such as Battered Women or the Homeless. Folks feel better about donating their possessions to a group that does good things in the community. I also suggest Consignment Shops where they can make a few bucks by selling their things.
• To Contain Stuff: I’ve found a few inexpensive & creative ways to accomplish this in additon to the obvious "container store" purchases.
Below is a home office located the corner of the living room as you first enter the home.
I spotted a 60’s style china cabinet for $95 at a thrift store and managed to hide most all of her papers and office supplies behind doors or drawers. I removed the glass doors so that is appeared to be more of a bookshelf. Now the home owner can function but still show the house.
I’ve used old luggage, baskets with lids, decorative boxes and trunks to store everything from tablecloths to games for the kids. Out of sight but still accessible. I have a tag on each to designate what is inside. In a kitchen desk area, I used an old box of drawers to keep all the small notepads, tape, scissors etc. out of sight yet in plain view. Once again each drawer is marked with it's contents.
Below are examples of 2 homeowners who were elderly, recently had the home painted and cleaned and needed us to rearrange,
rehang art and generally organized their years of accumulated stuff.
I prefer, If I can, to not completely disrupt the homeowners way of life. With the amount of time it can take to sell a home I always try to find ways to keep clutter under wraps, yet make everything easy for them to get to and utilize.