Resolution Solution for your home

Home Stager with Claudia Jacobs Designs LLC, Goshen, NY

By Claudia Jacobs For the Times Herald-Record Published: 2:00 AM - 01/09/11


December always seems as though it's spinning out of control. It also has a way of sneaking up on you, and the reality of the pending schedule vortex does not hit until you are fully caught up in it.


But we survived.


There was such a deep sense of relief once the holidays were over. Seems as if my stress level plummeted, and a sensation came over me I have not felt in a very long time. It may be called relaxation. Since it doesn't happen too often, I fully appreciated the feeling. Right now I am trying to figure out how to recapture that feeling and make it become a regular occurrence. Better yet, relaxation needs to be part of my routine.


It's a new year, filled with new hopes, dreams, intentions and the usual resolutions. Some people may have already given up on theirs almost two weeks into 2011.


There are two times in the year that also feel like milestones for new beginnings: New Year's and September, the start of the school year. Whatever it takes to be the starting point, the most important thing to do is to actually start.


We are a society of quick fixes, always looking for instant gratification. There is also a constant bombardment of suggestions on how to lose weight and how get in shape, which seems to be the most popular resolution and the most difficult to attain. We all know what we should be doing; it's the sticking to it that seems to get us.


Home sweet home resolutions

Take our homes, for instance. In last week's column I mentioned how a home should be updated every five years, but it really should be updated more often than that. It pays to re-evaluate annually. This can be taken to any level to meet your lifestyle and budget.


Resale is something to always keep in mind, whether you are selling or not. This does not mean living in a boring house that does not reflect your personal style and taste, unless of course it's really bad taste. Questionable taste means different things to different people because decorating is so personal, just like fashion. If a home is well-maintained, functioning and feels good, it should transition well on the market with the help of staging. We will be covering real estate staging this month, so keep close tabs over the next few weeks because staging is key for getting your house sold.


Put your house on a diet

Getting back to resolutions, it is best to come up with a plan. I am a firm believer in the house-life connection. Our personal environment has a direct impact on our lives. If we live in chaos and dysfunction, both professionally and personally, we will feel the same way — chaotic and dysfunctional. We won't be able to escape it and certainly won't be able to relax. This is why I am revisiting the concept of putting your house on a diet. This means purging excess items throughout your home. Whether you start by clearing out one drawer, one room or an entire floor, it is important to just start.


If you don't need it, want it or use it, then get rid of it. If you are like me and can't just throw out something that is "perfectly good" (I get this from my parents), donate it. If you have any recommendations of where to donate, please send them to, and I will share them in this column. This may inspire people to get their house in shape.


Do not wait till the spring. The perfect time is now. It's winter, cold. If you get snowed in, plow through your house! One night last week I cleared out my guest room, also known as the "don't-know-what-to-do-with-it? Put-it-in-the guest room." Well, guess what? We were having a guest. We needed the room to function to serve its purpose, and thanks to a few hours, I have reclaimed our guest room. There are a few remaining items that need to be moved out of the room, but our guest is occupying the space.


Give yourself a break. These things take time. Your house did not get this way overnight, and there really isn't a quick fix. Not only will your house look and feel better, but also you will!


You may also discover things you forgot about or put away for a special occasion. Guess what? Every day is a special occasion. Don't save it, enjoy it. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, and wear that special perfume. Today is special.


Let's get organized!

Here are tips from Jennifer Mellin of Simply Clean & Simply Organized:

Organized people save time and money and reduce stress and frustration levels. Organizing systems help you manage everything from your personal paperwork to your professional responsibilities. These people can create order out of chaos by providing parameters on what to keep, what to toss, and how to store the material things in your life.


The best way to get organized?

Experts in the organizing industry agree: There are no "cookie cutter" solutions. There are many different personality types, work styles and environmental influences; each person must find the systems that work best for him or her. The number of organization-related products and services is constantly growing. Determine the areas in which you want to improve, such as filing, clutter control, time management, storage space, or juggling projects and priorities.


How long to get organized?

Organization is a process, not a state achieved in one day. Think about it as "being organized" or "staying organized," not just "getting organized." Yes, an organizing system can be set up in a matter of hours. The challenge is to continuously maintain and improve it day by day. The good news is, once good systems become habits, organizing gets easier.


Making better use of my time

Time management is a misleading term, because we cannot really manage time. We can manage only ourselves. The best we can do is prioritizing our lives, have our own personal and professional goals, and align our activities to reach these goals. Review how you are spending your time and make adjustments according to your goals and priorities.


How can I cut down on paper?

Rigorously question whether you need to keep each piece of paper that comes into your life. Make a habit of tossing unnecessary papers (shredding those that contain personal or financial information). Scan documents and store them electronically when possible. Cancel subscriptions to unread publications, and remove yourself from mailing lists. Create a records-retention schedule that specifies how long documents such as tax forms, bills, and financial statements should be kept.


Claudia is a decorator, professional stager and the owner of Claudia Jacobs Designs in Goshen. Visit or call her at 294-8993. Send questions and photos to



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Reno, NV

I like to mention to those ready to "let go" of items that it is on a vibrational level that we are releasing "stuff".  EVERYTHING, including us, is vibrational, on a atomic level.  Our relationship with "stuff & things" goes to much deeper level than we realize.  We are "attached" vibrationally to everything we own.... in other words, your really do "own it"!  These things "need our energy and attention".... that's alot of give and take on a vibrational level. Alot of interaction going on constantly. So, unless we really need something, or enjoy the beauty of "something", or it serves a purpose or function, then release it; find a new home for it.

Jan 12, 2011 04:18 PM #1
Claudia Jacobs
Claudia Jacobs Designs LLC, Goshen, NY - Goshen, NY
Decorating, Staging

Well said Teri. It is something many people have a difficult time with...learning to let go. Thank you!

Jan 13, 2011 12:03 AM #2
Shobha Vyavahare
stagewithme, Greenville, South Carolina - Greenville, SC

I loved your concept of putting your house on diet, lightening up things makes you feel so much better.  Less is more is always true, otherwise walls start closing in on you.



Jan 13, 2011 12:57 AM #3
Connie King
Sevierville, TN

Love this post with so many great ideas to purge and cleanse your home.   Very important.

Jan 15, 2011 09:20 AM #4
Claudia Jacobs
Claudia Jacobs Designs LLC, Goshen, NY - Goshen, NY
Decorating, Staging

Thank you Connie. It is very important. The difficult part is finding the time to be consistent with it. Well...for me anyway! 

Jan 16, 2011 04:44 AM #5
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Claudia Jacobs

Decorating, Staging
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