Thursday, June 2, 2011

How to Take the Work Out of Staging. Almost.

There are ways to make homestaging more fun!

As soon as I finished my breakfast and half my coffee today, I hopped on my bike for my daily ride through the neighborhood. As I pedaled, I asked myself what I could write that would be helpful to my readers.

I remembered what a woman who staged and sold her property told me last week. She said that staging took "being relentless and ruthless."

Wow, sounds like a tall  order!

But it's true. Effective staging requires that, and more. It can be overwhelming, especially when you are locked into a time frame for selling and moving. It helps to remember that by staging you are actually earning money.

Staging's not just about plumping pillows and buying new lampshades, although those things help. It takes work.

But the good news is there is a way to make it less work.

Actually, there are two ways. One is get creative. The other is become efficient. Here's how. 


Learn to be Creative 
  • Give yourself time alone. Even if it's just a few minutes of each day when you know no one will disturb you. Meditate, pray, journal, knit, scrapbook, or just hang out the Do Not Disturb sign.
  • Get moving every day. My bike ride gives me both fresh air and fresh thoughts. I hope you have an activity like yoga, running, swimming, walking, qigong, or something else that builds stamina and flexibility. Creativity is about freeing up energy.
  • Read, observe, and focus on staging. Educate yourself. You're on this site, so you are learning about how staging makes money for you. You can get daily staging tips on my Facebook Group, and you can download my eBook. You can keep your eyes open and see what other sellers do right and wrong.
  • Associate with creative, supportive people, and avoid negative people. Naysayers and gloomy folks drain creative juices. Choose friends the way you'd choose a dog. Look for loyalty and cheerfulness. These close friends will be the ones who encourage you every step of the way, and might also be the ones who lend a hand to the work of staging. I know I can always count on Mr. Lucky to listen to me, give me advice, and bring on the muscle and power tools when necessary.
  • Train yourself to distinguish between what is urgent (needs to be done now) and crucial (important, but not timely). Train yourself to stay on focus. (Easier said than done for us fly-abouts, but not impossible.)    
My daughter is the one who always encourages me.

Improve Your Efficiency
  • Organize your work into separate projects, then cluster similar tasks together. For example, save all your spray painting projects for one day with perfect weather, then spray away! 
  • Give yourself realistic deadlines, monthly, weekly, daily, and even  hourly. For example, declutter one closet a week. Or paint both coats on those bedroom walls in one day. You'll find you become more aware of the scope of each project, and you'll begin to budget your time. You'll also push yourself to cross the finish line instead of leaving unfinished jobs here and there.  
  • Simplify. Ask yourself if it's really necessary to hem that drape that puddles on the floor. Do you need to clean the bedroom that never gets used? 
  • Determine your time wasters, and get a handle on them. Everyone needs some time to relax, but certain diversions like computer games and television can drain away hours if you let them. I'm not telling you anything new there. Just saying.
  • Make every move count. Always ask yourself, "How can I do this in less time?" This approach is especially helpful when you have repetitive tasks, like washing windows or vacuuming your floor.
I am going to finish that coffee now, and then do the things I need to do. I may not have to be relentless and ruthless today, but I know I can be efficient and creative. So can you!

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