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A book I read...
I just finished reading this book about de-cluttering and I wanted to share it with everyone I know. It's a short read for those of us with very little spare time but it is worth the time, I promise. I borrowed it from the library because I am trying to cut down on the books I buy but, after reading it, I may go buy my own copy so I can go back to it over and over.
The premise of Marie Kondos system is quite simple. Only keep things in your home that bring you joy. While I can't picture myself doing some of her suggestions (like thanking my possessions for helping me, this is just a little "out there" for me), I am in love with her process. Taking the time to evaluate every item in your home to see whether they bring you joy, stress or even unhappy memories is an extremely useful process. How many of us keep things we don't like just because they were a gift? How many people have junk drawer(s) filled with bits and bobs that we don't even look at and probably forget we have the instant we close the drawer. How many times have you bought something just to find you already had it in the back of a closet or in the garage?
If we only kept the things that truly made us happy, how much happier would your home be? How much happier would your LIFE be?
Now I'm not saying everyone should follow her process to the letter but I plan on trying this in the new year. I am so fortunate that I don't have the shortage of space that most people living in Japan (or many urban centers for that matter) have but I KNOW I have piles of stuff I don't need, want or love. Time to really clean my house.
Thank you, Marie Kondo, for inspiring me!
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White paint? Not necessarily.
When people begin thinking about selling their home, many of them take on some renovations beforehand. Sometimes it’s about completing that project that never quite got finished. Sometimes it’s about repairing minor damage; those dents and dings in the walls, that cracked lampshade or that baseboard trim that the dog chewed on when he was just a pup. No matter the size of the project, many people are unsure of how much work to do to get the maximum return on investment. A good rule for whether to paint or not is this; if you can’t recall the last time the walls were painted, if your walls have never been repainted in the years you have owned the house or if the wall colour is...let’s just say non-traditional, it would be a good idea to add that to the list of things to do before listing your house.
Wall colour is one of the first things buyers notice and a bad colour choice can actually drive potential buyers right out of the house. Some people will say “Paint everything white!” but I disagree. White can be a very stark and cold colour and may not work with the rest of the colours in the house. The best way to choose a colour is to look at the finishes that can’t easily be changed; flooring, cabinetry, tile, etc, and then find a more neutral colour that will work with these finishes. Avoid doing any bright colours or any fancy textured finishes. Faux finishes can have a place in your home but they will not help sell your house. Stick to neutrals like creams, grays or even beige. It doesn’t have to be white! Also, if you’ve never painted before, now may not be the best time to attempt it. You’re trying to impress your potential buyer, not make them wonder if the quality of the paint job is an example of the rest of your home maintenance. A professional painter will be an additional expense but, if you’re a painting novice, hiring a professional will get the job done faster and better than you ever will. Bonus: this also means you don’t have to clean up the mess, cleaning paint brushes and rollers is a hassle. However, if you do know what you’re doing, don’t forget to properly prep your walls to give the best finish possible. Either way, giving the whole house (or at least the main rooms) a fresh coat of paint will go a long way to impressing every potential buyer that walks through your door.
Remember, if you’re afraid of making a bad choice, you can always hire a colour consultant like myself to help you find the best colour for your space.
2019 Colour Trends