For most of us, the winters are filled with cool, cold and sometimes brutal weather and we tend to stay indoors to avoid the blustery air. So let’s prepare for the spring! When I think of springtime and my home, several activities come to mind. Spring cleaning, my neighborhood’s annual yard sale, preparing the front and back yards and making sure our home continues to be well-maintained.
One of the advantages of winter cleaning is that you can prepare for an annual neighborhood yard sale. Most communities host one and you can take this clean-out time to get started on making your yard sale a success. Clean your items, tag and store so you aren’t spending the night before in the garage like the rest of your neighbors. If your neighborhood doesn’t host its own sale, hold your own and follow a few tips:
- Set your date at the first or middle of the month—this is when most folks are paid.
- Check the 10 day forecast.
- Plan on starting early, as early as 7:00am.
- Invite your friends and neighbors over for a presale on Friday evening. Have some fun and go ahead and sell some of your larger ticket items.
- Get the kids involved. Let your children pick out some toys to sell and then allow them the opportunity to shop for something special or save their money in a piggy bank.
- Look for advertising sources that are free and online, local mom’s groups or local community newsletters.
- Sell kids clothing in bulk from a large box and price each piece for the same amount.
- Plywood and sawhorses, if necessary and on hand, can make an excellent table.
- If you borrow any tables, chairs and racks be sure to return them after your sale.
When you have completed a very successful yard sale, place some of your earnings back into your home. Pick a weekend to focus on a few energy saving DIY projects that will keep the large budget-busting repairs at bay. Did you know that by installing a programmable thermostat you can cut your heating and cooling costs by 10%? You can find great tips on cutting energy costs at www.energy.gov.
If you have never caulked a tub, now would be a great time to learn. Caulking around tubs, showers and sinks that are worn out or not sealed properly can lead to water damage. If you see gaps, remove the old caulking and reapply with the appropriate caulk—celebrate the next day with a nice hot bath!
If you live on a crawl space, winter is the time to check for signs of intruders—mostly the vermin kind. Look for signs of droppings, smells or noises. Animals like to come in from the cold too and once inside they can climb into the walls and attics where they become more difficult to remove. Make sure your screens stay in place at foundation vents and the gap between your garage door and your slab should be no more than half an inch.
You may not be able to control the real estate market, but you can control the condition of your home. Take care of it. Whether it’s hosting a yard sale as a way to de-clutter or saving money through a few DIY projects, when it’s time to sell your home you will be ready.
Image Credit: Rubbermaid
Jill Gunter is a real estate professional with CENTURY 21® Sweyer & Associates who also manages the company Internet Leads Department. You can find Jill online operating the live chat system and scheduling appointments to view homes. To find out more about Jill, click here or visit her Facebook fanpage.