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Mission To Minimalism

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MISSION TO MINIMALISM | WEEK 3

LET'S SELL SOME STUFF! 

As a professional Interior Designer, when I start a project with a new client that already has a furnished home, I almost inevitably get asked, "What should I do with all my old stuff?"  I often give a long sigh because I personally know how overwhelming it can be to have a room full of furniture that you no longer need, but feel your heart break thinking of just setting it out at the end of your driveway with a "FREE" sign on top of it.  I mean, even if it was starter furniture or pieces that worked great in your old home that just don't fit into your new space its nice to get something for your past life furniture and decor! Now, if its a beer stained, cat scratched, POS you've had since your fraternity days, the street corner will do just fine. 

As I've been digging through each room, storage space, and you know... Those nooks and crannies that things just seem to pile up in, I realize that same position my clients are always in. Therefore, I get to do exactly what I advise my clients to do... Craigslist that shizz.  And yep, it is, in fact a daunting task.  I know that in order to get it done successfully and profitably, you do have to be committed to doing it right.  So, I thought this would be an excellent time to share some of my best tips with you! 

TIPS

1. Take EXCELLENT photos. Seems lame, right?  You're getting rid of it!  It's possibly even hanging out in your garage or storage shed, but dusting that bad boy off and putting it in some good lighting will pay off in the end.  I like the make sure the items look "staged."  Think of a home being staged in order to get top dollar.  Your furniture or decor items will do best if you treat them the same way. 

2. Give great detail. Don't hesitate to be wordy.  You can mention where and when you bought it, but avoid mentioning what you paid for it.  I find that it often backfires, so I avoid it all together.  I always think its a great idea to let people know why you're selling it too. All to often, people assume that items are broken, damaged, or undesirable if you're selling it.  My coffee table looks like a death trap for my new tiny human, so I put that simple detail in my posting so that people can relate and assume that if I didn't have a little one running around, I'd be happy to keep it! 

3. Be HONEST.  Don't get yourself into trouble by saying that your item is in great condition thinking you'll get more bang for your buck.  You'll probably have to deal with a lot more potential buyers and wind up being disappointed with zero cash in hand.  People should wind up knowing exactly what they'll be getting when they arrive so that the price is already finalized before they arrive.  No surprises please! 

4. Keywords! Keywords! Keywords!  Think of the words that your potential buyer is going to be looking for.  Vintage. Retro. Mid Century. Rustic. Tufted. Drexel. West Elm. DWR.  Think about what makes the piece noteworthy and throw it in BOTH your title and body of your listing.  You can search for keywords on Google pertaining to your particular item if you're creativity just isn't working on that particular day.  

5. Create a "Garage Sale" feel in your posting.  I like to list the other items that I'm selling in each individual posting!  Why not, right?  If someone is in the market for an end table and coffee table and they see that I do have both in the same posting, I may have just sold two pieces much easier than all the items individually.   After I do my write up on the item that I'm listing, I'll but a note at the bottom that says something like this, "Also selling, matching vintage nightstand, two West Elm Ottomans, Brass Schoolhouse Electric Lamp, and a glass top contemporary coffee table."  People can search you as the seller and then see all the items that you're selling.  

6. Price Fairly. Yes, people are going to try to negotiate with  you, but that doesn't mean you should start your price so high that you don't get a single hit.  Take a quick peek at what others are selling similar items at and price accordingly.  If you feel your item should sell at a higher dollar mark, just be sure to share why its priced higher.  

7. Delivery.  Obviously, if you're willing to deliver, it helps A LOT.  But, to be honest, I don't do that anymore as my vehicle size has shrunk! 

8. Posting Time.  My most successful time to post is on Friday evenings.  When people are willing to run around on the weekend to look at items or pick them up, they are generally the most available on the weekends.  So, Friday when people are getting home from work or Saturday mornings when they might be feeling fresh is the time to make your move.  

9. Be Clear.  If YOU'RE only available on the weekends, say so.  If you only want cash, share that info.  It often helps to weed out scammers anyway.  Let your potential buyers know what your expectations are for having the item(s) off your hands.  If you don't feel like dealing with a bunch of emails, you can be straight forward and let people know that only serious calls welcomed.  

10. Lastly and most important. BE SAFE.  I only allow people to come pick up large items from me when my husband is home.  Even if I'm meeting someone on neutral ground (very public place), I bring someone with me.  Call me paranoid, but better safe than sorry.  

Now that I've gathered up quite a few of the items I'm looking to sell, I'll be making a big Craigslist Ad this weekend.  Here is an example of what one of my post will look like. 

PAIR OF FAUX VELVET, TUFTED ARMLESS CHAIRS - $100

  •  faux velvet chairs
  • armless
  • tufted
  • brown fabric
  • dark brown legs
  • 28" wide x 28" deep x 30" tall 
  • $100

I bought these two chairs about 5 years ago from Target when I was living in a smaller apartment.  I've loved them and they have moved with me between 4 homes now!  I have decided that it is now time for me to get a pair of chairs that have arms since the scale will suit my current living room more appropriately.  They are a really nice dark, chocolate brown and the fabric is super soft to the touch.  I have two dogs now, but they have spent a lot of time without pets or children and therefore are in great condition! I've always paired them with a mid-century sofa, but they also have a classic feel too. I'm only selling them as a set and am only willing to take cash.  Their replacements will be here within two weeks, so I'm looking to have them gone before hand.  

I am also selling 2 nightstands, 2 gourd lamps, 1 gold lamp, 2 coffee tables (1 contemporary and 1 rustic), 2 large area rugs and a baby changing tray. 

Keywords - pair, tufted, mid-century, armless, small-scale, apartment furniture

Hope you find some of these tips helpful! To read more about my Mission to Minimalism, click here.

Happy Designing!

heather-scherie

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MISSION TO MINIMALISM | WEEK 2

"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you'll ever have." - Eckhart Tolle 

with my family and friends in Whistler, BC

Week two of this journey was slightly delayed...  It was a much bigger commitment than one week would allow and much harder than I thought it would be.  I have come to terms that I am not, in fact, Wonder Woman.  I have spent the first few months of motherhood trying to have it all and, quite honestly, it sucks.  

The pressures on the modern woman are written about all the time.  I don't need to reiterate them. But, figuring out how to be a perfect mother, perfect wife, perfect business owner, perfect friend, and perfect member of society just isn't going to happen for me.  I care so much about all of it, but recognize that I have been spreading myself too thin.  So, in effort to really tackle this minimalism thing holistically, I took some time to practice "presence" over a period of the last ten days.  

When I was with my little one, I was thinking about work.  When I was working, I was thinking about him.  I would lay in bed at night wondering if I was giving my husband enough attention.  I would see social media post written by my dearest friends and feel guilty that I hadn't seen or reached out to them in weeks.  I was getting to a place where I was feeling overwhelmed by every single step I took.  Who can live like that?  I decided, not me.  Do I want to be an outstanding mother?  Hell yes!  Do I want to be a loving wife?  Damn straight.  Do I want to be an excellent Interior Designer?  You bet your ass I do!  So, I've been practicing doing just that.  Each one.  At their given and designated times.  

The transition has been interesting.  Focusing on being mentally present with each task or encounter that I'm having, it definitely doesn't come natural to me... My brain certainly wants to run 8 million miles a minute, but I owe it to myself to minimize distraction and be focused on who I'm with or what I'm doing.  Minimizing my home and surroundings is all for nothing if I can't minimize my mind for the better.  

For example, the early morning when my son first wakes up, is when he is at is absolute sweetest.  He coo's and smiles and flails his tiny chubby arms around making me fall in love with him a little more each day.  As a bonus, he thinks I am the most hilarious person on the planet in that hour and a half I get with him.  I caught myself in the early weeks of his life checking my email, rushing to get my social media posts for work taken care of and jumping in to get myself a shower in those precious 90 minutes.  Over the past ten days, absolutely not.  There is no phone call more important.  There isn't a news blast that can't wait.  And the shower will certainly be there when he has gone down for a nap.  

This will obviously be an ongoing challenge for me.  I will slip up and have to refocus myself.  But, the days where I have managed to be mindful of what I'm doing or who I'm with, I've never felt happier.  Being present has allowed me to actually feel like I've accomplished something instead of feeling like I'm accomplishing half of a lot of things.  

When was the last time you had dinner with a girlfriend and didn't have your phone on the table?  When was the last time you chatted with your partner for a full hour without checking sports highlights or making sure that your favorite show was recording?  It's not easy, but I promise you, its worth it even if you just make the effort once in a while.  

Happy Designing

heather-scherie

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MISSION TO MINIMALISM | WEEK 1

Bathrooms can't be that bad to make a shift to minimalism, right? 

image via Pinterest

 

I wanted to start with a space I thought would be fairly easy, so I chose the master bathroom storage areas.  I've often looked through them and thought to myself, "How can two people fill these drawers up so easily?"  I mean, what could possibly be in them to make them burst at the seams at all times?  Granted, they are just drawers, so things just tend to pile on top of one another.  This, in of itself, is already a major issue for me.  The next issue is that my husband and I don't own this home, which will provide some difficulties with this challenge over the next year, but I'm still determined to get closer to my most minimal self.  

So, back to assuming this area would be easy... I was WRONG!  Full disclosure, I'm a makeup and skin care hoarder and had zero clue that was the case. As I sorted through each item and diligently placed them into my piles - keep, toss, and save for later - I realized I had already taken a wrong turn.  What in the actual heck was I doing? Save for later? That completely defeats the purpose of this challenge.  So after I finished the initial sort, I turned to that ridiculous save pile again.  Some of these products I had had for years!  After staring at them for far too long, I recognized that if I hadn't used them thus far, I probably was not going to. If the product in question wasn't serving me on at least once a week, to the toss pile it went. 

When I got to my husband's section of drawers, I was surprised to find that he was even worse than me!  He must have had  fifteen nearly empty bottles of sunscreen and I questioned him on each one, they all seemed to be acceptable to hang onto!  Luckily for me, he's completely on board with the whole minimal way of living and with an ever so slight tilt of the head that clearly sent the message, "Really Hun?," he conceded.  When all was said and done, the drawer wound up with a mere four bottles in it! 

Once I finished with the elimination process, I could see what was actually needed and come up with a game plan as to how I would start storing things in a more efficient way. I was EMBARRASSED by how many duplicates of things we had!  So wasteful!  So, first design solution I committed to was to not having layers of items so that we could more clearly see what we actually have instead of buying more without finishing what we still have.  I decided dividers in the drawers were going to be my ticket to have a cleaner  and more user friendly system in our vanity. I drew up my plans and off to Home Depot I went! 

I got lucky and my sweet father-in-law happened to be in town this past weekend, so he, along with my sweet pups, helped me cut and paint my new drawer dividers.  Easy and extremely affordable! 

Overall, this kick off project was a little more challenging than this Interior Designer expected.  I found myself trying to justify items a lot more than I expected.  In the end, coming up with a design solution was satisfying and I feel incredible ridding my home of so much unnecessary baggage!  For not owning the home and being able to just rip out the vanity entirely, I'm happy with the outcome we came up with an the amount we were able to offload. 

Although I won't be bringing much into the house, I will be searching out a few perfect accessories to finish off the bathroom.  Just a few details that make the space feel more like "us" and give it a sense of being finished.  The details, of course, are always my favorite part of the process! 

Just for fun, as the husband and I continue to search for the perfect home, I'll give you a glimpse into the style of bathroom that makes my heart skip a beat! 

image via Pinterest

If you're looking for a Design Team to help you pair down your living, or just need a little help with design projects around your home, we are here to help!  We're always up for a good challenge!   Happy Designing! 

heather-scherie

To see more about my home and what inspires me, you can view my Pinterest Board

To read more about this Mission To Minimalism, click here

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MISSION TO MINIMALISM

"simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo Da Vinci

photo found on Pinterest

I remember the day that my husband and I brought home all of the gifts that we had received from our baby shower like it was just yesterday.  As I looked around, I felt simultaneously grateful and overwhelmed with an unexpected sense of anxiety.  The items before me all looked seemingly necessary, but the thought of finding homes for all of this stuff to keep a baby alive felt impossible.  

As the first few weeks of mommy hood have passed me by in a blissful blur. the one thing that stays consistent besides the love I have for my new family, is the panic I feel when clutter stacks up and I feel like I'm living in a mess.  Obviously, having a newborn in your home leaves far less time to take care of such things, so we turn to help in the form of housekeepers and nannies.  I get that now.  But, I find myself questioning why I have all these things that need to be cleaned, managed and maintained?  For the first time, I'm looking at the items in my home, in MY LIFE, and wondering, "do I really need this?" 

These past few weeks have helped me to realize that I don't enjoy living amongst all the "stuff" in my home!  I appreciate possessions more when I rely on them to help me in my daily life.  The excess is just leading to more waste and the stress of dealing with garage sales and Craigslist adds to offload the unnecessary that adds up.  So, all in all, I have decided to challenge myself to do at least one thing each week for the next year to make my move towards a more minimal way of living. 

GOALS 

- I hope to find myself at the end of this journey feeling grateful and accomplished. 

- I'd like to have less of a negative effect on the environment.

- I'd like to spend my money more locally on items I truly love and need than worrying about getting the best price or buying items that work for "right now." 

- I want to feel like the possessions I have either serve a daily purpose or I have an emotional attachment to them.  

- I want to be able to spend less time cleaning and organizing the unnecessary in order to spend more time with my family and friends 

- I'd like to find at least one way, once a month, to give back to my community with the money that I would have spent on unnecessary items I would typically purchase. 

INSPIRATION

My sense of style, design wise, has always been a "less is more" approach... So, I'm counting on my love for aesthetics and sanity will help me to keep pushing forward.  Because I am an Interior Designer, the best way to get me motivated is through pretty things!  Below are some of the spaces that inspire me and work with the current architecture of our home.  


I'll be documenting this adventure with all of you weekly, so if you have suggestions or questions, please share!  Wish me luck! 

heather-scherie

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