Let’s talk about home staging! Home staging is something you might already be familiar with if you’ve ever gone house hunting or looked for a new apartment. You can really tell the difference if the seller or rental agent has invested any time and effort in making your prospective new home feel like such from the very moment you pull up at the curb outside.
Whether it was a few simple things such as making sure the landscaping was clean and tidy, to actually setting up a lovely display of furniture, or even seemingly small details such as a small basket of new molded soaps in the bathroom, from the first time you laid eyes (and nose!) on the place, you were already dreaming of your happy new life there and visualizing where your belongings will be placed.
With a great many folks looking to move states for a great many reasons, or even looking to move abroad depending upon which way the political winds blow this November 😀 , a lot of homes will be going on the market, with their owners hoping to get them sold and done with in record time. Home staging will be an important part of that process.
But home staging is useful for more than just selling a property, many of the tips in the infographic below** can also be applied to your rented home if you’re looking for someone to sub-let so you can get out of a lease early, if you’re planning to host your boss or that influential neighbor for dinner, or even if it’s your turn to host the fundraising committee for the PTA and you’d rather not have them come away with the impression that you’re maybe only a degree or two above actual slovenliness. Occasionally in-laws might pay a visit and it’d be nice to get through the experience without them making snide remarks about your home resembling a Comic-Con refugee camp.
If the latter description resembles you in any way, believe me I sympathize! (Star Trek rules!) Getting your home muggle-ready may seem a gargantuan task when your idea of decorating is a ton of bookcases and your favorite fandom posters, with your well-loved sci-fi tchotchkes hodge-podge all over the place collecting dust. However, going step-by-step through the infographic below can cut down on the overwhelming and before you know it, your home will look like one of those well-put-together spreads you’ve secretly admired from real estate open houses and home & garden magazines.
An additional tip: a couple hours before company comes over, pop an apple pie or two in the oven (even a frozen one, if you’re short on baking skills). The smell of fresh apple pie can put someone at ease and make them feel welcome! (Unless they’re allergic to apples, in which case you might want to swap for an alternate baked goodie.)
The occasions when I’ve done some home staging (to impress my kids’ well-off playdates’ moms) were immensely gratifying when my husband would walk through the door after work and do an actual double-take in amazement at how nice everything looked! 😀
**Infographic supplied by Moms With Voices Media. This was a sponsored post. The opinions expressed herein were entirely my own and were not influenced in any way by the sponsor or the small fee I received in compensation for writing it.
Had an interesting dream last night. I was a Counter-Terrorist Diplomatic Consultant for some alphabet agency and we were meeting in a ‘situation’ room to discuss the latest hot ‘threat’ and what to do about it. In this case, it was a Native American man that had just been released from prison that he felt he had been unjustly incarcerated in, he had incendiary devices and guns and was planning to do something at a specific location, according to intel.
So there were all these highly-educated, highly-trained (and highly-paid) agents making a plan, and the best they could come up with was getting a SWAT team down there to take the man out. (as in demised, not out on a date)
Frankly, I was gobsmacked by this ‘genius’ idea and spoke up: “Uh…did anyone even begin to consider just sending someone in, unarmed to have a talk with the fella? Giving him a good listen and letting him vent, get whatever’s bothering him off his chest? Finding out if maybe he had a legitimate grievance and working out a plan with him to address or fix it, if so?”
Nope. Never crossed their minds.
“It’s too risky!” they bleated fearfully.
Cue massive eye-roll here.
“Uh-huh, and that’s why you have me here. I’ll do it. Give me a few minutes to assemble my own team and we’ll get to work. The rest of you stay back and stay quiet, and under no circumstances is ANYONE to do anything even vaguely threatening! Got it?!”
So then I assembled my team, which seemed to consist of a racially-diverse small group of guys in superhero spandex outfits. Our newbie member was very excited about his green satin cape.
Well, the Native American was also pretty impressed by the cape and touched that we were actually trying to listen to him so he vented his heart out and my team agreed to help him address his grievances and see that true justice was done and then we invited him to join our team. We strolled out of the building with him, strolled on by the police perimeter, amiably chatting with each other as that alphabet agency had its collective jaw hitting the ground.
Mission accomplished. 😀
Then the dream switched to another scenario.
This time I was called in because our country had done something nasty to Japan and Japan had just found out about it and were planning to declare war, and our country had decided to do a pre-emptive strike. My opinion was asked on the best way to go about doing that.
As in the first part of the dream, I was absolutely stunned by this monumental show of collective idiocy.
“Uh…did anyone even begin to consider just sending someone in, unarmed to to their Embassy to have a talk with them? Give them a good listen and let them vent, get whatever’s bothering them off their chest? If they have a legitimate grievance – which in this case they do – maybe work out a plan with them to address or fix it?”
Oh, it’s too risky, it might incite them to…war…which they were already incited to…hmm. Oh, and our country would lose face if we actually admitted we’d done something wrong, and trying to apologize would be as good as admitting we’d done something wrong, they might ask for reparations or something. The excuses for avoiding responsibility went on and on.
“Tough cookies, folks, we did wrong and we’re going to suck it up and give them a chance to vent about it and then we’re going to apologize sincerely and do our best to make it up to them!”
So I got all dressed up (no superhero spandex this time) and party-crashed a fancy shindig that was being held at the embassy with a team of unarmed diplomatic agents. The Japanese government reps were well aware that we were there but everyone was ignoring us, no eye-contact, as if we didn’t exist. Some agents complained to me that they couldn’t get any of the Japanese contingent to even talk to them, so how could they get anything accomplished here?
I told them that if we got angry over being cold-shouldered, or tried to push the matter, they could justify that we’d acted first to start a war (as if our original crime against them wasn’t enough already) and they were in the clear about responding with force.
“Ok, let them humiliate, embarrass, ignore and shun us to their hearts content, it might make them feel better. We’re not going to whine about it or print any retaliatory stories in the media, we’re going to take it and show sympathy and remorse for what they’re going through – we’re going to put THEIR feelings first!” So that’s what we did, giving the Japanese ample opportunity to snicker at us being ignored.
The next day, I went back to the embassy with a couple other agents to apologize and hear the Japanese reps out. They vented quite a bit and we admitted our government had been in the wrong and asked what they wanted in the way of reparations. They were stunned. They’d expected us to respond with threats of world war and other retaliations to pre-emptively strike at them, not us showing up apologetic and taking responsibility to make things right when we’d done wrong.
They said they wanted a public unconditional apology printed in the media, and for us to send people over to Japan to repair any damage done to their infrastructure by our actions and to pay any bills for folks that had gotten hurt. We agreed and war was averted.
The guys back at the alphabet agency were shocked that my plan had worked and that we’d avoided world war so “simply”.
Wow. SMH sooooo much!
The existence of any government, or even just the need for government, is indicative of immaturity. Imagine a deserted island. A lone person is washed ashore. Does that person need a government? Do they need to rule over others or be ruled by others? No. If they want to survive and prosper, they need to get of their tushy and work at it. If they choose to sit on their tushy, they’ll perish. They have free will to make that choice – to do as they see is the best fit for their personal situation.
Now let’s enlarge that a little – say it’s a family that landed on that island. There is no one to rule over the parents, and the parents rule over the children in their immaturity until they too can stand on their own and provide for themselves. But there is no dispute at this level over who owns what or has access to which resources. No need for jealousy, envy, greed, or power. So let’s expand the population to several families. Again, the division of, or access to resources only becomes a point of contention when the immature are involved.
There is no problem that cannot be solved with with creativity, communication and compassion (the three C’s).
Whether the expression of that is manifested in human society within the framework of a commune or a co-op, or an intentional community, or something else, the need for government is avoided by mature people working together for the survival of all, expanding outward from the individual and the family.
Any points of contention that may arise can be easily solved by mature people applying the three C’s. Even if we expand this to a town, or several towns, a country or several countries, government can be entirely done away with, if at every level of society it is emphasized that the practice of the three C’s is paramount, and that maturity is highly prized and encouraged to develop in the young.