Move Loot

Move Loot

Simplicity is loving this new business concept!  Move Loot is the first curated, full-service online marketplace for buying and selling previously-owned furniture and decor. Unlike peer-to-peer services or classified ads, Move Loot takes the burden off sellers by picking up their goods and selling them on their behalf.

Move Loot

SellersWin

BuyersWin

Their service includes professional photography, storage and next-day delivery to the buyer. The company aims to not only make buying high-quality, stylish used goods easier, but also to reduce the amount of furniture that goes into U.S. landfills — currently, 10.8M tons annually.

Selling Furnit

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Headquartered in San Francisco, Move Loot operates in Los Angeles, New York City, Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, and Atlanta. Learn more on Move Loot’s website or follow them on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

Move Loot is a wonderful resource for letting go of furniture that no longer serves a purpose in your home and life.  Consider letting other people in the community enjoy what you no longer need and you can be rewarded by the cash!


It’s Time to Call in the Captain!

CaptainClutterCartoon

You’re ready to get your home and life organized, but you feel there is so much stuff weighing you down. You are having a hard time even knowing where to start.  Think hand-me-downs from college, your children’s old toys, broken furniture, torn couches, old paint cans, and huge box TVs.  Whether you are moving, downsizing, settling an estate or simply in need of some free space in your home… the Captain has you covered.

Captain Clutter cheerfully picks up items for charity and hauls off cardboard for recycling and all metals and trash. They take donated items to Habitat for Humanity, Crisis Ministries, Salvation Army and Goodwill. They work with companies to help recycle paint, metals, chemicals, cardboard, televisions, computers and large amounts of plastics. They also use a non-government owned landfill for trash disposal. For items of high value, they will sell these treasures on behalf of the client. They will even remove paints, tires and household chemicals for a small additional fee.

Captain Clutter’s charges are based how much space your items occupy in their large truck.  Hourly rates may be applied in certain situations, like emptying an attic or boxing and bagging several items.

CaptainClutterphoto CaptainClutterphoto

When Captain Clutter’s Director of Operations, Alan Romack, was asked what it was like working with Simplicity he answered, “When we work with Simplicity we know that we are partnering with the best in the business. Simplicity is a well-run company with the best organizers, who truly care about their clients and their needs.” 

Simplicity works with their clients, helping them sort, purge, and organize their belongings.  Then in a flash, Captain Clutter arrives to haul off all the items that are no longer needed.

Simplicity and Captain Clutter began their partnership in 2010 with a mission to help Charlotte residents de-clutter their homes and lives. Together they create customized and maintainable organizational systems. This perfect pair can transform a space in no time!


Moving: Wrong Way or Right Way?

 

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Not all moves are created equal.  Sometimes a move is the result of a happy occurrence and sometimes not.  Some moves are long in the planning and some must happen rather abruptly. Often moves are handled from start to finish by professionals, but others involve significant personal effort.  Regardless of the impetus for your move or its practical aspects, the move will be smoother and settling into the new quarters will be enhanced, if you follow a few principles, collectively called “rightsizing”.

Rightsizing is a framework for thoughtfully examining how you want to live your life and for identifying which possessions will best feather your new nest. Rightsizing appreciates both the importance of practical necessities and the desire for treasured keepsakes.

In a nutshell, rightsizing is the critically important precursor to packing to move and getting organized in your new home. When you examine your life and all your stuff and are honest about what works and what doesn’t, you’re on the rightsizing path.  When you ask and answer tough questions about why you’re hanging on to mountains of clutter, you’re rightsizing.  When you do the math and admit that 5000 square feet of stuff won’t work in a 2000 square foot house, you’re rightsizing.  When you deal with the psychology of clutter BEFORE you begin to pack, this is rightsizing.

Boxes, packing paper and bubble wrap are important but stocking up on these supplies should follow the soul-searching that rightsizing elicits, not precede it. Rightsizing is a way to rescue you from being a prisoner of your things when you settle into your new space.

If thoughtful decision-making is so important, what is the proper framework for dealing with your possessions in anticipation of a move?

Here are several possibilities:

Does the utility or joy derived from the item exceed the space it consumes and the maintenance it requires?

Am I holding on to this item only from a sense of obligation, sadness or guilt?

If I’ve ascribed great value to this item, am I curating it in a fashion consistent with that value?

The emotional barriers to rightsizing are usually far more challenging than the physical ones.  Once the self-examination has been done, the nuts and bolts of packing are relatively simple.  Rather than feeling totally overwhelmed by the magnitude of the process (which only invites procrastination), a move that STARTS with rightsizing can be seamless and successful, not only in the short run but for the long haul too.

When you rightsize, you will have already formulated priorities, explored options for putting treasured possessions front and center and found creative solutions for disposing of those things that no longer make sense in your life.

If you are open to the possibilities, you’ll discover that change can be liberating and energizing.  So if a move is in your future, consider doing it the right (sized) way!

– By Robin McCoy

 

 


Estate Organization – Creating a Strategic Game Plan

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Few things in life can feel more overwhelming than being responsible for the management of a loved one’s estate. While our homes are filled with the memories of holiday’s celebrated, meals prepared, and generations of living, they can also be filled with a lifetime of accumulated stuff.

Estate Organization is the process of organizing and documenting all of the information and possessions related to one’s estate.  Ideally, assisting one’s parents by proactively discussing the various aspects of the estate can reduce the amount of stress and time spent managing the estate when they are no longer able to do so. However, often children of aging parents are left to sort through the belongings of a loved one after his or her passing, which triggers a variety of emotions and can often feel paralyzing. With countless decisions to be made, few are prepared or equipped to handle it alone in addition to their current responsibilities.

But you don’t have to do it alone! Simplicity can assist you in a variety of ways and empower you to make decisions about the dispersement of items. Specifically, here are a few ways that Simplicity can support you throughout the estate organization process:

  • Sort items by category and assist with the decision-making process
  • Schedule pick-up of donated and consigned items
  • Create an inventory of items that includes an Excel spreadsheet and photos
  • Contact and schedule an appraiser
  • Contact and schedule an estate sale coordinator
  • Schedule packers and movers
  • Schedule removal of trash and debris
  • Locate a storage facility

Here is how one client described the experience of working with Simplicity to handle his family’s estate:

estatesale“I found out about Simplicity through an attorney friend who was working on settling my parents estate.  Needless to say, our family was in the middle of a stressful life event.  What we needed more than anything else at that moment was a sense of peace and yes…Simplicity.  The Simplicity team responded quickly to our need to organize and inventory a vast array of items and personal effects. They expertly cataloged all of the items and efficiently planned many aspects of the estate settlement.  My whole family is forever grateful for the team at Simplicity for their professionalism and compassion during a difficult time for our family. I would highly recommend their services as a result of our very personal experience.” – M. Warstler 

Whether through working with your family to develop a strategic game plan for your family’s estate or coordinating the estate management process after a loved one’s passing, Simplicity is here to help!

Once decisions have been made regarding the dispersement of physical belongings, we recommend the following vendors to help you appraise and sell any remaining cherished items.

Estate Vendors

These vendors offer estate sales, appraising and liquidating.

Appraisals

Caroline T. Gray, ISA CAPP

(704) 365-4539

http://www.isa-appraisers.org

 

Estate Consignment

Sleepy Poet Antique Mall

4450 South Boulevard, 
Charlotte, N.C. 28209

704-529-6369

www.sleepypoetstuff.com

 

Clearing House

701 Central Avenue
, Charlotte, N.C. 28204

704-375-7708

www.clearinghousesouth.com

 

Fifteen Ten Antiques

1510 Central Avenue, 
Charlotte, N.C. 28205

704-342-9005

www.1510-antiques.com

 

Rooney Robison Antiques

1719 South Boulevard
, Charlotte, N.C. 28203

704-348-1778

www.rooneyrobisonantiques.com

 

Southend Exchange

1616 Camden Road, Charlotte, NC 28203

704-353-4600

www.southendexchange.com

 

Hamilton-Stuart

Showroom: 3916 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28209

704-526-5054

www.hamiltonstuart.com

 

Consignment on South

4450 South Blvd., Charlotte, NC  28209

704-837-7890

www.consginmentonsouth.com

 

Classic Attic

4301 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28209

704-521-3750

www.classicattic.biz

 


DNC… ONE WEEK TO GO!

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Many of you may be renting out your homes for the Democratic National Convention (DNC), which takes place one week from today. Trent Corbin with Providence Property Management has created a helpful list of organizing tips for preparing your home.

BASIC HOME PREPARATION

  • Clean your home.  Whether you hire a professional cleaning service or do it yourself, your rental should be sparkling for guests.
  • Depersonalize the home. Remove or store family photos, refrigerator magnets, personal items, sentimental items, etc.
  • Store and protect valuables so guests do not have access to them.
  • Provide keys and codes for tenant access. Homeowners will need to provide house keys for house guests.  If garage parking is included, provide all necessary garage passes, tags, reserved space numbers, etc.   This goes for pool/fitness centers as well.  Please also consider any specifics regarding HOA rules, amenity access, hours of access, etc. 
  • Provide all appliance instructions. Tenants will need brief but thorough instructions for any and all appliances, audio/visual equipment, etc. This include wireless internet codes, TV and DVD instructions, etc.  If you have a SmartHome or advanced A/V system, provide instructions for the operation of those system. 
  • Include a personalized note (optional). Some homeowners may like to leave a welcome note or other informa.   tion for guests. It would be a nice gesture to have a welcome letter from homeowners.
  • Provide easily accessible trash bags.  Make it easy for guests to find all trash can liners, including those for kitchen, bath and any other trash bins.  Consider putting additional trash bags at the bottom of each bin to avoid confusion when guests look for extra bags.  It is also a good idea to include garbage instructions for trash chutes, dumpsters, recycling, etc.
Bedrooms and Sleeping Spaces
  • Provide clean linens.  Guests are expecting linens to be cleaned prior to their arrival.  We highly recommend providing two sets of linens for each sleeping surface.  If you choose to purchase new linens for guests, these may be washed and donated to local shelters upon your return.
  • De-clutter your closets.  All closets should be emptied to the extent possible (again, to make it feel more like an executive rental), leaving at least room to hang 4-5 garments per sleeping surface (if you have 2 beds  in one room, you will need space for at least 8-10 garments in the closet)
  • Clear dresser drawers. These should be emptied to the extent possible but at least 2 drawers per sleeping
  • surface should be available.  Again, the primary objective is to remove any and all personal items that you would not want guests to have access to while you’re away.
  • De-clutter and clear out bedside tables. Remove all contents of drawers and depersonalize bedside tabletops.
Kitchen
  • Clean out fridge and pantry. Please clean out fridge and pantry as completely as possible without wasting food. If you have a garage refrigerator, you may want to store perishables there while you’re away.
  • Leave all dishes and flatware available to your tenants or provide plenty of disposable flatware for them to use.
  • Provide paper towels and/or kitchen towels for guests.
  • Include instructions for the dishwasher in the appliance instructions. Your preferred dish detergents would be ideal to leave for guests as well.
  • Include instructions and cleaning supplies for guests so that they may immediately clean any accidental spills, etc.

Bathrooms

  • Clean bathrooms thoroughly (tubs, grout, toilets)
  • Depersonalize and de-clutter countertops. Leaving toothbrush holders and hand soap is preferred. 
  • Remove any personal items from drawers or cabinets that you would not want guests to access (includes prescriptions, toiletries, personal hygiene items).  These should be stored and secured so guests cannot access these items
  • Provide clean (or new) towels for each sleeping surface. Each sleeping surface will need two sets of towels (two bath towels, two hand towels and two washcloths).  Similar to the linens, all towels may be washed and donated to local shelters following the DNC.
  • Provide critical toiletries, including toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner and body wash and/or bar soap (face wash optional) for each bathroom.  These should be new/unused.  Travel size bottles will be fine (you can buy small travel bottles at Target).  Additional amenities (toothpaste, tissues, etc.) are optional.

If you are struggling to make it all happen, Simplicity Organizers are here to help.


Renting Your House for the DNC?

We, at Simplicity Organizers, are preparing for the 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte this September.  Several of our clients have explored renting their homes during the DNC and have asked us to help them ready their space for this rare opportunity.  We have collaborated with Trent Corbin of Providence Property Management to provide some tips on how to prepare and rent your home during the DNC.dncc_logo

Marketing your DNC Rental

When marketing your DNC rental, Trent says the most important aspect of any listing is the photography.  Many visitors arriving in Charlotte for the Convention will not have been able to see their accommodations first-hand before signing a lease, which makes the photos in online listings critical to a potential renter’s success. Hiring an organizing company before taking photographs can be time and money well-spent. Potential renters will see your home as neat, spacious and efficient. Keep in mind most DNC visitors preferred a hotel room, but unable to find one, they’re considering a rental.  If your home or condo is cluttered, your listing will scarcely get a glance.

The primary rooms and areas of interest are:

  • Living Space – Picture this: You’re a lobbyist attending the Convention.  At the end of a long day of events and networking, when you come home to your “home away from home, you want to relax.  Does your living space fit that bill? Or are magazines piled high on the end table and video games scattered on the floor?  A potential renter will wonder if this clutter going to be there when they arrive.  Don’t give them reasons to pass on your rental, especially when the fixes can be so easy!
  • Kitchen – Visitors during the DNC aren’t going to be doing much cooking, but they might be entertaining with a caterer. A quality kitchen always adds value when marketing your home.  You don’t need to upgrade to stainless steel and granite, but you DO need to put away the dish soap and dirty kitchen towels and clear the countertops of miscellany.  If your refrigerator is covered in children’s art and magnets, please take them down for your rental photographs.
  • Bedrooms – The master bedroom needs to shine. That’s where the renter will be sleeping and they’re hoping for luxury.  Kids’ rooms are tough to market for the DNC. Most attendees won’t be bringing their families. Simplicity’s team can assist you in turning your kids’ cluttered spaces into rooms that look like inviting for executive, lobbyist or media personality.
  • Bathrooms – These are always challenging because they are often tight spaces with lots of mirrors that make for difficult photography.  Simplicity Organizers can help you reduce the clutter so your bathroom shines.  (Remember: always keep the toilet seats down when taking bathroom photographs!)
  • Exterior – This one is pretty simple.  As a DNC attendee, I might be entertaining at your home so it needs to look polished and presentable. I need to know your garage isn’t filled with a bunch of sports equipment and tools if I plan to park my company car.  I would also prefer not to have to use a machete to hack through your overgrown bushes to get to the door.  Make it look clean, make it look nice and make it look organized.   It’s as simple as that.

If you’re thinking about renting your home during the DNC, contact Trent at Providence Property Management today, but first, make sure your home is organized and ready for photographs and marketing materials.  Yes, it may cost you money up front to prepare before renting your home, but the money you make from the rental and a highly organized home when you return, will be worth the upfront investment!


“Happy Wife = Happy Life”

By Steve Repak, CFP

After serving 12 years in the Army, frequently moving from one duty station to another, I can proudly say that I had become pretty good at packing and moving. The part of moving that I was not that good at was the unpacking part.  For any of you that were ever in the military or had a job where you were required to move often, I know you can relate. 

After years of accumulating many unopened boxes I started running out of room where to put them.  I came up with a great plan for my last move.  I made sure I bought a house with a basement in order to have a place to hide all of those boxes.  It seemed like a good plan at the time but after a few years living in the house my plan started to unravel.  As long as those boxes were out of sight, they were out of mind.  That was until one winter morning my wife came up from the basement and asked me when I would go through those boxes. I told her that I would make it a priority once the weather warmed up because the basement was unheated.  Once spring arrived, the weather started getting warmer and I was nicely reminded to go through those boxes.  Since the weather was nicer I sure didn’t want to spend any time in a basement when it was so beautiful outside.  Once summer came, it was too hot to work down in the basement.  Eventually fall arrived and I am sad to say my wife starting losing patience with me.  I was all out of excuses and now I was out of time.

 I learned a long time ago “Happy Wife = Happy Life” so I had to make it a priority to get my basement in order and make my wife happy if I wanted to be happy.  On a Sunday morning I was reading the Mecklenburg Times when I came across an article about this company “Simplicity Organizers” that was able to help a Charlotte family with a problem of hoarding.  I thought it was awesome that there were people out there that could make a difference in other people’s lives so the following morning I called them up.  On the phone, they explained the process from beginning to end and then scheduled a time for the initial assessment.  When they arrived they were extremely professional and courteous. Within a few days they called back up with a game plan and a date to start.  They were really easy to get along with and fun to work with.  They were able to unpack all of those boxes, categorize the mess into keep, donate, or trash, and organize my stuff in a quick and timely fashion. They didn’t do it for free but it was definitely worth the money.

 In my book “Dollars & Uncommon Sense” I explain that the things that are important to you are the things you spend your time and money on.  I made it a priority to get my boxes unpacked and my mess organized.  I spent my money on something I should have done a long time ago, which made my wife happy and I am glad to say, that I have a Happy Life!


The Art of Moving – A Moving Testimonial


movingboxBy Lori Martin, Owner, Founder and Chief Operating Mom of The Purple Martin & Co.

Several months ago, our family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children and all 6 pets) moved ~ we sold our home and were off to new adventures. Due to the overwhelming feeling and all the moving parts along  with packing for the big move on the horizon, I had to wave my white flag of surrender and ask for help.  I needed this transition to a new home to be as smooth as possible.  Thankfully I had a resource to call.

A team of professional organizers came to my rescue.  With very little notice, Simplicity arrived and listened intently to me as I described my packing needs room by room, what we should take to the rental home, and what we should unpack once we got there.

When the day came for Simplicity to come over to help me organize before the packers arrived ~ I was in near panic mode.  I had never moved 3 kids, 4 frogs, 1 fish and a dog ~ let alone ALL of the  9 year of “stuff” that comes along with our family.

Thankfully, Simplicity spent three hours with me, helping me sort, label, purge, and organize in preparation for packing the next day.  While I was on hand to answer any questions they had, Simplicity worked seamlessly to provide order to my complete chaos.

What did I learn that day?


1. You don’t want to move trash ~ literally, if you have not emptied your waste cans on packing day, the packers will pack your garbage!


2. When you are moving to a rental home, you don’t want to unpack everything ~ organize items into pack-and-store piles versus high frequency essentials you must pack-and-open in the rental home.

3. Purge before you pack ~ if you haven’t used an item by the time you move, chances are you will not use it in the new home.  Save money by purging before you pay the packers by the hour ~ or before you take the time to pack it yourself ~ those boxes are expensive!

On moving day, my house of boxes was loaded onto the moving truck one at a time and four hours later we were unloading the truck at the rental house.  As the boxes came pouring into the new home, Simplicity arrived right on schedule to help turn the sea of chaos into organized bliss one box at a time.

Here’s how it went …

~ Boxes were  packed and labeled based on Simplicity’s pre-packing assistance (labeling and sorting).

~ As each box came off the truck it went to the room it was labeled for ~ i.e. master bedroom, laundry room etc.

~ Once the boxes for a particular room were unpacked, Simplicity swooped in to literally put the ENTIRE room’s contents away in a SUPER organized manner!

We’re talking bathroom drawers lined, socks put in the appropriate sock drawer, towels folded and placed with care in the linen closet, beds made, books organized on the bookshelves, clothes hung in the closet, shoes placed neatly on racks and much more!

The biggest help was in the kitchen!  While I would have spent an entire week figuring out where to put the plates versus the Tupperware, Simplicity has done this so many times that in the matter of an hour, my entire kitchen and pantry was organized better than I would have EVER done it myself!

I have to tell you the entire move-in was perfectly streamlined!  By 9pm (remember the move day started at 8am) my children were sleeping in their made beds (dust ruffles on!) with the entire contents of their rooms organized and put away (clothes, toys, books, toothbrushes!!), my husband and I were relaxing on the sofa and the entire house full of boxes had been unpacked and properly put in its new home (unless it had been labeled storage and we had it stacked in the garage for the next move).


The icing on the cake was a walk through of where everything was located.   Simplicity arranged to come over the next day to show me how everything was organized and explained why certain items landed in certain places.  Their logic was flawless and the execution was perfect!


The biggest compliment I can give is that this entire experience was worth every penny.