Declutter Your Home Without Tossing Your Stuff


Today experts will argue that decluttering your home until it becomes a bare minimalist space is the way to go. But what about those of us that like a little clutter–or at least our possessions we wouldn’t dare throw away? Don’t worry, here is a list of ways to declutter without tossing your stuff.

Keep Things in their Spot

The main reason why clutter builds up around the home isn’t from having too much stuff but rather because things are in the wrong spot. Simply keeping things organized can clear up a lot of clutter. Organizing items together will further help declutter your home. Keeping all mail in one area, magazines in a pile, and electronics together can go a long way.

Use Walls

Just when you thought there is no more space around the house, remember you have walls. Walls can be used to add additional shelving, hooks, and other organizational tools. The key point to keep in mind when using walls is that you want anything you put on them to be easy to come out.

Store in Furniture

Do you have drawers that can be used to place electronics or miscellaneous items? Look around your home, you might find places you can use for storage. Using every place possible as a storage unit will alleviate the clutter lying around the home.

Control Your Cords

The easiest way to clear up clutter from any room is to clean up the cords that randomly run through it. There are a lot of products that can help you conceal and clean up cords to free up as much space as possible.

5 Home Trends to follow in 2018

1 Dark Colors

You can never go wrong with an all-white interior, but experts say that 2018 will be a year of dark and bold colors. Sherwin-Williams color of the year is Oceanside and Pantone named its color of the year Ultra-violet. These along with other bold colors are going to be favorites to paint around the home.


2 Floral Prints

Interior Design Experts are expecting floral prints in bold and contrasting colors to have a strong year. Floral prints in throw pillows, chairs, and drapery are going to be a favored decor around the household.


3 Natural Materials

Hey, hey everyone!! Feast your eyes on this gorgeousness from Katie @asformyhouse who is this weeks pick for #mybotanicalbungalow 💚💚Katie’s home is gorgeous from every angle. I mean that rug (she is the rug queen), that chair, the amazing giant Bird of Paradise. What is not to love?! Her home is definitely one of my favorites on IG packed with lots of inspiration!! Everyone go show Katie some love! 💕 . . Thanks so much to Jack @jgrohmann80 for hosting with us this week! We loved having you!! 💚💚 . . Keep tagging your plant pics with #mybotanicalbungalow & be sure to follow all your hosts! 👉🏼 @mylittlebohome 👉🏼 @dreaming_of_decor 👉🏼 @through_the_orange_door 👉🏼 @la_sidhu 👉🏼 (cohost) @asformyhouse . . . #mybotanicalbungalow #myplantlovinghome #plantsmakepeoplehappy #putaplaneonit #earthinspiredhome #apartmenttherapy #sodomino #designspiration #designsponge #interiordesign #inspoforall #flashesofdelight #tuesday #bhghome #hgtvhome #livingroomdecor #livingroominspo #houseplants #houseplantclub #birdofparadise #simplystyle #hyggehome #modernboho #eclectichome #bohohome #greenyourfeed #homedecor #decorcrushing #livingroomideas

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2018 will have a strong interior design push towards eco-conscious items that are made from sustainable materials. Plants and other natural materials are part of the growing minimalist trend we can expect to see.


4 Wood Flooring

Hey friends! Happy Saturday! It is Saturday, right?! 🤔🙈 I have totally lost track of the days this Christmas break! 🤷🏼‍♀️ Lol! Last night, we got out of the house for the first time in days and hit up the after-Christmas sales at the mall and my kids used some gift cards they received. The mall was absolutely nuts…busier than before Christmas! 😳 Today, we are going to begin disassembling the Christmas decor. I’m ready to start off 2018 with a clean slate!🌿 Continuing the count down of my most popular (non-holiday) posts….you guys seem to love anytime my sweet puppy, Jessie, makes an appearance in my pics! 🐶💗 I’ll try to have her model in my pics even more in 2018. She’s pretty easy to photograph because she doesn’t move a lot! Lol! Hope you have a great day! (And check out my stories…I hit up Nordstrom’s Half Yearly sale yesterday! 🤗). . . Easily shop my posts by clicking the link in my profile and going to the “Shop My Instagram Posts” button! #liketkit #LTKhome . . #dogsofinstagram#puppy#entryway#entrywaydecor#homedecor#homeinspo#homedesign#foyer#stairs#woodfloors#engineeredhardwood#frenchcountrystyle#interiordesign#interiors#ighome#instahome#instadecor#ourdecorboard

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For years red-toned wood flooring has been the go-to choice but lately, its popularity has been fading. The new lighter-toned wood flooring is increasing in popularity and will be a favorite amongst consumers in the new year because the lighter-hued woods brighten spaces and hide imperfections.


5 Light Wood Cabinets

Like with wood flooring homeowners are also expected to opt for the lighter wood cabinets. The light simplistic feel of the cabinets according to design experts provide a warmth feel and make space feel more inviting.

6 Kitchen Trends That Will Get Your Home Sold Fast

The kitchen is the most important room in a home – sell the kitchen to the buyer and you’ll sell the home. Full kitchen renovations are not always necessary and don’t always result in the highest return. In most cases, your kitchen doesn’t need renovations, just a few updates. Buyers love trendy features that make the home look like a stylish place to live.


1. Subway Tile

If the only thing you update is the backsplash, you’ll transform your whole kitchen.  According to Zillow, homes that feature subway tiles sell for 13 percent more and about 60 days more quickly than homes without.


2. Try Two Tones

Two-tone cabinets are another trend that buyers love. Try gray and white or navy and blue – neutral tones mixed with wood finishes are also a great pairing.


3. Farm It Out

Stainless steel sinks are being replaced with apron-front farmhouse sinks are as they tend to create an immediate focal point and project an illusion of a higher priced kitchen. Zillow also reports that homes with farmhouse sinks can sell for eight percent more than those without.


4. Granite Countertops

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Zillow also found that listings touting the word “quartz” corresponded with a six percent sales premium. Granite countertops saw a boost too, though a lesser one at four percent. Still, homes with granite-topped counters sold 38 days sooner than those with less coveted surfaces, especially laminate.


5. Eat In

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almost 70 percent of homeowners surveyed by Houzz are planning or recently completed kitchen renovations that incorporate a place to eat, with 25 percent adding an actual dining table. Removing a non-load bearing wall to accommodate a table and chairs can be a cost-effective upgrade.

6. Open Floor Plans

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Last year’s Kitchen Trends Survey by Houzz found that homeowners prefer seamless transitions between living spaces and the kitchen. Almost half of renovating homeowners are opening up their kitchens to other interior spaces and 18 percent are opening them up to adjacent outdoor areas.






5 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Buying a home can be nervewracking, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer. Not only is it probably the biggest purchase of your life, but the process is complicated and fraught with the unfamiliar lingo and surprise expenses.

To make the first-time home buying journey a little less stressful, NerdWallet has compiled these 5 tips to help you navigate the process more smoothly and save money. We’ve divided our list into three sections.

1. Pick the right neighborhood

Finding the right neighborhood is just as important as locating the right house. Research the schools, even if you don’t have kids, since that affects a home’s value. Look at local safety and crime statistics. How close are the nearest hospital, pharmacy, grocery store and other amenities you’ll use? Also, drive through the neighborhood on various days and at different times to check out traffic, noise and activity levels.

2. Make the most of an open house

Use this as another opportunity to scope out the neighborhood and your potential neighbors. During the open house, pay close attention to the home’s overall condition and look for any smells, stains or items in disrepair. Ask a lot of questions about the home, such as when it was built, when items were last replaced and how old key systems like the air conditioning and the heating are. If several other potential buyers are viewing the home at the same time as you, don’t hesitate to schedule a second or third visit to get a closer look and ask more questions.

3. Buy a home for tomorrow

It’s easy to look at properties that meet your current needs. But if you plan to start or expand your family, it may be preferable to buy a larger home you can grow into. Consider your future needs and wants and whether this home will suit them.

4. Let little things go

When you’re looking at a home, it’s easy to get caught up on superficial details like paint color, fixtures, and carpets. These features are easy to change once the home is yours, so don’t let those little details get in the way.

5. Check your credit

When you’re taking out a mortgage loan, your credit will be one of the key factors in whether you’re approved, and it will help determine your interest rate and possibly the loan terms.

So check your credit before you begin the home buying process. Dispute any errors that could be dragging down your credit score and look for opportunities to improve your credit, such as making a dent in any outstanding debts.


This article originally appeared on NerdWallet

The 5 Golden Rules for Home Staging on a Budget

Staging your home will get it sold faster, but sometimes we don’t always have the budget to stage a whole home. While if you can afford a stager, we suggest you do, but if not, this is how you can stage your home yourself and on a budget.


Kiki interiors

Put family photos and decor away, buyers want to be able to picture themselves in your home. This includes photos and kids’ drawings or awards on the fridge. Also, don’t forget to clear out closets of unnecessary clutter. You can also get matching hangers to make a more visually appealing closet space.





RUE Magazine

Stuffed and overflowing closets are unattractive and shrink storage size, visually. Choosing gender neutral
colors for bedrooms also helps create more appeal to more people. A cohesive color scheme with a headboard and few decorative items can really improve the look of a bedroom.









bathtub-2485957_960_720The first thing you should do before anyone views your home is to clean it and give it a deep clean. There is no bigger turnoff than dusty shelves, hanging cobwebs, or strange odors. Whites in the bath give it a clean, simple, and sterile look. 


Hooked on Houses

A dated-looking home will receive lower offers. While renovating your home may not be the best solution in this situation, there are ways to modernize it. Start with the dining room, create a statement visual point of interest by adding fresh flowers. Add lighting or emphasize natural lighting with mirrors.












These few simple tweaks can increase your home’s selling price by hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars.

Outside Fire Pits For Any Backyard

A fire pit is a fun and simple way to create an outdoor space perfect for entrainment. Firepits are a great commodity that can be used year round by roasting marshmallows in the summer and huddling around it for warmth in the winter.  They can be purchased from home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes or built by yourself, but tailored to any yard.


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These homeowners decided the focal point of their backyard would be their fire pit. Decorated with lights, this chic backyard pit is perfect for any summer festivity.


(Photo credit: Luxxu)

These homeowners decided their fire pit would make a great addition to their yard by creating a small area  for it. This is a great way to incorporate a fire pit without dedicating your whole yard to it.


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This square pit is perfect for cocktails around the fire while the meat is barbaqued. These homeowners found the perfect spot in their yard without creating a home space for it.


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This unique pit was built below ground level, using the edges for seating. This may take a bit more work, but it is a fun way to peek your guests’ interest.



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While fire pits are great for warm summer nights, backyard fireplaces add a level of luxury. While not all yards are built for these, getting creative in where to install them will prove to be beneficial. Perfect for day or night use, outdoor fireplaces are beautiful whether they are in use or not.




5 Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Boost the Value of Your Home

Now that Summer is here and interest rates are relatively low, there is no better time to buy or sell. Traditionally, the spring buying and selling season begins to pick up mid-January, but this year the market never slowed down.  If you want to get the most value for your home, there are a few improvements experts say you should invest in before you sell your home. Here are the top 5 ways to boost the value of your home:


1. Clean up and clear out


Nothing turns off prospective buyers more than a cluttered, disorganized home.

  • Depersonalize your home. This doesn’t mean you have to remove all your family photos, but limit them to a decent amount. Remove or put away any trophies, awards, or religious decor items, and strive for a clean, simple look.


2. Spruce up your kitchen


The kitchen is one of the main selling points of your home – it’s the heart of the home.

  • Don’t go and drop thousands on a brand new kitchen.  
  • Start with a fresh coat of paint, new cabinet hardware, and new curtains.
  • Fix any leaky faucets, loose light fixtures, and burn marks on the countertop.

Starting with these few fixes will greatly improve the overall look of the kitchen.


3. Freshen up the bath


Behind the kitchen, bathrooms are the second most important rooms in a home for sale.

  • Start with small improvements, such as new light fixtures, new faucets, and mirrors.
  • If it needs it, caulk the edges of the bathtub and regrout the tile.
  • Also, new toilets will not only improve the look of the bathroom but the functionality.

 A well-kept bathroom will show buyers that your home is clean and well-maintained.


4. Paint the rooms


The fastest and cheapest way to transform a room is to paint it.

  • This doesn’t mean you have to go through and paint every room in the house.
  • Common rooms like kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms are your best candidates.
  • Rooms that have unusual or bright colors should also be painted.
  • Stick to neutrals such as white or off-white, grays and beiges.

 Sticking to these colors will be less distracting, allowing prospective buyers to focus on other attributes.


5. Enhance curb appeal


Think of your open house as an interview. You wouldn’t go to an interview without brushing your hair or wearing a sharp outfit, you want to look the part. Now your home needs to look the part.

  •  Start by trimming the bushes and trees, mowing the lawn, and putting mulch in between the in-ground plants.
  • Make sure your porch and front door are looking its best as this area is the main focal point of your home. 

Mortgage Rates Fall to 2017 Low – Despite Earlier Predictions

Real Estate "sold" sign with red brick building and trees blurry in the background

Just as everyone returns back to work from the biggest summer holiday, mortgage rates are taking their own vacation. Last week, mortgage rates hit the lowest levels of 2017.  This comes at a time when homes are in high demand while supply is low.

Economists were predicting mortgage rates to rise by the end of the year, but as legislative agendas and tax reform has slowed, rates have remained low.

Low rates provoke refinance activity, but since rates have been at historical lows for so long, there are limited numbers of homeowners who can refinance to an even lower number.

The demand is expected to increase even though there is a lack of for-sale supply.

Economists believe there is very little chance of rates bouncing back in the near future. If you’ve been thinking of buying a home, now is the time to do so. Call us today: 562.424.0333

3 Crucial Reasons You Should Buy a Home Before 2017 Ends


Buying a house in 2017 will feel kind of like you’ve jumped onto the subway just as the doors were closing. Your heart’s pounding and you’re winded from the race, but you made it—just in time.

OK, so maybe that’s a little exaggerated. But here’s the thing: Interest rates have begun to rise and will likely climb higher. Inventory is low and could shrink more. And home prices? Well, home prices are increasing—and they’re not predicted to fall anytime soon.

It’s tough to buy a home today in most places in the country because there are so few homes for sale,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for®. “But if you wait to buy, then you’re gambling that the market will be better for you to purchase in the future.”

And that’s not a smart gamble, our real estate experts say. If you’ve been toying with the idea of buying, or you anticipate a life change that might force you to move—such as a new baby or a job transfer—you should be “buying as urgently and as soon as possible,” Smoke says.

So finish reading this, then start looking for a house. Here’s why.

1. Rates are rising

In 1981, when mortgage rates hit 18% and seemed to rise every day, single-digit rates seemed like an impossible dream.

Last August, however, rates on 30-year mortgages bottomed out at 3.55%. Now that the Federal Reserve finally decided to raise its key interest rate, mortgage rates have been climbing slowly. Today, the average rate is just above 4%; by 2019 or 2020, rates could easily climb to 6%.

“All signs point to this trend continuing,” says Richard DeNapoli, managing director for Coral Gables Trust and a former Florida real estate commissioner.

2. Inventory is shrinking

In November 2016, there were only 1.85 million homes for sale. That’s a nearly 10% drop from the year before. And it continues a trend of steady decline since just before the housing crash, when inventory peaked.

Real estate experts predict that inventory will continue to shrink, at least for the foreseeable future. That means that in most areas of the country, buyers have more homes to choose from today than they will next year.

Or even next month. If you get moving now (during the winter, which is largely considered to be real estate’s off-season), you’ll have less competition for those homes than you will in the peak spring and summer months.

Bottom line: Every day you wait to start looking for a new home, you face stiffer competition for fewer homes.

“If you think it’s bad right now, wait until April to August,” Smoke says.

3. Home prices are still rising

The bad news for buyers is that home prices now stand higher than before the 2007 crash, increasing 5% from 2015 to 2016. And housing experts expect an additional 2% to 3% jump in 2017, DeNapoli says.

“Prices continue to go up; we have yet to see that ceiling,” says Trevor Levin, a real estate agent with Nourmand & Associates in Los Angeles. “I think they have room to grow.”

How high prices will rise and how long they’ll remain high is anyone’s guess. Rising mortgage rates and the new Trump administration have introduced “uncertainty” into the real estate market, Levin says.

“And uncertainty is never ideal,” he says.

The good news? If you jump into the market pronto, you just might make it before those doors close.


This article originally appeared on

4 Important Things Home Sellers Often Forget To Do


Even if you haven’t sold a home before, you can guess there is a lot of work that goes into the process. From maintenance on the home to finding an agent, it’s no wonder so many things fall through the cracks. Here is a list of the most important to-dos that most sellers forget to do:

1. Google your address

Not all sellers search the internet to see what people are saying about their property or neighborhood, but they should. You should be aware of your online listing so you can further understand buyer’s concerns. Don’t forget to look at your home on Google Maps so you can see if there are any updates you may want to include in your description if they don’t show up.

2. Insist on social media marketing

After you’ve staged your home, picked competitive price, and listed it, it’s time you marketed on social media. Video tours, floor plans, and photos are a must do if you want to sell your home in 2017.

3. Clean everywhere inside

Potential buyers are going to be a bit nosey, as they should be. They will be looking inside closets, ovens, cabinets, even refrigerators. If they are not clean now, they should be by the time of the viewing. Even if you’ve cleaned every surface to a shine, you’re not done until you’ve cleaned every corner, small space, and inch of your home.

4. Account for improvements and issues

If you’ve lived in your home for a while, make a list of improvements and issues you have fixed. This includes flood damage, flooding in the basement, and chimney fires. Whether you solved the problem or not you should disclose the information to the buyers so you don’t wind up with a lawsuit post sale.