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REAL ESTATE TIPS: Whether selling, buying or staying, set ‘home goals’ in 2020


New Year’s Resolutions and goals are a big deal for so many at the start of the new year, myself included. For those of us who are into this type of thing, we set goals for all areas of our lives. Our work, family, eating habits and even money, all seem to be affected by what we think should happen during this new year. Do you ever set any goals for your house? I did last year. I failed at the big goal but did make some headway.

I suffer from something called basementitus. It is a disease in which your basement becomes a holding tank for things special to you or that you just aren’t sure if you should get rid of, but you never take the time to clean it out, and pitch and reorganize. It encompasses things like the million blankets that you don’t use on beds anymore but don’t quite want to get rid of in case you might need them someday. Or the toys your kiddos played with when they were little and seeing said toy brings warm fuzzies to your belly so you can’t stand the thought of parting with them. Then there are the items like every empty folder the kids used in school that is in good condition and could be used for something else – some day — maybe. One day you look up and after 20 plus years of marriage and 12 years in the same house, you see that there are rows and rows of storage containers in your basement lined up on shelves that your sweet husband made for you ‑ partially for your sanity and partially for his own. Basementitus is usually cured by two ways. The first is you just get motivated to start cleaning. While this rarely happens, on occasion, one will get lucky. The second is that you sell your home and move and you HAVE to clean it out.

This year, I set the goal, once again, to pitch, throw and reorganize. It is the one goal that I have for my house. I made decent headway last year but there is more to do.  As I thought about it, I realized that you all probably have home goals for yourself. I am sharing some ideas with you. I’m not creative enough to come up with these on my own. Most of these I either read somewhere or learned from clients. So here are some goals that might help you out in your house, whether you are selling, buying, or staying put.

*Organize for 30-60 minutes a day.  This is what helped me last year in my own basement. Everyday, I would carve out that time to start organizing and pitching things in my basement containers. I would literally set an alarm and stop at the end of the time frame.  There are days that you will miss due to schedules, illness, etc, but it is amazing what you can accomplish in 30-60 minutes. This can be helpful whether you are a new buyer unpacking a house or someone who has lived in their home for quite some time.

*Start saving for “what if”.  What if the garbage disposal breaks? What if a tree blows over in a storm? What if you want new windows? Life is full of these moments. I am not going to suggest a dollar amount because income and budgets vary and are so personal. Some of you might be saving $10 a month, and that stretches your budget. But be encouraged that by doing that, when that garbage disposal breaks in December 2020, you will have $120 set aside to pay for a new one. Others of you might be in a position where you are saving $1000 a month to get new windows and it is a want, not a need. That is fine too. Whatever your “what if” looks like is 100% up to you.

*Make a “freshen up” calendar.  If you have lived in your house long enough, especially if you have small kids at home, there is always something that you can freshen up. Maybe your light switch covers are super dirty simply due to natural oils on one’s skin. Maybe you have a “tupperware” drawer that has a lid fairy ( just like the sock fairy). Perhaps you have a room that hasn’t been painted in so long, you forget why you picked that now annoying color to you in the first place. Having a freshen up schedule, whether it be monthly, quarterly, or something different to you, allows you to address some of these things. You will feel better when it is done. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. Outlet covers can be replaced but they can also be wiped down with a damp cloth or baby wipe. A number of years ago, the Habitat for Humanity Restore would sell leftover paint for a few dollars a gallon, making it much more economical than buying new paint at the store.

*Socially open up your home.  I know what some of you are thinking. One social event a year at my house? I do one a week! Others, like me, love spending time with people but rarely do it at their own home. A big part of that is because I am not Betty Crocker. But people aren’t necessarily looking for that. We are all just looking for community. So I challenge the individuals similar to me who would rather meet someone out somewhere for lunch rather than invite them over for a meal, let’s open up our homes to family and friends. Get to know more people. And if you think about it, come April, ask me “Hey Esta, who did you invite over this month?” Help me to be accountable to my goal of opening up the Ryder house to have community with others.

I hope that your 2020 is full of blessings in every area of your life. I hope that when January 2021 comes along and you review the year 2020, that it was your best year yet! I’m rooting for you!

Esta Ryder, Realtor
President’s Club
Ryder Realty, LLC

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