This will play to those of you that want your home to SELL. There is a small audience that is out there "testing" a rather sluggish market and not listening to their agent, that sells real estate for a living... but maybe this will help them also :).

One of the things that I try to stress to a seller is that their home needs to be at its "Sunday Best" at all times. I know... my home is completely cluttered (there will be no photos due to impending physical injury should my wife discover that I posted pictures here). It's mostly my fault. I like stuff. I like MY stuff out where I can see it because the pictures and nick-nacks all evoke memories. I like having the stuff I use in the kitchen and bathroom out where I can get a hand on it...heck, I use it every day. But "here is the rub", as Shakespear says...

My home isn't on the market. Let me repeat that... "My home isn't on the market". Whereas yours IS

Here is a way to think about storing your excess stuff in a storage facility, all neatly placed in boxes and ready to "what??"... move to your new home when you sell...and that's it in the proverbial nutshell. It is a TWO-FOR, a win-win, etc. You are not throwing your stuff away, you are 1) pre-packing for the move to come, and 2) REDUCING THE CLUTTER IN YOUR HOME FOR SOME VERY GOOD REASONS!!!I

I had a client once argue with me early in my career, "It humanizes the home, shows that people are living here." Sounded plausible to an early on agent. Did we sell the house? NO. Did it unfortunately go into foreclosure...sadly yes. There were other factors for the lack of sale, but cluttered up walls and shelves and PACKED closets definitely had an effect. And the effect for a large part is this: THIS IS MY HOUSE, NOT YOURS.

See? Prospective buyers can be a bit finicky. They are not buying a cheeseburger, so it has to be right. right? Even a property that marginally fits their needs might be the right property if enough mental objections are removed. Clutter is a mental objection. It is easy to fix...it will be gone when the current resident moves out (more than likely... let's hope). But again, the rub... there will be a negative in asome buyer's minds about the home that they just can't place their fingers on..."What was wrong with that place?? I can't think of it offhand, but there was something..." They could not picture themselves in it because there was just too much of YOU there.

DO YOU WANT THAT CLUTTER TO BE A REASON FOR SOMEONE NOT PUTTING YOUR HOME IN "THE FINAL FOUR"???

I didn't think so.

So here are some handy hints for choosing a storage facility. What are some things to look for???

Proximity to your current place of residence. You will be adding things TO the storage unit piecemeal, and you want this to be as painless as possible, so close to the current residence is a plus, but...

Security should be a main factor. There no doubt should be online reviews, but look for yourself. Cameras? Heavy fence? Gate code? Resident manager? Hours of access? One thing they do not control probably is the lock...so get a VERY good one, and one that LOOKS like a very good one also. Make certain that the hardware that the lock goes in is very good and in top repair. (I learned this the hard way by losing several thousand dollars worth of items in a remote, less than secure facility with a crummy lock... stupid me). Oh, and there is internal security also, should someone actually get through your external security... only label all the boxes (sealed tightly to keep out tiny critters) with a code. Don't help the criminals by labelling the boxes with stuff like,"Antique Silver Coffee service", "Grandad's gold watch", "Woodworking tools"... (of course you could use one lable like that on a sealed box of dirty diapers, but that's another matter). Those were personal mistakes that cost me heavily, so I pass them on to you. The code you choose could be a code that will also help you unload these boxes into the correct room in the new residence.

Price, size and need of climate control basically round out the main thoughts in my opinion to look at. Double check on your insurance, and your insurance agent might have some other ideas on protecting your stuff.

Bottom line for my fellow clutter freaks... you are NOT throwing away your special stuff that could be quietly running off a buyer, you are packing your stuff up for the move ;)