Sometimes we can’t see “the good stuff”. What do I mean by this? Well, let me tell you a personal story. I have a close relationship with my 92-year-old grandmother. I call her Nanny. Just recently Nanny’s health has reached the point where she can no longer live independently.

For the past 12 years she has been living in a 1 bedroom condo which she loved. Even though I wouldn’t consider it cluttered, it was still filled with all the typical possessions that anyone would have for daily living and “treasures” from days gone by. Additionally, as a senior, Nanny kept more paper than necessary because she was always afraid she might need it someday…


Jean Marie and Nanny on JM’s 50th Birthday

My mom asked me to get the condo ready for sale since Nanny would be going to an Assisted Living. This meant of course I needed to de-clutter, organize and stage for the sale (in my humble opinion). As a professional organizer you would think this would be easy for me. Yes and no.

This was close to home for me, going through her private and personal items that had connections to my own memories and her extended family. I spent hours getting things donated and given to family members and lots of trips to the condo dumpster but when I was done with the personal and typical household items her adorable home now looked like it needed help.

Not Your Grandmother’s Condo Anymore…

So I asked my friend and colleague Bernadette Flaim of The Flaim Group – Home Staging & Redesign to assist me in making this small abode appealing to the greatest number of prospective buyers. Knowing what I do for a living, Bernie said, JM, all we need here is a “quick fix.” So in less than two hours (I’m not fibbing) with all her interior, redesign and staging talent, she rearranged art, furniture and accessories, while I continued to eliminate the non-essentials. As she was making decisions on what pieces needed to stay, I was following her like a puppy dog happily purging what was to go.

We were like two busy bees pollinating flowers in this sweet and simple, but slightly dated condo. When we were done there was no evidence that an elderly person occupied this space. The plethora of tchotchkes, cut class pieces, Hummels, several end tables, old thin towels, and a rocking chair all disappeared. The decades of collecting items from grandchildren and great-grandchildren were gone. I’m sure half of what my Nanny owned was gone but not missed. Instead the space looked better than ever, even spacious. Heck, I wanted to move into my Nanny’s place! And with her permission, most of it went to charity because she was unable to fit into her newly downsized one-room space over at the Assisted Living.

Thanks to a professional organizer and a stager, only the gems remained; good pieces of furniture, cozy bedding, clear views of the picture windows, space to move through the rooms with ease, new fluffy white towels in the bathroom and a sprinkling of live green plants.


So even though this condo was staged to sell, the interesting part is you don’t need to be selling your house to enjoy a “QUICK FIX.” The concept of what Bernie and I did in a couple of hours, by donating, discarding and designing, is now available in the coupon below. How awesome would it be for a person to transform a space in their home in just one day? This is what I learned that morning from Bernadette – one space, one day, done.

Could you use a Quick Fix in your home to start the year off right?

Oh, and by the way, the condo received 4 offers in two weeks and sold for $5k above asking price. So if you ever decide to sell a piece of real estate please don’t forget there are services available to help you maximize the dollars and minimize the stress.