Spring Organizing: Part 2 – Keep Going!

By | Organizing | No Comments

If you’ve tackled any sort of organizing project then you know this truth: it always gets worse before it gets better. And it’s at this point that most people give up and shove everything back in the space they just emptied, causing an even bigger mess that is even more unorganized than it was before.

In my first blog post I gave you 3 tips to help get you started on your organizing journey. Today, I want to give you 3 tips to help you through the organizing process because those previous tips aren’t going to be helpful if you don’t complete the job. My first tip is: have an accountability partner . Everyone is the same. If you tell people you’re going to do something, you’re more likely to do it. The same is true for organizing. Tell your spouse or a friend or your adult children that you’re going to tackle one specific organizing project within the week. Tell them to check up on you and to not stop bugging you about it until you actually do it. If possible, and if you’re willing, you could even ask someone to help you with the job. Everyone knows someone who LOVES organizing and would be thrilled to help. Find a non-judgmental partner and get to work.

This brings me to my second tip: ask for help (if you need it). I’ve had several clients tell me they could never do the whole job on their own and that’s true for a lot of people. We need each other. We need each other’s thoughts and ideas and encouragement and support and advice. Plus, on a practical note, the job goes a lot faster when there’s more than just 1 person working on it.

My third tip is: keep going . Like I said at the beginning of the post, it gets worse before it gets better. Realize this, accept it, don’t let it scare you when it happens and keep going. Yes there’s a mound of clothes on your bed, but if you know part of that pile is going to be donated
then get a large trash bag and begin putting clothes in it. Suddenly you’ll look at your bed and realize less is going back in your closet than what came out of it and that’s an exciting thought! It makes the whole process seem more do-able. Honestly, sorting is the hardest and most time consuming part of an organizing job. But don’t give up when you’re already in the midst of the process (this is when it’s a good idea to send out an SOS text to your accountability partner or your organize-savvy friend). Little secret: when I start a job I don’t usually have an exact plan in my head. I know I can make the space more organized and I know roughly what it’s going to look like, but I just start the decluttering process and from there I begin to see the layout. So trust the process. If you stick with it, an organized space will happen. It can be messy and overwhelming but I promise you, the end result will make it all worthwhile.

Post by Jenna Nelson, Top Shelf Organizing

Prepping Your House For Sale (Even If You Aren’t Planning on Moving)

By | Nashville Real Estate | No Comments

I recently had a conversation with one of my listing clients that inspired me. She was working through the to-do list I gave her to prepare her house to go on the market, and had just completed washing all her windows (inside and out). “My windows look amazing,” she said. “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” As I looked through her clear windows into the glorious Spring day, I thought, “Whoa, that does look great. Why haven’t I washed MY windows?”

Well, the easy answer to this is: it’s more effort, and we are all busy. But what I often see is that people putting their house on the market do all the things to their home that they have meant to do for years, and then don’t get to enjoy those things. So I say, let’s all prep our homes to sell at least once a year, even if we aren’t planning on moving. That way, we’ll get to reap the benefits. And when we are ready to sell–we’ll be that much closer. Prepping your house to sell is really about making the space look as inviting as possible to a potential buyer. That means doing everything you can so the buyer can imagine themselves in the space with the least amount of effort. And of course, that’s what we want for our homes if we are staying put as well.

Here are some of the tips I give my Nashville clients about getting their homes ready to sell:


  1. Declutter. Go through your home one room at a time (in some rooms, you are going to have to tackle closets and drawers as well). I am not the one to give you advice on this but fortunately my friend and fellow blog contributor Jenna Nelson is (see her other posts here, and even more at  I do have one suggestion to make: take all your magnets off the refrigerator. Wipe it down. Put only the ones back that you want or need. If you are selling, pack all of them away — you don’t get to put any back on.
  2. Deep Clean. You can do this yourself or hire someone to do it, but I mean dust/wipe down shelves, walls, baseboards, windowsills, fan blades, those little ledge nooks in your doors–everywhere that can catch dust. Steam clean your floors and carpets. Be sure the inside of your microwave, oven, and refrigerator are clean inside and out (don’t get me started on the number of homes I show my buyer clients where there is old food gunked on the burners–ewwww). Best-case scenario, especially in places like pantries and closets, you do this in conjunction with #1–so you pull everything out, clean the space, purge your stuff, then put half the stuff back in an organized fashion). Pay special attention to mirrors and discolored grout. Dust your furniture and vacuum your upholstery and rugs.
  3. Wash Windows Inside and Out. This is the activity that inspired this post. This step will be most rewarding if you do it in a warmer season or at least when the sun is out, so you can see what your effort has gained you. As a bonus…you will be amazed at how much it can improve your mood to look out clean windows! If you didn’t get the grime off the sills and sashes in step 2, now’s your chance.
  4. Check and Replace Light Bulbs. You’ll be amazed at how many bulbs are burned out. Look at every fixture. If there are two or more bulbs in the same area (in the bathroom, for example) — do you have one that’s a regular bulb and one that is a CFL? Make them match. You might even want to up the wattage to get more light in certain areas.
  5. Splurge on New Towels. Are your towels, shower curtains, bathmats, bedspreads, and kitchen rugs dingy/mismatched/threadbare/otherwise sad-looking? Get new ones. If you are selling, this doesn’t have to be expensive — but you’ll probably be taking this stuff with you when you move so you might as well splurge.


  1. Power Wash. You may need to touch up paint after you do this, so if you aren’t ready for painting or that isn’t in your budget, be gentle. Be sure to hit every exterior wall of your home, as well as porches,decks, sidewalks, and doors.
  2. Paint and Stain. Repainting your entire house will need to be done by a professional (and takes a bit of a budget). But if you aren’t ready to take that step, you can at least repaint your front door and window trim (especially on the front). Stain and seal wood decks and railings. Repaint metal railings.
  3. Landscaping. At the very least, add fresh mulch. In the summer, be sure and keep your lawn mowed and edged. If you don’t have the budget for lots of landscaping, then potted plants can add some color and curb appeal.
  4. Front Door / Porch Check. Many of us regularly use a side door, but potential buyers (or other visitors) probably use the front door. Even if you only have one door, you run through it so quickly you probably don’t notice what is going on there, so let me tell you what you are missing. Dirty front door or peeling paint. Dead bugs inside the porch light. More dead bugs plastered to the wall near the porch light. Cobwebs. Potted plants from two years ago which are now just sticks and dirt. One of the numbers missing from your address. You should have gotten all the grime off in the Power Wash step, but if you missed any now is your chance. Once when I was buying a home, the agent couldn’t get the lockbox to work. While we waited for her to make phone calls, we just sat on the porch and stared at the grime on the door, buggy porch light, cobwebs, and broken porch railing. The house was cute inside, but it didn’t matter – we had already checked this house off our list before we walked through the door.
  5. Buy a new Welcome Mat. This is really step 4B, but I’m giving it it’s own number because it can make such a difference. Yours is probably worn and dirty. Just get a new one.

Enjoy! Take a moment to enjoy your fresh new home. Do you love it? If not — give me a call! You’ve already done the hard work in getting your house ready to sell, and we’ll find you a new one that you love :).

Post by Leisa Wilcox, Keller Williams Realty Nashville.


Spring Organizing: Part 1

By | Organizing | No Comments

It’s easy in this busy, multi-tasking world to get overwhelmed with projects. In fact, we start so many different projects and jobs that oftentimes we don’t finish anything! Starting an organizing project is no exception. So I’m going to fill you in on a few tips that help me when I start a new organizing job.

The first tip is: focus on one space/category at a time. If you look at the entire project as a whole you’ll feel overwhelmed and will have no idea where to even begin. But if you narrow your focus to one space or category, it won’t seem quite as overwhelming. This applies when
doing the “Konmari” method (focus on specific categories) or doing what most people do – focusing on spaces/rooms.

Once you choose which space/category you want to focus on, the very next thing to do is: pull everything out . And I mean E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G (this applies to both approaches). Whether it’s an entire kitchen or just a cupboard, a bedroom closet or an entire storage unit, all of your clothing or books, this is always the first thing I do when I start any organizing project. By doing this you’ll be able to see every single item and will be able to think, “Do I want to keep this item? Does it belong in this area?” Sometimes my clients find things they lost. Sometimes they find things that belong somewhere else. Most of the time they find things they can get get rid of. Once every item is out and only what is needed for that space remains, then putting everything back in is easy.

My third and final tip when starting an organizing job is this: consolidate. In a play room, put stuffed toys together, dress up clothes together, art supplies together, etc. Like with like. In the pantry, put canned goods together, baking supplies together, snack foods together,
etc. Like with like. In your linen closet: put matching sheet sets together, blankets together, towel sets together, etc. Like with like. That way, instead of searching all over the place, you’ll know exactly where everything is and when it’s time to clean up, you’ll know where everything

So! Now you know how this professional organizer starts every job: Focus, empty and consolidate. If you follow those 3 steps organizing won’t seem quite so intimidating.

Post by Jenna Nelson, Top Shelf Organizing

Open House: 1115 McChesney – Saturday and Sunday

By | Open Houses | No Comments

Open House: 1115 McChesney, Nashville (Inglewood)

Saturday 3/11 10am-noon; Sunday 3/12 noon – 4pm

Just listed: this adorable Inglewood bungalow, 2 beds and 2 baths, 1350 square feet. Built in 1928, this historic cottage has original hardwoods and trim (thick baseboards, crown molding, glass knobs). There is a sweet side porch as well as back porch for outdoor living. Rare 1-car garage in the unfinished basement. Brand new $12,000 dry-basement system with transferable warranty. Flat backyard. Listed at $299,900. This is vintage East Nashville and will go fast!

For more information, contact listing agent Leisa Wilcox, Keller Williams Realty, direct: 615-813-1813 Office: 615-425-3600


Open House: 4311 Prescott Rd – SUNDAY

By | Open Houses | No Comments

Sunday, November 6 | 4311 Prescott, Nashville (Oak Hill) | 2-4 pm

*It’s the end of Daylight Savings Time…don’t forget to “Fall Back”!

Details: Single Family home on 1 acre in Oak Hill, brand new construction; 4 beds, 3 – 2/2 baths, 5351 sq feet, 3-car garage, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, wine room, office, media room. All bedrooms have en-suite baths. Upstairs rec room with wet bar and billiard room. High end finishes throughout — you have to see this one! I can’t think of anything else you need. You can find me in the wine room :). Listed for $1,274,999.


Listing provided by Chris Harwell of Tarkington & Harwell Co.

Open House: 6116 Stonehaven Dr., Forest Hills, Sunday

By | Open Houses | No Comments

Open House Sunday, 8/21, 2-4pm
6116 Stonehaven Dr
4 beds, 2-1/2 baths, 3942 sf, $849,900

Are you tired of looking at the same house over and over? Would you like a wooded retreat with interesting architecture that feels private but is close to the city? I have the place for you! Tucked into the trees but located right in Forest Hills, this 4 bedroom, 2-1/2 bath, 3942 sq ft home has plenty of space indoors and out. My favorite is all the outdoor nooks that make you feel like you are in the mountains somewhere. Yes it has an open floor plan, yes it has granite, and the dual sink vanity that you want…AND it’s a renovated build from 1969 and has so many interesting touches, like custom copper light fixtures. The large stone fireplace and the large windows upstairs really blend the indoor and outdoor spaces, and the entire downstairs has heated tile floors. There are so many special things about this house, you should really come see it in person! Which works out well, because I’m holding an open house there this Sunday, from 2-4 pm. The driveway is long…keep following it up into the trees until you get to the house!


Open House: 1718 Arthur Ave, Sunday 1-4

By | Open Houses | No Comments

New construction in North Nashville! Single Family detached home with 4 beds, 2-1/2 baths, 1970 square feet, listed at $410,000. Hardwoods, great lighting fixtures, open concept. Super convenient location, blocks away from the Farmer’s Market, Sounds Stadium, and all the awesomeness of Germantown. Around the corner from Salemtown Board Co., and greenspace right across the street. Attached homes (HPRs) two blocks away are listing for $70k more, so this is the place to be in the neighborhood!

Join me at the open house this Sunday, July 17 from 1-4 pm. Hope to see you there!


How Brexit Affects Your Real Estate Purchase

By | Nashville Real Estate | No Comments

Brexit (Britain’s recent vote to leave the European Union) has been the topic of conversation for weeks. It proved that what happens in Europe does not stay only in Europe, causing many here in the US to be concerned about the stock market, plummeting 401ks, and general financial doom and gloom. However, there is a bright spot here: our already-low mortgage interest rates have dropped even lower.

This is great news for those in the real estate market. “Rates have moved to 3-year lows, very close to 4-year lows, and on our way to 20-year lows — it’s hard to get much lower,” says Brent Haas of Movement Mortgage.

Giving specific rates and numbers is difficult, because everyone’s financial situation is different–but it’s possible that you’d be able to buy more house now (or have a lower monthly payment, or save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan), than even a month ago–and certainly more than a year ago. Andy Chelton of First Choice Lending Services told me today, “Our 30 year fixed rates with little to no money down are 3.25% today with approved credit.” And you can find even better rates for a 15-year mortgage!

So often, people who are considering buying real estate wait to “get their finances in order” before talking to a mortgage broker. But this is backwards! You might be surprised at what you will qualify for right now, and if not, your lender can tell you exactly what you need to do to get yourself in shape. If you are even considering purchasing real estate, and you will be needing a mortgage, I highly recommend you contact a lender soon to see what’s possible for you. If you want to buy a home in Nashville, then please contact me! I can connect you with great mortgage brokers and help you sort out your next steps in the homebuying process. And if you live outside of Nashville, please feel free to contact me as well. I have a tremendous network of agents all over the country and I would love to introduce you to a great Realtor in your city.

“These are the lowest rates in years, and who knows how long they will last,” says Leslie Light of Highlands Residential Mortgage.  “So get off the fence and buy that house!”


Leisa Wilcox is a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Nashville, Tennessee.

Open House: 1417 Woodland, East Nashville

By | Open Houses | No Comments

Open House Saturday AND Sunday, June 18-19, 1-4pm, 1417 Woodland St.

I absolutely love older houses. And when you have a modern, updated home that keeps all the vintage details, that is the best. That is exactly what we have in 1417 Woodland — thick baseboards, classic doorknobs, dark wood, mantles…along with an updated kitchen and baths, a covered front porch and sweet screened-in back porch. And this one is in East Nashville, just down the street from Lockeland Table, Lipstick Lounge and Mad Donna’s, and just a few blocks from all the awesomeness of 5 Points.

The details:  4 bedrooms | 3-1/2 baths | 2752 square feet | built in 1921 |updated kitchen with corian countertops and stainless appliances | screened-in porch | 2-sided fireplace with vintage mantles | 1 car detached garage | $629,000


Open House: 385 Childe Harolds Cir, Brentwood

By | Open Houses | No Comments

UPDATE: Turns out Memorial Day Weekend is not the best time for an open house, so we are doing it again this weekend: Sunday June 5, 2-4 pm.

This house may have one of the strangest street names (it was taken from a Lord Byron poem), but it is full of features! It has 4 bedrooms, 5-1/2 baths, and 4944 square feet. It’s in the Fountainbrooke subdivision, which includes a community pool. But really, it’s the details that set this home apart. How about:

  • All three bedrooms upstairs are ensuites
  • Gorgeous elevator
  • Media room (with reclining airplane seats)
  • Garage space for six cars
  • Large screened-in porch
  • Workshop

And, as they say — much, much more! Listing for $788,000. Stop by and see it all for yourself this Sunday!

385 Childe Harolds Circle, Brentwood TN 37027

(Click through for slide show)