Jeanine Connor | Collinsville Real Estate, Troy Real Estate, Maryville Real Estate


For home sellers, you'll want to spend some time organizing your residence's garage. By doing so, you can show homebuyers just how much space your garage has to offer. Plus, you might even be able to eliminate clutter and get rid of unwanted items before you move.

What does it take to transform an ordinary garage into an exceptional one? Here are three garage organization tips that every home seller needs to know.

1. Use All of the Space at Your Disposal.

Although your garage may seem small at first, it is important to keep in mind that you can use assorted shelving and storage units to optimize the amount of space at your disposal.

Try to use as much vertical space as you can to store items in your garage. For instance, you can hang brooms, mops and rakes on your garage walls, and this may allow you to free up horizontal space for other garage items. In addition, you can set up cabinets to store various tools in your garage.

Ideally, you'll want to maintain sufficient space to fit your car in your garage. And if you focus on maximizing the horizontal and vertical space that is available, you should have no trouble parking your car in your garage any time you choose.

2. Separate Your Must-Have Items from the Clutter.

Clutter is an eyesore, and as such, you'll want to do everything possible to eliminate it from your garage immediately.

Dedicate the necessary time and resources to go through all of the belongings in your garage. This will enable you to separate must-have items from garage clutter.

If you find an excess amount of garage clutter, you have a few options as well. You can throw away items, donate them to charity or sell them during a garage sale. Regardless of which options you choose, you'll be able to eliminate clutter and improve your garage's appearance at the same time.

3. Label Your Belongings.

Now that you know which items you're going to keep, you should label and store them accordingly.

Typically, sorting items into groups is a good idea, particularly when it comes to organizing your garage. This will help you stay organized as well as save time when you need to find garage items in the future.

If you're struggling to organize your garage, you may want to consider professional assistance. Lucky for you, cleaning companies are available that can help you revamp your garage and ensure it looks clean and neat for an extended period of time.

Furthermore, your real estate agent may be able to help you enhance your garage's appearance. He or she will be able to offer garage organization and cleaning recommendations, guaranteeing you can take the right steps to improve your garage.

When it comes to organizing your home's garage, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can organize your garage items and bolster your garage's appearance.


Keeping your house cool during the summer months is easy--just blast the air conditioner until autumn, right? Well, for most of us the steep increase in our summer electric bills make us hesitant to keep the air conditioner on more than necessary.

There are techniques and habits, however, that will help you keep your house cool without sweating your electric bill.

In this article, we’re going to break down several ways to lower the temperature in your house. Some will save you money immediately, others are long term solutions that will keep your bill low years down the road.

Investing for the future

Oftentimes, the best solutions are the ones that address the root causes. If your house receives a lot of sunlight, there are a few projects you can undertake now that will save you money for years to come.

First, making sure your home is air tight and well insulated will help you keep the cool air in and the warm air out. Insulation and weatherstripping are easy to neglect, since they’re mostly out of sight and mind. However, the work they do and the pennies they’ll save you in heating and AC will add up over the years.

Next, if you do use an air conditioner, make sure it’s energy efficient. Many people use years-old air conditioners that waste a lot of electricity. Determine if your unit should be replaced or maintenanced--spending some money on your air conditioner now will save you in the long run.

Other, lesser-known, methods of cooling your home involve altering the exterior of your home. You can do this by planting trees in strategic areas to give shade to your home. Or, you can paint your home a brighter color and use reflective roof paint that will reduce the amount of light absorbed on sunny days. This is also true for driveways, where dark colored asphalt will absorb more heat than bright colored concrete.

Simple cooling tips

If you’d rather make short-term changes to your house to lower the temperature now, we have several pieces of advice:

  • Open your blinds and windows at night, when the outdoor temperature drops below the indoor temperature, and then close them in the morning before you leave for work.

  • Limit daytime appliance use. Your laundry machine, dishwasher, and oven all give off a lot of heat that can make your house hotter than need be. Wait until the sun goes down and until you can open the windows in your kitchen and laundry room before starting your chores. Cooking outside and having cold prepared meals is a good way to limit oven use in the summer months.

  • Change or clean your air conditioner filters. Old and dirty filters make your until work harder than it needs to.

  • Try the ice and fan trick. Put a large bowl of ice in front of your fan to chill and moisten the air it gives off. This is especially nice if you don’t like the dry, sterile feeling of air-conditioned rooms.

  • Keep the lights off and use high efficiency bulbs, such as LEDs.

  • Create a draft by opening a downstairs window slightly on one side of the house and opening fully an upstairs window on the other side of the house.

  • Make sure your ceiling fan is blowing down, or counter-clockwise.

  • Use awnings to let light into your home while avoiding direct sunlight from heating up the house.


Working from home is a job benefit many dream of. However, despite what some may think working from home is not all fun and games. While it may make for an easier commute it also can make for more distractions that keep you from your work. Learn how you can create an office in your home that is a productivity oasis. Function before form. It may be tempting to run out and buy all the beautiful office supplies and knick knacks, but before you do plan out the function of your office first. Create a list of must-have items. Will you need a printer, file cabinet or shelves for your reference binders? Perhaps a fax machine, large whiteboard or a sprawling desk with plenty of elbow room. Knowing what you need on hand to create the most efficient work environment will give you the ability to sit down and productively work without running out to get supplies or inventing workarounds. You will also want to invest in a good ergonomic chair since you will be spending so much of your time sitting in it. Your back will thank you. Location. The location of your home office in your house may be more important than you think. Choosing a quiet secluded room with lots of light will create an ideal working environment. If you have children or a partner that will be home during the day you will want the room in a place where they will not have to tiptoe around like if you, for example, set up shop in the dining room. Creating some “do not disturb” signs may be a good idea to further set boundaries with your family. Organize. Set yourself up for success off the bat by developing an organization system that works best for your home office. Since home offices tend to be set up in smaller rooms of a house make the most of your space by organizing vertically as well horizontally. Neatly manage and label cords when you set up any electrical equipment. Keep the items you use daily within easy reach so you don’t need to jump up and down all day to dig through your cabinets. Inspire. This is your home office, after all, and not a cubicle so don’t be afraid to add personality to work your space. Pick up posters with uplifting quotes or imagery or a cork board to pin inspiration and goals. Paint your office a color that uplifts and inspires you. A calm blue paired with a vibrant yellow can help boost your focus and alertness. Setting up a home office is an exciting house project, especially when you will have the opportunity to work from home. While it’s tempting to make your new office one that is visually appealing don’t forget to keep function at the forefront of your planning process. In the end, you’ll have the best of both worlds and may even be more productive for it!

You know that you want to buy a house, but you may have only a limited amount of time to conduct a home search and discover your ideal residence. Luckily, there are many things that you can do to speed up your homebuying timeline.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

1. Refine Your House Search

A list of homebuying criteria is a must-have, particularly for a property buyer who wants to enjoy a quick, seamless house search. In fact, with homebuying criteria in hand, you can refine your house search and move one step closer to finding your dream residence.

As you craft a list of homebuying criteria, think about where you want to reside too. That way, you can further narrow your house search and focus exclusively on homes in your preferred cities and towns.

2. Get Pre-Approved for Home Financing

At first, it may seem like a lot of work to get pre-approved for a mortgage. But if you receive pre-approval for a mortgage, you may be able to avoid time-consuming home financing hurdles down the line.

Oftentimes, it does not take long to get the financing you need to buy a house. Banks and credit unions are available across the United States, and these financial institutions are happy to teach you about a variety of mortgage options. Then, you can select a mortgage that matches your financial needs and kick off your homebuying journey with a mortgage at your disposal.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you face a time crunch to purchase a house but don't know how to start the homebuying journey, there is no need to stress. By hiring a real estate agent who can offer in-depth homebuying guidance, you can find your dream house in no time at all.

A real estate agent will do everything possible to ensure you can speed up the homebuying journey. First, he or she will learn about your homebuying goals and help you create a homebuying strategy. A real estate agent next will help you search for residences and assess houses in the cities and towns of your choice. And if you discover a house that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase your ideal residence.

Let's not forget about a real estate agent's housing market expertise, either. A real estate agent understands how to navigate a buyer's or seller's market. As a result, he or she will make it simple for you to review houses that match or exceed your expectations. If you have concerns or questions as you pursue your dream home, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them as well.

Ready to streamline the homebuying journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly and effortlessly find a great house and make your homeownership dream come true.


If you’re in the process of selling your home, your agent will most likely be making calls to you relating that she will be showing your home to potential buyers. While you’re probably excited to sell your home, there’s no doubt that home showings can happen at the worst possible times! Here’s some tips to help you prepare for any home showing in a hurry: 


Mop Up


Sweep up your kitchen and bathrooms Spot clean in any necessary areas to remove stains.   


Get Out Your Duster


Quickly wipe down any of your furniture, televisions, screens and other objects that really show dust in your home. You don’t need to go crazy, just make sure that everything is clean.  


Clear Counters


Don’t leave tons of stuff hanging around on your counters. Your counters should be wiped down and clear of clutter for your home showing. 


Make Your Bed


Heed your mother’s advice and make your bed. There’s nothing more unattractive at a home showing than beds that haven’t been made or items strewn across the bedroom. If you have some time, take a look at your bedding and see if it looks presentable, as in free from rips and stains. If not, consider replacing the existing bedding for an even better impression. 


Vacuum 


Give your carpets a once over with the vacuum cleaner. This will pick up any surface dirt and make the carpets look, smell and feel fresher.


Empty The Trash


Empty all of your trash cans. Spray them down with a disinfectant spray so that there’s no lingering odors.   


Brighten It Up


When your home is being shown, the lights should be on. A bright home is an attractive home! 

Clean Your Dishes


Put all of your dirty dishes in the dishwasher. There shouldn’t be any dirty dishes left out and around during a home showing. Also, you don’t want any of your appliances running while potential buyers are visiting.  


Put Clothes Away


Your clothes should be loaded into the washer and dryer as well. No dirty (or clean) clothes should be lingering around the house. Potential buyers don’t need to see the latest styles that you’re wearing!


Put Your Stuff Away 


Every room should be given a once over. Everything should be off of the floors, counters and furniture. This will make your home look very presentable and attractive to buyers. 


Although a home showing may seem overwhelming, buyers like to picture what your home will look like once they’re the new occupants. The short amount of time that you spend on making your home look tidy can make a big difference in finding the right buyer for your property.