Art & Antiques by Dr. Lori: Tips for home organizing

Rooms only need one dramatic piece of furniture with lots of impact. Photo courtesy of Dr. Lori
Rooms only need one dramatic piece of furniture with lots of impact. Photo courtesy of Dr. Lori

Recently, an audience member presented me with a list of some of the tips that I shared during an appraisal show that I presented.

During my stage show, she had been taking copious notes as many folks do. As I appraise all of the art, antiques and collectible objects brought to my show by the audience members, I give tips about the history, ways to sell antiques and preservation methods. This audience member didnt expect to learn so much useful information and during my post-show autograph session, she told me that she wanted to refer to it in the future.

At that particular appraisal show, I was talking with realtors and other home buying/selling/staging professionals. I discussed how to clean out a house and how staging a property and integrating a clean design aesthetic can help make a home and its furnishings look their best.

Time Management

Dont attempt to clean out all of your unwanted stuff at once. Set aside a particular period of time to clean out the various rooms of your home. For instance, give yourself an afternoon to clean out the guest room closet. By contrast, you probably need to set aside an entire weekend to tackle the attic, and so on. Trying to accomplish the task of cleaning out the entire house in one day is most likely an insurmountable task. You didnt accumulate all of this stuff in one day; you cant expect to clean it all out in one day either. Get organized, devote time to your project and ask family and friends for help.


Categorize as you clean

Categorize the collectibles in your storage area that you are not currently using or displaying in plastic bags (for smaller items) or in plastic tubs (for larger items). Mark tubs by category like toys and games, sports equipment, china, holiday decorations, glass, etc. It will make it much easier to find what you are looking for when you want to use or display it. The old standby clean-out method of sorting objects by what to trash, what to keep and what to donate works fine, but for folks with valuable antiques, art and collectibles, the categorizing of valuables will help you identify the scope of your collections, which impacts overall value.

Keep a list of the categories for reference. The list will help when your college-age daughter wants to wear her old Girl Scout uniform for a Halloween party, when your husband decides he wants to dig out his racketball gear, or when you decide that you want to display your grandmothers heirloom china in your new china cabinet. Your goal should be that anyone can find anything in storage by following your organizational plan.

Clean Home Staging

Confrontation walls (the first wall that you see when entering a room) are the most important. Put something with big impact on those wallsa great paint color, a collection of family photos or a spectacular work of fine art.

Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Dont overcrowd a room, bookshelf or curio cabinet with every possible piece of furniture, book and paper pamphlet, or collection of figurines. Less is more. Now, if only I can apply this motto to chocolate.

When it comes to creating dramaone dramatic attribute is enough. At the opera, there is only one fat lady singing and the same goes for decorating a room. Introduce only one major, dramatic piece into a room. Choose one big piece of furniture or a piano, an exotic accessory, an upholstered occasional chair with a pop of color or brightly printed fabric, etc. One big statement piece is plenty. Dont overdo it.

Want to make a great impression on your family or a potential buyer? Organize your storage space. Thats right! Make your attic or basement a show stopper. Sure, everyone has a lovely living room and a cute childs bedroom, but you can really knock their socks off if you have a well-organized storage room. Why? Because most people dont!

Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author and award-winning TV personality Dr. Lori Verderame hosts antiques appraisal events worldwide. Dr. Lori is the star appraiser on Discovery channels hit TV show, Auction Kings. Visit, or call 888-431-1010.