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

At my recent appraisal stage show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, an audience member presented me with a six-page long list of the tips that I had provided during my appraisal show. I was a little taken aback by the volume of paper sheets filled with scribbled notes. I was also pretty impressed by her interest and dedication to take down each smidgen of wisdom that I imparted as I appraised, critiqued and evaluated objects brought to me. I just didn’t know there was so much info to go around.

This woman had been taking copious notes as I talked about all things art, antique and collectible. During my shows, I appraise objects and as they come to mind, I use the objects to be appraised in order to offer some tips about researching an object’s history, selling antiques and museum-based preservation methods. During my post-show autograph session, this audience member told me that she took notes because she wanted to refer to my tips in the future.

At that particular appraisal show, I was talking with residential realtors and staging professionals. I discussed how to clean out a house and put money in your client’s pocket. I talked about how staging a home for sale and integrating a clean design aesthetic can help make a home more livable as well as more marketable.

Whether you are trying to sell your home or just enjoying it for the long term, here are some of my favorite tips about managing your time and making your home warm and cozy.

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Room by Room: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. For instance, give yourself an entire afternoon to clean out the guest room. By contrast, you probably need to set aside an entire weekend to tackle the attic. Remember that closets filled with items always take longer than you think. Get organized, devote time to your project and ask family and friends for help.

When it comes to collecting antiques, museum professionals like me always stick to categories and try to collect in categories. If you are decorating using items that you already have and are in storage, try to group them by category. This will provide decorative groupings that are seasonably appropriate.

When you put these items away after the season passes, consider using plastic bags (for smaller items) and plastic tubs (for larger items). Mark the bags or tubs by category like toys and games, china, glass, etc. It will make it much easier to find what you are looking for later.

Big WOW: Main walls or confrontation walls, which are the first walls that you see when you enter a room, are the most important in the decorating scheme. Place an item with a big impact on these walls: a spectacular work of fine art, a superb faux paint technique or a bunch of family photos. One big statement piece is plenty. At the opera, only one fat lady sings and that’s enough!

Dr. Lori Verderame is an antiques appraiser, nationally syndicated columnist and author, and award-winning TV personality on Discovery’s Auction Kings internationally. With a Ph.D. from Penn State University and experience appraising 20,000 antiques every year, Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events to worldwide audiences. Visit www.DrLoriV.com or call 888-431-1010.