Must Haves in Your Tickle Trunk

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 12.51.24 PM“Keep your crayons sharp, your sticky tape untangled, and always put the top back on your markers.”– Mr. Dressup

Ernie Coombs, known for his role in his humble but distinguished role as “Mr. Dressup”,  was a staple of CBC’s morning schedule for an incredible 32 years from 1967 to 1996.  Part of the Mr. Dressup act was when Coombs would pull a costume out of the magical “tickle trunk” (a police man, a doctor, etc.) setting the tone for each episode.  And he could work magic with just scissors, glue, craft paper and a black marker.
Just like Mr. Dressup, I too, have a “tickle trunk.” But instead of a policeman or a doctor costume, I keep it filled with simple, inexpensive and effective ideas that bide well for almost every home on the market.Just as Ernie Coombs could work magic with just scissors, glue, craft paper and a black marker and I, too, work magic by just digging into my little pink tool belt, so you never have to worry about hanging the art, arranging the furniture, or organizing the seller’s treasures.
So today I’m setting out to make your selling life just a little bit easier and maybe even make myself indispensable – like that’s ever gonna happen.

Let’s start at the entry, shall we? Here’s a few opening remarks that you shouldn’t make.

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Probably best if you stick to something a little more basic.








As for the BATHROOMS, here are some of the STAPLES. White, fluffy towels folded or hung with no raw edges showing, decorative soap dispensers or a fresh bar of soap by each sink, full toilet rolls, and an orchid from Superstore thrown in for good measure. IMG_1035  images-4

One treasure out of my trunk is the Cast Floor Lamp from EQ3. Being under $200.00, it’s a very cost effective solution for a dining area that does not have an overhead light, and also good in a living/family room that needs extra and/or better light. And best of all, the client gets to take it with them to their new home.
Update light fixtures with a simple, inexpensive oversize drum (with shield), stocked in any lighting or big box store. Over a table, hang it 62″-64″ from the floor.
Wooden hangers for entry closets and slim velvet clad for all other closets.
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Replace dated or broken 1″ metal blinds with in-stock 2″ faux wood venetian blinds from Home Depot or Rona. They will custom cut the width, and the extra slats can either stack at the bottom or be removed. (The color of the blind should match the color of the window casing.)This is the most inexpensive and best solution for a poor view while bringing in the most light. When showing, keep the blind fully down with the vanes slanted downward.  Another tip is to remove the window screen in the cooler months, which basically, is most of the year.
Baskets are a staple for just about anything you want to store out of sight.Just don’t purchase nesting baskets or baskets with handles as they don’t display well and can waste precious storage space.  Instead, get the largest baskets that will fit on the shelf without hanging over the edge.
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For impact and drama on an empty wall, pick up an oversize, framed mirror at Home Sense.
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I am estimating that I have hung at least 4581 tiny Ribba IKEA picture frames in my career thus far.  And, may I add, not easily – as they are not wired, won’t hang straight, the backing won’t stay on, or the paper hanger is torn.May I suggest that you amble a little farther down the aisle and buy something just a wee bit bigger for more impact.  This black and white idyllic street scene is 55″ by 39″ and only $49.99 – a much better R.O.I.
I no longer make sellers banish all their family portraits to the basement storage. Old black and white photos are a given, but now I also discreetly put out a couple of small family photos. People want a sense of family and a house to show like it’s been lived in, not looking like a museum. Well…maybe not this one. Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 4.26.44 PM