Posted by: rethinkhome | November 18, 2011

Not Your Old Skool Chalkboard


Is it sentimentality or is it the doodler in us that makes chalkboards so fun?  I had a free standing one as a child with black on one side and green on the other and would spend hours “teaching” my stuffed animals + dolls.  I had kind of forgotten the humble chalkboard until my sister–a total tech guru–painted a sweet chalkboard wall in her kitchen to keep her + her husband’s busy schedule in view for everyone.  It really got me inspired to find other ways to incorporate the chalkboard into our homes.  Check out these creative, fun + even sophisticated uses!

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 Have a chalkboard project of your own?  Inspire us!  Post your picture for all of us to see!

Posted by: rethinkhome | November 18, 2011

Easy Chalkboard Projects You Can Do With Your Kids!

We are coming up on school vacations and if you are anything like me, you get nervous about what you are  going to do all day so you keep a ton of craft supplies on hand just in case the kiddos get restless.  That said, my 2 boys couldn’t be less interested in being crafty : ( so I end up doing the projects alone while they head off to bigger, better adventures.  So, which project will I being doing by myself this winter break (what a pity party I’m having for myself today!)?  One of these fabulous chalkboard projects–super easy, cute + totally functional.  Also great for creating the image of an organized, well cared for home if you are planning to sell!

Even better, they have the shortest supply list ever + you can order them while still in your jammies sipping your coffee!:

  • Vinyl Attraction Chalkboard Labels available in several shapes at (this gets you free shipping!)  $17.99 for a set of 12


  • Chalk Ink available at  $23.99 for a set of 8






  • Glass Canisters all shapes and sizes at

Have you ever done projects like this?  If you have, inspire us!  Post your pictures or other ideas here to share with the rest of the community!

Posted by: rethinkhome | November 17, 2011

If you can’t commit, these chalkboard options are for you!

If you can’t commit, these chalkboard options are for you! (hover over the pictures to get buying info!)

I have been known to be incredibly indecisive when it comes to my own house so I LOVE these options for adding a splash of chalkboard fun without totally taking the plunge….

Have your own chalkboard wall?  Inspire us!  Post your pictures or ideas here to share with our community!

Posted by: rethinkhome | July 14, 2011

A New Approach For Recommending Home Staging

A New Approach For Recommending Home Staging

I have recently had many conversations with Realtors who tell me that they have a difficult time bringing up the topic of Home Staging with their clients.  When they do, they find that clients can be resistant because it seems insulting to suggest that their property might need design help.  It sounds like there may be a disconnect between the perception of what a Home Stager offers + what we actually do.  It seems that we need to re-examine our approach…

When introducing the concept of Home Staging, clients are most likely thinking of the HGTV shows in which a critical Realtor or Designer walks through the home making fun of critiquing it.  Would you want to think that someone is doing that at your property?  I’m guessing not!  Not only that, but many homeowners have gotten so comfortable with their surroundings that they may not even feel like they need to make design changes.  They do not see the dirt on the 40-year-old carpets, peeling wallpaper, and outdated fixtures the way buyers will.  Because redesign is not a compelling need for them, we are selling the wrong solution by recommending Home Staging

Home Staging, as it is understood from television, serves the Realtor’s need to market a better product.  While a better looking property should be as important to the seller, we know that so many factors interfere with this.  The home seller’s compelling needs are completely different.  They need someone to help them sell their home quickly and to begin the massive work of packing + organizing for a move.  They think that you are the solution to selling their home faster (regardless of the condition it’s in), not a Home Stager.  So we are left with them having to take on the Herculean task of organizing + packing.  Hmmm…is this a potential opportunity?

By just recommending a Home Stager to clients, we are talking about a feature and one that isn’t perceived to meet their needs.  We need to have the conversation around the benefits to clients as it relates to organizing, packing + selling quickly.  A more effective conversation may be to discuss bringing in someone who will:

  • give them a roadmap for getting packed
  • help them sort, donate, or sell their items
  • go room-by-room letting them know what they can actually pack now before the property is even listed
  • make recommendations that will make their listing photos look incredible so that they get more showings
  • help them drive in traffic from the Internet + dramatically increase their ability to sell quickly. 

Now who wouldn’t be interested in that?  Try that approach the next time you want to recommend a Home Stager + let me know how it works!

Posted by: rethinkhome | July 7, 2011

4th of July in Maine : )



Commute to the Island

the best lobster rolls down east!


Happy 4th of July!

Posted by: rethinkhome | June 6, 2011

Help Your Child Get Ready To Move

Help Your Child Get Ready to Move

monopoly houses

helping your child get ready to move

Many people list their homes in the spring to relocate in time for a new school year.  Using a few smart strategies this summer, you can help your child get ready to move and take on that new school.

Talk it Out:  Talking about your own concerns will definitely help your child get ready to move.  If you let them know your concerns, they may be more likely to share theirs.  They will feel comforted that you are also experiencing  jitters.  When I told my then 5-year-old son that I was nervous about moving, he admitted that he was sad to leave behind all of his toys and furniture.  Shocked that he thought this, I was happy to inform him that we were bringing all of it with us.  Just by bringing up my concerns, we were able to handle his big one–what a relief!

 Get Them Involved:  To help your child get ready to move, engage them in the process.  Visit your new home or neighborhood as often as you can if you are moving locally.  Check out schools, playgrounds, libraries, and ice cream shops nearby.  Ice cream always helps a child feel good about their new zip code!  

 If the move is long distance, learning as much as you can online about your new location will help your child get ready to move.  Find out what the town has to offer kids for activities and sign your children up for those that they may like.  If possible, do this before the school year starts to help them meet other kids that might be in their school.

School Saavy:  Scheduling a visit for your child to get a tour of their new school will help your child get ready to move.  Just knowing where their classroom is on that first day will go a long way to making them feel more at ease.  Find out if there are any activities that your child can participate in like orchestra, clubs or sports and find out how to get them signed up.

Packing Up:  Have your child pack a box with things that they will want right away at your new home whether it is a favorite stuffed animal, pictures of friends (or Justin Bieber!) or a baseball glove.  Label this with their name and make sure it gets to them straight from the moving truck. 

social media icons

helping your child stay in touch

Saying Goodbye,  Staying in Touch:  Perhaps the most important thing you can do to help your child get ready to move is to give your child space to grieve and support them in keeping in touch with their old friends.  Staying connected with old friends will help them while they develop new friendships.

While it can have its ups and downs, you can help your child get ready to move and provide them with a valuable life skill…knowing they can make a life for themselves wherever they go.

Help Your Child Get Ready to Move

Posted by: rethinkhome | May 12, 2011

A Smarter Approach to Selling: 5 Important Steps

Start Your Move Before You Call the Realtor:

If you are fortunate enough to know ahead of time that you will need to list your house, the time to start getting it ready to sell is before you call your realtor.  You want your house to look its absolute best before your realtor steps foot in the house to determine sale price and take those all-important photos for the internet.  According to Century 21, “A house that has been better maintained and shows better will always sell for more than one that has had deferred (neglected) maintenance and needs work.”


Start With a Clean Slate:

So where do you start before the realtor arrives?  You start by breaking up with your clutter and sending it packing.  If you are an avid collector, pack away most of your collections leaving only 3-5 of your favorite items from your collection for display.  This is a great time to go through closets, drawers, basements and shed items that you haven’t used in the past year.   Many non-profit organizations, like Impact Thrift Stores and Purple Heart in the Philadelphia area will even come to your house and pick up your items for you.  How easy is that?


Because so many buyers are watching design shows on HGTV, they expect perfection.  Yes, even in your linen closet.  By doing so, you will give buyers the impression that they will live an organized peaceful existence.  Take the time necessary to make your closets and storage spaces look immaculate and you will definitely see a return on your investment. 




Now is the time to finally get that to-do list accomplished!  Sometimes it is shocking how little time, energy and effort is involved in those odd jobs around the house.  For bigger jobs, you may need to bring in a professional.  Remember, savvy buyers today will walk through your home deducting the cost of repairs that think the house will need and I promise you that their estimate will always be higher than the actual cost.  So fix it…now!


Breathe new life into your rooms.  Are your windows, walls, flooring or bedding outdated?  If they are more than ten years old, then that is a mandatory and resounding YES!  There are so many reasonable and good looking options in stores like Target, Bed Bath and Beyond & Lowes.  Treat yourself to a nice, quick sale of your house by investing in making some of these inexpensive updates. 

 This may seem overwhelming but breaking it into small, manageable steps can make it easier.  Enlist the help of family, friends or professionals.  Your house is most likely your biggest investment and you want it to sell quickly and for the most money possible so why wouldn’t you want it to look its absolute best when it hits the market?