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staged_home_livingroom(MCT)–After spending the last five years developing personal projects and rebuilding passive income streams that took a hit during the economic downturn, my husband and I are once again getting the urge for an extended travel experience. We’ve spent these past years in a typical neighborhood outside a major city with gate codes, a community pool and easy access to a major highway. This lifestyle is preferred by many, but while we’ve tried to be content with shorter trips and backyard entertaining we find ourselves wanting more freedom and time to explore. The data is in, and the results are official. Suburbia just isn’t our cup of tea.

With that in mind, we’ve staged our house and listed it with a REALTOR. Here are a few ways we kept our costs down while moving forward with our dream.

Streamline: Clutter and chaos are not your friends when it comes to selling your house. Remember, people are looking for a place that will suit their belongings and lifestyle. The more doodads and knickknacks you have sitting around, the more difficult it will be for buyers to visualize themselves in your space. Excess clutter can also send the message that your house isn’t large enough, when it fact it may more than meet their needs.

Our personal streamlining process has taken place in several phases. The first was taking a brutally honest look at what items in our home were unnecessary or no longer needed. From there, it was a matter of multiple yard sales and repeated Craig’s List adds to liquidate things like antiques, small appliances and other items. Extras without a great deal of value were dropped off at Goodwill, load by load. We made sure to combine those trips with grocery runs and other errands to control gas costs and vehicle mileage.