Home Staging Ideas For The Winter Season

If you’re selling your home in the colder months of the year, you have so much opportunity to stage your house for potential buyers! Normally home buyers are going crazy in the summer months because school is out, making the market much more competitive. However, in autumn this lack of competition is advantageous. You can set up your home so buyers can idealize their new comfort zone. Fall and Winter are all about comfort.

With decor, keep in mind that a little goes a long way. You don’t want fall wreaths on every door or corner you turn in your home. Keep it simple. This way when you have buyers come, they can see what you have done while keeping some blank spots for their imagination. If you overcrowd your house it will look too busy and it will prevent the buyer from being creative; while wondering why there are so many vases with artificial maple leaves and bowls of fake fruit! Remember to keep personal items tucked away as well.

With daylight savings officially here, the nights come upon us much faster meaning less lighting. You are going to want to bring the light into your home. With your decorations, you can light beautiful scented candles-but not too many. A general rule when selling your home is to stick to unscented candles or basic scents-like those silly named candles such as “Sugar & Spice, Fall Harvest”, “Autumn in the Park”, etc.  People have different tastes and you don’t want to turn off your buyer! Another tip is plugging in some lamps with delicate lighting to accentuate a corner of the room with a reading chair, for example. You want the buyer to picture themselves bunkered down, relaxing in their new home. Illuminate it’s best features, be imaginative! If you have a fireplace- spark it up! Nothing says home like a fireplace. You want your house to be a glowing welcome sign.

Our next tip is to decorate the outside! Getting caught up with the interior is easy to do with so much to work with. For the outside you want to keep it just as simple, though. Maybe a wreath on the door, some mum planters on the steps, really play up the fall or winter theme and colors. If it is around Holidays, add little things here and there. You don’t want to push your buyer away with in-your-face decor. Make it appealing to all customers. Also, clean up the yard whether that entails raking the leaves or shoveling the driveway and sidewalk.

Lastly, have fun! Bring out your creative side, design things you always have wanted to now that your home is cleaned up and simpler looking. There is room for anything your heart desires to make your house look appealing to potential home buyers. Just remember- don’t over do it! Keep it neat and clean.

Top Ten Dog Training Tips

These Top Ten Training Tips can be used whether you are a new owner of a puppy or you want to enforce some new habits on your dog. Keep in mind, training a dog that has habits already instilled may take some extra time and effort- but for that mushy face, anything is worth it!

1.) Comfort Zones

Dogs are exactly like humans. If you haven’t noticed, they crave cuddles and attention just like we do! When you are in an uncomfortable situation, most likely you make an excuse to leave and high-tail it outta there! Dogs, unless they are roaming free, don’t have this option to decide for themselves. If they are on a walk with you and you approach a friendly neighbor with their dog, sometimes your’s won’t be as inclined to say hi. Observe your dog’s behavior. It is always noticeable if he or she isn’t happy in the situation, in which case protect your dog and their feelings. Stay a considerable distance away. If you don’t listen to your dog and watch how he or she responds, behavioral  issues may arise. We don’t want a pup in distress, which leads to my next tip.

2.) Actions vs. Expectations

If you are here to teach your dog some discipline, it is most likely because of the way you have been executing situations in the past! For example, if your dog wants to play and consistently barks to get your attention, it’s because you have given into it before. Another example would be crates or gates. If you secure your pup in a crate or block him off in a room and he cries to come out, giving into his admittingly heart-breaking whines will only enforce that if he cries he will get his way!  For instance, when you say “stop barking” hold out a treat. They will stop barking only due to the fact that they cannot sniff while doing so. Expand the amount of time you hold the treat out in front of him to the silence is learned to be key. To remind him who’s the boss… at least ask him to do something for you before you give in. This will reinforce he isn’t immediately getting what he wants, he has to obey a command first.

3.) Consistency is Key

If you want new commands to stick, you must be using the same words or gestures. Consistency is key here. Dogs are programmed to follow what they already know, so breaking a habit and learning a new one will take lots of repetition and patience. However, don’t repeat your command multiple times before he gets a chance to understand. Dogs are sensitive to our tone and actions. If you want to create a new bathroom schedule, make sure you are consistent with timing and ques. Also pay close attention to when he has to go to begin with. This will help both your dog and you. Continue to express your command in a clear, friendly tone. If you continue to shout commands at him he will be confused and less inclined to obey you.

4.) Step by Step Commands

Be clear and precise with your commands. When your dog is happy to see a visitor, unless he is already trained not to do so, a majority of the time he or she will jump all over your guest. Or for another example, laying on furniture even though you have told him multiple times not to do so. “No” is the most used command. However, dogs do not understand what “No” means half of the time. If they ignore you it is because they don’t understand what they are doing wrong. Dogs cannot understand what you specifically mean NOT to do. When your dog is jumping on your guest, saying no may mean he is doing it wrong, for instance higher, or in a certain direction. Instead of telling him no, tell him to lay down or sit. If he is laying on furniture, say “No, down”, then when on the floor, follow up with sit or lay down. This will help them learn what they are being disciplined for, and what you would specifically like them to do. Think of step by step directions- they are learning new commands after all, you are there to help them learn.

5.) Be Generous and Happy

Dogs look to their owners for guidance and direction. When you express your emotions and actions, they respond accordingly. When you are teaching them new tricks, be sure not to yell at them. Be friendly with a high pitched tone and show how happy you are when they finally obey you. Be generous with toys and entertainment. The more activities and toys they have to keep themselves busy, the less time they will spend destroying the garbage, eating shoes, and ruining other valuables. Most dogs behave in this way because they get bored when their owner is away. If they have everything they need to keep them happy, you will see a huge difference in their personality. They are truly furry children.

6.) Playing

When a new puppy is being introduced to toys, or a dog has been occupying himself with shoes and other belongings of yours… it is important to spark interest in it. Tease them with it, ask them “Where is it?”, “Do you want it?”, “Where’s the toy”. The friendly happy tone with playful gestures obviously means it’s play time. They will eventually have their favorite toy and they will be extremely happy. Bones are also a good alternative because there is flavor as well as something for bigger dogs to chew on when their bored, instead of playing with a toy.

7.) Table Manners

When you’re eating dinner and your dog is roaming about the house, they know where the goods are, in fact their most likely by your feet watching you cook it. Begging is one of the most common problems with dogs, and as annoying as it is, I’m sure someone is slipping him some, which just reinforces sitting there and begging will get them what they want! You know you feed your dog regularly so there is no need to feel bad for them. They will always want anything that smells good to them. Ignoring them is your best policy. Another good idea would be to feed them when you eat dinner. That way he or she is occupied and when they come to beg, you know they have been fed and you can ignore them.

8.)Pack Leader

Dogs natural instinct is to be a pack leader. They want to please others and be a companion. You being the pack leader enforces that they will follow you and make sure you are also happy and taken care of. They want to please you. Expression and body language is everything to a dog. Don’t be afraid to lay down the law.

9.) Rewards

Rewards are to be used after the behavior is completed. Do not give them a treat for trying or not performing. This is then becomes bribery. They will then think if they don’t do something you will give it to them anyway. Behavior produces rewards.

10.) Freedom!

Give your dog some new freedom if they have obeyed your commands. If you normally keep them gated, let them run around the house for a bit! The most common mistake is letting your dog roam free without any restrictions. This is what normally causes the bad habits. There are no rules to follow or obey, and they don’t know how to listen to a command.


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