When preparing to sell your home in Naperville, Oswego, Plainfield, Joliet, New Lenox, Channahon, Shorewood, Montgomery, Illinois, it’s essential to pay attention to every detail, including the often overlooked garage. A clean, organized garage can significantly enhance your home’s appeal to potential buyers. In this article, we’ll explore some tips and tricks for organizing your garage to make it more appealing, with insights from renowned Realtor® Tony Ciancanelli and useful information for first-time home sellers.

Declutter and Purge:

Before organizing your garage, start by decluttering and purging unnecessary items. Sort through your belongings and decide what to keep, donate, or discard. Remove any broken or unused items that may be occupying valuable space. By reducing clutter, you’ll make the space appear larger and more inviting to potential buyers. Realtor® Tony Ciancanelli emphasizes the importance of creating a clean canvas that allows potential buyers to envision their own use of the space.

Categorize and Group:

Once you’ve decluttered, it’s time to categorize and group similar items together. Sort tools, sporting equipment, gardening supplies, and other items into separate categories. Consider using labeled storage bins, shelves, or cabinets to keep everything organized and easily accessible. This will not only make your garage look neater but will also help potential buyers see the garage’s functionality and storage potential.

Maximize Storage Space:

In smaller garages, it’s crucial to maximize storage space. Use wall-mounted storage solutions such as hooks, pegboards, and shelves to keep items off the floor and create more open space. This will make your garage appear more spacious and appealing to buyers. Consider installing overhead storage racks to store bulky or seasonal items, freeing up valuable floor and wall space. By efficiently utilizing storage space, you’ll create a clean and organized environment that showcases the garage’s potential.

Clean and Repair:

A clean and well-maintained garage speaks volumes about the overall care and condition of your home. Clean the floors, walls, and windows to remove any dirt or grime. Repair any cracked flooring, damaged walls, or faulty lighting fixtures. Applying a fresh coat of paint to the walls can give the garage a clean and updated look. Remember, a garage that appears neglected can raise concerns for potential buyers, so ensure everything is in good working order.

Stage and Showcase:

Just like staging the interior of your home, staging your garage can create a positive impression on potential buyers. Arrange items neatly, ensuring each category is organized and visually appealing. Remove any personal belongings and excess items to create an open and inviting space. Consider adding plants, hanging tools, or a workbench to showcase the garage’s functionality. With a well-staged garage, you’ll help buyers envision their future use of the space.

As you prepare to sell your home in Naperville, Oswego, Plainfield, Joliet, New Lenox, Channahon, Shorewood, Montgomery, Illinois, paying attention to organizing your garage can make a significant difference. By following these tips and insights from Realtor® Tony Ciancanelli, you’ll enhance your home’s appeal, attract potential buyers, and increase the chances of a successful sale.

Summertime is prime gardening time, and if you haven’t started yet, you can always plan for next summer. Check out the home garden trends that are hot right now. Whether you want to plant and nuture flowers or veggies, there’s a trend for you.

Native Plants Want to Be in Your Garden

Wherever you live, there are plants that are used to living there too. They are perfectly made to withstand whatever your weather throws at them: drought, tornado, extreme cold, rainy days or searing heat. Your local garden center or even botanic garden can help you decide what plants to include in your native garden. They will require less care because they’re made for your climate!

Gardens Everywhere

Got a small space, or even no space? Go for a container garden, or two! Both flowering plants and vegetables can be grown in containers on a small porch or even an indoor counter top. Hang a plant in an empty corner. Add a vertical garden to your fence. Stake some tomatoes on your balcony. Start small with a container herb garden that you can keep on your kitchen counter near your sink window and you’ll be hooked.

Go Natural

Instead of a lawn, consider a wildflower area. Toss your wildflower seeds, water and watch that formerly boring square of grass become a beautiful, colorful haven for birds and bees. Support the ecosystem and cut down on your mowing chores all at the same time.

The heat of the summer season is in full force this month. With all-day high temperatures, and fewer rain showers, it gets harder to keep your cool. But there are a few tried-and-true methods to help you stay cooler this summer.

Cooling Your Home Outside:

Cooling Your Home Inside:

No matter where you live, summer can wreak havoc on your landscaping. The good news? There are steps you can take now to prepare your lawn and plants for the harsh sun and heat that’s just around the corner.

  1. Aerate your lawn. Aeration involves creating holes in the soil in order to allow water, oxygen, and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the ground nearer the roots. If you have cool-season grass, like bluegrass or ryegrass, wait and aerate until autumn. But if you live in a climate where warm-season grasses thrive, aerate in the spring.
  2. Prune and remove. Plants will have to work harder to retain water as temperatures rise, so prune back plants and shrubs that bloom in the spring. You should also remove any excess thatch from your lawn, which will make it easier for sunlight to reach the grass.
  3. Fertilize your grass. The type and timing of fertilizing will depend on the type of grass you have, but giving your lawn a boost before the summer heat truly sets in will help keep it healthy throughout the season.
  4. Plant some perennials. Late spring is the perfect time to plant perennials that will grow all summer long — and maybe return next year! You can opt for brightly colored flowers or kitchen herbs you can use when cooking.

In combination with a healthy watering schedule (keeping in mind local water restrictions), preparing your landscaping for summer will keep your outdoor spaces healthy and vibrant.

Whether you’ve just purchased a home, or have been living in your home for years, there is always reason to celebrate homeownership. You have achieved a level of independence that offers you many benefits. Celebrate your home this week: here is what you get when you buy a home:

With a little maintenance this summer, you can make it through the hot weather, the kids being home, swim lessons and baseball, and all the mess that summer brings. Take time to complete a home check-up. From your garage to your front yard, make sure your house is in tip-top this summer and it will make this season easier, and a lot less stressful.

Start Outside:

Check the Inside:

Old houses that need some help can hold a lot of appeal for some people as an opportunity to buy a bigger house, be located in a more desirable neighborhood, or find joy in doing renovations. Whatever the reason, there are fixer-uppers that are worth snagging, and some that should be avoided. How do you tell the difference?

Go into home hunting for a fixer-upper with your eyes wide open. Can you live in chaos for a while? Love DIY projects? Don’t mind having workmen over all the time? And most of all, have you financially planned for the unexpected expenses that will pop-up when buying a fixer-upper?

Be realistic about the money involved. Try to accurately estimate expenses needed to get your fixer-upper up to par. Now add another 10% for the just-in-case problems that might occur. Know what the home will be worth once it’s fixed up versus what you’re going to buy it for now. 

Things like foundation upgrades, extensive roof work, and plumbing or electrical system re-dos are typically reasons people say no to a fixer-upper. So an inspection is your best friend in this home-buying process. Make sure you get a thorough one. This is where you will find out if your fixer-upper requires just cosmetic changes, or if there is a $100,000 foundation problem. An inspection will help you know if this is going to be an investment worth your time and the expense, or not.

Though you can hire a professional to stage your home for you, it’s also possible to get your home ready for potential buyers on your own. The purpose of staging is to showcase your home’s best assets while making it easy for buyers to imagine themselves in the space. In fact, 87% of buyers’ agents say that staging helps potential buyers see the house as their future home.

The first step is decluttering and de-personalizing. You’re getting your home ready to appeal to as many buyers as possible, which means making it as “bland” as possible. Memorabilia should be boxed up and put in storage, along with personal photos. And while you may love your bright pink bathroom, repaint in favor of light-reflecting, neutral colors.

Next it’s time to start cleaning. To make sure your home really shines, attend to details: fill any holes in the walls, wipe down baseboards and windowsills, and make sure appliances are spotless. Any damage or dirt potential buyers spot will go on their list of reasons to lower their offer.

When it comes to final touches, bring a bit of life into your home with real plants and flowers. To ensure visitors have a positive sensory experience, get rid of any strong odors and consider baking cookies or burning vanilla candles. These simple steps will help draw in potential buyers willing to offer top dollar for your home.

Spending time on your patio is one of the highlights of summer. Besides adding flowers how can you upgrade your backyard? Whether its lighting, flooring or décor, here are some easy DIY patio renovation tips that will help make your old backyard into your new favorite place to hang out.

Make it bigger

Add square footage to your “patio” space by simply adding concrete squares in a spaced-out checker pattern with crushed granite or pea pebbles filled in-between. This is an easy way to define your space, and doesn’t require a contractor! 

Define your space

Another easy way to define your patio space is to simply lay down an outdoor rug. Choose a geometric pattern or bright pop of color to contrast nature and create your outdoor room’s floor.


Make a stone or concrete square path leading from your patio to another sitting area, around a garden space, or down the side of the house. This will add texture and interest, and also cut down on the amount of grass you’ll have to mow. Win-win!

Light it up

Adding outdoor lighting to your patio area makes it more inviting, and extends your hours outside. Think holiday string lights, hanging lanterns, even solar-powered garden lights.

Express Yourselves

Turn your boring fence into a work of art. Inside your wooden fence near your patio, paint a mural. Get the whole family involved and liven up your outdoor space.

If eventually owning your own home is a life goal of yours, it’s never too early to start planning. Even as a student, you can put the building blocks of your homeownership future into place.

Establishing a good credit history is key. When it comes time for you to get a mortgage from a bank, your credit history can make that process easier. The better your credit score, the better interest rate you can get from your mortgage lender. As a student, you can start building a good credit history in several ways. 

If you haven’t already, open a bank account with both savings and checking. Use your debit card on this account responsibly, and save some of every paycheck you get from your part-time student job, or from birthday or holiday gifts of cash from your family. This can be the start of your down payment for your future home. Keep it up!

Once you are 18, take out a small loan from your bank for a 1-year period, but put the money into your account — don’t spend it. Use it to pay the monthly payments back on the loan. After the year is up and the loan is paid back, now you have an established history of paying back a loan! 

Apply for a store or gas credit card and use it responsibly, paying it off monthly. This also helps establish you as a credit-worthy individual for the future.