Declutter – Part II

In last week’s Blog, we discussed Marie Kondo’s extreme method of decluttering.

You may not want to take such drastic decluttering measures as Ms Kondo recommends, but you may need to organize what you have. has 100’s of books available with advice and guidance on how to organize every aspect of your lives, including your homes.  Closets, kitchens and baths, kid’s toys, sporting equipment, hobbies and crafts, even your garage.

We can’t improve on that array of information, but one item bears mentioning here, and that is the fact that most of us are inundated with paperwork.  Everyone seems to feel they have too much paper, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the constant influx of paperwork into our homes.  It appears that the idea of paperless society is a complete myth because most of us are reluctant to get rid of our paperwork!
use for paper

Organizational experts suggest that when sorting personal papers, it’s going to take a lot longer than you think it will!  The decision to keep, shred, file and organize requires you to pick up each piece of paper, look at its content and make a decision on its value.

Most of the paper coming into your homes probably can be discarded, and the best way to keep up with it is to weed it out every day.  This applies to magazines, catalogs, mail, receipts, etc.

Another recommendation from experts is to create an effective calendar—digital or paper—that helps you control your life.  Put all lists, errands, shopping, tasks, To Do lists, appointments, etc. on your calendar and clear those details from your mind.  Get rid of those Post Its scattered throughout your house and put those reminders in your calendar.  Transferring all these details onto ONE useful calendar is a systematic method for simplifying your life.
We hope these tips and suggestions are helpful in your quest to prevail over all that clutter!
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DECLUTTERING! It’s The New Hot Button Topic!

Have you heard of Marie Kondo? She is the author of the best selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which has sold over 2 million copies and it’s all about letting go of the stuff we don’t need.

She is a decluttering ninja and her method is extreme: Purging must be done all in one go. No procrastinating. No “maybe” pile. “Keep only the things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest.”

Ms. Kondo’s philosophy for people struggling with letting all that stuff go was created when a client was struggling with a keep-or-throw dilemma. Ms. Kondo asked her, “Does this spark joy?” The client quickly determined that it did NOT, and was able to let it go. She suggests her readers adopt this approach when beginning their own decluttering project.

Random House has just published “Stuffocation,” by James Wallman, in which the author argues that the clutter in our homes is correlated to stress, and that to lead happier lives, we should spend our money on experiences rather than things.
But…. we love our stuff! For many of us, our homes are filled with objects that we’ve spent a lifetime acquiring. They spark memories of family events, travels and art, of treasured gifts and special keepsakes. These are items that truly speak to our hearts.

But what about all the other stuff in our homes? Paperwork. Closets packed with clothes that are hardly worn or no longer fit. Cleaning supplies, kid’s sporting equipment and toys. Hobbies and crafts, kitchen and bath stuff–all the items necessary for running our homes and our lives. These are the things we need, but how do we organize all this without being overwhelmed?

In our next Blog, we’ll offer tips from experts on how to approach decluttering and organizing so that YOU are in control, instead of the clutter controlling you!
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Staging Tips to Help Your Home Sell FAST!

Proper staging makes a home feel spacious, tasteful, and inviting to the broadest range of buyers.
Many homes that the Brandee Kelley Group list for sale are beautifully decorated, but you can trust our suggestions on staging your rooms to help potential buyers see how your home will fit their lifestyle.

Some of the more common staging tips that we may recommend include:

  • Painting walls–usually in lighter, neutral colors.
  • Installing new carpeting or refinishing hardwood floors.
  • Improved and updated light fixtures.
  • Resurfacing kitchen counters and replacing old appliances with stainless ones.
  • Adding fresh new bedspreads, accent pillows and fresh flowers.
  • Styling shelves with books and interesting objects.

The following photos clearly illustrate the impact of proper staging!

The Brandee Kelley Group strives to serve our client’s needs in every detail of the selling process, including staging suggestions. To see what we offer to sellers, click here:

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Meet Our Preferred Lender–Don Kelly at Affiliated Bank

We have concluded our re-introduction of each of the Brandee Kelley Group’s team members, and their special areas of expertise that create outstanding service that we offer to each of our clients.

We have one more “extended” team member we would like to introduce—our preferred lender, Don Kelly at Affiliated Bank. 
Don kelley photo
Don partners with us and provides great service to our clients.  Mary Sprague, our Closing Coordinator, works closely with Don and his team, and here’s what Mary has to say about Don:  “Don and Affiliated Bank are local faces and I can go to their office if I’d like.  They aren’t just a voicemail and email address at unknown locations.  Don’s experience on mortgages is deep.  He’s a good man and excels at doing a good job for his clients.”

Don and his experienced mortgage team are passionate in providing a quality experience for their clients.  You’re invited to call Don directly to learn how he converts that passion into results!
Affiliated Bank w Don Kelly Info
Don’s direct phone is 817-247-4790.  You may also email Don at and visit his website at for lots of helpful information about mortgage finance, pre-approval and rates.
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Texas Job Growth Outpaces All States Combined!

Texas job growth outpaces rest of U.S. combine
Adapted from Washington Examiner
The economic miracle in Texas continues.

Since the recession began in December 2007, 1.2 million jobs have been created in Texas. Only 700,000 jobs have been created in the other 49 states combined.
Job growth
The remarkable employment growth in Texas looks even bigger considering its size relative to the rest of the U.S. Total non-farm employment has grown by 11.5 percent in Texas since December 2007. Employment in the rest of the United States has grown only 0.6 percent.

Only North Dakota has outpaced Texas on percent job growth, thanks to jobs created by the fracking revolution. California, Texas’ biggest economic rival, job growth rating is 1.5 percent, with job growth ten percentage points lower than Texas’ percent job growth.
percent job growth
This recent data has been updated to include state employment numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics data series.

Why is Texas such a great state for job creation?

For starters, Texas does not collect an individual income tax or a corporate income tax. It does collect a gross receipts tax. Still, the Tax Foundation’s 2015 State Business Tax Climate Index says Texas has the tenth best business tax climate in the U.S.

Texas has one of the highest sales taxes in the nation to make up for lost income tax revenue. The combined state and average local sales tax rate of 8.15 percent is 11th highest in the nation. However, sales taxes are more efficient than income taxes, since they don’t punish work.

Texas is also a right-to-work state, which studies have shown is better for the economy and Texas is the freest labor market in the country.

All these factors explain why Texas was ranked #1 in economic performance in 2014 by the American Legislative Exchange Council. Texas performs highly in migration, employment and state gross domestic product.
It’s great to live in Texas!!!
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Meet The Brandee Kelley Group’s Leader!

When Brandee Kelley began her real estate career in 2005, she had one goal:  To build a successful business that delivered the very BEST experience to her clients.
BK for Blog
In 2015, as she celebrates her 10th Anniversary in Real Estate, she has accomplished this goal and earned the respect and confidence of thousands of clients!

Brandee assembled a top-notch team of real estate professionals who share her commitment to consistently deliver exceptional service to every client, on every real estate transaction.  The Brandee Kelley Group handles every detail from start to close, with the highest degree of professionalism.

Brandee continues to expand her knowledge and professionalism, and she and her team have earned many coveted awards for their performance.

The Brandee Kelley Group was named in the listing of America’s Best Real Estate Agents by REAL Trends/Trulia in their survey of the country’s outstanding REALTORS®.

She is consistently ranked in the top 10 REALTORS® working in the Arlington area, from a production perspective.

Texas Monthly Magazine has awarded the Brandee Kelley Group its Five Star Real Estate Agent Award for the third straight year.  This distinguished award is presented to a select few who have consistently provided outstanding service to their clients, earned by receiving high client satisfaction ratings, experience in the industry, and production levels.

In addition, Brandee has served on the board of directors for several organizations, including the Arlington Board of Realtors Foundation Advisory Board, the Keller Williams Agent Leadership Council and various community boards.

She has completed specialized training through the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing and the KW Luxury Home Division.  This is an exclusive group of real estate consultants who raise the bar for service in the upper-tier home market, requiring special skills and knowledge.

In her own words, Brandee states, “I bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise about buying and selling real estate in the Arlington and Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Our team members know the communities and neighborhoods within our network, the schools and amenities.  We are proud of the Brandee Kelley Group’s track record and awards, which we have achieved by consistently keeping our client’s needs as our top priority.  We are thankful for our many clients and friends, who have contributed to our business and success!”

Brandee’s vision and principles guides all the team members of the Brandee Kelley Group.  She inspires us, encourages us, and has the remarkable ability to bring out the strengths in each of us!

Meet Team Member Beth Loriot!

Continuing with our series of the Brandee Kelley Group’s team members, we are featuring our Internet Marketing Specialist, Beth Loriot.  If you read our Facebook posts or our Blog, you’ve heard Beth’s “voice”!
Her responsibilities are primarily two-fold:

  1. To effectively market our listings on the web, and
  2. Provide our clients and friends with local and national real estate news and trends.

She accomplishes this by keeping our Keller Williams websites current and dynamic.  The following are links to our agent’s websites, and they provide details on the Brandee Kelley Group’s listings, the professional services we offer to our clients, recommendations from previous clients, our track record, and helpful links to local information.  You can also search for real estate for sale by filtering only the information important to you, and you’ll find an easy link to learn the value of your current home.
Brandee Kelley:
Georgann Puddy:
Laura Van Meter:

To further inform and enhance our web presence, Beth posts a variety of topics on the Brandee Kelley Group’s Facebook page and this Blog.  We hope you visit and follow these sites, where we promote our listings and post topics that are interesting to all homeowners.
Visit the Brandee Kelley Group’s Facebook page here:

Managing Brandee’s LinkedIn profile is important in order to enhance her professional real estate network.  Beth also manages the Brandee Kelley Group’s web presence on Trulia, Zillow, and  These are important portals to potential buyers and sellers, and we want to be certain that our presence on these websites makes a positive impact on consumers.

She also enters multiple posts of select listings on Craig’s List to attract local buyers.  Keeping up with the constant changes and sometimes infuriating rules that Craig’s List imposes on real estate posters is a challenge.  When we see this reaction from Beth, we know she’s working in CL!!!
In her own words, Beth states why she loves her job!  “It is a happy privilege to work with every team member of the Brandee Kelley Group.  In business and in their personal lives, the one word that leaps to the top of my mind is “Integrity”.  These ladies have it in abundance, in every aspect of their lives.  They are professional and they care about providing the best client experience.  They have the qualities we all want in our friendships and hope for with our co-workers—warm, caring and supportive.  They are truly a pleasure to work with!”

Our newest marketing endeavor soon to launch is a Brandee Kelley Group Twitter account.  We think it will be fun and look forward to sharing lots of tips and news on houses (our passion!).  Stay tuned!
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