I’m a real estate broker who started in the industry 13 years ago as a home stager. But my background is criminology. I have a Master’s degree in it and spent 18 years working for the Canadian government in federal corrections, mostly at national headquarters and a bit in operations.
One of the saddest facts about most people who end up in the federal prison system is that they never really had a place where they felt good and safe and comfortable — even if they had a “home.” I guess that’s what drew me to staging initially, this idea that I could transform a space to make it appealing, to make it feel warm and comfortable, like a place where someone would want to live and love.
Today, I went to see past clients who are thinking of potentially selling their home at some point in the future. I can see how the state of their home (it’s messy, cluttered, and full of half-finished projects) is stressing out my client. I mean, she told me so. She is trying hard to keep it together, but it all feels very overwhelming. And she’s super frustrated that there are parts of her home that they don’t even use because it doesn’t feel comfortable.
I know many of us think that during these pandemic times, we need to focus really hard on our mental health — and we do! — but I would point out, ever so gently, that sometimes the state of our home can affect our mental health. It’s the one place in the world where it is possible to create a bit of calm and to have a bit of order and control, where we can feed our souls and slow our heart rates and breathe. It should nourish us and help guard our mental health. If it does that for you, and for the members of your family, kudos!
If it doesn’t, I know that I can guide people to help create that space, a space that they love, whether it’s one room that’s theirs or a whole house. And I know that it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money because I do it all the time. I’m working on ways to bring this to more people, to help more people.