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If you read yesterday’s hint for number 3:  Green is the new black – then you hopefully thought “The Evaluator is talking about the Environment”.  Right you are!  The 3rd greatest assault against the stuff we own is the Environment.  The atmosphere in our homes.   The physical environment that we create for our precious heirlooms and fine worldly belongings can impact value.  Some people take this to the extreme and treat their stuff like sheltered kids – never exposing them to anything or anybody.    Others forget that the kids are part of the environment that they  unwittingly create.  Strive to strike balance.  Enjoy and use your stuff, otherwise why have it ?  You can comfortably use,display, and enjoy your  belongings(even if you have kids!).  Here are (3) tips to get you started:

Tips for making sure “The Environment” is right:

1)  We all know the sun contributes to our health and happiness.  Our stuff does not thrive on sun and light.  Display fine furniture, art, and rugs need out of direct light.  Fading, which can lead to damage and even disintegration negatively affects the quality and value of a piece.

2)  The Air we breathe contributes to our health.  While decades of air flow contributes to the patina of an item; placing furniture directly over a heat or air duct, even shut, sucks the natural oils out of the wood.  The proper feeding and caring for a piece in this situation won’t halt the inevitable damage caused by direct exposure.

3)  Moisture – water is the number one factor in defining a friendly environment for humans.  Our homes have water. It is almost like we live in a temperate rain forest.  Water in plants. Humidity in the air.  We might even have an attached greenhouse, spa, fountain, or sauna. Water and humidity can cause mold to form on the surfaces of fabrics, backs of art canvases, and the bottom of furniture.  This can lead to damage, often irreversible or expensive to repair thus impacting value and desirability. Of course directly placing containers with water on furniture, even with a protective pad, can cause issues.  Plants for example stay moist, sweat, and create a humid environment that gets under the surface of the protector.  Whoops!   As Graham Nash sings, “Teach your children well”.  Teach  kids not to place glasses on wood, antique books, or marble tops.  Training them young, lets you enjoy your stuff and helps with that whole accountability trait.

Water, air, and sun.  The top three ingredients for a livable environment for us humans can spell DIS-AS-TER in a big way for your family’s heirlooms. Mindfulness is key to solving this common property offense.  Watch where you store stuff – basements are moist and attics are hot and storage in these places equals a big not.

Hint for tomorrow: If you care – share!

Thanks for reading.