How to Unclutter Your Life

In the season of gift giving, when an hour of TV is 35 minutes of ads. When every company seems to be having a sale on that one thing that you just have to have, it could be controversial for me to talk about owning fewer things. The Black Friday sales not that far in the past and the mad rush to buy Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, or Festivus presents, right in our faces, I want to talk about living a simpler life. An uncluttered life, and possibly a smaller, but fuller life.

Uncluttering to live a fuller life means making conscious choices about the things we own and the way we use our time. It can be liberating to let go of material possessions that no longer bring us joy, and it’s often surprising how much more time we have when we’re not constantly cleaning or maintaining clutter. Getting rid of the clutter can also help bring a sense of peace and, I believe, is good for the soul. 

While it’s been a trend for the last few years, downsizing has only recently been adopted as a practice to live by and has become a more mainstream idea. Just like how it’s sometimes hard to break bad habits, downsizing is not an easy thing to do either. However, cultivating the good habit of downsizing will help with living a better life.

You might have seen the documentary “Minimalism” by Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus on Netflix or on YouTube, and if you haven’t, I highly recommend it. The focus, and my take away was that our current society has a focus on… stuff.  We have a lot of stuff. In the U.S. there is 1.9 billion square feet of self-storage space which averages out to 5.9 square feet per person. These are items that we own, and aren’t using.  This doesn’t take into account the garages and backyard sheds that might be crammed with the ghosts of purchases past.

There are simple steps you can take to downsize your life and live more. One of the first things you can do is identify what it is that’s holding you back or identifying what the weight of your ‘things’ is having on you. As mentioned above, watch the Minimalism documentary on Netflix. 

On YouTube, there are a number of great resources like Joshua Becker, Matt D’Avella, and Ronald L. Banks.  Each has a different style and process. If you’re interested in a well-defined method of uncluttering (and what my wife and I used), check out the KonMari Method by Marie Kondo. Just remember, at some point, you’ll need to take action.

We decided earlier this year that we had spent enough of our lives being buried in our things.  We were not hoarders, though we definitely felt that we owned too many things. One of the moments when I realized that I’d fallen into the trap of “more” is when I caught myself trying to decide between one of the six chef knives I owned. Six. I’m not a professional chef, so why would I need more than one good chef’s knife?  I don’t. 

There are simple ways to unclutter and pare down your belongings, and there are difficult ways.  I’m not sure where we fall on that spectrum as it was not an easy process. We hired an estate sale company to catalog our more valuable possessions, and a liquidator to deal with the rest.  In a matter of two months, we sold 80% of our belongings.  

For us, minimalism, or perhaps essentialism, is an ongoing process. I no longer have a box (or three) of clothes in the garage that I forget about.I don’t need them. In the process, we discovered that we owned things that we’d never used, and couldn’t remember purchasing. It was a waste of money when we purchased it, and a waste of space while we owned it. I sold my mishmash of cooking utensils and gadgets, and now have a very efficient and simple kitchen set up. Yes, I only own one chef’s knife. I let go of all the rest, and I don’t miss them.

While we’ve been talking about uncluttering, the concept for us was toward downsizing. Getting rid of the clutter was just the first step for us to go from a 1600 sq. ft. home, to a 352 sq. ft. boat. Once the kids moved out, we realized that we didn’t need all that space to fill with more and more things.

Life has become much simpler. Much more free. We spend more time in conversation, more time playing with our dogs. More time enjoying life. Gone is the chaos of three ‘junk drawers’ that never seem to have that one thing you’re looking for, even though you’re sure you just saw it there last week. Gone is the weight of possessions that don’t have meaning, and don’t get used. What we’re left with is space to be, space to live. Everything we now own, has a purpose and a meaning. While we still have a junk drawer (where else to keep your stray twist-ties and that extra ketchup packet), we seem to know what’s in there, and why. We live in a much smaller space, but our lives are richer and fuller. We got rid of the clutter and made more space for the soul.

Michael Dux
DeTray’s Custom Housing Service Manager

So Much to be Grateful For

Even with the wild ride and chaos of 2021, there is so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. One of the best gifts this challenging year has given us is a new perspective on the things that are most important. We express our thanks to those who have come to see the beautiful features and practical benefits of Skyline and Kit homes. We appreciate the patience and understanding our customers showed as we worked through the shortages and delays caused by COVID restrictions. This volatile housing market has made us more dedicated to providing beautiful, quality homes for our customers. Great houses, great service, and terrific customers have made us truly thankful this challenging year. We wish you a peaceful, grateful Thanksgiving, and a Joyous Holiday Season!

Lora Whitemarsh

Lora Whitemarsh
DeTray’s Housing Consultant

Why Have a Home in Ocean Shores?

Did you know that DeTray’s Custom Housing has a model home in Ocean Shores? It’s an exciting area, something going on all of the time, festivals, gift shows, music events and of course, great clam digging, beach and water activities. We’ve placed many homes in this community, some for vacation homes and some for permanent residences. And, we now have a new model home there for viewing!

We hope to see you at one of our upcoming Fall Open Houses, September 4 & 18 and October 2 & 16, 2021. Come and see what this beautiful area on the coast has to offer and how you can build an affordable home there. Keep up-to-date on our future activities in Ocean Shores on Facebook.

Making Your House a Home

What makes a house a home? Decor! What makes the biggest difference in your home is having it look exactly how you want it, and at DeTray’s Custom Housing, we help you make that happen. The purpose of decoration is to create the background for the best life you can have. Decoration can be life-enhancing. It can make dinner parties more fun, kids happier, relaxing easier, talks more intimate, guests at ease. It can affect everything from our self-perception to our confidence and productivity. Being in control of so many customizable and interchangeable options allow you to be in control of the entire atmosphere of your new home.

With a plethora of options for every room of the house, you can decide on color schemes, counter tops, flooring, exterior siding, roof pitch and color, appliance colors, cabinetry, bath tubs, showers, sinks, and so much more! Not only do we work with you to create the perfect floor plan for your needs, we also work with you to make sure that your vision of the finished project truly comes to life.

We have seven model homes on our lot showcasing many different options and upgrades to give you a head start on planning your home’s look. Come by and let us help you build your dream home!

Bronwyn Williams – Sales Assistant

June is National Home Ownership Month

Home ownership is the American Dream. Let DeTray’s Custom Housing help you celebrate this achievement every June in the future, by starting today!  

Home ownership is the most important financial decision most people make. While rent prices go up every year, your mortgage payment remains the same for 30 years. Your income grows, and the payment becomes a smaller and smaller percentage of your expenses.

Each monthly payment acts as a kind of forced savings. As you pay down principle, your equity (the amount of your home you actually own) grows.

It’s smart to build equity and financial stability while you enjoy your beautiful home. The equity in your home can eventually become liquid cash that you can access, either by selling your home, or borrowing against it. When you own a home, it is more than just a place to live; it’s also a financial asset.

History shows that overall, homes become more valuable. Think of what your parents paid for their home, and how much it is worth today!

What is the leading wealth producer for average Americans? Home Ownership!

DeTray’s has helped hundreds of families celebrate the thrill of this great achievement. Our experienced team has guided the process of designing, delivering, and finishing, beautiful custom homes at our location at 149th and Meridian in Puyallup for nearly 30 years. Let us help you have the joy and satisfaction of home ownership.

Lora Whitemarsh

Lora Whitemarsh
DeTray’s Housing Consultant

Meet Our New Sales Assistant

Prior to working at DeTray’s Custom Housing, I had a very different view of the entire concept of manufactured homes. I viewed them as sub-par homes and a ‘cheap way out’. In my past perspective, I understood these homes as the cheaper option for potential buyers. As I entered the amazing world of custom housing, I quickly realized how wrong I was. While manufactured homes can be a less expensive option for buyers, the quality does not differ. I understood the stigma around buying manufactured or “mobile” homes, but after looking through a Skyline or Kit custom home, understanding the standard features of each, and learning the true quality of each house, I believe buying a custom manufactured home is definitely one of the best choices to make. With the houses coming standard with desirable and convenient features, Kit and Skyline also offer incredible optional upgrades, so you can truly make any floorplan your home. I’m glad I was introduced to all of the upsides and conveniences of building your own custom home, as I now have the opportunity to share this new perspective with potential buyers, particularly buyers coming in with the same skepticism I once exuded.

My first week at DeTray’s Custom Housing has been the most engaging, refreshing, and collaborative introduction to a work place I’ve experienced. As overwhelming as it is to become accustomed to a new job, especially with this level of complexity, the DeTray’s team creates a welcoming and patient environment for all, offering help where needed, as well as challenges designed for growth. With differing situations and scenarios, working at DeTray’s creates opportunity for substantial growth on a daily basis. The most rewarding aspect for me is being presented with questions or tasks that I’m not already knowledgeable about. This not only gives me the chance to clarify with questions to involve myself further, but also contributes to my ongoing education and drive. 

In comparison to my first day, I’m more than proud of myself with the progress I’ve made, thanks to my amazing mentors, who maintain an enjoyable, yet professional place of work. I am extremely thankful to be given the opportunity to work in a surrounding as diverse and stimulating as DeTray’s, where there is room for significant improvement, and rewarding components. I can’t wait to see my further improvement in the future, and my further involvement in maintaining such an accessible and accommodating environment, for staff and customers.

Please stop and see me soon, I look forward to meeting you.


Bronwyn Williams – Sales Assistant

Benefits of Factory Construction

In a previous article, we covered what factory construction is for manufactured houses. There are many benefits that go with this method of building a home.

Factory Building Facility

Purchasing Power

Volume buying of everything from lumber to kitchen sinks, and having it all delivered in large lots to the same location gives manufacturers great pricing leverage to drive down costs from suppliers.

Climate controlled

Construction is never halted due to rain, snow or temperature extremes, saving expensive downtime and keeping construction on schedule.

Steady, Professional Workforce

The same craftsmen are on the job every day, each of them an expert at their particular construction specialty.

Perfect Paint Every Time

Interior and exterior painting is done indoors, where it’s always the right temperature, humidity and lighting conditions.


Homes are protected from theft, weather damage and vandalism throughout the construction process.


Every professional involved in the construction process – designers, engineers, craftsmen, supervisors, inspectors – are together under one roof.

The only way to build!!! Contact us for more information.

Michelle Dux
DeTray’s Housing Consultant

Insuring Your New DeTray’s Custom Home

How is your new home investment covered in case of accident or damage?  The factory and hauling company insure your home until it arrives on your prepared site, then you become responsible for damages.

Most lenders stipulate that you purchase “Hazard Insurance” (Homeowner Insurance) to cover 100% of replacement costs, and that you keep your home insured throughout the duration of the mortgage.  To protect your investment, DeTrays requires a copy of this “Insurance Binder” before the home is delivered.

Work with an insurance agent to purchase appropriate “hazard insurance”

Homeowners insurance covers your house, personal property, and liability.  Repairs from damage to the home, loss of personal property from theft or fire, and protection from law suits if others are injured on your property, can be covered by your policy.  It also reimburses you for additional living expenses if you are forced to move out of your house while it’s being repaired.  Common perils that are covered by Homeowners insurance are lightning damage, house fires, wind damage, and theft.  Additional coverage can be added for Earthquake, flood, expensive art, collections etc.  Be sure to compare coverage and pricing.

With proper insurance coverage you can have peace of mind and relax, as you make happy memories in your beautiful DeTray’s home.

Lora Whitemarsh

Lora Whitemarsh
DeTray’s Housing Consultant

If You Snooze, You May Lose

Covid-19 has affected every aspect of our lives, especially in housing. Businesses have been shut down completely or temporarily, causing shortages in product availability. Our Kit and Skyline manufacturing factories have protected their employees by closing and cleaning several times. 

The building industry has been hard-hit as lumber, roofing, sheet rock, insulation, flooring and other housing component prices have sky-rocketed in the past 6 months. The factories have added a “Material Surcharge” to cover these increases. Customers that were not ready last spring are shocked at the increases when they come back now to get started. Some things to ponder:

They aren’t making any more land. More building means less land available. Many “Parks” are full.

Summer fires destroyed thousands of acres of trees. Lumber prices will continue to go up.

Some suppliers will not recover. Selection and availability will be limited, raising prices, causing delays.

Kit and Skyline will continue to protect employees by closing and cleaning, delaying deliveries.

Site development costs will also rise for all the above reasons, besides the difficulty of Permit Departments, Inspectors, Appraisers, Septic Designers etc., working sporadic hours and not being available.

Every part of your project: House, Land, Development will cost more going forward than if you act now.

Interest rates are still historically low. You can borrow more money and have a lower payment. Limit the increases by moving forward now. If you need more room for a growing family, or want to downsize, this is the time to act. Waiting will make every part of the process more difficult and much more expensive. There will never be a better time to have a beautiful DeTray’s custom home for your family. Begin now. Enjoy the home sooner and relax, no matter what lies ahead. DeTray’s Custom Housing is offering a $500 discount with your deposit to start before January 15, 2021! Let us help you “Live happily ever after” in a beautiful DeTray’s home.

Lora Whitemarsh

Lora Whitemarsh

Housing Consultant
DeTray’s Custom Housing

Energy Star

The Most ENERGY-EFFICIENT Homes in the Nation

Energy efficiency has always ranked at the top of home buyers’ features list. Good news – the Pacific Northwest manufactured home industry builds more ENERGY STAR® homes than anywhere else in the nation.

Energy Star® is a federal government certification that means the home has been independently verified to be at least 30% more energy-efficient than homes built to 1993 national Model Energy Code, or 15% more efficient than state energy code, whichever is more rigorous. These savings are based on heating, cooling, and hot water energy use and are typically achieved through improving five separate areas in the home:


Ducts carry air from central heat and air conditioning equipment to every room in the home. In a typical American home, ducts leak 20-30% of the air being forced through them. Tightly sealed ducts in ENERGY STAR® Homes are the proper size, made from quality materials, located properly and insulated to ensure energy efficiency and maintain comfort.


Air leakage accounts for 25-40% of the energy use for heating and cooling a typical home. ENERGY STAR® homes are sealed to reduce noise, moisture, and drafts – both in and out. Blocking outside air prevents dust, pollen, auto exhaust and insects from coming in. Stopping inside air from leaking out reduces escape of temperature-controlled air.


More than 50% of a home’s energy use goes to heating and cooling. High-efficiency heating and cooling equipment can lower utility bills, require less maintenance and result in a quieter home.


To maintain temperature efficiently and effectively, insulation must provide a continuous layer of protection. This involves careful installation without gaps, crimps, or compression, and careful attention to fitting around obstacles like pipes, wiring and outlets.


Windows typically make up 10-25% of a home’s exterior, yet as much as half of a home’s heat loss and gain travels through them. Advances in window technology can reduce this loss through double glazing low-e coatings, low conductance framing materials, thermal breaks and insulated frames.

These features contribute to improved home quality and homeowner comfort, and to lower energy demand and reduced air pollution. ENERGYSTAR® also encourages the use of energy-efficient lighting and appliances, as well as features designed to improve indoor air quality. And don’t forget utility promotions and rebates on appliances used in the home!

I personally invite you to visit our ENERGY STAR® homes at our design center! We look forward to seeing you soon!

Michelle Dux
DeTray’s Housing Consultant