You knew this was coming but you’ve still been dragging your feet hoping your house might just magically get ready to sell on its own.
The time has come so today we’re talking about the big bad word – decluttering!
Do I have to?
Between renovation shows on HGTV and the Marie Kondo craze we’re all confronted regularly with the idea of a minimalist, clutter-free home and made to feel bad if we don’t live up to the picture perfect standard.
I’m right there with you and I know that living in a perfectly staged home a la Chip and Joanna Gaines is more of a dream than reality… especially with kids, pets, work, and hobbies!
When Chip and Joanna do the big reveal I often wonder about all of the other things that weren’t included in that family’s move! I do believe you can get close to that look if you really work hard for it, even if it just means temporarily putting some stuff in storage to sort through later.
No matter how they do it, it’s part of my job to tell you that spending some quality time decluttering before you sell your home is a double-duty winner:
- You’ll maximize the look and feel of your home which means you’ll get closer to your asking price and your home may sell faster.
- You’ll have a lot less STUFF to move come closing time!
Often after my clients work tirelessly to get their home decluttered and ready to sell they tell me they wish they’d done it sooner!
So, let’s put our best foot forward and dig into the HOW of turning your very lived-in house into a home-buyer’s dream.
Yes this topic may be covered all over the internet buuuttt who doesn’t need a quick brain recharge on how to get your home ready to sell?
First, walk around your home and make a list of the areas that need the most attention. The big ones are usually closets and any rooms with kid toys or that tend to just have stuff pile up (entryway, utility room). Think about your house as if you were a potential buyer – what spaces look small or cramped? What can you maybe take out of that space to make it feel more open?
After you’ve made your list you can pick your preferred method. Marie Kondo likes to sort by category (all clothes at once) while others like to focus on one room at a time. Choose your own adventure!
Clothes and closets are usually a great place to start if you are stuck. Closet space in a home is essential. The appearance of larger closet space is a must, which means keep less stuff in there! Who wants to move clothes you haven’t worn in the last 5 years anyway? I just recently did mine and got rid of 3/4s of my closet!
Sort items into piles based on whether you want to keep it, donate it, recycle it, or throw it away. You could also decide to have a garage sale first but commit to
donating/recycling/throwing away items that don’t sell. Don’t bring stuff back inside once you’ve made up your mind about getting rid of it!
Once you start clearing things away you’ll start to feel good about it and you might even want to do a second pass to get rid of more stuff!
One Step at a Time
Stage As You Go
As you move from room to room, stage each space so it maximizes value and is ready to sell. Guest bedroom? Only have the bed, two night stands, and some decor on the wall. MAYBE one other piece of furniture, depending on how big the room is. Remember: minimal spaces sell!
For tips and inspiration, go online and look at other homes for sale in your area. Which listings stand out? How are the rooms are set up? Google staged bedrooms or look at photos on Houzz for more inspiration.
For this process I suggest starting with the least-used room first such as a guest room and ending up in the kitchen. And remember, you don’t have to do it all in one day! Give yourself some time and do it right. When you finally do make it to the kitchen, don’t forget to dump out those junk drawers and sort that tupperware!
At this point, you’ll have a good bit in your trash or donate pile and also many items you may want to keep but no longer have room for in your home as you try to maximize the appearance of space for potential buyers. Consider ordering a POD or get a standard storage unit.
Old photos, books, keepsakes – get them out of the house now. You will have to move them eventually so putting them in a POD will only help de-stress you later and it will be less for you to keep clean between home showings. Not holiday-time? Get the decorations out of the attic now and put them in the storage unit/POD.
And don’t forget I’d love to be the listing agent for your #nolahome. Send an email to email@example.com and let’s chat about it!