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Do THIS before you think about Staging your Home to Sell

Picture this…. You are standing in your living room just standing there thinking….I just need more space.  Maybe you are expecting your 2nd baby and need another bedroom, or it was quarantining for 2 months that did you in and you need an office space.  At that moment you say it…….”I want to sell my home.”

But as you stand in your living room, bedroom, make-ship office, you’re asking yourself, where do I start? How am I going to get my home ready to sell?

You know from HGTV, that staging is key. But I am here to tell you before you can even get to staging, you must declutter first. We LIVE in our homes and no matter what we do, stuff can pile up, we shove things in closets to clear up space elsewhere and before we know it, we can’t fit anything else in the closets, and stuff is not where it should be.

We dream of the pictures we see on Pinterest and Instagram. Remember this, so do your BUYERS. I am here to tell you it is possible to get your home Pinterest ready to sell. I’ve got 3 steps to get you there. Continuing reading as I dive into each step.

Step 1: Mindset

Getting the right mindset to declutter to sell is the first step. 

When you decide it’s time to sell, you must start to shift your mindset from HOME to HOUSE

Your home is not your home anymore but now it’s your investment with a goal to sell it. Also with a goal to get the highest/best sales price and in the quickest amount of time. 

I know and fully understand this can be difficult to shift to make. It’s totally normal to have trouble shifting this mindset.  This may have been your first home you purchased, or the home you came home to for the first time as husband and wife. You may have raised your babies here, or watched them pack up and go off to college here. You had parties with friends where you laughed til your stomach hurt and even cried here when you’ve lost loved ones. 

These are memories you’ll never forget. Take some time to soak it all in and start to tell yourself, these memories aren’t forgotten, but cherished.

If you like to journal, rejournal these memories as you are standing in these spots taking a ride down memory lane. Or take a picture and record a voice memo. Sometimes speaking out loud helps to move on.  However it enables you to process your memories and attachment to your home, take the time to do it, that way you will be fully prepared to detach and to sell.

If you are the type of person who likes to rip the bandaid off fast and move on, head to Step 2, Planning.

Step 2: Plan

Planning is where the work starts to happen. Just like with anything, in order to get this done as seamless as possible, planning should be your jam. Don’t skip this step!

The first micro step to planning is knowing every item in your house should fit into one of the following 4 categories:

1) Staying the in home now

2) Store away/keep

3) Donate

4) Sell

4 Thing to do during the Planning Process

1) First, order a POD, or some kind of portable storage unit. I really do recommend the ones that are delivered to your driveway. You will thank me later when you aren’t making 100+ trips to a storage unit every other day.

2) Order/purchase boxes, packaging tape, and permanent markers from Amazon or your local improvement store. Don’t get boxes too big if you think you won’t be able to pick them up. To me, the medium size is perfect.  Also get plastic storage bins for things that you are keeping to store away permanently. You will also need some decorative baskets for staging/storing, but you can wait to see what you need later before you buy these.

Also consider purchasing a clothes hanging box. The ones with the rod across the top.  These help so you don’t have to remove all your hangers. Get a couple for when you are cleaning out your bedroom closets.

3) Designate a place in your home to put your piles of items you will donate and sell. The things you pack to move that you don’t use on a daily/weekly basis will go into the portable storage unit.

If you have a dining room you only use for special occasions, move the table to the side and create 2 areas here. Half the room for items you’d like to sell and other half or the room for items you will donate. Put a line down the middle for the items undecided so you can revisit later. 

Sometimes there are items you can’t decide on yet, and that’s ok. If there is any chance you will donate/sell it, put it on the middle line before you store it in the storage unit.

A garage is a great space too if you have it for your donate/sell spots. 

Things will get messier before they get better. =) Just keep moving forward. One thing at a time.

4) Last part of the planning step is to look at your calendar and map out a reasonable amount of time to get this decluttering project done. Put it on your calendar so you know it will get done. Look at  your goal date to move, and work your way backwards. Even if it’s 30mins a day, that’s progress. Once you get your motivation going, you will move faster than you think.

Alright, on to Step 3!

Step 3: Take Action

Now you are ready to dig in and take action. First, here are some tips for your 4 Categories for your belongings.

Stay in the home now category: These are things you use everyday/every week/every month. Items you need to keep living. Remember to try and think minimally. As you’ve been planning, keep a tab of things you use everyday/week and try to only keep these things on your house.

Store are items you don’t need category: Things like off season items. If it’s the summertime, store your winter clothes in the pod and vice versa. Holiday decorations. Even if a holiday is coming up and you are planning to sell, you shouldn’t be planning to decorate. 

If you have kids and are overwhelmed by the toys, create two or three bins to keep and rotate them while your home is listed so they feel like they are getting new toys every couple of days. All other toys, put in the storage unit.

Items to Donate: Consider what charity or organization you’d like to donate your items to. Goodwill, Salvation Army, Veterans of America, Covenant House are just to name a few

Item to Sell: Will you be selling individual items on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist? Or are you planning for a garage sale to sell all at once? 

What room to start in?

I recommend getting in your attic first and pull all the stuff you have up there down. Let’s face, you will have to move it at some point so get it done now before you are under the pressures of moving. This way you can go through it as you move it. 

Have a box that hasn’t been touched since your last move, consider donating it.

If something is in your attic now, it should be going in the POD, or sell and donate piles. Nothing from the attic should be in your stay in the house now category.

After you’ve conquered the attic, move on to closets.  Start with a coat closet/hall closet. Big closet decluttering tip, you want to see the floor. It will make it appear larger. Take EVERYTHING out Yes, I said everything. And put back ONLY what you need

Let’s walk through an example of your coat closet…..

If it’s jammed packed with 15 coats, you can’t see the floor, vacuum, backpacks etc, pull it all out. 

Use the clothes hanging box to put the coats you keep, but don’t need right now, and put ones that don’t fit/never going to wear again in the sell or donate pile

When putting a few pieces back, leave space in between them to give the appearance of space, and again, nothing on the floor. If you are like me and store your vacuum in there, this can be the only thing in there. Just push it all the way to the back

On the top shelf above the coats, put one or two decorative baskets. You can put a couple of things you may need in here, but other than that, keep them empty for now. You may find you need to store some else in here later.

Ok you are ready to get to it! Mindset, Plan, Take Action. This is just a quick look into getting your home ready to sell. If you follow these steps to begin decluttering, I promise it will cut down on the overwhelm and give you a clear path on your road to a home staged and ready to sell!

Be on the lookout for blog posts where I dig into each type of room. I will get into cleaning out and staging bedrooms, the kitchen, bathrooms, kids bedroom/playroom, laundry room and even the garage.

In the meantime, have any questions about what I mentioned above? Send me an email to robyn@robynbruno.com. Or better yet, send me before and after photos!

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Metairie, LA
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robyn@robynsbruno.com