Are you thinking of moving sometime this year? One tip I would recommend to start thinking about now is the process of decluttering your home.
There are a few reasons WHY you need to make decluttering part of your process to sell your home.
First, you want it to show nicely to attract potential buyers. Let’s face it, over stuffed closets and clutter over everything will make your home look smaller then what it really is and will appear to lack storage space. Most buyers what a home that is move in ready and that they can see being their home, but many have a hard time visualizing things and seeing past the “stuff”. Therefore, a clean and clear space helps your buyers see the potential and that helps your home sell and maximizes the selling price for you.
Next, you are moving to a new home so you don’t need to take “stuff” with you that you no longer use or that just takes up way to much space. If something is old or broken, doesn’t fit…don’t waste the time and energy to box it up, move it, haul it into a new house and then unpack it only to realize, you should have tossed it or donated it before you got to that point. Save yourself and your new home of clutter and do the decluttering that stuff now.
I feel I am always on a decluttering journey. I work through cloths or drawers slowly and toss/donate/giveaway what I can. But, I always have boxes hidden in closets I don’t want to really deal with or a few years past and I realize it’s time to revisit that walking closet in my bedroom again. My space is way less cluttered, but always a work in progress and if I had to do all of my home and closets at the same time, in a short time frame like a month while trying to finalize everything else with moving, maintaining a job and family…. the process would become quickly overwhelming.
My first tip, start now. I highly recommend the book - The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō. Why I like her, she has a process to start clearing areas of less sentimental value (like cloths) and works down to those things that have meaning and will be harder to get rid of. Her process is easy to follow and I find it works. The book is an easy read and if you have time to read it and follow through, your home can be way less cluttered by the time you move.
Here are a few other tips to think about in your decluttering process to also help sell our home.
1. Furniture - If you know you have furniture you don’t want in your new home, make sure donate it/toss it before the move. Remember, depending on the move (distance) it might cost more to move big furniture then to get new stuff. Also ask, will your new home support all your current furniture. Especially if you are downsizing, think about your new space and ask… Will this fit? Removing some of the furniture sooner then later will help a room look open, spacious and flowing during your showings, not over crowded and small. But, also maybe you don’t want to get rid of everything and have “empty rooms” either. Try and find a balance of what furniture you want to keep and what to remove.
Oh, have a patio? Don’t forget to look at what furniture you have there too? Is it so weathered it’s not worth taking? Will you have the space for it at the new place? This includes planters and rugs, take it only if it will have a useful purpose at the new home.
2. Kitchen Appliances - What’s hiding not only on the counters, but in the cabinets. Do you use all those baking pans still, or have you pretty much found your “set” that you use? Do you have a crockpot that hasn't been used in years because you fell in love with your Instant Pot now? As families grow and change, our eating habits do too. If you haven’t used the appliances in 6-12 months, ask yourself, is this worth my while to pack and take with me, or is it time to donate or “Let Go” on a yard sale page?
3. Clothing - If you don’t wear it because it doesn’t fit, toss it. If it’s been hanging in your closet and not being worn, don’t pack it. I recommended that book above, Marie Kondō really has a great method to help pair down your clothing. Let your closets look full, but not stuff when you get ready to sell. Keep the cloths that makes you happy so you will shine in your new home life and to your new neighbors, and don’t bother taking the rest.
4. Tools/Lawn Equipment - It’s amazing how we can get more things. Shovels and garden supplies start to collect in the corner of a garage. A project you needed all those tools for is done and you haven’t used them in ages. Maybe you are moving south and a snow blower isn’t needed in the sunshine state. Really clear out the clutter of tools/lawn equipment. Don’t haul something with you if it doesn’t work. If you haven’t fixed it yet, will you do it at the new place? If you’re not using those tools, sell them and maybe stash some cash to get the tools or paints you need to make your new home just perfect.
5. Holiday Decorations - It’s January and Christmas is over. Before you box all the stuff and hide till next year, go through all the decorations and say… Do I want to keep this? Do these string of lights still work, or should I toss them now. Don’t take old, broken, outdated or unused holiday decorations with you. Trust me, the less boxes you move and unpack, the better. Plus, why take stuff you know longer love and cherish so it just takes up precious space in a new home?
Now that you are hopefully catching the drift, here are a few other areas to think about quickly. Don’t just take them with you. Don’t think about - What if I need them later if you haven’t used them in ages. If you go through this list and follow the recommended book, do a little at a time and it will be way less overwhelming. That when it is time to pack up everything and move, you know you are moving things that you value and mean something to you, you are not just shuffling stuff from one closet to a new closet in a new town.
6. Paints and miscellaneous project parts, don’t leave them for the new owner, just toss them.
7. Electronics and Gadgets - All those things get outdated so quickly these days. Do they work, do you use them, and do you even know what that cord is for? If not, don’t take them with you.
8. Sports Equipment - Let’s face it, we grow and we grow out of the things we once loved. Playing golf might not be your weekend activity now that the kids are around. Maybe you know longer play catch in the back yard with your college kids. Time to pass all that unused stuff to someone that will be grateful for them.
9. Toys, pet supplies (aquarium), trophies, art work, musical instruments, rugs and knick knacks … What do you have on the surfaces of your counters that collect dust. What do you have that you haven’t truly used in ages? Maybe it is best to donate them now and not take them with you to just collect dust again? New homes mean new memories to create, new spaces to decorate and style. Sometimes out with the old can be such a wonderful relief because that means in with the new.
Wow, that was a lot to go through, and I am sure there is a lot more to do! Decluttering can be so overwhelming at first especially if you try and do it all at once in a short time. I know I hang on to more things the more I want to clean up everything now. If I do one room at a time and slowly go through stuff at my pace, I tend to really keep the things with meaning and reduce (trash, donate, sell) more of what I don’t really love. Therefore if you have time to before you are ready to list your house on the market, declutter slowly by starting sooner then later. Then, when your ready to sell your home, reach out to me, I would love to help you get your home on the market and also give you additional pointers to help stage your home for marketing your home to get the best sales price and the quickest offer.
Helping you find a home to create lasting memories in.
- Heather Buchman, Realtor
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