If you’re intending to sell your home this year you’ll want to invest some time into decluttering – mess and chaos is one the top turn offs for buyers.
We accumulate a lot of things moving through life. Many outlive their usefulness (and if we’re being honest, some didn’t have much use to begin with). But we’re human and stuff sticks to us, which is why it’s important we shed some layers every now and then to maintain order and harmony.
1. Ask for guidance from those you trust to be honest. Your agent will be impartial, and truly great friends often will be too. Check with them to gauge the full extent of your clutter and where you should focus your efforts. You may only have one room that requires a true work over.
2. Look beyond what the eye can see. Clutter likes to hide in corners, on shelves and under beds. Hunt it down and don’t just stop with the most obvious areas. A prospective buyer will open cupboards and snoop into nooks and crannies to check out storage and other features. Make sure they get the best impression.
3. Sort things into three categories. Things moving with you. Things to donate. Things to toss. Many charities can benefit from goods and clothing you no longer need. Have a garage sale for items you’ve culled that are in great shape and still worth something, Enough gold coin donations and you could convert mess into a bit of extra money to buy something you need in your new home, or treat yourself to a fancy dinner because you sold so much!
4. Get a jump start on packing for your new place. Stack those trinkets away and you’ll be ready to invite buyers through your home before you know it. Personal items should be stowed first, keeping any lovely items of neutral decor till last (they could save you having to invest in furniture or accessories for home staging).
5. Create space in the kitchen by clearing surfaces. Let the buyer see your counter tops, walls, even the fridge door. Don’t just shove items into another cupboard. Apply the same rigor to removing that clutter as you would any other room, and sort ready for packing, donating or tossing.
6. Leave some space in cupboards. Even if their contents are impeccably neat, buyers will want them to feel spacious, and be able to picture their own things in there.
7. The kids aren’t immune. Children’s toys and teenage posters aren’t usually effective property marketing. Cull ruthlessly and store things out of sight.
8. Store boxes you’ve packed until that SOLD sign goes up. Make sure they’re not visible to people inspecting your home.
9. Get some help! Enlist family members, friends – whoever can lend a hand to make the process less frustrating and time consuming. Pop on a favourite playlist while you clean and sort and before you know it, your place looks like new. If you’re really struggling, or don’t have access to an extra pair of hands, you can explore the services of a professional organiser to give you a road map and set you on the right track.
10. Start small (but start). Remember the clutter didn’t arrive in your home all at once. It won’t leave that way either. Pick a room or an area and make a start – you’re on your way!
– Dasha McGee