Presenting the best version of your home is crucial to securing the interest of a potential buyer.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to improve the look and feel of your home is by getting rid of unnecessary items. Buyers like to envision themselves living in a home and making it their own when they tour a property. It’s not easy to do that if the current owner has too much stuff.
Think about it this way. The less stuff you own, the less you have to clean or maintain. Respect your possessions and maintain them well, but don’t let them weight you down (or more importantly, discourage a potential buyer!)
The thought of decluttering an entire house seems overwhelming for everyone. BUT–we’re confident if you use the following methods, your home can be pristine and clutter-free in no time!*You must really commit to the process though. Getting rid of a few items you no longer need isn’t going to make a real impact. You must get rid of everything in your home that doesn’t serve a true purpose.
GUIDELINES FOR CLEARING OUT CLUTTER
Stop bringing in new stuff NOW. If you decide you need to purchase something new, find two things you can toss or donate in its place.
Schedule a date and time to start the declutter process and stick to it! Work in 30 minute sessions to avoid getting distracted or discouraged. Keep the process going at a slow but steady pace.
Focus on one section at a time. Start in one corner of the room and move your way around. Focus on the stuff you can see at first. Get rid of everything that isn’t absolutely essential to keep, you don’t love, or you don’t use often. Go back through and sort through the stuff you couldn’t see the first time (inside the cabinets, drawers, cupboards, etc.).
Access your storage situation. Find unique and efficient ways to organize by searching the web. You can also find great ideas by looking through home decor magazines or by visiting stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s.
Organize first; buy second. Don’t buy organizing bins, baskets, or boxes before you know exactly what you need. Otherwise, you’re wasting your money.
When storing items, put those you use in easily accessible areas and others in harder-to-reach areas.
The 4-Box Method: Separate clutter into 4 piles: give away or donate, sell (on eBay or Craigslist), store properly, and toss.
Ask yourself the following questions to help decide if items should be kept or tossed:
Have I used the item in the past year?
Do I have another item that serves the same purpose?
Do I absolutely love it?
Would I buy this item today?
Am I only keeping this because I feel obligated or expected to keep it?
Am I saving this item just in case?
Is it worth the time I spend cleaning or storing this item?
ROOM AND ITEM SPECIFIC DECLUTTER TIPS
Make the bed EVERY DAY. This quick and easy step improves the look of your bedroom dramatically.
Drag everything out from under the bed. If anything needs to stay there, put it in a clear plastic container. Revisit the container in six months. If you haven’t used anything in the box, get rid of it.
Purge your entertainment collection regularly. For every four or five DVDs you decide to keep, get rid of one.
Limit magazine subscriptions to three or less.
Stop receiving junk mail. Register on Direct Marketing Association for $1 and remove your name and address from all marketing lists. You can also call them at 888-5OPT-OUT! This will remove 75% of the junk mail you receive within 90 days.
Opt out of your phone book delivery by contacting HTC and/or YellowPages.
Switch to paperless billing.
File, don’t pile. Utilize hanging folders for a clear space.
Designate places for unopened mail, bills and receipts, and important personal information. Put mail and bills near your storage of stamps and envelopes.
Recycle old electronics, cables, and cords by dropping them off in a box at Best Buy.
Utilize electronic clips to prevent jumbled wires.
Keep classic pieces that fit and are in good condition. These items can be recycled over and over again.
If you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it.
*Even if you aren’t planning to sell your home, these methods are great to learn for when and/or if that day comes. The most important thing to remember is to maintain your clutter-free home after you complete the declutter process. Pick up items that don’t belong in a particular room on your way out. If you purchase something new, get rid of something in its place.