Decluttering 101

Experts keep saying that decluttering and staging your home for sale can have a huge impact on your chances of selling.  Unfortunately, the term “declutter” can be more than a little vague.  Here are a few tips to decluttering your home.

T.M.I. to Go
Start by removing all personal items like family pictures, framed degrees and achievements, trophies (competition or hunting), books, and evidence of hobbies and occupations.  All of these things define you, and make the buyer feel like an intruder into your life.  Depersonalizing each room helps protect your privacy and lets the buyer imagine their own stuff in the space, easing the transition from your home to their home.

Pile Collector
Take a good look through your home.  Any pile, collection, or assemblage of items can look like clutter to visitors.  This can be your collection of porcelain teacups, your framed baseball cards, your grandmother’s wax fruit, or any populations of decorative items on display. Any item that catches dust is a suspect. Make a clean sweep of it; pack them all safely away. Consider removing all in-sight items as a part of the moving process.

Overstuffed Furniture
Too many pieces of furniture can also clutter a space, making the room seem smaller than it is.  Remove extra items whenever possible, like that spare bed in the office or the oversized lounger in the living room.  Leave the key items that “anchor” the space: the furniture that helps to define the room, while maximizing the floor space to show off every square foot.

Packed to Packed
Buyers will look in your closets and peek in your cabinets. They want to see the storage potential of the home.  Take your decluttering project to the closets, kitchen, and bathroom.  Take small appliances off of kitchen countertops and prepare the flatware drawer for opening, just in case.  Whenever possible, remove extra stuff from the home entirely. However, if a storage rental or family member’s basement is not an option, clean and organize each area neatly.  Try to arrange packed boxes or hanging clothes to allow buyers to see the back and sides of a closet or storage room.  Even a small gap can help buyers understand the size of the space.

Removing clutter removes distractions and helps maximize the size of a space.  Declutter before putting a home on the market so that buyers can see the home itself, and not just the things in it.

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About The Author: Tom Davidson is the acting Director of Sales & Operations for Express Schools, LLC. Since 1996 the companies under this banner have offered online real estate licensing and insurance licensing courses as well as online real estate exam prep and insurance exam prep.

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