Your Easy Guide to Declutter Your Home
If you’re ready to sell your home, you may be overwhelmed by what you need to do to make your home attractive to potential buyers. You see home staging on the home improvement shows rented furniture and fresh-cut flowers, and you feel completely overwhelmed.
Here’s a secret – successful staging begins with decluttering! Simply packing up the excess stuff and all the personalized items around your home (the family pictures, the refrigerator art, and the souvenir snow globe collection) is the first and most important step toward selling your home fast and maximizing your profit.
Not sure where to start? No worries. Use this guide as a checklist to get your home open house ready in no time!
Declutter the Exterior of Your Home
The first thing a prospective buyer sees when they arrive at an open house is your front yard and porch area. What will they see in your yard? Having a sports team flag, kids’ toys, and flower beds filled with garden gnomes are what make your yard distinctive to you, but to prospective buyers, it’s a turn-off. Same with excessive holiday decorations and over-the-top displays.
Instead, walk your front yard and porch with a buyer’s eye and use this mini-checklist:
- Your yard is maintained: grass is mowed, shrubs are trimmed, and debris is picked up;
- Flower beds are weeded and clean with fresh mulch, maintained perennials, or blooming annuals;
- Toys and personalized decor are removed;
- Remove excess porch furniture to meet the scale of your porch. A bistro set or porch swing may be all you need;
- Holiday decorations are simple, such as a simple wreath and pumpkins for fall;
Now is a good time to see about painting your front door and doing any updates to create a welcoming scene!
Decluttering the Interior of Your Home
Now that a prospective buyer has fallen in love with your beautifully maintained flower beds and cheerful front door, what does he or she see when entering the home? This is where you shift how you see your home from “This is where I live;” to “This is where you want to live.”
If you’re thinking, “I still live here, how can I pack up now?” think of it like this – if you have a successful open house or home tours, you’ll be packing up in a few weeks anyway, may as well do it now! And decluttering doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything, it just means paring down what you don’t need so you can show your home to its most spacious advantage. Pack up and rent a storage facility for a month or two until you move into your new home. The cost will easily be made back by selling fast and getting a higher price!
Let’s walk room-by-room for a stress-free decluttering plan!
- Remove family pictures, knick-knacks, and personalized items. Keep a few simple pieces to highlight built-in shelving;
- Take down heavy curtains to let natural light in;
- Remove extra furniture (china cabinet, toy bins) to show as much floor space as possible.
- Clean out your refrigerator, pantry, and cabinets so you can highlight your usable space. Only keep the simplest items you need to cook with. Pack up your bread machine, loaf pans, etc;
- Clear your countertops of small appliances;
- Clear off your refrigerator – no magnets, schedules, or reminders;
- Remove any toiletries aside from the absolute basics so you can store them easily before home tours;
- Keep anything you need in a small basket out of the way;
- Pack up at least half of your linen closet to highlight space;
- Do any needed maintenance or updates like cleaning grout or updating faucets and shower heads;
- Clean out your closets and only keep what you need – anything out of season, special occasion clothes and shoes especially;
- Use simple, gender neutral bedding and accessories to appeal to possible buyers;
- Only keep toys in kids’ rooms, and even then, just one small bin per room;
- Remove posters and personalized decor from kids’ rooms;
- Use a pegboard to hang up tools, brooms, and other implements to make as much use of floor space as possible
- Anything stored, such as holiday decor can be moved to a storage facility;
- Sporting equipment can be moved to a storage facility
As you can see, the idea is to create a clean, open, neutral space that appeals to any buyer while highlighting how much storage and spaciousness your home can offer! This is a great time to donate and toss things you don’t need so when you move to your new home, you’re starting with a beautiful clean slate!
Once your home is decluttered, take your staging to the next level by painting your rooms a light, neutral color, do simple updates like light fixtures and cabinet hardware, and set the stage to sell your home fast!