Selling your home is all about taking a step forward in your life’s journey. While you may be eager to make your next move—and get the highest possible return on your investment—there are a few major tasks you’ll have to tackle first. Without a doubt, one of the most challenging is decluttering your property to stage, show, and sell it.
If you’re preparing to put your home on the market, here are five tips to paring down your possessions first…
1) Start Early
Even the most organized family can start to feel like time is the enemy once they start decluttering. From junk mail to winter wear, you’ll probably find that there’s a lot more to go through than you thought. That’s why it’s important to get started before you start to feel the crunch.
The first step is creating a sorting system (many sellers find that categories like “keep,” “toss,” and “donate” are helpful). Next up, figure out where you want to make donations—and call ahead to avoid any unforeseen hassles.
2) Let Go
If you have a tendency to hold onto things past their expiration date, you’re not alone. Most homeowners keep duplicate kitchenware, worn-out furniture, and clothing that’s two sizes too small—all with the misguided notion that it will come in handy someday. Usually, it won’t.
Don’t make the mistake of carting possessions you’ll never use to your next home. As a general rule, if it’s been out of commission for at least a year, you’ll never miss it.
While it’s always okay to hold onto items with sentimental value, try to imagine where they’ll live in your next home. Whether it’s on a photo wall or atop the coffee table, you should have a designated place in mind for everything.
3) Focus on Selling
One of the trickiest things about decluttering before you sell is knowing not only what you want to keep, but what buyers will want to see when they tour your home. This is where an agent with selling expertise and an eye for detail can be helpful.
An experienced professional will know which items enhance your property as part of a cohesive aesthetic. On the flip side, they’ll also be able to tell you which ones should go (even if it’s just into storage for a short time).
If your agent suggests packing away an old armchair or piece of artwork, try not to take it personally. They’re simply ensuring that your property will appeal to as many buyers as possible!
4) Make Time
Decluttering can take weeks of sustained effort, so make sure you schedule it into your family calendar. An hour or two every couple of days can help you tackle the job piece-by-piece—without being overly disruptive to your lives.
Choose times when everyone will be home, whether that’s before dinner or on Sunday afternoon. While longer time blocks may be daunting for your kids (and you), breaking it down into fifteen-minute intervals followed by short breaks can help everyone feel good about what they accomplished.
5) Create a Routine
There’s a reason why homes need to be cleaned often. Unfortunately, clutter has a way of sneaking back into our lives—even after we’ve put in the effort to get rid of it. From old magazines and overfilled coin trays to loose toys and craft supplies, things will pile up quickly if you don’t have a plan to stay on top of them.
To keep your home in show-ready shape, mentally commit yourself to putting items back where they belong when you’re done with them. This can be especially challenging if you have kids, but there are steps you can take to help them stay motivated (like offering small rewards if they keep their rooms clean).
Decluttering a home before a big move is a challenge, and it can even feel downright impossible. The key is to take it one step at a time, celebrate your progress, and listen to your agent’s advice when it comes to home preparations!
Are you ready to start the process of selling your home? Reach out today to get started!