Decluttering is an essential step toward getting your home ready to show. Sellers don’t want buyers focused on the fact that the bedroom furniture didn’t quite fit in its space or that the closets were over capacity. Create an aura of cleanliness and spaciousness by getting rid of clutter. Prospective homebuyers will be better able to visualize themselves in the home, making it sell more quickly.
Closets are a great starting point. Sort through everything and fill a basket with things you no longer want. For clothing, a good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t worn it in 2 years, you probably won’t in the future. Yard sales, consignment shops and charities are potential destinations for discarded items. Pack away clothing and linens that are out of season as well as any other items you won’t need over the next 3 months. Your goal is to make the closet look as spacious as possible.
Sort through your desk and files. Shred or recycle unneeded papers. Consider using a decorative desktop file box to store current documents and to serve as an emergency clutter catcher for last minute cleaning before a showing. Bookshelves tend to be clutter collectors. Recycle or donate old magazines and weed out old books, either selling them to a used bookstore or donating them to the local library.
Cabinets and Drawers
Believe it or not, some buyers probably will peek in your medicine cabinet. Clear them out, keeping only what you require. Clean out the cabinets under the bathroom sinks and do the same with the kitchen cabinets, pantry, and drawers. Place unused dishes and accessories in your discarded items basket and pack infrequently used items into moving boxes.
Kitchen counters should be mostly cleared. If you don’t absolutely need something on the counter, put it in a drawer, cabinet or in the refrigerator. Clear off tables and dressers in every room and pack any knick-knacks that you can’t part with. In the bathroom, place toothbrushes, grooming supplies and bathing accessories in the medicine cabinet or under the sink.
Walls and Floors
Take a walk through every room in the house and evaluate each piece of furniture. Is it useful and will it fit in your new home? Remove unnecessary furniture, toys and electronics. If cords and cables are showing, try bundling them in a cord keeper. If you have lots of family pictures on the wall, take them down and pack them away as they can distract buyers to the extent that when they try to remember your home they only remember the pictures.
Finishing the Job
When finished, you should have piles of boxes and furniture for storage, a pile of items to be sold and another for donations. A significant portion of your packing is complete and your newly clutter free home is ready to show!