For many of us, the prospect of decluttering before putting your house on the market, or at least before the first open house, feels like a huge undertaking. You have cupboards full of family paraphernalia, you have shelves stuffed full of kids artwork and books from decades of reading.
You might even still have boxes in the shed that didn’t get unpacked in the last move.
Decluttering doesn’t mean throwing everything away or giving it to charity.
There are benefits to decluttering that go beyond getting rid of items you no longer need, use or want.
Why do I have to change my furniture?
The way you live and the way you style your house are not the same thing. Styling for sale is going to pay off. Your end goal is to present your home to be as appealing to potential buyers as possible.
Personal taste and possessions can detract from the potential of your home when they are on every surface and take away from the sense of space and possibility of a home clear of clutter.
Decluttering is a huge job
Decluttering can start with a draw or a cupboard.
And if it’s too overwhelming, asking a professional organiser is actually value for money as they have no judgement and will work faster than friends and family. Also, a professional is often part of the team, and they know what works in your market as they are in touch with your agent.
According to the Australian Institute study ‘Stuff Happens’, 43% of Australians say, “I wish I could deal with clutter in my home but haven't been able to.” So maybe it is time for a professional.
Benefits of a decluttering before sale
- Removing all personal photos and clutter makes a prospective buyer feel like less intrusive and they can imagine themselves living in the space.
- Styling for sale is going to pay off and you can’t style a property for sale without decluttering first.
- You’ll have less to move, meaning faster and cheaper removalists.
- And what you do take, you know you want in the new home.
- It’s an opportunity to get rid of the old and replace with new.
- Living in your decluttered home during the sales process will reduce your stress.
Some Helpful Hints:
Memories you can’t part with?
No problem, just pack them in a separate box, or better still, get them out and display them at the new place so you can enjoy those memories every day. This is often the one that takes loads of time and sends you down memory lane. Before you know it, you have been looking for hours and only been through one draw. Allocate more time to this and pack items away until after the sale.
If you still have wedding gifts in boxes from two decades ago, it’s okay to admit to yourself you won’t use them and send them on their way to the op shop for someone else to enjoy.
Things belonging to other people
Moving is the perfect time to get people to come and get things from your home that you have been storing for them.
If it’s bits and pieces, big and small, that belong to your kids, then try to set a date for them to come and go through their things. Give them plenty of notice. Try to organise it a bit so each person’s things are in one place. Even sending them a photo and asking ‘do you still want this?” might spur them into action.
You are just sending things back where they belong, to make room for perspective buyers to see the potential of your space.
Where Do I Start?
As they say in the classics, kitchens sell houses. So much of our time is spent in them, feeding our families, entertaining, chatting over the kitchen bench with a cuppa.
It’s also often the place where everything without a home ends up living. On the bench, in the drawers and cupboards, and on the fridge. So, start here.
Then move onto other rooms. Every space can enjoy a bit of attention. Here’s a few tips for how to go about it:
- Clear all the clutter off your fridge - doors and top.
- Clear all the horizontal spaces, you’d be amazed how much bigger the kitchen can look with clear benches.
- Make sure those appliances and splashback are sparkling.
- Removing all the clutter from bookshelves, TV units and walls will give a sense of space.
- Leave enough to show the potential of the room.
- Move extra furniture out (the side tables might not need to be there, the extra armchair etc. The aim is spacious potential).
- Make all the beds.
- Clear all the toys and clutter into tubs, or remove all together.
- People will open wardrobes, so maybe clear some shelves to show how much storage you have.
Apart from clean, make sure those mirrors are sparkling and there is no clutter in the cupboards, as people check for storage space.
Do a quick sweep to get any balls, toys, bats and empty flower pots out into hard rubbish
Highlight the outdoor living space by setting the table and creating an inviting space for people to be together. People will check the shed and garage for storage space, so make it as clear as you can
Over to you
Think like a buyer – when you look at your home through fresh eyes you’ll realise how much you can remove to show off the potential of your property. It will pay off!
To discuss styling your home for sale, contact 02 8001 6405 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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