The way you live in your home is very different to the way you style your home for sale.
Your home probably reflects years or a lifetime of memories and is filled with various holiday mementos, family photographs, gifts, toys, and hobbies.
But when it comes to selling your home, too much of this stuff can become distracting. A cluttered house has a way of making a property look smaller, messy, and takes the buyer’s attention away from the home’s good features. And that’s the last thing you want!
The selling process is part-marketing, part-psychology. Buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in the house. They will be taking mental photographs of each room, so need to be focused on their potential lifestyle there - rather than your collection of little green frog ornaments.
Every item in and around the house must sell the property’s attributes and the lifestyle the property offers. When you de-clutter, it gives you the capacity to show off the spaciousness and make the rooms feel bigger and lighter.
Simple steps for de-cluttering your home for sale
De-cluttering is actually a very cathartic process once you start. But as I always say, you have to crack an egg to make an omelette - you just need to take that first step!
Get your de-cluttering tools ready
- Garbage bags
- Plastic storage bins or moving boxes
- Space saver bags
- Bubble wrap and/or butcher’s paper
- A texta/marker
- Packing tape
- Skip Bin (in some instances!)
Our suggested de-cluttering strategy
Remember the old saying ‘less is more’. You need to remove the visual clutter by getting rid of anything too personal and neutralising the interior. But you don’t want to create a cold and sterile environment either!
For example, we had a client with a massive National Geographic collection. The yellow magazines filled two built-in bookcases. We removed two-thirds of the magazines and spread out the rest with decorative pieces inserted here and there in between.
Another client was a collector of harpsichords, with one in almost every room. We removed most of them, but kept one as a feature piece in the living room.
To get started on your de-clutter, we suggest:
- Allocating one room per day
- Delegating certain spaces to other family members
- Sorting items into 3 piles - Keepers / Donate / Throw
The ‘Keepers’ pile is for items you cannot part with. These items usually reflect your personality and are great for forming the basis for your decorating.
When deciding what to keep, try to be ruthless. Does the item fit with your desired decorating plan? If it doesn’t, you need to decide whether you wish to take it with you to your new home.
Do you actually use it? Do you need it? Will you miss it? Depending on your answer, you can either give it away or store it for your new home. For any items you choose to keep for the move, wrap them up in butcher’s paper and put aside for future accessorising.
The ‘Donate’ pile is for items in good condition, but you no longer want. These can be donated to charity, or a family or friend if you really think they’ll enjoy it. Don’t just dump items on loved ones! Most charity outlets will pick up your unwanted goods for free.
In the ‘Throw’ pile are items that are broken and you don’t want. Don’t overthink it, toss it in the garbage bag!
If you don’t have time but have a budget to work with, there are companies that offer a de-cluttering service. Feel free to ask me for some recommendations .
What to do next
After you’ve finished de-cluttering (didn’t that feel great?), the next step is to do some cleaning! After moving things around, you’ll probably discover hidden cobwebs, dust, and bugs - especially in those easy-to-forget areas.
Remember to check:
- Light fittings (Those pesky oyster lights can attract a lot of bugs)
- Light switches
- Door jambs and handles
- Windows, window sills and skylights
- Window coverings and venetian blinds
- Polish woodwork
- Skirting boards
We also recommend giving your carpets a steam clean and removing heavy curtains to let in more natural light and make the rooms feel more spacious.
You’re now ready to get a stylist on board and make final preparations for your first Open Home. Contact our team on (02) 8001 6405 to get the ball rolling today!