So you’ve decided to sell your home, but you have no idea where or how to begin preparing your home. First and foremost, contact a top real estate agent who can assist you with the selling process. One of the first things your agent will instruct you to do is declutter your home. Over 94% of top real estate agents believe decluttering can increase your chances of selling your home and increase your home’s sale price.
A simple deep cleaning and decluttering can add quite a bit of value to your home. Deep cleaning alone can add $3,731 to the sale of a home while decluttering can add $6,523. These are huge additions considering deep cleaning doesn’t doesn’t require a contractor or extensive work on your home. In fact, all deep cleaning requires is a few boxes and a bit of hard work.
Removing excess clutter will open up your home, make it more inviting and create a space that buyers can see themselves living in. Decluttering prepares you home for:
- Deep cleaning
- Real estate photos
Focus on one room at a time
Decluttering an entire house is an overwhelming task if you try to take it all on at once. Instead of looking at the work as a huge project, break up decluttering tasks by room. Then once in the room, break the task down further by areas such as the closet, medicine cabinet, and under the vanity.
Focus closely on storage areas such as closets as ample storage is very important to the majority of home buyers. Also, depersonalize as your declutter by removing family photos, overly personal knick-knacks, and extra personal items in storage areas.
Start in the bathroom
The bathroom is the smallest room in the house and is a great starting point so that you do not get overwhelmed at the start of the decluttering process. Remember you are removing everything that over personalizes the room and makes storage areas look cluttered.
Linen closet: Remove excess towels, washrags, and linens. Leave one two or three towels and wash rags that are simply for display. The same is true of sheets, pillowcases, and blankets. Neatly fold items and stack them as if they were on display. Extra linens should be removed and packed away or given away.
Medicine cabinet: Remove all medications. Wipe down shelves. Vanity storage: Remove cleaning supplies, extra rags, and anything that does not need to be present. Wipe down shelves. Remove personal items from the vanity counter.
Move to the bedroom
Closets are a very big deal to home buyers so you want to make sure you emphasize how much space is available. If you are hoping to get rid of old clothes, now is the time to employ the KonMari method of decluttering. Using this you will put clothes into groups starting with shirts, pants, shorts, shoes, undergarments, socks, etc.
Hold up each piece of the clothes and decide if that is an item that brings you joy. In other words do you need to have this piece of clothing? If you do not put it in a give away box or throw away depending on the state of the item. If it does, add it to the pile of clothes to keep.
After you go through every item in your closet you can stage your closet with remaining items. Hang your clothes by color or by type to really show off the organizational aspect of the closet. Remember you are staging the closet for buyers so make it look perfect.
After the closet is tackled remove overly personal items from the walls, shelves, and bedside times. Leave one or two items on each of these to give the room a bit of color and life but do not overcrowd the room with knick-knacks.
Next the Kitchen
Everyone has that drawer filled with chargers, batters, papers, markers, pens, pencils, and other odds and ends. Everything and every spot in the kitchen like that needs to be decluttered.
Cabinets: Take out extra food items, wipe down cabinets, replace necessary items in organized fashion.
Pantry: Remove extra food items, wipe down shelves, organize items using labeled containers.
Drawers: Remove unnecessary cooking gadgets, utensils, and cookware. Organize remaining items.
Countertops: Buyers love extra countertop space. Show off your counters by clearing them of all clutter.
Then the Living Room
The living room should appear to be comfortable, inviting, and spacious so that buyers can envision themselves entertaining or relaxing there.
Furniture: Your living room should have a sofa and a pair of chairs. Additional furniture will overcrowd the room so remove them. Also remove extra foot rests, poufs or small furniture pieces.
Shelves: Clear your shelves of personal items like knick-knacks and family photos. Have one or two basic decor items on a shelf.
End tables: Clear off excess decorations from your end tables and coffee table. Have one or two items such as a lamp or small decor piece.
Finally, hallways and additional storage areas.
Remove excess clutter from the entryway and hallways. These areas should be open and completely free of clutter. Take down excess wall decor. Clear out extra coats, shoes, umbrellas, etc from entryway closets. Just like the bedroom closet they should be open to demonstrate the amount of storage available to the buyer.
Remember, you don’t have to throw away the clutter you are removing. Store it if you want to keep it for your nexthome. You can also donate extras if they are in good shape. Decluttering can take a bit of time depending on the size of your home and the amount of clutter you have accumulated over the years.
But you can’t afford to skip decluttering no matter how difficult it may seem. 57% of top real estate agents say one of the biggest blindspots for overconfident sellers is too much clutter. Decluttering may take time and it can be overwhelming but it will lead to a more marketable home and an increased sales price.