When it comes to getting your house looking great, especially if you plan to sell it, one of the things you’ll want to do is declutter. There are plenty of ways to make that easier, even if you have a big house or a lot of items. For example, holding a yard sale before putting your house on the market means less to declutter, and there are probably plenty of things you really don’t need or want. You could use the money you earn for other things.
But eventually, you’ll be done with the yard sales and taking things to the thrift store or giving things away to friends and family members. Then you’ll need to get started on the serious work of actually decluttering the things you want to keep, before listing your home. These are probably things you’ll use in your new home, but they can’t stay where they are right now. Here’s what to consider when you’re getting started.
Clear it All, One Room at a Time
Taking things one room at a time is the best way to handle the decluttering of an entire house. If you look around and see how much you have to clean up and pack away, it can quickly feel overwhelming. When you choose one room and focus on it until it’s done, there’s far less stress involved. You can just work in one space, moving things to different locations and packing up what’s not needed so the room looks spacious, clean, and open. When one room is done, you’ll be ready to move to the next one. Some rooms will take longer than others, but eventually they’ll all be clean and decluttered.
Bathrooms Are Usually a Good Start
If you’re really having trouble choosing a room to start your work, consider a bathroom. These rooms are generally smaller, and they don’t have as much in them. There isn’t any big furniture, and there are usually cabinets for storage of items you want to keep but that don’t need to stay out all the time. Since a bigger space can be more difficult, choosing a smaller space lets you get something done without as much stress. That builds confidence in getting more done. Wall hangings, decorative items, and similar things should be put neatly away, so buyers can see themselves in the space more easily.
Make Sure You Can Live in Your Living Space
The living room, family room, and related areas of your home are places where you want to be comfortable. But if these locations look too “lived in,” buyers won’t like them as much. You’ll want to remove the personal touches that really make it feel like your home, so it seems like a space other people could see themselves living in. When buyers see the value and comfort of your home, they’ll be a lot more likely to buy it. Decluttering can help with that, and can also make it more comfortable for you and easier to keep clean while you wait for a buyer. Less-cluttered rooms are much easier to use and clean, overall.
Bedrooms Should be Cozy and Efficient
Don’t feel bad about leaving a few, small personal touches in the bedroom. You’ll want to remove most of them, but a favorite bright pillow, a throw blanket on the foot of the bed, or a robe on a coat hook aren’t generally problems. Instead, focus on issues like reducing the amount of clothing in your closet, and the level of overall furniture in the room. The bedroom should feel like a cozy, relaxing space, but should also be used efficiently and give buyers a sense of comfort. If a buyer feels like they’re in “your” bedroom, they may not feel like they could make that room into “their” bedroom very easily. That can put them off.
Take Some Extra Effort With the Kitchen
Many people believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home. With that in mind, take some extra time on that room and really make it shine. Clean counters and surfaces go a long way. Remove anything that personalizes the space, such as knickknacks, potholders with your name on them, and similar items. If you drink alcohol, removing wine bottles and other alcohol containers is also a good choice. Not all buyers may share your interests, and some could even feel uncomfortable with the kinds of choices the previous owners made in the house. You want them to feel at home, so you need to focus on creating that feeling.
Don’t Forget the Outside Counts, Too
While you’re spending time focused on decluttering your house, remember that the exterior matters. The lawn, porches, shed or garage, and other areas should be decluttered, as well. If you have children or pets, you’ll want to pick up all their toys and repair any damage they might have caused to the yard. Seating spaces need to be accessible, and your porch should have plenty of room on it. By paying attention to the outside areas of your home, decluttering will be more complete and your level of curb appeal will be higher, too.
Staging is Much Easier With Less Clutter
Once you’ve finished decluttering each room you can stage those rooms, so they’re ready for buyers to see. You can do that one room at a time, or wait until all rooms are decluttered before staging them. Both options are good ones, and both options work. It’s up to you which way you prefer to do things, and it won’t matter to buyers. They won’t know which way you handled the decluttering and staging tasks. All they’ll see is a great-looking home that’s comfortable, clean, and a place they could move into and enjoy their life. That’s exactly what you want them to see, because it can mean selling your home more easily.