If you’re thinking of moving, you’ve probably been told by your real estate agent to remove clutter to appeal to potential buyers. It’s easier for someone new to imagine living in your home if they don’t have to look past lots of personal belongings and crammed closets. Unfortunately, it can be overwhelming to think about paring things down.
Here are five steps that can help make the process more manageable. remember that the work you do on this now will make moving that much easier.
1. Save, donate or toss. That is your mantra as you go through the house. Is the item useful or does it give you joy? If not, do not keep it.
2. Start small, choosing one area at a time. Don’t try to declutter and organize your entire home in a day. Instead, choose 1-2 areas to focus on per day, like going through a closet, or packing up personal photos and knick knacks from the living room.
3. Phone a friend to help go through your clothes. Having a hard time deciding what should stay and what should go? Invite someone who can bring some objectivity to the situation as you sort through. Be honest about what you wear and what you don’t. Dropping off your donations that same day will keep you from second-guessing all your hard work.
4. Dispose of electronics and hazardous materials. Look for special collection days in your area for electronics, including old computers and video game systems. Make sure you wipe data off of old hard drives and phones before disposing of them. Hazardous material collections are a good place for old paint, thermometers and other chemicals.
5. Don’t forget the outside of the house. Remove any toys, broken pots, overly worn lawn furniture.
These steps will have you well on your way to a decluttered house that will be more attractive to prospective buyers. Now you’re ready to start thinking about staging your home!