If you are thinking of moving and are getting ready to sell your property, read this guide to declutter to sell your home first.
To put it simply, you want to sell your buyer’s dream, not your dream. Generally, a property that looks like a home in good working order, with tidy shelves and cupboards (yes, viewers will tend to look), neutral decor and a sense of space and light will statistically speaking, attract more interest and be more popular with buyers. That will in the end mean achieving a good price and a less stressful selling experience.
So start decluttering, start early and persevere. Decluttering sooner rather than later means when the day comes and you have to move, you will have fewer items to pack and less overwhelming decisions to make.
Remember, when it comes to decluttering before a move, you can never start too soon. The last thing you want is to find yourself faced with a whole house to declutter a week or two before the move. I have seen how stressful that is but can honestly say from experience that it doesn’t need to be that way.
In order to avoid overwhelm, I suggest starting as soon as you are thinking about moving, using a little and often approach. Simply taking a couple of bags to a charity shop or dropping a bin bag of clothes in the clothing bank when you’re next at the supermarket can help you gather momentum – every little helps!
For bulkier items, auction houses might be interested in furniture and collectibles, if you are looking to make some income. Alternatively, the British Heart Foundation and other charities will collect. Simply call your local store to make arrangements. Or if you prefer to give things away to your local community, Gumtree, Facebook, Freegle and Freecycle are all good ports of call.
One thing to do even if you are not sure when you’ll be ready to sell, is pick one room and make a list of clutter that you don’t need and clutter that you do need (I’ll explain in a second). Make a list and after you’ve gone through all rooms, depending on the nature and final number of items, you can make a decision on how to best manage them.
Ask yourself these simple yet powerful questions:
– Is this item relevant to my current lifestyle?
– Would I miss it if it was gone?
– If it broke, would I replace it?
Clutter you don’t need are objects you have no use of anymore, are broken or redundant and you would not consider bringing into a new home. Deal with that clutter as early as possible. Hire a skip or a van, take them to recycle, start selling them on Gumtree or add them to local groups as freebies.
Clutter you do need are objects that have value to you but perhaps don’t fit into your current home. A piece of cherished furniture that sits awkwardly and makes a room look smaller, items that make shelves look unnecessarily busy, things that you do want to hold on to but would perhaps don’t make a good impression on buyers the way they are displayed just now. Find a temporary solution: pack them safely and store them temporarily in a garage, loft, or basement. This way they are ready to go out the door as soon as your home is sold.
Start with rooms that you don’t use on a daily basis, such as spare bedrooms, garages, shed and attics. By focusing on these areas first you can get a good start on your packing while not having to live surrounded by boxes.
Sold your home and ready to start packing? Read this handy blog post on staying organised when moving home.
Paperwork tends to clutter shelves, drawers, windowsills, especially now that many of us work from home. Tackle paperwork early on and keep a system in place to manage it going forward, it is much easier to keep on top of things little and often. Sift through piles that have been cluttering the hallway, discard and shred what is no longer useful, file and archive what needs to be kept.
Consider whether physical items can be replaced with digital versions. From storing books on your e-reader rather than their printed versions, to discarding instruction manuals that can now be easily found online to digitising kids’ artwork, photos and more, explore what belongings can be saved online and kept from cluttering your current home as well as the next one.
If your extra bedroom is used a storage, now is the time to put some work in and turn it into that desirable home office for the future buyer. Make sure hallways are clear and bright, kitchen looks tidy and organised, bedrooms look like bedrooms and all spaces can be seen for their true potential. The house will look more spacious and light and buyers will more easily see their own belongings living happily into the house.
Last but not least, start a moving folder and a moving list and keep yourself organised from day one. Moving can become quite a project with so many aspects needing your attention in a certain order. Keep all quotes, schedules, action lists and reminders relating to the move in one place to make things easier.
List everything that needs to be done in a spreadsheet or a Trello board to keep track of all the activities, deadlines and contact information. Minimise stress levels by emptying your head regularly – this is much easier if there is one central place to capture everything that you need to remember!
A professional organiser like me has seen all the ups and downs of home decluttering and can offer you as little or as much support as you need. From advice and resources when dealing with the emotional and practical matters of decluttering your home to hands on help, please reach out and I will do my very best to make decluttering less stressful and your next home move as exciting and fun as it should be.
Hope you found these tips on decluttering before a home sale tips useful and a good place to start planning. Feeling overwhelmed by the task? I offer virtual and in-person services to help. Whether you prefer an on-Zoom only or an in-room approach, start your house move with a free consultation with me – simply use my calendar here to book a first conversation around your decluttering and organising goals.
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