Clutter is the Number 1 problem my Home Staging clients battle. It's not a problem exclusive to people getting prepared to sell their homes. Even I struggle to keep my house uncluttered! In the real world not many of us manage to keep our house free of clutter, organised and looking like a page out of a glossy magazine 24/7.
Decluttering to move is very different from decluttering to live. When you declutter to live, presumably everything has a place, and all you do is make sure that everything is in its place. When you declutter for a move you take everything out except the necessary furniture and accessories.
Many of my clients are faced with the same dilemma but on a larger scale. They have committed to sell their home and I come in and tell them they have to clean up their clutter and get organized pronto before they even think about any other improvements! I explain to them that decluttering is an essential part of preparing your house for sale, and is virtually cost free.
Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional it is vital you get organized and declutter before putting your home on the market. Not only will your eventual move be easier but you will create an open, spacious and simplified look that buyers will love. Clutter eats equity and you will be rewarded two fold when you start to declutter:-
You will make money when you sell your old items (garage sale or eBay)
You will make more money by selling a spacious home, and as obvious as this seems, a buyer will naturally be drawn to and pay more for a home that feels like it has extra space rather then one that is chock-full to the ceiling with stuff.
Make it a manageable project
There are four simple options for each possession in your home Ditch it, Keep it, Store it, Sell it.
Divide your clutter into 4 categories:-
Ditch It: Garbage bags for the rubbish, Carry bags for the give aways - These are the items you are going to throw out or give away, once you get started on this process it will become easier to let go.
Keep It: These are the items that will remain in your home during the sales process. Keep this to a minimum and they had better be ones that either add decorative value to your home or ones you can simply not live without over the next few months.
Store It: Boxes - These are all of your possessions that will be moving to your new house e.g. memorabilia, photos, excess furniture and clothing. These are the items that need to be packed away prior to your house going on the market.
Sell It: Boxes - These are the items that could be of value to someone else. Hold a garage sale and put some items on E Bay - these types of sales can surprisingly generate a large wad of cash.
These steps will get you moving towards having an organised home and an organized life. Your home is a mirror of you and how your life works, so as you simplify your home, you simplify your life!