If you’re getting ready to list your home for sale, you’ve no doubt read…or heard from real estate agents…that you need to de-clutter your home in order to make it more appealing to potential buyers. It’s hard to imagine yourself living in a home when it is crammed full of your stuff. Add to that, if every closet and storage area is full, potential buyers will assume storage space is limited. De-cluttering and staging your home is an important step in the selling process, however, it can seem a bit overwhelming.
Here are five steps from the Travelers, Inc that can help make the process more manageable and efficient. Bonus: simplifying now will make moving that much easier.
1. Start small & choose one area at a time. If you attempt to organize your entire home in a day, you’ll end up fatigued and frustrated. Instead, choose one area to focus on, like your linen closet. Decide whether you want to save, donate or toss your towels, sheets, and blankets. You’re building up your minimalizing stamina as you move on to categories with more sentimental value.
2. Phone a friend to help declutter. 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 your wardrobe. Be honest about what you wear and what you don’t. Round out the afternoon by delivering your donations to your charity of choice. That will keep you from second-guessing all your hard work.
3. Rent a dumpster. Consider renting a dumpster if necessary to help you as you sort through clutter, room by room. They’re also handy for disposing of remodeling materials you may have accumulated over the years – old carpets, extra tile, broken items from around the house. Pitch anything that is broken or no longer usable.
4.Deal with 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. Edit each room from the buyer’s perspective. After the hard work of organizing and decluttering room by room, approach each area from the perspective of a buyer. Pack away knick-knacks, photos and other items that distract from the space itself. If you miss having them around, you can choose to bring them with you when you move. If not, you’ll know you’re ready to say goodbye.