Buying a house is buying space… usable square feet. The more livable space you can showcase a prospective buyer, the more you’ll be able to sell it for. Keep in mind, buyers usually see several houses in the same day and you want them to remember your house clutter free.
Buyers are not interested in walking through rooms filled with too much furniture or looking at your various “collections” of things jammed on every shelf and overflowing storage available space. Buyers won’t imagine how your house looks empty and clean – they want to actually see it that way.
If you do one thing to improve the value of your house before you sell it – make it clutter free and really clean.
Trying to declutter the entire house at once is not advised. A room by room approach allows you to delegate to family members accordingly and gives you a sense that you are making real progress as each room gets finished.
Decluttering can be a major process as you sift through each item in every room in the house. When it’s time to roll up your sleeves have a few boxes and garbage bags ready and you’ll need to make four separate piles to put items in: Return, Donate, Recycle & Trash, and Keep.
Return everything that doesn’t belong to you. This includes items borrowed from others and items that need to be returned to stores. You’ll have enough of your own stuff to pack and this will save you time during the move.
If you have items in good condition that you’re just not going to use, consider giving them to your family, friends or charity. A well timed neighborhood garage sale could be another destination for your donate pile. Your best bet is donating your items to Volunteers of American, Salvation Army or Goodwill.
Recycle & Trash Pile
The more you declutter, the larger your Recycle & Trash pile will be. Your room to room approach will determine what to toss but here are some items to kick start the purge. Remove all expired food, phone books, magazines, cloths, shoes, broken items you planned on fixing, projects half started, old computers and electronics. Try to plan your declutter activities so your items get removed on trash day and don’t stay around another week.
Keep It Pile
The ‘Keep It” pile includes items you’ll be putting away and items you’ll be packing for your move. Be smart and pack as much as practical while leaving out the necessities and items to help properly stage the home.