For the buyer to begin seeing the forest through the trees, the seller will begin to remove years and years of accumulated personal items. This process is known as decluttering, and though it can be overwhelming, this is an essential chore for any home seller.
To make this task a little less painful, we have developed a five step system that should get you started and keep you on tasks until completed.
Start by walking through each room that has contains cabinets and open the door because this is what your potential buyer may do. Many serious buyers will check the condition of the plumbing and cabinetry when making their decision, and you will want each cabinet to be a picture of good home health. Take one weekend to begin cleaning and organizing those cabinets and kitchen drawers.
Closets: Use the Oprah Winfrey rule and hang the clothing on the hanger facing the opposite direction once you’ve worn it / washed. After six months, any clothing items left facing the other direction gets donated to charity. We realize you may not have six months for this experiment, so simply go through each closet in your home and gather all unused and unworn items for a charity donation.
Laundry Room / Mud Room: This room seems to be a catch-all for dirt and clutter. Take at least one or two days out of each week to completely clean and keep organized. Purchase a small rolling cabinet or shelf to store any cleaning supplies in. Do not leave clothing scattered throughout or in baskets. Your buyer will likely want the full picture of square footage in this room.
Toys: If you have children in your home, you will want to begin going through all toys and storing pieces in small bins or a toy chest. If your children have a lot of toys they’ve outgrown, ask if they would consider selling their toys during a family yard sale.
Magazine and Newspapers: Collect all magazine and newspapers you have in your home and drive them in a box to the nearest recycling location.The paper version is nice, agreed, but we promise you will find the digital version online and the paper appears to be clutter to a potential buyer.
The buyer coming to tour your home will envision what they can do with your square footage once your belongings are removed. With this in mind, remember that the seller who has not taken the time to declutter is not doing their home, or the potential buyer, any favors.