Decluttering is never a simple process, especially in the lead up to selling your home when there’s so much to do. Though it’s a clean and orderly home that makes the sale, and decluttering can make each of your rooms look loads bigger and better, giving you the upper hand on other houses on the market.
There’s nothing worse than having a last minute scramble to tidy your home and get it into top-tip condition before your open house. Whether you start in the months, weeks or days before your move, here are our 10 tips for decluttering your home before you sell:
1. Start with the messiest room first – While this may seem overwhelming at the time, you’ll thank yourself later. Tackling the messiest room of your house first helps you get into the swing of getting rid of the unnecessary, and there’s a lot of those in a particularly messy room. It’s a bit like ripping off the bandaid quickly rather than prolonging the inevitable. You’ll also enjoy a huge sense of accomplishment that comes with a fantastic before vs. after mental image.
2. Make a list and set goals – Before you really get your hands dirty, it helps to have a proper game plan in place. Work out exactly what you want to keep in each room, get rid of any white elephants before they become a big issue and determine what needs to go to ensure every room in the house is looking impeccable on the day of your open house.
3. Ask a friend to help – Recruiting a willing mate to help you out with the decluttering process is the hard part, but if someone owes you a favour two heads are certainly better than one. Having a friend who objectively sees some of your belongings for what they are can really help you during decluttering. They say “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” so be sure to get a second opinion if your treasure collection gets a little bit out of hand.
4. Make piles for what stays, what goes into storage and what goes for good – When you’re sorting through the non-essentials, the main decision you have to make is “should it stay or should it go?” Though if you have a storage unit on hand you’ve got a third option to consider. If there’s something you want to hang onto but don’t necessarily want in any of your rooms, storage is the perfect solution.
5. Focus on what you’re keeping, not what you’re getting rid of – Decluttering can be an incredibly stressful experience, especially when it comes to departing with belongings with some sentimental value. Focusing on the things you want to keep and the clean space you’re creating, rather than everything you’re getting rid of, makes the whole process more simple. Sometimes it can help to clear the whole deck and gradually put back the things you’re going to keep.
6. Work out how to make the best use all drawers and cupboard space – It’s a rookie move to start filling drawers, cupboards and all storage space too early, before you’ve actually made a dent in the decluttering process. Carefully plan out how to best utilise the available storage space you have before you start filling drawers and cupboards to the brim. There’s nothing worse than finding a bulky item late in the game and having absolutely nowhere to put it!
7. File all paper out of sight and fill your recycling bin to the brim – A study is usually a perfect place to keep loose documents, but when your house is on the market you don’t want strangers looking through your bills. Invest in some great filing solutions if you haven’t already, categorise things based on importance, and let go of any bills that you won’t need to clap eyes on again.
8. Take advantage of any suitcase space – If you’re not heading on any upcoming business trips or holidays, make the most of any empty suitcases just sitting around. Filling up a suitcase up is a great way to pack away almost anything, from books, clothes, or anything troublesome you can’t find an appropriate drawer for. Also you’ll do be doing yourself a huge favour – once the big moving day comes around a roller suitcase is a whole lot easier to lug around than a heavy box.
9. Give to charity and give to others – When you’re decluttering, charity bins are a great way to get rid of unwanted clothes ASAP. If you’ve got too many to fit in one trip to the bin, opening a market stall might be a good option. Recruit a few friends and sell your clothes at your local markets. The spare cash may come in handy when you put your house on the market, whether it’s a last minute repair or some new furnishings to spruce up a lacklustre room.
10. Keep any valuable items out of reach – Storage is a great place to put anything you might want to hang onto, but don’t necessarily want in your home during the selling process – whether it’s family heirlooms, valuable jewellery or anything else. If you’re planning on keeping something but haven’t touched it in a year, that’s a good sign you should get rid of it or at least put it away for the time being.
When you’re selling and moving, consider Rent A Space self storage and give yourself a bit of leeway when it comes to storage space. You never know when you’ll need more room during the process of decluttering and putting your house on the market.