Minimalist living has been embraced by many. There is less to clean, less to organize, less stress, and even less debt (due to reduced spending). Clutter can hinder the smooth workings of a home and create a lot of inconveniences. Additionally, it is one of the biggest turnoffs for buyers. Decluttering makes a listing look spectacular and helps sellers save on moving costs as they transport less stuff. If your sellers are drowning in clutter, share the following tips with them to help them get their homes ready for buyers.
Before decluttering, sellers should take time to inspect every part of their homes. They should start at the front door and examine each room as if they are seeing it for the first time. They should also check corners, under beds, and on shelves. Clutter likes to hide so looking at the most obvious areas may not be the best way to find it. Remind sellers that prospective buyers will check all nooks and crannies and open cupboards and other storage features. You can help them look objectively at their properties by taking photos.
Decluttering must be organized as it is not effective when done haphazardly. Homeowners can start with one room or a zone in a room. This can be a counter in the kitchen or a 3-foot perimeter around the couch. Once they are done decluttering the zone, they can expand it until it encompasses the whole room.
The best way to declutter is to avoid overworking. Sellers must not work for more than an hour at a time as they may get overwhelmed by emotions experienced during the process. They should also schedule their decluttering sessions and enlist the help of their friends and families.
Sellers should sort their items into 3 categories: those they are moving with, those they are donating, and those they are getting rid of. They should hold garage sales for items that are useful and still in great shape. They can use the money collected to buy useful items for their homes. Unused items can be donated to charitable organizations like United way, Salvation Army, and Goodwill.
This helps sellers to find things easily and not make a mess every time they look for something. It is very useful for small items that can be easily misplaced or covered up like cell phones or keys. Advise sellers to use their spaces creatively when decluttering. They can hide unattractive items in nooks and crannies or rearrange items to fit their designated areas. For instance, they can fill bare spots on walls with a collection of photos instead of arranging the photos on a tiny table.
These three areas are often filled with clutter – once stuff goes into them, it never sees the light of day. Anything that has been moved twice and not opened needs to be reexamined. Sellers can separate the items to be stored in see-through containers to reveal their contents. They can also group the contents into categories like holiday decorations, toys, and clothes. The containers should be clearly labeled and have lids to shut out pests.
Homeowners accumulate many things but forget that many outlive their usefulness. In fact, some of the items may not have been useful in the first place. It is important to get rid of clutter to maintain order and harmony and to appeal to buyers. Sellers should follow philosopher Henry David Thoreau’s saying “Simplify, simplify.” Share the above tips with your sellers to help them gain a competitive advantage.
Ronique Gibson is an Associate Architect and a LEED Accredited Professional, who has been in the design industry for over 13 years. She started her design blog in 2009 and today it has become a premier destination for helping homeowners with everyday lifestyle challenges. Her readers check in daily for help with their homes, DIY project ideas, recipes, crafts, and inspiration to beautify and enjoy their homes.