How to Declutter a Home before an Open House

 April 22, 2015

Many sellers think their homes are perfect. Only few would dare admit otherwise. You see, once a person has lived in a home for many years, he adapts to the environment and sees everything as normal. The knickknacks, prized collections, and mementos find their way into shelves and corners and end up taking permanent residence. However if such a home is to sell, a transformation has to occur. Decluttering before an open house is crucial. It might take a lot of time but the end result is worth it. Help your sellers get rid of clutter with these tips.

Start Small

Sellers shouldn’t try to declutter their homes in one go because they will get overwhelmed. If they want the process to be easy and enjoyable, they should have two things: a plan and discipline. A plan helps them to clean their homes systematically and discipline helps them to stay committed to the process. Inform homeowners that cleaning one room at a time is better than cleaning several at once. In addition, they should focus on a room until it is complete before moving to another. They can set aside some hours each day for decluttering or clean over the weekend.

Embrace Minimalism

Buyers buy space, period. When they spot a cramped home, they will run for the hills. The more space sellers are able to show, the more they will be able to sell for. Sadly, this is easier said than done. Most sellers have too many belongings and most of their rooms are filled to the brim. Advise yours to remove some furniture to make their rooms appear larger. Small furniture pieces which aren’t used should be sold or given away. Bookshelves should be organized in a methodical way; small books should be on one shelf, large ones on another, and DVDs and CDs on another. The fewer items a home has, the bigger it will look. A clutter-free home is also easier to paint and stage.

Don’t Forget the Kitchen

A kitchen, small as it may be, can make or break a sale. It is a room buyers inspect thoroughly and must have a neat, tidy look. Outdated food items should be thrown away and cabinets and drawers organized. Sellers should also get rid of storage containers with no lids. They can hide small appliances like mixers or toasters inside cabinets. Countertops and refrigerator tops should be devoid of clutter. An organized countertop gives a kitchen a feeling of space. Homeowners should also remove magnets, notes, and personal pictures from refrigerator doors to depersonalize the room. The pantry should be organized; pastas should be on one shelf, canned foods on another and so on.

Go Above and Beyond

Sure, every seller knows the importance of decluttering but most do it casually. Don’t let your clients fall in this category. Advice them to go through their homes after the decluttering process to ensure everything is where it is supposed to be. Not everyone is a fan of shaggy rugs or antique furniture. Sellers should focus on creating a style that buyers love – fresh and contemporary. They should choose homely and comforting furnishings which make a house look modernized and well cared for. Sellers can ignore many things when boosting the value of their homes but not this one. Buyers examine everything during an open house and will remember a cluttered home for all the wrong reasons. Tell your sellers to focus on making a great impression by decluttering. Buyers will linger in their homes, picture themselves in the space, and make an offer before they step outside the door.

Ronique Gibson

By Ronique Gibson

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.