Selling Your Home 101: De-Clutter

by Stephanie Bilane, REALTOR®

“De-clutter your home” is the top request realtors have before putting their clients’ homes on the market. My first nugget of advice if you hear that phrase is: Do not take it personally. Put your seller’s cap on and look at the de-cluttering process through the lens of preparing your house to sell at the highest dollar.

Here’s the primary reason sellers need to de-clutter: Imagination. What does that mean? Simply put, look at your home from the buyer’s perspective the buyer.  Can they see through the clutter and imagine themselves living there? Can they imagine their furniture fitting in the space?  Often times, the answer is no. And the reason boils down to clutter.

If a home is overwhelmed with personal items, has closets bursting at the seams, and furniture blocking the flow, there is a clutter problem. It sends the message that your home lacks space and ample storage.  Worse than that, the seller has immediately put a stranglehold on their most important sales tool — capturing the buyer’s imagination.

So how can you de-clutter to sell for the highest dollar? Simple tips to get started:

  1. Set up a plan of attack. Make a list of your problem areas and schedule when you will handle each.
  2. Purchase storage containers.  Start with your closets and cupboards. Start boxing up items that you plan to use in your next home but do not currently need (photo albums, books, extra linens, spices, clothing etc.). Get out your bucket, cleaners, and brooms.  Clean inside of cabinet or closet – especially shelves and floors – before putting any items back.
  3. Set up a pick up day/time for Goodwill, the Samaritan House or the charity of your choice to pick up your give-aways at your curbside.  Giving yourself a deadline will help keep you on task.
  4. Bring extra bulky disposable items to a municipal recycle center or to a recycling event.  
  5. Rent a storage unit. Store extra furniture and items you have boxed up offsite until you move into your next home. It will not only de-clutter your existing home, it will help you start packing.

Once you have de-cluttered, you have done the hard work for listing your home.  Now staging (furniture placement, curb appeal etc.) has become so much easier. There are many considerations for staging.  I can go over them with you once your house is ready to go on the market.

Stephanie Bilane

With a career encompassing over 35 years in client service, Stephanie Bilane, Realtor® has been representing buyers and sellers with KW since 2011. Stephanie, together with her team, provides unparalleled attention to detail, a keen understanding of current market conditions, and judicious negotiation skills that combine to make the home sale process as effortless as possible.