If you’re planning to put your home on the market, the first thing you need to do is schedule a clean-up and declutter session.
Seriously, there’s a reason why realtors bake cookies in show houses. The more appealing a place is, the more chance you have of selling it.
Sporty and I have moved house enough times to know what works for us and what doesn’t. Sunny is always good, as is a user friendly kitchen and a decent shower. Our sixth sense also comes into play.
We’ll generally know within minutes of entering a place whether or not it has our number. This gut response is almost never wrong. In fact, I can think of only one time it was a little off.
The apartment we went to see was so cluttered and and in need of a good scrub that our gut literally couldn’t tell if we’d be happy there. Luckily, it at least had the wherewithal to send us back for a second viewing.
We returned to find the landlord in the process of cleaning our soon to be new home and were immediately smitten. Had that not been the case we’d have missed out on three awesome years in the most gorgeous little apartment.
Whether you’re thinking of selling or already have a house for sale, getting the place shipshape is super important. As humans, we tend to rely on our imaginations quite a bit.
What do you think is happening in your head while you’re holding up that pair of Levis you noticed at the mall?
You’re imagining yourself wearing them to work or out on a date or whatever. And you’re probably wondering if your butt will look good in that cut.
Prospective home buyers are no different. They’re going to walk into your house and immediately begin mentally furnishing it with their stuff.
The thing is, if it’s a cluttered mess they won’t be able to do this, will they? And then what will they do? They’ll go and look for another house to put their furniture in.
Unless you had the foresight to bake cookies, in which case you might be able to persuade them to come back for a second viewing.
Rather than risk losing out on a serious buyer, an easier route is to declutter your home before showday. Yes, it’s going to be hard work but if it’s going to help you sell your home it’ll be worth the effort. Right!?
Minimalist Home Staging Tips
Home staging, in case you’re wondering, is realtor speak for getting your place ready to sell. You’re literally ‘staging’ your home in a way that makes it most appealing.
Clever, I know.
I’ll offer our typically minimalist take on things. However, if you’re keen to go all out in your bid to sell up, HGTV has 30 can’t miss home staging tips for you.
Still, knowing the RD, they’re probably just as useful.
Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
My home staging advice? Declutter, declutter, declutter.
Get rid of that unsightly pile of yet to be looked at mail on the dining room table.
Clear your kitchen counter space. It’s a work area, not a dumping ground for cell phones, car keys, school projects and whatnot.
Pay special attention to the whatnot. You know how we feel about whatnot.
Clean out and tidy up the cupboards. Prospective buyers are going to be opening doors left, right and centre. They’re trying to put their stuff in there, remember, so make sure they’re not put off by the mess.
You also don’t want to risk any untoward embarrassment when they discover that [insert awkward object here].
Know what I’m sayin’?
There’s also no need to get all caught up in figuring out how to declutter. You just need to start. Pick a place and get cracking.
If you’re feeling really overwhelmed you could always sign up for Joshua Becker’s Uncluttered course. He’s running them four times a year now, so you should find a time that suits your schedule.
There’s also the Swedish Death Cleaning approach, which is more about getting your affairs in order, but has a ton of useful advice, nonetheless.
if you’re moving abroad, we put together these tips to help you declutter your home like a boss. They’ll make relocating to a new continent a whole lot easier.
Clean, Clean, Clean
Now is the time to take to your home with a toothbrush, magnifying glass and gallon of all-purpose eco-friendly cleaner.
You need to scrub and wipe and polish and elbow grease like the sale of your home depends on it. Because, well, it does.
Sure, there’s a chance your prospective buyer is a slob, but what if they’re also a tightwad? If you home is spic ‘n span you can send them packing and woo the well-to-doers instead.
Benefits of the Presale Declutter ‘n Clean
The presale declutter ‘n clean. It’s got a ring to it, don’t you think? Perhaps Sporty and I should patent the phrase and start a sideline business?
It could be like Sunshine Cleaning, only without the death part.
I digress. Along with aiding in the sale of your house, cleaning and decluttering will make your impending move so much easier. There’s nothing worse (except maybe a paper cut) than boxing up stuff you know you have no intention of using.
Cleaning also has a restorative effect on the soul.
That’s true for everyone by the way, not just neat freak hippies with a tendency to procrastinate.
Donating your unwanted goods will make you feel good about yourself.
Selling the stuff you don’t need or use can help you pay off debt.
Getting it out the house (and out of your life) will reduce your stress levels.
The list of benefits goes on.
However you approach this business of decluttering, you can be guaranteed it will be a win squared. Probably to the power of infinity.
Unless your approach is to not take our advice, in which case you’ll be living in your Hobbit hovel forever.
I’m kidding. Just bake some peanut butter biscuits and you’ll be fine.