Decluttering and minimalist spaces may be having a moment, but they’ve always been a part of the culture of cleanliness. When getting ready to sell, it’s not just about having a neat and tidy house, but also about having a decluttered space that potential buyers can see themselves in. Even when your house is spotless, unnecessary clutter can make it seem messy. Focus on these spots before you put your house on the market.
Buyers will be encouraged to take a look at all of your home’s features, including storage. If your closets are stuffed with every seasonal wardrobe piece you own, even the largest walk-in closet can feel small. Take this opportunity to get rid of some clothes and linens you don’t use. Clothes that are hung up should be able to be moved across the bar easily, not wedged together. Folded linens should have some space when stacked next to each other, as well as space between the sheets and the shelf above. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to see the floor in your closet. You should try to make “breathing room” for your things, it helps the buyer see how much space there is- so they can imagine filling it up with all of their clothes.
Your kitchen is practically sparkling and there’s not a trace of dust anywhere. But buyers say that your kitchen feels “cramped” and “cluttered.” Check the status of your counter space. Do you have a dozen small appliances sitting out? A drying rack that’s filled with glassware? Make sure your counters are clear, and not just clean; your kitchen will feel much more neat. Resist the urge to shove everything in the pantry (remember the closets?) and consider selling or donating unused items. Start packing up things you only use sparingly and put them in labeled boxes now, rather than just before the move. If you can’t get outside storage while in transition, put them away neatly so that when buyers check the storage space, they see it’s able to accommodate a well organized system.
When a buyer heads to view the bedroom, they’re hoping to imagine a peaceful night’s sleep. Even if your bed is made perfectly to look like a comfy dreamland, a messy and cluttered nightstand can be the room’s undoing. It’s nice to have water, a book and reading glasses right at hand, but all of that in a small space can seem disorganized and make an otherwise cozy room feel hurried. Put your bedside comforts out of sight, at least for the showings. An easy trick is to put them in a drawer organizer so you can lift it up and tuck it away, as needed, but pull it back out quickly when you’re ready to dream of all of the amazing offers you’ll get.
Most important for your home office is to make sure the desk is clear. It’s not just physical things you need to be mindful of, but consider your digital workspace, as well. Your computer should be off and locked. This is also important for digital security reasons. If you have a whole room as a dedicated office space, make sure any bookshelves are properly organized. Use the same rule of thumb as you did for the closets- breathing room! If your workspace is a part of an existing space (your bedroom, the living room, a closet turned “cloffice”)try to have visual distinctions between the areas. A small floor rug under the desk or pictures for the wall that are specific to your work space are all helpful. It can help make the space look decluttered and bigger.
You May Need Help
This process can be stressful and confusing to navigate on your own. There are many professionals that can help.
- Contact a Rashkind Saunders & Co. Realtor to get started with the process. A real estate agent is a great resource and will have a keen eye for what a buyer wants.
- Find an organization professional. Decluttering is tough work, but there are companies that can help you.
- A professional house cleaning is a great investment before your house is listed. They’ll help make sure your house is picture perfect.
It’s ok if you wouldn’t normally think of your toaster oven as an eye sore- it’s very useful! But how your home looks while it fits your life, may be different from how it needs to look when you consider selling. While it may be difficult giving things away or prepacking personal touches, it will help you be more prepared for your move in the long run.