The old adage, you only get one opportunity to make a good first impression, definitely applies in real estate. As a homeowner you have nurtured your house, crafting it into your own personal oasis, yet if it is cluttered it may give potential buyers a sense you have neglected the property. Whether you live in Warner Robins GA, Austin Texas, or anyplace in between, keeping clutter to a minimum will enhance your opportunity to sale.
It took years to collect all the knick-knacks, tchotckes, and keepsakes so having a plan to streamline your home is the key. It is a guarantee, buyers will look in, under, behind, and around every space in the home so every effort should be made to give your home a more spacious look and feel. Here is a de-clutter guide to simplify the process.
Start in the kitchen
Remove, discard, or give away seldom used and mismatched appliances, utensils, pots and pans, silverware, and crockery. Clear off countertops, stovetop, and de-personalize the outside of the refrigerator. Clean out cupboards, drawers, the pantry, and refrigerator, reorganizing like items together to save room and show the space potential. Only keep what is absolutely necessary.
Tackle the bathroom
Clear off countertops and remove or put away all personal items. Use drawer organizers to give a tidy appearance. Minimize items in the bathtub or shower, using a caddy if necessary to keep products together. Frayed, torn, stained, or old mats and towels should be discarded. Streamline the medicine cabinet ensuring all outdated products are disposed of. Buyers love a clean bathroom so clean as you go so your de-clutter efforts are not wasted.
Bedroom, bonus, dining, family, and living rooms
Visible clothes, shoes, magazines, books, and toys should be put away, donated, or discarded. Over-sized or out-of-place furniture and exercise equipment should be removed or relocated. Knick-Knacks need to be kept to a minimum, as do personal effects such as photos and trophies. Store all valuables and remove offensive articles. Remember, buyers want to see less of you so they can picture more of themselves in the room.
Clothes should be hung up or folded in baskets or storage shelves. There should be space between hangars and the shelves should be sparsely filled. Remove as much out-of-season or infrequently worn items as possible. Shoes should be neatly arranged whether hanging or on the ground.
Garages, carports, and sheds
These areas are notorious for clutter buildup. All broken, unused, and outdated tools, devices, and materials should be given away, sold, or discarded. To maximize space, use shelving to store common and often used items. Less frequently used things get placed in cabinets or bins. Neatly display your wares for practicality and clean all visible surfaces.
Outside the home
This is the first thing new buyers see so make sure it shines. Clean out flower beds and gutters, clear off porches, and keep lawn manicured. Mulch where needed, sod or seed bare areas, and roll up or put away all hoses. Add, replace remove, or fix shutters, borders, mailboxes, and planters. Paint as necessary and ensure kids toys, if present, are in a designated area. Trash must be picked up and refuse cans stored out-of-site.
The key to de-cluttering a home is to start early and cover one area or room at a time. If it is a large space or congested with “stuff”, break the effort up into manageable chunks so you do not get distracted, frustrated, and quit. Find a system that works (i.e. sort, decide, act) and repeat that method throughout the house. When in doubt, minimize to maximize!