Homeowner declutters home to prepare to sell

Decluttering 101: How to Declutter Your Home to Sell in 5 Steps

Experts say that decluttering and staging your home for sale can significantly impact your chances of selling. Unfortunately, the term “declutter” can be more than a little vague. Let’s discuss why decluttering is essential when selling a home and how to declutter.

Reasons to Declutter

Decluttering your home before selling has numerous benefits. Not only does it create a clean and inviting space for potential buyers, but it also helps them envision themselves living in the property. The reasons to declutter include:

  • Enhances visual appeal
  • Creates a sense of space
  • Helps buyers envision themselves living in the home
  • Highlights the property’s best features
  • Makes rooms appear larger and more inviting
  • Improves overall impression of the home

5 Simple Tips for Decluttering Your Home

Here are some specific tips for decluttering a home before it goes on the market.

1. Pack away personal items.

Start by removing all personal items like family pictures, framed degrees and achievements, trophies (competition or hunting), books, and evidence of hobbies and occupations. These things define you and make the buyer feel like an intruder in your life. Depersonalizing each room helps protect your privacy and lets the buyer imagine their own stuff in the space, easing the transition from your home to their home.

2. Tidy up shelving.

Take a good look through your home. Any pile, collection, or assemblage of items can look like clutter to visitors. This may include your collection of porcelain teacups, framed baseball cards, your grandmother’s wax fruit, or any population of decorative items on display. Any item that catches dust is a suspect. Make a clean sweep of it; pack your items all safely away. Consider removing all in-sight items as a part of the moving process.

3. Eliminate extra furniture.

Too many pieces of furniture can also clutter a space, making the room seem smaller. Remove extra items whenever possible, like that spare bed in the office or the oversized lounger in the living room. Leave the key items that “anchor” the space: the furniture that helps to define the room while maximizing the floor space to show off every square foot.

4. Organize drawers, cabinets, and closets.

Buyers will look in your closets and peek in your cabinets. They want to see the storage potential of the home. Take your decluttering project to the closets, kitchen, and bathroom. Take small appliances off of kitchen countertops and prepare the flatware drawer for opening, just in case.

Whenever possible, remove extra stuff from the home entirely. However, if a storage rental or a family member’s basement is not an option, clean and organize each area neatly. Try to arrange packed boxes or hanging clothes to allow buyers to see the back and sides of a closet or storage room.

Removing clutter removes distractions and helps maximize the size of a space. Declutter before putting a home on the market so buyers can see the house itself, not just the things in it.

5. Take a final lap.

Before officially listing your home for sale, take a final walk-through to ensure every room is clutter-free and visually appealing. Pay attention to small details like countertops, shelves, and closets to ensure they’re tidy and organized. Consider enlisting the help of a friend or professional stager for an objective perspective. Presenting your home in its best possible light will increase your chances of attracting interested buyers and achieving a successful sale.

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