Clutter—it’s a word that makes many of us shudder, and we like it even less when we’re preparing to sell our home. However, mastering clutter is one of the best things you can do to help buyers see your house as a place they can call home. Clutter and piles make spaces look smaller and can hide your home’s more attractive features.
If you’re looking to sell your home this year, why not start it off right with a resolution to de-clutter? We know that this can feel daunting, so we’ve broken it down into a room-by-room guide. When you approach de-cluttering in smaller chunks it’s easier—plus, we’re sure you’ll be so pleased with the results that you’ll look forward to getting through the whole list.
Entryway & Hallways
The entryway is the first thing a potential buyer will see, so make sure it’s welcoming and not overwhelming.
- Corral coats, scarves, and other outerwear
- Store shoes and boots out of sight
- Remove mail, newspapers, and other clutter (or keep them neatly displayed in an attractive organizer)
- Eliminate random clutter in hallways
- Tastefully display art, candles, or other decor to accentuate your home’s positives
- Remove excessive family photos and other personal items
Often called the heart of the home, the kitchen sees a lot of action. Make sure all an interested buyer sees is how they can make their gourmet dreams come true.
- Keep counters neat and tidy
- Never leave dishes in the sink or dripping on the rack
- Store small appliances in cupboards, or box away for moving if not needed
- Box up extra items from crowded cupboards and drawers, so you can nicely display your best items (buyers will open doors and look!)
- Organize all cupboards and displays
- Remove photos and schoolwork from the fridge
- Put items that point to trouble (like drain cleaner or ant powder) out of sight
- Place sponges, scrubbers, and towels in a bin under the sink
Bedrooms are supposed to be our sanctuaries, but too often they become dumping spots for everything that has nowhere else to go. Turn yours back into a sanctuary before buyers take a look.
- Clear out off-season clothing from drawers and closets—an overstuffed closet appears smaller.
- Tidy your bedside table and remove any medications, personal care items, or cluttered charging stations
- Select only one or two family photos to display
- Make the bed every day—and spruce up existing (or splurge!) on new linens, duvet, and pillows to make the room look fresh and appealing
- Dust any ceiling fans and other hard-to-reach nooks to make sure the room glows
Living & Family Rooms
Make sure potential buyers don’t have to look past piles of clutter to envision themselves relaxing in your space.
- Clear out piles of magazines, newspapers, books, and hobby materials
- Make any displays on mantels or tables simple, clean, and devoid of personal effects and photos—less is more
- Make sure the room has ample lighting day and night, rearrange light fixtures or add a lamp if needed
- Check drapes and blinds for dust and get them cleaned, if needed
- Corral remotes and other electronic gadgets in a cupboard, drawer, or attractive bin or basket
- If you have little ones, organize toys into one section of the room and use bins or other attractive containers to keep them under control
Just because these rooms are functional, it doesn’t mean they can’t be beautiful.
- Clean out your drawers and cabinets—remove any outdated or unused toiletries, medicine, or personal care equipment
- Tastefully display only the essentials in the medicine cabinet or drawers
- Pack up rarely used perfumes and jewelry
- Add fresh drawer liners
- Organize cleaning items in a safe, unobtrusive spot
- Remove multiple soap and shampoo bottles from shower shelves
- Get rid of damp towels, washcloths, loofahs, etc.
- Make sure towels are displayed neatly on a shelf or in a basket
A well-appointed laundry room can be the difference between like and love for some home buyers. Make the right impression in yours.
- Don’t leave any laundry (clean or dirty) in piles or otherwise on display
- If you leave out items to air dry, make sure to put them away before a tour
- Neatly organize detergents, spot removers, and other supplies
- Put function on display by arranging equipment, detergents, drying racks, and laundry baskets in an attractive manner that show how easy it is to access everything
- Wipe down the washer and dryer—make sure no lint or dust is showing
- Throw lint and other items like dryer sheets in a trash can with a lid
Basement or Garage
These are places where we like to hide things that are unsightly or have no other place to call home. But you want potential buyers to see possibility, not defeat, when they enter yours.
- Properly dispose of opened cans of paint (unless buyers could use it for touch-ups), stain, pest repellent, and other chemicals
- Organize tools and box up large items if not currently in use
- Sort through all those old boxes of what-nots and donate unneeded items—organize the rest in neatly-stacked bins
- Throw out anything that’s musty or shows signs of mold and mildew
- Dust everything
- Organize sports equipment neatly, storing as much as possible in bins
- Add shelves to better corral miscellaneous odds and ends
Decluttering isn’t fun, but you’ll be happy you did it when you’re calling the moving truck. Get obstacles out of the way so buyers can see what a gem your home is!