Selling Your Home: Decluttering 101


Trying to get your home ready for showings while you and your family are still living in it can be a tricky task. You want to fix the kitchen faucet, but you still have to do dishes from dinner. You need to cover some holes in the wall and repaint your child’s room, but they are still sleeping in their bed at night. Even though you still call your house a home (for now), it does not mean you have to sacrifice making it look its best for selling. Here are a few of Ryan Homes at Brunswick Crossing’s favorite tips to decluttering:

Take a day off. You are probably still busy between balancing your work schedule and your kids’ various to-dos, but your home can still be in tip-top shape – just take a day off. Use your free time to fix minor repairs, organize the disarray and throw away anything that you do not need or use anymore. While the kids are away at practice or on playdates, hop into their room or the basement to get the most time possible for cleaning and decluttering. You can also hire a maid service for a thorough cleaning and/or a maintenance check-up to determine the status of your indoor and outdoor appliances.

Rent out a space. Your realtor may tell you to never leave a room empty during a showing (because potential buyers might think, “If they do not use it, why would I?”), but you can make the most out of your space. To minimize the personal touches to each room, put everything special to you and your family into a rental space until it is moving time. This includes anything from memorabilia to extra outdoor furniture. You can also ask a nearby friend or family member to store some small items in their home until the showings are complete.

The best part is while your treasured items and collectables are safely stored away, you can finally focus on the bigger picture and what needs to get done in each room.

Start with the cabinets and drawers. It is easy to physically see that you have to pick up toys and clothes from the middle of the room, but what sellers often forget is to organize the cabinets and drawers around their house. Yes, this includes organizing all of that useless Tupperware and throwing away old silverware and baby cups. Potential buyers will want to compare how your current home is to what their potential future home could be, so make sure it is neat inside and out.

Consider the season. It helps if you are decluttering during off seasons for holidays. You can pack away any lights, fake trees and yard inflatables because you will not need them for quite some time. If you are organizing during this timeframe, consider only keeping a few subtle decorations, such as regularly-colored lights or a trinket here and there. You do not want your house to be decorated in your family’s full holiday attire while trying to sell it to someone else. They want to see the memories they can create during the giving season.

The best way to declutter and organize your home for selling is by doing a little bit each and every day. Make a to-do list of which room you should tackle first. In that room, begin with the floors then organizing the cabinets, drawers and closets. Find what can be packed up right away, and move it to a friend’s house or a rental facility. Repeat this process with each room, and you should be done in no time!