Is your home sitting on the market but nobody seems interested? Have you taken a cold, hard look at how your house really looks to an outsider?
Sure that quilt that Aunt Martha made for your wedding is sentimental and beautiful, to you; but is it going to take people’s attention away from the size of the room, will they notice the lovely crown molding and chair rail? The plain truth is that you have to accept when you put your home on the market, it no longer belongs to you. You have to let go of the feeling that it is your home because now it is just your temporary housing until it becomes someone else’s home. If you want potential buyers to see your house as their new home then you will have to get real about the clutter. That means Aunt Martha’s quilt should be packed away along with all of your family photos, nick nacks, and vacation mementos. The kitchen walls and refrigerator should be void of anything made using glue, crayons or glitter! In other words, blank walls and fridge allow the new homeowners to envision themselves in that space. If you also have a great deal of ethnic artwork throughout the house tone it down by selecting just a few pieces to keep out.
Built-in book shelves are a big asset to a home, if they can be seen! Try eliminating 40-50% of the books and knick-knacks. I don’t mean that you should leave empty shelves, you just need to spread things out now and place them in a more visually pleasing manner to draw attention to the shelves themselves. And won’t home shoppers be impressed with all of the available space still on the shelves?
This may sound like a big task to tackle, especially if you have been in the home for a long time, but you will benefit in several ways if you get your home decluttered. First, you may actually sell your home faster and not have to drop your asking price, that means more money in your pocket. By decluttering you will have less to pack and fewer boxes to pay the movers to move, again more money in your pocket. After decluttering, you will have less stuff to unpack in your new home which will also make it easier to keep organized!!
This whole process is essentially a pre-move weeding out. Begin with 3 boxes well labeled with: KEEP, DONATE, & TRASH.
The first category should be obvious but isn’t to everyone so I’ll spell it out. If it is broken, missing pieces, worn out or you don’t know what it is, then it is considered trash.
The second category is where people have a tougher time. Remember, you are going to pay someone a lot of money to move your possessions so make sure they are really worth keeping. The general rule of thumb most professional organizers use is to only keep things that you find useful, beautiful or that you truly love. Also ask yourself when in doubt, what is the worst thing that can happen if i get rid of it? Can I replace it or get the information in the future?
The last category is donation. All of those items that passed the trash test but didn’t pass the keep test should get donated. The great thing is that when you donate your things to a charity there is someone else out there who will use it, love it or think it is beautiful and you will be preventing perfectly usable items from filling the landfills. Two good deeds with one act of honesty with yourself, how great is that? If you want to add another good deed to the process involve your kids with searching for a children’s charity where they can donate and help deliver their long forgotten and unused toys.
Now put the trash out at the curb, put your donations in the car and tape up that box of “keep” items and you are well on your way to selling that house and moving into your new home! Congratulations.
ENUFF WITH THE STUFF
Sort, Stow & Let It Go!