When preparing to sell a home, de-cluttering is essential to help sell faster and for more money! This helps the future buyers envision themselves living there instead of seeing someone else’s life in their potential home. Too much clutter makes it hard for buyers to see the true potential of the home or to even remember the home after seeing 20 others prior. Here are some tips to help them de-clutter so you can market their home in its best light.

Getting Started

If your sellers are having trouble getting started, break down the tasks to make them simple step by steps. Go room by room and think of what different storage components make up that room, including flat surfaces. Have them start with one bigger project, like a closet or the fridge. Or tell them they can do 15 minute tasks, like toiletries and nightstands, and chip away at it slowly. Some items that can commonly be purged are coat hangers, vases, glasses/mugs, books, and office supplies. Remember that your goal is to create a clean, low-stress, functional space.

Process

There are many processes by which you can tell your sellers to sort their belongings, by the Keep/Sell/Toss model of TLC’s Clean Sweep, or Use Frequently/Use Seasonally/Don’t Need Anymore, and there are many more phrases to keep them sorting. It is important to keep a few questions in your seller’s mind as they purge like “Is this something I use regularly?” “Is it something that I love?” “Am I holding on to this because I think I should love it?” “Do I have duplicates of the same thing?” “Could I use this space for something else?”. Be sure as they go through the rooms that they are actively sorting and not simply tidying spaces. Think if items in each room add to the space’s intended purpose.

Challenges

Obstacles arise when your sellers start dealing with sentimental items or spaces that are “miscellaneous” storage.

For items that they have an emotional attachment to, remind them that this is the selling process and they will be able to bring these items back out once it’s sold/bring it to the new home.

Junk drawers have a habit of being a default place for objects they’d rather not spend the time purging and are guilty of harbouring “tidied” items. Be sure to empty out this drawer and assess the items’ function in the space. Many objects in junk drawers would be better stored or have duplicates in offices and garages. Keep in mind that everything should have a logical place.

Tell your sellers not to buy new organizing materials until they have completely finished their de-cluttering process. This will keep them from ending up with excess storage bins or from having the need to use all of the bins, resulting in more clutter staying when it may otherwise have been purged.

Finally, if your designated storage areas are getting too full, be more ruthless about purging items so that they can fit in the space they are supposed to without spilling into spaces where they are not needed or reducing their accessibility.