Selling Your Home? Declutter Like a Pro with These 6 Home Organization Tips
If you’re selling your home, you need to be well prepared for scrutiny from a stream of potential buyers. As far as house hunters are concerned, no area of your home is off limits during a viewing. Those prospective purchasers will be opening your closets, peering under your sink and looking in your drawers from the moment they cross the threshold.
The thought alone can be unsettling, but it makes for an important factor to consider when you are planning to put your house on the market. In the eyes of a potential buyer, a cluttered, crowded home is tremendously off-putting and leaves no room for them to imagine living there. If you want to make a quick sale, you need to ensure your home is looking as attractive as possible. In this article, we give you our top 6 tips to help you declutter like a pro so that you can stand the best chance of finding a buyer fast.
Keep Entrance Halls Clear
First impressions count when selling your home, and your entrance hall is the first interior space prospective buyers will see. The last thing you want to do is to leave buyers feeling claustrophobic or cramped when they first set foot through the door. Therefore, clearing up this area is crucial if you want interested visitors to feel comfortable.
For best results, you’ll need to create an open, “airy” feel which will draw people in. To do this, declutter your hallway by removing all your photographs, artwork, shoes and unnecessary furniture to make the most of the available space. A new doormat and an accent table with a reed diffuser or vase is a pleasant touch, but anything more than this should be packed away to maximize the sense of a spacious atmosphere.
Showcase The Kitchen
The kitchen is perhaps the most important space in your home when it comes to selling your property. As a heavily used room, buyers will be scrutinizing whether the available space is going to be sufficient for them and their families. For this reason, you must do all you can to make your kitchen appear as spacious as possible. Countertops should be cleaned thoroughly and cleared of everything but basic appliances. This means that your breadbox, blender, coffee jars and decorative items should all be the first to go.
Buyers love to open all your cabinets and drawers while assessing storage space, so your job here is to make your kitchen appear “lived in” but with plenty of room to spare. Go through all your cabinets and remove as much as you can, organizing what remains in an attractive fashion. If you have lots of dishes and crockery, consider packing them all away apart from those you use on a regular basis.
You mustn’t forget to clean out your refrigerator either. You don’t want to leave it empty, but an overflowing and dirty fridge screams lack of space and poor maintenance habits. Remove and throw away any expired foods or withered produce, use up any leftovers and stick to the bare essentials while selling your home. Ideally, you should stock no more than 50% of the available space with a few neatly-arranged food items. Make sure you have deep-cleaned your fridge’s interior as well. A gleaming, tidy fridge will leave a great impression upon your interested visitors.
If you have trinkets or decorative items adorning the top of your cabinets and window sills, be brutal and pack them away. They may be special to you and fit your taste, but prospective buyers will see them as off-putting clutter. This isn’t to say you must remove all non-functional items from your kitchen, but anything you do leave on display must be minimal and not distracting to the eye. Great unobtrusive touches include: an attractive flowering plant, a fresh fruit bowl or a cookbook on a stand.
Streamline The Bathroom
Alongside the kitchen, the appearance of your bathrooms can make all the difference in the mind of a potential buyer. A cluttered, cramped bathroom will seriously hurt your chances of a quick sale, so taking the time to organize and freshen up this space is imperative to your success.
Begin by going through all your cosmetics and toiletries and packing away everything which is non-essential. Any makeup which is past its use-by date should be thrown in the trash. Wipe clean any sticky shampoo bottles and soap dishes, and replace used bars of soap with fresh ones. Thoroughly clean all surfaces and neatly arrange the remaining items with all the labels facing forwards.
Once the counter has been cleared and re-arranged, you can move to onto other areas of the bathroom. If you can manage it, removing the shower curtain will make the space feel bigger than it is. The same goes for window blinds, wall art, body weight scales and oversized mats.
Open all your closets and drawers and be brutal with the contents. Any threadbare towels and ratty old robes should be removed. In line with the kitchen, try to clear all but 50% of the space in these areas to maximize the impression that there’s plenty of room available.
Organize The Living Room
Your living room will almost certainly be the space which has accumulated the most personal items during your stay. As difficult as it may be, you should de-personalize this room as much as possible when selling. Pack family photos, vacation trinkets and stacks of DVD’s or magazines away into storage or recycling and pair down any throw pillows or bookshelves so that the room feels spacious and light while still retaining a welcoming vibe.
Any bulky furniture and large fluffy rugs which take up unnecessary space should be moved out too. This will free-up floor space and can make a huge difference to the openness and attractiveness of the room.
Beautify Your Bedrooms
The bedroom must exude a sense of calm if you are going to impress a potential buyer. Clutter has the opposite effect on visitors: it creates a sense of claustrophobia and disorder which feels unwelcoming.
Even if you think your bedroom is tidy, having numerous personal effects on display will make it difficult for your visitor to see the potential in the room. For these reasons, decluttering your bedroom is crucial if you want to leave a great impression.
Remove any soft toys or throw cushions on your bed that can make the area look crowded. This can also make the bed seem bigger as it’s not hidden under all your decorative accessories. Also take away any photo frames, books, magazines, toiletries or medications which may be on your nightstand. These just take up space and draw attention in the wrong ways. Replacing these items with a simple lamp or alarm clock is a great way to lend a feeling of organized functionality to the room.
Large rugs and oversized drapes should be removed. Rugs diminish the perception of available floor space, while large drapes encroach upon the room and limit the amount of light that can enter. Open up your closets and minimize the quantity of clothing inside as much as you can. If you have seasonal clothes hanging up which you are not going to be wearing, take them out and put them into storage for when you move into your new home.
Removing excess hangers and pushing your clothes over to one side helps the closet to appear half-full. If you have shelves in your bedroom, take away at least 50% of the contents to give a spacious and tidy impression.
Don’t Forget The Garage
The garage is often easily forgotten when clearing up in preparation for a sale, but additional outside storage space can be an attractive feature for buyers. If your garage is filled with stuff you have been hanging on to for no sensible reason, now is the best time to send it to the dumpster. Everything else should be cleaned up, neatly stacked and re-arranged along the sides of the garage to show off the available space within.
If you’re able to, installing some wall hooks on which to hang your tools or sports equipment is a great way to give a structured and organized feel which is appealing to buyers.
Selling your home is a big step, and once you have put your property on the market, it is natural to hope you find a buyer quickly. Unfortunately, in many cases property can take several months to sell simply because the owner hasn’t prepared their home with potential buyers in mind. As this article has shown, an effective way to improve your chances of a quick sale is to transform your home into an organized, clutter-free space which appeals to the eyes of a potential purchaser.
Removing all but necessary items can open up your home and enable house hunters to get a better feel for the amount of space on offer. It also helps buyers to visualize themselves living in your property, which is tough to do when surrounded by all your belongings and vacation photos. Luckily, organizing your home in preparation for a sale needn’t be difficult. By following our above tips, you will be able to declutter like a pro and make selling your home a success.