Decluttering is one of the first things all homeowners should do when they first start thinking about selling. A cluttered house doesn't sell, or it might, but just not at the price most homeowners want. If you're looking to get top dollar for your house, decluttering needs to be a priority. Buyers can't look past the "lived in" look. You have to remove items to let the house really shine. Here are some imperative mistakes to avoid when decluttering your home.
#1. Doing it all at once.
This can be very overwhelming. Looking at the entire house at once can seem like a big job and it usually cannot be done in one day. Take your time and tackle one room at a time. Spend a few hours every day to organize and declutter. If that's still too overwhelming, take one closet, pantry, or a few drawers at a time. You'll make a mess just clearing out one area so don't do that to your whole house first or you may never get the motivation to keep going.
Pro Tip: "I've walked into plenty homes that look like they need a total makeover, but that can get really intimidating and overwhelming for people so instead of looking at the house as a whole, we focus on one or two rooms and talk about the potential it could have. This is sometimes more doable than freaking out over the whole house." - West Bloomfield Real Estate Agent
#2. Not having a plan.
What are you going to do with all that stuff you're trying to organize? Have a plan in place before you start. Have a trash can, donate box, packing box or a pile to leave as-is. This will help you find out what to do with any and all the items you clear out. You can certainly leave some items if you're planning on using them before you move, but for the most part, clearing out old makeup, expired items in your fridge and pantry, old letters and mail from drawers, and throwing away anything you just don't need is very freeing!
Read More: Find out what your home is worth right now
#3. Not actually getting rid of things.
So you piled everything up in a donation box and in trash bags. Don't just let THAT pile up either. Get an extra garbage tag or put dump items in the car or truck right away so you can make a stop next time you're out. Same with donations. Don't let them pile up by the door. Take them to the car immediately and write yourself a note to stop by the donation center next time you're out.
#4. Letting things pile up again.
If you take too long a time between organizations things can get piled up again. Stay on top of it by not just throwing items in drawers or in bins. This can be a tough habit to break but once you get going, that stray envelope or wayward pen will have its place before you know it and not start the clutter all over again.
Pro Tip: "Sometimes a homeowner can get all ready to list and everything looks great but then start to slack off on keeping it that way. Remember, different buyers come and go and the first time a new buyer sees your home, it better be just as amazing as the first buyer. Don't slack off on keeping your home clean, staged, and organized." - Sunny Isles Beach Florida Agent
Just do it.... JUST DO IT! Don't wait, well, I mean you can finish reading this article, but then make a plan right away to do something today, tonight, right now. Are you sitting at your desk? Are you in your kitchen? Is there a place right now that you can write down a few steps to take today?
Most hoarders didn't end up that way in one weekend. It's procrastination and letting things get the better of you. Start small, one room or even just one section and don't just move things from one room to another. Pretty soon, your whole house will sparkle and you'll feel very free indeed.
Pro Tip: "I've spoken to homeowners about some changes they need to make before listing, but many times I've returned to find out they haven't done it. I simply tell people, if you want to get the most out of your home, you have to put in some effort." - Orlando buyers agent
Ready to list? Not sure? I can offer you a couple key questions to let you know if you're ready to list your Columbus home. Call me today!