The golden rule of house selling is to firstly remove the clutter. Prospective buyers aren’t interested in seeing your stuff. They want to be able to imagine themselves living in your home.
But, decluttering can be a big daunting job. Especially if you’ve lived in the same place for a long time. We all know clutter just creates more clutter. And, it can be hard to part with objects — especially if they have an emotional value.
But, if you need to sell your house fast (maybe you’re moving for a new job or a change of lifestyle) you don’t have time for sentimentality. The good news is decluttering doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. Here are 10 tips to help you remove the clutter from your home painlessly and quickly.
Don’t set your expectations too high and try to declutter the entire house in one go. Instead, take time beforehand to write a plan of action. Set goals and deadlines to keep you on track.
Declutter one room at a time. This will help you focus and not get overwhelmed. Depending on the room, empty everything out first and then select core items to go back in. Also, make sure you don’t start working on a new room before you finish with the current one.
3. Create a Storage System
This doesn’t mean going out and buying lots of pretty baskets. Instead, get five boxes or bags and label them as follows:
* Storage – items to be put away
* Recycle – e.g. paper, plastic, glass
* Repair – e.g. a favourite pair of shoes that need new soles
* Donate – as the adage goes — one person’s trash is another person treasure. Donate unwanted items to charities, friends, or sell.
4. Ask Yourself
When you’re in the process of sorting out your clutter, you may find it difficult to assess what to keep and what to throw away. Here are four key questions to answer yourself when wondering what to do with an object.
* Is this item used – really?
* When was it last used?
* Will it ever be used in the future — are you being honest?
* Based on the above — is it worth the space in your home?
5. The 10 Minute Sweep
We all have superficial clutter lying around like old magazines, unopened letters or old shampoo bottles to name a few. Try doing a 10 minute declutter sweep. Grab a couple of bin bags and go around your home throwing away all the rubbish you can see. Challenge yourself to see how many bags you can fil in the set time.
6. Empty Cabinets
Kitchens and bathrooms are notorious dumping grounds for all sorts of clutter. It’s very easy to shove things into drawers or cupboards and then totally forget about them — think takeaway menus and loose batteries. Clear out all places where clutter is hoarded — including built-in wardrobes and hallways. This means you’re also prepared for prospective buyers peeking in your cupboards.
Buyers don’t want to walk around your home looking at holiday photos or your kid’s artwork – even if you think it’s amazing. Remove all personal items and ornaments. If you’re finding it difficult to part with objects of sentimental value — take a photo of them. This way you can treasure them forever.
8. The 80/20 Rule
Also known as the ‘Pareto Principle’. For instance you use only 20% of your kitchen utensils 80% of the time or you only wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. Try to keep this in your mind when clearing out your rooms. So, the spiralizer hiding at the back of your kitchen cupboard that’s never been used, get rid of it.
9. 12-12-12 Challenge
This is another great technique to help you focus on what to discard. Set a timer and try to locate the following things:
* 12 items to throw away
* 12 items to donate
* 12 items to be returned to their proper home
You can do this alongside family members or friends who might be helping you and make it a competition
10. If you’ve not used it in 12 months…
Chuck it. Keep in mind the aim of the game is to get rid of things — not keep them.
Decluttering your house for a quick sale doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. With a little bit of planning and a lot of brutal honesty, you’ll get it done faster than you think. Then you’ll be ready to begin your own new chapter feeling lighter and freer.