We cannot stress enough, why decluttering a property that you intend to sell, is important! Here’s why:
🔸🔶🔸 For The Buyer –
- Space Matters: A common reason for buying a new property, is due to outgrowing the current home and lacking in space. If your belongings are bursting out of cupboards or taking up half of the garage – this could be an immediate red flag for buyers, that space is an issue. The best way to ensure each room looks as large as possible, is by taking a minimalist approach.
- Distractions: There are likely to be many great features of your home – natural light, character features, flow etc. However, these can easily be missed if a buyer is instead wondering what type of person might own a lifesize Star Wars cardboard cutout! If you are not completely clearing out the property, try to only keep neutral items on display.
- Visualizing: The best way to attract emotional buyers, is to ensure they can already visualize themselves living in your property. If they can, they are more likely to fight harder and put in a better offer for your property. Again, keeping items to a minimum is key – if a buyer can imagine your items quickly removed and their furniture in it’s place, their plans for the future can easily be seen.
🔸🔶🔸 For You –
- The Process: Decluttering can be a big job. Making a start, or getting the majority done pre-sale; not only offers buyers a great first impression of your property, but it also means you are breaking up the work. Rather than trying to rush through everything during the settlement period.
- Emotional Steps: After living in a property for some time, taking the next step can be tough. A great aspect of decluttering, is that you can see the items that will be moving with you. This can help you to detach from the building and realise that a home is whereever you and your loved ones are.
- Start Fresh: ‘A change is as good as a holiday’ – it’s true!! Don’t hold onto that old tupperware container that never gets used – this is your chance to rid yourself of clutter! So when it comes time to pack up and move, you can start fresh in your new home with only the items that matter.
The Decluttering Action Plan!
So we know why we should declutter, now where on earth do we start?! To avoid becoming overwhelmed, or getting stuck looking through old photo albums, try these simple steps to keep you on track:
- Step 1: Plan – The best way to tackle a big project, is to look at the individual parts. Write down every room in the house, the main areas within the room and number each area on a scale of 1-3, based on the amount of clutter. I.e Bedroom – Bedside Tables – 2. Once complete, this will help you to identify the messier rooms/areas. Always start with the room and the area within that room, that requires the most work. Therefore, as you progress, your work load will become easier.
- Step 2: Set Goals – Decluttering can be a big job, if you have the time try and limit yourself to 3 hours p/day; to avoid the process becoming overwhelming. Also, set out to-do by dates – again, if you plan this room by room (i.e kitchen will be sorted by Friday), it will be easier for you to stick to your goals.
- Step 3: Boxes – Prepare your sorting boxes to take with you to each room. Try these 3 boxes: 1.Keep/Move, 2.Bin/Recycle, 3.Donate/Sell and completely clear out the area. If you are remaining at the property, you can place the ‘keeping items’ back in the correct spot once you are finished.
- Step 4: Be honest with yourself and remember the 6×6 rule – if you haven’t used/needed/worn an item in the last 6 months and you’re not going to in the coming 6 months, then get rid of it. Another tip is to do a ‘dust check’ – if you see dust on top of an item, then this might be a sign to say goodbye to that old tupperware!
- Step 5: Enlist some help – Particularly if you are decluttering to move, this can be an emotional time. Ask friends/family to come and help with the process and keep you on track; also turning it into a chance catch-up, rather than a dreaded task. Alternatively, there are several ‘Sorting & Clearing’ companies emerging in the moving market that can help with the process. Including assisting with sorting, arranging a skip and taking items to auction houses for you. Ask your advocate/agent for recommendations.