It’s normal to have a house full of stuff. Appliances, photographs, ornamental pieces, furniture and knick-knacks all naturally just become a part of how your house is. When planning to put your house on the market, it can be tempting to just leave things as they are.
Why should I declutter?
Not decluttering may seem like an easy option, though it’s important to look at the big picture. A house that is disorganised or has too many items will appear smaller than it really is. Clutter can also get buyers wondering whether you’ve bothered to deal with more serious maintenance, like plumbing or wiring.
Because of this, a cluttered home generally takes longer to sell. This can affect the sale price of your home, as the longer a property sits on the market, the less it sells for. Decluttering helps you present your home in the best possible light, and shows that the house is cared for.
What counts as clutter?
When scanning your home for potential ‘clutter culprits’, include anything that isn’t hard fixed to the walls, floor or ceiling. To be blunt, everything is fair game. Be as ruthless as possible. If it makes a room look small or messy, get it out of there.
Think out of the box and look beyond what the eye can see. A savvy buyer will look inside your storage spaces, so don’t just stop with the obvious areas. Clearing all the toys off the playroom floor is great, but if someone opens the cupboard and it all comes tumbling out, the effect is ruined.
Try sorting your items into categories; things to toss, things to donate, and things to keep. You’ll be surprised at how many items end up in the first two categories.
While decluttering gives you the chance to throw-away or store a few things that have been collecting dust, it’s also an opportunity for home staging. Home staging sounds like a fancy process for professionals, but nothing could be further from the truth. As the home owner, you are the person who is most familiar with your home and the items in it. Use your knowledge to maximise space in your home and focus buyers on its best features.
Don’t be afraid to get some advice from an honest friend or your agent while staging and decluttering your home. It’s always good to get a fresh set of eyes, and there are probably some sentimental pieces that you need some convincing on before hiding away.
Where to start!?
Be realistic, start small and declutter your home step-by-step. Devise a plan before getting started, making sure you consider how and where you will store the items that you need to keep. If the timing is right, this could also be a great way to get a head-start on moving to your next home.
It can be hard to get a start on decluttering since the clutter itself is quite distracting. If you can get going, you’ll find the cleaner and neater your home becomes, the clearer you can think about it. With a few tips from your MMJ agent, help from friends, a good plan, and some smart decluttering, you can add thousands to the value of your home.