What a great blog from Stone Real Estate. We work closely with Stone on many successful Prepare to Sell projects. It is a pleasure to share this blog on a subject so dear to our hearts.
We hide it, stack it, move it, dress it up but it in some shape or form it always remains- the clutter. We may not officially be ”hoarders”, but our tendency to hold on to “stuff” can become a bit of an issue.
From the kitchen bench, to the bathroom drawers, the garden shed to the deepest darkest part of your wardrobe, clutter can be all consuming and completely overwhelming.
Until the time we decide to sell our home, or move out – most of us generally prefer to close our eyes and ignore the chaos of the clutter. Part of the reason is we are all time poor, and another, it just seems too incredibly difficult
So, if it is time consuming and difficult, WHY should we de-clutter?
About to sell
One of the main reasons people move home is because they need more space. Your home needs to show that they have found that and more. They want to imagine themselves living there and they won’t want to do that if it’s filled with too much stuff and clutter.
Make sure rooms are being used for their purpose. If you have been using the spare bedroom as a “store (junk) room” it is definitely time to get that sorted.
Buyers will want to be able to open doors completely so keep behind the doors clear – yes its time to move that the surfboard!
Buyers will open every cupboard, every drawer. They want to see how they will fit, how their life will fit- so make sure you are giving every opportunity for them to visualise this.
And there are some additional bonuses of a pre sale de-clutter too;
The emotional connection and attachment we have with our homes can be very strong, de cluttering can help us to emotionally “move on”-seeing and feeling our home more as just a house that is a stepping stone to our next property adventure.
Imagine how much easier your final pack up to move will be if you’ve already done the hard, getting rid of everything you don’t need, stuff.
Not selling – just wanting more “Zen” in your home
De-cluttering not only makes your home neater but can also be energising. Yes, energising.
- This comes from making quick decisions, solving a series of problems, creating a “getting things done” positive energy. Who doesn’t feel better when they’ve ticked a few boxes off their to do list?
- A clean and organised home reduces anxiety. Once you know where everything is, a feeling of calm is experienced. A de-cluttered home creates a more serene family environment. No more rising tensions looking for lost items, running late because something can’t be found- who needs that?
- It’s a workout! Yep, sorting, carrying, moving boxes and bits and pieces can be quite the accidental workout. Just make sure you bend the knees with those heavy loads!
- Hidden Treasure – maybe, just maybe you will find something that you had completely forgotten about or lost- some hidden treasure that will just make your day finding again!
So we’ve figured out the WHY we need to de-clutter, so now it’s time to work out the HOW.
1. Get Snap Happy
Let’s make it easy to begin with. Grab your phone and switch to camera mode. See? Too easy. So far…
Pick one room and one room only. You know the old saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” The same goes for de-cluttering- just one room a time.
Take photos. All angles, all surfaces. Even take a photo of inside your cupboards. Download them on to your laptop and take a good honest look. Bit scary? Think about how the room will look in the “after” photo and be inspired.
2. The Big Bag Grab
Grab a bag. Actually four. Have four bags, or boxes (big) ready before you begin.
Each one has a purpose…
- Recycle – give away what you no longer need or want.
- Rubbish- throw away anything that is broken (and has been for some time/ unfixable), that you don’t really like, or have no longer any use for, out of date medicines etc. It is easy for us to hold onto things just because they cost a certain amount of money, but we need to remember that the costs have already been incurred and no amount of holding on to them will make them any more valuable. Sad but true.
- Relocate – if in the wrong room, it can be taken back to where it belongs. If you are getting ready to sell and the items would be better out of your home for inspections, you may want to hire a storage facility to house them until after your home is sold.
- Retain – Not everything has to be thrown out or recycled. Many objects we have are what make our home a home- after all we don’t really want to live in a showroom.
3. Sleep on it
Before depositing your recycling into the bins or throwing your rubbish box out- sleep on it. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and how great your home is looking but there is no need for any regrets. You may just decide the tea set great Aunty Grace gave you for your 21st has too big a place in your heart to part with. And that’s ok.
4. Make it an everyday task
We become so used to throwing down our mail on the bench, leaving our shoes in the hallway, piling up the video games next to the TV, that we need to change the habit by being more aware. Process the mail; throw away what is not needed. Put shoes and video games where they actually belong. If we just take that extra couple of minutes to put away. Throw away on a regular basis; the need for the days of de-cluttering will be much less required.
5. People who love the clutter
Let’s face it – sometimes the time and effort it will take to declutter is just not something you want, or are able to do – and that’s ok. Because there are people out there who love to de-clutter!
Jo Carmichael from All Sorted out is one of those who love to de-clutter!