Think of removing clutter as pre-packing for your move. As you go through the many rooms of your home try to be objective as to what items you really use and need. The rest can be packed up and moved to a storage unit or…have a garage sale. Let’s get started…
Although many people will tell you to start on the counters, I think you should start with the cabinets and drawers. Why? Because everything on your counters is going in your cabinets! Open up your cabinet doors and start pulling out the dishes, pots, and pans that are rarely used. Things like crock pots, second sets of dishes and silverware, and turkey roaster pans that are probably not going to be used should be packed up. Create as much open space as you can so when a homebuyer walks through your kitchen and opens your cabinets it will promote an image of plentiful space. Now consolidate what you have left to one area leaving as much open space as possible.
Next, get as much stuff off the counters as feasible. Put things like the toaster and coffee maker in one of the cabinets that you just cleared out. For now you’ll have to sacrifice convenience for the look of spaciousness.
If you have a large amount of foodstuffs crammed onto the shelves or in the pantry, begin using them. Anything that is old and nobody wants, throw them out. Start planning meals around what you have left to use up as much as you can.
If you have a junk drawer, now would be a great time to determine how valuable that junk is to you. Pull up a trash can and heave-ho! Anything left can be put in a small box and packed away.
Check beneath the sink too. Make sure the area beneath the sink is as empty as possible. Remove any extra cleaning supplies that you don’t need and pack away any other items that are stored beneath there that are not going to be used. Take the time to clean and scrub the area down as well.
Closets are great for their reputation of being vast wastelands of clutter, though you may not think of it as clutter. This is a great time to go through your “stuff” and put together a box or two of clothes and shoes to donate to charity. Also pack away any items that you just can’t bear to be without but rarely wear or use. Remove any personal items that may have been “stored” in a closet because it was available space. As I mentioned above, creating more open space promotes the image of plentiful space to a prospective homebuyer.
Many people have too much furniture in certain rooms – not too much for your own personal living needs – but too much to give the illusion of space that a homebuyer would like to see. Do you have an extra chair, loveseat, or bookcase that is rarely used that can be put in storage? What furniture in your bedrooms can be removed by packing rarely worn clothes and consolidating the rest to just one dresser? Consider visiting a builder’s models to see how they place the furniture in the model homes. Model homes are decorated by professionals who excel at the art of placing furniture so that a room looks more spacious. This should give you plenty of ideas on what to remove and what to keep.
Basements, garages, attics, and sheds are clutter magnets. These areas should be as empty as possible so that buyers can imagine what they would do with the space. Remove anything that is not essential and take it to the storage area.