The First Step to Selling - Declutter

The First Step - Declutter

Before even considering placing your property on the market, there are certain actions you must take to prepare. One of these actions is to declutter the property from top to bottom, stem to stern, and inside and out. It’s probably everyone’s least favorite project, but it is necessary if you want to get top dollar for your house.


Set Reasonable Goals

Don’t expect this to be a one day job. Set goals that are not too overwhelming. Some people like to go, as I said, from top to bottom. If that’s your style, go ahead. Begin with the attic, or crawlspace, or whatever is in the upper reaches of your house, and work your way, gradually, down to the basement. Others would rather tackle things like closets, cabinets, and/or drawers first, and then move to the open spaces. Where you begin isn’t as important as actually beginning. Strive for a schedule that allows you to finish the job you begin each day.


Categorizing Your Clutter

When you clean out a drawer, closet, corner, or other space, place each object in a designated “pile”. You should have a pile for, of course, things you must keep (This should be the smallest pile!), things you can give away, things you can sell, and things you throw away. The giveaway pile could conceivably have several subcategories, such as one pile for items that go to family members and one for donation to places like second hand stores. However, don’t make it too complicated, or you’ll be tempted to give up.


Keep It Moving

Another aspect of the goal-setting strategy is perseverance. Once you have cleaned that closet, and you have the piles of stuff, finish that job before taking on the next. Dispose of the trash, even if you have to drive it to the dump yourself. Then take the rest of the items to their targeted places.


If you have a lot of items to sell, schedule a yard sale for the next weekend. Don’t let it accumulate. If you wait until you think you’re finished, you could end up in the same or worse condition than when you began.


Sentimental “Treasure” or Trash?

When an item isn’t really needed, but it tugs at your heartstrings, and you can’t bring yourself to dispose of it, how do you handle it? Some people are able to finally let it go. Others need help. It might be good to have a preconceived test in mind for deciding whether or not to keep an item. Is it a cherished gift? Does it just remind you of a certain event? How often do you actually pick it up, or even see it?  


Naturally, you must save some items that are part of family traditions and history. Nobody wants you to throw away your whole life’s worth of memories. Just be judicious about what is worth keeping.


Peer Support

You could ask a friend for support. This friend will agree to give you good reasons for the disposal of each sentimental item. Make sure this friend isn’t just another sentimentalist!


If you are a hopeless romantic, and just can’t part with some things, have that be one of your piles. Then, in the end, calculate how much it would cost to rent storage space for this stuff until your home sells. This could prove to convince you to dispose of much of it.


When to Call in a Pro

If it’s been a long time since you decluttered, your determination is bound to flag at times. Just keep reminding yourself of the fact that every time you dispose of an item, you are adding to the value of your house. If you really think the job is too big for you, there are professionals out there who can help you, or who can even do the whole job. Here’s a link to information on how to hire a home organizer. Most people are up to the task, however, if they set reasonable goals and stick to them.


The Davis Team is eager to help you to sell your newly decluttered home. Please contact us at [email protected] or visit our website at Let us help make your next move a rewarding and positive experience!


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