When Selling your home De-Cluttering ranks number One!!!

By
Home Stager with Abella Home Staging & Redesign

When selling your home, de-cluterring ranks #1, so why is it such a major problem? As a home stager and redesigner in Long Island New York, I've come across this problem all too often. When I strongly suggest they de-clutter a panic look comes across their face. Most of the time, my clients feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start. Since one of the services I offer is De-Cluttering & Space Planning, I give them suggestions as to where to start.

Paper clutter is usually the biggest culprit. This is my solution:

  1. Make time to de-cluter. Often clients don't set time to do this project, they run out of time, get discourage and quit! 
  2. Eliminate as much distractions as possible. Arrange a play date for the kids and give hubby a project so they are out of your way!
  3. One Zone/Area at at time. By picking a zone and sticking to it until it's done, you will motivate yourself to move onto the next project.
  4. Identify it. Make a list of all the paper that is coming into your home
  5. Collect all the paper that is sitting on your counter, or tape to your frig, that you use on a daily basis. Create a binder that will hold all these important papers. This can include kids schedule, upcoming events, take-out menus, all that you can't file because as soon as you file it, you need it again. This will became you life-line. Store it where you can easily retrieve it.
  6. File it. Everything else can be filed, such as water bills, heating bills, receipts, car maintenance receipts or whatever you deem important. The filing system should reflect your family lifestyle!
  7. Shred all important document as you go.
For De-Cluttering your space:
  1. Start by going around in each room/area and just picking up items that can be discarded! This should be items that you no longer need or what. Just go into each room and start filling your bag. Do this each day until you have eliminate all unnecessary items.
  2. Once this is done, then you can go back and start to de-clutter room by room.
  3. The three pile rule. This will be helpful in eliminating clutter. Use one pile to keep, one pile to donate/throw away, one pile unsure. The unsure pile, I have a solution. Pack up these items in a box and tape it. If after six months you have not touch the box, toss it in the garbage, DO NOT OPEN IT!
  4. Once you have cleared out the unwanted items, you can going shopping for storage bins. There is no point in going shopping first if you don't know what you have or will keep.
  5. Maintain it! Now that you have things under control, maintain it, or it will become cluttered again! Make it a part of your routine!
Now that you tackle this, you may want to tackle other projects as well. Make a list of organizing project that you want to start, ex: your kitchen drawers/pantry or closets! Remember to follow the guidelines and have fun. De-clutter can make you feel energized, give you more space and give your home harmony! And when you're ready to sell your home, it won't be a problem!!

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Rainer
66,114
Carmela Abella
Abella Home Staging & Redesign

Janet I'm the same way. I don't get it either, but the biggest challenge is getting started. Once they start and see the result hopefully that will motivate to to continue.

May 16, 2011 06:57 PM
Rainmaker
136,160
Ana Hitzel
Home Stager Inland Empire & Palm Springs
AccentPositives Home Staging

Good post Carmela, getting started is always the hardest part I think.  Once you get going though it gets easier and you can feel much better.  Clutter is stressful and a fresh eye helps cut through it, enter the Stager!

Ana

May 17, 2011 08:01 PM
Rainer
66,114
Carmela Abella
Abella Home Staging & Redesign

Ana, That's why I have tips that get them started the rest is up to them.

May 18, 2011 09:01 AM
Rainer
14,739
Pamela Smith
Ventura County Home Staging

Carmela - Love this post! I recently previewed an uber-clutter house. Gorgeous high-end custom home with masses of clutter everywhere (oh, except for the living room where there was only a baby grand piano). When I suggested that the first place to start was de-cluttering and getting the whole family on board, I got the glazed look. I think the clutter factor becomes so overwhelming for folks that they don't know where to begin! Your tips are perfect, and much of it I shared with this prospective client. Love your idea of packing up the unsure box and taping it closed. Brilliant!!

May 18, 2011 02:03 PM
Rainer
66,114
Carmela Abella
Abella Home Staging & Redesign

Thank you Pamela, I'm glad this article was such a help to you. Clutter is a major issue in most homes I stage and I often see that "glaze" look as well. Glad I could help!!

May 18, 2011 04:59 PM
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Rainer
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Carmela Abella

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