How to declutter your home for sale? It’s simple. Have less stuff. How do you get rid of stuff? Well, you’re going to be moving house soon, right? Why not start packing the non-essentials. Moving house is a mammoth task. Make life easier for future you by breaking it into smaller parts. Let’s step through this room by room.
How to Declutter Your Home for Sale, Room by Room
Whilst decluttering is straight forward, there are a few points that can be overlooked. Let’s visit each room to make sure these are covered.
The kitchen is an easy place to start. Does your fridge reflect a paper collage? Remove your bills, invites and notices from the fridge. Not only are they off putting for buyers, they may include details you want kept private too.
While you’re at it, even magnets can convey too much personality. The safe bet is keeping the fridge bare.
Clear your bench tops. Pack away appliances. Unless they are somewhat decorative and coordinated with other accessories, they need to go. A vase, bold fruit bowl or large statement salt and pepper grinders should be on display.
Clearing this bench space is a challenge. Do not simply stuff your cupboards to the brim. Potential buyers are going to check out the pantry space. What they see will influence the space they see available for their belongings.
Like the kitchen, clear the bench tops. A candle or small floral piece will suffice.
Keep your soap, but upgrade to a nice soap dispenser or bottle of nice hand wash. I love Hunter Lab and Salus. This might not be how your bathroom is typically set up, but your aiming for a “hotel-inspired bathroom”.
There’s nothing wrong with keeping towels out. Just make sure they’re fresh and neatly folded. Hide the worn bath mat. As a property stylist, I feel I’m qualified to state that there is nothing charming about used bath mats.
This is where some heavy lifting may be required. You want to create space and flow when styling to sell. So have a look around. How is your space being used?
Unless you have an extra-large lounge room, the couch should not be floating in the room. Place it against the wall. Do you have surplus seating? You may have required six seats to fit your family, but is it the best layout for the room. Remove any surplus arm chairs that are making the room feel cramped.
The pinnacle of clutter is cabling. Hide this mess. Also, pack away any movie, CD or game collections.
Bedrooms are straight forward. You should have a bed, and matching side tables. If the side tables don’t match, or simply don’t fit, choose one.
If you have built-in or walk-in robes, buyers are going to look inside. Why not box your out of season clothes? The robes will appear more generous, and again, you’ll have a head start on your move.
While you’re at it, take the opportunity to spring clean your wardrobe. Any item you haven’t worn with in the last year is a candidate for donation/disposal. I found these wardrobe decluttering tips helpful during one of my spring cleans.
If you want to do more with your bedroom, read more on how to style a bedroom for sale.
You can’t overlook the backyard when you declutter your home for sale. Reel in the hose, pack away bikes, toys and gardening tools. If you have any large objects like cubby houses, or trampolines, give these serious thought too. Your backyard may be more appealing with these removed. However, check the state of the lawn underneath. Ensure you have sufficient time to bring this back to health, otherwise leave them in place.
Sorry I skipped a step. Before you pack it all away, give the yard a manicure. The garden itself can be cluttered and messy. If you really don’t have time, or a trusty green thumb, bring in a gardener. It’s a cheap investment that makes a real difference. Set them to work in the yard while you deal with the inside. Transformation only takes one day.
How to Depersonalise Your Home for Sale
Decluttering and depersonalisation go hand in hand. Depersonalisation is one of the secrets to the success of property styling.
Property styling uses depersonalisation to show potential buyers their future lifestyle. As buyers walk through your home, they see the potential wonderful life for their family. Photos of your family interrupt this daydream. It weakens the emotional bond the buyer will form with your home.
Depersonalisation is easy. Firstly, pack away anything you wouldn’t immediately share with a stranger on the street. Anything that identifies you.
Depersonalise by removing:
- Family photos
- Children’s paintings (although one or two would work when applied correctly right)
- Framed education certificates
- Awards or trophies
- Bills or appointment notices on the fridge
- Keys and access cards
- Your bathroom/shower products
And while you’re at it, hideaway and secure any portable electronics. You want to do this prior to open inspections anyway.
Limit accessories. Many people have a habit of accumulating accessorises, souvenirs and heirlooms. New is added to old without any sense of coordination. This is messy and unsettling. Accessories should be clustered by a colour theme or texture, in groups of threes. Look at property styling portfolios for guidance on how to achieve this.
Don’t confuse depersonalisation with sterilisation. Your home still needs warmth and charm. But it needs to be universally appealing.
Why Declutter Your Home for Sale?
Ok, so maybe it’s not that easy to declutter your home for sale. But, it’s well worth it. Decluttering your home for sale is step one to a successful sale. It’s also the best starting point if you’re considering DIY property styling.
Here are three reasons why you need to declutter your home for sale:
- It sells!
- Unless you’re a super hoarder this takes less than a day. The transformation is instant.
- It costs nothing.
And remember, time spent decluttering now is time saved in the near future. Do yourself and the sale of your home a favour.
Emma Tobin, Director and Lead Stylist at The Urbane Property Stylist, holds a B.D. (Interior Design). With over ten years of experience in Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Property Styling, Emma has earned a reputation for her attention to detail and ability to deliver.