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Declutter Your Home to Sell: 4 Tips

It’s the most common advice for staging a house to sell: Get rid of clutter! There’s nothing more important than presenting a clean, organized, open space to your potential buyers. Still, it can be difficult, physically and emotionally, to declutter your home, and without a plan, the task can feel overwhelming. Here are four tips to make it easier:

1. Declutter at the speed that’s right for you. This depends on your personal style, how much time you have before you need to put your home on the market and start booking showings, and how emotionally difficult or easy the purge is for you. As time management expert Leo Babauta writes, it is possible—and often extremely satisfying—to go through a room all at once and be done with it. However, as many experts suggest, most of us need to break down the task of decluttering into smaller pieces. Take your time if you need to, but schedule regular work sessions—an hour to three hours at a time—to make sure you get the job done.

2. Think about your new life in your next home. Author Julie Morgenstern advises letting your vision for your future guide you as you get rid of clutter. There’s no better time for this than when you’re staging a house for sale and moving on to a new home. Whether you’re downsizing or upgrading, moving across the street or around the world, you are making a major life change. How do you want your future to look? As you look at each item in your home, think about whether it fits into the new life you’re moving towards. Does it support the feeling you want to have in your next home? Will you use it in your new life? 

3. When in doubt, ask how easy it is to replace. If you’re not sure about any item, thing about how you would replace it if you tossed it, then changed your mind. If it’s irreplaceable (for example, an item with sentimental value, or an antique) or very expensive, you’ll likely want to keep it. For easy-to-replace items, you may prefer to buy a new one for your new home, rather than packing and moving the one you have. 

4. Don’t be afraid to “cheat.” As the National Association of Realtors’ blog points out, for the purpose of staging a house, you’ll want a lot less of everything than you would for everyday living. Leave plenty of space for your potential buyers to imagine moving their stuff into. Closets and cabinets should be no more than 2/3 full. Personal photos and unusual collections should be out of sight. Garages and basements should be tidy, with plenty of open space. Don’t worry if you haven’t got rid of—or don’t want to get rid of—enough of your stuff to accomplish this. It is acceptable to start packing while your home is being shown. If your potential buyers see packed boxes, ready to go, they’ll know that you’re serious about selling your home. Many successful sellers also rent a storage space to hold all of the belongings they want in their next home, but don’t want around during showings.

The Staff at San Juan Realty, Inc.

3180 County Road Ridgway Colorado

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