Don’t Forget to De-Clutter!

It’s a term most of us will have become used to these days, but it is incredibly important when you’re selling a house.

We tend to accumulate all manner of things as we go through life, and while we’re staying put in one house that’s just fine. But once you decide to sell your house, all that stuff will get in the way and could easily kill your sale.

De-cluttering is a process that helps you to mentally move out of your home, ‘removes’ your ownership of the house and helps turn it back into a ‘blank canvas’ that could easily become someone else’s home.

Without de-cluttering, you’ll only get a good offer from a buyer who likes to live exactly as you do.

We’re all so very different, so what are the chances of someone else wanting their home to look identical to yours? Very slim.

When you’re selling, we believe you should remove about half of your stuff. Apply the 50 per cent rule and get rid of half the items on any surface or shelf, and in any integral storage areas such as fitted wardrobes, under-stairs and airing cupboards, and porches.

Garages, attics and sheds need to store items cleverly so they don’t look over-full and make buyers think you don’t have enough storage space.

Have a box for each of the following destinations:

  • Bin or Tip

  • Recycling

  • Charity Shop or Give Away

  • Sell

  • Keep but Pack Away

Take one area at a time, bring everything out and try to get about half of the items into one of the above boxes. The things that stay need to be either:

  • Absolutely necessary to daily life

  • Attractive in a safe, non-quirky way (think Ikea art, not Damien Hirst)

  • Beautifully matches the room’s (neutral or safe) colour scheme

Then get rid of the boxes straight away before things creep back in to mess up your tidy rooms. If you find you’re struggling with this, carefully choose a friend or family member to help. Someone who doesn’t live there will have a different view on things, might suggest solutions you wouldn’t have thought of, and could be the much-needed voice of reason when you’ve got frustrated and lost the ability to make decisions.

Top five things you can live without for a while:

  1. Seasonal clothes – pack up your summer clothes if you’re selling in winter, and vice versa.

  2. Sports gear, hobby or craft supplies – if you’ve got lots of these things, pick a sub-set to keep out and pack away the rest for now.

  3. Boxes of old paperwork – they really don’t need to be getting in the way while you’re selling.

  4. Old technology – you know, phones, computers, that box of cables you’re keeping ‘just in case’.

  5. Most of your CD, DVD and games console collections – free up some of that shelf space to make everything appear larger.

If you would like some assistance to sell or let your property, please contact Right Estate Agents on 0845 026 8527 or visit our website.

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