The to-do list of a home seller is long, but the No. 1 task on the list should be decluttering. In a 2012 HomeGain survey of 500 real estate agents, cleaning and decluttering provided the best return on investment of any home improvement–yielding a 413% return on investment. But what does decluttering really mean? Ask 10 professional organizers and you would probably get 10 different answers. For me decluttering means reviewing your possessions and removing what you do not love or use. In other words, it doesn’t serve you and may even drain your energy in some way, mentally, emotionally or physically (maintaining and cleaning). Surrounding yourself with what you love and what you use makes it much easier to enjoy and access what you need on a daily basis.
Here are five great reasons why home sellers need to get started by decluttering their space.
- Homebuyers are looking for space, and you need to let them see it.
Clutter makes rooms appear smaller than they really are. More square footage equals greater perceived value. Remove stacks of magazines, papers and excess furniture that makes a room feel messy and crowded.
- You are going to have to pack it up when you move.
At some point before you move, you will have to pack. Packing up the clutter now means a more attractive space and less packing later.
- It’s easier to clean a decluttered space.
Clean houses show best. But clutter can make it difficult and time consuming to clean. Research shows getting rid of excess clutter would eliminate 40% of housework in the average home. Rid the area of clutter and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can get your house clean for a showing.
- You don’t plan to take the clutter with you.
If you are moving to smaller space, chances are you are not going to have room for your clutter. And the sooner you get rid of it, the better off you will be. Why pay to move what you don’t need or no longer want.
- Make your cabinets and closets appear more spacious.
Decluttering and organizing cabinets frees up space. Remove infrequently used appliances from the kitchen cabinets and out of season coats from the closet. Get rid of multiples – chances are you don’t need three containers of garlic salt, or five cans of WD-40? Cabinets and closets with room to spare leave a positive impression on buyers.