Are you the one who feels overwhelmed with the mere mention of decluttering your home? Well, you are not alone. When you live in a HOME where hearts abide, there are plenty of belongings that find a cozy corner somewhere. As time goes by they simply overcrowd the space and you don’t notice it until you decide to relocate, to renovate, or to sell your home. That is when the need arises to declutter.
What is a ‘clutter’ and why should you ‘declutter’?
Clutter is defined as ‘a collection of things lying about in an untidy state.’
Decluttering is defined as ‘removing unnecessary items from (an untidy or overcrowded place).’
Decluttering a MUST. Science has proven that clutter can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety. When you spend hours trying to find something you need, the clutter not only drains your energy but takes up loads of time. Clutter can lead to accumulated dust particles creating an unhealthy environment. Clutter can lead you to buy things that you already own and don’t require. Clutter can make you reach out for the wrong things. Clutter can be a potential fire hazard. Clutter crowds open spaces making them look unattractive. Clutter can harm your lifestyle and overall wellbeing. Clutter makes the home appear uninviting to a potential home buyer.
How to declutter your home?
Here are 10 steps to help you effectively, efficiently, and easily declutter your home and prepare it for handover to real estate stagers.
1. Diarize the declutter
To begin decluttering a home may appear a herculean task and you will most likely put it off initially but the easy way to begin is to diarize it. Diarize a calendar to declutter. That way you will know by when you need to complete the task at hand and how many hours can you put aside each day to declutter. A little planning goes a long way.
2. Prepare for the declutter
Once you know you need to declutter prepare yourself mentally and physically to handle the removal of items. Ensure you have large bags, boxes, markers, and maybe even some help at hand. Remember everything will either go as – for storage, for donation, for dustbin, for recycling. It is best you follow your diary and go roomwise or areawise. If planned well by the end of the day you will feel a sense of achievement on what you just did.
3. Begin with personal items
The best way to begin to declutter is by starting to remove personal items like family photographs, art collection, pieces that may have a beautiful memory linked to it. This way to don’t begin to throw away everything. These items can go in a box or be wrapped up for storage as you get into the flow of decluttering the rest.
4. Mark it, Move it
The golden rule is ‘Mark it, Move it’. Whenever anything is put aside for storage mark it on the box or the packing. Like professional packers and movers handle every item, you too maintain a well- numbered list of everything that goes into storage. For what needs to be donated, you can also label, number or color code it differently. This way the boxes are easy to identify and later when you need something from storage you only ask for that particular box number from your listed items.
5. Be ruthless
As you begin to declutter on days 2, 3, 4 you will need more courage and a frame of mind to become ruthless in getting rid of items that you have held on to for decades. No time for emotion now. Be practical, be ruthless. Items like children’s beds, exercise equipment, old broken down electronic gadgets can all go. No need to send it to storage thinking you will require/repair it someday for if you haven’t done so far, you won’t be doing it anytime soon and it will only add to your storage cost and increase the price of trucking.
6. Begin small, go large
It is advisable that you begin with cleaning the closets, table drawers, kitchen cabinets, refrigerators, back of doors, etc. Many potential homeowners like to peep into closets and cabinets. Empty and clean shelves and drawers immediately draw attention to sufficient storage space.
7. Remove excess furniture
This is a bit tricky but eventually most effective. Often people living in the house get used to finding their way around pieces of furniture even if they somewhat obstruct the way. Remove any furniture that’s crowding the room and old unkempt damaged furniture pieces. Moving furniture away immediately gives the room a larger open appearance. Only keep good quality stuff if you must in the house, rest mark – for storage, for donation.
8. Don’t forget the garage and outdoor area
Once you have decluttered the house don’t forget the garage and the outdoor area as well. First impressions do count so a neat well-trimmed lawn without lawn movers, children’s bicycles, and water hoses lying around would be helpful. Similarly, a clean and empty garage space is a plus.
9. Touch up and repair
Before your home goes up on the real estate market you might want to touch it up with a fresh coat of paint, repair leaking faucets, a broken window pane, etc. Take a quick look around you and fix small things which you can. This will surely help to increase the value of your home
10. Appoint a professional home stager
Time to appoint a ‘professional staging company near me’. Most preferred home stagers often provide additional services like – deep cleaning, window cleaning inside and outside, carpet shampooing to remove stains, and even moving furniture to a storage area. Once you are absolutely ready to contact the real estate agent and the top home staging company in California or New York or wherever you are to get the property listed and professionally staged, you know you have successfully completed decluttering your home. It’s time to move on!
Decluttering for home staging is not a difficult task. Follow the 80/20 rule for clothes, books, DVDs, games, toys and other items – what you don’t use 80% of the time must go. Once your home is decluttered, you will be at ease and stress free to hand it over to a real estate agent and a home stager. Decluttering not just improves the aesthetics of your home and increases its asking price but it is the core to your physical and emotional well-being. Feel more accomplished!