Removing Clutter, Though You May Not Think of it as Clutter
This is the hardest thing for most people to do because they are emotionally attached
to everything in the house. After years of living in the same home, clutter collects
in such a way that may not be evident to the homeowner. However, it does affect
the way buyers see the home, even if you do not realize it. Clutter collects on
shelves, counter tops, drawers, closets, garages, attics, and basements.
Take a step back and pretend you are a buyer. Let a friend help point out areas
of clutter. Let your agent help you, too.
The kitchen is a good place to start removing clutter. First, get everything off the counters. Everything.
Find a place where you can store everything in cabinets and drawers. You may notice that you do not have cabinet space to put everything.
Start packing! The dishes, pots and pans that rarely get used? Put them in
a box and put that box in storage, too.
Homebuyers will open your cabinets and drawers, especially in
the kitchen. They want to be sure there is enough room for their "stuff."
If your kitchen cabinets, pantry, and drawers look full, it sends a
negative message to the buyer and does not promote an image of plentiful storage
space. Have as much "empty space" as
If you have a "junk drawer," get rid of the junk.
If you have a rarely used crock pot, put it in storage. Do this with every cabinet
and drawer. Create open space.
If you have a large amount of foodstuffs crammed into the shelves or pantry,
begin using them – especially canned goods. Canned goods are heavy and
you don’t want to be lugging them to a new house, anyway – or paying
a mover to do so.
Beneath the sink is very critical, too. Make sure the area beneath the sink
is as empty as possible, removing all extra cleaning supplies. You should scrub
the area down as well, and determine if there are any tell-tale signs of water
leaks that may cause a homebuyer to hesitate in buying your home.
Closets are great for accumulating clutter, though you may not think
of it as clutter. We are talking about extra clothes and shoes – things
you rarely wear but cannot bear to be without.
Many people have too much furniture in certain rooms – not too
much for your own personal living needs – but too much to give the illusion
of space that a homebuyer would like to see. You may want to tour some builders’
models to see how they place furniture in the model homes.
Storage Area Clutter
Basements, garages, attics, and sheds accumulate not only clutter,
but junk. These areas should be as empty as possible so that buyers can imagine
what they would do with the space. Remove anything that is not essential and
take it to a storage unit.