No matter how many years you’ve spent in your current home, you’ve likely accumulated a lot of belongings
Making the decision to sell your home is no small feat. Whether you have lived in your home for one year or your entire life, the odds are high that you have left a personal mark throughout the residence.
One of the first things you need to do before you list your home? Decluttering and depersonalizing to create a neutral canvas before your potential buyers ever step through the front door. Keeping personal items and home decor may be a physical display that your home has been well-loved, but it’s important to remember that your potential buyers need to be able to envision their own lives in the space.
By safely storing away your personal items you will also be making your impending move easier by ensuring your cherished belongings are safely packed and stowed away long before the moving trucks arrive.
Less is more
The items that you leave in your home during showings need to accentuate the best features of the home, not distract your potential buyers. A rule of thumb when staging to sell is that you should remove at least one-third of the belongings from each room, including the furniture. By eliminating a good portion of the items you have taking up the floor space and on display, this will instantly open up the room and make it appear larger. Be sure that the furniture you choose to leave in the room is cohesive and placed with intention.
Break it down
When you first begin to declutter and depersonalize your home for selling, we recommend taking a Marie Kondo approach and working one category at a time, rather than one room at a time. Going through your house and removing specific items one category at a time will keep you on track and feeling less overwhelmed than if you were trying to tackle and complete an entire room at one time.
Consider starting with the following categories and removing them from your home display and packing together accordingly:
- Family photos
- Collections and knickknacks
- Awards, diplomas, and trophies
- Stuffed animals
- Seasonal or holiday decor
Preparing to move is a great time to check expiration dates and purge out items that are past their prime, or no longer used. There are plenty of essential items that you will need access to if you are living in the home while you are getting ready to sell. Be sure you have designated storage spaces for items such as toothbrushes, medications, toiletries, etc. A covered box or pretty baskets make for an attractive storage solution, while still keeping your necessary items easily accessible.
Get an outside opinion
You may think you have a good grasp on looking at your home through “buyers’ eyes,” but it’s easy to overlook your own clutter. It’s a good idea to do your initial round of decluttering and depersonalizing your home and then having a neutral third party come do a walk through before you bring in potential buyers. Bring in an unbiased family member, friend, or your real estate agent, and have them walk through the property and see if any last minute details jump out that may hinder a buyer’s first impression.