AKA how not to look like a hoarder
When it comes to selling your house, you need to acknowledge one undeniable truth: How you live in your home now is NOT how you should live in it when it’s on the market. We firmly believe that no matter how beautiful a home may be, all homes can use some love prior to listing. Trust us, not even OUR homes are show ready. (That whole do as I say not as I do thing ring a bell? 😉) In normal day to day life we’re huge fans of keeping the things that make you happy out and nearby. Those are the things that make your house a home, right? Unfortunately, those fickle buyers might not appreciate your collection of tea pots or angels. By editing down your ‘stuff’ your home is guaranteed to show better. As a bonus editing, will help kick start your packing AND help you emotionally start to move on from your home. Here are 12 things to get you started!
Let’s start off with some basics. Here is a list of items that you need to go through, nonnegotiable.
· Old Magazines/newspapers – One or two pretty magazines is allowable. Anything else is clutter. If you’re holding onto it because it has a recipe/project/article you’ve been dying to try for the last year: scan, save, toss.
· Mail/Bills/Paper – Not only does this tend to look like clutter, but buyers tend to snoop. No buyer needs know your full name, how much you charged on your credit card, or when your next doctor’s appointment is. I’ve had buyers google/facebook stalk sellers before.
· Clothes – Consider this a baby step to the actual move. Cleaning out your drawers and closets will make them feel more spacious, showing buyers that you have PLENTY of storage space. It also means that much less to pack in the near future.
· Toys – Let’s be honest all parents know that kids rarely play with ALL of their toys. By picking a few tried and true toys and packing/donating/tossing the rest your kids will have their favorites & you’ll have a less cluttered home.
· Beauty/body care items – I’m so guilty of this, I swear I have 10 bottles in my shower. Pick the 2-3 items you use every day and toss/pack the rest. Same goes for perfume, body lotion, & makeup. Keep out what you’d need for an extended trip. Anything else you won’t need until after the move.
· Food – Who else know that there are some old cans in the back of their pantry? Going through your pantry and fridge is a must. Toss anything expired or gone bad, give away anything you won’t use, and pack up any bulk items.
· Old electronics – Nothing collects dust or takes up space like old electronics. Try e-recycling or donating!
Now onto the difficult part! Here are the items that need to be accessed with a NEUTRAL eye. Do you have a GOOD friend? The type that WILL tell you if your butt looks big in those pants? Get them over to your house ASAP to make sure you aren’t being too sentimental.
· Family photos – 90% of them have got to go. Not only will they distract buyers (remember they’re nosey!) but you don’t need anyone to know how big your family is or what you look like. You want people to imagine THEIR family living there. It gets pretty cramped if they keep seeing school photos everywhere.
· Posters/Children’s artwork – Even if your little girl is the next Van Gogh, not everyone will appreciate it. Packing these items up carefully now will insure that they are protected from the hurricane of last minute moving that will probably ensue.
· Collections – While you might love your antique clock collection once again leaving them out will only distract buyers from the actual space you’re trying to sell. If you collect something that won’t appeal to everyone (angels, frogs, shot glasses, etc) everything gets packed. If it’s something more general (old keys, tea pots, vintage cameras, etc) pick one or two of the prettiest and use it in your staging.
· Decorative Accessories – AKA knickknacks. If you walk into a space and it feels crowded it’s time to pare down your stuff. Not every table top/wall needs something to make the space feel finished. How I like to handle this: remove EVERYTHING. Clean the space and then slowly layer your items back in. As you go ask yourself if each item fits in with the overall look/feel of the space and if it looks better with or without it.
· Furniture – too much or oversized furniture is the bane of my existence. When you walk into a room you should never have to wonder how to get to the other side. If a space feels crowded with furniture, it probably is. My experience in selling furniture taught me one thing: people don’t know when to stop themselves when filling a home. If you can get away with losing the extra loveseat, china cabinet, or dresser than do! If not focus on removing accent furniture like ottomans (when you already have a coffee table), side tables/large baskets, and extra chairs.
So do you hate us yet? Remember each is home is different and not all of these “suggestions” may apply to you. If you have questions or want us to take a look at your space, we’re happy to help! Kate@nerdygirls.net or Michelle@nerdygirls.net