When we get called to view a house because the homeowners are thinking of selling and want suggestions about what to do, 90% of the time they need to declutter. Flooring, painting, and low-cost home improvements are good. But filling up boxes to get some of the “stuff” out of the rooms, off counters, and off walls — that all comes first.
Decluttering Your Entire Home: Where to Begin
Even if you have lived in your home for only a few years, the task of decluttering a whole house full of possessions can seem gargantuan. It’s best to begin with a checklist (separated by room, by messiness, etc.) and take each step one at a time. Rushing to finish the project in a weekend will only leave you frustrated.
Instead, follow these tips to accomplish a whole-home decluttering project in as little time — and with as few headaches — as possible.
Start With The Bathrooms
Bathrooms are typically the smallest room in your home, so they are often the easiest to clean and declutter. Pay special attention to the vanity area and medicine cabinet: expired cosmetics, medications, and toiletries can easily clutter up your bathrooms.
Next, Declutter The Bedrooms
Clear off the beds, nightstands, bookshelves, and other surfaces of items that don’t belong there, such as used tissues, piles of books, mugs, you name it. The closets you can save for later — those storage spaces require a more detailed decluttering approach.
Continue With The Other Rooms
With the exception of storage spaces that can become a “catch-all” for random items that you don’t what to do with, move on from the bathrooms and bedrooms to the other rooms in your home. Don’t dwell too long on individual items; instead, focus on the problem areas and returning items to the right place — clothes to the laundry hamper, glasses and mugs to the kitchen, books to the bookshelf, etc.
Keep, Donate, Discard
Sorting through all of your “stuff” is where decluttering becomes difficult. It can be hard to part with sentimental items, especially if you are considering moving to a home that’s much smaller than the one you have. To help you determine which items you should keep, which ones you should donate, and which ones you should get rid of, here are a few rules of thumb:
- Keep anything that is absolutely essential, such as clothes you often wear, kitchen appliances you’re taking to your new home, and important documents like tax returns.
- Donate items that don’t use and that you won’t have space for in your next home. This includes gently used or ill-fitting clothes, mementos that have been collecting dust for years, and kitchen items that you haven’t gotten around to using.
- Discard trash and anything that is not suitable for donating, such as broken dishes, expired pantry items, old greeting cards, etc.
Not sure whether you should keep something or donate it, like an old yearbook from middle school or a souvenir from a trip you took several years ago? If you’re having trouble parting with an item but know that you won’t have much room for it in your next home, take a picture to remember it. You can also ask a friend, neighbor, or relative for a second opinion.
Tackling The Clutter In Your Closets
Closets, attics, basements, and other storage spaces are some of the trickiest areas to tackle when decluttering your home. Naturally, these spaces might take the most amount of time to sort through. The trick is to spend as little time debating about whether to keep an item, donate it, or throw it out.
Take 15 minutes to go through your closet or attic and pick out the items that are easy to decide on. Then, take the next 15 minutes pulling out items that could be donated. Spend another 15 minutes going through the remaining items, and so on. If you’re having trouble deciding on sentimental items, dedicate one storage container to the items you’re not sure what to do with and go through it later.
We’re Happy To Provide More Home Selling Advice
Whether you’re selling your home to upgrade your lifestyle, trading your condominium for a more spacious patio home, or are facing an estate sale, we’re here to help with everything. With 20+ years of real estate experience and 35+ years of construction experience, we have the knowledge and connections with trusted service providers to help you prepare your Pittsburgh home for market — and ultimately sell your home faster and for more money. Let’s chat: 724-344-4795.