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How decluttering makes selling a home easier—and less expensive

Decluttering is good for the soul, they say, but did you know it can also increase the attractiveness and value of your home when it’s time to sell? If you’re planning to move soon, decluttering is a great way to streamline your living conditions and increase your home’s attractiveness, while potentially decreasing expenses and stress when it’s time to pack and move.

Over the years I’ve helped a lot of clients improve the staging and first impression factors of their homes for sale with a few simple decluttering tips. If clearing out the clutter seems a little overwhelming at first, I’ve rounded up a few of my best tips to help you get started.

What do I need to declutter and organize my home for sale?

FIRST, don’t tackle everything at once. Choose one area and keep it small to start with. (Hint, the garage should not be your first stop!)

NEXT, get started with the sorting. Have a trash bin and bags designated for donation, storage or selling near at hand. Start by getting rid of everything that can be thrown away. Then sort out what can be donated, and what should be stored. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you haven’t looked at it, used it, or thought of it for more than a year, it needs to go. (Unless it has sentimental or financial value, then you need to store or sell it).

NOW it’s time to start organizing. Here’s a secret – clutter doesn’t mean you’re a messy person. In fact, most of the time it’s probably that things are just in the wrong place. Look at what’s left in the space you’re working on and find the right home for everything. Coats and outdoor gear goes in a specific closet. Kids’ toys go in their rooms, hampers or baskets in play areas. Laundry items belong in the laundry room. Sports equipment in the mud room. Homework, paperwork, and mail in its designated location. Bathroom products and toiletries should be stored in drawers and under the sinks, not scattered over the counters.

FINALLY, here’s one decluttering tip that really makes a difference – getting the cords under control! In today’s modern home there are a lot of cords to deal with – charging cords for phones, tablets, gaming devices, Bluetooth headsets, speakers, and more. Now add in computer cables, monitors, smart TVs, lamps, lighted mirrors, toaster ovens, under-counter lighting, etc. and the cord clutter can get out of control. Fortunately, there are a lot of easy-to-use and inexpensive devices that help corral cords in one area or merge similar functions (like charging) into one device. Check your local home improvement or office supply store, Amazon, or even Pinterest for ideas.

Once you’ve gone through each room of your home, it’s amazing how much more you’ll enjoy your newly decluttered living space. And when it’s time to put your home on the market, potential buyers will see the space, beauty and potential of your home instead of the mess on your counters.