Thinking of selling? Then you are in luck with my Expert Tip No. 4. You might be months away from a sign on your lawn; take advantage of that time to organize and declutter. Potential buyers want to walk into a home and be able to envision living there. They do not want to see tightly packed closets, crammed cabinets, junk drawers and lack of storage. Here are some tips to get you organized well before your home is on the market.
Organize Your Home: Closets
Do you walk into your closet and quickly turn around and close the door? That is not how you want potential buyers to feel. I know it can be overwhelming, but it’s absolutely worth the time and effort. If you break it down into smaller steps, I promise it will be more manageable. Here’s how you can make it an attainable project;
- Prepare. If your closets are a combination of dry cleaner hangers, plastic molded ones and mix and match, consider buying new hangers. They really help to give your closet a cohesive look. Here are my favorite hangers: Huggable Hangers They come in many colors and are super slim, so they don’t take up as much room as wooden hangers.
- One closet at a time. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Choose one closet and work there until it is 100% organized and decluttered.
- Three bin method. Time to practice your basketball skills. Place three plastic bins nearby, within two-point distance. As you take each item out of the closet, decide if you will Donate, Store or Keep each item. Toss items in the proper bin and start keeping score. The donate bin items will go to a local charity. Store items will be placed in storage until you are ready to move into your new home. The keep items will neatly return to the closet.
- Question. Ask yourself with each item, “Do I really need this? When was the last time I wore this? Can I store it until I move into my new home? Can I sell it?”
- Paint. If your closets are dark consider a fresh coat of white paint. It will brighten and make them look larger.
- Lighting. Consider changing the lightbulbs to a more “white-light” bulb or a different type of bulb. This can also help to brighten a dark space.
- Replace. Now that you know exactly what items need to go back into the closet, organize them like a closet you would see on your favorite HGTV remodeling show. All hangers should face the same direction, shirts should be ironed and buttoned, shoes paired and neat, miscellaneous items can be placed in storage boxes and stacked.
If you have seasonal items, or clothing you don’t wear often like gowns, consider placing them in storage. A portable wardrobe rack is reasonable and a simple storage solution. Like the image above, it’s important to show some empty space in your closets. The blank space visually shows buyers that you have ample storage and does not leave them wondering how all of their things will fit into your house.How to Organize Your Home: Thinking of selling? You might be months away from a sign on your lawn. Take advantage of that time to organize and declutter. Click To Tweet
Organize Your Home: Garage
There are several inexpensive ways to organize your garage. Powerwash floor, freshly paint the walls and ceiling, consider painting the floor with epoxy paint system, pack items in heavy duty storage containers and add a few shelves to get items off of the ground and make use of vertical space. This will also make it easier when you move. Consider it a little pre-packing. Once your home is sold, all you have to do is load the bins into a moving truck. Do you have bicycles in your garage from the time the kids were five, but they’re in college now? Time to get rid of them. There are many charities that would be happy for the donation. If you have adult bikes that are used three times per year, put them in storage, if you choose to keep them.
Storing items that you will not need until you move into your new home will make your garage look bigger and more appealing to potential buyers.
Organize Your Home: Kids’ Stuff
Does your home look like Chuck E. Cheese on a rainy Saturday afternoon? Don’t panic. I have solutions for that too. When you have a last minute showing, AND you have kids, storage ottomans become your best friend. You just got home from work and your agent calls and wants to show your home in an hour! You can either panic, or be prepared for those moments. As an agent, I always try and give my customers 24 hour notice, but it’s not always possible. And, if the true goal is to sell your house, sometimes you have to be flexible and accept last minute showings.
Start in the family room and make it a game. If your children are young, ask them to see how quickly they can put all of their toys into a storage ottoman, counting each item as they go. If you have to, provide incentive like a trip to the park or bookstore. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Not sure where I’ve heard that, but it certainly applies in this situation.
Organize Your Home: Kitchen
We all have many items in our kitchen that are only used a few times per year. Think Thanksgiving dinner. Time to pack those away and put them in storage. There is a motive to this madness. If you are able to pack away all of your large serving platters, formal dinnerware and other barely used items, it makes it easier to keep your kitchen looking clutter-free. You know that last minute showing we just talked about? If your kitchen counter is cluttered, it will make your kitchen appear to lack storage. Since you packed away all of the big, hardly used items, you now have room to store items just in the nick-of-time before potential buyers walk in the door. Store the toaster, mixer, cookbooks, utensils… Get them off of the counter. And, just like in your closets, cabinets should have some empty space. Do you have twenty mismatched coffee mugs and two dozen water bottles? Keep four mugs and a few water bottles and store the rest. Same thing goes for plates, pots and pans and storage containers. Keep what you need and store the rest.
Overwhelmed at the idea of organizing? There are many professionals that can help. Search for organizers online or ask local furniture stores and designers who they recommend. Chances are you have someone in your town that can help get your home “listing” ready. Neighborhood kids or college kids home on break are an excellent source to help in your garage. Hire them to clean out, organize and then deliver donation items to charity of choice.
Related Content: Home Staging to Sell Your Home
Selling a home can be an emotional time. Hiring a Realtor® with a proven marketing plan that includes professional photography, staging and knowledge of your market will make the process much easier for you and help you avoid home selling mistakes. They will be able to look at your home objectively, and partner with experts that will make your home more attractive to potential buyers. When you are ready to move, make sure to sign up below for my email list and I will send you a Moving Checklist and Selling Checklist that will help you stay organized through the process.
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How to Organize Your Home | Sonja Pound | Naples Florida