In the spirit of contribution, collaboration and community, I am pleased to bring you this, the first of many partnership interviews with experts I love and trust to improve the value of your home.
How To Clear The Clutter Before You List Your Home
Don’t worry. Be happy. Clear the clutter before you list your home.
Clearing the clutter is good for more than getting your home ready to list. It can quite literally change your life and your way of looking at the “things” in your life.
Clutter affects your life negatively from the very moment you wake up. When the house is cluttered, your mind is cluttered and you are stressed. (Can you picture this? You’re running around in circles with your hands up in the air while you are screaming -- or swearing -- and stressing because you can’t find your keys or your sweater or that form for the doctor …). Think about it. How do you feel when you walk into the kitchen in the morning when the dishes are washed, put away, countertops are free of clutter and everything is wiped down?
Before you clear the clutter, you’ll need four bags or boxes specifically marked:
Donate ( to charity )
Sell ( yard sale, Craigslist, EBay, Freecycle )
Distribute ( belongs in another room )
File 13 ( aka the trash )
Now you are ready to clear the clutter from any room.
Clear the clutter now. Don’t prolong the process. Choose one room and start organizing. Don’t stop until that room is clutter free. Once that room is finished, move on to the next, room by room. Don’t stop until your whole house is clutter free.
As you work to clear the clutter in each room, ask yourself this one very to-the-point question, “If I lost this item in a fire, would I miss it?” If the answer is, “No,” pitch it! And if you’re not sure about an item, tell yourself, “When in doubt, throw it out.”
If you start with a bedroom, put all your clothes in a pile in the middle of the room. Sort the clothes into two piles: the items that you love and the items you wouldn’t miss if you lost them in a fire. Donate everything in the “items you wouldn’t miss if you lost them in a fire” pile. Place the whole pile into the “Donate” bag or box and load it into the car, right now. Do the same for books and such.
If organizing papers, photos, etc., you’ll need to incorporate the “Sell,” “Distribute” and “File 13” bags or boxes. Remember to move the “Sell,” “Distribute” bags and boxes to their proper places right now. Take a walk to the dumpster with all “File 13” items and get them out of the house right away.
Consider scanning important papers, credit card statements and warranties that you must keep, but pitch the rest!
Think you don’t have time to keep your home clutter-free? Think again. Once your home is free of clutter, 15-minute chunks to clear the clutter every day will keep your home walk-through ready.
Grab a timer and keep it with you while you de-clutter. Set it for 15 minutes. Choose the worst spot. Organize quickly using the four categories: Donate, Sell, Distribute, File 13. When the timer beeps, stop. After you’ve done this a few times, move on to bigger, tougher challenges, like a closet or the basement. Set the timer for 60 minutes.
Get rid of everything that doesn’t have a place. Clear the clutter, and you’re ready to list your home. Call Sam Lepore with Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. in Moorestown, NJ at (856) 297-6827 to list your home today.
Sam Lepore is a Realtor with Keller Williams in Moorestown, NJ. Call him today at 856.297.6827 ....