Preparing Your Home for Sale? Here are 6 Tips For Decluttering
Leaves have fallen from bare trees and a familiar chill is in the air (along with twinkling lights going up around the city), indicating the holiday season is near. As thoughts turn to spending quality time with friends and family, historically, real estate sees seasonal slowdown and many homebuyers and sellers wait for January to look for or list their home.
Stay ahead of the game by decluttering in preparation for putting your home on the market – here are 6 tips on how to do it well.
Tackle one room at a time
Number the order of rooms you want to work through – this will give you a goal and a place to start. It’s important that you actually finish uncluttering a room before moving on to the next one!
Discard items that you haven’t used in a year
Giving yourself a full calendar year is a good way to gauge if you actually need an item. It allows a full cycle of the seasons – you may use some items more in the summer than the winter and vice versa.
The four-box method
Set out four boxes for: trash, donate/sell, maybe and keep. Put each item in the room into one of the four categories. This method is great for decluttering drawers or kitchen cupboards and garage space. For those items that you choose to donate or sell, it may be a good idea to check out apps such as VarageSale or LetGo. These apps help you easily snap a photo and post your item to people who are within your radius. The Salvation Army is also a great place to donate items.
Set aside 10 minutes each morning and night to declutter
Instead of setting aside a full day to declutter, try 10 minute increments – you may surprise yourself with how much can be done. To keep yourself on track, set a timer on your phone twice a day at times that fit into your routine.
The theory is that you wear 20 percent of your clothes 80 percent of the time. To test this, hang all of your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction. After you wear them, hang them in the correct direction. After six months, and you’ll be able to tell which items you do and don’t wear. Living in a place like Vancouver means a wardrobe is seasonal, so you may want to give a second thought before chucking your entire summer wardrobe in winter.
Quality versus quantity
When cleaning out your house, consider quality over quantity. This is especially important in room such as the kitchen or storage closets. Consider if you really need six similar-sized frying pans or eight couch throws. Pair down by keeping one or two quality items.