How to Declutter Your Home Before You List It

As they say, less is more—especially when it comes to selling your home. But most homes have way too much furniture and stuff.

Decluttering or depersonalizing your home is the flip side of staging it. When your house is on the market, it’s no longer yours. And the sooner you can make it feel like somebody else’s future home, the better the selling process will go for you.

All those years of memory-making can fill up your home, and how. Here’s how to declutter your home before you list it.

5 Tips for Depersonalizing Your House

Package up your personal photos. Your personality isn’t for sale. Your kids aren’t for sale. These things are going with you, which means they shouldn’t be plastered all around the house when potential buyers show up. If left in the house, they will only serve to distract buyers from seeing it as their home and forget it’s even for sale.

Play up what IS for sale. Sure, your dining room set may look great with all six chairs, but using only four chairs will make the room seem bigger. And the whole purpose of decluttering is to make every room, especially small ones, look larger.

Purge the attic. When is the last time you looked through those old boxes stashed away in your attic? Five years? Ten years? This is an awesome time to get rid of the extra stuff you no longer have a use for.

Convert your garage into a storage space. This is a great and cost-efficient way to store your personal belongings and get them out of the way. Buyers spend very little time in the garage while doing a walk-through. Just be sure you don’t block the electric box, water heater or furnace. Not only is this a safe practice, but they will need to be accessible when it comes time for your home inspection.

Return rooms to their highest and best use. Did you convert a bedroom into a crafting room or a home office? While this has served your hobbies or home business wonderfully, it’s time to turn it back. A home that lists 4 bedrooms should look like it has 4 bedrooms, not 2 bedrooms, a crafting room and an office. Otherwise, you’re advertising that the house doesn’t really have 4 bedrooms. And more bedrooms equal better resale value and more interested buyers.

The Blue Tape Method
Decluttering your home after years of collecting memories can be quite the undertaking. But it doesn’t have to be.

As a real estate broker, I’m more than your agent. I’m your coach and greatest advocate throughout the selling process. That’s why I developed the blue tape method for my clients.

The moment I enter your home for a listing, I pull out a large roll of blue tape and do a walk-through. As I survey each room, I literally put a piece of blue tape on everything that needs to come out of the living space and go into storage (either a storage unit or the garage).

Because remember, the moment you’re ready to sell your house, it stops being your house. It becomes someone else’s future home. And clearing out all the memories of your life can take weeks or months to complete.

It’s easy to forget what stays and what goes over that much time. I take the guesswork out of the process with my simple yet effective blue tape method. You’ll never have to worry about which items need to go and which can stay. Just look for those little pieces of blue tape and you’re good to go.

Over to You
What are your favorite decluttering methods? Share your tips in the comments.

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