Clean Up Your Act: Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Getting rid of stuff you don’t use is one of the side benefits of moving house. Get a jump start on this cathartic process and make your listing shine even brighter at the same time. Here are a few ways to get rid of the old to make room for your next move.

Air Out Your Closets

Opening the door to an overstuffed, disorganized closet is never a good feeling. Take this opportunity to apply the 12-month rule: Go through your wardrobe, item by item, and ask yourself if you’ve worn it within the last year. Recruit your most brutally honest friend to help out, if necessary. If an item is too big, too small, outdated, seemed like a good idea at the time, got it on sale, might wear it on vacation someday – put it in the donation pile. 

Consider donating business attire to organizations that support people in need and don’t forget to collect a tax receipt for your charitable contribution.

Out Of Sight ≠ Out Of Mind

The garage, basement, shed… these are places where good intentions go to die. That half-finished woodworking project, sporting equipment, baking pans of all shapes and sizes – this is another place to apply the usage rule: if you haven’t enjoyed it since you can’t remember when setting it free. Donate, share on Craigslist or Facebook, or host a good old-fashioned yard sale. Can’t bear to part with your stuff? Price out storage units and assess the overall cost of moving, storing, and then moving the items again (to your new home), and factor the total against the profit you’ll make on your sale. However, you slice it, removing bulky clutter before home showings is a must to create a hopeful, positive, buyer-centric energy. (Also read The Home Seller’s Guide to Decluttering Your House.)

Don’t Take It Personal

A lot goes into making a house a home: your family photos curated art collection and other near-and-dear objects that mean the most to you. The same things that make you feel at home have the potential to alienate a potential buyer. Depersonalize your space by putting any potentially polarizing personal items away for showings: think political fridge magnets, kids’ homework, sports team or musical ephemera. This allows buyers to picture themselves in the home without distraction, whatever that may mean to them.

Clean Up Your Act

A messy – or less than pristine – kitchen just feels icky to an outsider. Do a deep clean of your cabinets, fridge, oven, and stove, so space sparkles like new. Toss out expired pantry goods, excavate post-prime items in the fridge and freezer, crack open a fresh box of baking soda, and make your kitchen as appetizing as possible before showings. A batch of fresh baked cookies can’t hurt either. 

A clean and clutter-free space lets buyers imagine living life their way in the home. Remove any obstacles to their process by getting rid of things that are in the way. An added bonus? Moving will be that much easier.