It feels like spring is finally here! Are you considering putting your house on the market this summer? If so, consider adding a few extra items to your spring-cleaning list. You can make your home market-ready sooner — while saving time and stress later.
Declutter but prioritize
Start with the living spaces of your home. Really focus on your counters and shelves. Horizontal surfaces, especially kitchen counters, tend to accumulate items quickly.
It may be tempting to dive into your closet first, but prioritize the high visibility areas of your home. This will save you from cleaning under pressure later.
Think about it this way: once the listing process is underway, a photographer and an appraiser will come to your home to take photos. Life tends to happen, so having your home close to photo-ready in advance can lower the need for deadline cleaning. Think of the “stay ready, don’t get ready” mindset. It typically refers to athlete conditioning and disaster preparedness, but it works for your house too.
Reducing visual clutter is truly the hardest part.
Make your move easier with less to move
Now it’s time to examine your closets, attic spaces and garage. Have you held onto things for 5 years, 10 years, or possibly longer? I think we are all guilty! This is a great time to think about whether you want to move it to your next home.
Some stored items hold great sentimental value, like heirloom furniture. It is unreasonable to expect you to give this away. Moving items like this is likely worth the effort and care.
I’m encouraging you to let go items that can be replaced if you were to need them again – such as bins of aspirational craft supplies, old magazine collections, or clothing the kids have outgrown. These don’t have high replacement values. Consider donating them or rehoming them through your local freecycle program, where someone can use them now!
What about clothes that do have a strong sentimental value for you? You may have baby outfits or clothing left behind from a relative or dear friend who has passed away. I have a suggestion that may help. Did you know you can have the garments transformed into a memory bear or quilt?
Many shops on Etsy offer this service with beautiful results. This allows you to commemorate the person with a functional object that can be displayed in your home rather than hidden away.
Prepack infrequently used items
Do you have seasonal items that you know you won’t need for a few months? If they’re not already in storage, you can start boxing and labeling them now.
I don’t just mean snow clothes (for those of us that visit the snow)! Think about the clothing in the back of your closets waiting for a special occasion – like Halloween costumes or formalwear. There’s little risk and great benefits to packing this away early. It means fewer boxes to pack later. More importantly, you will open up space in your closet. If you aren’t moving out completely before placing your home on the market, this simple trick can make your closet spaces look bigger in your listing photos.
Going for extra credit? Once you’ve tackled storage areas that will be in photographs, start looking in the backs of your cabinets. Consider the kitchen. You can pre-pack plates and serving ware from seasonal entertaining, as well as appliances that only receive occasional use. Don’t forget to label your boxes!
Ask for help
If you’re not sure where to start, please reach out to me. I will happily provide a free consultation. I can identify priorities and take the guesswork out of where to start. If you need an extra hand, I can refer you to professional organizers and other tradespeople I have worked with. Together we can help present your home in its best light.
I have helped many clients, family and friends get organized. I know it can be a huge challenge! If there’s some way I can help you, please let me know.