As you’re preparing to sell your home, it can be easy to let your house become cluttered. The stress of the selling process coupled with the knowledge that you’ll be moving soon can make it tempting to let your knick-knacks go unorganized. However, keep in mind that you’ll still have to show your house to potential buyers -- and that clutter is one of the major factors that can make or break your showing. Here are some ways you can manage your clutter and make your home attractive to buyers.
Decluttering Requires the Tidying of Every Available Space
When you think of decluttering, what comes to mind? It’s not just the simple act of clearing off your counters and desk space. Complete decluttering is the process of going through every room, closet, and drawer and getting rid of unnecessary junk while organizing the remainder. Keep in mind that potential buyers, as they are being shown a house, will investigate everything from kitchen cupboards to bathroom vanities. In general, no space is off limits, so you should make sure that every possible surface is as clean as possible. When it comes to giving your home a thorough cleaning before showing it, you’re usually best off hiring a professional cleaning service, which will likely cost you $91 to $183 in Chicago.
When you’re decluttering, divide your possessions into five categories: things to put away in the places they belong, things to recycle, things to fix, things to throw away, and things to donate. Focus on what you already have -- don’t go out and buy additional decorative boxes to hold your stuff. Also, don’t plan on taking a single day to declutter; break up the task across a week or two, going section by section.
A Storage Unit May Help Your Clutter Problem
If you have a lot of possessions that you don’t wish to throw away but don’t have room to store inside the house without it looking cluttered, you may want to consider renting out a storage space. Inside the home, storage space can be limited, particularly for larger items that need to be stowed, and what is available will need to stay organized and neatly tucked away. Storage units come in various sizes according to your needs. Take the time to look around online for local storage unit providers to find the cheapest, nearest option. Keep in mind, however, that the price will vary depending on your location. In Chicago, it can cost you as little as $53.10 a month to rent a 10’x10’ unit if you rent from CubeSmart Self Storage - Hanover Park.
If you are worried about the maintenance of your possessions in storage, consider getting a climate-controlled unit. High temperatures can cause wooden items to crack and warp, while tapes and pictures may become damaged. Beds, sports equipment, appliances, and paperwork can also become compromised after extended exposure to high heat. Humidity can also cause warping damage and even lead to the growth of mold without proper ventilation. Climate control keeps both the temperature and humidity constant no matter how they flux outside. If you live in a particularly humid area, you may wish to choose a storage unit that includes a dehumidifier. In general, if you plan to keep your stuff in storage for a long period of time, or if you’ll be storing items with significant sentimental or personal value, choose a climate-controlled unit. These units will usually be a more expensive and can cost anywhere from $75 - $200 a month, depending on where you live.
Once your house is decluttered, make sure that it stays clean by keeping track of your clutter. The most important thing after completing a large-scale decluttering is to maintain the state of cleanliness. This takes determination, but it will make your home much more attractive to buyers.
By: Suzie Wilson, Happier Home