How to Deal with Clutter Before Listing Your Home in 2023

Tammy Emineth
Photo bycanva

Staging your home for sale is essential for a successful process. One of the first steps in any staging project is decluttering because a cluttered home will distract potential buyers and present an impression of a home that has not been well maintained.

If you are looking for tips on how to deal with clutter before listing your home this year, you are in the right place.

Why declutter before selling?

The importance of decluttering before selling is the same as the importance of a first impression. Your home will sell most successfully if it is presentable both in an online listing and in person. This means it should be easy for your potential buyers to imagine themselves in the home, and the home should give the impression of having been well-maintained. Clutter works against you on both counts.

A cluttered home will distract your buyer from envisioning themselves in the home, and may give the buyers the idea that the homeowner (you) is disorganized and did not take good care of the property. This might lead to the potential buyer becoming uninterested or not being willing to make a full price offer.

What are the top sources of clutter in a home?

There are a few common sources of clutter that many homes struggle with. While your clutter sources may be unique, consider whether any of these are plaguing your home:

  • Paperwork, including mail, important documents, homework, children's artwork, receipts, and any other miscellaneous papers
  • Toys and children's belongings
  • Pet items
  • Shoes, jackets, and bags crowd an entrance
  • Abundant decor
  • Personal toiletries and belongings on bathroom counters
  • Kitchen appliances, gadgets, seasonings, oils, and other supplies that are left out on the kitchen counters
  • Clothing and shoes stored in plain sight in bedrooms

What if my "clutter" is stuff I want to keep?

Just because something is deemed clutter for staging purposes does not mean it is something you should get rid of. You may need to hold on to certain paperwork that cannot be filed digitally, or perhaps you do not want to purge a collection you have or your personal closet. This is all totally fine, but you should look for a temporary solution.

All of these belongings can move with you, but during the time your home is photographed and listed on the market the clutter should be stored elsewhere. Consider beginning your packing early to start removing some of the excess belongings that make it hard to declutter before each showing. These packed boxes can be neatly stored in the garage or a storage unit while the home is on the market.

What can I do to keep my home decluttered while it is on the market?

Does keeping your home tidy and decluttered to be ready for impromptu showings stress you out? You are not alone. If you are not a naturally neat and tidy person, here are some tips to keep your home showing-ready at all times:

  • Have a laundry basket on hand to gather up any clutter and bring it with you in the care when you leave for a showing. This works for actual laundry or other miscellaneous belongings that need to be quickly tidied.
  • Move personal toiletries to be stored in drawers and cabinets rather than on the bathroom counter.
  • Relocated pet items for the time, even just during a showing. This might look like gathering up the dog bed and basket of dog toys to place in the garage before each showing.
  • Create a quick checklist to remind yourself which areas need to be checked for clutter and cleared if you get a last-minute call about a showing.

Before listing your home it's important to speak to a local real estate team that knows not only the market but the neighborhoods and the buyers.

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I am a former real estate agent turned content marketer. I love to write about real estate, blog about home improvement and optimize real estate and other business websites for our customers. SEO Tips, real estate advice and more.

Frenchtown, MT

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