Pack Rats: Plan to Purge!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX AEROSPACE REALTY SL3236966


Pack Rats:  Plan to Purge!Pack Rat

While I have never considered myself a Pack Rat, I often look at my full closets and overflowing cabinets, and wonder, “Where did all this stuff come from?”  Perhaps you can relate to my family’s struggle to manage our limited storage space.  Over the years, we have attempted various strategies to manage our possessions.  We started with closet organizers to maximize that precious space, but we still needed more.  Then it was on to the plastic storage container phase, which benefited the Rubbermaid Company, but left us with stacks of containers whose contents eventually became a mystery with the passing of time.   Our final attempt to organize and contain, led to the purchase of furniture and cabinets, which in the end, reduced our living space and still left my husband lamenting the impossible dream of ever having a basement in Florida.

If you find yourself with this same dilemma as you struggle to place and display all of the gifts your family received over the holidays, I’m sharing a completely new strategy that I know will work; however, the required commitment may leave your panicked pack-rats protesting the change.

My experience as a real estate agent in Melbourne, Florida has only strengthened my resolve to cut the clutter cold turkey.  If you are planning to sell your home, and I assume you want it to happen quickly and for top-dollar, then trust me when I say that this strategy is key.

The strategy isn’t so much about how to organize our things; rather, it’s more about evaluating our need for things we already own.  An abundance of possessions weighs us down, requires time to maintain them, and creates chaos in our space.  One of the underlying reasons many people enjoy staying in a hotel is because they actually need a vacation from their possessions where they can finally relax in an uncluttered environment.

When I am showing homes to potential buyers in the Melbourne, Florida area, the amount of clutter in the home certainly has an impact on the overall experience.  While a home doesn’t have to be messy to be cluttered, potential buyers have a difficult time imagining themselves in a home filled with other people’s stuff.  The clutter creates a sense of stress, and buyers are looking for a home that will provide a sanctuary from the world’s stress.

Gail Blanke, author of “Throw Out Fifty Things – Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life”, suggests throwing out fifty things every month to free you from the clutter.  Personally, I am a big fan of donating any items that have lost their usefulness to local charitable organizations. This keeps items out of our landfill, provides for others, and supports the good work these organizations contribute to our community.  Melbourne residents should consider organizations like the Brevard Sharing Center, Goodwill, or the Social Concerns Thrift Store when donating unwanted items.

My family has invested a significant amount of time evaluating our need for each appliance, book, knick-knack, etc. and we are purging possessions like never before.  If you are thinking of selling your home in Melbourne, FL, I can advise you on how to achieve the best price in today’s market.  You can start preparing today by cutting the clutter and transforming your space into a potential buyer’s sanctuary.



Alice Broadway
IXL Real Estate - Mobile, AL
Real Estate Broker

Hey Laura, I was am thinking about decluttering for 2011..

great post

Jan 02, 2011 02:10 PM
Bob Jakowinicz
National Realty Centers Livonia--Bob Jakowinicz - Livonia, MI
Michigan Real Estate Agent-- MI Real Adventures

Laura, lol here in Michigan you can really pack it away as most of the homes have basements.  It's almost like we need to move every few years just to thin down the stuff we don't need

Jan 02, 2011 02:11 PM
Laura Forman
Your Brevard Premier Property Specialist

Alice -  Don't just think about it - you can do it and you'll be glad you did.  I might just check on you :-)

Bob - Yes, it would be awesome to have a basement, but I'm almost glad that we don't because I know that is where my pack rats would end up putting everything, which would only delay the purging process.

Jan 03, 2011 12:32 AM
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Hi Laura,  Good suggestions for sellers and listing agents.  If you need real photos of clutter I can provide them.  I just cleaned out my mother's 2,400 sq ft house of 60+ years.  Lots of stuff.

Jan 05, 2011 03:48 AM
Laura Forman
Your Brevard Premier Property Specialist

Mary - Wow, 60 years of accumulation!  After your experience, I know I am preaching to the choir.  Lol - no need for photos.

Jan 05, 2011 07:47 AM
Alice Broadway
IXL Real Estate - Mobile, AL
Real Estate Broker

Hey Laura, I am shocked you checked on me, but tickled also.. I lost interst and havent made any plans to start decluttering.. I could give you a list of reasons why I haven't started, but wouldn't wont to depress can Thank me later!....GBU 

Jan 10, 2011 03:11 PM
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Laura - this is one thing I tell clients over and over again if they are planning on moving!

Jan 12, 2011 05:55 AM