7 Easy Steps to Declutter Your Home Before You Sell

Real Estate Agent with New Jersey Properties 8333464

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When it comes to preparing your home to sell, the best place to start is clearing the clutter. Clutter includes all of those things we have a tendancy to save that we no longer use that just lie around or take over extra space in our homes. We all are guilty of saving things in our homes, garages and basements that we forget we even still have. However, the more you declutter the cleaner and more spacious your home will appear to prospective buyers and the quicker it will sell. If just thinking about it makes you feel overwhelmed, here are a few easy steps to get you started.

Step 1: Set A Schedule

You are much more likely to stick to a routine, whatever it may be, if you work on a schedule. In addition, this allows you to clean when you can minimize interruptions and maximize your time.

Step 2: Do One Room At A Time

  If you can visualize what you want, you will be better able to achieve it. By setting goals for each room, you can note the things that need changing and work toward that goal one day at a time.

Step 3: Create A Deadline To Finish

When do you hope to have your home ready for showing? One week, two weeks or even a month? Depending on your schedule and the amount of clutter that you have, it may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks before you can kick back and relax again. You may want to enlist the help of friends and family if you are on a short time schedule. 

Step 4: Start Small

The clutter in your home didn't appear overnight, and it won't disappear overnight either. If you start small, you will be less likely to get frustrated and give up midway through your cleanup.

Step 5: Categorize Your Clutter

When cleaning, it's important to categorize your items into groups. By separating the items that you want to keep, toss and donate, you will be able to move through your clutter quickly and efficiently.

Step 6: Letting Go

A good rule of thumb for uncluttering your home is to get rid of anything that you haven't used within the past year. If it's still useful, consider donating it to a good cause or having a garage sale. Otherwise, toss it.

Step 7: Pack It Up

Since you are planning on moving anyway, pack up those items that you can't part with but don't need to use any time soon. You can either put them in storage until your move or confine them to a designated space in your garage, basement or attic. Buyers will perceive that you are a family that is organized, ready to move and it is less to pack once your home sells.      

Posted by

Joan Congilose, Broker/ Sales Associate

my picCentury 21 Action Plus Realty

Call or e-mail me Office (732) 462-9510 Cell (732) 232-5277


Rob Marken
Bend River Realty - Bend, OR
25+ years experience in Bend

Great points.  Clutter can be a big issue for a listing and these are great tips for getting a home decluttered.  Thanks for sharing. 

Mar 20, 2014 01:35 AM
Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin


This is a nice post with step by step suggestions that make it easy to follow and make the progress needed. Have a great week. 

May 03, 2014 11:15 PM
Elyse Berman, PA
LoKation Real Estate - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824

Joan, This is great advice.  I've seen times where it's hard for people to let go of things and for others, it's easy.  I think it has a lot to do with personalities, but it needs to be done.  You've made it easy to follow.

May 23, 2014 12:02 PM
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Good list, Joan. I especially like "set a deadline." I think that step is often missed. How many of us would be too busy to file our income taxes if we didn't have a deadline?

May 26, 2014 01:28 AM
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

Joan - I think setting a schedule and starting small is key to decluttering because it's so easy to get overwhelmed. 

Jun 30, 2014 11:09 AM
Michael Dagner
Brokers Guild Classic - Denver, CO
Your Denver Homes Realty Expert

Hi Joan, this post is as relevant now, as when you wrote it.  Your suggestions are very easy to help one get motivated! 

Mar 22, 2015 06:19 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is very good advice for prospective home sellers.


Mar 22, 2015 08:52 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Suggestion:  Add your office address to your automatic blog signature. Prospects want to know where you are located.

Mar 22, 2015 08:53 AM