Decluttering Guide to Sell Your Home

When the Sibbach Team stagers meet with sellers, the first thing they often address is decluttering the house. Why? Because decluttering helps buyers focus on the house, not your stuff. Many buyers simply get distracted consciously or subconsciously by your stuff, instead of focusing on the house itself. If you remove your stuff, then you are allowing the buyers to see the space and imagine themselves living in it with their stuff.

When selling, you need to maximize the space you have in your house. Buyers need to see all of the space to see the full value of your house. They want to see the condition of the walls, floors, counters, etc. This can be hard if you have most of it covered with your artwork and family photos.

It’s understandable if decluttering and packing away your stuff makes you emotional. When you have called somewhere “home” for a long time it can be hard to move whether you want to or not. Yet, when you pack away or throw away items, you start see your house changing from less of your “home” to more of just a place you lived. Plus, decluttering before selling will help you be more prepared for the big move once you sell!

Where do you start? Kitchens are a big selling feature, so start by clearing off your kitchen countertops. There should be only a few things on your countertops when your house is listed for sale. Put away all countertop appliances, such as coffeemakers and toasters, in a closed cabinet. If you have décor above your kitchen cabinets, we also suggest packing that away. Keep only minimal decorative items on kitchen countertops, such as a pretty flower, apothecary jars filled with accents like beans or noodles or an open cookbook. Remember, home staging is different from regular decorating, a few simple accents will make the home feel warmer and more inviting, but shouldn’t distract buyers from focusing on the house itself.

Thin out your bookshelves. They help make the house feel more like a home, but it can be distracting to home buyers. We always suggest thinning out bookshelves as much as possible so the space looks more visually clean and open. A general rule is to try to keep 50-75% of each shelf empty for the best results.

In addition to actual decluttering, it’s important to do some visual decluttering-busy patterns and a variety of colors can be very distracting for home buyers. A top home staging tips is to neutralize the color palette. This not only allows buyers to see past your personal tastes, but it also helps them stay focused on the home’s features. Start by neutralizing the palette with beige or gray walls, neutral furniture, and only some colorful accents. Also, make sure the furniture is well-scaled for the room, you’ll want to remove large furniture pieces and stick to pieces that are visually lighter to make the space seem larger.

Don’t forget to clean out your closets. Many homeowners will “hide” more stuff in their closets while selling to declutter the rest of the home. The problem with this is home buyers will look inside your closets and storage is often important to buyers. If your closets are overflowing with stuff and not neatly organized, they will appear to be much smaller than they actually are. Instead of storing all your clutter in your closets, thin them out to the bare necessities and store the rest at a friend or family member’s home or in a storage unit until you sell the house. It will be worth it when buyers enticed about all the great storage space.

Read here for more Sibbach Design Services home staging tips!

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