The Declutter Checklist

Dated: 11/01/2019

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The Declutter Checklist for Selling Your Home

Decluttering is a well known approach to making sure your home shows well. When you are considering selling your home, you know you will need to declutter. However, the actual task of decluttering can seem quite daunting. We've guided hundreds of homebuyers through this process, and along the way have developed a straightforward checklist. Hopefully this list will help you reasonably tackle what can seem like an overwhelming task!

Gather supplies

There is no need to go out and buy a whole bunch of organizational supplies before you declutter. In fact, it's often helpful to wait until after you declutter to decide what organizational items you actually need. However, there are a few supplies that are useful during the decluttering process.

  • Heavy-duty garbage bags: these are great for collecting both items to donate, as well as items headed for the trash.
  • 2 Large bins or boxes: mark one of these as "keep" and the other as "donate." These bins can follow you around the house as you declutter.
  • A collection of podcasts or music. Ok, this item isn't a must, but having something to listen to while you declutter can make the process a whole lot more pleasant.

Break it up

When you begin to declutter, try not to think of the entirety of the task before you. Most of us don't have schedules that allow for eight straight hours of decluttering (not to mention the stamina). Instead, set a timer on your phone for fifteen minutes. Even if you hate cleaning, you can do anything for fifteen minutes. If you take on two to three fifteen minute sessions each day you will be able to tackle the job in a reasonable amount of time, without getting burnt out.

Begin in the bathroom

We often suggest beginning the decluttering process in the bathroom. Why? It's one of the smallest rooms in your house! Beyond that, it is often hides a fair bit of unnecessary clutter. All those make-up and beauty samples that you never actually use, but have accumulated over the years? Now is the time to toss them in the trash can. Chances are there are also a fair number of expired products hiding in the drawers and under the sink.

Move into the bedroom

Begin with making the bed. If this isn't a daily habit, it's likely to become one as you get your house perpetually ready to be shown! A made bed will give you a place to put items as you organize. Next, tackle the nightstands. If you have large collections of personal photos or knick-knacks, consider packing them up for your next home. Try to limit the number of items seen when the bedroom is entered. While you clean surfaces in the bedroom, don't forget to give the window a good cleaning as well.

Tackle the dreaded closet

Not feeling up to sorting through your entire wardrobe? That's fine, but you want your closet to appear as spacious as possible when you are showing your home. Consequently, it's a good idea to pack up other season's clothes in boxes now. It will make things easier when it comes time to move, and will make your closet appear much larger. You should have everything cleared off of the floor of the closet. Shelves with many clothing items can end up looking a bit messy. Consider buying open bins in which to store loose items to give a tidier look. The good news is you'll likley be able to use these in your new home as well!

Declutter the Kitchen

The kitchen can be one of the main selling features of the home, but it is also the culprit of a lot of clutter. Now is the time to purge! Go through the shelves and throw out all expired products. Chances are when moving day comes, you're not going to want to move a lot of food. Consequently, it may be much easier to grab a box now and fill it with donations for a local food pantry. You also likely have a fair number of kitchen gadgets that you rarely, if ever, use. Now is also the time to clear these out and pass them on to someone else. As you move through shelves, make sure to wipe them down after you've sorted through them. Do your best to clear off as many things as possible from the counters. For convenience sake, many of us have appliances and tins of coffee, sugar and flour sitting on the counter. Now is the time to tuck those into the pantry.

If you take these steps, you will have gone a long ways toward making your home show ready - and perhaps even more pleasant to live in! Want more tips on making sure your home sells fast? Come talk to us today.

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Tricia McCullough

From farming in Warden, WA, to living in Australia and then back to Wenatchee, I’ve always been profoundly aware of the fundamental need to help others. Whether through their financial picture or he....

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