How to successfully de-clutter your home for sale

Pre-packing creates a positive mindset for a successful sale.

Easy ways to pre-pack your home in preparation for home opens

Of all the preparations that can be done to get your home ready for sale, de-cluttering is one of the most important.  I like to call it pre-packing, because de-cluttering can have an “overwhelming” feel for many people, especially those that are slight hoarders or have lived in their home for a long period.

When you decide to sell your home the ultimate goal is to move – so why not minimise your stress later in the process and start your “pre-packing” now.  This will enable you to focus on the big picture and get yourself ahead of the game and find your transition to a new home smoother, less stressful and easier.

The benefit of pre-packing is that you focus on removing the non-essential items from the property giving you a great opportunity to home stage ready for your real estate photos and first home open.

De-cluttering or “pre-packing” will pay off for all sellers with more profit at the time of sale.

BEFORE DECLUTTER - This room is cluttered with non-essential items that will add no value to the sale of the home.  Large bookcases, mismatched furniture and large lounge suites.

De-cluttering is not just about pre-packing and getting things ready for the move once your home issold. It is also about ensuring that your buyers get to see your home in its best light.  By removing all the non-essential items from your home, you are able to present the capacity and space that is there for your buyers.

The first and probably most crucial step in pre-packing / de-cluttering is to organise the items to be removed under three categories: throw, store or donate. We have removed the keep category as we want you to focus on what should go rather than keep.

SANDY’S KEY NOTE:  Home opens are a big inconvenience to any sellers lifestyle and family during the sale process, however the aim is to minimise the number you have so you can get back to your normal living.  KEY is to put in the effort up front as it will pay off with a quick sale.

Only you can decide which items go where, but here are some tips on which areas to work on:

  • Remove all personal items such as children’s artwork, family photos, toys, personal accessories and other sentimental trinkets
  • Store excess furniture and non-essential accessories like rugs, artwork, vases, etc.
  • Store your books and remove excess bookshelves.
  • Minimise clutter inside the study by storing away non-essential home office items.
  • Simplify your bedrooms by packing away non-essential clothes, linen and other soft items – think of seasons, if you are selling in summer then store your winter clothes and linens
  • Make sure the contents of your pantry and cupboards are neat and orderly – throughout old / out of date food.
  • Living areas – store off excess CDs, DVD,s books, side tables, candle holders, vases and other such accessories

Sandy also recommends:

  • To facilitate the packing process, do your best to handle an item only once.
  • When packing items into boxes, make a list for each and number each box.  This will help you locate items you may need during the sale and moving-out period.

AFTER PRE-PACKING / DECLUTTER how much better does this room present?

Sandy’s Top Tips for Pre-packing

Instead of moving items and handling items straight up I recommend the use of coloured dots to colour code what you plan to do with each item.  Remember our rule that you should only handle an item once.

Go to your local office supplier and buy 3 boxes of coloured dots – 3 different colours.

Then label each colour with throw, store or donate (e,g. Green = donate, Yellow = Store, Red = Throw).   Place the dots on a piece of plain paper and write in big letter next to each colour.

Repeat these for each major room and blu-tac it to the wall for you to refer to.  Now place a dot on each of the items with what you wish to do with that item.  Once you have dotted the whole home, start to move the items based on their category.

Short Term Storage

It is strongly recommended that short term storage is considered rather than stuffing your items in the shed or the garage, as these areas are just as important to be kept as clear as possible.  There are numerous solutions such as DIY short term storage or removalist companies.  Remember you are pre-packing ready to move.  Some removalist’s offer an initial pick of excess furniture and boxes to store (cost effectively). They will then return when you are ready to move and pick up the remainder of your items and move you to your new home. 

Great investment in your pre-packing.

According to statistics, homeowners can realise over five times their investment in de-cluttering. 

Prepacking is a great way to get a head start on preparing yourself for the big move. It sets the right frame of mind and a positive attitude towards getting your house sold. As part of your final property styling and makeover, de-cluttering and prepacking lets you reap the rewards of a clean and neat presentation.  

Remember:  Buyers buy on emotion, and property presentation plays a huge part in persuading buyers that your house is the right one for them.  Buyers can fall in love with your house based on property styling alone, and they will accept a downside to a home if the house presentation is warm, inviting and homely.  This is achieved through successful de-cluttering and quality property presentation.

If you want a helping hand on your pre-packing journey our Styling Services can help you achieve the outcome you need for sale.