Do you know which areas in your home are the most important to declutter before putting your property on the market? You may think that you only need to declutter the kitchen and the master bedroom because they get the most traffic, but think again. It’s no longer possible to just do a quick tidy-up and put a few items in a drawer hoping no one will open it. Potential home buyers are increasingly looking for a home that matches their longed for dream home. With the property market in flux in these uncertain economic times, it’s now more important to make sure that you declutter more areas in your home than just the most obvious places. Here are the seven areas in your home to declutter before putting your property up for sale.
1. Front Garden – create kerb appeal
There are two very important reasons why the entrance to your home must look tip-top. Firstly, first impressions really do count. A negative impression can linger in the mind of your potential buyer, no matter how lovely the rest of your property turns out to be. Secondly, those looking to buy in a particular area often cruise the streets before searching online. They are far more likely to request a viewing if your home appeals from the outside. Make sure lawns and plants are well tended and your garden or porch is free of mess. Wheelie bins can be an eye-sore, so store them away as discreetly as possible.
2. Entrance Hallway – welcoming and inviting
Once inside the front door, the entrance hall is the first thing a viewer will see. You don’t want to put them off before they’ve had a chance to go any further. Hallways can often be narrow and feel claustrophobic. Make sure there are no obstructions on the floor such as shoes, bags or buggies. Hang coats elsewhere if they normally live on the bannister.
3. Living Room – your showpiece
The living room should be inviting and the showpiece of your home, but clutter can make it feel small and cramped. Check if there is an easy walk through, without clambering over chairs and occasional tables. Too much furniture can greatly reduce the sense of space. Make sure shelves and table tops aren’t overladen with books and magazines. Keep photos and personal memorabilia to a minimum and remove redundant knick-knacks. Cushions on sofas should be kept to a minimum, with only the smartest and plumpest on display.
4. Kitchen – the heart of the home
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, so make yours is a heart that’s full of love and free from clutter. Keep surfaces clear of all but the essentials and fit everything else neatly into drawers and cupboards. Viewers have a habit of peeking into every nook and cranny, so ensure cupboards aren’t fit to bursting their contents. Also, check there’s nothing inside that you’d rather keep hidden. Even the fridge should be neatly organised, and definitely clean.
5. Bathroom bliss
The bathroom is one of the key rooms in a property that can make or break a sale. If it’s looking messy and cluttered, viewers will be left with the impression that it will be difficult to live with and expensive to change. Towels should be kept to a minimum and neatly hung on hooks or folded over a towel rail. There should be as little as possible on the surfaces and storage units should be tidy, so viewers can see there’s plenty of space to pack away the essentials.
6. Bedrooms – peace and tranquillity
Viewers look to bedrooms for peace and tranquillity, so even if the room is small, it is critical it is in order. Streamline your drawers and wardrobes and put clothes and shoes away neatly. Make up your bed with fresh bedding, and check the space under the bed is clear. If you use that space for storage, then invest in storage boxes so items aren’t spilling out onto the floor.
7. Studies, utility rooms, sheds and garages
If you’re lucky enough to have any of the above, then they shouldn’t be a dumping ground for all those items you’ll “get to later”. If they house items you know you want to keep, store everything neatly on shelves, in cabinets or in drawers. These areas can provide valuable storage space and be a real bonus for buyers, so give viewers the opportunity to imagine how they would use the space themselves. This is not easy when confronted with all your junk!
Your home will sell faster and for a better price when presented clutter free. Viewers will love how it looks in reality, but clutter-free images lead to higher click rates which in turn lead to more viewings. What’s more, decluttering your home before putting it on the market will not only make it look and feel more spacious and appealing. It will start you on the road to moving and take some of the stress out of the dreaded ‘pack up.’
Janine Shalev is a professional property and home stager at JS Property Staging. She transforms properties into spaces that prospective buyers or tenants would love to call home. Call or message Janine if you would like to discuss home staging tips and strategies for your property.
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