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Get the Clutter Out: Five Tips to Sell Your Home

Once you’ve made the tough decision to list your home for sale, the hard work really begins.

Not only do you have to start looking for your next home, you’re going to have to make some tough decisions around your existing home: what to keep, what to trash, what to donate and what to give away.

This is especially true for older folks who are downsizing after a lifetime of accumulating treasured memories associated with the thing in their home sweet home. It’s hard!

Regardless of whether you’re a move-up buyer or a downsizer, however, the moment you decide to sell is the moment you have to start looking at your contents.

For the move-up buyers, it’s about primping your home to make the best possible impression on potential buyers when they visit. And yes, it can be a bit of a pain. Not just in decluttering your spaces, but in keeping them neat and clean until you’ve accepted an offer.

For downsizing families, it’s more emotional when there are so many memories and so many years of life wrapped up in those spaces. If you want to know more about how to deal with making those choices, feel free to reach out.

For those move-up buyers, it’s a matter of being disciplined for a short time, sometimes weeks or perhaps only days. I assure you, the effort is worth it.

The Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) note an un-organized home with too much memorabilia can hinder you from selling, or make your house less enticing to potential buyers. These translate into a lower selling price.

“A cluttered home can give the illusion of less space and a cluttered lifestyle. When someone is looking to purchase a home, they try to envision themselves living there. That’s difficult to do when there are photos or miscellaneous personal items everywhere,” says Marie Potter, Director of Marketing for POC. “You need to think of your house as an asset when you’re getting ready to sell and objectively remove clutter that can devalue your home.”

They’ve suggested Five Top Strategies for the average homeowner based on their professional approach to getting organized for a sale. You could hire one of their members, or you could do it yourself following these tips: 

Cluttered Kitchen Advice to get organized

5: Organize room by room: 

Organizing room-by-room will help make getting your home ready to sell more manageable. Start with the rooms that often host the most clutter such as the spare bedroom, office or storage room.

4. De-personalize: 

Remember that you’re selling an asset, not a home. Remove any personal memorabilia such as photos, trinkets or kid’s toys. This will help prospective buyers envision themselves living there and stop them from feeling like they’re intruding in your space when they look around.

3. Look at horizontal surfaces and reduce the clutter: 

Buyers need to see that there’s plenty of storage space available. Remove most of what sits on counter, table and dresser tops, mantles, tops of fridges, cupboard units, and large pieces of furniture like bookcases and entertainment units. Leave only a few coordinated, decorative items on a mantle or end table. Also, look objectively at all closets and cupboards. If they look cluttered and crowded, review the contents and pack away excess items you want to keep until after the house is sold.

2. Create space: 

Purge and pack up anything you don’t want, don’t need or aren’t using. Consider getting rid of niche decor items as different people have different tastes, and this may turn the buyer off of the home. Pack these items away until after the house is sold.

1. Walk through your home with the eye of a buyer:

Look for the first things that catch your eye, what the eye is drawn to and any possible distractions objectively. Focus on fixing these distractions as this can work towards the seller’s advantage.

Want to know more about decluttering? Feel free to contact me for personalized tips.

For assistance in organizing your home or to find a Professional Organizer in your area, visit the POC website at

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