You’ve heard of a tortured metaphor? Well, this is a cheesy acronym, but the word “declutter” has become SO overused that it has nearly lost all meaning. You’ve probably read dozens of “decluttering” blogs or “how to get organized once and for all” blogs and learned some impressive tricks. But what does the word “declutter” really mean and how do you actually do it when you’re selling not staying?
If you’ve lived in your house longer than a few years, chances are that you’ve acquired more furniture than you need, more dishes that you don’t use, more books, more accessories, more towels and linens, and simply more of just about everything. Don’t be ashamed … we all do it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a hoarder (you’re not, are you?), but it does mean that you’ve got some serious work ahead of you and quite possibly some hard decisions to make.
Since the whole decluttering process is time-consuming and can be physically exhausting, this series of blog posts is broken down into manageable chunks. When we’re done, each space in your home will be beautifully edited and market-ready. You’ll also have some of your packing done!
For today, I only want you to round up your supplies and start thinking about where you’re going to put everything.
♦ Boxes for packing things that you are keeping, but putting into storage.
♦ Boxes or bags for things to be donated or sold.
♦ Trash Bags. Yes … you’re going to have to throw some things away.
♦ Shipping tape. You shouldn’t need to open any boxes until after you move to your new home.
♦ Cleaning supplies. You might as well clean as you go. Just think how easy cleaning will be with all the excess stuff out of the way.
You may be thinking that this is an unnecessary expense, but you’ll be amazed at how much storage space can ease the stress of selling your home, as well as the move itself. It’s hard to put a price on convenience and sanity. If you are staying in the area, consider renting self-storage space (you are responsible for loading and unloading it). Look for companies that offer climate-controlled storage with 24-hour surveillance and access. I would also suggest ground level. Most companies offer a variety of sizes and are priced accordingly.
♦ If you are are moving out of town, you may want to look into storage on a grander scale and get your mover lined up. These companies will bring the storage container to your home, you load it up, and they take it to a storage location until you are ready to have the rest of your belongings picked up and all of it moved to your new location. This is also an option even if you are staying in town, but you won’t have access to your belongings.
♦ If you absolutely cannot take on any additional expense, you might try asking a friend or relative if you can storage your belongings in their garage or basement. This is a lot to ask, so be sure your relationship with this kind soul can withstand the stress of the imposition. You can use your own garage, but this is not recommended. Selling your home is akin to selling space and it loses its appeal when it’s full of boxes.
You probably have your own favorite charities, but if not, call around. Many charitable organizations will pick up your items, saving you a trip to the drop off location. Do you have a lot of old sheets, blankets, and towels that have seen better days? Consider donating these to your local animal shelter. They are glad to have these items and will put them to good use.
If you love having yard sales, you will have a plethora of merchandise for sale when we get done. If yard sales aren’t your thing, consider a consignment shop or selling online. Many consignment shops will pick up large items, so don’t worry about getting rid of furniture pieces without knowing how you’ll get it out of the house.
Ok … you’ve rounded up your tools, arranged for storage, and you’ve researched places for donating and reselling. You are officially ready to D.E.C.L.U.T.T.E.R. This is a 5-Part Series and in Part 2 we’ll tackle the kitchen, so get a good night’s sleep and we’ll see you back here soon.