decluttering – is it really worth it?

Let’s face it. “Decluttering” is not the sexiest part of a staging or redesign job. But I’d argue that it’s the most important. As far as staging goes, it can dramatically affect both the price and speed at which a house sells.

I recently read that “…an uncluttered home will help you achieve inner peace.” Wow. That’s a large, bold statement. Could it really be that easy to achieve inner peace? It made me giggle. Then, it made me think.

I’ll admit a cluttered space does make me crazy. Cluttered and cramped spaces do cause me some anxiety. I just want to clean and organize them. I can’t help myself. These spaces make my thoughts feel just as cluttered and cramped. I can ignore other people’s clutter to some extent, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t also mentally organizing things around me when I find myself in such a space.

“Clutter” can be hard for home sellers to recognize. It can be as obvious as piles of newspapers, clothes, mail, files and magazines. But it can be photos, shoes, toys and dishes….the list goes on. It can also be an expensive collection of antiques or collectables.

Try to imagine what a potential buyer feels like when looking at a house that’s cluttered. They are not imagining themselves living in the space. Instead, they are distracted by, and focused on, the people who currently live in the space…and wondering what’s the story behind that collection of roosters?

They will likely leave your home feeling negative emotions that are daunting, overwhelming & consuming. They will identify your home as the one with the {insert item name here}, instead of the one with the {insert wonderful feature / strongest selling point here}. That’s it. You just blew your opportunity to make a good first impression. And first impressions are what will make or break you here.

Trust me, it has nothing to do with your decorating style or your taste. It’s not personal. As a home seller, you must remember that you are trying to sell the space, not your stuff. If a potential buyer can’t see past the things in your house, they certainly won’t be able to see and appreciate the space. And then you’ve lost them. This is why how you live in your home is completely different from how you stage your home for sale.

Let me say it again – this is why how you live in your home is completely different from how you stage your home.

Some say that your space is a reflection of your life. I whole-heartedly agree. It stands to reason then, if you are trying to sell your space, it should not reflect your life. Instead, it should reflect the life someone else could have in it.

Go on, be brutal in your quest to declutter your home. Let potential buyers be wowed by the space, the natural light, and all the wonderful details that they will want to own and enjoy for themselves. Pack up those treasures and safely store them while your house is on the market. You’re moving anyway, right?

Achieving inner peace? I’d say I’m a believer.

Be sure to read next week’s blog for room-by-room decluttering tips.

decluttering – tips & tricks

vintage gems