I had someone recently ask me what is decluttering and why would I bother to do it? Well decluttering is the act of removing the clutter from your home in order to accentuate its positives as opposed to hiding them with clutter. Clutter can include all sorts of personal items such as photographs, trophies, paperwork, toys, kids artwork and anything that is personal enough that could tell a stranger about you and your family. As I look around my own home, I would have to remove numerous photographs, I would remove clutter such as the paperwork that is piled on my desk, the memorabilia on the walls in the study, the many books lining my bookshelves, my perfume and jewellery etc etc, you get the picture.
In staging, as in styling and decorating LESS IS MORE! Too much clutter in a home can give off the wrong impression for a possible purchaser. These people are not interested in your personal items and seeing your life in pictures, they want to be able to picture their life in this house. They want to be able to see the benefits that it brings and how perfect it is for their family.
The process of decluttering is not only done to accentuate the positives but I also recommend it for safety and security reasons. Complete strangers should not be able to see photos of your family and all of your personal and sometimes expensive belongings, which is why I would pack away my jewellery.
A perfect example of when decluttering works well would be a bookcase or storage visible within the home. If the storage or bookcase is full, the only items the buyer sees is all of the books and the items packed in there, as a general rule, storage should be staged as being half full, that way the buyer will see the storage provided and not the items in it. In a bookcase I would suggest that half/most of the books and items packed in the bookcase be taken out and replaced with a few small decorative items and a few books stacked up, but make them your best books! A vase with flowers, a small decorative bowl or a candle would also look very effective in a bookcase. These decorative pieces draw attention to the storage provided in the property and not to the items. The last thing a buyer wants is a house with no storage.
The best advice I can give anyone wanting to declutter their home, aside from giving me a call for some advice, put yourself in a purchasers shoes, it is likely that if you are selling your home you have been walking through open houses looking to purchase a property yourself, think about some of the things you have seen and the things that created memories for you, whether they be good or bad. Then for your home do the same, walk through your home inspecting at your belongings and look at what they will see and what will leave a good impression and a bad impression. Now throw away anything that will give that bad impression and accentuate what gives off the good impression.
When I declutter a home it is brutal but it is worth it. I go through each room in the home one by one and can either offer advice of the type of things to remove, or I can hold your hand through the process and help pack the boxes or store away the belonings no longer needed. It is a difficult process because the owner may have to say goodbye to some of those precious items, but think of it as not saying goodbye, saying see you later when you unpack them in your new home. You are just getting started on packing up your home early. It can take a few hours but at the completion of the declutter process your home can look perfect, just like a display home, appealing to its target market. It can help give a property the wow factor, if a possible buyer leaves your home with the 'wow' memory, they will not forget your property quickly and will most likely come back for another look and possibly even put in the great offer you have been waiting for.
If you can create that fantastic first impression in your home then you will sell your house quicker and you will make even more profit.