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How to declutter your home

Tips for getting your house ready to sell

Cleaning out your house is an important step to get your home ready to sell. Decluttering can make it easier to make repairs and updates, helps your home show better, and makes moving easier. Here are some tips to help you tackle the job!

9 tips for decluttering your home

  • Create keep, donate, recycle, and trash boxes. Deciding what you want to keep is as important as deciding what you don’t. These four boxes can help you get started.
  • Start small. Don’t try to do your whole house all at once. Set aside a few minutes each day to tackle a drawer, table, counter, or cabinet. Once you get into a groove, you can move to bigger jobs like closets, basements, attics, and garages.
  • Donate clothes you never wear. You may have clothes in good condition you no longer wear or that no longer fit. Donating them is a great way to declutter your home.
  • Digitize your mementos. If you have tons of photos, children’s artwork, or other papers, making digital copies is another great way to declutter. Digital copies are easier to preserve and share than physical copies, as well.
  • Use the “Marie Kondo” rule. It’s not always easy to clean out your house, especially when you have possessions tied to memories of family and friends. One way to make decisions is to keep representative items. For example, you might keep two settings of your grandmother’s china, then sell the rest. Also follow the Marie Kondo rule. If something doesn’t give you joy, you don’t need to keep it in your home.
  • Empty it out. Sometimes you don’t know what’s in a closet or basement until you start taking things out of it. These can be big projects, so save them for the weekend or days when you have plenty of time.
  • Set a schedule. By breaking tasks into a schedule, you can tackle rooms and achieve your goals. This is especially helpful if you’re moving and have a closing date.
  • Make it fun. Put on some music (try this playlist!), enlist a friend to help, and have some snacks on hand to make the process feel less daunting.
  • Consider hiring professionals. There are professionals who can help you clean out and organize your home. These professionals can save you time and help you make decisions about what to keep and what not to keep.

How to get rid of unwanted items

Once you have done the cleaning out and sorting of your possessions, you need to find a way to get rid of them. Here are some options:

  • Trash. Things that are worn out or broken should be thrown out. You may have to save large items for special trash days or request a special pick up from your community. When you have old paint or other similar items, you may need to take them to a special location.
  • Recycle. Old papers are easy to recycle. It’s a good idea to shred old financial records and tax returns first. Also consider recycling old electronics by placing them in collection bins you can find in many places.
  • Donate. Organizations such as the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or Veteran associations will usually take your unwanted items. Some charities will come to your home to pick up furniture and other household goods. Many times, local social media pages let you list items you want to give away, too.
  • Yard sales. People love to look through other people’s stuff, and sometimes, they buy it, too. Yard sales can help you clean out your home, but they take a lot of work, you don’t usually make a lot of money, and anything you don’t sell you have to carry back inside.
  • Websites. There are lots of websites that let you run online yard sales, although these have many of the same issues as in-person yard sales. There are also websites that may buy household items from you.
  • Used books, music, and clothing stores. Books, music, movies, and clothing are things you can often sell to stores or consignment shops.
  • Estate sale businesses. When you have a significant number of possessions to sell, including furniture and valuable household items, you may be able to hire estate sale professionals. The professionals often know how much your possessions are worth, will price them appropriately, and run the sales for you in return for a commission.

Decluttering isn’t just for home sellers

Of course, you can enjoy the benefits of decluttering when you are planning to keep living in your current home, too! Cleaning out your house can make your home have a more relaxing atmosphere and will take less work to maintain.

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