Tips for Eliminating Clutter
Even if your Albuquerque/Rio Rancho area home is kept tidy, decluttering your home is essential to getting it ready for your open house and for showings.
When potential homebuyers are shown your home, they can easily become overwhelmed and distracted by visual clutter. Here are eight easy ways to eliminate the mess and make your home show-ready.
1) Get rid of stuff you don’t need. Keeping your home clutter-free is an ongoing process, but during this important time, you’ll need to remove things you’re not using. Go through every room in your home, one at time and sort into piles:
1. Sell – move into storage bins during showings or have a garage sale
2. Donate – load up the car right away and donate it
3. Trash – take it right to the curb
If you’re having trouble deciding, sometimes it’s helpful to ask yourself, “If I was in a store right now, would I buy this?” If the answer is no—let someone else enjoy it, or toss it.
2) Consider furniture with hidden storage solutions. Decorative storage trunks that double as guest seating and beds with built-in drawers are smart long-term investments.
3) Invest in inexpensive storage containers. After you’ve removed items you’re no longer using, keep your belongings in storage containers so everything has its place. These can be as simple as baskets for magazines, blankets or pillows, media boxes for electronics and cords, or plastic bins for seasonal items that you can store in your attic, garage, or basement.
4) Use storage systems. Keeping shoes in a hanging shoe rack in a foyer or bedroom closet, and hanging bags in the closet are a great way keeps your floors clear of clutter. Same goes for closets—you can find some inexpensive hanging systems to hold foldable items and keep them out of sight.
5) Keep counters clear. In the kitchen, keep small kitchen appliances like toasters and coffee makers stowed when you’re not using them to show off your home’s abundant counter space. In the bathroom, keep personal items in baskets or cabinets and completely out of sight.
6) Handle mail right away. Don’t let mail or magazines pile up. Go through the new mail when it arrives, sort and throw away anything you don’t need right away. Use a simple filing system for mail and papers you’ll need, or take photos of items with your smartphone and toss them right away.
7) Start a basket system. Designate a basket for each person in your family, and as you’re decluttering, drop each family member’s items into their basket and have them put items away at the end of every day. You can keep these baskets on the stairs or under an entryway bench.
8) Make decluttering an ongoing activity. Decluttering shouldn’t only happen before an open house. Keep your home fresh and clutter-free all year long by using some simple tricks like throwing out five items every time you clean a room, tossing or donating old clothes every time you buy something new, and filling a bag to donate every week. Also, being mindful of new items you bring into your home will help maximize your decluttering efforts.
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris
Tips for Moving Out of Your Sold Home
The papers are signed, and you’re anxiously and excitedly planning your move into your new home. Here are some ways to make moving day go swimmingly.
1) Lighten your moving day load. This is a great time to hold a yard sale, donate items to Goodwill, and toss items you haven’t used in over a year.
2) Make sure your furniture will fit. Nothing is worse than moving a huge dining hutch or another bulky piece of furniture only to find out it won’t fit in the room. Measure the rooms in your new home, and your furniture to make sure you have adequate space. If it doesn’t fit, add it to your yard sale or your donation pile.
3) Schedule a babysitter and a pet sitter. Having your children and your pets looked after, and out of the way will help make the day run smoothly.
4) Forward your mail. You can do this online at usps.com, and leave the mailbox key behind.
5) Notify utilities of your moving date. The new owners may need to contact them as well to set up their accounts, so keep communication open between your real estate agent and the buyer’s agent.
6) Pack by room. As you pack up each room, organize each room’s boxes so they can be loaded—and later, unloaded by room.
7) Keep hardware from furniture together. Keep the hardware for any furniture you’re going to disassemble like beds and dresser mirrors in zippered sandwich bags and tape them to the furniture items for easy reassembly.
8) Number your boxes. This can be helpful if you have a lot of boxes or are hiring movers. Indicate an inventory number on each box and keep a separate list of box numbers and their contents.
9) Wrap fragile items like a pro. Pack plates vertically in small to medium sized boxes, keep glassware safe by wrapping in socks or dish towels, rent some moving blankets to cover your large electronics and furniture to keep them from knocking against each other in the moving truck. Consider moving items that are extra fragile in your vehicle with you and stowing them safely in a closet in your new home until you’re ready to unpack them. Wrap china in plain paper since newspaper can stain your dishes. Lastly, fill those boxes up—making sure there’s no empty space as this keeps items from shifting, and potentially breaking.
10) Label and organize your boxes. On each box, indicate the room it will be placed in, along with the contents. Doing this will make for easy unloading and sorting.
11) Pack heavy items smartly. Pack dense items like books in bankers boxes or rolling suitcases to save your back. Renting a dolly is always worth the money. You can also combine heavy and light items like books and electronics with light objects like clothing—this will also help provide a cushion, keeping items safe.
12) Clean your home. You should leave your house how you’d like to find your new home. Go ahead and schedule a cleaning for your home once you’ve moved out to cover all the appliances and spots that get ignored throughout the year. Leave a few cleaning supplies, hand soap, and paper towels for the new owners—it will help make their move in day easier!
13) Fuel for your movers. Moving day is taxing, make sure you have some grab-and-go snacks and plenty of drinks available for yourselves and your moving helpers.
Hoping move-out day will come sooner rather than later? Reach out with your timeframe goals for selling and moving out of your home so you can work with a local agent to make it happen!