Step 1. Grab your cell phone. Go through your house room by room. Shoot several angles of each room.
Step 2. Sit down. Look at all the photos. What does your eye see? If your rooms aren’t looking magazine-ready (most don’t), what can you do to get closer to a pretty picture?
Step 3. Purge party. Edit for success. Go back to the first room. Start there. De-clutter. All of it. Day by day. If it takes a month, or two or six, do NOT market your home until it looks like Nate Burkus or the Gaines live there.
De-Clutter: definition– that means say good-bye to all the little trinkets, papers, stacks, small decorative “stuff”. All of it. The goal here is to have clean surfaces, neatly made beds, no clothes hanging on treadmills you haven’t touched for years, high school corsages, a million photos, 3rd grade art projects, man cave beer bottle collections, lava lamps, convention tags with your name on them hanging from lanyards on the door knob or sales awards you received 2 jobs ago. You get the (bad) picture!
Anytime and every time you start to say to yourself, “Well, I may use this sometime,” if you haven’t used it in a year, you aren’t going to; just stop. That isn’t happening. So, just give it away! Clothes with price tags you bought “on-sale” and too small because you were doing to “lose weight” need to go into a give-away pile. Same with shoes that are pretty, but they hurt! Same with your husband’s garage tools, old paint cans, broken lamps you’ll never fix, etc. All must go.
Step 4. Clean the kitchen! If you just love that olive oil you bought in Tuscany, great! It goes in the pantry or cabinet, NOT on the counter. Same for spices. If you need to, buy a round spinner for spices and place it into a clean cupboard to get them organized and out of the buyer’s eye-line. Throw away duplicate cooking utensils. And, for heaven sakes, get rid of the lids that match nothing and bottom containers with no lids! If your drawers are stained or tired, buy plastic shelf liner and use it.
Clean, clutter-free surfaces allow the buyer to see the house, not your stuff!
Step 5. Get stuff off the floor! That includes the dog’s bowls, dead or old plants, fake flowers that haven’t been dusted maybe ever, dog toys, kids’ stuff thrown away, donated or hidden! Toys of any kind, no matter how darling they are, are just a distraction. And those never-leave-the-planet Cozy Coupes, small slides and playhouses have to go. Everything that isn’t a chair leg, table leg, carpet or standing lamp on the floor needs to be lifted from its home on the floor. Stacks, baskets, magazines, old books–you can replace by reading all online. Clear the floor so the space looks larger.
Step 6. All together now, one more time! Review and repeat. Just when you think you’ve tossed it all, re-shoot the photos. Room by room, go back and be brutal. Nobody else loves your stuff like you do! Especially the year-round Christmas décor! Second time around, you are going to wonder why you didn’t do this sooner. The house looks bigger and airier, right? It may feel so good you decide not to sell, but if you do, the buyer will likely make a quicker offer for more money. More money is one good reason to crush the clutter. Your bank account is the only place for more clutter. Clutter it with money! This is the payoff for what may have been a painful process. You’ll be glad you took the first step and will find yourself doing the hokey-pokey in that brand spanking clean de-cluttered masterpiece you’ve created.
Step 7. Stop reading this right now and get to it! What are you waiting for? And, please send me a note when you are done or a selfie of you doing the hokey-pokey in your sparkling, clutter-free haven!