We tend to accumulate all manner of
things as we go through life, and while we’re staying put in one house that’s
just fine. But once you decide to sell your house, all that stuff will get in
the way and could easily kill your sale.
De-cluttering is a process that helps
you to mentally move out of your home, ‘removes’ your ownership of the house
and helps turn it back into a ‘blank canvas’ that could easily become someone
Without de-cluttering, you’ll only
get a good offer from a buyer who likes to live exactly as you do.
We’re all so very different, so what
are the chances of someone else wanting their home to look identical to yours?
When you’re selling, I believe you
should remove about half of your stuff. Apply the 50 per cent rule and get rid
of half the items on any surface or shelf, and in any integral storage areas
such as fitted wardrobes, under-stairs and airing cupboards, and porches.
Garages, attics and sheds need to
store items cleverly so they don’t look over-full and make buyers think you
don’t have enough storage space.
Have a box for each of the following destinations:
• Bin or Tip
• Charity Shop or Give Away
• Keep but Pack Away
Take one area at a time, bring
everything out and try to get about half of the items into one of the above
boxes. The things that stay need to be either:
• Absolutely necessary to daily life
• Attractive in a safe, non-quirky
way (think Ikea art, not Damien Hirst)
• Beautifully matches the room’s
(neutral or safe) colour scheme
Then get rid of the boxes straight
away before things creep back in to mess up your tidy rooms. If you find
you’re struggling with this, carefully choose a friend or family member to
help. Someone who doesn’t live there will have a different view on things,
might suggest solutions you wouldn’t have thought of, and could be the
much-needed voice of reason when you’ve got frustrated and lost the ability to
Top five things you can live without
for a while:
clothes – pack up your summer clothes if you’re selling in winter, and vice
gear, hobby or craft supplies – if you’ve got lots of these things, pick a
sub-set to keep out and pack away the rest for now.
of old paperwork – they really don’t need to be getting in the way while you’re
technology – you know, phones, computers, that box of cables you’re keeping
‘just in case’.
of your CD, DVD and games console collections – free up some of that shelf space
to make everything appear larger.