Order = Organized for Selling and Moving.
Preparing your home to sell it means preparing it for showings. If you have the right realtor (ME!) with a flawless marketing plan, (again ME!) you’re about to have lots of potential buyers in your home trying to decide if it’s a good fit for them. To put your home’s best foot forward, you’ll need to do a little clearing out.
Preparing your home when you live in it is very different from preparing your home when you want to sell it. It needs to appeal to the largest number of people possible to get that SOLD! sign in the yard in a timely manor.
There’s no better time than the present to get your home organized so it shows well. Organizing for a move is a bit more intense than organizing to have friends over for dinner. You can’t just stuff whatever is laying around in the closets and call it good. Buyers open closets, kitchen drawers, dressers, and anything else you can think of. A disorganized home leads the buyer to believe your house is not properly maintained. Their perception becomes your reality barrier.
A little work up front will minimize the stress of being ready to show at a moment’s notice if necessary. And it will save you time, energy and money in the long run, as you won’t be packing unnecessary items. When preparing to sell, less is more. The less in a room, the larger it appears. The less clutter, the more buyers will fall in love with the rooms and not get focused on litter or knick-knacks. With a little help from my colleague and Professional Organizer, Jodi Granok, owner of Organizing Magic, I’m going to give you some tips to make your home buyer-ready!
Where do I start?
1. Furniture - If you still have your couch from college in the basement or rec room because it’s really just where the kids hang out, now might be the time to pitch it. You don’t need your great uncle’s kitchen table or that night stand you bought at a garage sale; it doesn’t match anything, but it was such a bargain. LetGo, Craigs List, or a neighborhood swap site are great places for someone else to take your treasures.
2. Small appliances - If you’ve had a juicer for 10 years and never used it, then it might be time to donate it to someone who wants one. Same goes for tools and duplicate items – who really needs the extra glass coffee carafe for the pot that broke last year? (The answer is “no one!”)
3. Closets – Clean ‘em out! When closets are well organized and not over stuffed, they feel larger to a potential buyer. Have clothes mushed together is just as notable to a buyer as a neon sign screaming, “This house doesn’t have enough closet space!”
4. Electronics, Sports Equipment and Tools - If I had a nickel for every house I’ve been in that has a collection of old computers, monitors, cords that go to nothing, old printers, hockey skates, helmets, etc. in the basement, I’d pay someone else a hefty sum to write this newsletter J
Go through every room with the intention to truly clear out. Black bags for trash, white or clear bags for donating. It’s going to feel great! I promise.
Now for organizing while you pack what is left.
Pack by area.
Think of how and where you plan to store things in your new home. If there are tools in several areas of your current house, pack them together. Do the same for your books, DVD’s, games, etc.
There are things you’ll need right when you get to your new home: important papers, banking, time sensitive projects, silverware … Pack these last and mark the boxes clearly with labels that say, OPEN ME FIRST!
You’ll likely have movers and others helping you on move-in day. Make sure every box is clearly marked with 1. The name of the new location/room. 2. The contents. 3. Other important information like “Fragile,” or “This End UP” with some arrows. On moving day, I put large notes on the doors such as, “Jane’s Room,” “Office,” and “Storage #1.” so movers only have to ask once.
On your last night in the house, pack a 24-hour bag, or 36-hour if you’re a recovering girl scout like me! This will contain everything you’d need if you were going away for the weekend. Put this in the car, not the moving truck. You might also consider any valuable jewelry, check books, laptop computers, moving company contracts, and sensitive documents.
Move In Day!
Last in, first out. Make sure those last boxes loaded what you’ll need first. Bedding, shower curtains, towels, kitchen items needed for the first meal, and don’t forget the hand soap and toilet paper!