After cleaning your home, the next step is to declutter and depersonalize it. If you haven’t cleaned your home yet, see this post. Decluttering your home is a key part to how to sell your home fast. It allows buyers to see your home for the space it provides without the buyers being distracted by all of your items. Learn how to declutter and depersonalize your home in this post.
To make it easier on you to get the information you need, we are going to break this post into sections. This way you can focus on a room at a time to ensure that you declutter the room properly. Once the areas are decluttered, the next step will be organizing each room – which we will cover in another post. If you feel like your home is already pretty clean, declutter, and organized, then fast forward to this post on how to stage your home!
- How to Declutter the Outside of Your Home – Porches and Patios
- How to Declutter Your Entryway
- How to Declutter Your Dining Room
- How to Declutter Your Living Room
- How to Declutter Your Kitchen
- How to Declutter Your Pantry
- How to Declutter Your Laundry Room
- How to Declutter Your Hallways
- How to Declutter Your Master Bedroom
- How to Declutter Your Master Bathroom and Closet
- How to Declutter the Other Bedrooms, Bathrooms, and Closets in Your Home
- How to Declutter Your Home Office
- How to Declutter Your Garage
- How to Declutter Your Attic
- Your Decluttered Home
How to Declutter the Outside of Your Home – Porches and Patios
Buyers will be making a decision about your home as soon as they pull up outside and you want them to have a great first impression. The biggest impact you can make is to have a clean and decluttered entrance to greet them. Get rid of old, tattered furniture or decorations.
Remove any hanging chimes or artwork. Excess furniture should also be stowed away. You want just enough furniture to define the area, but if there is too much all buyers will see is your furniture instead of your house! This goes for the front and back porch.
You don’t want to leave any shoes sitting outside, or have any tools lying around. The front porch and entryway should be clean. If you have potted plants, make sure the pots looks nice and that there aren’t too many. Potted plants can be clutter as well, so stick to the rule with the furniture, have enough to help define the space, but not overtake it.
How to Declutter Your Entryway
Once buyers step into your home, they should be greeted by a bright, clean, spacious environment. Don’t let their first peek inside your home be an eyesore. Keep this area tidy, neat, and decluttered.
The entryway, or foyer, is the perfect place for homeowners to keep mail, keys, jackets, umbrellas, and even shoes handy. But while your home is on the market, you need to utilize this space for its functionality: an entrance. So clean up the mess!
Decluttering your entryway is going to help show off the space. Buyers are going to be able to focus more on viewing your home rather than be distracted by all your personal items.
Let’s start with the big items and work our way down to the small things. Just like the patio, make sure you don’t have too much furniture in this space. The furniture you do have should be sleek and streamlined. You don’t want anything bulky located in the entryway.
You can have a sleek buffet table or even a bench with storage space underneath. These storage compartments will help declutter all of the things you keep lying around in your entryway. You can pop mail, pet toys, kid toys, keys, umbrellas, and other clutter into the drawers. You can even create space for shoes and a separate compartment to fold jackets into!
Some decorations can stay in the entryway, but limit items. Most knick knacks group well in odd numbers, such as a group of three. Be sure to depersonalize the space while you’re decluttering. Having personal photographs around the home is a constant reminder to buyers that you live there. You want buyers to be envisioning themselves in their future home while they tour your house.
How to Declutter Your Dining Room
The biggest concern with the dining room is furniture. Most often people try to fill this space with a huge table, lots of chairs, and a big china cabinet. Unfortunately, doing this causes the space to look and feel smaller. So the first step will be to take out any excess chairs and make sure your table and china cabinet aren’t too big for the space.
Remove a piece of furniture if your dining room feels to full. Use a rug to define the area underneath the table. If you keep the china cabinet in the space, be sure that you don’t have too many dishes and plates showing. Be sure to clear off the dining room table. Don’t leave paperwork or your child’s art project there!
Before a showing, set the table and add in a nice centerpiece. You can read our staging post for more information on this. Remove any heavy drapes since you want all the natural light you can get in this space. Lastly, make sure there aren’t too many picture frames on the wall, and depersonalize the space if needed.
How to Declutter Your Living Room
The living room may take some work to declutter. Living rooms tend to be a bit of a black hole for most homes. The goal here is to make the area as streamlined as possible. Start by removing bulky window frames and let the light in! Next, let’s get everything up off the floor. This includes children toys, pet toys, any clothing, paperwork, or shoes.
Buy bins that will fit into cabinets to store all loose items. Next, you want to remove everything but lamps off of tables, this includes any stacks of magazines or mail. You can add in a few decorations so the area isn’t bare, but start with a blank slate. Remember, knick knacks group well in odds, so try putting 3 decorations together!
You also want to make sure any shelves aren’t too cluttered. If you have books or DVDs, make sure they are all stacked in the same direction. Depersonalize the space and remove any personal photos. Place a rug underneath any tables to define the area.
Now that you have cleaned up all of the items in your living room, check to make sure that your furniture is sized appropriately for the area. Remove any excess furniture that is too large for the space. Having too much furniture, or oversized furniture, will cause the living room to feel cramped. We are decluttering because we want the space to feel larger, so don’t skip over the furniture!
How to Declutter Your Kitchen
Decluttering your kitchen is a matter of cleaning off the counters and fridge. With the counter space decluttered, potential buyers will be able to see your kitchen as is in addition to how much counter space is available.
The first step is to take everything off of your counters. Only put back items that you use daily. Know that for showings you will need to clear off counters as much as you can, so this is just prep work for that. You can view our post on how to stage your kitchen for more information.
Buyers are going to open your fridge, so go ahead and give your fridge a nice clean out. Take out anything old, expired, or other items that you will no longer use. Make it a habit to clean your fridge every week so that before a showing all you will have to do is wipe the fridge down.
Buyers will also open some of your cabinets and drawers to see the spaces. Make sure that all drawers slide open easily and that nothing falls out of the cabinets when you open them. If you have the time, go ahead and sort through glasses, cups, utensils, and cookware to donate or throw items out that you no longer use. This will help you when it comes time to move.
The last thing for the kitchen area is to make sure there are no toys or pet items in this space. This includes the eat in area if you have one connected to your kitchen. Keep this space decluttered as well, removing items from the floor and table, in order to allow the buyers to see the space. Define the area with a rug to make the eat in table its own space.
How to Declutter Your Pantry
The pantry is a space that doesn’t have to be decluttered completely to wow buyers, but while you are going through the home you should take advantage of your decluttering spree. Go through the items and trash anything that is expired. Round up all your plastic bags and either recycle them or find a container to place them in.
Donate any canned goods that you no longer plan on using. Last, take all of the items off your pantry floor. Anything left on the floor will make the space seem more cluttered. If you want a quick organizational tip, group items by category and then turn all of the labels towards the front. This will create an organized feel to your panty.
How to Declutter Your Laundry Room
Your laundry room should be easy to declutter. The first thing you can do is buy a clothes hamper with a lid. This way when you have showings you won’t have to worry about your dirty clothes.
Buyers usually won’t open the cabinets in this space, but you can buy bins to store all of your cleaning products in. As you are going through everything, throw out any empty bottles you come across and get rid of trash. Make sure that there are no items on top of the washer or dryer or any cabinets that are in this area.
How to Declutter Your Hallways
Your hallways need to be decluttered as well! You want your entire home to feel spacious. The first thing you want to do is remove any bulky window coverings. You want to let as much light as you can into the space. Next, depersonalize the photos in the hallways and take down some photos if the hallways feel too busy.
Make sure there are no toys or pet toys in the hallway and straighten any rugs or runners. If you have any tables, make sure they aren’t too bulky. Think of the kind of table you would want for your entryway, something streamlined with storage areas to place items inside.
How to Declutter Your Master Bedroom
The master bedroom will take some work to declutter and depersonalize, but it will be worth it to impress potential buyers. Let’s open up the space by removing any window coverings or heavy drapes. Make sure the bed isn’t too big for the room.
The best way to dress up the room is to put night tables on both sides, but keep in mind you don’t want them to take up too much room. Same with any dressers or chairs in the master bedroom. Any extra furniture needs to accentuate the space, not overtake it.
Buy some bins so you can store the items lying around your bedroom in before a showing. Go ahead and stow away all items except lamps on your night tables. Any jewelry, clothing, or knick knacks need to cleared off of the cabinet and dresser tops. Depersonalize any photos in this space as well.
How to Declutter Your Master Bathroom and Closet
The master bathroom needs to be decluttered and depersonalized. Any personal photos need to be removed. This is so the buyer focuses on the room instead of any of your personal effects. You want to declutter the counters and be sure to show as much space as you can.
You can purchase bins to place loose items in so that you can put everything on the countertops into one of these bins before a showing. Buyers may want to open up the bathroom cabinets and drawers, so be sure everything opens easily.
The master closets also need to be decluttered. The first step is to take all of the items off of the floor. When you remove everything from the floor it makes the space feel bigger. Remove any extra hangers as they fill the closet and can be an eyesore.
If you have too many shoes in the space, buy an organizational rack to place them on, or take our any pairs that aren’t in season and store them in a separate location. The same goes for if you have too many clothes in the space. Go through and take any items that aren’t in season and pack them into a separate container. If you find any shoes or clothing that you no longer want, create a donation pile.
How to Declutter the Other Bedrooms, Bathrooms, and Closets in Your Home
Extra bedrooms in your home that are extra spaces should be pretty decluttered already. Go ahead and depersonalize these rooms and pick up any loose items. Make sure the bed fits nicely and any other furniture isn’t too large for the room. Keep excess items off of table and dresser tops and be sure to pull back any drapes to let the light in.
For children’s rooms, you want to buy large bins that you can toss items inside before a showing. You can always sort the toys, put DVDs and books into drawers and cabinets, and remove knick knacks off of dresser tops. But all of these items could be back out by the end of the day! So make it easier on yourself so you can simply do a quick clean before showing the home.
In the children’s closet you can do some organization by taking all the items on the floor and placing them in bins to store on the clothes rack. Remove extra hangers and remove any clothing and shoes that are out of season for a less cluttered look. The large bins for all of the toys out and about in the room can be placed on the floor so items can easily be tossed inside.
All of the extra bathrooms need to be decluttered. All items except for hand towels, soap, and kleenexes need to be taken off the countertops. Any toys or other loose items should be place in bins and stored inside the bathroom cabinets.
If cleaning products are present, go through and toss any empty bottles or products that you no longer use. Buyers aren’t likely to open any cabinets or drawers, but make sure they all open easily and nothing falls out when you do.
The other closets in your home will need to be decluttered in the same way as your master bedroom. Take all of the items off of the floor to make the space feel larger. Remove any extra hangers and clothing. Place any other loose items in bins to store on top of the clothes rack. If you are going through all of the clothing and shoes, you can also create a donate pile to get rid of the clothing you no longer need.
How to Declutter Your Home Office
Your home office needs to be decluttered so that buyers see it as a functional space. Most buyers want an office space in their house, even if they don’t work from home full time. Decluttering this space shouldn’t be too difficult!
First, depersonalize the area. This means stowing any pictures, certificates, or awards that you may have displayed. You also want to make sure your home office space isn’t cluttered with paperwork, pens, or binders.
It you are currently still utilizing your office space for work, create a separate drawer where you can easily place the documents you are working on it. This way you can simply pop in everything right before a showing to declutter the space!
How to Declutter Your Garage
Decluttering your garage is going to be the biggest task for most people. The reason why you need to declutter your garage is because buyers are concerned about the size of this area. They want to make sure their cars can be stowed here. If you did step one, cleaning your home, then you should have already gotten rid of a lot of items in this area. If not, let’s go back over this part again.
The garage tends to end up as an extra storage space for most homeowners, so the first thing we’re going to do is sort through all the items. Take everything out and create different piles: a trash pile, donate pile, keep and pack pile, and a pile for items that you currently use and want to keep in the garage. For any paints or sprays that you want to get rid of, be sure to dispose of these items properly.
Buy storage containers for your keep and pack pile, or go ahead and purchase moving boxes to place items in. Doing this now will also help you when it comes time to move, so you will thank yourself later!
For the bins with the items you want to keep, but don’t necessarily need to have in the garage, put as many of these in the attic as you can! This way you won’t be keeping unnecessary items in your garage, which will help it stay cleaned out.
The rest of the bins that you are keeping in the garage don’t need to be stacked up against walls on their own. This leaves the area still feeling cluttered. You can buy hanging racks to place items or even cabinets to stack items. This defines the storage area and keeps it from feeling cluttered.
One tip we do suggest is if you have more than one bicycle, to buy a vertical hanging rack for the bikes. This will clear out so much space for the floor of your garage.
The biggest impact you can have is a spacious garage where cars can fit. If you have a two car garage, make sure that you show enough space for two cars to fit.
Some owners create different spaces in their garage. This is perfectly fine and buyers may even see your space and like it enough to copy it. The main thing you want to do is define the space in your garage, whether it’s a workshop, gym, or laundry area. You also want to make sure that you can get to these areas easily. The pathways should be clear.
How to Declutter Your Attic
Decluttering your attic isn’t necessary when putting your home on the market. Buyers are able to gauge the size of this space from the roof and tend to expect the attic to be full. In fact, all of the belongings that you want to keep but have to put away for decluttering and staging will end up here.
The best thing you can do is make sure there aren’t any loose items. Keep everything in storage bins or boxes. Try to keep the front space of the attic clear so you have the ability to move around. If you can, create a pathway so you can get to everything in your attic.
Your Decluttered Home
Now, doesn’t your house feel better? We’ve eliminated all of the distraction of items, donated items you no longer use, and packed away items that you want to keep, but don’t need right now. Now each space is going to feel more defined.
Without all the extra ‘stuff’ each room will feel more purposeful and streamlined. You aren’t quite done with getting your home market ready yet, but you’re a step closer! If you want a different approach to decluttering, try the Japanese method, KonMari. Click here for a post that covers how to use it!
The ultimate goal is to end up with a perfectly staged home that will appeal to buyers. As we mentioned at the top, the first step is cleaning, then decluttering your home. After these steps you will organize (learn how to organize your house here!) and then stage your home! A perfectly staged home is a process, but it will help you sell your home faster.
If you’re looking to do something more permanent in your home, like creating a new space or redecorating, read this post on the rooms to remodel before selling your home. For a complete guide on how to sell your home with all the steps, click on this link.