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By : Mark Hostetler    99 or more times read
 
In order to sell your house in a buyer's market, you must make your house stand out from the rest. The first way to do this is to clean your house completely. A thorough clean includes decluttering. You can use this time to get rid of clutter that isn't adding anything to your life - other than something to move aside, shove away, or trip over. This will not only enable you to stage your home more efficiently, it will also lessen the stress of having "mess" to clear away before every home showing.

Take small steps to decluttering. Focus on getting a single area or container decluttered at a time. This could be a counter or a drawer. It doesn't matter as long as you start and do a thorough job on that one space.

Dump everything onto a cleared space and start going through it. One pile is for things that you use and want to keep. The other pile is for things that you don't use and don't need. Be ruthless! The orange juicer that you picked up while on a health kick isn't doing you any good if you use it only once a year. You are probably not going to use the 3-year-old packets of ketchup. While that extra set of measuring spoons will come in handy if your present set get stolen by a thieving baker, they aren't likely to be. Choose a set and let the other go.

After you declutter this small space, put stuff back in an orderly fashion. In some cases, like drawers, you may find that an organizer keeps your things easily separated and accessible.

Lather, rinse, repeat. Do this with all the areas you need to de-clutter. It's best to set up some kind of schedule or plan, so you have a clear idea of what you're doing and when it's time to stop. Decluttering is a thankless task and it's easier to do if you know that you only have one bookshelf to do.

It's not enough to throw stuff out/give stuff away. You need a strategy to deal with the stuff that is going to come in. "A place for everything and everything in its place" is not just an old cliche - it's good sense.

Papers, for instance, should have their own folder. You can purchase an inexpensive file cabinet or file folder to keep track of your important papers. Papers that need to be out for whatever reason should be stored in an In/Out box, which you can buy cheaply or make out of things you already have. ASAP those papers should be filed away, out of sight.

Books need to have their own storage system. Shelves are the usual method, but boxes and drawers can also be utilized to organize books and keep them from contributing to clutter.

Toys have a home in the toy box/basket/hamper. Children's games and activities can also find a home here or on specially designated shelves. Start training your children now to put things away after they are done playing with them. Conduct a family "sweep" every day, where you spend 10 minutes straightening things up and putting things away.

Keep a box for things-that-aren't-used-often-but-are-used-often-enough-to-keep. Store this box away and see if you really use those things that often. If you find that you haven't opened the box in a year, reconsider keeping them.

Look around your house and visualize it as you want to see it staged. Remove everything that interferes with that vision. It may be helpful for you to rent temporary storage so that the items that you do wish to keep can be safely stored away from the house. You could also use this to determine if you really miss these items or whether you'll be glad to have them back when you move.

As you gradually come closer to your goal, you will not only have staged your home as you want it, you will have removed unnecessary things from your life. This also helps you deal with the stress of selling your home and moving.
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