Each year, the HomeGain National Home Improvement Survey asks real estate professionals this question: What are the Top 10 things a homeowner can do to get their home ready to sell?
Each year, the number one answer is the same: Clean and declutter. In last year’s survey, a huge 99% of REALTORS® named this the most important thing a homeowner can do to ready their home for the market. Agents even estimate that for every dollar homeowners spend on cleaning and organizing, they can expect a 403% return. With professionals recognizing the importance of this task, why do so many of us put it off?
The hardest part of getting organized is getting started. We all tend to put these kinds of things off until later, and later can easily turn into weeks, months, and years. Seize the moment and start thinking of what you can do today. Grab a couple of cardboard boxes (one each for trash, giveaway, and store) and spend a short 30 minutes filling your boxes in just one room of the home. You’ll be surprised what a difference 30 minutes can make.
Stay On Track
Don’t get overwhelmed with the amount of work you need to do to be finished. Focus on one small task at a time. Start with easy tasks like recycling, donating items to charity, or cleaning out your kitchen junk drawer. Don’t start a task you can’t finish in the same day. Those unfinished organization projects can cause a bigger mess than they started.
Choose What Stays and What Goes
Experts often suggest two strategies for deciding what should stick around and what you should toss.
- The 12-month Test: Have you used the item in the last year? If not, let it go.
- The Cardboard Box: Put items you’re not sure about in a cardboard box and set it aside. Whatever gets pulled out and used over the next two months can stay. The things that don’t get rescued should be sent packing.
Hire A Professional
If you find yourself easily overwhelmed or having trouble deciding what you can hold on to, it may be wise to hire a professional organizer. Expect to pay around $50-$90 per hour for their help and expertise. They’ll be able to guide you towards good solutions for your home.