When clients ask what's one thing they can do to get ready to sell their home before our consultation, I tell them to declutter! Getting rid of and organizing items scattered around your home really helps to make your home feel more cozy - and that's great for YOU even if you don't decide to sell your home.

Plus, when you do choose to sell your home, the buyers will see the full beauty of the home you love so much!

All of that stuff that we never use can make your house feel small and prevents buyers from seeing themselves living in your home. So put your cleaning cap on and get to clearing out your house. And remember, less clutter means a quicker, cheaper and easier move for you!

Here are Kristen's 5 tips for decluttering your home:

1. Keep only the clothes you actually wear - Closets are a huge selling feature for homes. You want buyers to admire your walk-in master closet, rather than cringe at piles of unworn clothes and shoes. Floor space is huge. The more floor someone can see, the larger the closet feels! To get rid of clothes you don't wear, a pro tip is to hang your clothes backwards. Once you wear a piece of clothing, hang it back up with the hanger facing the right direction. After 3-6 months, you will be able to see which clothes can stay, and which ones just take up space.

2. Minimize wall hangings and remove family photos - Anything hung at eye level can be distracting for buyers. You want them looking at your beautiful wood floors, high ceilings, and renovated kitchen - not your child's art project from last year (even though it's SO cute and really artistic!!).  Avoid hanging family photos or kids' art work. Wall space with minimal & strategically placed artwork will provide the warmth to your home without the distraction of personalized family photos and art projects. Plus, when placed strategically and proportionally, a buyer will be able to envision they favorite artwork in place, adding depth to the emotional connection with your house.

3. Pack up bookshelves and night stands - For many people - me included - bookshelves and night stands can become "catch alls." As we've mentioned before, clutter takes away from a buyer's attention to your house. It's ideal for your bookshelves to contain only books and non-personalized decor that fills the space without overcrowding. Night stands are a similar story. Keep only those things that are "permanent" such as alarms and docking stations - things that show that someone actually lives there. Since bookshelves and night stands are not big selling features, having them as focal points might detract from a buyer's experience in your home.

4. Clean kitchen pantry & cabinets - The running theme in all these tips is that you need your home to feel like it offers space and comfort for a buyer. Your kitchen pantry and cabinets are no exception. People always look in the pantry and cabinets. Always! Having clutter and mess signals that the space might not be efficient and cannot provide adequate room for their items. If you're like me, your pantry holds things you've had since you moved into your home. Take time to remove all items that have expired AND things that you cannot remember the last time you used or what you bought it for in the first place. From there, organize with like items so that it's orderly and you can find items at a glance. Your life will be easier and a buyer will feel better about how they can live in your house! And while you're at it, address the linen closets. Buyers look there, too!

5. Donate or sell furniture - Configure your furniture in a way that allows buyers to walk through your home easily and see how much floor space there is. If you find it hard to make a good flow, you can take action! This is a great opportunity to donate or sell furniture that is old or needing to be replaced. Pro tip: sell furniture items on neighborhood swap groups via social media. If you're not a member of swap groups, let me know and I'll invite you to ones that I'm a member of. Staging your house with the furniture you already have is one of my favorite tricks to get your home ready to sell for little expense. Having your furniture ready for that helps if timing is important to you! If you have questions about specific furniture pieces any time, always feel free to call me!