Turn “For Sale” into “Under Contract” with these 10 Decluttering Hacks

You’ve found your dream home. Now there’s only one thing left to do—sell your own house!

When you’re getting your house ready to show, you’re not just selling a home, but promoting a lifestyle the buyer would like to have. They need to be able to visualize living comfortably in your space.

Yes, that means decluttering your things and staging for the buyers. Before you groan (But that’s so much work!), look at it this way—purging what you don’t need now will help you move less stuff later. You’ll pack eventually anyway, right?

Here’s the good news: We're here to help! We’ve broken down what you’ll need to do by each area of the home, and given you plenty of DIY hacks:

1. The Kitchen

Get the kitchen as clean, odor-free, and clutter-free as possible by editing your dishes, pantry and countertops. Keep one set of all dishes and pots and pans, and then store or donate the rest. The same goes for the pantry—cut out about half of what you have. Box up dry food to move with you or donate. And whatever you do, be extra careful with the fridge! Nothing can ruin a buyer’s experience like smelling spoiled veggies or hard-boiled eggs. If you have a countertop or island, set a few place settings so the potential buyer can visualize eating there with friends and family. Make it come alive for them!

2. Entryways

Give the appearance of a neat and guest-friendly home by creating a place for boots, coats, books and bags. If you have this space already, make sure it looks tidy. If you need to create this area, it’s pretty easy to get an affordable bench or hooks and set one up. Here are two ideas we really love, which can be purchased cheap and easily moved to your new home.

We love this two piece set, because you can add a bit of your own style to it. Grab this one with free shipping from  Wayfair.com.  

We love this two piece set, because you can add a bit of your own style to it. Grab this one with free shipping from Wayfair.com. 

3. Bathrooms

Show that the space works by using minimal products and white colors. Don’t have 30 of each product. Do you really need four different shampoos anyway? Have one soap, one shampoo, one tube of toothpaste, etc. White towels also give off that relaxing spa vibe.

4. Medicine Cabinet

Pare down the medicine cabinet by removing expired meds and duplicates. No prospective homebuyer wants to open a medicine cabinet and see a Chicago Med scene. Get storage boxes like this awesome customizable line from AliExpress. Here’s a twist: even though you are paring down the meds, keep a few vitamins; the idea that you take care of yourself signals that you also take care of your home.

5. Office

Make sure the office is neat, but do show buyers that the space is actually used as a workspace. You can let up on the de-cluttering here…just a little bit. Maybe a laptop, notepad, pens and photos placed neatly on the desk. This is a big one. The office is where a sale can be made or lost, especially for the growing work-from-home population. If this room is currently used for any other purpose, go ahead and stage it as an office while your home is being shown.

6. Closets

Eliminate half of your closet by putting away clothes or shoes that are not in season. Spread the hangers out, even have a few empties to give the appearance that your closets have more space. And don’t mix items. We all have the combo clothes/storage/exercise equipment closet, but when showing your house, use each closet for one purpose only.

7. Kids’ Rooms

Put two-thirds of the toys away. Toys are obviously great for the kids, but so many of these little items give off the appearance of chaos and clutter, even if they are organized into one bin. Box them up to move, or donate to charity. Use this opportunity to really pare down your kids stuff. You don't want to bring old, dirty, or broken toys into a brand new home anyway.

8. Multi-use Rooms

Pick one use for a room and stick to it. Remove everything else. The exercise equipment next to the guest bed next to the file cabinet next to the wine rack tells buyers that the space is too small and crowded and their stuff won’t fit. Also, providing a potential buyer with the feeling that their new home has a gym, wine cellar, or guest room versus having one more “room” will make a bigger impact when they are deciding.

9. Outdoor spaces

Build curb appeal from the front and a small oasis in the back.  Planting new flowers in the font will add a pop of color to catch buyers’ eyes. If you have furniture you can see from the street, make sure it’s a set and is in good condition. Use plants or lighting to create a definitive and welcoming walkway to the house. In the back, stage an outdoor eating area and surround it with candles and colorful plants. Create a relaxing entertaining area with a grill and additional seating.

10. Finishing Touches

Finally, arrange your furniture away from the wall to direct the flow of the room, and add a few small items to give a cozy vibe without adding extra bulk or clutter. Replace a good amount of your family photos with stylish painting or mirrors.  And don’t forget to add the plants inside too!


If you’re planning a move, schedule an appointment with us to help with the first layer of decluttering, organizing and packing to set you up for optimal staging (and optimal offers!).

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From Synced Spaces, where we create organizational happiness.