Social distancing has been hard for some, while for others it has been the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate their lives. Some of us will emerge from the relaxation of restrictions determined to set a different pace to our lives, others will completely revamp them.
The impact of the virus on jobs and the economy has guaranteed that some vendors will need to sell their homes once this crisis is over. The good news is that decluttering is the best starting point and the perfect time to do it is when you're stuck indoors.
Decluttering doesn't cost a lot to achieve good results, and it's a no-brainer from a sales perspective. Furthermore, removing rubbish that you've accumulated over the years and reorganising what items remain in your property creates a cleaner, calmer ambiance for your potential buyers to assess your home or investment property properly during their thirty-minute inspection.
A stylish scheme that clearly demonstrates the lifestyle your buyers want to buy into will hopefully trigger emotions they can't ignore
We talk about "falling in love" with a property and that's exactly the emotional connection you want your buyer to feel when they inspect your home. It's that squidgy feeling you get in your tummy when you feel excited about a new prospect - whether that's a new partner or a new home.
But while the positive news about decluttering is that it won't break the bank, it's not quite as straightforward as a quick trip to the tip. The job requires planning, up to several weeks to accomplish, and there is no guarantee you won't be forced to make painful decisions along the way which may ultimately come closer to a complete restructure of your home.
The 5 steps I take to approach the decluttering process:
Step 1. Decide what you are trying to achieve in terms of style. A stylist can assist you with this, but if you can't afford professional advice, think about the demographic of your suburb and its location for a "look" that will maximise its best selling points. For example, if you live by the beach, a coastal theme will most likely work best. Throw away, sell, or store any items that don't work with that theme or are superfluous to your needs. A flick through some old property or home interior magazines may help you with this.
Step 2. Compile a list of what stays and what goes, and WHERE each item it is going. CONSULT YOUR FAMILY FIRST!
Step 3. Now you're ready to kick off your declutter with that trip to the tip, although as I mentioned earlier you could also try selling any items of value on Gumtree or the local "Buy Swap Sell" Facebook pages.
Step 4. Take an objective look at what is left and decide how best to organise it. This is difficult when it comes to children's toys, I know, so you may need some sort of storage fix for outdoor toys and additional storage boxes for inside to put stuff away quickly on inspection days. You might even consider storing some toys more permanently, which will give your kids a nice surprise at the end of the campaign. Tidy up book shelves as well - if anyone has noticed how distracting the shelves of messy bookcases in the home broadcasts from TV interviewees are at the moment, you'll understand how distracting they can be. Limit the number you leave out, stack them in height, and colour order if you're as anal as me.
We also advise you remove any family photos. These distract buyers and may prevent them visualising the property as their potential home.
Storage Solutions: There's no better place than Ikea for storage, but hardware stores offer a range of boxes. For a more specialist range of products, there's also Howard's Storage World.
Step 5: Final tweaks on inspection days include: clearing the bathrooms of all beauty products, scales and dirty towels; removing any linen from the laundry and outdoor line, and clearing away the dining, coffee table and kitchen bench top surfaces, except for a few select decorative items, perhaps, a plant or a bowl of fresh fruit.
Images: 1. Found on Pinterest from Yavuk.com | 2. Photo by Michel Porro on Unsplash | 3. Timber storage box from Ikea