One of the secrets to selling your Phoenix-area home isn’t a secret at all: clean up the clutter. While it’s natural to accumulate “stuff” as we go through life, it’s easy to let that stuff take over our living spaces. And while your collection of Beanie Babies, Smurf Glasses and Mickey Mouse memorabilia might mean the world to you, it’s not going to do you any favors when you put your house on the market. “But it’s a complete set!” you exclaim, pointing to the 800-some vintage Mickeys piled onto every couch, chair and table in the living room. While your dedication is impressive, not everyone shares your enthusiasm — and a prospective buyer won’t be able to see themselves “at home” in your house if all they can see is your … stuff. So long before that first walk-through, you need to declutter.
Which raises its own issue. If the de-clutter admonition is so self-evident, how come it needs to be made at all? The answer (and the subject of numerous TV shows and books) is because, regardless of how good an idea decluttering may be, when put into practice, it encounters a lot of resistance.
The resistance many of us feel when called upon to get rid of “stuff” is a common phenomenon, as one of those books, called “Is Home Your Happy Place?” by Christy Diane Farr, explains: You don’t have to be a pack rat, hoarder, or shopaholic to recognize within yourself an irrational streak that resists letting go of some object or another. Even if it’s one that is of no earthly value now (or ever).
Although “Happy Place” is half-humorous, it’s really a self-help book. The author admits to offering information about “how to change your life.” Clearing rooms to prepare for your open house doesn’t require a whole lot of life-changing, but it can impinge on a related thread. The whole moving from one home to a new one is, after all, one of life’s major events.
So the author is on firm ground when she takes the subject of clutter seriously—and the galaxy of things that, left unchecked, wind up filling people’s living spaces. Her classifications include everything from the inexplicable (“Stuff that’s broken,” “Stuff that’s expired”) to the personally problematical (“Stuff that makes you hang onto an unpleasant past”).
My personal favorite is “Stuff that used to be a good idea.” Especially when you find yourself tossing an object that you thought would come in handy (but which never did). I mean, let’s face it: that’s admitting defeat! More difficult can be clearing away and letting go of objects that we connect with other people and places from our past. Farr is an expert at humorously coaxing readers into disconnecting the emotional ties to things.
When all is said and done, decluttering your home before it goes up for sale winds up being well worth the work — and it may even lead you to a life-changing moment as well. More than one of our Phoenix-area clients has been pleasantly surprised by how much better they feel when there’s no longer the usual daily disarray to contend with. That’s not surprising if you believe that the better your home feels, the better you will feel—not to mention how much faster it will sell.
Another way to speed a sale even further: give The Hill Group a call!