I’ve talked to lots of people who want to sell their homes. Certainly the market is right. But they still aren’t ready to move. C’mon, most of us still have to live in our home until it sells. So how do you get ready to sell without entirely disrupting your life?
The Answer? Start by getting organized. I know, I know, like you’ve really got time for that! Well, you have to, so get on it. (You may want to take a look at Liz Franklin’s great book called “How to Get Organized without Resorting to Arson”.) Here’s how to get organized:
Move from room to room in your home and take stock of the items you use regularly and the items you haven’t touched in years. In each room, create five piles for sorting. The five areas should be:
- TRASH: These items are broken, or used up, or no longer useful to anyone. By the way, you need to take a moment to sort what needs to be recycled or requires special disposal like batteries or electronics.
- SELL: These items have value on the market, but you no longer use them. Items to consider for this category are collectibles, large or small appliances, electronics, “designer clothing”, shoes, handbags, furniture, and expensive games and toys.
- GIVE: These items are gently used and have more value as a tax write off if given to charity than if sold. This includes most of the clothing and household goods.
- STORE: Items for storage include seasonal clothing, holiday decorations, important papers and other documents, family keepsakes and heirlooms that you do not use or display, extra furniture and other items that you plan to use in the future.
- KEEP: In this pile place all the items and clothing that you use currently, and that you will need to keep your household operating smoothly while your home is on the market. (And don’t immediately start thinking that you need EVERYTHING!)
Take care of the TRASH first. Get it out of your house. Deliver dead electronics to a charity or business that disposes of them or call your local waste management provider for options.
Next, collect all of the GIVE items; divide them up by charity, hand-me-downs to family and friends, etc. Call friends, family and charities to schedule a pickup, or make plans to deliver these to their new owners all in one day.
Now, you have three groups left. Consider the SELL items and divide them into categories such as collectbiles, electronics, designer goods, furniture and the like. Take pictures of each item. If you have the time or inclination, you can sell these yourself on Internet listing sites such as eBay, craigslist, or Tradesy,
What you have left to organize are the items you need to STORE for future use, and the things you use regularly. You may already have a storage unit, or a large attic, but to make things easier for your upcoming move, consider using portable storage. Lots of companies offer portable storage solutions. Ideally, the company delivers a portable storage container to your doorstep for easy loading. Once you’ve filled it with the items you need to store, the company removes the container and stores it off-site for a monthly fee. When you are ready to move, simply have the container returned to your doorstep, load your remaining items and have it delivered to your new home.
Lastly, take a couple of days to organize your remaining items from the KEEP pile. When it’s time for me to show your home, getting it ready will be a snap! (Okay, not a snap, but do-able.)
Finally, don’t forget to ask me about STAGING your home for you. We offer professional staging services that will help you get TOP DOLLAR when you sell. You’ll be amazed when you see the difference.
Hope this helps. Love, Honey