When clients ask what the most effective way to prepare their home for sale is, there is one simple tool that I will always recommend above all else — de-cluttering.
The best way to showcase your house is to sell the space, and not what’s actually in it. Because no matter how stylish your home is, when you have rooms crammed full of furniture and belongings it only overwhelms the space and will actually distract buyers from the home itself.
De-cluttering is something best done as early as possible in the preparation phase of selling your property. In order to avoid congestion you can begin by going through each room and putting things into three categories: keep, store and sell.

## Items to keep The key to doing a successful de-clutter is to find the balance between overwhelming and empty. Furniture and décor items you have that actually suit the room can be used to enhance the space. Keep a few stylish pieces of furniture in each room to fill out the floor space but ensure that it allows people to move easily around the house. When it comes to accessorising for sale, less is more. Keep some decorative cushions, vases and lamps out, and if you have a study or library area use a small selection of books to decorate the shelves. Utilise enough stuff to make the space warm and homely while not overwhelming.

Items to store

The second list contains items that you want to keep but don’t necessarily suit the purpose of selling. Style your property in moderation — while you may love having several comfortable armchairs scattered around the living room, in order to showcase the space itself considering just keeping two chairs and a lounge. If you have a lot of decorative ornaments, art or books adorning a room, halve the number left on display and put the rest into storage. This will open up the room and let buyers enjoy the property rather than being distracted by the décor.

Items to sell or donate

If you have been in your property for quite some time, chances are that you have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years. Moving house is the perfect opportunity to get rid of any items you no longer love or that no longer serve a purpose.
Once you have determined what you want to keep and store, you will be left with some things that don’t fall into either of the other categories — and that usually means those items are ready to move on! Put smaller items into bags and boxes, and organise the furniture items that you want to let go. You can sell items in classified ads or on eBay, or there are several charities to which you can donate household items. Arrange for all these excess items to be removed well in advance of the sale so that you have plenty of time to re-arrange what’s going to stay.
After the first stage of de-cluttering is complete, you should be left with rooms that feel more spacious, open and inviting. Because the rooms are probably emptier
than they’ve ever been, you will start to notice things with a new perspective. It’s also likely that having more empty spaces will highlight areas that need attention, such as repairs and repainting.
Once you have stored and moved everything that isn’t necessary for the sale, you can then work on re-arranging what’s left.
Look at each room from a buyer’s perspective and ensure that the layout enhances the space and allows for
easy movement.
Use art and decorative items as focal points in the room, and also keep in mind how things will look when photographed.
At the end of the day you want the space to be the feature, and therefore the furniture and soft furnishings just complement it. ☐

Five top de-cluttering tips

Using different coloured sticky notes can be a great way to organise what you are going to keep, store and sell.
Remember to de-clutter both the internal and external areas of your property.
In outdoor areas trim hedges, remove some plants if the garden beds are congested, and store any excess items like piles of spare bricks or extra pot plants.
If you have a lot of stuff to sell, you can arrange a garage sale or a charity to do a pick-up collection.
Ensure that street collections are organised well in advance so that everything is gone in time for the photos and inspections.

For more information and advice on how to prepare your property for sale, contact Jeanine Michel at The Styling House and book a free consultation. Ph: 0413 892 870
29/7 Carrington Rd Castle Hill NSW 2154
www.thestylinghouse.com.au