Doucal Properties

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Decluttering always seems such an ominous task, and it is only when you are about to sell your home that it really becomes important. It is amazing how you can always find a spot for something, step around it, or accept it.  However, the moment you want to sell your house, you really have to view clutter in a very different light.

Your home may be in good condition and well built, yet clutter will create the perception of chaos, confusion and disorder. When buyers see clutter, they assume that the home has been neglected, with more to fix than meets the eye. This perception may undermine your home's market value.

Remember that a purchase decision is an emotional and intellectual response based on what you see.

Before putting your home on the market, decluttering is an essential part of your preparation, and is virtually cost-free. It is an activity that goes hand in hand with moving. Prepare yourself for throwing away, boxing to keep and maybe having a garage sale or giving to charity. Your move will be easier and you will create an open, spacious, simplified look that buyers will love.

Some of the areas to look at:

1) Front Garden
*Make sure the garden is mowed and edged, and remove toys, junk piles, etc.
*An evenly cut lawn is pleasing to the eye. Fertilise the grass a month or two ahead.
*Trim or remove overgrown, woody shrubs that give a tired look to the area.
*Trim shrubs and creepers that cover windows. They block light to the interior and give an appearance of crowding on the exterior.
*Coil hoses and place any tools inside the garage.
*Find a place to store extra cars or boats.
*Declutter flowerbeds. Mulch is inexpensive and does wonders to simplify garden beds, especially in winter when plants are thin. Add flowers on the patio or in beds if weather permits.
*Too many flowerpots are distracting - use a few large pots with healthy plants. Remove empty pots and dead plants.

2) Entrance - The buyer's first impression is critical and shapes their attitude throughout the showing.
*Invest in a brand new welcome mat.
*Fresh paint or varnish will make a big difference to your front door.
*Consider having your whole house power-washed to remove stains, spider webs and other clutter.
*Your entrance hall should be clear of shoes and excess items.
*Create a single focal point with an attractive table or painting.

3) Living Areas
*Rooms should be sparsely furnished to appear larger and lighter.
*The garage or an off-site storage room is a great place to hold extra pieces of furniture.
*Move large pieces of equipment - drums, telescopes, exercise equipment - to the garage or off-site.
*Do not allow furniture to block windows, doorways, or traffic patterns through rooms.
*Do not allow wires to cross traffic patterns.
*Choose one or two elements as the main points of interest in a room - wooden floors, a view, a table or piece of furniture, a nicely made bed, etc.
*Large plants often take up too much space. Allow only a few healthy plants in the house.
*Bookshelves add a warm touch to a room but do not overload them. Place books so that the backs are even. Lay some books horizontally, and leave open spaces for art objects.
*Open blinds and leave a few lamps on for pleasant lighting.

4) Kitchen - 
The kitchen is the heart of the home and plays an important part in attracting the heart of a buyer. This active area usually needs special attention.
*New cabinet handles are inexpensive and can help tie the room together in terms of colour and finish.
*Remove purely functional items such as baking pans, small appliances, vitamins, plastic bags, etc.
*Photos and notes on the refrigerator represent clutter, so remove.
*Clear the counters completely, and then add back a few decorative pieces that add a warm, elegant, and organised look.  Some suggestions: Flowers, fruit, cookbooks, wine, bowls, antiques, new dishtowels, small designer appliances, etc.
*Often the area under the sink needs organising and cleaning.
*See that your rubbish bin is clean and refuse bags is removed.

5) Bathroom - 
Keep in mind that you will give up some privacy during the marketing period so declutter to give a touch of elegance and romance.
*Remove unnecessary items from counters.
*Remove any toilet brushes or cleaners that are visible.
* Put items that you use daily - toothbrushes, soaps, razors - in a container, and place the container inside in a cabinet.
*Decorate with fresh soaps, flowers, bowls or designer bath items.
*Invest in new towels and fold them carefully.
*Never leave medicines on display.

6) Bedrooms - 
Bedrooms should appear restful and serene. Sparsely furnished is best.
*Use your best linen.
*Clear bedside tables and add back just a few books or nice items.
*Bedside lamps add a warm ambience for showings.
*Remove excess paintings or photos from the walls.
*Old curtains do more harm than good. Take them down and clean the windows for a fresh look.
*Children's bedrooms usually need to be simplified. Take down posters and box up toys.

7) Cupboards

*Organise your pantry with everything facing forward. Remove excess food and containers.
*The laundry often functions as a spill over room with junk on the shelves. Clear everything out, and have only necessary items visible.


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