If you're getting ready to move or sell your home, clutter is your worst enemy. It makes packing a nightmare, and finding the one item you need could take an extra 15 minutes to more than an hour. Decluttering is a great way to get rid of the things you don't need before moving or preparing your house for a walkthrough. But you need to avoid some of the common mistakes that come with this seemingly daunting job. Here are some of the roadblocks you could run into and how to handle them:
1. Laziness or procrastination
If you don't feel like decluttering your house will achieve significant results or make your house feel cleaner, then you're not going to do it effectively. At the same time, if you drag your feet, it may take weeks to get the job done. Have a set goal in mind and stick to it when starting this project, especially if you plan to do the entire house. If you need someone to help or keep you on track, you can hire a home organizer to set a schedule and make the process more manageable.
2. Tackling too much at once
You can't organize the entire house in a day. It's simply not doable. And it will sound far too overwhelming from the start, deterring you from ever finishing. Spend just a few hours each day decluttering, tackling one room at a time. If that's too much to do, start with one closet or a few drawers and work your way up. Remember, you will always have a bigger mess before you have something more manageable. If you make a mess of your entire house, you may never regain the energy or desire to go back to the project.
3. Not having an organization plan
Once you start pulling items from your closets, drawers and other parts of your room, you need to have an organization plan in place. You don't want to throw everything into one big pile -- that creates another mess to sort through later. Instead, tackle it strategically by putting each item into a dedicated pile: donate, sell or throw away. That way, you'll know where it goes and how to handle it once the room is completely decluttered.
4. Letting emotions do the talking
You may be tempted to keep certain items because of their sentimental worth -- they were a present, belonged to a family member, have old memories attached, etc. -- but oftentimes the pieces we hold onto are of no use. You shouldn't keep pointless items just for emotions' sake, unless the emotions are so overwhelming that you simply can't help yourself. Old toys, pieces of clothing, shoes -- these are better off at secondhand stores or in the trash. Yes, there will be pieces of jewelry or photos to keep, but be choosy.
5. Getting rid of things
Once everything is organized and out of the room, take the next step. Don't let the garbage, donation items or garage sale pieces just sit around. You need to drive them down to the secondhand store or landfill. If you need to sell stuff, arrange a garage sale for the following weekend. Waiting until the opportune moment to finalize your decluttering could lead to more piles, which means more hassle for you.
6. Waiting too long to declutter again
Once you've decluttered every room -- whether in preparation to move or sell your home -- don't get too relaxed. There will be another time, perhaps in the near future, where you will need to declutter again. It's a natural part of life - getting rid of old items and making room for new ones. People accumulate things throughout their lives, and it's imperative to keep cleaning out the house. Otherwise, you'll be back at square one in a few years.
Tress Realty Group compiles some of the best real estate news, tips, and information for buyers, sellers and investors.