Home Selling Tip: How To Declutter — When You Hate Doing It

frustrated home seller who has to declutterLet’s say you want to sell your house soon and you know you’re supposed to “declutter” it. Every piece of home selling advice out there says you need to do this — but you’re really not looking forward to the boring, tedious work involved.

Maybe you’re the type who’d prefer having a plate full of spiders dropped on your head, over having to spend countless hours sorting through closets, shelves, drawers and boxes.

So for those of you who are not looking forward to decluttering — which means most everybody — here’s a few tips for making the process well…. less awful. (Now I can’t guarantee you’ll be positively gleeful, but it will make it easier and less painful to clean and sell your home.)

1. Start by decluttering the easiest spots first. You need to have a victory right away to give you added motivation, so the best way to achieve this is to tackle the least cluttered area first… such as a guest bathroom or a small hall closet. Once that’s done, move on to the next easiest place. Now you can claim that you are already part way done!

2. Promise yourself you only have to declutter for five minutes. This is a powerfully inspiring trick when you really don’t want to get started. Set an alarm and say to yourself you can stop right after you’ve cleaned for five quick minutes. What often happens though is you don’t want to stop… you’ve gathered momentum, so you keep going for another 5 or 10 or 45 minutes… and you’ll be amazed at the clear swatch you can create in that time.

3. Don’t figure out what to get rid of — figure out what to keep. Let’s say you’re cleaning out a drawer. Instead of going through it item by item, dump the whole thing out on a table and put back only those items you truly need and love. Sort everything else into bags, such as things to throw out,  things to give to friends, things to donate to charity, things to sell, and things you don’t know what in the world to do with. For these items, create a big bag called, “undecided” and sort through it later when your major decluttering is finished.

4. Intersperse enjoyable and rewarding activities between declutter sessions.  For example, tell yourself you get to eat a big hunk of German chocolate cake or an exquisite slice of cheese when you’re through cleaning. Or, take a 30 minute walk, read something enjoyable or have a Facebook chat between decluttering sprees.

5. Get rid of items associated with sad or bad memories, even if they’re nice things. Yes, that shirt may look great, but if it makes you feel bad because you wore it the day you were fired– get rid of it. Same goes for gifts from tragic past relationships,  souvenirs you picked up on a bad trip, or dishes you inherited from your mean Aunt Ida. Someone else will enjoy these things and you won’t miss them. In fact, you’ll feel better knowing you don’t have to be mentally triggered by them anymore.

By using these tips, you’ll eventually end up with an attractively clean place filled with useful possessions and items that bring you happy memories. Not only will your place look much better during home showings, you’ll also have much less to move after you sell your house. Now isn’t that better than having a plate of spiders dropped on your head?

For hundreds of good ideas on how to make home selling easier, faster and a lot more fun, read Home Seller’s Blues And How To Beat Them. Available in paperback and ebook formats through Amazon.com and at http://www.homesellersblues.com


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Such a cute post! It makes it fun and interesting to read! Great ideas and tips as well.

Thank you Salt Lake Luxury Homes! I appreciate that… and I thoroughly enjoy writing these tips and sharing them.

Very interesting spin on the house cleaning process!

We also have a little piece in our How to Sell your House Fast guide on cleaning. Could we quote your post or would you be interested to leave some “expert” advice on our website? See


Thanks for reading and we’d love if you’d provide your audience with a link to the home selling tips we offer here on the Home Seller’s Blues Blog.

Thank you Salt Lake Luxury Homes! I appreciate that… and I thoroughly enjoy writing these tips and sharing them.

Great tips and ideas thanks so much for sharing!

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