If you’re thinking of selling your home next year, you’ve got a lot of things to do before you put your house on the market. First on everyone’s list should be cleaning and de-cluttering your house. Potential buyers aren’t going to be impressed by a house that has smudges on the walls or floors, or which obviously hasn’t been painted or wall papered in a long time. They also won’t be impressed if your house is cluttered. A cluttered house looks messy, raises doubts about whether you’ve kept up the maintenance, and frankly it looks smaller. Many people go beyond cleaning and de-cluttering and promote “staging” your house, and we’ll talk more about that in a future column.
If you’re like many people, you’ve accumulated lots of “stuff” over the years. You have it on display, or on shelves, or in closets, or just here and there. I mean things like your fabulous collection of salt and pepper shakers from around the world, or 10 years worth of National Geographic magazines, or books that you read once but probably won’t read again. These things make your house look less attractive to a potential buyer, and frankly, do you really to want the time and expense to move all of that to your new location? You’ll have to start sorting through everything to decide what you’re going to keep, what you’ll sell or give away, and what you’ll just have to throw out. Before you do any of this, clean out your garage.
It’s a good time to clean your garage even if you don’t plan to move. So many garages are so full of odds and ends that there’s no room for the cars. With the cold weather coming soon, it’s a good idea to garage your car to protect it from the elements, make it easier to start, and make it more convenient for yourself. You won’t have too many warm days left to clean out your garage; that’s also going to involve some decisions about what to save and what to throw out. Unless you have a heated garage, you’re not going to want to spend several hours out there when the weather turns cold.
Once your garage is clean and organized you’ll have a great place to store many of the things that you’re going to sell or give away. Maybe you’ll try to sell them on eBay or at a garage sale next May. The point is to have a specific place to temporarily keep things that you don’t intend to take with you when you move. You can’t de-clutter a house simply by putting the things you’ll save on one side of the room, and putting the things you’ll sell/give away on the other. When you begin going through everything room by room you should have boxes for the things you’ll save, containers for the recyclables, boxes for the things you’re going to donate and lots of big plastic bags for the throw away items. If your garage is clean, you’ll have room to sort the “sell/donate” boxes into logical categories (keep them on shelves or at least off the floor). By the way, you might want to check to make sure that the remote control for your garage door opener still works.
Leonard “Len” Dunikoski, SRES
Diane Turton Realtors- Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760
(732) 530-6686 (office)
(732) 239-0739 (cell)