The fun part of moving may be the house hunting, but if you are already a homeowner, chances are high that you will need to prepare and put your home on the market before picking out your new dream home. The first item your agenda should be packing.
Packing isn’t a load of fun, but it needs to be done. Once you have an offer on your home, you won’t have very long to pack your belongings, so the best time to start this process is before you even list your property. Getting some of your belongings packed up will also help your house show better. It’ll look more spacious and less personalized.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Of course, the plan is to get a home offer in a few weeks, so there really is no need to keep your closets packed to the brim. Pack up your off-season clothes — it will make your closet feel larger. And the benefit to you? You’ll more easily be able to see what you're planning to wear for the day!
Can you get by with one set of sheets for each bed during the time your home is on the market? Yes, it may mean doing laundry as soon as you strip the bed, as opposed to leaving it for another day, but hey — your potential buyers won't see an overflowing laundry bin — and besides, who can actually fold those fitted sheets anyway?
When showing your home, do you plan to have a dinner party? Would your guests be ok without the fine china on the table? Pack up the extra serving dishes and good china. Look for miscellaneous small appliances or extra pots and pans that are cluttering up counters and cabinets and that you can survive a few weeks without. Fewer dishes means it's more likely you'll keep your sink empty!
If you have papers lying around the computer room or piles of random stuff you've brought in from the car — it needs to go. Aside from those obvious areas of clutter, look at what's on your horizontal surfaces. Do you have knick-knacks and other items on every flat surface? If so, grab some bubble wrap and start boxing. Your shelves should have a tasteful item to showcase the home, but the six (or sixteen) cute antique figurines or vases you've picked up from local artists during your travels need to be prepared for going to your new home.
Are you walls filled with beautiful memories of your kiddos or your wedding portrait? Do you have framed artwork on every bare surface? Of course, we all love to look at pictures that take us back to happy times in our past, but your buyer doesn't want to see them. They want to envision themselves in the home. They want to see tasteful artwork that showcases the room and creates a feeling of openness.
The satisfaction of getting some of these items up and out of your living spaces will be worth the tediousness of starting to prepare your house for market. You'll start feeling like progress is being made and you'll start seeing the results of your labor. Plus, it brings you that much closer to starting to look for your dream home!