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5 steps to declutter your home for sale

By Cassandra Foreman

If you’re thinking about selling your property this year or even if you just have decluttering on your New Year’s resolutions list, it can always be hard to know where to start. Here are five tips to get you through the process.

Know where to start

One of the hardest parts is figuring out what to do first. Instead of spending hours walking around the house trying to decide on individual items and getting distracted, start with one room and don’t move on until it’s finished. Give yourself categories like keep, store, donate, recycle and throw away.

Once you have everything in that room sorted into a category go through them again and see if there’s anything in the keep pile that can be moved somewhere else.

Dedicate some time

Another reason it’s smart to tackle one room at a time is that decluttering can be a long process. Unless you have the whole family helping you sort through the house in a weekend, you could probably spend a few weeks getting your house ship shape.

Once you’ve decided on a room for your first decluttering mission, give yourself a set amount of time to deal with it. You may have a free day on the weekend to get through the garage or a bedroom, or if you’re time-poor, you could be limited to an hour a day after work. Either way, give yourself some time to get it done and stick to it.

Get more to have less

If your primary problem is acquiring too much stuff, then this is probably the solution that you’ll like the most. It can be very easy to have a home appear messy when you have inadequate storage. Talk to anyone who is in the real estate game or who owns a house that is a few decades old – the storage options aren’t great.

Spend some time, and perhaps a little money, finding cupboard organisers or extra storage units for the garage that will help you to get things under control. These kinds of solutions aren’t meant to be a place to cram junk, they’re for organising the stuff in the keep pile so it doesn’t end up on the counter top or the floor.

Hire a storage unit

If you are planning on selling your home this could be key. While a move is a great time to get rid of excess belongings, sometimes you want to keep most of what you have and hide it away for the duration of your marketing campaign. Hiring a storage unit could be ideal. It is quick and painless and your real estate agent will be able to tell you which items to store to benefit your home presentation.

You may wonder why it’s important to declutter for sale. Essentially, we all fill our homes and by the time we move out it’s bulging at the seems. This can make the home seem small and cramped when potential purchasers come around. Comparing your home to other houses for sale will be a lot more favourable for you if it is presented to the best of your ability.

Remember with this solution that you’ll still have all these belongings when you move into your new home – try and get a fresh start! Here’s a handy tip: If you have a box you haven’t opened since you last moved house, you probably won’t need it in the next one.


Even if your home is the epitome of perfect presentation you can still declutter. When buyers are bustling through your abode, the less they see of you the better.

Personal items like heirlooms, photos on the bedside table and kids’ report cards on the fridge all make it harder for people to envision themselves living there. It’s also nice for your privacy’s sake to not have these items on display.

If you need advice on how to best present your property for sale, talk to your local Ray White real estate agent. While there are general rules for presentation, it can differ widely depending on the audience you are trying to market to.

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