It's springtime which any realtor will tell you is prime time for selling your house. Of course, that means it has to look it's best to inspire potential buyers to make it theirs. (Have you watched "House Hunters" lately? 'Nuff said).
You want your house to look clean, uncluttered, and with enough empty space for new owners to imagine themselves living there.
FIRST STEP - SPACE INVENTORY. That's when you measure your new home's closet and storage space to figure out how much of your old stuff you can fit in. And it's probably less room than you have now, so that helps you decide on what realistically will fit.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE? Decluttering time! So now figure out what you love - not just like, but really, really love. It's so wonderful to live in a place where you're surrounded by things that make you happy. Rather than bumping into Aunt Josephine's old end table that you hate or seeing Uncle Angus's weird pottery that you've been guilted into displaying on your mantle.
CLEAR THE DECKS. Take everything down! Start with your knick-nacks, kitchenware, pictures, and anything currently sitting on a surface. Look at window treatments and simplify as much as possible, removing extra layers of curtains and swags. Take most of your pictures off the walls, especially if you're planning to freshen up with new paint. The painters can fill in and smooth out nail holes before they paint so your rooms look bright and clean.
PACK AS YOU GO. As you declutter, start packing away the things you're taking with you (you're going to have to pack them anyway) and make a "donate" pile for what you don't want anymore (you'll get a tax deduction for these while helping others who don't have anything at all).
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW. Decide what furniture pieces will fit into and look great in your new place. And - if they're too big, falling apart, shabby or otherwise crappy, consider donating them and buying new pieces that fit better. You know, you'll be paying good money to have your things moved - why move furniture that you don't want? You can save by saying goodbye to them now and have new replacements delivered directly to your new home.
KITCHENS ARE IMPORTANT.Take as much off the counters as you can - this visually expands your counter space. OK, you may have to keep the coffeemaker and toaster, but lose anything you won't absolutely need in the next few weeks. Need I even mention that you need to get rid of those refrigerator magnets and anything else hanging on the frig or other places? You want your kitchen to look ready to work in - not already cooked in!
SQUEAKY CLEAN BATHROOMS. Get rid of old magazines, shampoos, and toiletries that you never use. Dispose of old toothbrushes, soaps and expired medicine. All you need on your bathroom counters are a soap dispenser and maybe a perky new plant or pretty jar to brighten things up. As a bonus - you now know how much you're taking with you and can plan your new bathroom.
SPARKLE TIME. Now you're ready to do a thorough cleaning and scrubbing of everything and make it sparkle. Clean - Clean - Clean!
None of this has to cost very much, and you can be proud of showing an open, uncluttered and welcoming space to entice new buyers to make it their own. Trust me, your realtor will be thrilled and probably do a happy dance!
Best of luck!
P.S. - Here's a great tip for cleaning grout - thanks, Jessi