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Even the cleanest home will look messy if it's not properly organized. Clear your clutter to make rooms more spacious and more inviting to potential buyers. Here are some basic tips to get your house organized before the first open house.
Define Rooms by Function. Your furniture and belongings define each room. If your dining table has become a home office, you'll need to reorganize. Make sure kitchens are used for cooking, and dining rooms are used for eating. The things found in each room should always support the room's main purpose. After cleaning, take a quick walk through each room. If you see something that distracts from the room's function, find a more suitable space.
Arrange Furniture. Pack away knick-knacks and other mementos that can make a living area look cluttered. Then arrange your furniture to maximize the space in each room. You'll want to keep a walk-through as easy to navigate as possible. A crowded room hinders a quick sell, as well as a buyer from freely exploring the space. If you have too much furniture, hold a garage sale or donate items to charity.
Put Out-of-season Clothes in Storage. Buyers don't want to see your clothes, but they do want to see the closet space available. If shelving and closet organization kits aren't enough, keep your out-of-season clothing in storage bins.
Declutter Kitchen Cabinets. People will be opening cabinets when viewing your house. Make sure your utensils are stored in an orderly fashion. Inexpensive baskets and bins are available for the oddly shaped utensil or small appliance. Try to keep stemware, plates, bowls, et al. grouped together by function, style and shape.
Organize Linen Closets. Arrange your linens as you did with dinnerware. Keep items grouped by function, size and color. Since you want to keep your bath's countertops clear, put toiletries not often used in small baskets or bins. If room allows, try to keep you hamper in the linen closet, which will add more space to bathrooms.
Clean Up the Garage or Basement. Garages and basements soon become catch-alls for a house's clutter. Set up shelving or a wall hook system to keep tools, paint, sporting goods, etc. in order.
Tame Your Mail. Mail can mess up a beautiful room in no time. Classify your mail: bills, periodicals and junk. Pitch the junkmail; keep bills in a folder (to be placed out of eye shot), and store periodicals and newsletters in one specific spot. If your magazine pile becomes overwhelming, declutter by throwing out or packing up.
Categorize, Collate and File. Create a filing system for the paperwork you bring home from the office. Keep it in a specific file next to other documents you may receive like investment statements or user manuals from electronics, software or other appliances. When showing your house, you'll want to keep all countertops free of mess, especially personal information. It's also a good idea to add a mover's workbook to your paperwork.
Remember to designate storage for the change you might collect during the day. Your floors are prettier without pennies and dimes strewn about.
Store Under Your Bed or Table. A bed takes up valuable floor space. Get rid of the dust bunny farm underneath, and start storing boxes and bins for those things you rarely use. Likewise, a table provides room for extra shelving underneath, providing it's appropriately covered so buyers can't see it.
Toss It. Of course, sometimes you're left with the garbage truck as the last solution. Deciding what stays and goes can be an arduous task, so let us help you with what to store, pack or pitch.
If you run into any roadblocks during your organizing, your local Lowe's can help spark a few more ideas.