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Why Decluttering is a Home Seller’s Best Move

Mon 10 Aug 2015

The season for selling homes has arrived, and a new study has found that more than a third of towns and cities in the UK are seeing an increase in the number of residential properties on the market. 

The survey, which is based on the number of listings appearing on property portal Rightmove, concludes that the number of homes for sale has jumped up 7.1% between June and July.

It’s not just homeowners in property hot spots such as London who are on the move either, research shows that new listings have shot up 47.3% in Swindon, 30.4% in both Liverpool and Leicester, and 24.3% in Lancaster. 

A recent report in The Metro newspaper concluded that this is good news for buyers, but it also creates a dilemma for sellers. With more properties on the market, sellers must now make an extra effort to make their property stand out to viewers. 

One sure-fire way to make your home more appealing is to have a clear out from top to bottom, ditching decades of unwanted junk. But should the decluttering take place before you put your property on the market? Undoubtedly, yes. 

Although viewers will not usually look to purchase your furniture or decorative items, it can be much harder for them to envisage the space your home has to offer if it is packed from floor to ceiling with your personal clutter. 

There are many different things you can do with the belongings you no longer want, and it all depends on whether they could be used and enjoyed by others. Clothes and shoes can usually go to a charity shop, and any pieces of furniture or trinkets from around the house will do well at a car boot sale.

For items that are beyond repair or simply taking up space, the tip may be the only option. Proskips tell us how hiring a skip can make light work of ditching your junk:

How to Declutter

While it’s nice to think that just moving your unwanted belongings into an outbuilding or your home’s loft will create the illusion of space, the reality is very different. 

Moving home is one of the most stressful experiences we go through, which explains why we only do it on average every 20 years. In the time between house moves, the majority of us will have built up decades of memories that cannot simply be chucked away, so deciding what to keep hold of can be tough. 

A useful trick is to hire a skip and then set yourself a deadline to fill it - say one week or a few days. The first stage will be easy: do you really want to keep that old vacuum cleaner that has been lying idle under the stairs “just in case the new bag-less wonder-cleaner develops a fault”? 

Items with greater emotional ties will require more thought when it comes to decluttering though. Hiring a skip makes sense because, unlike house clearance firms, decisions about what to keep or discard do not have to be made on the spot, you can separate your belongings into things you definitely want to keep, and things that can definitely be discarded.

Having a clean and tidy house will not only make your home appear bigger to viewers, but it will also make it easier for you when you get round to moving house and packing up all your things.