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5 Things NOT to Do When Decluttering


By Jen McCann, Realtor

The sun is shining, the temperatures are rising, and, the breeze blowing through the open windows in the house all mean…spring cleaning is here!

While decluttering your house when you are preparing to sell is a critical step to winning the hearts of potential buyers, it is just as important to clear the obstacle course that has been created in the home you love. So, as you prepare to tackle the task, here are five tips of what NOT to do when decluttering your home.

Don’t Start Without a Plan
Before you grab a trash can and wipe all the clutter on your dresser into the trash, take a few minutes to come up with a game plan. What is the final result you want to achieve? Do you want a playroom for the kids that have an area for toys, an area for reading, and an area for gymnastics? Or, do you want a bedroom that is just a bedroom and not a bedroom/laundry room/office?

Once you know where you want to go, you can make a plan on how to get there.

Don’t Plan to Declutter in One Day
As the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day” and either was your hallway obstacle course. Using your new decluttering plan, set aside 30 mins a day or a couple of hours on a Saturday to work on one of the areas.

Taking the plan and breaking it down into mini-goals will give you mini-celebrations of progress along the way.

Don’t Buy Storage Containers…Yet
While it may be tempting to buy the toy storage containers to meet the goal of organizing the kids’ playroom, it is better to start with plain old moving boxes or other cheap, disposable containers.

Label the boxes Keep, Throw Away, Donate, Sell, and Return to Owner. Once you have identified what items are staying, you can buy the appropriate containers that will help the space stay organized.

Don’t Have a “Just In Case” Box
There may be a day when you will need to have two blenders running at the same time or when you will actually read all those books or wear those shoes again. But, in the meantime, there may be someone else who could be using those items now.

If it is a favorite outfit or toy your child played with when they were younger, take a picture for a scrapbook (or go ahead and just get rid of all those scrapbook supplies you never used with the toy) or take a stroll around the house one last time in those fancy high heels and then put the items in the Donate or Sell box.

Don’t Run Out & Buy New Stuff
Did you donate those shoes and now feel the need to buy a new pair to fill its place? How about planning a party to celebrate the accomplishment of decluttering your home! Give yourself time to enjoy the newly organized rooms before deciding what pieces you need to add to the space that will enhance the room.


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