By Sandy & Jim Trout, Owners of Estate and Business Organizers, Inc.

What to Keep and What to Pack

If you are worried about how to sell a cluttered home, you are not alone. According to the LA Times, the average American home contains 300,000 items. That is a lot of stuff. It could be because as Americans, we spend $1.2 trillion on nonessential goods each year – items we don’t actually need according to The Wall Street Journal.  We do love to buy. However, what is precious to you may be seen as simply disorder to a potential buyer.

As with many things in life, it is better to take the process of getting your home ready for sale, one step at a time. Try to keep in mind that a potential buyer wants to see your living space as a blank canvas. This doesn’t mean your home should be empty. But you do need to leave room for the imagination. A room looks larger with fewer items in it. That means less furniture and personal items.

Family photos and tchotchkes should be removed. They may hold special meaning for you, but a potential buyer wants to imagine her own family on the mantel, not yours. That old ottoman in the middle of the room could go to a thrift shop and open the space to new possibilities. Be sure to straighten the bookshelves and empty that magazine basket of all but the most current issues. Old plants and half burned candles have probably seen better days anyway and could go into the trash.

Keeping Your House Clean While Trying to Sell It

A professional cleaning service can help you prepare your house for sale. While your home is on the market, it is important to keep your kitchen and bathroom counters clear of unnecessary items, your laundry in the hamper, your sink empty and your beds made-up. It is like getting your home spiffed up for company, only more so. Company doesn’t usually wander through the house looking into closets, testing the water pressure and measuring the space for their furniture.

Cleaning Out Your Closets

Since closet space might be one of the selling points of your home, you’ll want to reduce the clutter in your closets as much as possible. Stuffed closets give a cramped feel, just like too full, cluttered rooms, so this might be a good time to call your favorite charity to pick up those clothes that are out of style or the ones that no longer fit. You’ll feel lighter, just by letting go.

What to Do with Outdoor Furniture When Moving?

This is also a great time to donate or simply discard the worn outdoor furniture on the deck. Remove any broken pottery, the worn garden hose, the frayed patio umbrella and the old hammock stand that hasn’t been repainted in several years. You probably would never take those items with you to your new home and they detract from your outdoor ambiance.

Do I Need Temporary Storage Space?

If you are like many homeowners, this process of uncluttering your home may require more than parting with old and unused items. You may want to hold onto your outsized recliner which occupies a lot of space and makes the family room look so much smaller. Renting a temporary storage space could be the answer to opening up your home to the imagination of others.

Professional organizers can help you sort through what to keep and what to discard. The storage space can be used to collect all your precious items, categorized, labeled and ready when you are – to go to your new home.


sany-and-jim-trout-estate-business-organizersSandy & Jim Trout
Owners of Estate and Business Organizers, Inc.

We founded Estate and Business Organizers, Inc., in 2007 after retiring from a 35-year career in the insurance industry. We launched this second career to pursue a passion of ours – organizing. We bring a wealth of experience to our work and a deep understanding of the benefits of organizing and inventorying items to help in life’s many transitions.