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Storage and Home Staging: Cutting Down on Your Home's Clutter

by Guest on Oct 12, 2012

Before you can move into a new home, you've got to sell your old home. But doing that isn't always easy, particularly in today's market. A tried and true way to sell your home is by holding a home staging. And a proven, important tactic for a successful home staging is to remove extra furniture and clutter from your home. Not only will this allow you to sell your home sooner, but as the best real estate agents will tell you, it will also allow you to sell your home at a higher price. 

But getting rid of clutter is easier said than done. What has to go? Where will you put it? We'll show you what to do:

See your home through the buyer's eyes. You've probably been living in your home for years and have grown used to the space and the way you have things arranged. This can make it hard for you to view things objectively: what looks good and natural to you won't look the same to others. Try to view the space with fresh eyes: that large couch may make the room look comfortable to you, but will someone new to the space think that it makes it look small? That corner desk in your office may be functional, but does its scratched and scruffy surface make the whole room look shabby?

Consider the way potential buyers will approach your home, and the observations and corrseponding unconcious ques they'll take from every detail. Someone approaching your home for the first time might see a bit of clutter and think that, if the owner of the home is irresponsible enough to not even maintain organization and cleanliness, what other problems might there be with the house that they can't see? Remember that they'll be approaching your house along a very specifc route, and any problems that they see in the beginning might color the way they apporach the rest of the house. What should you take away from this? Make sure your foyer or entrance in particular are clean and clear and properly maintained.

Organize everything.Nornally, your primary concerns are that your home is comfortable and reflects your personal style. When staging your home, your considerations need to completely change: you'll have to be considering how homebuyers will see things. Since you have no idea what each potential homebuyer is truly looking for, you'll have to plan according to the lowest common denominators. Those would be: space, lighting, and the ability to imagine the home as their own—not your talents an interior designer or how good your family photos look.

So let's take them one by one. To make rooms look larger, remove as much furniture as you can without making the room look empty. Less furniture makes rooms appear larger. Let more light into the room by moving furniture away from windows and taking down curtains.Take all pictures off the wall to make walls look larger. Do the same with your closets: a closet that's stuffed full of your things will only look smaller, any will give your potential homebuyers the impression that their things will fill up that space as well.

Un-theme Everything. You might love your super-modern kitchen of glass and stainless steel. You're probaly proud of the Western theme you've instituted in your living room, complete with Native American rugs and weathered wood picture frames. And your daughter might me extremely attached to her bedroom full of pink dressers and rainbow rugs. Get ready to undo all of that, because chances are your potential homebuyer's tastes won't match.If you've done up any of your rooms according to a theme, then do everything you can to undo that theme. While homebuyers won’t want to buy a home that looks deserted, they do want a home that looks ready to be moved into.

And where is everything going to go? Rent a storage unit. Even an expensive unit--upwards of $150 a month--is probably a good investment. Think of it like this: while storage isn't necessarily cheap, a successful home staging can raise the value of your home by several thousand dollars. Even if it takes three months of staging to sell your home (so, at the top end, $450 in storage rent) you could increase the sell by thousands of dollars. That's a huge return on investment.

Brian Shreckengast is a writer at SelfStorageDeals.com, a leading price-focused search engine for finding cheap storage units. For more wisdom on the worlds of storing, moving, and real estate, check out the SSD blog.

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