In my opinion the single most important thing you can do for the spring cleaning season or preparing to sell your home is to de-clutter. Once your home is de-cluttered, the next items are cleaning and painting. These three items will not cost very much or take much time, but you will be surprised by the difference doing them will make.
De-Clutter • Clean • Paint
- De-clutter. When you think about the idea of de-cluttering, think of floor space and counter space. Generally, you will want the maximum amount of floor space and the maximum amount of countertop space. As you look around at the floors and counter spaces (including tabletops, desks, etc) of your home, identify things that don’t belong and make these areas as clear as possible. If you have large pieces of furniture that are taking up a big chunk of floor space and can be eliminated, consider putting those items in storage or storing them in your garage. The more uncluttered and unencumbered floor space you’ll see, the larger and more inviting your home will feel.
- Clean. A good deep clean is an absolute necessity after you have removed the clutter. This involves cleaning your home both inside and out. The floors, walls, baseboards, doors and all surfaces in your home should be thoroughly cleaned. To make your home sparkle attend to details and try these simple solutions.
- Blinds: Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a bowl. Grab that box of old socks found in almost every closet. Slip a sock over each hand. Dip one in your water/vinegar solution and wipe the blind. Use the other sock-covered hand to wipe dry.
- Pet Hair: Run a window squeegee over your furniture and carpet to quickly and easily pick up hair from your furry friend.
- Closets: Vacuum-seal those bulky items such as extra bedding, towels or seasonal clothing to make more room.
- Water Spots: A used dryer sheet can be used to buff water spots from shower doors, sinks, fixtures and mirrors.
- Furniture Rings: In most cases, a hair dryer on high for a few moments will blast those dreaded water rings from your furniture surfaces.
- Appliances: Mix one tablespoon of cream of tartar with a few drops of water to create a paste. Apply with a damp sponge then wipe dry with a paper towel.
When it comes to cleaning, I recommend that you either form a cleaning crew (you and 3 or more friends) or better yet, simply hire a cleaning service. A good deep clean should cost around $150-$200 or so, depending on the size and condition of your home.
- Paint. Once your home is de-cluttered and clean, it’s time to slap on some paint! Take a good look at all of the walls, baseboards, doors, window sills and ceilings around your home. In some cases they will just need to be touched up here and there; other areas will need to be entirely repainted. Be objective and make a list. Then decide whether or not you will do the work yourself or hire someone. At $20 or less per gallon, paint is probably the least expensive way to make a dramatic improvement to your home.
This article was adapted from Team Member Gene Rusco’s book The Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Home.