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Now that you have started clearing out all the distinct items that have made your home yours it’s time to remove all the little things that can make your space feel smaller than it is. It’s time for the D-word. Declutter.

The general rule is: If you haven’t used it in over a year you probably don’t need it. Something a minimalist said to me recently also struck a chord when it comes to decluttering. “Instead of asking if you will need this in the future, ask will this add value to my life? Will it get me closer to my goals? Does it still bring me joy when I look at it? If not, then give it to someone that needs it or toss it.”

Step 1: Create designated boxes

Begin by setting aside specific boxes for items you can donate, toss, sell or keep. These will give you an option for each item so you can avoid just moving items from room to room. You can think of this process as getting a head start on packing that you will need to do eventually.

It’s a real pain to store stuff and can get really expensive. Take this time to think about what you can donate, sell and get rid of altogether. Often these items are ones that you have held onto just in case. And more likely than not they are items that are cheaper to replace than take the time to pack, store and carry around for years. There is a plethora of information on the web too if you begin to wonder what might be worth keeping or letting go of.

Step 2: Small items

Start with the small items like books on your bookcase, knickknacks, and everything on your kitchen counter. These items most often are things you can pack as they are not essential to daily living. Go through each room placing items in boxes that are just taking up valuable space.

Your essentials can also be organized into a box or basket that you can store in a closet or cupboard when not in use.

Step 3: Store Furniture

In almost every situation a home will show better with less furniture. Remove the pieces of furniture that block paths and walkways. Since your bookcases are empty you can store them as well. Remove the extra leaves from your dining room table and leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room’s potential and purpose.

Step 4: Closets and Storage areas

Buyers always tend to open closets and check out your storage spaces. The last thing you want is for a buyer to think there is not enough storage and move onto the next home. So go ahead and pack the seasonal clothes, memorabilia, and collections and move them to your storage unit or designated area for those belongings.

Having a decluttered home will be a process but it will make a huge difference in the minds of buyers shopping for a place with enough space to call home.

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