The housing market is on an uptick across much of the country and you may be considering selling your home. The first thing your real estate agent is going to tell you is that you need to stage your home to make it attractive to potential buyers. While you may be in love with the home you’ve created, you will need to turn it into something of a blank slate so that house hunters can picture putting their stuff in the space.
This means that even before you move out, you’re going to need to box up many of your belongings and put them in storage, possibly in an offsite storage unit so that your home doesn’t end up full of boxes.
While moving is always a good time to sort your belonging into keep, donate, and trash, it is the keep pile that matters in this post. Make sure you get a storage unit big enough to hold the following items:
Clutter — If your personal library overflows to stacks on floors, tables, and other flat surfaces, box up the excess and move them to storage. Same with media such as DVDs or CDs, games, puzzles, and collectibles. Shelving, bookcases, and display cases should have a few items tastefully displayed rather than being stuffed.
Personal Items — Too many family photos, refrigerator drawings and art projects will keep potential buyers from seeing themselves in your space. A few keepsakes and mementos in quality frames and displayed sparingly are fine. The rest should go to storage.
Toys — This category applies to toys used by your children, your pets, and you and your spouse. Adults have their own hobbies that tend to take over a living space and could qualify as clutter. Pet toys call attention to the fact that animals live in the house and may be unsanitary. Box them up and put them in storage or discard if they are old and worn.
Stored Items — If you use your closets, garage, or spare bedroom as storage areas, transport those items to the rented unit. House hunters are looking for a place to live, not a place to keep their boxes.
Old Furniture — Consider moving any ratty, worn, ripped, scratched or otherwise damaged furniture into storage. It may be difficult to do without key pieces of furniture, but a well-staged home is going to sell faster than one that looks like a thrift store. Keep the best furniture and consider renting replacement pieces for the weeks you’ll be showing the home.
Home Improvement Supplies — Paint cans, plumbing supplies, and other items that you use to repair, maintain or renovate your home should all be put into storage.
The overriding thought should be how to make your home look like their home. Anything that detracts from that should be stored away.