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Clearing the Clutter to Sell Your Home Quicker

When preparing to sell your home, de-cluttering is essential. De-cluttering simply requires removing as many personal items from rooms in order to give potential buyers the opportunity to picture their own belongings in the home. De-cluttering also enhances the look of each room, even helping smaller spaces appear larger.

Entranceway, foyer, mudroom

Remove shoes, coats, umbrellas, kids’ schoolbags and other similar items. Make sure the entry has been swept clean; remember this is the first impression of the interior of the home.

Main living area, living room, family room

All kid and pet toys should be picked up from the floor and stored out of sight if possible. Remove family photographs from the room and clear items from end tables, storing all media remotes out of sight.


Always make the bed and never leave any clothes hanging on hooks in the open or stacked on the floor, chair or other surface. Take time to clean the closet before showing the home. A messy, cluttered closet makes the space look small and buyers typically desire large storage areas.

If needed, store out-of-season clothing in stackable tubs in the basement or attic to provide more space in the bedroom closets. Remove tissue boxes and other like items from nightstands. A single book and a lamp help to complete the room’s tidy look.


Remove personal care items from the countertops and from the shower or tub area. Purchase a few inexpensive plastic baskets for these items. When preparing for buyers’ visits, it’s easy to transfer the hairspray, deodorant, razors, toothpaste and makeup from the counter to the basket, storing everything out of sight.


Clean countertops are key — remove as much as possible and make sure everything is crumb free. A decorative bowl of fruit looks attractive and adds charm, but never leave a stack of mail on the edge of the counter.

Every kitchen surface should be wiped free of smudges and fingerprints (especially if the appliances are stainless) and remove even clean dishes from the drainer. Dining tables, whether located in a dining room or kitchen should be free from clutter as well and then set with placemats and linen napkins.

Plants, collections and more

Dying plants are not attractive and should be removed as part of the de-cluttering process. Bookshelves must be straightened to appear neat and orderly. Organize the cords and cables of your electronics and store laptops neatly closed on a desk or in a laptop bag out of sight.

Never leave your personal computer on while a potential buyer is walking through the home. Consider boxing any personal collections that may distract a potential buyer from looking at the rooms.

Garage and outdoor areas

Remove recyclables from the garage, put away garden tools and sweep away any cobwebs from the garage, shed or porch. Put away any kid toys typically left out in the yard. On the deck, arrange the furniture attractively, setting the stage so the buyers can envision themselves sitting there at night enjoying the peace of their new home.

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