Owned by your stuff? Don't know where to begin? I can help!
I work with lots of clients who have lived in their homes for many years and are ready to downsize. One of the most challenging tasks to prepare for this new stage of life is how to manage the possessions you have accumulated over a lifetime. Maybe you aren't downsizing in size of your new home, but just need help de-cluttering to make your home more appealing when it goes on the market. Remember this concept, "Clutter eats equity." You can help to achieve a higher price for your home by making sure that it shows at it's best. Too much stuff makes rooms look smaller and distracts buyers from seeing the full potential of the spaces inside your home. So how can we get a handle on this problem?
If you think about everything that needs to be done to sell your house, you might throw your hands up in despair. Take one step at a time, one small task at a time, and this certainly applies to this very first step of winnowing and deaccessioning your stuff. Break it down to manageable-sized chores. There are experts who have built businesses around helping people with this task. I would be happy to put you in touch with one of these professionals, who will work with you to help you make the tough decisions of what to let go and then help you figure out what to do with it, i.e. sell, donate etc. However, many people feel this is too personal a task, and would not be comfortable with this option, so my goal here is to introduce you to another way to get your possessions under control.
Marie Kondo's "Konmari Method of Tidying Up" is a fantastic way to get started. What began as a book has now expanded to a Netflix series. The method's basic premise is that you should only keep items that you need and use, or that spark joy in your life. It encourages people to tidy up by category, not by location. Begin with clothes, then move on to books, papers, miscellaneous items, and finally, sentimental items. If there are some items that you just can't part with yet, pack them up and organize them in a storage area. Remember, we are going to be successful in selling your home once you decide to market it, so you might as well start packing! There will be less you have to do later, once we have secured an offer.