Steps to Selling

Getting Ready to Sell - Decluttering

After living in a home for several years your habits have set, and your taste has entrenched itself within the walls of your home. It is functional, and everything you need is close at hand. We often get more relaxed about organization the longer that we live somewhere, so decluttering and organizing your home becomes integral step in getting your home ready for the market. Functional may make you happy but isn’t always pleasing to potential buyers.

This can seem like a daunting task, but if you approach it the right way it can actually help pair things down and making packing and moving easier. First consider what you are currently actively using, what you haven’t used in a long time, what is out of season, and what do you have multiples of.

If you have a lot of things that are old, you don’t have much use of, or know you will never use again, consider tossing it or if it’s useful hold a garage sale, post it on kijiji, or donate it. This can be difficult for some but keep in mind it will go a long way for marketing your home that these excess items are not present.

As far as things that you are not using but are out of season or you have multiples that you don’t use, pack it away. This is particularly relevant for clothing, outdoor tools, sports equipment, and outdoor decorations. Consider renting a storage space until you have moved to get excess items out of the way.

Personal Items, such as family photos, knickknacks, awards, and children’s artwork. While may be warm homey touches should be minimized and stored away until your home is sold. Your home’s staging needs to allow others to visualize their own personal touches, with too many of your own it can be difficult for potential buyers to imagine making the space their own.


Going by area here are some things to look out for:

Outside & Garage

  • Get rid of excess sports equipment that isn’t in use.

  • Put off season equipment in storage (ex, snow blower during summer months, lawnmower during winter months).

  • Pick up any kids toys from front yard and porch.

  • Organize gardening tools in sheds or garage.


  • Remove minimally use small appliances from counter tops

  • Store extra kitchen tools that don’t get used regularly

  • Store unused dinnerware

  • Remove hanging utensil walls or pot racks.

  • Remove pot holders and dish towels from the front of the stove/ off of drawers

  • Under sink can be a storage space or cleaning products, remove any that you don’t use or are almost empty, or doubles.



  • Countertops should be empty except for the basics: soap, toothbrush, a hand towel, and possibly one decoration that matches the bathroom theme.

  • Under sink and drawers can become a goo hoarder’s paradise (half empty/ unused products), remove anything you do not use.

  • Children’s bath toys – try to organize and minimize toys by keeping them in one location.

  • Showers and bathtubs should also have unused bottles removed.


  • Nightstands and dressers should be free of extra items, like books, and photos.

  • I would highly suggest removing jewelry and personal belongings.

  • Keep decorative pillows to a minimum.

  • Out of season clothing should be removed from your closet, and remaining clothing should be hung or folded neatly.

  • Remove clothing from floors.

  • Keep children’s toys organized in a toy box and off the floor.

Hallways & Closets

  • Closets should have off season clothing removed to open space.

  • Hallways should be clear of all items on the floor.

Living/ Dining/ Family Rooms

  • Decorative pillows and throws should be minimized.

  • Reduce the number of coffee table books and magazines that are in open view.

  • Wall units and bookshelves that are open be tidy and organized, consider reducing the number of books, electronic equipment, or personal memorabilia.

  • Decorative rugs should be slip free and lie flat if being used.

It may seem like a long list but if done over the span of a few weeks it can be a very manageable process, and it will certainly pay off in the long run by making your home more inviting to potential buyers. For extra help in determining how to stage your home contact your realtor, they should have plenty of helpful advice, and guide you through the key areas of your home.