Feb 20, 2013

Clear the clutter Part I- the Kitchen

Thanks At Home in Arkansas for letting me be a guest Blogger today!  

An important part of getting your house show ready is clearing out the clutter of unnecessary stuff. You want to give all potential buyers a feeling of order, not chaos. And,yes,it's okay to "Pretend" that you are better organized than you really are, when your house is on the market! We all know that many of the homes, on the market, have people living in them. But, the worst is walking into a home that looks a Little too "Lived in". I have seen it all- from Martha Stewart *clean as a whistle*, labels on every shelf to Animal House *Under~roos on the floor*, what's a shelf? let alone a label. I am not saying that you need to channel your inner Martha before every showing, because I know that is not possible (at least for me).

photo via google

If you follow me at www.lindseybinzhome.com you know that we recently moved homes. We had about 25 showings in the first 5 days, YEP, it's true! Let me just say I wish I would have done a little more clearing of the clutter before the yard sign went up. You never, let me repeat NEVER, want to have to turn down a showing because the house is not ready. What I'm saying is BE READY, at all times! Clear out the Clutter before the photos are taken.

photo via Lindsey Binz Home

Once that's done, it's easy to keep the house ready to show. If you are like me and your thoughts are as jumbled as your junk drawer, then, by all means call for help. Even if you need to pay someone to come in and counsel you between trash bag trips to the dumpster. Just kidding, if it's that bad you might want to audition to be on "Hoarders" so they can pay you.

Okay, I'll be serious.

Start with the kitchen drawers. All of them. First, take out everything and give them a good wipe down. Then   set aside everything that does not have an immediate purpose. Immediate meaning while you are still under the current roof. Decide if you want to toss, donate or pack for future home and put in it's appropriate place. Lastly, get some inexpensive drawer baskets or small bowls and dishes that you already have to hold all of the items that you put back in. I love using cute containers that I have collected over the years-
I smile ,thinking of how I acquired them, when I open the drawer.
For utensils- use the molded plastic divided trays- I think they work better than the adjustable ones.

photos via house by hoff

Keep the kitchen cabinets and pantry as organized as possible~ you want to make sure everyone that comes in can see that the available space and storage is sufficient. I like the idea of using clear containers to house food items and removing the door organizer~ are those ever in order anyway???

If you have time, give the trim and walls a fresh coat of paint. I love this stencil- such a great way to add some style to the ordinary!
Photo via domestic imperfection

I realize these next pantries are not typical, but I couldn't resist.  They are stunning! 

via designsponge

Don't forget to clean out the fridge too.  You never know who might open it up while at a showing!
You could even have bottled water in there for lookers. Just stick a note on the door and say "help yourself to some water"!
photo via zettas aprons

Next clear ALL counters and other surfaces of  personal items- including, family photos, paperwork, electronics, etc... nobody needs to know what type of vitamins you take or how many points you have earned on your Visa rewards card.  If you must keep certain items on your counter tops, choose only one or two, depending on your counter size, and make sure they are ones you use every day. 
 I love containers that hide all of my everyday stuff... all kinds.

photo via my designchic.com

Once you've cleared out ~ make a few small changes that will help you be ready when you get a call that someone wants to see the house in 5 Minutes!  Hopefully all of your hard work will save you from an AHHHH moment and you can relax!

 Here are some ideas to help.

  • Use a soap dispenser rather than tray and a bar of soap to keep the sink area clean. 
  • Keep a few (Empty) baskets and small containers handy for those junk piles that seem to accumulate daily. You can just throw in the stuff and stick the container on a shelf or in a closet.
  • Put a few drops of Vanilla Extract in small bowls through out the house it's a great, light freshener without seeming like you are trying to cover smells. Stay away from strong sprays and candles.
  • Keep an extra trash bag in the trash can, so you can easily change it- just as you walk out the door.

One of the most important things buyers consider when house shopping, is STORAGE, STORAGE, STORAGE! You want to make sure the Storage areas look neat and not too full. Pre~ pack EVERYTHING that you are not going to need .  If you are unsure, just pack it anyway!

 It's still okay to Live in your home, while it's on the market.  Just make sure you keep it show ready!

  Here is a great example of a laundry closet that is functional, efficient and organized!
via better homes and garden

Happy Clutter Clearing!
If it seems a little more than you can handle, call me!


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