I hear someone say, "there’s no space in my cabinets and
drawers for that stuff"? This is where the proverbial rubber
meets the road. Go to your moving company and get plenty of moving
boxes. Item by item, classify each item as either something you WILL
DEFINITELY NEED before moving day or everything else. Everything else,
pots and pans that are rarely used, extra place settings of dishes,
the fine china, gets boxed up and stored. This is PACKING MODE. Box
them all up, ready for the move, and put it all in storage.
The reason you put it in storage is simple. You know that every home
buyers will open all your kitchen cabinets and drawers to be sure
there is enough room for their stuff. If your kitchen cabinets, drawers
and pantries are packed tight, it sends a negative message and does
not support the notion of plentiful storage. You want to have as much
open space as possible. BOX IT UP AND STORE IT. I have seen it many
times; the perception of ample storage can be worth many times the
cost of storage.
In the pantry, do not try to impress buyers with how much the pantry
will hold, rather impress them with the space available in the pantry:
get the idea. Use up most of the food you have stored, open up the
space. You don’t want to have to move all that food anyway –
especially the heavy stuff.
When we talked about the kitchen, I said it would set examples and
set the tone for the rest of the house. Take what you learned there
and apply it here, in the closet. Closets are great clutter accumulators
and the idea is not to show-off how much the closets will hold but
how much closet space is available.
Let’s start with the easy decisions: – anything out-of-style,
no longer fits or that you have not worn in more than a year, box
it up. DON’T STORE IT – CALL A CHARITY. Of the clothes
you have remaining, there may still be some easy decisions –
if it is spring, box up all the winter clothes; you shouldn’t
need them until after your move. With what if left, pick out the barest
number of items that will be our wardrobe until you move. Pack up
everything else (wardrobe boxes are available) and put it in storage.
Now you can show off that storage space. There is something magical
about looking in a closet and seeing the bare floor and room for more
hangers on the rack – that’s your goal.
Are you detecting a pattern here? Room after room; stuff after stuff,
the process is the same, all though house proper, the basement, the
attic, the garage and any sheds. Pack it up now, store it, pick it
up on moving day. (Don’t forget to mark all your containers,
listing the contents of each.)
Speak with your children a gain their support (bribes are permissible).
Allow them to select a limited number of their favorite toys that
can stay at home. Everything else, pack it up.
You may find yourself in a quandary with some items. Quandary items
are items that are in good shape but cannot be used (wrong size, out
of style or won’t fit in the new home) and that you feel may
be of some value. Sooner or later the thought emerges – moving
sale, garage sale, yard sale. I have to label these thoughts as my
own personal opinion but also based, at least in part, on the comments
of sellers I have talked to. The sellers I have spoken with were disappointed
with what they sold (volume & price) compared with the time it
took to prepare and promote the moving sale. My opinion if you have
specific items of value, advertise and sell them outright. Another
option is to talk to your tax advisor about the benefits and requirements
of donating the majority of items to a charity. The tax benefit may
very well exceed what you would receive with a yard sale.
Another type of clutter is furniture clutter or the presence of too
much furniture in one or more room(s). Furniture clutter can often
be diminished by arranging or redistributing the furniture around
the house but it also may require the strategy talked about earlier
– move it out to storage. It is important to give the perception
of space in all the rooms of the house. If you are looking for some
ideas or want to see some professional work, visit some model homes
to see how the pros place furniture. This can give you some ideas
on what to keep, what should be rearranged and what should go.