Here's a moving house dilemma some of you may have experienced in the past or, like me, you're facing this challenge right now! You've got your house listed for sale. You're having regular showings, keeping your house in tip-top shape, but you're still anxious to get packing and organizing in preparation for the move. Perhaps you need to be ahead of the game because a big project or summer holiday will be keeping you busy a few months down the road when you're house (hopefully!) will have sold. Now is the time to get packing! How do you show your home to its greatest advantage to prospective buyers and pack at the same time? The answer is staging.
Staging is the concept of preparing your home to appeal to as many buyers as possible. A clean and tidy home is only part of the seller's marketing strategy. Staging increases the chance that people viewing your home will imagine it as their own. You do this by removing personal belongings, including photos, souvenirs, and specific items that identify the home as uniquely yours. You cut down the clutter so each room is on the verge of sparse, or as close to it as you can get. Serious staging can even include keeping paint and furniture coverings neutral in color. Staging your home can reduce the time it's on the market, as well as net you a few extra dollars!
So here's how to get your packing done while trying to sell your home:
Go through your entire home and get rid of everything you will not be taking with you. Plan to donate the items to charity, sell them, or have a junk removal company take them off your hands. This step should take care of a significant amount of busy-ness in your home. This step should be done before you even list your home.
Work through one room at a time with your packing supplies, collecting small visible items such as photos, mementos, souvenirs. Wrap them and pack them up in a labelled box. If the room has a closet, place the box there, out of sight. Eventually you'll have to create a space for moving boxes. Furniture surfaces should be bare, if possible.
Reduce Household Items
You can pack up wall prints, mirrors, and small furnishings if you have room to store them; this is where temporary storage can be really helpful. In my case I have built-in shelving in my garage so I had my kids go through their garage boxes, getting rid of items they would no longer need. Then we went through their rooms, packing items to put on the garage shelves. The packed stuff looks neat on the shelves, and their rooms are clean and bare, appealing to people viewing our home!
If space is really tight in your home and you have no options for storage, I still recommend the packing/staging process for improving the chances of quickly selling your home. People viewing the home know you are selling and so won't be put off by a few boxes piled against a wall in a room. This is preferable to a room cluttered with personal belongings!