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Declutter For Pre-Listing

As a home inspector in the Suffolk and Nassau Counties, we see a lot of homes just prior to being listed for sale. Pre-listing home inspections are quickly becoming common practice in some areas of the country because its benefits to a home owner can be numerous. However, as a home inspector we also see a lot of overly-cluttered homes clearly not ready for listing or attractive to a potential buyer. Below are some simple ideas on how to de-clutter your home prior to listing it.

It can be emotionally difficult to de-clutter and it can be a bit difficult because you do have to decide what you can hide by storing away neatly in a closet or off-site. (Do not over-stuff your closets; it can make your house look like there’s insufficient storage.) We even gave a mention to all of our clients on Google Plus to make sure to declutter your homes prior to inspection. We want you to get the most out of your inspection. Check out our post on Google Plus:

There are several key reasons for decluttering: A de-cluttered room makes it look bigger and captures “visual” square footage, it can highlight the home’s positive features because they’re no longer hidden under clutter, de-cluttering means de-personalizing so a potential buyer can envision themselves living in your home.

Here are some ideas for de-cluttering:

  • Make the time over several days. It can be difficult with busy schedules to spend an entire day de-cluttering your home. Make and take the time over several days to begin de-cluttering, organizing, and putting things away.
  • A place for everything. Make sure you dedicate space for everything or consider getting rid of it. Clutter builds up either because you didn’t know where to put something or didn’t take the time to put it away. Time to address both issues: if there’s no space, make one or get rid of it; if you didn’t put something away because of not taking the time, make the time now.
  • A little bit at a time. De-cluttering can be overwhelming. Start with small things easy to deal with items. Start with small rooms or the least cluttered rooms and build from there. If you tackle it one space at a time, it won’t feel as overwhelming.
  • Through strangers’ eyes. Look at your home through the eyes of a complete stranger. Stand back and really take a look at each room. What do you see? If there’s even a remote feeling of clutter, keep going. Remove furniture pieces if a room has too many pieces in it. Taking a picture of a room can be very helpful. The camera shot is critical and can reveal what you might not be “seeing” through a homeowners’ eyes.
  • Keep it up! Once you de-clutter, keep things in their place. Take time every evening or morning, to put things away. Don’t let things and clutter build up again! Make so that when you get a last minute call to show your home, it’s ready to go!


As home inspectors working across Suffolk and Nassau counties, we are always happy to talk to potential clients about their home inspections. Contact us today to discuss your home or your buyer inspection needs!

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