How to get rid of your clutter before you stage your house to sell
It’s often a question from a client that prompts a blog post. I figure if they have an issue others may have it too.
Today’s question comes from a lady whose husband died 3 years ago. She never sorted through his things and now wants to move to a smaller house. She has a lot of ‘stuff’ to get rid of. She knows what she needs to do but doesn’t know HOW to go about it. She wants to sell some things if possible. She also lives alone so trust and personal safety are big issues for her.
The contacts in this post are Brisbane centric as this is where my clients and I live but the principles apply anywhere – you will just have to do some additional asking around/googling.
This was my advice to her:
A. ONE STOP SHOP
If you want to make one call and have one contact sort everything out for you then an Estate Clearance is a good way to go. In Brisbane I recommend Dave’s Estate Clearance. I love Dave’s website as he has a real understanding of the process and the emotions involved in clearing a full or part estate. He gives you a roll of green tape. You mark everything you want to keep/give to relatives with this tape. He then makes an offer on the rest of your stuff, takes it all away and even vacuums up after himself. From overwhelm to problem solved!
If you want a company to help you downsize, pack and dispose of or sell unwanted items then House Clearance is another option. Particularly good for relocating seniors who do not have family around to help. Or take a look at a specific senior relocation option. These options both solve the ‘how do I go about it’ problem as everything is done for you.
B. ORGANISE IT YOURSELF
1. SELL WHAT YOU CAN
Here are your options:
- Estate clearance, antiques/collectables company or auction house. They won’t take everything, just what they think they can sell. Try Dave’s Estate Clearance, or a dealer from either the Wooloongabba Antiques centre or the Paddington Antiques centre (click through to see a list of dealers) I particularly recommend Katherine from The Old Boathouse If you have antiques then the Queensland Antiques Dealers association has a list of members here An alternative is an auction house.
- Sell on-line through e-bay or Gumtree Pick the one you’re most comfortable with. If you’ve never listed anything on-line before I think Gum Tree is probably easier and has a more local feel.
- Old school local classifieds such as courier mail weekend shopper
- Garage Sale of Car boot sale. If you’ve never run a garage sale before click here for a great ‘how to.’ To list your sale for greater exposure try Traderoo or egaragesales If the thought of running a sale is too much, ask someone to run it for you. There’s a lady on Brisbane Northside who will organise a sale for you. Click here for details. Car boot sales are less popular in Australia than in other countries but are still a good option. Sales are listed on Gumtree or just google for upcoming sales. A note about garage sales – they are time consuming and you will be left with a lot of stuff that didn’t sell. Only attempt if you have the time/energy!
2. GIVE AWAY WHAT YOU CAN
- You may want to give away some of your possession to relatives and friends. Arrange a ‘cut off date’ for this. You don’t want to be holding things for people long after you’ve given it to them.
- Charities. Charity begins at (or near) home so think about any local community groups e.g. church that you could give some things too. Here are my 3 favourite websites for charity donations. 1. Givenow has a list of charities by state that are looking for donations. Great if you want to support a specific charity. 2. Givit List what you’ve got and charities will find a person who needs it. 3. Heart for the Homeless Register for a free collection.
3. THROW AWAY THE REST
- Options are: Aussies Skip Bags. Buy the bags from selected stores. Fill the bag in your own time then ring for them to take away. Better alternative to a skip. For large junk try 1800gotjunk or Brizzy rubbish removals
- Don’t forget your council refuse site or kerbside collections. All information is here
C. ADDITIONAL SERVICES IF NEEDED
- If you need to hire a bit of muscle to move things round at home or to get boxes into storage then I recommend The Van that Can Well priced and happy to help.
- Storage solutions are National storage or PODS (they deliver a container, you fill it in your own time then they move and store when required)
- If de-cluttering by yourself is too overwhelming then look at Australian Association of Professional Organisers for an organiser in your area
Once you’ve de-cluttered I can help you maximise the price you receive for your property by staging it using the furniture you have or by hiring new. I can also give you advice on actions you will need to take to give you the best return on investment e.g. new carpets, painting, repairs. Give me a call on 0432 994 056 or contact me through my website for more details.
So not many pretty before and after pictures today but hopefully lots of information to help you get rid of your clutter before you stage your house to sell
I’m Imogen Brown, a home stager based in the western suburbs of Brisbane. If you would like some advice on how to prepare your property in the best way so that it sells quickly, for the best price and with the least stress all round then give me a call on 0432994056 or contact me through my website