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Get Ready, Get Set…SELL!

March 15, 2016

The biggest reason people give for moving is a lack of space in their current house, condo or apartment. That’s why it’s critical for yours to look as spacious as possible to real estate agents and prospective home buyers. The fastest way to do this is to remove clutter in and around the property. As an added bonus, the de-cluttering process will make it easier (and faster!) for you to move when your house sells.

De-cluttering or “staging” a home for sale can seem overwhelming, but if you break the job down into a series of steps, it will be less daunting. This month, we tackle the living areas. Next month, we will share tips on clearing out storage spots like the attic, garage and shed.

Step 1: Take pictures.
Often, prospective buyers get their first look at a property via a picture on a realtor’s website. To look at things through their eyes, try taking a photo of each area outside and inside the home, including the interior of cupboards and cabinets. You might be surprised at what you notice. For instance, you may never think about that old swing set in the corner of the yard, but a broken or rusty unit can give the whole house a neglected appearance. Likewise, that exercise equipment in the basement? If it’s just a landing spot for dust, the area will seem unwelcoming and untidy. Even if you still use the weights or exercise bike, those things take up A LOT of space. If a buyer and real estate agent can’t easily walk through the space, consider putting those large items in storage.

Step 2: Make BIG decisions and sort the small stuff.
As you review the images, decide which of the larger items you may need to call a junk hauler to remove. Then go through the smaller things like photographs and knickknacks. To help in this process, try to disassociate yourself from the house. Don’t think of the place as “yours” and it will be easier to de-personalize and pack up personal keepsakes. Remember, a buyer needs to picture THEIR belongings in the space which can be challenging if your family heirlooms and pictures are in every corner.

Step 3: De-clutter the debris.
Keep tables, shelves, dressers, etc., as clear as possible. When you handle each book and knick-knack, ask yourself if it is worth paying to put in storage or would it be more valuable being used by someone else. Try to limit collectibles on bureaus and bookshelves to one or two items. De-cluttering horizontal surfaces makes a room feel more open and thus, bigger.

Step 4: Organize interiors.
Ask any real estate agent and he or she will tell you kitchens and bathrooms can make or break a house sale. Keep these areas clean and streamlined by clearing everything off of the counters. Also, go through cabinets and cupboards and remove expired spices and cosmetics. Unused appliances, serving dishes, and excess sheets and towels can be donated for a tax deduction. In the kitchen, you should also neatly stack dishes and face coffee cup handles the same way.

In closets, minimize your clothing. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t worn it in a year, donate it! Organize what is left by lining up shoes, hanging similar colors together and facing the same direction, and buttoning shirts, skirts, dresses and jackets.

Follow these four tips to make the most of your space and set the stage to sell your home. If you need help hauling items to be recycled or donated, give BumbleJunk a call at 1-888-286-2535 or visit us online at BumbleJunk.com to schedule a pickup. Remember to check back with us next month as we will share tips on clearing out storage spots like the attic, garage and shed.