There are basically three types of clutter that tend to emerge in most homes, and it usually gets worse as time goes on.
Homeowners often get so used to their own clutter, that it becomes virtually invisible to them.
That’s one of the reasons it can be extremely helpful to work with a real estate agent when preparing your home for sale. Not only can an experienced agent provide an objective point of view, but most agents have a trained eye that can spot unsightly clutter “a mile away”!
There are several reasons household clutter is an issue when trying to stage a home for sale. First of all, it’s an eyesore. It makes your home look less inviting to prospect buyers, and, in many cases, in makes rooms look smaller. Clutter also makes it more difficult to keep surfaces and floors clean, which is one of the cardinal rules of effectively staging a home.
Three Types of Clutter to Target
There’s a delicate balance between having just enough –or too many — items on countertops and tables. In most cases, it’s too much! You’re usually better off “erring on the side of sparseness,” rather than the other way around. Unless something serves either a decorative or functional purpose (preferably both), it probably should be stored away in a drawer or cabinet. If it weren’t for the fact that buyers typically look in closets when touring a home, then that would be an obvious place to hide clutter. However, that’s sure to make a bad impression.
When you think of the word “clutter,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? A typical mental image is that of a room crowded with too much furniture. That’s a common problem with improperly staged homes, and it’s a surefire way to send prospective buyers scurrying — ones who might have otherwise made an offer. Cluttered rooms look smaller, messy, disorganized, and — in some cases — chaotic. None of those characteristics are going to create a good feeling in people’s minds, which is a primary objective when showing a home to potential buyers.
The third type of clutter, which is also pretty typical, is wall clutter — specifically: too many paintings, photos, art prints, posters, wall clocks, and other miscellaneous objects which make the walls look “too busy”! For some home sellers, this can be the most difficult aspect of visual clutter to fix because there’s an emotional connection to family photographs, children’s drawings, and so on.
If you’re torn between what to display and what to hide, your real estate agent can be the best source of objective, unbiased advice. In many cases, “less is more,” but it pays to get a professional opinion!