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organized: Cut clutter for fast sell
DATE: July 17,
PUBLICATION: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The
EDITION: Home; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
COLUMN: A CLOSER
relaxing and comfortable about walking into a room that's warm and
inviting but not cluttered from floor to ceiling. That's also exactly what
organizing experts say helps sell a home and makes a move easier to
"When you are going to touch everything you own anyway,
it's a good time to go through and get rid of clutter," said
Melinda Anderson, owner of Southern Home Organizers, a
Dacula-based company that helps folks organize, pack and even
Another organizing expert, Sue Williams, owner of An Eye
for Order, agrees. "When you're getting ready to move, you don't want to
have to move your clutter and take it with you." But she has found that
it's common to see boxes of possessions that have been hauled from house
to house and never unpacked.
Decluttering and organizing before a
move saves time and money and leaves you with fewer of those
what-goes-where decisions when the movers have unloaded and driven
Getting rid of excess stuff also gives a home that minimalist
look that can help prospective buyers imagine their own possessions in a
"Everybody has storage needs, and if it looks like the
family who currently lives there has plenty of storage space, it helps to
sell the house," Anderson said. That's because many people who are
moving have outgrown their space.
She suggests first clearing areas
that will stay with the house, such as closets and cupboards.
decluttering is a great idea, it's not always as easy as it sounds. "You
need to go through one room at a time, if you have plenty of time, and ask
yourself, 'Do I need this or can I live without it?' This allows you time
to have a garage sale or to box things up and take them to a favorite
charity," she says.
When considering household items, it is easy to
start with the items you don't use often or to pare down, for instance,
from those five can openers or potato peelers rattling around in the
drawers to the one you use the most.
If getting rid of family items
sparks conflicting feelings or makes you feel guilty, try going through a
collection of 10 things and picking out the best or most
"I tell clients to keep a trunk or keepsake box with
their favorite things that remind them of their family instead of hanging
on to a garage full of things that just weigh you down," Williams
Or try doing something creative, perhaps framing a family
heirloom such as a christening gown or shawl and displaying it on a wall
where it takes up less space.
Keeping the big picture in mind can
make the sorting and divesting a little easier, too.
"You are not
only selling a house, you are selling a lifestyle," Anderson said.
"People are more interested in a home when it looks like daily chores are
easy to do and the house appears easy to keep organized."
information, contact www.southernhomeorganizers.com or
If you have a question or topic that you
would like to see answered or discussed in A Closer Look, send it to
Homefinder, A Closer Look, AJC, Eighth Floor, 72 Marietta St., Atlanta, GA
30303, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southern Home Organizers
When preparing to
move, it is a good idea to get rid of clutter for two reasons. A home like
the one on the right will show better and look more
Southern Home Organizers
process is streamlined when old and forgotten possessions are either put
away or disposed of.