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10 awesome tips to help declutter your home

By Peter Gow

Preparing your house for sale, or even making it more enjoyable to live in, often involves throwing out unwanted or unused possessions and injecting some discipline into your housekeeping.

Nothing turns off a prospective buyer faster than an untidy or dirty home. Inspections that include your dirty dishes in the sink or clothes discarded in a corner of a bedroom rarely get an offer.

You’ll have spent marketing dollars getting buyers to come to your home, only to send them away in disgust, having ignored all the positive attributes of the property.

As local agents, we’ve picked up quite a few decluttering tips over the years, and are happy to share them below.

  1. Get the household hooked on having their own hooks. This is where they hang their coats, caps and so on. Anything that doesn’t fit on the hook needs to be put away correctly.
  2. Dedicate trays, or drop spots, for keys, sunglasses, umbrellas and even loose change. These reduce clutter and stop family members from asking, “has anyone seen my phone?”, or “where are the car keys?”. Sound familiar?
  3. Grade your kitchen equipment by the amount they’re used. The least-used items should be the farthest from the action. Dedicate a tray for your favourite cooking utensils next to the stove. Keep the cups near the kettle and see if you can store plates next to the dishwasher so they’re easy to put away quickly.
  4. Keep countertops free of clutter. This is not only practical but a big fashion focus for buyers. Toasters, kettles, slow cookers and the like are all kept out of view these days. That’s one reason why modern designs are so big on storage.
  5. Hang Young Picasso’s art in a dedicated area that’s not the fridge door. If you have wall space, install a magnetic board to keep track of family schedules, homework deadlines and so on.
  6. Random shoes on the floor is a bugbear if you have teenagers. Buy a boot rack, put it near the entry and insist all excess footwear goes in everyone’s respective bedrooms.
  7. Ever felt the pain of a Lego brick dig into your instep? Stop that nonsense by investing in plastic bins so the bricks are easy to stow and access, even for a four-year-old. Also, consider adapting a magnetic knife rack to stash toy cars.
  8. Store out-of-season sports equipment. Put away the footie boots and shin pads for next winter. What’s the point of tripping over them every time you go into the laundry?
  9. Corral that linen cupboard! Keep your sheet sets together by placing each item into one of the pillowcases. That way, they won’t mysteriously separate, never to be reunited.
  10. Minimise the items on your bedside table and dressing table. These are two favourite dumping grounds upstairs. Keep them free of unnecessary objects, and they’ll be easier to clean, too. You may even sleep better!
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