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How to emergency declutter before buyers arrive

By Peter Gow

It’s amazing how “our stuff” can have an emotional hold on us and complicate what should be the simple task of decluttering our home.

The simple idea of getting rid of unnecessary possessions (and let’s face it, they’ll cost you money to move them when you’ve found your next dream home) is harder than it seems.

Additional pressure can come if you’ve left yourself only a few days to declutter before prospective buyers arrive.

These are our favourite tips for decluttering before the For Sale sign goes up at the front of your property.


You want buyers to picture themselves in your home. Remove family photos and holiday souvenirs so the buyers don’t feel like visitors.

Space invaders

Everyone’s home has its storage limits. So, plan your decluttering project by identifying belongings that take up the most unnecessary space. Buyers want spacious homes, so don’t fill rooms without reason.

Focus on furnishings

Assess the purpose of furniture in your living room and bedrooms. Items not used regularly should be shown the exit or put into storage until you move into your next home.

Plan your work

Avoid being overwhelmed by the size of the task. Go through your home one room at a time. Prioritise where you’ll make the most impact, and enjoy completing each step as a victory.

Cupboard clutter

Buyers favour houses and apartments with great storage. So, ensure your kitchen and bathroom cupboards and drawers are not overflowing. Likewise, pare down the clothes in your wardrobes to give the impression of an abundance of closet space.

Clear surfaces

Whether it’s the coffee table or kitchen benchtop, clear them of items that give the impression of clutter.

Be disciplined

Once you’ve completed your decluttering project, ensure your home doesn’t fill up again. “One in, one out” is a good mantra to keep your home looking fantastic until you find a buyer.

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