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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

No matter what you read about putting one's house on the market, the first instruction given is to


  1. noun
  1. 1.
    a collection of things lying about in an untidy mass.

    "the attic is full of clutter"

We don’t all define clutter the same way.  The above definition would suggest it could be anything lying about.  But I think an even better definition is  

clut·ter: “stuff” that distracts potential home buyers.   

Clutter gets in the way of potential buyers seeing the bones and the beauty of the home.  We all have clutter and sometimes it is disguised as prized family heirlooms or our children's amazing art projects.  

Here are a few items that become clutter once the home is for sale:

  • Family photos bunched together on a table or wall
  • Grandma's prized teapot
  • Refrigerator magnets holding up sports schedules, doctor's business cards and pictures of grandchildren
  • School calendars
  • Fake plants and flower arrangements
  • Book shelves overflowing with too many books
  • A piece of furniture that blocks a window or door -- or simply too much furniture in a room
  • Too many table cloths, doilies and draping window treatments 
  • Bath mats and throw rugs
  • Too many chairs around a table
  • Oversized furniture
  • Collections (dolls, paperweights, stuffed animals, wooden ducks, canes.... you name it and we've seen it)
  • Posters of Anthony Rizzo or Patrick Kane
  • Heads of animals that have been mounted -- ugh
You get the idea.   

How we live in a home and what we treasure is extremely personal.  The things we treasure can represent precious memories and important people.  They can even define who we are.  

But selling one's home is no longer a personal matter - it's business.   It's important to remember that too much personalization takes away from the effectiveness of marketing of a property.  

Sellers: edit, edit, edit.  Less is more and making the space look larger can be achieved by having less furniture and "stuff" in a room.   Caution:  I once saw a home where they de-cluttered to a point that the room was sterile and uninviting.   I think a few family pictures here and there are OK.  A nice houseplant or fresh flowers are wonderful.  

If you need help with this task, there are some wonderful stagers and organizers in our area.   My personal go-to folks are The Organizing Girls from Libertyville.  They are great.  

So, thinking about selling?  Start de-cluttering. 

Put away or better yet, start to pack up your stuff now.   That way, it will be all ready to be moved to your next home!

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