A couple of years ago, my in-laws passed away, and recently we decided it was time to prepare their home and barn for sale. Preparing a home for sale, of course, came with the daunting task of cleaning out everything they left behind. This task wouldn’t have been daunting except for the fact that my in-laws were the type of people, and you know the type - very industrious, resourceful people and reluctant in letting stuff go because “you never know if you might need it later!” (And they usually did use stuff later; they could fix just about anything.)
The job was dirty and hot, but we laughed at some of the things we found and recounted memories of how this thing or that thing was used to fix something else.
Fast forward to me getting home after the clean-out: I don’t keep clutter. I am a home stager, I help people “declutter” and edit their belongings. My house is utterly clutter-free!
Just kidding, it’s actually not clutter-free. After having to cull through buckets of rusty nails, boxes of documents, and piles of tools, clothes, etc., I decided that I would not put my children through that (you’re welcome, kids). After the start of decluttering my house, we wanted to share some of the crazy places that I found in my house where clutter can sneak up on you.
The gift wrap cabinet. I will think twice or four times before saving another used gift bag. I threw away dozens!
Cosmetic and beauty product drawers. AKA: the makeup graveyard. Yes, they were expensive, but that eyeshadow will NEVER look good on me, I will never wear that (pretty bottle!) perfume, and the moisturizer makes me break out. Time to toss them!
The crafting area. My “baby” is 18, and just went off to college. Why do I still have play-doh tools, wiggly eyes, pipe cleaners, and popsicle sticks?
The pantry. I don’t really like to cook, but I pretend like I am going to try new recipes, and buy whatever the new recipe calls for. Do I use it? No. Is it expired? Yes.
The linen closet. Really, how many sets of sheets do you need? I am paring down to 2/bed. A winter flannel set, because, who doesn’t love to crawl between cozy flannel sheets? And a regular set. That’s all. I hate to fold them anyway, so just strip the bed, wash, and remake it. And what about those towels that look like they should have been retired years ago? Gone!
The freezer. We often don’t eat all of whatever I cook, so I put it in a container and freeze it “for later”. Later never comes. My wise son once told me, “Mom, if we liked it in the first place, there wouldn’t be anything left.” But still, I have a freezer full of mystery meals. I hate food waste, but let’s face it, no one is going to eat that stuff!
I’m sure there will be more surprises when I tackle other areas of my house, like the more obvious clutter accumulation places. Hello bookshelves, closets and game room, I’m coming for you! I was completely blown away by the shameful amount of stuff I got rid of today, and I’m just getting started. Now, this isn’t the Kondo method. If I am being completely honest, the only things in my house that “spark joy” are my pajamas, my bed, and my favorite bottle of wine.
If you are thinking about selling your house, start going through these spaces, as well as the more obvious ones. No reason to move what you don’t use. Once you have tackled the clutter, give Staging Dallas a call to help with the rest of the preparation.