I want to sell my house, but we have too much clutter! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 03-11-2005, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dh and I want to put our house on the market this summer, but every room is overrun with stuff. We have a basement, which is packed full. This is the deal. Dh just wants to rent a storage locker and shove it all in there, but they're spendy in our area and don't want to spend $300/month to store crap. THe market, in our area, isn't as good as it used to be and our realtor told us to clean up.
We have a toddler and a newborn so getting much done is not easy. We don't really "have" to move, but our street is busy and I'd like to move.
Any suggestions? Do I just give up on my dream of a newer house?
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#2 of 17 Old 03-12-2005, 04:27 AM
 
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Start now, to sell in summer. Don't give up your dream; I am so glad I just plowed ahead and did what I thought was impossible. We decided we wanted to move in late Sept 2004, and put the house on the market Feb 15th! It takes time; don't give up.

I started the impossible task--decluttering and staging my house to sell, in spite of my two little babies, who tear thru the house and create debris nonstop--and my house is SOLD, and my whole ordeal is almost over, as we close in 4 weeks!

Start GETTING RID OF STUFF. You have things stored in your basement? Have you used them within the past year? Maybe it's time to say good-bye, or like you've said, pay $300 to store it. What is that basement of stuff worth to you, really?

We decluttered like crazy, with donating massive amounts of stuff to Goodwill, and packing up tons of stuff to store in a good friend's ample basement (to avoid those $$ storage places...it gets pricey quick.) We removed a lot from our house to make it Pottery Barn perfect...books, a china cabinet, extra chairs, extra knick-nacks, photos in frames, TOYS, toys, toys.

Over the course of 6 weeks, we got things decluttered, staged (our Realtor was very into this...recommended a book "Dress Your House for Success" with tips like, paint your closets a fresh coat of white.....and we did paint two of 'em--night and DAY difference, my god, I thought that was crazy, but then we DID it, and it was right on.

Our Realtor, bless her heart, also shared her own lamps, vases, etc., to spruce up our house. You could also ask friends/family to lend key furniture pieces (a nice side table) or lamps or whatever, too. All those little things; having a clean house with a completely cleared-off countertop, fresh flowers (yes it's a "waste" of $15, but do it!) and green plants, fresh towels, spacious closets...they all create emotion, and emotion will tug at that prospective buyer and make them WANT the house.

With small children, we felt it was worth the effort to do all we could to make the house its most attractive, including asking a non-greedy price, so that it would sell as soon as humanely possible. And guess what, in spite of our sluggish market around here, it sold in 6 days. Amazing.

Just start paying attention to de-cluttering how-tos, here at mdc, and at the library. Start thinking about what you can get rid of. Go to open houses, see what makes a house look messy, see what staging techniques make you say, hey, that's GOOD. Look CAREFULLY at that Pottery Barn catalog page with the kitchen counter...what is ON it? What stuff is on the bathroom shelves? Open a medicine cabinet--is there a gross toothpaste tube and a box of tampax? Or something cute, like lotions and soap and "safe" stuff like that?

Soon you'll be on your way to the house on the street you REALLY want to be in, with your little ones. Now is the time. Technically speaking, it is easier to pull off the house-selling stunt when your youngest can't walk around and mess stuff up, so go ahead and get crackin'!
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#3 of 17 Old 03-12-2005, 08:55 AM
 
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Sounds like you ought to have a massive yard sale just as soon as the weather is warm enough...maybe in April, depending where you live.

That storage fee does sound pretty outrageous...plus you have the hassle of moving your stuff over there and then moving it back out. Do you have PODS where you live? It might turn out to be more convenient and even more affordable.
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#4 of 17 Old 03-13-2005, 04:06 PM
 
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I'd suggest that you start decluttering- just try to get rid of a few things every day (or maybe every week, since life with toddlers is so unpredictable.)

Freecycle is wonderful- post an "offer" message, somebody comes by to pick up the things you don't want. It's my first choice for getting rid of bulky things like books and furniture.

I'm willing to bet that you could give away 95% of what's in your basement and not even miss it.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#5 of 17 Old 03-13-2005, 11:42 PM
 
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Take it from someone who is looking right now- remove the stuff ASAP.

I cannot tell you how much stuff people have in their house that turns a buyer off. We looked at a house in a very desireable neighborhood for a price I thought was priced to sell. This house had so much stuff even though it was tidy and a nice space. Everywhere you went though was stuff. That was 6 weeks ago and I really don't think I'm the only one who thought so- its still for sale and they also have lowered their price. The house was also just off a busy street and had a pool in the backyard (not a huge selling point in the cold winter in the Chicago area) If it was july, that would sell it since the buyer would picture themselves in that pool right away.

We also want a bigger lot for our garden so that house did not work- but it had sooo much stuff.

Setting your house up to sell is an awesome idea. Buy fresh shower curtains,
Take stuff out of your medicine cabinet, put aside in a container that you can store somewhere else and put sweet niceties in there. Buy a local area book for your coffee table and take everything else off there. Empty out all kitchen drawers and cabinets by 25%-50% each. In your junk drawer, empty out the junk and put local take out menus in there. Have on your screen saver if you leave your pc on- ...Welcome to 123 Main St.....
Get rid of 50% of toys or start using bins for a quick cleanup when you get last minute calls for showing. Feed your freezer so you can eat quickly and not have to worry about cooking. Leave no dirty dishes out.
Also- clean out any stuff in the garage. I mean everything but a work bench and tools. Park your cars in there. Some people (myself incl) might want to see if there cars fit in the garage or if something fits. If they see your cars in their spots not surronded by xmas decor and big wheels its easier for them to see their cars in there.

Make the buyer think that no one lives there and the house is waiting for them to just move in.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#6 of 17 Old 03-15-2005, 06:02 PM
 
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here's some incentive for you to declutter - i was watching HGTV last summer (we don't have cable, so it's not a frequent thing!) and it was a show where they help you sell your house - and maybe find a new one, don't really remember. But the point is, and the thing that stuck out in my mind was the realtor helping to sell the house said for every box of STUFF you get rid of from your house, the selling price will go up. I'm pretty sure the dollar figure she gave was well over $100 per box.

chances are most of the stuff you've relegated to the basement you don't really need, otherwise it wouldn't be there. I'd start with a yardsale, because sometimes it's easier to let stuff go if you feel like it's going to someone who wants it. once i get started decluttering, i find it's a lot easier as i go along because i start to enjoy the "letting go" and the freed up space. good luck!!
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#7 of 17 Old 03-15-2005, 07:34 PM
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I've seen that show a few times, "Designed to Sell" and, inevetibly(sp) they tell the people to get rid of stuff.

Amazing how much crap people hold onto.

db
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#8 of 17 Old 03-15-2005, 08:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DebraBaker
I've seen that show a few times, "Designed to Sell" and, inevetibly(sp) they tell the people to get rid of stuff.

Amazing how much crap people hold onto.

db
A realtor told me that a lot of people are afraid others will want to steal this stuff while looking at the houses. So the owner wants to be present at showings. She finds that amusing.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#9 of 17 Old 03-15-2005, 10:34 PM
 
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i told him if he wants to move he has to get rid of some stuff too - i have flung a bunch of my stuff and the kids and i can fling more and intend to
but he is MAjOR packrat *sigh*
if you figure out how to convince your dh to not do this and fling let me know the secret!!
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#10 of 17 Old 03-17-2005, 02:16 AM
 
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Let me put it this way: $3600.

That is how much it would be to store your "stuff" for just ONE year.
I bet you could REPLACE all of it with brand new stuff for that kind of money.
You need to declutter. Look at the things that are cluttering up your house? Would you trade them for $3600?
I know it is hard to get rid of things, but you can do it.
Try Flylady if you haven't already. You don't even have to do the sink and shoes stuff...just read her advice on decluttering.
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#11 of 17 Old 03-17-2005, 09:43 AM
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How do you come up with the $3600 figure.

Seem sort of...ahem...well...random to me.

Debra Baker
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#12 of 17 Old 03-17-2005, 10:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DebraBaker
How do you come up with the $3600 figure.

Seem sort of...ahem...well...random to me.

Debra Baker

UHHHh.. well lets see. The first post said its $300 a month to store her junk.
The last time I checked there are 12 months in a year. If you multiply 3 x 12 = 36. If you add the 2 zeros on the end and do 300 x 12 you get 3600.

Thats seems so...ahem...well... right on to me.
BTW- math is not one of my finer points.

Whomever said 3600 I think you said it better than anyone here.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#13 of 17 Old 03-17-2005, 10:57 AM
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But how many people actually pay $300/month for storage? Most packrate seem to load up their basements. $300/month seems abritrary(sp) to me.

I can do the math.

DB
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#14 of 17 Old 03-17-2005, 11:05 AM
 
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$300. does seem high, but I suppose it depends on where you live and how large of a storage space you rent. My sister has some furniture and boxes in storage and pays $80. per month...which I still think is too high! I have heard of people renting storage lspaces to sell their home. People like to see a clean slate and imagine what they can do with the place.

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#15 of 17 Old 03-17-2005, 11:15 AM
 
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$300 is how much it would cost to rent a storage unit per month, in the OP's area. The post is about trying to move and get things out of the house (ie - out of the basement).

You guys are giving such GREAT ideas for decluttering, and even just sprucing up a house, that it seems like everyone could use, not just those trying to sell a house! We are moving in the summer, and don't want to move with anything more than what can fit in my minivan, DH's truck & a small utility trailer. So we are getting rid of at least one biggish thing each week for now. Usually, when I mean to get rid of one thing, it turns into several (because there's always something hiding behind that one thing!), so it is working out nicely. Freecycle has been great for us, too. If it were warm enough here, we'd do a yardsale, but it won't be yardsale weather until we are almost ready to move, and I just want this stuff out of here before that!

Mama of 3 amazingly sweet kids jumpers.gif, living the dream on our urban farm chicken3.gif

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#16 of 17 Old 03-17-2005, 11:31 AM
 
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$300 seems right on target to me. But again, around here it costs more and there are plenty of places to go to but it looks like people are storing their stuff since its hard to find openings in these expensive places. This is according to my pack rat neighbor who is doing what the OP stated as well.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#17 of 17 Old 03-17-2005, 04:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DebraBaker
But how many people actually pay $300/month for storage? Most packrate seem to load up their basements. $300/month seems abritrary(sp) to me.

I can do the math.

DB
You should reread the 1st post. They DID load up their basement and the rest of their house, now they need to put that stuff somewhere so they can SELL the house because nobody wants to buy a house that has tons of stuff all over in it.
Also, the OP gave the $300 figure, I am not just making stuff up.
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