So it's time to move. Now what? Taking the steps to prepare your home to put it on the market can be overwhelming. The sooner you start taking those steps, the better.

When potential buyers visit your home, it's important that they can see themselves living in the space. You don’t want them distracted by clutter. The best thing to do is to take it room by room. This declutter guide will make your home show better and make it easier to pack when moving day comes.                                        

Cleaning your home to move

Clean Everyday

There are a million things you have to do everyday, and a million things you would rather be doing than washing your dishes. Staying ahead of your housework is important when showing  your home. Inconvenient? Yes. A bit stressful at times? Sure can be. But trust me when I say, it's worth it. If someone wants to see your home on short notice, you won't be scrambling to load the dishwasher, clean the floors and hide the laundry. Give yourself a schedule of chores and do your best to stick to it. If you miss something don’t give up, don't beat yourself up, just work it back into your schedule. If your home doesn't show well, the buyer that can't see past that won't put in an offer. Your time and attention to detail are worth every second.

Donate

Utilize Small Windows of Time

If you only have 15 minutes, use it! Set a timer and designate three areas. Have a garbage bag open and ready for anything you can throw away, a laundry bin for things that need to be put away, and a cardboard box labeled “DONATION.”  Now you are ready for a 15 minute blitz!  Anything out in the open is fair game. The stack of mail on the counter with an expired coupon book, toss it!  That throw pillow that doesn’t match anything in your house, donate! If you don’t love it, use it, need it, it may be time for it to go! This can even be a fun family activity, see who can get the most done in the time allowed, and maybe they get to pick the family movie!

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Start in the Bathroom

Go through your medicine cabinets and properly dispose of expired and unused medications.  Now look under your sink. See all those lotions, potions, shampoos and conditioners you used once and even though you didn’t like it, you don’t want to throw it away since you spent good money on them? You can take those bathroom products and donate them. Call your local women and children’s shelter or homeless shelter and see if they will take open products, many will and you can feel good helping others. All those towels and sheets in the back of the linen closet that you never use? You can donate those too! Contact your local animal rescue group or shelter, they can use them and now you free up space.

Paintcans

Garage

If you have any leftover paints that you used in your home, make sure they are labeled properly for the new homeowners. If you have any paint colors that are no longer in your home, or any leftover building supplies or tools, Habitat for Humanity will gladly take them.

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Kitchen

Alton Brown says, the fire extinguisher is the only "unitasker" in the kitchen!  All those gadgets and specialized pans you never use, time to say "ahhhh, bu-bye" and get rid of them.

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Children’s Bedroom

Be gentle here. Explain to your kids what moving means and ask for their help in getting ready to move. Are they moving to a home with a pool and they didn't previously have one? Are they getting their own bedroom for the first time? Put a positive and exciting spin on out with the old, in with the new. Let them know that there are children who would love the toys that they no longer play with and ask for them to pick some out that another lucky kid will enjoy. Again, a women and children’s shelter is great spot for these items. Set up a clear Rubbermaid tote labeled "TOYS TO KEEP."  Show junior the label and assure him that anything he is willing to put away and store until you move will be safe. A clear bin also allows you visibility so if something accidentally gets put away, you can easily find it. Moving can be a very confusing times for kids, so informing them and letting them be a part of the transition can really help them process what is going on.