Typically winter months mean hibernating inside the house while the snow piles up outside. It might not be the most motivating season; however, it is ideal for finally tackling all the small projects you’ve been avoiding because of the nice weather. You’ve probably been sidestepping them because they are tedious and, frankly, there is a lot of reality TV shows on which you need to stay current. But if you have plans to list in the spring, take these few months as the perfect opportunity to focus on small accomplishments that can yield a large reward.
Simplify your life; clean with a purpose. Clutter is a friend to no one. Everyone accumulates a lot of “stuff” throughout their lives, which makes a home cozy and personalized, but it also makes the thought of moving an absolute nightmare. In general, it’s a good idea for everyone to take stock of his/her possessions and clear away the clutter. If you have plans to downsize, this step is a must.
The goal of showing a home is to have the potential buyers envision living in the space. Right now it is your space, but you want them to be able to think about it being their space. Shelves of clutter can distract buyers from this vision. Instead, they will question the amount of storage space needed to keep all their possessions.
Before you get overwhelmed, consider sorting through your collections in stages. Consider focusing on a different room once a week—the basement might take a couple days depending on how many ‘memories’ you’ve accumulated. Remember: it is just stuff; keep only what you need versus what you want to have. Of course you will want to keep items of sentimental value—just don’t let sentiment overshadow practicality.
Make a dollar (or two). Once you’ve managed to part with some of your possessions the question now becomes… what to do with it? Pick out any items that are worth selling on-line through sites like Craigslist or Amazon. Craigslist is a great place to sell large items that you don’t want to worry about shipping, like furniture, or heavy items like dishes. If you have a lot of books, Amazon is a great place to sell those. You can also check with your local Barnes & Noble for their Book Buy-Back schedule.
Help your community: donate! If you don’t have the time or inclination to sell online, consider donating items you don’t need to various organizations. Libraries will accept used books and make them available to all their patrons. Do you have a stack of old magazines? Consider donating them to a nursing home. Abundance of arts and crafts supplies? Donate those to a local high school art teacher. Some cities have Community Wish Lists detailing what items local charities and organizations need. If you happen to live in or near Rochester NY, check out http://www.communitywishbook.com/. You can also donate to larger organizations like Goodwill and Salvation Army.
Repair all those pesky little problems. Now is the time to tackle all those minor repairs you’ve been avoiding. Ensure your home is in its best state prior to any possible showings in the spring. Don’t let potential buyers be put off by something small like a leaky faucet. Make a list of all the fix-it projects your home needs and spend a weekend turning that ‘To-Do List’ into a ‘Done List’.
If you need help decluttering or with small repair projects, call Nothnagle Home Services for recommendations of local contractors at 1-866-295-MOVE.