5 Mistakes That Make Your Home Look Cluttered

Before putting a property on the market, oftentimes Chicagoland home staging will recommend decluttering the home, removing nearly 80-percent of a home seller’s belongings to ensure a clean, organized space prior to listing.

Our team explains to sellers it’s important to start packing up belongings not needed or in-use while the home is on the market to maximize buyer appeal.

This can be a difficult task for some home sellers, who have been living in a property for decades and can’t see past their beloved “stuff.” When homeowners become complacent with the items in their home, quite often the items are overlooked and the clutter becomes part of the decor. 

Here are five mistakes that can make a home look cluttered:

Mistake # 1: Surfaces Full of Clutter

The first clutter culprit we recommend our client’s tackle is home surfaces. Pay attention to the items lingering on your countertops, tabletops, shelving, floors, walls, and even your refrigerator.

Our fridge has a tendency to become a clutter spot quickly as we mount important “don’t forget” items with magnets. The same can be true on a bulletin board or near command centers. When showing a home, we suggest reducing clutter in these areas to not only protect sensitive information, but to limit buyer distractions.

Countertops in essential rooms like kitchens and baths can also easily become full of clutter. Plan on reducing the amount of items that are showcased on those counters including small appliances and decor and opt of clear open spaces.

Try to utilize those cabinets and drawers to store items that you still need to use daily while on the market, but instead of being front and center for buyers to see, they’ll be tucked away to remain out-of-sight.

PRO TIP: Buyers will also look inside those cabinets and drawers so make sure to schedule some time to declutter those areas as well before assigning other items to be stored in them.

Mistake #2: Excessive Decorations

Every room needs blank space for the eye to “rest” and to digest the entire view. Rather than decorating every square inch of a home, our home staging experts carefully direct a buyer’s eyes with strategically placed furnishings and accessories.

Minimize decor including family photos, knick-knacks, and collectibles, so a home buyer can focus on the positive features of the property. Again, it’s important to leave as much empty space as possible.

Mistake #3: Makeshift Playrooms

A room cluttered with toys can be a constant battle in family-oriented properties. Find creative ways to store toys with boxes, bins, and even dual-purpose furniture. Go through the toys to donate or throw out anything that is dated or broken.

Pack away half of the toys your kids won’t need while on the market. Try to get the kids involved too when it comes to preparing for a showing. Teach them to do a daily toy clean up with you, so they can help put away their toys at a moments notice.

Mistake #4: Ignoring Chores

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The never endless cycle of chores can make rooms look cluttered when ignored. Laundry baskets full of clothes, a sink full of dishes, and even entryways not properly addressed daily can cause a clutter pile-up.

Get into the habit of dealing with items as they come up or once used. For example, rather than place all the mail on a surface to build-up throughout the week, sort, toss and store it as needed. Another example, once clothes are clean and folded put them away immediately to avoid putting the pile on top of furniture.

Mistake #5: Too Much Furniture

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Speaking of furniture, many times a room will have too much furniture in the space to show-off its square footage. Everyone has been in a home that is filled to every corner with wall to wall furniture. To avoid making this mistake — keep only the key pieces of furniture in the room to define the space’s function and traffic flow. Floating furniture and blank spaces can also increase a room’s size.

PRO TIP: Eliminate all of the excesses to create a space for only what you use and love, while highlighting a lifestyle buyer’s aspire to.

Decluttering a home is just one step in the home staging process, contact Chicagoland Home Staging to get a customized home staging consultation that will provide all the details needed to get a property prepared for sale quickly.