How to Declutter Your House Before You Sell

Feb 21, 2022 | Moving, Storage Containers, Tips

A home that’s packed full of possessions can mask the great features of a house. That can be problematic if you want to sell your home. A home that’s well staged and clean tends to be more enticing to buyers than one that isn’t. Even so, it can be challenging to declutter a house that you’re still living in. However, with some selective decluttering outlined in the following tips, you can more successfully market your home to prospective buyers with an eye toward making an advantageous sale.


Front Porch

In addition to your home’s curb appeal, the front porch can make a positive or negative impression on house hunters. An expansive porch can be an attractive selling feature, but if it’s cluttered with outdoor furniture and struggling plants, it may not be doing you any favors. To declutter your porch, remove all items–yes, everything. Then, you can use a garden hose or hook up a power washer to give your porch a terrific scrubbing. Be sure to remove any debris like dirt, leaves, or twigs.

Once the porch is clean, you can strategically begin to replace items. A few healthy plants set here and there aren’t likely to crowd your porch, but you’ll need to consider carefully what you feature on your porch. A small bistro set or an outdoor rocking chair can enhance your porch so long as they don’t take up too much space.


Hallway or Foyer

The entrance to your home’s interior is another place where first impressions are made. This also tends to be a drop site in many homes for jackets, all manner of shoewear, mail, bags, etc…This is perfectly fine when you’re living in your house and NOT attempting to sell it. However, these signs of occupancy can distract buyers from the more pleasing features of your home’s entrance.

It’s better to remove elements like coat stands and shoe racks to another room of the home in spite of the inconvenience. If you have a nearby closet, you could revamp it to stow these items associated with daily living. Once you remove them from the foyer, assess the space to ensure that it’s not crowded with too many items like collectibles or photo frames. Try to create as airy and open a space as possible. Remember, it’s your house you’re trying to show off–not the items in it.


Living Room

Decluttering your living room can begin with the removal of your personal photos. Why? Because a more impersonal space helps buyers imagine themselves in your home. Not only that–it means less clutter on your living room tables and shelves. After removing personal items, take time to assess the space and make a plan for removing more items to your basement or storage space.

As you evaluate your living room, consider removing any unnecessary furnishings. While you may love these pieces, they could be making the room appear smaller to a prospective buyer. If a room appears crowded, it sends a message that the space is too small. Similarly, if you have an overly large piece of furniture in your living room that you can do without for the period of time it takes to sell your house, remove that to storage.

Finally, consider removing items such as children’s toys and your pets’ belongings (i.e. dog bed) from the living room. These items can make the space appear too ‘lived in’ and add to a cluttered appearance. It’s true, these measures can be an inconvenience when you’re still living in the house, but in order to make your home appear as attractive as possible, you also want it to seem that it’s not ‘lived in’. It’s a strange paradox, but call it marketing!



Kitchens are important to prospective buyers so you want to be sure that yours is staged to impress them. To declutter your kitchen, begin with a thorough cleaning from top to bottom. Ensure that rugs and curtains are laundered and that even the light fixtures are perfectly dust free.

Don’t forget to remove all magnets and items attached to your refrigerator so it, too, appears uncluttered. Then scrub all the surfaces of your appliances and cabinets.

Because you want your kitchen to appear as spacious as possible, remove items like canister sets and appliances from your countertop. A small appliance or two like a coffee maker won’t detract from the space, but too many small appliances might persuade buyers that there isn’t enough room on the counters for meal prepping or accommodating their items should they buy your house.

Next, be sure that your cabinets are tidy. During walkthroughs, prospective buyers might very well open cabinets to check their interior. It can be helpful to simply pack up any items you only use occasionally and place them in storage. This will help you declutter your kitchen cabinets and pantry.


Master Bedroom

A spacious master bedroom is a great selling point, but if your bedroom is overstuffed with bulky furnishings and heavy draperies, it could make the space appear smaller to visitors to your home. As with other spaces, begin to declutter your bedroom by removing personal items like photo frames. Packing these items away is all part of the moving process in any case.

Next, remove any furnishings that aren’t essential to the room. Your bed, nightstands, and dressers are essential features, but if you can do without one dresser (as opposed to two), you could make the room appear less crowded. On the other hand, you definitely don’t want to leave out any clothing in piles. Maintaining the room’s neatness is important.

Consider packing up all seasonal clothing and removing it to storage. Buyers will want to peep into closets to check out how big they are. Stuffed closets will appear too small to buyers. Similarly, pack up any items like formal wear that you don’t wear often. The fewer items left in the space, the better. Finally, be sure that the surfaces of tables / dressers are clutter free. Leave only essential items in place like lamps and a few attractive objects.


Other Bedrooms

If you have teenagers and kids, it can definitely be difficult to get them to comply with your plan for neatness. It might not be easy to declutter these bedrooms, but it can be done! Begin by packing up seasonal clothing that your kids won’t need any time soon. Remove these to your storage container or space so that you don’t need to stow them under beds or in closets where potential buyers are apt to spot them.

Perform a thorough assessment of your kids’ belongings. They may even be willing to help. Encourage them to donate any items they no longer use. This will help you declutter and prevent the necessity of storing items that are no longer needed. Toys will make a room appear cluttered, so getting rid of big items that aren’t played with will go a long way to decluttering the space. Any toys that are left over can be stowed in bins or neatly on shelves.



Like kitchens, bathrooms are also essential spaces that buyers will inspect carefully. Since bathrooms tend to be small, confined spaces, you definitely want to declutter them as much as possible. Dispose of any expired toiletries and try to store what’s left over inside a cabinet. If you have a linen closet in your bathroom, declutter that too as buyers will definitely want a look inside to see how roomy it is.

Keep your linen closet and bathroom shelves organized with baskets or glass containers for items like cotton balls and cosmetics. Also, clear away any knick knacks from the room. It’s better to leave surfaces clean and clear when trying to showcase the space.


The Garage

Decluttering a garage can be tricky, especially if you’ve been storing bins there for your move. However, prospective buyers will want to view your garage, so it’s important to declutter the space along with the rest of your home. To start, get rid of any items you don’t use. Donate them or sell them at a yard sale.

You want to ensure that no items are left on your garage floor. If you do intend to store bins, invest in some heavy-duty shelving units to accommodate these items neatly. Be sure items such as garden implements and ladders are neatly hung on hooks in your garage. Pack up kids’ toys rather than piling them in a corner.


Other Areas

Laundry rooms, mud rooms, home offices, and basements will also need to be decluttered in order to showcase them effectively. Again, you can start by packing up and storing all non-essential items. If you have personal items in these spaces, pack them up too. Then, thoroughly clean them and air them out.

The goal is to remove any items that are unnecessary. The more you can clear out, the easier it will be for buyers to inspect your house and imagine themselves living in it. Also, the more you pack up before your home’s sale, the less you’ll have to pack after it sells!

To make your decluttering adventures less challenging, it helps to have ready storage. BoiseBox features convenient, portable storage boxes that you can set up on your property. Move items into the box and BoiseBox will then transport the box to your chosen location like your new home. With ready storage, you can more easily declutter your house and stage it for prospective buyers.