Spring cleaning is not only a great way to clean your house after a long winter but to declutter as well. If you plan on selling your house, getting rid of unused and forgotten possessions will mean less stuff to move into your new house. And while you're at it, you can sell everything at a garage sale and make some cash!
Selling a house requires a lot of planning, decluttering and cleaning. Since you're spring cleaning, now might be the best time to tackle the overflowing backyard shed, the spare bedroom that looks like a storage warehouse, and the basement where odds-n-ends tend to land.
Start with 3 boxes and label them as "keep", "throw", "sale/donate" (or CLEARLY MARKED large plastic garbage bags so only "throw" gets thrown!). Then adopt the O.H.I.O. method -- Only Handle It Once. The tactic helps you sort through your belongings quickly and once you put something in a box, that's where it stays. No picking items up repeatedly, moving them from box to box, setting items aside, trying to decide what to do with them. Make a decision and stick with it.
Where's The Clutter?
Find a place in your house which holds a lot of stored items. Start out strong by finding some items that you definitely want to discard and place them in the "throw" box. When your "throw" box is full, put it in your outdoor garbage receptacle. This will prevent you from pulling things out after you've sorted. There's no going back!
As you put things in your "donate" box, add a price to each item. When the time comes to hold a garage sale, simply place the items on a table and you're ready to go! More on pricing in just a bit.
Let's talk about the "keep" box because an exception to O.H.I.O. rule may come into play here. If the box is overflowing, you might need to re-sort. Really think about what you need and if you want to move it to another house. Do you need 2 coffee makers? How about the canisters that you've been meaning to decorate? Your college textbooks from 30 years ago? Could some of this be donated or sold?
If you're planning on holding a garage sale, pricing low will help you sell your items faster. If you've got something new that was never taken out of the box, you could charge a substantial amount (say 30-50% of the original price). If you have something that's lightly used, you could probably sell it for 10-15% of the original price. For small items, you might put them in a box labeled "25 cents each". If you really want to get rid of items, be willing to put up with some dickering. A clearly marked "free" box is always a good idea and can draw people in.
Donations: Curbside Pick Up
When you've set the date for your garage sale, contact your local donation service to arrange to have unsold items picked up at the end of the same day. You'll be glad you did! Don't forget to ask for a tax deduction slip.
Spring cleaning is a great way to declutter your home and a great first step as you prepare for the sale of your home. Not only does it help you get rid of unused items, you'll have less to unpack at your new house. Whether you plan on moving or not, treat yourself to a nice dinner with the cash you earned!