• Bedrooms —When it comes to clothing, people generallywear 20% of the clothes they own, 80%of the time.The focus is showcasing closet space. Only hang clothes that you wear most often and store the rest. • Dining Areas — Clear clutter off any flat surfaces, including the dining table, leaving only subtle decor such as a vase of flowers. • LivingAreas (living rooms, family rooms, and great rooms)—Gather stacks of books, magazines, remotes, toys, and gaming gadgets, and throws. Again, clear all flat surfaces, packing away nonessential items and storing magazines and electronics in decorative bins. Fold and drape throws on chairs. • Office Space — Organization is the focus for office space. Overflowing shelves do not reflect useful space. Keep all personal papers stored out of sight. • Linen Closets — Organize and clean out. Store seasonal blankets, clothes, and outerwear off site. Keep linens to a minimum. • Laundry Room — Whether your washer and dryer are in the basement, laundry room, or closet, you should make the room or area neat. Organize what you keep with shelving or bins. Don’t leave clothes on the floor. Store detergents, bleach, and softeners in cabinets. Don’t use the tops of the appliances for storage. • Garage —Although cleaning the garage may be the most daunting of de-cluttering tasks, it can be as simple as getting rid of things you haven’t touched in years. Boxes of broken toys, useless sports gear, and rusty tools all seem to migrate to the dark corners of the garage. Use this opportunity to donate or discard. Other items like wall paint, extra tiles for the floor, and bicycles can be shelved or hung. • Pets —Pet items also need to be out of the way when a buyer comes by. See the section on Pet Peeves on how to deal with pets while selling your home. DEEP CLEANING: SPOTLESS IS THE NAME OF THE GAME Doing a thorough, deep cleaning of your home is vital. It works for people selling a car (they get more money), and it will work for you when selling your home. With the home depersonalized and de-cluttered, it might make sense to use a professional deep-cleaning residential service.
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