So...I just spent about 5 minutes looking for my notes for this post.  I think I need to stage my in basket!

Here are tried and true ways to get your home ready for market, but first, I want to reinforce that it's not easy, it takes time, and the best way to tackle this is to mentally cordon off a small area, tackle, it, make it perfect, pat yourself on the back, and then move on to the next area (even if it's the next corner of the same closet!!)

1.  Closets:

Box up the clutter, use matching hangers.  All the clothes should face the same direction, all the pants should be with pants, the shirts with shirts, skirts with co-mingling!  Ideally I like to tell sellers that their clothes "shouldn't touch"  

Nothing should be on the floor, so get a shoe rack or store shoes in boxes on shelves.  Cute bins can hold purses and "stuff"  But pack up a lot of it, you are going to have to box it up sooner or later, so do it now!

2.  Bedrooms

Paint, change up pillows and bedding, try to make them "gender neutral".  Bedrooms are places to sleep in, so put away the laptops and the ironing boards, office furniture, and the tv.

3.  Living Room

Make sure  the shades open up, the paint is fresh, and the flooring is in good shape.  This space should have a focal point.  ONE. FOCAL. POINT.  (A TV in one corner and a fireplace on another all  = 2 FOCAL POINTS.  A TV is probably easier to locate than the fireplace :-)

4.  The Kitchen 

Clean it like you have never cleaned it before.  Toothbrushes and toothpicks, boxes of Mr. Clean Eraser bars, grout cleaner.  The sink and faucets should be sparkling (Bartender's Best Friend is great) Replace older cabinet hardware (aka "kitchen jewelry").  Target sells packs of 6 or ten knobs or pulls, and that's usually less expensive than Lowe's or Home Depot.  Remove rugs to make the space feel bigger, and organize your drawers and cabinets, because the buyers will be looking in them!  If you are feeling really inspired, new plumbing and light fixtures will more than pay for themselves!   

5.  Bathrooms

All that stuff you used to clean the kitchen?  March it straight into the bathroom!  Caulking and shower doors almost always need some attention.  That Mr Clean bar is just about miraculous in the the tub, shower, sink, tile surrounds...and invest in a squeegey to keep shower doors spotless.  Once you start you might not be able to stop.  Using Rainex after cleaning shower doors to minimize water spots if you like!

ps.  I know the title says "5 Ways" but here's tiny little p.s.  Grab the attachments to your vacuum cleaner and clean all light fixtures, all the cold air returns, vents, and even the exterior of your furnace, a/c and hot water heater.


The bottom line is clean, uncluttered, neutral.  Anything else will cost you time and money in the real estate market!