Moving isn’t easy.  We have to pack up, downsize and move and we have to sell our condo, too!  But we’ve been living in this condo for 10 years now and there are things that need to get done, things that should be fixed before we try to sell.  So many things, it might seem overwhelming at first.  If you’re in the same spot, then try this if you want to sell your home.

This first idea comes straight from my friend Amanda.  When I look at my condo and think about everything that I need to do—it’s overwhelming.  There’s so much to do, that it can stop you from starting.  Unlike clutter that you can see, this is different.  How easy to pick up something that you can already see and decide what to do.  Now it’s time to open up the drawers and the closets and cupboards and decide.  It’s also time to determine what needs to be caulked or needs spackling or needs to be painted (or all three.)  What needs to be repaired or replaced or left alone.  It can all be overwhelming if you let it.

Amanda decided to break all the work down by rooms.  So instead of saying you need to repaint the whole house, you look at one specific room and decide if it needs to be repainted.  That way, it takes some of the overwhelm out.  Below are the steps to this process:

  1. Get a legal pad and a dark pen or marker (that doesn’t bleed through) and walk into a room.
  2. Critically look at the room as the homeowner and decide what can be
    • Thrown out or sold or given away*
    • Packed up immediately
    • Needs to stay out until the move
  3. Critically look at the room as a buyer and decide what needs
    • What needs to be cleaned
    • What needs to be repaired
    • What needs to be repainted
  4. Write down all of the above items onto the legal pad
  5. Add an estimated time to each item
  6. Using painter’s tape, tape the list to the wall
  7. Repeat steps 2 thru 6 in each room

*It’s critical to remember that if you plan on donating things, you can’t get caught in the trap of having piles of donations all over the house that you start stepping over or that start getting pushed back into closets, etc.  If you’re going to donate, pick a specific donation day and get everything out of the house and give it away to the people or organizations that you planned.*

Once you have the list on the wall, anytime that you walk into the room, look at the list.  Determine if you have the time to take on any of the projects on the list.  As an example, if you have 15 minutes and you know that cleaning out the junk drawer will take 15 minutes, then clean out the junk drawer.  Projects that you know will take longer, like painting the room can be planned for a weekend or another day that you have free.

Half of the battle is deciding what needs to be done.  The other half is doing it.  Besides eBay, here are a couple of additional helpful tools for when you do start decluttering and need to sell or give your stuff away.

Craig’s List:  Need a place to sell something that’s not easy to ship?  Or do you want to give something away to anyone that will haul it away?  This is the place to market your items locally.  Every state has Craig’s List and you can narrow it down even further by the city you are in or the one that you are closest to.

OfferUp:  OfferUp is an App that you use from your phone.  It’s so easy.  Take a picture of what you want to sell.   It uploads automatically to the app, add a description and that’s it.  It’s that easy.

I’d love to hear what you think about this planning strategy and if you’ve ever used the above apps or know of others to try. I’ve got to downsize!