The Make-Ready Process: Store it, Sell it, Donate it, or Trash it

In the time you’ve been in your current home, you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff, and it’s everywhere.  From drawers and cabinets to closets and beneath beds, you’ve managed to tuck belongings just about anywhere you can fit them.  If you want to sell your house in less time and for more money, you will greatly benefit from going through the “make-ready” process.  It is critical that you rid your house of most anything that is unessential during the time your home will be marketed for sale.  When potential buyers visit your home, whether online through a photo slide show or a walk-through with their realtor, your home must look clean, organized, uncluttered, and spacious.  A home that has not gone through the make-ready process can take longer to sell and often can sell for less money simply because it doesn’t present itself as well as homes that have gone through this process.
A good starting point is to go through one room at a time and make some decisions, “Is this item going to make the move with us to the next home?”  If the answer is, No, then you need to do one of three actions with it:  sell it, donate it, or trash it.  I am a big fan of the latter two. 
Yes, this is a big undertaking, but beginning your move now will help you de-clutter and organize your home, and regain much needed space which will help you present your home in its best light.  If you have kids, they most likely have toys they no longer play with, and they are bound to have clothing they’ve outgrown.  Donate them to a children’s shelter or other charity.  Sure you can have a garage sale, but do you really want to haggle with a guy who only wants to give you fifty-cents for your perfectly good Slap Chop?  At that point you’ve already given it away, but the difference is now you’re fuming about getting out-haggled!  This is your chance to take back control of your life; to throw away that ever-growing bag of unmatched socks, the unsightly stack of topless Tupperware containers cluttering up your cabinets, the air mattress with a hole in it that’s hogging up space in your linen closet!  Can I get an Amen?!  Admit it, you’re already feeling liberated and you haven’t even started yet!  You can do it…you have to do it.
Store it.  For the items that will make the move to your next home, but are deemed unnecessary by a professional stager (yes, I recommend you hire one) such as furniture pieces and framed personal photos, can all be put in storage.  Start researching self-storage companies and their pricing.  I love the idea of a PODS unit or similar brand.  These types of units are delivered right to your driveway so you don’t need to borrow your friend’s truck (it’s the only time you call the poor guy and both of you know this!).  You will need to put items like holiday decorations, seasonal clothing, most of your movie and music collections, and belongings you currently have stored in your closets, under beds, in the garage, etc., into the unit. 
Is this a lot of work?  Of course it is, but just think how well prepared and presented your home will be for the potential buyers looking to buy a clean, well cared for, uncluttered, organized, spacious, and professionally staged home that is practically move-in ready!  And when you are out shopping for your next home, you’ll definitely see, and emotionally feel, the difference when walking through homes that have and have not gone through the make-ready process.

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