To clean or not to clean, that is the question…
I’m a pretty neat person. Ok, that’s an understatement. I’m actually obsessively organized – the kind of person who keeps her sweaters color coded and her earrings in individual compartments, grouped by hue. My shoes are in see through pull out drawers, and all of my hangers are the same type, brand and color, of course hanging in the same direction. Always.
But even neat freaks, or perhaps especially neat freaks, need to edit and clean out when preparing for a move. And that brings me to my dilemma. We’ve bought a new house. We’re selling our old house. We need to prepare to pack for our move, but we need to keep our home spotless for real estate showings. So, how does one decide whether to begin the big clean out while selling one’s home?
For me, the answer is clear. It’s disorienting enough to be selling a home, keeping it in pristine showing condition at all times. When you add to that the need to react on a moment’s notice to requests to see your home, leaving the house for potential buyers to come and view it, I find it feels like I live in my car. A call will come in that a showing is scheduled and off I go into the car, to drive around for an undefined period of time, waiting for the coast to be clear to be allowed back into my home. There is just no way I could properly begin the clean out under these up-rooting conditions.
You see, the clean out will have to be methodical. I will pick a target area – a drawer, cupboard or closet – to give my full attention to. Each item will be reviewed like it’s on an intense audition, evaluating whether it will make the cut to join us in the new home. In truth, I love the process, and I have no trouble throwing out. Only the best and the brightest will make it to the final round. And only then will I proceed to the dull task of actually packing. I could never leave packed boxes around the house while showing my home. So, I can only hope there will be enough time after selling our home to curate the winners and weed out the give-aways.
If you find yourself in this precarious position without the time to wait, here are 9 tips for packing while trying to sell your home:
1. Pick a small section to conquer for each cleaning session.
2. Begin in the early evening, late enough to be after showings but early enough to have time to complete your nightly project.
3. Pull out 2 piles first – the absolutely must keep pile and the definitely will toss pile. Then begin to evaluate everything in the middle.
4. Anything that fascinates you enough to sit down and start reading, exploring further or repairing, set aside for after you complete your evening’s project.
5. Touch each of the remaining items only once. Make a decision and move on. If you must try it on, do it right away.
6. Be ruthless in your assessment of the items. Is it worth the effort to pack up, move and unpack again?
7. When you’ve made all your decisions, ready the items to go into a box, even if you’re not ready to actually put them in one. Even better if you can pack them right into the box, label, number and store by room.
8. Make sure you finish the section you’ve started and nothing is left laying around for the next day’s showings.
9. Keep a master list of everything you’ve packed… and don’t keep it in the box.
I very much look forward to starting fresh. Can you add any tips to this list for packing while selling?
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