How Much ‘Stuff’ Can Your House Hold?

clutterHave you even wondered how much “stuff” your house can hold? Sometimes it seems that people are trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. Either that or they want to get onto that reality show:  Hoarders.

I’ve been visiting a few houses recently that people have lived in for awhile. You know, 10, 15, 30 years or more. Sometimes the people selling the house are the children of the people who used to live in it until they were called to that great subdivision in the sky. There’s a lot of stuff. By a lot, I mean too much.

I like to tell people that even if their house is not the prettiest or, maybe, they haven’t updated all the baths and kitchen and whatnot, they need to declutter and get rid of all their stuff.

Space sells.

Small houses look even smaller if they are chock full of everything the owners have kept since before they had their first kid 40 years ago.

You know what I’m talking about. I know you do.

It’s boxes and boxes of every report card, book report and art work ever produced by however many kids you’ve had. It’s all the collectibles. The bobbleheads. It’s the tons and tons of books (Hey, I have a weakness for books, too.) Kitchen utensils that haven’t been used since 1975.

The other stuff that has to go is the 50 gallons worth of water bottles. The cases of soup or ramen noodles. The 25 boxes of detergent.

I love a good deal as much as the next guy and I know there is such a thing as buying a lot of stuff on sale as a hedge against price increases. Still, it’s got to go.

Why Space Sells

Here’s why you need to get rid of your stuff. People need to actually see what your house looks like.

If you have a house full of stuff which I’ve seen time after time, it’s hard to:

  •  get around the house and
  • visualize their own stuff in the house

When people are search for the home they want to buy they are thinking about money, to be sure. They are also thinking what it would be like with their furniture and their kids running around in the house. They can’t do that if your house is packed floor to ceiling with knick knacks and toys and food items.

The same goes with big furniture. Hey, I like a nice, cushy couch as well as the next person but if it takes up ¾ of the living room you might want to put it in storage. You want people to see their own couch. You want people to be able to walk around and see the walls.

A sparsely furnished room will go a lot farther in selling a small house than a huge house with a huge price and lots of stuff everywhere.

So before you put your home on the market, take the time to declutter, pack and put stuff in a storage space. You’ll get your house sold a lot faster and for a lot more money.

 

About Ken Montville

Ken Montville is a Realtor® and Associate Broker with RE/MAX United Real Estate in the beautiful Maryland Suburbs of Washington, DC. He has been selling nice homes since 1999. Way back in the 20th Century.

When Ken Is not doing the real estate thing he can be found all over social media in places too numerous to mention and he listens to jazz, reads a little (mostly non-fiction), hangs out with the Rotary Club of Parole (Annapolis), MD and can be found blogging at MDSuburbanHomes.com

  • I saw your tweet the other day. I’ve been in homes like that. I can’t imagine trying to sell one.
    Besides, if and when it did sell, would they be able to pack everything up and get moved out by close of escrow? Probably not.

    • What brought this on for me was looking at a potential listing and seeing the place completely filled with all kinds of stuff. I was talking to the owner and his only response was, “Yeah, about we’ve been living there for 15 years … ”

      Back in the bubble years I sold a couple of houses that were pretty cluttered and, sure enough, they were able to pack and move by close of escrow (we call it settlement).

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • What brought this on for me was looking at a potential listing and seeing the place completely filled with all kinds of stuff. I was talking to the owner and his only response was, “Yeah, about we’ve been living there for 15 years … ”

      Back in the bubble years I sold a couple of houses that were pretty cluttered and, sure enough, they were able to pack and move by close of escrow (we call it settlement).

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!