Decluttering tips - open house (1)

How to declutter before an open house – tips from professional organizer Liz Fox

In Canada by TheRedPinLeave a Comment

Decluttering tips - open house

Now that you’ve decided to sell your house or condo, it’s time to make it as appealing as possible to potential buyers. When people walk through, they want to envision your house as their new home. The best thing you can do to bring their vision to life is to make each room as inviting as possible by depersonalizing and removing clutter. By following these tips by Professional Organizers in Canada’s Liz Fox, you’ll be ready for the open house.

Be Objective

Because you’ve likely been living with your belongings for a long time, it can be difficult to be objective about just how much stuff you have. Try this exercise. Leave the house for an afternoon. When returning home, imagine that you’re seeing everything with fresh eyes from the buyer’s perspective. Start at the front door, walk through the house and note what to remove, fix, clean and tidy. You may have become desensitized over time, in which case you’ll benefit from a friend’s assistance—but only if you’re ok with constructive criticism.

Before packing anything, make sure you have space to store boxes in the garage or storage locker. If space is not available in these locations, you’ll probably start the decluttering process here. Renting off-site storage until move-day is also an option.


Gather and sort items into categories such as books, hardware, or crafting supplies. This creates an opportunity to see the true volume of stuff you have and to make decisions on the best actions to take. This can mean selling, donating or disposing of items that are multiples, out of date, worn out or no longer suit your lifestyle. This step will save valuable time and energy after the move when everything can simply be unpacked and put away. If you skip this step now, it will mean extra sorting work later.

Be Ruthless

The illusion of extra space is key to potential buyers. Closets, bathroom cabinets, kitchen cupboards, the fridge are all areas people will peek into. Declutter them by at least 40%. Toss old food, prescriptions and skincare products. Pack out-of-season clothing and footwear. Remove all surface clutter from the kitchen, bathrooms, coffee, dining and bedside tables. And lastly, remove all personal belongings from the entryway.


Decluttering tips - open house (packing)Sorted items can now be packed in boxes labelled with contents. This is another opportunity to thoughtfully consider parting with things that haven’t seen the light of day in years. This will save time, energy and resources packing, moving, unpacking and ultimately getting rid of stuff after the move—or worse, keeping items boxed up, never to resurface again.

De-cluttering prior to moving may feel like a big effort but it will be worth it. Not only will you showcase the best features of each space, but you’ll be ahead of the curve for the move. If you feel like it’s too much to handle on your own, visit to find a professional organizer near you. We excel at facilitating the process.

Want to get started on your home buying and selling journey? Check out TheRedPin’s listings page

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