Traveling Light

Too. Much. Stuff. Books we will never read, clothes we will never wear, heirlooms we don’t like or use, broken things we will never repair, stacks of papers we are vaguely afraid to throw away, gifts we don’t like but feel guilty about tossing.
It’s high time we lost the weight. It’s not good for us. House Beautiful recently ran a piece on things we hang onto that actually make us unhappy.
I, for one, am over it. In the course of three moves over the past 10 years, I’ve shed about 8,000 pounds. And it feels great.
But that’s not really the point here. This is a practical issue. 

Sellers who have too much stuff are frequently unwilling – sometimes literally unable – to deal with clearing out the attic, basement, garage and/or closets. Either the house shows poorly – and thus brings a lower price – or, worse, it never goes on the market at all. I’ve got two potential listings that aren’t yet on the market because the owners are paralyzed by their stuff.
And this doesn’t begin to address the question of what to do once the house does sell and the new owner actually expects the house to be delivered empty.
The negative effects are at work on the buyer’s side, too.
I’ve had buyers walk away from an otherwise perfectly suitable house because they couldn’t see past all the stuff. I’ve been looking at houses – looking past clutter, decay and ill-advised décor – for 40 years. I can see the house though all the stuff, but many buyers can’t. And they might miss a good deal as a result.
A realtor-friend of mine had a house under contract for buyers but they walked away after the inspection. The 1,500 square foot house was so stuffed with “décor” that it took the inspector five hours, and even then he wasn’t sure he’d been able to see all he needed to.
So, clear it out! Lose the weight! Travel light! It will make you feel better if nothing else – and it could also make your house worth more in the marketplace.
Need help with this? These are just two of many online resources that might help or lead you to hands-on help.