Let’s say you want to sell your house soon and your local real estate agent says “You need to declutter!”. Every piece of home selling advice out there says you need to do this — but you’re really not looking forward to the tedious work involved.  Not looking forward to spending countless hours sorting through closets, shelves, drawers and boxes?

Here’s a few tips for making the process less tedious:

1. Start by decluttering the easiest areas first. Getting something done quickly will give you added motivation, so the best way to achieve this is to tackle the least cluttered area first. Maybe a guest bathroom or a small hall closet. Once that’s done, move on to the next easiest place. Now you can see that you are already part done!

2. Promise yourself you only have to declutter for five minutes. This is an inspiring trick when you really don’t want to get going. Set an alarm and say to yourself you can stop right after you’ve cleaned for five minutes. What often happens though is you don’t want to stop, you’ve gathered momentum, so you keep going for another 5 or 10 or 45 minutes. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish in that time.

3. Don’t figure out what to get rid of, figure out what to keep. Let’s say you’re cleaning out a drawer. Instead of going through it item by item, dump the whole thing out on a table and put back only those items you truly need. Sort everything else into bags, such as things to throw out, things to give to friends, things to donate to charity, things to sell, and things you don’t know what to do with. For these items, create a big bag called, “undecided” and sort through it later when your major decluttering is finished.

4. Intersperse enjoyable and rewarding activities between declutter sessions. For example, tell yourself you earned a piece of chocolate or a glass of wine in between decluttering sprees.

By using these tips, you’ll eventually end up with an attractively clean place filled with useful possessions and items that bring you happy memories. Not only will your place look much better during home showings, you’ll also have much less to move after you sell your house.

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