Home Staging in Overland Park – Clutter Eats Equity

One of the biggest dilemmas most of my clients have in home staging is dealing with the dreaded clutter. If you’re like most people and you’ve been in your Overland Park home for awhile, you’ve got way more stuff than you know what to do with. But when it comes to selling your home, it’s the first thing that will eat into your own equity and money. If you think you’ve got a lot of stuff, check out some of my clients before and after decluttering photos.


The second step of my home staging process is all about decluttering. You can probably remove about half of the stuff in your house before you put it on the market to sell it. Problem is, most sellers have no idea how to attack the decluttering. They always look to me to help them through it so I devised a fairly simple process to get it started.

5-5-5 Decluttering System

My daughter, McKenna, actually helped me create the 5-5-5 Decluttering System when I downsized a few years ago. I needed a jump start on my own downsizing plan so she flew in from Chicago to help me out. You know how it’s always easier to deal with someone else’s stuff? I had a million books in my built in office bookshelves. I knew I couldn’t take them all. She randomly picked out about 15 of them, laid them out on the tiled entry floor and told me to pick 5. 5? How can I pick only 5? She said, “if you don’t, I will pick them for you!” She repeated the process until we had gone through every book in my office. At the end of the session, I had books I was going to pack up and take with me and books I would donate.

From that encounter, my 5-5-5 Decluttering System was born. I’ve found over the years, a lot of you don’t want to part with your stuff. And it’s usually the silliest things you tend to keep and hold on to. But when you’re selling, de-cluttering is one of the BIG 3 and absolutely mandatory. I tell people if they can’t get past it, box it up and move on. But at the end of the day, especially if you are moving to a smaller space, you’re not going to have room for all the stuff that’s packed away. Do you really want to pay for a storage space for your stuff?

My mom taught me to use the things you have or don’t have them. Fancy as she was, she had many sets of dishes and would rotate them with each meal. She was right, why have something you love and keep it packed away in a box? Is that love? Or is it a love for stuff?

Here’s my 5-5-5 plan to get you started de-cluttering and packed up for your move:

  1. Get a box, tote or whatever you want to call it
  2. Take 5 minutes and go through your house
  3. Pick 5 items you’re not sure if you can part with and place them in your box
  4. Leave them there for 5 days (if you really must or put them in the donate box and start over)
  5. At the end of the 5 days, make a decision. Can you part with these things? If so, put them in the back of your car and when you get close to Goodwill, drive through and drop them off. Easy. If you must keep them, pack them up and you’re one step closer to be prepared for your move.

If you are considering making a move this year, now is the time to discover what you need to keep and what you need to get rid of. My one hour walk through consultation will help you make those hard decisions. Call me at (913) 515-3250 to get the process started.

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