When you are selling your home, it’s important to have a clean and streamlined kitchen. Potential buyers will open drawers, cabinet and pantry doors, and snoop around everywhere. It’s their right too. They are interested in buying and want to know how much space there is. They want to know what the condition is on the inside of cabinets and appliances. In the same way that your closets can say a lot to potential home buyers, so can what’s inside your kitchen.
10 Things to Toss Out From Your Kitchen When Selling Your House
If you haven’t subscribed to @MelissaMaker yet, you should. Melissa is the owner of Clean My Space and has a lot of great information for those who are looking for ideas on having a cleaner home. Today, I’m going to give a briefing on her video “DECLUTTER YOUR KITCHEN: 10 Things to Toss Today! (Ep. 5)”, and discuss how these tips and techniques can be used not only for your daily life, but also especially when selling your home.
Anything on the refrigerator. In this video, Melissa discusses removing promotional magnets. Do you really need to know the phone number for your favorite pizza place? Chances are you have that saved in your phone already, or you can look it up on the internet. For the purpose of selling your house, this premise needs to be extended to EVERYTHING on your fridge. Nothing on any side of it, including using the top, for storage or decorative items.
Take out Menus or promotional flyers. Let’s face it, we order all our food online now anyway. The menus are located on the internet. Scrap the paper clutter right into the recycle bins. If there are coupons or other information that you need, say the number for the pressure wash guy that sent you something; you are selling and you know you’ll need that info later; put it into your phone contacts. You don’t have to remember the name, just add the company as “pressure washing”. It will be easy enough to find later.
Broken, stained, and mismatched storage containers. OK, I’m as guilt as anyone else on this one. I’m sure I could open my pantry and find a whole bunch of disposable containers that don’t have lids any longer, or my husband used it in the microwave and cooked it too long, making the plastic stained and bubbly. Space is at a premium when you are selling, and you should do your best to look as OCD as possible. The average consumer believes that people with OCD are better at maintaining general maintenance around the house than the rest of us. (Think Sleeping with the enemy.)
Get rid of things that have lost their mates. If you have lids but no container and containers with no lids, it’s time to let it go. You don’t want to move into your new house trying to figure out what to do with all of these things.
Anything in your fridge that has expired or you won’t use before you sell. Consider how many big meals you’ll be cooking over the next few weeks while you prepare your house to sell. Either start making your meals based on what you have left over in your fridge and get rid of it that way, or decide to toss it. Get rid of anything that has already passed its expiration date. Of course this includes any take-out food or condiments that you aren’t going to eat or use.
Get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year or more. I’m not just talking about putting it in storage. GET RID OF IT. Do you really want to have to take up valuable closet space in your next house? Think about opening the boxes on the other side and imagining, “Where am I supposed to put this?” There are things we get for special occasions and only ever use once, but they continue to take up room in our kitchens for years. Now is the time to decide to lighten the load.
If there are items that you’ll use every holiday, but won’t use before you sell, this is a great time to pack them away and put into storage. It will make your kitchen look much more functional to potential buyers, when they see all of the open storage space.
Anything that’s not aesthetically pleasing. You heard me. If it’s yucky, toss it. Are your hand towels and dish rags ratty, torn, and stained? It’s time to get new ones. The same goes for your pot holders, and anything else that has had a good life but its time has passed. When you surround yourself with things that are both beautiful and functional, your life will feel just a little bit better.
Cookbooks, magazines, and recipe boxes. How many do you have? How many do you actually use? Great. You are storing 18 of them and use a total of 5 recipes in all. Go buy a recipe book, or recipe cards, and store just the ones you want. Donate the rest. I know, it’s an expensive cook book. It sure is. How much rent is it taking up in your kitchen? Get rid of the freeloader. If you really feel that its got value, give it to someone who will actually use it.
Unused items in your drawers and utensil storage. Go into your kitchen, open your drawers and take a good look. What are they full of? Take out condiments, junk that you never actually need – most of us have an entire drawer dedicated to just that, we literally call it the junk drawer. What about all the utensils and single use items, the melon ballers (when was the last time you used that, really?), the shish-ka-bob rotisserie stakes, the lemon/orange zester? Why are you really keeping these?
Old, expired, and never used spices. You made that recipe out of the new William Sonoma cookbook that you got for Christmas 3 years ago. You had to buy 4 new spices for it. You’ve never touched the book or the spices since. They both need to go. The average spice has a shelf life of 6-12 months, if it’s been ground, it may be less. Get rid of them and only keep what you actually use.
Anything promotional in your kitchen. Unless your favorite coffee mug is the one that you got from your home staging company, get rid of the clutter by getting rid of anything with a logo on it. When was the last time you had a long island iced tea at home? I know you got that souvenir mug from vacation 2 years ago, but have you touched it since, or is it just hanging out in your cup board? That psychedelic light up cup will be cool at your next pool party, right? No. Not really. Unless you have enough for everyone, solo cups work just fine.
Just as it was true with getting new hand towels and pot holders, using items that you love, rather than just what was given to you, will create a little ray of happiness in your life. You’ll also find that when you have things that fit your lifestyle, you’ll enjoy keeping your space a little more organized.
Now is the time to prepare for your future home, not just selling this one.
Because my family was military, we moved A LOT! One of my favorite things about moving was that it was an opportunity to purge stuff that no longer made sense in my life. The longer you live in a house, the more stuff you accumulate. Take this time to really consider every item that is going to go into a box. Remember that it also has to come out of that box and it has to find a new place in the next house. If you don’t love it, if you don’t use it, let it go. Make this an opportunity to really have the home of your dreams, both now and in the future.