We’re going to let you in on a little secret – the biggest piece of advice we give to homeowners when we do our initial walk through of a house we’re going to stage. We find ourselves giving these same instructions over and over, saying them in the nicest way possible. “Clear off your nightstands, take these things off of your kitchen counters, put your beauty products under the sink..” The easiest, cheapest, and best thing you can do to transform your house: de-clutter

If you’ve read Marie Kondo’s book or seen her TV show, then you’ve seen what kind of transformation getting rid of the clutter in your life can have. Maybe you even did a bit of household purging of your own! But once the frenzy was over, you probably realized that you can’t get rid of everything. Now that you’ve cleared some space out of your closets and drawers, what about the stuff you actually want to keep?

Here are three easy questions you can ask yourself to help clear up visual clutter:

Does this item need to live somewhere I can always see it? Let’s use the bathroom as an example. Items such as face wash or lotion are things you want to hold on to, but do they need to live on the counter? When you’re finished with them, stash them under the sink. Make a spot for items that don’t need to be always be immediately accessible.

Emily Henderson Portland Project Guest Bath - Pratt & Larson

Emily Henderson Portland Project Guest Bath - Pratt & Larson

How many of this item do I have or need? This is a great question to ask when it comes to home decor. With each additional decoration, the overall impact of each piece decreases slightly. Holding on to just a few pieces allows those items to really display what your home is about. So that table full of picture frames could probably be scaled back to two photos that you really cherish. Or your bookshelf filled with knick-knacks can be pared down to just your favorites.

House of Jade Interiors

House of Jade Interiors

How do I want this space to feel? This question will help guide you in making further decisions for what to hold onto and what to get rid of or stash away. If you want your bedroom to feel like an oasis, then an office desk covered in bills isn’t going to help you reach that goal! If you want your living room to feel like a space that fosters conversation, then a TV tray with a laptop and remote controls should probably find a home somewhere else. Make sure each item in the space has a purpose.

Joanna Gaines + Magnolia, The Ramsey House

Joanna Gaines + Magnolia, The Ramsey House

We hope that these questions help you achieve the look and feel you want for your home. Remember, de-cluttering is a process. Conquer a room (or part of a room) and then come back to it a few days later and ask these questions again. And if you’re getting ready to sell your place, call in the professionals – it’s what we’re here for!