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Ready to sell your house, but it is a complete mess? You’re in the right place. Decluttering your home is the easiest part of getting your home ready for the offersto come pouring in.

This step-by-step guide will fill you in on everything that you need to know to get rid of clutter and sell your house – fast!

Use the Pomodoro Method for Time Management

The first and easiest step in how to declutter a house for selling is simply learning how to wisely manage your time.

Often when we declutter our homes, we have to go through the possessions that we have had for years. This can lead to easily becoming sidetracked, as these possessions might have significant sentimental value to us.

But don’t worry! There is an easy way to avoid becoming sidetracked for too long and still effectively declutter your home. It’s known as the Pomodoro Method.

It works like this:

Do 25 minutes of work.

Take a 5-minute break.

Do 25 minutes of work.

Take a 5-minute break.

Do 25 minutes of work.

Take a 25-minute break.

If you choose to follow the Pomodoro method while decluttering your house for a sale, at the end of each hour, you will have completed at LEAST 50 minutes of actual work.

For the method to work best, you need to focus during each of your work periods. Put your phone and away and be sure to leave any snacking for your breaks.

Make Five Piles

The easiest way to declutter your home is to begin by sorting everything instead of taking action on an item.

Think of it this way:

You should not look at an item and think, “I’d like to throw this away” and then immediately take it out to the trash. This is because it is highly likely that, moments later, you will return to your room and find another item that you would like to throw away.

It’s the same with things you would like to donate or keep. If you keep repeating the same process over and over again, you will not only lose a lot of time, but you will also exhaust yourself.

To avoid this, it’s best to make five piles.

You could label them in the following ways:

Throw away

This pile is for things that are actually rubbish (like packaging or food wrappers), but also for things like clothing that is too worn out to donate.


You can recycle paper, plastic, and glass – so as you declutter your house before the big sale, don’t be too quick to throw away things that could easily be recycled.


This should be the biggest pile in your effort to declutter your home.

Coats that you have not worn in years. The desk you’ve used only as storage for folded laundry. The dishes you think you might have used three Christmases ago. These are the kinds of things that all belong in the donate pile.

Keep, but repair

If you are serious about decluttering your home, then this should be the smallest pile, but it should still exist nonetheless.

If that angel figurine with the cracked wing has significant emotional value for you, then by all means, fix it up and keep it on the shelf. But, if the coat with the torn lining has been in your closet for three winters with no use, then it’s time to throw it away.


Decluttering doesn’t have to mean minimalist. Once you have sorted through everything and thrown away, recycled, and donated what you are comfortable with, the rest is yours to keep.

Gather the Correct Supplies

In order to effectively know how to declutter a house for selling, you need to have the right tools.

Once you know how to manage your time, you will want to have your supplies in the room with you. This way, you don’t have to keep getting up and wandering off to find what you need – adding hours to an already long process.

Typically, when you are decluttering your home these are the kinds of things you will want to have on hand:

  • A bag for trash
  • A bag or bin for recycling
  • A basket or bag for items to give away
  • A basket or bag for things you would like to keep, but need to be repaired
  • Cleaning supplies (wipes, vacuum, etc.)

If you keep these items close by, the whole decluttering process will be smoother and your house will be ready to sell in no time.

Invest in New Storage Pieces

Often, our homes are cluttered simply because we do not have anywhere to put our things. While decluttering your house for a sale, consider if you will likely have the same problem in your new home.

Will you continue to stack your clothing on your chair because your dresser drawers are too small? Will your bills be strewn about your desk because you don’t have a Pigeon Hole?

As you declutter, consider what storage pieces and organizers would continue to be useful to you in your new home.

Work Room by Room

The final tip for how to declutter a house for selling is simply to work room by room.

It is easy, when your house is particularly cluttered, to flit from room to room as you notice things that are out of place or need to be organized.

If you commit yourself to work on one room at a time, you will find that the workload will be significantly less stressful and take way less time, as you can be significantly more focused.

Ready to sell your home – clutter or no clutter? Let Clever help! Our experienced agents can guide you through the entire process for one flat fee. Call us today at  1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out our online form to get started.



Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew Schmeerbauch is the Director of Marketing at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you top agents to save on commission. His focus is educating home buyers and sellers on navigating the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease. Andrew has worked on projects for the United Nations and USC and has a particular passion for investing and finance. Andrew's writing has been featured in Mashvisor, L&T, Ideal REI, and Rentometer.

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