a nice clean kitchen of a home that is beautiful decluttered and organized

6 Ways to Make Decluttering a Home Easier

March 6, 2023

When there’s too much clutter to sell Mom’s Home

Getting ready to sell, or help with the process of selling your parent’s, or a loved one’s home, can quickly become more than you bargained for – especially if the house is full of lifelong collections, clutter, or a combination of both. If you find yourself faced with this, the thought of decluttering a loved one’s home can quickly seem overwhelming.

It’s no secret that well-kept, organized and clean homes show better, and by proxy, tend to spend less time on the market. It might very well be a conversation you’ve had with an aging parent or loved one: “There’s no way we’ll get top dollar for this house. It’s too much of a mess and I don’t want to go through the trouble of cleaning it up. The hassle just isn’t worth it.”

Well, it certainly is worth it, and it doesn’t have to be a major hassle. We have some ideas to help declutter Mom’s home. Sometimes, a combination of these might do the trick.

grandkids making a garage sale sign to help grandparents with decluttering

1. Have a garage or yard sale

So, this might sound like more work, and it is. But it doesn’t have to be an insurmountable task. Unless you hire someone, you’ll have to do the pricing, tagging, sign postings and sales yourself. If you have family and close family friends, you can enlist them to help.

Have a family task-up meeting and divvy up the workload. Get the kids and grandkids to do small, menial tasks such as sorting items into bins for sale, or putting price tags on items. This should be a family affair, where everyone is chipping in to help Mom and Dad.

Keep in mind, you don’t have to sell ALL the clutter. Some of the most successful garage sales have fewer items or are categorically well organized. When your bargain-hunting prospects visit your yard or garage, they should be able to easily spot items that might be of interest.

If you’re attempting to declutter the entire house in a garage sale, you might be setting yourself up for failure. Pick items you think might sell the best and look to donating the rest. Which coincidentally is the next suggestion on our list.

older woman filling a donation box to declutter her home

2. Donate

You might use this in combination with something else, like a garage sale. Or, especially if time is an issue, this could be your best, if not only option. Like a garage sale, you and your family will need to pack everything up and get it cleared out of the house.

Some donation services will come to you, especially if you have large items. And there are services you can hire to pick up your items to bring the to the donation services.

a nice conference table and chairs to illustrate estate sale

3. Have an estate sale

An estate sale is a great option for people who are no longer able to use the things in their home. What’s great about an estate sale is they are often handled by estate sale services. You can certainly do an estate sale yourself, but a service will do almost all of the work for you, including marketing the sale and appropriately pricing the items.

The drawback to using a service is they will take a standard commission of the gross sales. But that’s also a benefit. They generally don’t charge for up-front services and run strictly on commissions. So if your home is full of items that might be valuable, an estate sale service will help you with everything from appraisal to selling.

woman organizes belongings in a box to help with decluttering

4. Hire someone to declutter

There is always the option of hiring someone, or a service, to come in and declutter the home. Often, real estate agents have people like this in their vendor toolboxes and will be able to refer someone to you.

Mom’s home might not need a full extraction of clutter, but some organization. Services like this can come in and convert a cluttered disaster into a well-organized space that properly shows the house off.

large commercial dumpster in front of house for family to declutter

5. Junk it

This would be the all-hands-on-deck, we need this out now option and can be great if the house is more junk than valuables. In this scenario, you’re literally hiring a dumpster to sit in the driveway while you toss the household clutter. Alternatively, there are services that will come to you and, if the junk is in the yard or driveway, they’ll bring their truck and remove it for you.

This also might be the final stage in your process. If you’ve had the yard sale, done the donations, this is a good option for what’s left.

calculator pen keys and glasses with a piece of paper that says reverse mortgage

6. Use a reverse mortgage

If hiring services to do some of the work for you might not be in the budget. The real estate agent you work with, especially if they are designated as Senior Real Estate Specialists (SRES), will know exactly how leveraging a reverse mortgage can benefit decluttering a home for sale.

In a nutshell, a reverse mortgage is a loan on the property based on the market value of the home. The loan isn’t paid until the property sells. And if repairs or decluttering is required to get a better listing, using this option might make this process easier.

If Mom and Dad are selling their home because they are transitioning to alternate living options that suit their aging, or medical, lifestyle, having a qualified nurse assessment combined with a good SRES agent can be a winning combination.

AdoreMOM has both – a licensed nurse who can come in and evaluate your loved one’s situation and highly qualified SRES agents who can help sell the home. If Mom’s home needs some care before listing, our team can help.