How to Sell Your House When It’s Full of Junk

When you own a house, it’s easy for clutter to pile up. With closets, extra rooms, basements, and sheds, it’s convenient to store and accumulate more items through the years. All of these extra items cluttering your home can impact your ability to sell your home. Buyers want to be able to see themselves in your house, which can be complicated when clutter is blocking the walls and the floors.

This situation is very common in the real estate world. Having a lot of accumulated items that are scattered around the house can happen to anyone. However, the appearance of the house is the most important aspect to focus on to get potential buyers through the front doors. The great news is that there are multiple ways to sell your house when it’s jam-packed with junk. Here are some ways you can make your house more buyer-friendly.

Consider What Buyers Want

When you start your home-selling process, you might be tempted to take all of your junk and put it away into storage spaces in your house such as the closet, garage, or outdoor shed. However, these are the same spaces that potential buyers will want to explore. Buyers want to see how they can utilize your space, especially the storage area of your house.

A space that is full of your junk makes it hard for buyers to imagine how their items would fit in. Plus, the more piled up a room is, the smaller it looks because there is less space to visibly see in the room. These hotspots are what will make your house sell, so they should be highlighted, not crammed with unnecessary clutter.

Eliminate the Clutter

Moving is the perfect time to go through your items to see what you need. Not only will it help you to declutter your house, but it will also help you get rid of things that aren’t necessary to bring with you into your new place.

Before you start to eliminate your clutter, it’s important to have a plan of attack. You need to give yourself plenty of time, probably more than you initially estimate, to truly go through each room. Try to start from the front of the house and make your way towards the back. Only focus on one room at a time to make sure you give it the time and dedication it needs.

When you begin the process of going through each room, divide the items into four piles including:

  • Things you Need Now: These are items that you need to keep in your house to continue functioning normally. This should be considered the bare minimum of what you need. For example, if you’re working on decluttering your living room, your bare minimum might be a couch and your TV. It would not include the four cluttered bookcases that frame the wall. Remember, this is only temporary, not forever, so just think about only keeping the basics.
  • Donated Pile: These are items that no longer fit your style anymore. This could include old appliances, outdated books, clothing that does not fit, or items that haven’t been used for more than a year. By donating these items, you rid your house of clutter while also helping others with items that they may find useful.
  • Donations to Family: Some items that you may not need anymore, could be too valuable to give away to charity. These items might include jewelry, antiques, or family heirlooms. Make sure that the items you give to your family are useful or hold value in some way so that you are not adding additional clutter to another household.
  • Things for Later: These are the items you are going to pack up to declutter your house. This should include items that you plan to keep, but don’t need to use during the moving period. This could be clothing that is out of season, blankets, or books. These items tend to take up a lot of space without adding any value for the potential buyer. Put them into boxes to eventually take to storage.

It’s important to take your time with each area of the house and think of it as deep cleaning. Not only will it make your house easier to sell, but it will help free your future home of unnecessary clutter. By the time you’re finished, you should only have 35-45% of belongings left in your house. This process makes a world of a difference because buyers will finally be able to see the full potential of your house.

What to Do with All That Junk

Foreclosure or Short Sale: Which is Better?

So now you have donated a great number of your items, but you still have all the stuff you’ve packed from your deep cleaning. There are a few options when it comes to the storage of these items:

  1. Rent a Storage Unit

This is the most common and easiest option you can do to hide your extra items. You will need to rent a storage unit that is big enough to store your stuff. If you have items that are sensitive to weather change, you’ll need to specifically search for a climate-controlled unit. Using a storage unit for your items will help you remove anything from your house that is unnecessary and prepare your house for its future buyers.

The greatest advantage of using a storage unit is that you don’t need to enter a long-term contract to rent one. They normally charge on a month-to-month basis and offer special promotions for their units which makes it an inexpensive solution to store your items. You will want to choose a storage unit that focuses on security, including a gated area, property security, and private gate access. This will ensure that your items are well taken care of. There are plenty of storage options if you live near a city, so shop around to find the option that is best for you.

  • Use a Moving Pod

There are companies, like Pods, that will provide you with a temporary container to store your belongings that you can keep right on your property. The pods are delivered to your house and when you’re ready to move, they’ll be transported to your new property.

The advantage is that you don’t have to leave your property to store your items. However, these storage pods are not great curb appeal and can take away from the look of your house. If you can place the pod in the far corner of your backyard, or a neighbor’s driveway, that would be the most ideal. It’s also important to consider the cost, which is a lot more money than a normal storage unit would be.

  • Find Unique Storage in Your Own House

The last way to store your items requires a bit of creativity. You need to find areas of the house that you can store your items that won’t be looked at by potential home buyers. Areas like under the bed or attic space are perfect solutions for your things because they are not spaces home buyers want to spend a lot of time looking at.

In other places around your house, try to use the far back of cabinets to store your items. You can also purchase simple baskets to store your items in so it looks uniform and neat when a buyer looks through your house. The goal is to hide your items without taking away the space the viewer wants to see.

Selling your house when it’s jam-packed can seem overwhelming. If you dedicate yourself to finding the proper storage solution and follow through with deep cleaning of your house, you’ll find that the benefits greatly outweigh the cons.


At Pavel Buys Houses, we are licensed real estate agents in Massachusetts that can help you sell the house for what it’s truly worth and help provide solutions for your cluttered house problems. However, if this still sounds too overwhelming and you don’t want the time commitment of selling the property the traditional way, we also buy homes fast in Massachusetts (and pay cash while offering fast closings!). Our priority is making sure you have the advice you need to make the best decision for your situation. Call us today for a consultation or to receive a free, no-obligation cash offer at 781-309-7085.

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