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5 Tips for Cleaning Out Your Garage

After years of successfully selling homes across Stamford and Rutland, we can categorically say that a messy, cluttered garage tells your potential house buyers these two crucial facts …

YOUR HOUSE IS LACKING IN STORAGE SPACE AND YOU ARE NOT COMMITTED TO SELLING!

So, now you’ve heard the hard home truths, here’s what you need to do to help get your house sold…

1.       MAKE A PLAN

Depending on the scale of the problem to effectively deal with your belongings you need to allow yourself at least one whole day - without any interruptions.  Check the long range weather forecast for a dry day as you’ll need all the outdoor / unsheltered space you have, and ask a family member or neighbour to mind the children and pets.

2.       BE PREPARED

If you think you might need a skip, get one ordered in advance of your chosen date.  For a local skip company covering Stamford and Rutland, I can personally recommend Mountain Recycling. http://www.mountainskiphire.co.uk/ 

Alternatively, if you plan to take the items to the local council tip personally, check their websites for site locations, opening times and available recycling options and services

https://www.rutland.gov.uk/  
http://www.southkesteven.gov.uk/ 

Do you need any racking to help store your belongings once sorted?  I have previously purchased from https://www.bigdug.co.uk

Would a bike rack be useful and are you able to fix it onto the wall? Again, see 'Big Dug' for their Bike Wall Rack Kit.

Make sure you have plenty of empty bins, crates, boxes, bags and sacks to sort your items.  A pair of protective gloves may also be useful and a pen or labels to categorise your sorted items. 

3.       GET ORGANISED

It’s ‘Operation Garage Tidy Day’… Move everything out of the garage and sort into 5 piles…Sell, Donate, Skip, Store and Use.

SELL - Identify unwanted or outgrown belongings that have a value and you know will sell quickly.  Photograph them as you come across them ready to upload onto your local community site the following day.

DONATE - Choose a local charity and assemble large items ready for collection by them or drop off by you.  If you already know what these items are, contact the charity in advance to check they will accept the items you are offering to donate.  If they do accept the items, load them straight into the car as you go and take a friend along to help you unload at the destination.

SKIP - If it’s broken, can’t be sold or donated then ask yourself what it’s doing in the garage?  Throw it out.  Be ruthless.  If you haven’t used it in the last 6 or 12 months, it’s highly unlikely you’ll want it in your next house.  A removal company is going to charge you to lift it, transport it and unload it, so don't waste your money moving from one garage to another.  And remember, keeping it in your garage for another day (that never comes) is seriously putting off buyers and potentially driving down the asking price on your home. 

STORE - It’s possible you’ve got some items that aren’t currently being utilised in this home, but maybe you’re hoping to be in a position to do so in your next home – perhaps an inherited item of furniture or perhaps baby items to be used in a year of so!  If it’s bulky, then you should seriously consider paying for storage whilst you sell your home.  When David and I moved house, we used Rutland Self-Store on Ketton Road in Empingham and can highly recommend their services.  In fact, we even stored the contents of our entire house there whilst we were in between properties for a week or so! http://www.rutlandselfstore.co.uk/

USE - This category isn’t to be labelled ‘keep’, it must be ‘use’.  Only store items in the garage that you are going to be using over the next 6 months or so i.e. bikes, garden machinery and minimal decorating items for touching up paintwork to keep your home looking immaculately presented as your try to sell.  Oh, and you will be able to put your car away in the garage too!  Imagine the luxury!

4.       TIDY & SORT

Once you’ve edited your 'USE' belongings (as this is all you will have left to put back into the garage), sort them sensibly into a methodical and tidy order.  Use shelving for frequently used items (spare bulbs and batteries etc), cabinets or racking for less frequently used belongings (spare paint, paint brushes) and peg boards for DIY and garden tools .  Remembering to keep any toxic, poisonous or dangerous items out of reach of children etc.,

5.       LIGHT & BRIGHT

Sweep up the garage floor, put up the racking, store your edited belongings, oil the hinges to the garage door, fix any broken mechanisms and locks, replace any broken lightbulbs and security lights.  To repair or replace any faulty garage doors, try AS Doors from Melton Mowbray.  http://www.asdoors.co.uk/

Make sure the garage space is clean, tidy and your potential buyers can see the whole space.  Don’t let them open the door and see the collection of items your home simply can’t store.  Finally, never store your wheelie bins in your garage even if they don’t smell, no one wants to see them in the garage. It gives the totally wrong impression.

So there you have it.  You’ve now started packing but, more importantly, you’re now giving a very positive signal of your commitment to selling.  Once it’s all looking lovely, take a photo of the newly ordered garage and email it to your estate agent – they’ll be happy to include it now within your property details!

Well done, you’ve seriously earned that cuppa now and you'll be another step closer to moving on to your next dream home.