Declutter Your Home and Get Ready for Selling

Is it time to declutter your home?

The warmer weather has got us all feeling even more motivated here at CB Homes. We can finally say hello to Spring! Perhaps you’re also feeling the urge to get things done, too. If you’re considering selling your home any time soon, we can’t stress how important it is to get organised early on. Packing up all your beloved items can soon turn into a marathon. To save time (and stress), we recommend decluttering your entire home before making the move. After all, the more ‘stuff’ you get rid of, the less you’ll have to pack when moving day comes around!

Alongside all of this, you will make your home a lot more appealing when you begin to have viewings. Although an agent can do their best to sell your house, visitors will still judge based on their own impressions when they step foot through the door. And let’s face it, clutter won’t sell!

Our top tips to help you declutter

As experts in the field of selling homes, we thought we’d have a nugget of wisdom or two to share. Getting your home ready to sell doesn’t have to be a daunting task, and with these easy tips, you’ll begin to see just how effective decluttering can be. The most important part? Start early! Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to have clear out so you don’t end up in a cardboard-box frenzy the night before a viewing.

The six-month rule

If it’s not been used in the past six months, chuck it out. The exception to this rule is, of course, seasonal items like Christmas decorations! Chances are, if you’ve not worn that dress in six months or you’ve not used that stereo, you’re probably not going to use it again.

Organise what you’re throwing out

Create three piles or boxes: ‘keep’, ‘throw’, ‘donate’. Anything in good condition that you don’t use anymore can be donated to your local charity shop. It’s a win-win! This should be applied to any time you declutter a room, not just when you move.

Tackle each room with a fresh mind

Make a list of the rooms or areas which need decluttering. Aim to do just one at a time (one a week, for example). This will ensure you don’t get too fatigued and that your brain is fresh each time you come to attempt to declutter. And every time you tackle a new room, look at it from a new perspective: how will potential buyers view this space? Then, improve on your findings.

Storage is your new best friend

Invest in handy storage solutions if you’ve got a lot of stuff you want to keep. We understand that you can’t bear to part with certain things. At least if they’re stored away correctly, your home will look a lot more appealing on photographs and to viewers.

Don’t forget about your furniture

Pull out your large furniture. You’d be surprised how much gets lost or ‘stored’ underneath beds and behind sofas. You may even find some hidden gems! Whilst you’re doing this, you might want to take the time to rearrange furniture to create a more welcoming feel to each room. A different layout might work better on photographs, too.

Time to spring clean!

So, you’ve got that decluttering stage out of the way? Now, you can focus entirely on getting those sparkling surfaces without worrying about sifting through junk! First things first, you should always work from the top down. That means, dust lighting fixtures, wall hangings and surfaces first. Then, follow up by dusting any lower down items and moving onto the floor.

You may think that potential buyers won’t notice the odd bit of dust. However, you’d be surprised how much a good clean can really impact the feeling of a home. Plus, once you’ve completed your deep clean, you’ll be much more prepared for moving day.

Quick tips for appealing to viewers

Although a clean and clutter-free house is key to bagging those essential viewings, there are a few other tips we have up our sleeve for you.

  • So you’ve kept your ‘stuff’ to a minimum, it’s time to keep people to a minimum too! Don’t invite the whole family round for viewing day. The fewer people in the house, the easier a potential buyer will find it to envisage themselves living there. A quiet, peaceful setting will also allow them to really take in everything about the property and ask any questions they may have.
  • Increase the ‘kerb appeal’ of your home. Before viewers have even got to the front door, you want to create a good impression. Leave your car off the drive to give them room to park – if possible. Spruce up your front garden and give your front door a fresh lick of paint if needed.
  • Don’t forget about the back garden, either! If you’re lucky enough to have a decent outdoor space, you’ll want to make sure it can be another big selling point for your home. Pull up any weeds, mow the lawn, store away the kid’s toys. Keep it simple and presentable.
  • Make sure your home smells nice. Although this sounds menial, it’s actually really important. Bad smells can be a major put-off in any circumstance, especially when viewing a potential future home; open some windows to let in fresh air and maybe light a candle or two. An old trick that really works? Make some fresh coffee or warm bread in the oven – these homely smells will appeal to your visitors’ senses and create an inviting atmosphere.

Creating a Brief for Your Garden with GRDN

Creating a Brief for Your Garden

By GRDN

Following on from our previous article in collaboration with CB Homes, we would like to continue the theme of ‘structure’ in the garden. Below we will strip the issue of structure right back to what we assume as a starting point for all our design projects. This is called ‘setting a design brief’. As designers this is a critical process to ensure a clear vision for the space is set and that the requirements and ideas for the space are met.

Design principals and key elements

As garden designers we consult, advise and create ideas for your garden be it a small, large, irregular or complex space. There are some simple design principals which everyone can apply when looking at structuring or organising their garden to help form a brief. There are a series of key design fundamentals, which should be considered and this list can become exhaustive. And depending on the particular site the demands can vary significantly.

Below we have outlined a few key ideas to ensure you can start to make the most of your outdoor space. Hopefully, we can give you some new ideas and processes. These can be applied to your garden in order to create a successful and enjoyable space. The headings below are also key elements that we set out in our design briefs at the start of any project.

Function

We often ask clients the following; what do you want to use your space for? Who will use the space? When will the space be used? When designing any garden or space it is important to clarify who will use the space and when. Domestically this might not vary too much but adults, children, pets, visitors or groups are just some examples of who might want to enjoy the space and furthermore enjoy a certain aspect of that space. The different users of a space will all demand different outputs from a garden and whilst it might be hard to cater for all, a balance of activity and functionality should be planned out to ensure successful creation of a garden or space.

A family garden GRDN designed in SW London that needed to function for different end users; adults, teenagers and young children.

Scale

It’s important when designing a garden, to look at what interventions you can incorporate into the space to give human scale. By this we mean elements, features or creating space which humans can relate to in terms of size, materiality and use. Landscape elements within a garden or space such as trees, pergolas, sculptures and boundary treatments all represent possible interventions. When implemented correctly and sensitively, these elements will provide the required refuge, prospect and short views. Even down to the finer details of exact paving typologies, paving unit size and furniture specification.

It is important there is a clear composition of landscape elements to ensure comfortable use of the space is achieved.

Contemporary trellis was used to create a boundary to the garden, whilst providing a backdrop to a seating area for prospect and refuge.

Context

Context is another key component when designing any space. We often ask a client if they have an overall theme in mind for the garden, which will weave the space together? Have they considered specific planting typologies? Do they have a preference on hard materials?

It’s not easy to have all the answers immediately. But there are certain considerations which can start to create your personalised checklist for creating and shaping your desired garden. This helps give your garden an identity and character. However, it’s also a direction for the design process and then future implementation process.

Material choices, conceptual themes, light, bold, vibrant or soft colour palettes are often some key starting points of reference. We like to explore how vegetation can be used, is it architectural or passive planting? Evergreen and seasonal combinations? Mass and void throughout the space should be considered. The list could go on but defining and refining the landscape elements within your garden should be carefully planned. This is to make sure a high quality and functional space is built and brought to life.

The client brief was to create a naturalistic courtyard in a small London garden.

Bearing all the above points in mind, you can get a feel for just some of the key components. These should be put in place in order to create a successful garden and outdoor space. Writing these elements down in a design brief helps bring that much needed structure and framework to all garden spaces.

We often like to visit gardens and external spaces for inspiration or read about iconic landscapes. These help to influence some of the decisions above. We would advise this as a starting place for anyone. For us, a successful space is one that is interesting to be, which functions for its end users and is aesthetically pleasing and elegant.

Final words

Here at GRDN we always say: “It’s better to have a select few components doing well in a garden rather than too many components competing in the space”. So when it comes to writing your design brief, be concise and clear.

Please visit our website to see our latest work or get in contact with us if you’d like some advice. Furthermore please follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for our latest updates.