40 Ways To Get Your Messy House Ready To Sell

Knowing how to get a messy house ready to sell could be the best thing you do this year.

How do I know?

I’ve helped hundreds of homeowners tidy up their properties and get them sold quickly. I’m an expert when it comes to cleaning, staging, remodeling and anything else that helps accelerate the selling process for my clients.

I know all the tips and tricks on how to clean up, declutter and prepare a property for sale. And today, you’re going to get an exclusive look behind the scenes on how it all works.

Here’s what I’m going to share:

  1. The secret weapon I’ve been using for 15 years
  2. The least expensive but most practical strategy
  3. How to clean and decorate like a pro
  4. My #1 trick for creating a better space
  5. The best way to incorporate pets
  6. The last resort for decluttering a home

…and so much more!

But first, let’s address the question you’ve been dying to ask:

Why would you trust me to tell you?

Don’t I just buy homes “as is”?

It’s true. I do.

My team and I buy properties from homeowners who decide not to declutter, clean and organize them. We do this as a service – an alternative option that is easier and faster than cleaning it all up and listing with an agent.

We can buy your house too if you’ve just had enough.

But we don’t stop there:

We also help tons of sellers clean messy homes and declutter to get even more money for the house. Sometimes, after helping them clean it all up, we still step in and buy it. Other times, they can sell it on the market for much more.

The information here is free. And believe me, we know what we’re talking about. After helping out hundreds of messy, smelly, run-down homes…we know our ideas will help yours too!

Let’s dive into it!


  • Messy homes are hard to sell. Homeowners can either clean it up or sell it “as is”.
  • Knowing how to get a messy house ready to sell if an art, not a science. Let us share some of best tricks to get yours ready.
  • There are alternatives to sell your house under without the time, money and effort required for decluttering a home.

How To Get A Cluttered House Ready To Sell

1. Declutter with a Purpose:

Streamline each room’s purpose by decluttering and organizing items, creating a clean slate that allows buyers to envision themselves in your home. Remove personal items and excess furniture to enhance the overall appeal.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed because you have so much stuff to organize, don’t be! It’s very common to feel this way before you start the process.

2. Create a Stylish Command Center:

Set up a command center near the entryway for mail, keys, and daily essentials. This not only adds functionality but also showcases a well-maintained and organized home, making a positive first impression.

Please note:

Create a command center, not a catch-all! Don’t have this be the source of your next mess to clean up! The concept is to move all the random keys, mail, other items off of tables, chairs and other surfaces.

3. Curb Appeal Makeover:

Invest time in enhancing curb appeal with trimmed bushes, fresh flowers, and a repainted front door. A well-maintained exterior makes a lasting impression, enticing potential buyers to explore further.

I love this idea because the outside is the first and last impression you can get on a potential buyer. If you get your exterior right, you’ll be able to make up for the messiness inside.

how to get a messy home ready to sell

4. Scent Appeal:

Incorporate pleasant scents throughout the house to create a welcoming atmosphere. Neutralize any lingering odors with air fresheners or scented candles.

A lot of people think clutter is best observed by seeing a space full of junk and belongings. And while that’s true, you can also smell a cluttered room from a mile away. Use scents or deodorizers strategically.

declutter a house to sell

5. Feature a Focal Point in Each Room:

Create a focal point in each room to divert attention from messes. Arrange furniture around a statement piece or architectural feature to capture the buyer’s focus.

Think about it this way – if you have a place for the eye to go that is not focused on the piles of stuff then you’ll be able to trick the buyer into thinking there is no mess.

6. Temporary Storage Solutions:

Invest in stylish storage containers to stow away clutter temporarily. Decorative baskets and under-bed storage can be both practical and aesthetically pleasing.

I know what you’re thinking:

Why would I invest in more storage if I’m planning to move anyways? If you’ve gotten to this point where you need more space (storage bins, lockers, facilities, etc.) then maybe selling “as is” is your best option.

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7. Repurpose Unused Spaces:

Transform neglected areas into functional spaces to distract from messy areas. Showcase the versatility of your home by converting nooks into reading corners or small corners into home gyms.

And feel free to get creative with it! Some very good ideas here are unused spaces under stairways, empty basement closets or adding shelves to existing wall space to maximize storage.

8. Neutralize Paint Colors:

Paint over bold colors with neutral tones to create a blank canvas. Neutral colors appeal to a broader range of buyers and make spaces appear cleaner and more inviting.

And on top of that, a freshly painted home is extremely valuable to buyers. It reduces odors, covers imperfections in walls and ties together all of the rooms in the house.

how to get a hoarder house ready to sell

9. Strategic Furniture Placement:

Rearrange furniture to maximize space and minimize the appearance of clutter. Create open pathways to make the home feel more spacious and inviting.

You need to be able to get around. And so does you company. Think about how a showing would go and create logical paths for realtors, buyers and inspectors to navigate the property.

10. Invest in Professional Staging:

Hire a professional stager to showcase your home’s best features. Staging helps divert attention from messes, focusing on the positive aspects of each room.

If the idea of professional staging feels overwhelming or too expensive, selling “as is” allows buyers to see the potential without the need for immediate improvements.

Can You Sell A House With Clutter?

11. Tackle One Room at a Time:

Break down the decluttering process by focusing on one room at a time. This prevents stress and ensures that each space receives the attention it needs to shine.

One more tip here on this one: Make a plan. Schedule a declutter. One room for each day. Which leads me to…

12. Create a Cleaning Schedule:

Establish a cleaning schedule to maintain order during the selling process. Regular cleaning sessions prevent messes from accumulating and make it easier to keep the home in showcase condition.

You’re going to want to plan for when realtors request showings just hours ahead of time or buyers ask to come and see the place on a whim. Finding quick and easy ways to clean up and organize will help market your property.

how to sell a messy house

13. Highlight Unique Features:

Emphasize distinctive features to divert attention from messes. Showcase architectural details or built-in storage to draw the buyer’s eye to positive aspects.

Just like we suggested with “focal points”, use the unique features your home already has to peel the eyes away from the piles, messes and cluttered corners.

14. Install Adequate Lighting:

Upgrade lighting fixtures to brighten spaces and create a cheerful atmosphere. Well-lit rooms appear larger and more inviting, counteracting the negative impact of messes.

Be careful here! More light means more visibility to any existing mess. if you go down this path be prepared to break out the vacuum and duster. No dirt and no cobwebs!

15. Upgrade Cabinet Hardware:

Give kitchen and bathroom cabinets a quick facelift by updating the hardware. Stylish handles and knobs can enhance the overall aesthetic, drawing attention away from clutter.

And then, once your done with that…clean out and use the storage space within those cabinets to declutter!

16. Create a Cozy Reading Nook:

Turn an underutilized corner into a cozy reading nook. Add a comfortable chair, a small bookshelf, and soft lighting to create an inviting space that distracts from other areas of the house.

These nooks are preferable over boxes of books in corners or shelves with stacked magazines. The nook defines the space and presents a cleaner, more organized option for buyers.

17. Invest in Professional Cleaning:

Opt for professional cleaning services to maintain a presentable home. A clean environment enhances the overall appeal and makes the selling process smoother.

If the idea of deep cleaning is daunting, selling to a local cash buyer provides a hassle-free option.

how to sell a messy home

18. Outdoor Lounge Area:

Transform a neglected patio or backyard into an inviting outdoor lounge area. Add comfortable seating, a few potted plants, and soft lighting to create a space that distracts from any mess inside.

In other words, move the mess outside! Use your outdoor space to move items out there.

19. Window Treatments:

Install stylish window treatments to enhance natural light and distract from internal messes. Well-chosen curtains or blinds can add a touch of elegance to each room.

This is especially important if you have items stacked on you window stools. By have some shades to hide the items, you can present a cleaner, emptier space.

20. Create a Welcoming Entryway:

Focus on creating a welcoming entryway with a clean doormat, a few potted plants, and well-placed furniture. This sets a positive tone for potential buyers as they step inside.

I always suggest cleaning up the foyer because first impressions last. If you’re house is already in good condition, then this is a must have. If you’re having trouble getting everything else organized, then focus on this kind of thing last.

How Do I Declutter My House Before Selling It?

21. Update Bathroom Fixtures:

Upgrade bathroom fixtures, such as faucets and showerheads, to add a touch of modernity. This small investment can distract from other aspects of the bathroom that may need attention.

Take a look at this shower head we replaced. Thirty dollars and 10 minutes but it literally improves the look of the shower ten-fold!

22. Themed Decor:

Introduce themed decor to create a cohesive and distraction-worthy atmosphere. This can be as simple as a coastal theme with beachy colors or a minimalist theme to emphasize space.

Other times, you may want to play off the time of year. Think Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc. Decorations for these holidays can really distract buyers from any clutter or mess.

selling a messy house

23. Incorporate Mirrors:

Strategically place mirrors to create an illusion of more space and reflect natural light. Mirrors also serve as attractive decor that draws attention away from other areas.

Another huge benefit of mirrors is that the buyer can then see themselves in that room – literally!

24. Create a Gallery Wall:

Turn a messy wall into a captivating gallery by showcasing artwork or framed photos. This draws attention away from other areas of the room.

What a great way to take that pile of drawings and art on your table and actually move it to the wall. Do you have pictures laying around that you’ve been meaning to hang as well? Put them up!

25. Revamp Kitchen Cabinets:

Give kitchen cabinets a facelift by repainting or refinishing them. This can make a significant visual impact, distracting from other aspects of the kitchen.

Painting cabinets is on the highest returns you can get. Not everybody is up for this kind of project. You can also hire a painter to help, but that costs money too. If your cabinets are a disaster and you don’t feel like painting or replacing, then you might want to consider just leaving it and selling “as is”. Let my team and I do the dirty work on your cabinets.

Sell Your House Fast For Cash In Pennsylvania

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26. Hidden Pet Areas:

Conceal pet-related items like bowls, toys, and beds in stylish baskets or cabinets. This minimizes the appearance of pet-related messes.

Pets are like children. If you don’t organize for them then it just won’t happen on its own.

selling a messy home

27. Upgrade Light Switch Plates:

Replace outdated or mismatched light switch plates with modern, cohesive ones. This small upgrade adds a polished look to each room.

Be careful when you do this is your electrical is dated or old. Remember, we’re jus talking about the cover plates and not the switch or receptacle itself!

28. Create a Tech Hub:

Designate a space for technology, such as a charging station or a smart home hub. This not only adds functionality but also showcases the potential for a modern, tech-savvy home.

Better yet, for any showings you can just go ahead and place all of those phones, tablets and laptops in one drawer. And be sure to close that drawer!

29. Floor-Length Curtains:

Install floor-length curtains to add a touch of elegance and make rooms appear larger. This simple addition can distract from other aspects of the room.

Full-length curtains really draw the eye and can cover any other small piles or messes behind them.

30. Fold Your Laundry:

Go into your closet and make sure all of the laundry is folded. Buyers are going to look in closets – they have to.

When you fold or hang your laundry, be sure that the closet doesn’t smell funky or that your dirty laundry pile is not a distraction either. Worst case, just throw it in the wash beforehand!

How To Sell A Messy House

31. Upgrade Front Door Hardware:

Enhance the curb appeal by upgrading front door hardware. A stylish door handle and knocker can divert attention from other exterior imperfections.

If upgrading hardware feels overwhelming, selling “as is” lets the new owners personalize the entrance according to their preferences.

32. Add Indoor Plants:

Introduce indoor plants to add a touch of nature and distract from other aspects of a room. Greenery can create a fresh, inviting atmosphere.

Plants not only look nice, but they purify the air and create a nice atmosphere for buyers to enter into. Plants also demonstrate that you take care of them (and buyers might assume that carries over to everything else in the house!).

declutter my house before selling

33. Outdoor Lighting Fixtures:

Upgrade outdoor lighting fixtures to create a welcoming ambiance. This draws attention away from other outdoor imperfections – such as leaves, un-mowed grass or dying greenery.

Don’t go overboard with this as many buyers tend to focus on the interior spaces where common messes can form.

34. Don’t Forget The Garage:

The garage is one of those in between spaces. It’s not livable but it’s still part of the house. And it’s almost always used for storage!


Park your car in the garage. It will show the buyer that you don’t have that much of a mess that you can’t even pull in to the garage. It also helps the buyer picture themselves and their vehicle fitting in that space.

35. Upgrade Shower Curtains:

Replace old or plain shower curtains with stylish, modern ones. This small change can enhance the overall appearance of the bathroom.

And don’t stop there, replace the vinyl liner too. These tend to get moldy or covered in mildew substances. Plus, they smell after a while.

36. Use Your Attic Or Basement:

Take the liberty to move the mess into storage areas in your basement or attic. This is a great time to re-shuffle your belongings so that the livable space is emptier and cleaner.

The attic or garage are great places to store items because it’s cheaper than renting a locker at a facility and it’s always right there and accessible if you need it.

declutter my home before selling

37. Create a DIY Coffee Station:

Turn a small kitchen area into a DIY coffee station. This not only adds a trendy touch but also distracts from other aspects of the kitchen.

We recommend this because otherwise it might look like your coffee maker, espresso machine and other coffee products are just cluttering the countertop. If you designate a space for them then it seems more acceptable.

38. Get A Dumpster:

This might be a good time to clean the place out. Do you have years and years of belongings and items that you cannot find a neat and organized way to hang onto? Are they creating a mess in your house?

Order and dumpster and fill it up!

Or, let us do it. Sell your house “as is” and we’ll take care of the mess:

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39. Organize Bookshelves Creatively:

Arrange books and decorative items on bookshelves in a visually appealing manner. This draws attention away from other areas of the room.

A lot of homeowners tend to just stack books. It’s not appealing. Create some organization and tidy up that shelf so that it actually looks aesthetically pleasing.

40. Virtual Staging:

Consider virtual staging to showcase the potential of each room without physically decluttering. Virtual furniture and decor can distract from the mess and help buyers envision the possibilities.

The best for last! This is my last resort if we just cannot find out how to get a messy house ready to sell.

Selling A Messy House | FAQ

How Can I Sell My Messy House Without Investing in Costly Renovations?

Selling a messy house without major renovations is possible, but not always practical. Consider marketing your property as a fixer-upper or explore the “as is” selling option. Highlight the potential of your home, emphasizing its unique features and the opportunity for buyers to personalize the space according to their preferences.

Will a Messy House Impact the Selling Price of My Property?

While a cluttered house may sell for less, it doesn’t always mean a significant reduction in price. There’s s a big difference between how clean a place is and what the overall condition is. Be transparent about the condition, and if appropriate, price your home accordingly. Alternatively, consider investing in budget-friendly improvements that enhance visual appeal without breaking the bank.

How Can I Stage a Messy House for Showings?

Staging a messy house involves strategic placement of furniture, decluttering, and creating focal points to draw attention away from messes. Consider hiring a professional stager or utilizing virtual staging services to showcase the potential of each room. Temporary storage solutions and subtle decor additions can also make a significant difference.

Is Selling “As Is” a Viable Option for a Messy House?

Yes, selling “as is” is a practical option for a messy house. This approach allows you to sell the property without making extensive improvements or even cleaning it up at all. There are buyers specifically interested in fixer-uppers who may appreciate the opportunity to customize the home according to their taste.

Are you one of them?

Fill out our form to get a cash offer on your messy house today!

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The findings and information in this article are focused on Pennsylvania, however, it is applicable in many locations nationwide!

Best Way To Sell My Messy House

Signature Properties provides the easiest and simplest way to sell your house in Pennsylvania. We buy houses through fair and honest cash offers.🙂 Whether you are avoiding the bank from foreclosure, coming into an inheritance, going through divorce or any other situation – we have real estate solutions to get you the outcomes you desire when you sell your house to us. We help homeowners with costly home repairs, mounting liens, code enforcement violations and even vacant homes. Are you trying to sell your house in surrounding areas or other counties and states near Pennsylvania? We buy properties in New Jersey and Delaware as well as many other towns! In fact, we buy homes all over Pennsylvania. Knowing how to get a messy house ready to sell is crucial if you’re trying to sell your house quickly!