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Putting your house on the market requires a delicate balance between staging it for sale while keeping it functional for your lifestyle. Once you’ve staged to clear out the clutter, put some thought into what to do with the essentials: the things you absolutely need while still living in the house—especially in your most-used rooms.

This comes down to organizing. Taking these three simple steps can make your home stand out amidst cluttered inventory in the market.

Step 1. Tackle the Kitchen: Of course, you need to cook and eat while selling your home, but take a look at your pantries and drawers. If they’re overcrowded, think about ways to organize them. Maybe your silverware drawer is a mess. If you have different styles of silverware, just keep one matching set and store the rest or consider donating some.

Now it’s time for the pantry. Get rid of food items or ingredients that have expired or you don’t plan on using. Donate any unused canned or packaged foods to a local food bank, and throw out everything else. Make sure to clean the pantry of anything that fell out and made a mess (flour, rice, pasta, etc.).

Step 2. Organize the Bathrooms: There’s a good chance your medicine cabinets have some expired prescriptions, and over-the-counter medicine you haven’t used. Throw these out, but do so properly. Check labels to see how medicines should be disposed of (many can simply be flushed) and follow the instructions. Also, get rid of old or unused razors, shaving creams, lotions and soaps. Toothbrushes should be replaced regularly—do so a little more often during the selling process.

Step 3. Tame those Closets: A big part of the moving process is getting rid of items you don’t need in order to make your move easier. Closets are an opportunity for that. If you haven’t done so already, go through your closets and throw out or donate items you don’t need or want. Take it a step further with your linen closet. If towels and pillow cases fall out whenever you open it, keep only as many towels and bedding sets as you need and store (or get rid of) the others. Do the same with your bedroom closets. Store clothes that aren’t in season and donate items you no longer want.These steps not only make your house look cleaner, but they also open up storage areas and living spaces, making your home more appealing.

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