Part of preparing a house for sale is removing the “clutter.” Through the years, you’ve amassed a significantly large quantity of “stuff.” Remember when you first looked at your new home? You opened the cabinets, pulled the drawers and opened closet doors. Your buyers will be doing the same thing, so getting rid of the extra stuff that has gathered over the years will help your house look ready for its next owner.Areas especially vulnerable to attacks of opening and examining are:The kitchen – clean out the pantries, cupboards and shelves – keep trashcans hidden and of course emptied.Closets – Closets are great places for accumulating “stuff”. Extra clothes, shoes and accessories that may not have seen daylight for sometime can all be boxed and placed in storage. Cleaning this space out also makes your closets look bigger – a huge item on any buyer’s list.Furniture Clutter – A room can look overcrowded if you have it full of furniture. That big over-stuffed sofa or your favorite worn, but comfortable recliner may need to find a temporary home when showing your house to prospective buyers. Again, remember, the buyer wants to envision his or her own favorite pieces in the house. You may want to tour some builder’s models to see how they place furniture in the model homes. You can then get an idea of how to place your own furniture to provide the maximum effect – getting an offer.Storage Areas – These are favorite places for “stuff” to gather. Like magnets, basements, garages, attics and sheds attract whatever doesn’t go into the living room, bedrooms, closets or kitchen. Things like Uncle Henry’s old bowling ball, Aunt Hilda’s sketches of her parakeet or even your “Elvis is alive and well” poster. This might be the perfect time to have that garage sale you’ve been putting off. Cleaning up and cleaning out will dramatically enhance your selling efforts.Plumbing and Fixtures– check all fixtures to make sure they turn easy and that faucets do not leak. The fixtures should look as shiny and new as possible.Ceilings, walls and painting – Check your walls and ceilings for water stains. Sometimes old leaks leave stains, even after the leak has been repaired. If you should find a leak, of course have it repaired. Painting can be your best investment when selling your house. A neutral color – beige, cream, ivory or standard off-white will allow your buyers to picture your house with their color schemes. The lighter color also adds brightness to the rooms and makes them appear more spacious.Carpet and flooring – Unless your carpet appears old and worn, or is definitely an outdated style, hiring a good carpet cleaner may be all you need. If you choose to replace the carpet, find something inexpensive in a fairly neutral color.Windows and doors – Check all windows and doors to make sure they open easily and without noise. Invest in a can of WD-40 and spray all the hinges to ensure that each opens smoothly. Check your windows for cracked or broken windowpanes. Of course, this would be a good time to clean them allowing your rooms to be bright. As potential buyers go from room to room, someone will open each door and you want to do everything necessary to create a positive impression.Odor Control — For those who smoke, you might want to minimize smoking indoors while trying to sell your home. You also could purchase an ozone spray that helps to remove odors without creating a masking odor.Pets create odors that you may have become used to, but are immediately noticeable to those with more finely tuned olfactory senses. If you are a cat owner, be sure to empty the kitty litter box on a daily basis. There also are products that you can sprinkle in a layer below the kitty litter that helps to control odor. For those with dogs, keep the dog outdoors as much as possible. You might also try sprinkling carpet freshener on the carpet on a periodic basis.