What is often the hardest step in getting ready to sell your home is de-cluttering and getting rid of your excess 'stuff'. Face it... we tend to fill the space we have, sometimes to overflowing. Whether it's messy clutter... or very neat but just too much... it has to go so potential buyers can focus on how they would use the space.
When you list your home for sale you want to wow your potential buyer so they can see themselves living there... so they want to live there! You want enough 'stuff' so they can see how to use the space... but not so much that they focus on your 'stuff' rather than the house. After all, you are selling your house, not your 'stuff'!
This de-cluttering step can be so hard that it sometimes stops the process before it ever gets started. If you have a lot to do, accept that it's ok to ask for help... from family and friends, or hire an expert to help... just ask your Realtor for a recommendation.
Sometimes the reason you are selling is because you are relocating or have run out of room in your current home... you may be overflowing with people as well as 'stuff' and need more space. Renting a 'POD' is one solution if you plan to take most everything with you. You load your excess stuff into the POD, they take it away to storage... and deliver it back to you when you are ready.
Especially if you plan to downsize, de-cluttering can be the longest part of the process of getting your home ready to sell... and may be the most difficult. If you have lived in your home for a long time, your things are likely associated with many memories over the years... a good reason to share some of those treasures with people dear to you. A good place to start can be going through your things and selecting what you want to keep first... then giving things away to family and friends, donating to a worthy cause (for a tax deduction) or having an estate sale for the rest.
De-cluttering to get your home ready for staging often takes multiple sweeps... going through it an initial time... then again... then again... You want to get down to the basic structure of your home so potential buyers can experience the space... and visualize moving in their stuff!