In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a de-cluttering revolution going on in the wake of organising consultant Marie Kondo’s minimalist approach to tidying up. The KonMari method detailed in her book, Spark Joy, and recent Netflix series, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo has divided the nation over just how much we’re willing to throw away for the sake of a tidy house.
When it comes to preparing your home for sale and making it as appealing as possible for viewings, however, there’s certainly something to be said for Kondo’s theory, which minimises clutter, maximises space, and aims to create a calm and inviting environment. And who knows? By applying this approach to your home pre-sale, you may just carry over some good habits to your new place…
There are six central tenets to Kondo’s method that can be applied to prepping your house for sale:
- Make a commitment to tidying up
If you really want to get the best price for your home and secure a sale as quickly as possible, then it’s up to you to prepare your property for viewings. This means getting yourself organised and committing to the job at hand. Fix those niggly little repairs that have been neglected for months. Slap on a fresh coat of paint. Get rid of the junk pile in the spare room. And start a proper tidy-up.
- Imagine your ideal home/lifestyle
Visualise your home in the clean and tidy state you’d like it to be for viewings, and create an aspirational example for potential buyers. That generally means curating a neutral, blank canvas that shows off the property’s best assets and gives viewers a good idea of how they might put their own personal stamp on your home. De-cluttering is an excellent first step, removing all the detritus and revealing what’s underneath!
- Discard – don’t store
A fatal mistake in any tidying attempt is trying to store the things you’ve decluttered instead of simply throwing them away (or donating them). As you work through the decluttering process, make a conscious decision whether to keep or discard each item – and follow through with it! Get rid of unnecessary things and you’ll suddenly find you can make better use of the storage available and keep your living space clear of clutter.
- Tidy by category
Kondo suggests decluttering by ‘category’ (eg: clothes, kitchenware, children’s toys) rather than working room by room – otherwise you end up moving things from one place to another rather than making actual progress. By picking a category, you’re more likely to complete the job, and breaking the whole process down into manageable chunks. Pick a category, get to work, finish the job, and then move onto the next.
- Do things in order
According to the KonMari approach, there’s a certain order in which to tackle your decluttering: clothes, books, papers, miscellany and sentimental items. The theory is to start with the things you’re least attached to and work up to the items that have the most emotional significance. The same applies to preparing your house for a viewing – figure out an order of priority and stick to it!
- Does it ‘spark joy’?
The central tenet of Marie Kondo’s method is to only keep items that spark joy when you touch or look at them. There’s no need to completely strip your house of anything extraneous – a blank canvas may be a bonus when prepping for house viewings, but potential buyers also want to see that your home has a soul and has been lived in, so make sure you retain a little joy and personality in your décor.
Is the KonMari method for you? You may not subscribe to it wholeheartedly, but if your house is on the market and you want a kickstart in preparing for viewings, it could be a good way to make a radical change to your tidying habits…
For more advice on property, conveyancing, and preparing your home for sale, get in touch with our experienced team of property solicitors at Frances Lindsay & Co.