There’s no better time than the end of winter’s hibernation to give your home a fresh start.
Whether you’re selling in time for the market’s peak season, planning to downsize with fewer possessions or just want to get your home in great condition before the year’s out, here are the best tips and tricks for cleaning and decluttering your home.
Understand the psychology of clutter
It’s undeniably hard to get rid of items in your home, no matter how long you’ve had them or how much – or little – use they have. Some psychologists say this is because we’re overly attached to possessions, while others think there are deeper reasons behind why we can’t let go.
The Minimalists, a duo who have helped over 20 million people live the minimalist ideal, believe that it’s because we give our possessions too much meaning, instead of focusing on what’s most important. Stopping to think about the reason behind the clutter in your home can help you to get past the emotional attachment and keep your home clutter-free moving forward.
Use a framework to keep your tidying on track
When emotions are involved, it’s easy to talk yourself into keeping something you haven’t used in years. Finding a framework to guide your decluttering can help you to stay on track. This is where experts like Marie Kondo come in.
You might have heard of Kondo over the past few years, because her approach to tidying up has gained popularity all over the world. Under her KonMari method, you tidy your home by category – such as clothes or books – instead of by room. You ask yourself one simple question about every item you come across while cleaning: “Does this spark joy?”. If the answer is yes, you can keep it. If no, thank it for its service and give it away.
A similar approach from life coach Martha Beck includes asking yourself 3 questions – “Do I truly need it?”, “Do I truly adore it?” and “Would I trade inner peace for this?” – that remind you why you’re decluttering in the first place. According to Beck, once you’ve made the decision to throw an item away or donate it, you should do so immediately instead of waiting for a “good” time to take it to the op shop or out to the bin.
Make sure you have the right storage
According to professional organiser Andrew Mellen, your home will be more under control if there’s a place for everything. For example, he thinks that if you don’t have a basket for your mail or small boxes suitable for your office supplies, it’s little wonder you have things strewn around the house.
Identify where the clutter piles up most in your house and then buy storage solutions that will keep it under control. If you’re moving house or downsizing, the right solutions might become clearer when you’re in the new home, but thinking about common problems in your current home first will help.
Focus on the most important rooms
Presenting your home at its best is as much about cleaning as it is about tidying. And if you’re selling, the rooms that need the most attention are often those that buyers care about the most – the bathroom and the kitchen. Dedicate plenty of time and effort to cleaning every surface, including grout, appliances, windows, cupboards, sinks and fixtures. You’ll get the best results using the right products, so it’s worth spending a bit more to get the products that are fit for purpose. And, if you think you may have stubborn stains you can’t remove, cleaning guru Shannon Lush thinks it is almost always possible to solve even the most problematic cleaning issues if you use the right approach.
Keeping everything clean and tidy long-term
Once you have done the big clean, it’s important to keep things that way, whether it’s in the lead-up to an inspection or just to remove stress from your daily life. Professional organiser Peter Walsh says to focus on completing every task in its entirety instead of to a halfway point, such as putting dishes in the dishwasher instead of in the sink, or hanging clothes up immediately after taking them off instead of leaving them on the floor. You should also clean every area as you use it, like washing dishes as you cook and wiping benches after every use.
Tidying up in preparation to sell this year?
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you sell your home.