Over the last two years I have been in thousands of homes. Thousands.
More often than not, in preparation for sale, the sellers have moved their worldly possessions to the garage. Sure, we watch reality TV shows about hoarding. Some little old lady hung on to depression era stuff, and that peaks our interest. But, American Consumerism has somehow tripped us up. For it seems every garage is full of junk.
House, after house, after house, full of things we care little about. Old electronics, books, boxes, kids’ toys, broken bicycles, unused exercise equipment, overstuffed furniture, decor from 1988 and meaningless art.
If you think that hoarding is a psychosis only affecting a few eccentric people, I am hoping to give you a dose of reality. This is a bug that most of us have contracted. We are over-ran with stuff.
Technology, wires, appliances, media, all that promises us that life will somehow be easier, when in fact, we spend a great deal of time and money managing.
Sure, our tv can order us pizza. Alexa can have that new kitchen appliance delivered via drone to our door, but I would like to announce to you that more stuff makes your house worth less.
MORE STUFF LOWERS THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME.
Potential buyers cannot imagine living in a mess so they choose the houses with the least amount of stuff in them.
So, if you want to do something really simple to increase the value of your home, remove the items you don’t really use or care about. Here are some simple tips to becoming a minimalist. It all starts with admitting that most of us have way too much stuff and it is killing us.
Decorate your home with a few things that you really, really love. Take the time to decide on the kind of style you like the most. When you clear a home out of clutter, you can easily switch from style to style, trend to trend with just a few items.
Be really careful with the art you choose. Art is one of the best representations of what mankind can offer. Choose beauty. Choose peace. Sooth your soul. Avoid cynical, dark or controversial art. Be eccentric with it as long as you choose the size that fits the wall.
Paint neutral tones and bring beauty in the limited amount of items you choose to display. Bring green, natural looking pieces on to the neutral tones. Buyers will be drawn to life. Grasses, plants and vibrant colors fill the soul if done strategically.
Imagine a beautiful high end hotel room. They have one piece of art on the wall. A few lamps. Warm colors and warm lighting. But somewhat impersonal. Many agents will have their sellers remove all family photos. I don’t think so. I say leave one really happy photo of your family displayed. Let them know your home is a happy home.
Boxes, old exercise equipment, make up on countertops, photos, and children’s art on the refrigerator. Make it all go away. Throw away stuff. Clean out all closets. Clean out the pantry. Clean out the attic. Send it to your favorite charity. Sell it on Craigslist.com or Facebook Marketplace. Free your life from the stuff that does not matter to you.
Get rid of anything made of particle board. Seriously. It is making your home less valuable and you did not pay that much for it in the first place.
Dusty computers, utilitarian office furniture, worn out plastic bins, papers that should be filed. Clean it out and throw it out.
Anything made of cardboard does not belong in your home. A five-dollar cardboard box is taking thousands off dollars of the sale price of your home.
Dark colored drapes are draining your equity position on your home. Unless they are professionally coordinated, generally speaking drapes kill natural light into your home.
Plantation Shutters. Consider removing them, especially if you have dark paint colors. I know you paid a lot of money from them, but natural light is the most powerful and emotional feature of your home.
DO ALL YOU CAN TO GET THE SUN INTO YOUR HOME.
Dirty, smudged, and dusty technology with wires hanging everywhere is killing the sale price of your home. Technology in your teenage son’s room conjures up imaginations prospective buyers don’t want to think about. Bathroom counters in your teenage daughter’s bathroom, complete with make-up, curling irons etc is killing your biggest investment. Clean it out and throw it out.
A side note on plastic bins and organizing furniture. These are bad. Neatly stacking your junk does not make it valuable. It just makes neatly stacked junk. Don’t waste money on expensive plastic bins. Throw it out!
I could keep writing. I have seen it all. Nothing surprises me anymore. Become a minimalist now. Free yourself from all the things that you don’t care about anyway. Learn to live with less. Learn to live a simple life and sell your house for more than your neighbors. Be happier for it.
Now go be free.