It’s no secret that selling your home and moving represents a major stress event in anyone’s life. But for people embracing minimalist concepts, the steps are clear. Get your “old” home ready to sell. Find a “new” home. Sell “old” home. Move self and family to “new” home. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it?
Now I’m not suggesting the minimalist lifestyle is for everyone but it has some good points. The longer anyone stays in one place, the more stuff and clutter build up. It’s not surprising, as a nation, we Americans tend to be overwhelmed by the steady growth of our possessions. When it comes to staging your home for viewing and the actual mechanics of moving, less is definitely more.
Staging, that crucial technique in the process of selling, starts with a first step – taking out as much stuff as you can.
Don’t be surprised if you start seeing your paraphernalia through new eyes. That’s the trick to this line of attack. Living in the midst of clutter, we don’t see it anymore. Successful staging starts with visualizing your home through a potential buyer’s lens.
Each room should look like it’s used for the purpose for which it was intended. Simply put, a dining room must look like a dining room, a bedroom like a bedroom. Keeping the treadmill in the living room was a great idea, reminding you to exercise, but your potential buyer doesn’t want to see it there.
Aim for conventional furniture placement to create a more pleasant and widely appealing aesthetic with as much visible floor space as possible.
Outside the Comfort Zone
Are you worried that you’ll miss your grandmother’s old wardrobe? Nervous that one day you’ll need that stoneware (all eighteen place settings) you got for a wedding present? Relax; you don’t have to get rid of everything. Sentimental items and furniture you might need someday can be put into temporary storage. For now, just get them out of the house.
Your goal here is to emphasize the calm, clean spaciousness of your imminently desirable home. With this firmly in mind, weed out anything that spoils that picture. Don’t get hung up on the “what ifs”. That’s the purpose of temporary storage – storing the things you may one day want until you can make a decision. To give you a holiday from excess stuff, clear you mind and make cleaning your newly minimalist home a quick and simple job.
The Three Pile Purge
Using the three pile purge – an old minimalist trick – you reduce this often daunting job down to manageable size.
• Only tackle one room at a time, cupboards as well.
• Set a deadline
• Create three piles for each room; a sell pile, a trash pile, and a donate pile.
• Move out all the little things; piles of magazines, books, anything in corners and stuck away in cupboards.
• Get rid of the piles of magazines, old toys, kitchen clutter, etc.
• Don’t be afraid to make executive decisions
Try to push aside the emotions of decluttering. This is where temporary storage can help. If there are items of sentimental value, things you just can’t bear to part with but they just don’t fit in the calm, minimalist look you’re creating, store them. It’s easier to make decisions when you’re settled.
Take a minimalist approach to the process and you could be reaping the benefits when you’re moving into your new home. Throw away as much as you can, donate, have a garage sale (or two). Whatever steps you can take to reduce your stuff will lighten your load and diminish stress.
All that’s happening now is depersonalizing your home for sale using some standard minimalist techniques. Don’t be surprised if your clean, inviting and newly spacious home sells quickly.