Some people have a talent for minimalism. They buy what they need, use what they buy, and dispose of what they don’t use. Unfortunately, we’re not “some” people.
Don’t get me wrong — we’re not packrats. We shop only sales and look for items at yard and garage sales, but we’ve finally passed a point where we comfortably fit in our modest two-bedroom abode.
For that reason we’re looking around at what’s on the market. In fact, we were out with our wonderful (I mean that!) realtor just this morning and had a chance to view four different properties. Even though we didn’t find anything that knocked our socks off, we still discussed what steps we should take to prepare our place for showing to potential buyers. I expected our realtor to walk around and point out dings in the paint and other small details, but her only advice was this: de-clutter.
This is a great idea because not only will the space seem bigger with less “stuff,” but the space will also seem more adequate. By that I mean that we want prospective buyers to see things in their proper places and say to themselves, “This family has a reasonable amount of stuff, and there’s more than enough room for it all.”
Frankly, I’m pretty excited that our realtor told us to do something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. If we were able to move every six months, we’d really pare down the amount of stuff we have to just the basic things that we really like and use. Once we complete this de-cluttering exercise, our place will be much nicer for us to live in (not to mention show to buyers).
We’ve already put away some of our children’s toys because they all get pulled out everyday, and I’m tired of picking them up over and over. On the one hand I don’t want to deprive them of learning opportunities that might arise from playing with some of their toys, but the clutter is driving me crazy!
It’s not just kids’ toys though; among other things we’ve also got some magazines lying around from past months. Some people swear they’ll go to the gym — we swear that someday we really will read that magazine from last year, so it would be a shame to throw it out . . .
Until (or unless) we have another child, we could last for several more years where we currently are. The most immediate problem is that we’ve very effectively filled every nook and cranny. Occasionally we think about getting a storage unit (and we’ll probably have to if we decide to sell) but do we really want to pay an extra $70-100 per month because we just have too much stuff?
I’ve begun bringing home boxes from work and we’ll soon set about reducing the amount of our belongings that are stored in our place. We have many more children’s books than are used on any given day and plenty of off-season clothing. That’s a good thing, too, because somehow we’ve got to make the backs of the closets visible.
As we prepare boxes for storage, we’ll be taking a very critical look at each item and deciding whether or not it’s really worth keeping. My feeling is that we have quite a bit of “dead wood” that can be donated to a local thrift store and reduce the amount of stuff that ends up in storage.
Reducing my claustrophobia and stress will be a nice fringe benefit of getting our place ready to sell. Who knows — maybe we’ll de-clutter and realize we’ve got more room than we really need!
Question(s) of the day:
Do you find that clutter at home really bothers you, or is it a comfortable use of space?