Stuff! It’s an age-old conversation. It’s a relationship, really. How are we with stuff?
We get stuff, we own stuff, we need something when we see it, and we love it for a bit. But then we have to maintain it, and we have a hard time letting go once it has outlived its usefulness. This has actually been shown to lead to anxiety and lack of being able to just relax. Too much stuff, and knowing it but not doing anything about it.
We develop emotional attachments to stuff, too. It may feel like letting go of a thing is disloyal to the person or event to which it is connected. We all have this, and it’s hard!
Have you seen that Konmari method of clearing and cleaning your home? It was all the rage about a year ago, and I still see it pop up in my FB feed. Click that link and check it out. It’s about identifying the emotional connections with our stuff, and actively letting the stuff go anyway.
Every one of us has some kind of connection with the way that we interact with our stuff, and it is actually as much of a compatibility test within relationships as how we handle our finances or what we like to do on a Saturday night.
How much stuff do you need? How do you keep it taken care of. Is it in everyone’s way? Do you own it, or does it own you?
So how does this relate to Real Estate? I’ll tell ya!
When we look to purchase a home, what we are really looking for is a suitable container for our lives. Our families and friends, our pets, and our stuff. How will Grandma’s 4 Poster Bed fit in the Master Bedroom? Where will we put the sofa? And how will we fit all of our clothing into that walk-in!?
This is what most buyers talk about while we are viewing homes – in a nutshell, where they will put their things.
Most of us have done the move where we dump our things in boxes and send them to the new place. Kill em all, sort em out later. And we know how difficult that can be once all is said and done. It makes it really hard and not very exciting to unpack in the new zone. How anti-climactic! Let’s avoid that.
So you are looking for a home on the third party sites, and you are thinking about purchasing. What can you do now to be sure that you are ready to move when the time comes?
First, take a look at your furniture. Are you going to bring it all? Is there anything that has seen better days? Now is the time to start thinking about letting go of these things. If it is not in bad shape, consider donating it. If it’s just at the point where nobody else will want it, let it go. It’s so freeing!
This will also prevent you from overspending on your home, believe it or not. Maybe you don’t need such a big place after all, if you think about it. If you pare down to just what you love, how large of a space will you actually need?
That’s why now is the time to be considering donating clothing and the kids’ extra toys to the local Goodwill. Cleaning and clearing. Preparing for your new world that is more manageable and less overwhelming.
I know it’s hard, but this is a perfect time. And Sellers, same for you!
Please don’t wait to do this until you are at the point where you feel ready to call us out to chat about listing your home. By then you are already in the mode of listing and having showings. To slim down at that point can feel like you are moving backward.
Prepare first. Take the time to clear out the clutter. You know your agent is going to request that when you meet!
Pack up the clothes/coats/shoes/hats that you don’t wear and send them off. Go through your blankets and sheets and towels, and minimize down to what you actually use.
Donate gently used and cleaned clothing and bedding to the local shelter. They will appreciate this more than you know.
Organize the kids’ drawings on the refrigerator, and clear surfaces of items that have been living there forever.
Magazines, newspapers, things that need to be filed. Touch them all once. Let them go or put them away where they actually go.
You will need to do this before you move to your new place, anyway. Do it now! It’s refreshing and crucial to a less stressful process once we get going.
So while you are clicking around on Zillow, this is something that you can do as an action to move in the direction of being ready. Between this and chatting with a lender, you are squarely in the buying mode!
And Sellers, while you think about what you will do once you move on, please do realize the importance of presenting a properly prepared home.
We are offering potential buyers a new lease on life. They already have too much stuff, themselves. They want to imagine that when they buy your home their life will be different. Chaos-free and manageable.
It’s hard to describe how much this matters in marketing a property. It matters a lot!
So let’s go! And I will, too!
On a personal note: my list is about distributing all of the paintings and other art that I took from my mom’s house when she passed. I have a spreadsheet of my step-siblings’ addresses and will be packing those up this week and sending them out.
These pieces have lived in my home office for long enough. It’s hard to let go, but it’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of taking the time to pack them all up and send them off. I need to make it a priority. Not doing it does not make the task go away!
We can do this, and we will feel happier and more free, for sure.
Want to chat about preparing? Call us. We can definitely point you in the right direction here.
(And when you do, ask me if I have gotten that art mailed off yet. We all need some accountability, me too! 🙂 )