When the spring rain and warmer weather rolls around, it’s the ideal time to crack open the windows and get some deep cleaning done around the house. And if you’re considering putting your home on the market during the spring, you’re not alone. The change in season is one of the most popular times throughout the year to sell and/or find a home. But how can you get a jump on your springtime cleaning and get your house ready before the wintry weather ends? Here are 10 tips and tricks to get you headed in the direction of a clean, tidy, and beautiful home for a springtime market.
1. Start with a Purpose, Not a Room
One of the best ways to begin tackling any large project is to break it into smaller steps. The same is true in organizing and cleaning. Instead of focusing on one room at a time, focus on one task at a time. This can help you use your time more efficiently and effectively. Taking on an entire room can be difficult, long, and cumbersome. Rather than decluttering or organizing your kitchen, for example, work on specific items like clothing, paper/books, or kitchenware. Working by category instead of location helps you tackle large tasks around the home, one step at a time.
2. Use the “Joy” Method
Cultures around the world have been exploring the connection between heart and home for thousands of years. Marie Kondo showcases this through her “joy” organizing method. Our human emotions are one of the main reasons our home gathers and collects items over the years, and it can be hard to get rid of things. Start with a giant pile of whatever you’re working on, whether it’s books, clothing, or decor. Pick up each item one-by-one. Does that item bring you joy? If it doesn’t, you do not need it!
3. Give Each Room Its Purpose
While decluttering and cleaning, try looking at every room from the perspective of a buyer. Each room should have a clear-cut and easily-seen purpose. Take away or get rid of things within a room that distract from the space and its purpose. Toys belong in bedrooms or a toy room, kitchen items belong in the kitchen, etc.
4. Minimize Furniture
Let’s be honest. The less furniture you have in a room, the larger (and cleaner) a room looks. A big, but easy way to help a room look more organized and clean when spring rolls around is to remove or minimize furniture. Items that are oversized for a specific space or not necessary to its function should be removed. You can either store them away for a later time or get rid of them!
5. Remove, Replace or Store Away Personal Items
This is where things can get difficult. Our personal items like decorations, pictures, and keepsakes are important to us, and easily become a source of clutter over the years. When it comes to staging and selling your home, de-personalization is key. New buyers want to see themselves in your home and that can be hard to do when your personal items are lining every nook and cranny. Strive for a clean slate for every room by removing unnecessary, personal items. And if you’re not ready to part with it, pack these items away in photo boxes, totes, etc. for easy storing.
6. Reduce Your Kitchen Items
The kitchen is typically a hub of random things. It is one of the most-used rooms in the home and tackling it can be intimidating. In this room, it is important to practice some serious scrutiny in decluttering. Curate what is in your kitchen to your household’s needs and remove anything extra. Your cabinets and shelves should be organized by item and purpose. Counter-space should be maximized and space within cupboards used minimally. Each cabinet’s contents should be easily seen when you open them.
7. Re-Organize Clothing, Closets, and Wardrobes
Cabinets, closets, and other storage areas become littered with things and items over the years. Invest in good organizing bins, shelving, and more to provide a more streamlined, organized space in these areas. You should go through each and every one of these areas with the goal of totally minimizing the items there. Get rid of whatever you don’t need or doesn’t spark joy, and make use of clever organizing tools like vertical storage, boxes, bins, and more. When you open these storage areas, you should be able to clearly see everything; easily seen and accessible.
8. Tackle the Little Things on Your To-Do List
Maybe you never got around to fixing that spot of paint or your lightbulbs all need to be updated. The winter is the perfect time to tackle all those little tasks that you just haven’t gotten around to yet. Those items all add up and can make a big difference in making your home look its best when spring comes. Fix that leaky faucet, replace the creaky doorknob, or replace an outdated ceiling fan.
9. Don’t Forget the Outside
The outside of your home is the first thing any potential buyer will see. Even though it’s winter, there’s still a few things you can do to prep and organize the outside of your house to be ready when the snow thaws. You can update or change bulbs, sconces, or outdoor lanterns. You may also consider minimizing unnecessary items outside and maybe even painting your front door if it’s warm enough!
10. Consider a Storage Unit
There may be times when you simply cannot part with things. but they are still taking up room in your house. Whether these items have sentimental value, are important personal or business documents, or your favorite pieces of decor, you may wish to hold on to them. But when you cannot find a suitable place in your home for these things or they are simply cluttering up your most marketable spaces, a storage unit could be a great option. From very small to very large, you can find storage units to help you keep all of your necessities without sacrificing a decluttered and clean house for the spring market.
Get a jump on your spring cleaning and help ensure your house is ready for the hot real estate market once the cold winter ends. For more on selling, buying, and perfecting your dream home, contact the premier real estate duo in the greater Iowa City area: The A-Team.
Tim Conroy specializes in residential real estate in the Iowa City Area. He enjoys working with clients and helping them discover Iowa City and the surrounding communities. He prides himself on customer service, creative marketing, and helping clients navigate transactions.