Why the KonMari Method is Perfect for Selling Your Home
If you, your best friend, or your mother-in-law have a Netflix account, chances are you’ve at least heard of the KonMari method and its effortlessly charming champion, Marie Kondo. Even before her series Tidying Up became a smash success on the streaming service, Kondo was already an international phenomenon – her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a New York Times Bestseller, and in 2015 she was named one of Time Magazine’s top 100 most influential people in the world.
In watching her show, you can witness the positive effect it has on its participating families. These people are just living their lives, and having someone help tidy up and cut down on clutter takes a weight off of their shoulders, and in some cases, the process can even move participants to tears. But what if you are planning on leaving your home – why take the time to commit to the method if you’re planning to simply be moving out in a few months anyway?
Today we’re going to examine some of the benefits of applying the KonMari method to your house when you decide it’s time to put it on the market. First, let’s take a closer look at what that method actually entails.
The KonMari Method
In the social media age, it’s easy to lose sight of something through the conversations that erupt around it. That could easily be the case around Marie Kondo – after one of her quotes was taken slightly out of context suggesting that the average person should only have 30 books, bibliophiles
cried in protest that Kondo was coming into their homes to take their most beloved possessions.
But that’s not actually the case. Kondo’s stance is that you should only hold onto items that spark joy. It’s a vague metric to use – one that she recommends gauging by taking all of one item (say clothes in this example) and piling them upon your bed. One by one, you pick up each individual piece and ask yourself if it inspires joy. If you feel it – you fold it up and drop it back in the drawer (she even has her own folding method). If it does not, you thank the item for the joy it brought you in the past, and then put it into the trash or Goodwill bin.
This process is used with everything – stack up all of your books, kitchen appliances, etc., – and sift through. If at the end of 1,000 books you still have 1,000 books that inspire joy, you’re not cheating the method – you simply derive a lot of joy from your books. But chances are, there’s room to cut out some of the excesses that have accumulated in your life over the years.
Simple enough – but why apply this method when I’m looking to sell?
The Bottom Line – a tidy house is worth more
The easiest answer to that goes straight to the wallet. A de-cluttered, tidy home can sell for 3-7% more if it’s presented clean and tidy. It’s not very difficult to imagine why.
Envision walking into a home that you’re thinking of purchasing. If the home is neat and tidy, there is less visual static preventing you from manifesting the home into the place you’d like to make it someday. As a buyer, you want to walk into the living room and see where your furniture might fit in, or get an idea of what arrangements could work. You want to imagine what it could look like under your care. In a tidy home, you close your eyes and imagine the room stripped of a few pieces of furniture. In a messier home, not only do you have to strip away the furniture – but the magazines spilling out of the basket under the coffee table, and the two-and-a-half dozen knickknacks accumulated from years at owl-obsessed Aunt Nancy’s Christmas parties, or the almost-completed Lego set on the living room.
In short, it’s easier for a buyer to envision themselves in a clean home than a messy one and they will be more willing to pay a higher price as a result.
But there’s more to the method than just the bottom-line value of your home.
It’s a Way to Destress
Moving is stressful – it’s one of the most stressful experiences that a person can have, and it’s easy to understand why. Moving involves planning, paperwork, finances – few things that bring people actual joy. In some cases, it can mean changing jobs or school systems. It can mean leaving our support system of friends and family. There is a lot to do, and it causes us stress. The KonMari system is one that helps reduce stress related to the things in our homes – and as an extension, it can reduce the stress when we move.
Some of the ways it helps are more practical than others. If we cut down on the clutter in our homes, then we cut down on the number of things we will have to pack. A dozen books take up far fewer boxes than a hundred would, for instance.
But the KonMari method is about more than simply downsizing. It’s about finding the joy in things – whether it’s still there or it was a feeling felt once long ago.
At the beginning of some episodes, Marie Kondo will introduce herself to the house. This practice takes on a very spiritual bent – she takes a tour of the home, and thanks to it, out loud and repeatedly, for providing the service of protecting, sheltering, and housing a family.
When it comes to selling our homes, it is very easy to begin looking at your home as a burden. But by being mindful of the time it has spent in serving you and your family, the KonMari method invites you to look at your home in a new way: as a being of its own, one who ants simply to serve and house you. You may begin thinking of the best memories to come out of your time living there and find yourself hoping that it can be that “starter home” for another family just getting started. You will begin thinking of your home as less of a burden to unload, and more of an opportunity for someone else. And while that sense of positivity and gratitude can likely come across as you’re looking to sell the home, it will also ease your own burden of having to depart it.