Whether you are a client getting ready to list your home or a busy mom of four, March is the perfect month to do some Spring cleaning. The temperature is just starting to rise, however, it’s still cold enough that staying at home and tackling the seemingly impossible task of a deep clean will feel less painful! 🙂
The first and most important thing to note: To be organized, you must create time. If you don’t have blocked out time to organize, it will not get done in the proper way. Try setting aside time on your calendar to mark the biggest projects such as your kitchen, storage or closet, off the list first. After you create a plan and have all the time you need, that is when you can figure out what of those areas needs it the most!
As a seasoned agent (and mother!), I see many houses in Chicagoland throughout the week. I have viewed some of the most beautiful, organized and spotless spaces to the most cluttered, unkempt homes around. With that being said, here is the perfectly mixed list of real estate agent expertise and motherly guidance to get your home ready for Spring in Chicago:
1. Start with what’s on the floor. Typically, anything on the floor shouldn’t be there in the first place unless it is furniture, or a garbage can. Once you have tackled the floor (which is sometimes the most daunting), next is the countertops and anything that the eye can see.
2. Storage! When it comes to organizing a home in the city for a showing or a child’s bedroom for, well, life, having proper storage for random objects that are used throughout the day. Whether it is clothing, toys or an appliance like a toaster, leaving these items out is messy and should not be out in plain view. Then, start tackling the shelves.
3. This brings me to the third and most difficult tip: The “Get Rid Of” Pile! You’ve probably heard it a million times – If you haven’t worn it in a month or two, donate/resell it! If it is a clothing item that you haven’t worn in the last year, it should go. If you think it is out of style but aren’t sure, picture someone else wearing that outfit. Would you find it attractive? If not, it goes. If it is too big or too small, it goes. If it is an outfit that you really love and it is too big, make a pile to bring to the tailor to get altered rather than spending the money to buy something new. However, this also applies to food. Anything that is expired or almost expired in the pantry should immediately go or set aside to cook that evening.
You will be most productive creating a block of time to accomplish these tasks. Try when the kids are napping or you are watching your favorite show if time blocking is impossible. You can also clean out one drawer or cabinet a time while you are on the phone. It makes the task seem a little less daunting and you will feel great afterward!
When I am ready to list a home, I give my clients these tips. They are not happy with me at first but in the end, they feel grateful and much lighter. When it is time to move, they are only moving with the things they really want.