In my last post, I wrote about the trend towards minimalism among millennials, and how it might affect the desires of buyers in the future. In this two-part series, I’d like to suggest some ways that sellers can make their homes more attractive to minimalist buyers.
The easiest way I can spot a fellow minimalist is to open their kitchen cabinets or pantry. A kitchen just feels so much larger and cleaner when open cabinets and countertops reveal empty space. When I made the transition to minimalism, I started in my kitchen. Just by getting rid of duplicates, single use fancy cooking gadgets or serving plates I never actually used, and limiting my number of plates/bowls/glasses to the number we really do use, I cleared up more than half of the cabinet space in my small kitchen. Now my countertops are completely clear of everything but a fruit bowl, because everything fits and is easily reached in the cabinets!
If your clients aren’t ready to part with their extra stuff just yet, there is a cheat method. As they’ll be packing and moving anyway, encourage them to pack away everything but the basics and take it to a storage unit. That way, the kitchen will always look clean and decluttered, which will make their lives easier when there are last minute showings!
To a minimalist, clutter doesn’t just mean stacks of mail, a messy bookshelf, or a dining room table covered with everything except food. What many people call “home decor,” I call clutter. There are exactly eleven items in my entire living room: a couch, four chairs, one coffee table, one rug, two hanging pictures, one wall mounted TV, and one blanket. The best part about it is that cleaning is a breeze! At most I have to fold up the blanket. When my house was being listed, last minute showings never troubled me at all because I knew that the living room, dining room, and kitchen were always clean and clutter-free.
After the kitchen, my next biggest source of clutter used to be my bathroom. I had a bathroom closet overflowing with bottles that were either nearly empty, expired, or just bad products. Hair gadgets and accessories I hadn’t used in a decade. Millions of towels. (Ok, not millions, but it felt that way!) I challenged myself a couple of years ago to pare all of that down to: one bottle of shampoo, two bars of soap (one in the shower and one at the sink), one toothbrush/toothpaste tube, one facial cleaner, one razor, and one brush, along with a small box of hair bands/clips. I also reduced my mountain of towels down to just four. Now, instead of feeling cramped and messy, my bathroom feels like a hotel. Everything fits in a drawer and so the counter is nice and clear. Can you tell that I’m obsessed with having completely clear surfaces?
The best time to do a massive decluttering like this is when you are moving anyway. Just think about the difference between hauling one box of toiletries as opposed to several! If you are skeptical about living without all of these extra products, just use the cheat method from earlier. After living without them for awhile, I’m willing to bet that instead of bringing them back into your new home you’ll toss them in a heartbeat!
Contributed by Cassie Villela.
Cassie Villela is a real estate investor and mother of two in San Antonio, Texas.