To Konmari Or Not To Konmari

To Konmari Or Not To Konmari

BEFORE I LIST MY HOME…DO I KONMARI????

Let me just say that walking into a potential new client listing meeting and noticing the KonMari method in action got me really, really excited.  My client was super impressed that I kept noticing everywhere she had “KonMari’d” her residence – such as the big glass jars in the pantry labelled clearly, the rolled towels in the nearly empty hall closet, and the uniquely folded clothing in her dresser drawers.  She was especially proud of her undies drawer, which was super endearing that she would share this with me.  As it turns out we had both recently binge-watched Marie Kondo’s Netflix series “Tidying Up” and read pieces of her book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”.

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Photo from www.tidycasa.com

I would like to first commend and congratulate those that have undergone this drastic decluttering method for themselves.  Sometimes I think I’m more of an eclectic hoarder than I like to admit but having the time to do more things with my family because I’m not wasting my time moving clutter around seemed very appealing to me. That - and the concept of ‘sparking joy’ really resonated with me. Imagine being happy in every room of your home, with every cup you drink from and with every article of clothing you put on your body.  If you are fully surrounded by things that bring your happiness what is there to be sad about then right?  There is something to be said for this happiness and how it pertains to listing your home in our real estate market.

For those of you unfamiliar with the KonMari method I highly recommend her Netflix series and there are a multitude of resources on the subject, but here’s my take on the key principles.

Marie Kondo recommends using a 5-step-5-category approach of organizing instead of trying to organize room to room.  This can be an emotionally taxing process and its recommended to do this all in one go for the best overall effect and impact on your life moving forward. If you get stuck along the way try to remember that you are envisioning your ideal future life and only want to bring those items with you to this new life that align with what you are creating for yourself.  Kondo maintains that each item that is kept should ‘spark joy’ within you – think of holding a newborn baby, a little puppy or a stapler if office supplies are what do it for you.  Once you internalize the sensation of “sparking joy” it gets easier to recognize the feeling and trust your intuition as you go through the process.  Also – do this with your family – because Kondo believes that tidying your home will tidy your relationships too.

  • Clothing – Put all of the clothing from the entire house into one room and then go through it. Touch/hold each article one by one and see if it “sparks joy” – so if the item speaks to your heart you keep it and if it doesn’t you thank it for its service to you and let it go. The thanking of items is very important – especially when you later get to more sentimental items.

  • Books – Same as clothing.  That’s right – one by one and really think about if you are keeping it for a memory or if it will serve purpose in your ideal life you are working to create.

  • Paper – Same as above.  Gather every paper into one room including every document, every newspaper clipping or drawing you have been holding onto. (…and you thought clothing was hard!!!)   

  • Kimono – MISCELLANEOUS – Everything else like the kitchen, bathrooms and garage.  Take everything out and don’t put it back unless it can inspire joy moving forward and there is a specific place for it.

  • Mementos/Sentimental –Honor these special treasures by putting them in a beautiful box that is easily accessible so that you can visit these sacred items every time you need to.  Think about displaying these items in a special way instead of having them hiding in a closet somewhere.                                                                                                                                                                   

Remember that everything that is kept has a specific place and will be cherished.  It is organized into bins, containers or drawer dividers and visible upon looking into a cupboard or opening a drawer. When you see what you have and everything has its own home there is a certain state of calm within the mind because the excess is no longer a burden to you. There is also no time or extra energy exerted trying to constantly make room things or look for things that have gone missing.

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Photo from Michele, a KonMari consultant on Instagram

I remember staging my first condo for sale in St. Albert over 10 years ago.  We had so much stuff that we rented a pod and took everything “extra” out of the condo while we lived in our new residence having showings and waiting for it to sell.  After we sold, a month after moving in, we emptied the pod out and filled our house back up with excess items we didn’t need. Reflecting back, this was a very rudimentary version of the KonMari method – except the point is we didn’t need or miss all of the items that were in the pod.  And we ended up just trying to cram them into our new house, creating burden and strain in our new life.   

So how does this all relate to real estate and help you to maximize the price for your home and most importantly your well-being in the future???

  • YOU ARE CREATING THE LIFE YOU WANT WHEN YOU MOVE - You are not dragging extra items with you to your new residence.  If you declutter using this method you will only be bringing items that spark joy and align with the future that you envision for yourself.  Imagine the feeling of moving into your new home being surrounded by only what is meaningful to you.  (Bonus - you will probably save a lot on moving costs too!!)  

  • NO STRESS SHOWINGS – A quick wipe and things are show-ready as opposed to a major overhaul and cramming-items-into-every-crevice-panic-attack each time your realtor calls.  Selling a home can be a stressful process on its own so any chance of removing additional stress can’t hurt.

  • NO CLUTTER MAKES HOUSES FEEL BIGGER – Potential buyers aren’t distracted by your personal items, tastes and extras. They will be looking more at the space in general as opposed to being distracted by a multitude of items. They will also easily notice the abundance of space for their belongings in the closets, the pantry and the other rooms of the house.

  •  PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP – Having an organized and clean house means you care about the environment that you live in which easily translates to potential buyers.  If your home is organized it shows buyers that you are the type of person that will stay on top of maintenance, upkeep and have done everything you can to maximize the life span of the home. This bodes well for envisioning their new future there.

  • BUYERS VISIT YOUR SPACE AND FEEL HAPPINESS – I personally believe in energy and the positive energy that families who have undergone the KonMari method have transferred into their homes is indescribable.  They are experiencing joy together every day and it is emanating and pulsing from their home.  They have also thanked their home for its service to their family and have put out the intention for the new life they are wanting to create – so they are aligning their past and present worlds. Gratitude and love are the strongest energies of all and are my personal inspiration when I perform a house clearing. (That’s why I couldn’t believe it when I saw Marie Kondo thank the house – I instantly understood what she was doing on a different level because it relates so much to what I help clients with!!)

In the end, like everything in life just take what resonates with you from the KonMari method and leave the rest.  I have done my closet and my pantry yet I am far from finished with my home – but it is my process and it will move as fast and as slow as it needs to. If you are feeling overwhelmed in your space or planning on listing then this decluttering method may hold strong merit in your world.  And if you need any help I’m always here.



Lisa Bergmann Headshot
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Phone: 780-318-0885
Dated: March 5th 2019
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