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Spring Cleaning, Real Estate Style

Now that the snow is melted and you can stand to leave your house without your Canada Goose jacket, everyone's thoughts turn to spring cleaning. When compared with the sunny, wide-open outdoors, our indoor spaces suddenly seem dark and cluttered with the detritus of the winter.

Spring cleaning takes on a different character, though, when you're readying your house for sale - or deciding whether or not to move. Here are our tips for spring cleaning with a view towards selling your home.

1. Be ruthless. We're big fans of Marie Kondo - or "KonMari" - and her mission to help people beautify their lives by tidying up. You can have a look at her website for more details of her method. The guiding principle of her work is this: "keep only the things that bring you joy."

Take this seriously. Go through your closet: if you have clothes that fit fine but you don't love, get rid of them. Take a safari through your basement storage room: if you haven't looked at stuff in years, toss it. Be truthful with yourself about what you own that doesn't add to your life and what you own that does, and keep only the things you love and that bring you joy. Your space won't just be less cluttered; it'll be happier, too.

2. Get the professionals in. Decluttering is only the beginning: under all that extraneous stuff, you're likely to find some dust bunnies. And even if you're a very tidy person, it's always nice to have everything cleaned at once, by people whose job it is to keep your space beautiful.

This is your opportunity to air out the curtains and rugs, move all the furniture and clean up, polish the silver, make small essential repairs like recaulking, and generally freshen your space. And our guess is that you're too busy to do all of it at once, which is why a professional is a good idea.

3. Stage your home. This is sometimes a fun exercise even if you're not necessarily planning to sell, but if you are, it's essential. A skilled home stager - and we work with several, and are happy to refer one - will make sure everything is perfectly situated to sell. 

They'll put all the pillows in the right places (and bring extra matching ones if necessary); they'll match the rugs to the couches and even bring the perfect flowers to brighten up every room. One of a stager's most important jobs is to accessorize properly; even if you use your own furniture, they have a knack for putting the perfect piece of art or table centrepiece that will tie the whole room together.

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