By Caroline Bujold
Big decluttering day in Denis’ condo
In the last post, I talked about what negative impacts clutter can have on your life and how it can make or break a property sale.
In this post, I reveal how we did on our decluttering day in Denis’ condo.
The day started not too early so everybody could be well rested.
The first space we tackled was Denis’ closet. It can be really daunting to let other people sort through your clothes, because most of us express who we are through what we wear. So to help out, I enlisted Danielle’s help who has become our friendly go to stylist and who’s not afraid to be brutally honest about a look.
To help Denis make some decisions, we were very systematic, showing him items that were similar so he could keep only the best ones. I think he was quite shocked at the amount of clothes he was able to let go.
Afterwards, his clothes were arranged by type (all shirts together, all pants together) and hung backwards; so that Denis could continue to see what he could potentially let go in the next couple of weeks. Summer clothes were stored under his bed in a plastic bin.
If you don’t know the ‘’Backward Hanging Trick’’, it’s fairly simple and easy. Hang all your clothes backwards and as you wear each piece, return them to the proper hanging position. You get a super simple visual of what you wear most often. At the end of the season, if there are pieces you haven’t worn, donate them.
Next up were closets and cupboards. That meant chucking (donating) a few suitcases, DVDs, decoration items, electronics, small appliances, linens … a lot a linens and streamlining cleaning products. To assist Denis in the process, I asked him a few questions like: how many towels do you reasonably think you need; which of these suitcases and bags do you actually use; and are those papers important to keep for taxes purposes or as a references.
Hint: you only need one or two sets of bed sheets, per bed and a couple of towels per person in your household. Clearly Denis had too much, as you can see in this picture.
This process is simple and easy when you ask yourself the right questions. You need to be honest and realistic. For example, Denis tends to buy products in bulk, which is great if you have a family and lots of storage space. Not so much when you are a single person and have limited storage space. The key here is to ‘’live within your space means’’ which is best explained in this video.
Denis and I spent 9 hours decluttering the condo. It seems extreme, but we were very thorough. The closet alone took a couple hours with Danielle’s help. Denis was such a good sport, enforcing his veto on only a few items.
After a few weeks of intense decluttering, Denis was finally ready to put his condo back on the market. I’m happy to say the condo was on the market only 75 days. Considering, a good chunk of this period was close to the Holiday Season, I would say it’s pretty great. It even sold a bit faster than he anticipated. So he opted to rent for now, moving from a 968 square foot condo, to a 592 square foot apartment with one A-MA-ZING view, which was the goal of all this.
When it was time to pack and move, knowing the space was going to be smaller and also, to my delight, loving his new ‘’lighter life’’, Denis was willing to let go of more stuff. It was hugely useful that decluttering was done in stages, giving Denis time to digest the experience. Big changes can have big impacts, positive and negative and I think Denis set himself up for success with this staggered process and he should be very proud of his accomplishment.
Next week I’ll have a few tips on preparing your home for the real estate market.