Ok, to start this post I want to share one thing: I did not jump on the Kondo bandwagon when her show came out recently, I loved this lady a long time ago! There are some of us who were finding what sparks joy while reading her method in print. On paper. In a book. From the library. (Pushes up my old lady glasses and tells myself I’m still cool.)
The main reason that I feel Marie Kondo’s philosophy helped to sell my condo is that it truly made us focus on what we need to live and what makes us happy. Being happy, even though such a stressful life-change is important, especially with kids.
Marie Kondo’s Idea of Asking What Sparks Joy
Last year I read her book along with a few others based around minimalism. While I was not ready to throw out everything to just live with one rolled up mat and four sets of clothing, I started to understand this deeper understanding of happiness. Living in a home with lots of stuff actually added to my stress level in ways I didn’t even realize.
For instance, I LOVE books. I’ve kept every textbook from college, every book ever read as a kid, and personally, have over 2,000 children’s books from my teaching days. (My son really didn’t visit a public library until recently, hehe.) We had multiple bookcases everywhere around the house. When I moved into this condo, my very exasperated father warned me that it was the last time he was ever moving those books, minus a few other choice words.
What I didn’t realize was how much these very loved, but rarely-read, items were adding stress to my life. Seeing dust and fur buildup on these surfaces drove me crazy. The “clean the house once a week” idea was getting harder to keep up with a toddler, full-time workers, and general life craziness. And who had the time to read all of them?
After reading Marie Kondo’s book, I took a long time to really think about which books spark joy. Which ones bring back memories or would I want to read again soon? Which books did I love at the time, but did not need in my house all of the time? Which ones specifically did I want to share with my little one in the future?
And it was easier than I thought. Little by little, almost all of my adult books were passed on to local little libraries and donation sites. Someone else was about to spark joy by reading what I was ready to let go.
Condo Makeover by Letting Go of Items
From there, no item was left safe in the condo! It was a long process, probably closer to two months by the time every nook and cranny of this 1,200 square foot place was overturned. It was two massive truckloads later before my after pictures were taken.
Amazing right? So much bigger, so much more light, and so much more happiness. Rather than focusing on all of the stuff that needed to be cleaned, put away, donated, etc., we were now able to focus on what we want to do together in that space. There is much less that we have to think about day-to-day.
Less Stuff, Less Stress
And that right there, that’s why selling was not as stressful as we anticipated. Yes, making sure all dishes were put away at every moment and vacuuming every day was a lot of work, but besides the daily tasks of tidying, the house presented itself really well. Having much less to think about and do all of the time just left much more time in the day to quickly tidy daily messes and spend more time together. Visitors said it felt calming.
What I am missing is the feeling of home. Our family photos, carefully packed away, really turned this house into a home. Everything we use, need, and sparks joy is easily accessible which is amazing, but the personalization that you lose during staging is a little hard. We are excited to bring those to our new space together where we will spark joy with new memories!
Have you used Marie Kondo to sell your condo? Who else loved this lady way before sparking joy was the cool thing to do? Share your stories too!