If the annual springing forward of the clock caught you by surprise last weekend, as it did for me, you may have struggled to regain your habitual foothold in the world in the days following. While the perpetual motion of our earth turning itself forward into the sun typically yields feelings of joy in welcoming in the warmer months, it often leads to reflection on the season past and brings with it closure to a cold and barren winter.
Many believe that this is also the appropriate occasion for spring-cleaning. As we have just spent several months in partial hibernation, gathering belongings and relishing in cozy comforts, spring arrives, and we yearn to shed layers and start anew. To put this in the real estate context, I invite you to ask yourself: “How is my current home serving me? What is its purpose in my life, and does living in it spark joy?” To answer, let’s look to Marie Kondo, the modern queen of tidying and lifestyle, as a guide.
Are You Comfortable, Happy, and Content in Your Current Living Situation?
Every week, we see a cadre of clients who approach their real estate transactions in one of two general ways: 1) they are purchasing or selling a home to solve an immediate problem or challenge, or 2) they have experienced a life event that necessitates a change in space or location. Irrespective of the impetus, I believe the following mantra applies:
The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past. – Marie Kondo
Does Your Home Reflect Who You Are Now and Who You Want to Become?
So often I see clients who have recently undergone major life events, whether that be a transition from parent to grandparent, from single to married or vice versa, or from having a house full of kids to empty-nesting. These individuals are seeking new living arrangements not only for convenience, but also because they are no longer the person they were when they bought the home. The home has ceased to serve its original purpose, which, in turn, can cause stagnation in the evolution of self. Your home should be a place that fits your current lifestyle, and also facilitates goals, hopes, and the future you envision.
Once You Realize That Your Home Isn’t Serving Its Ideal Purpose, What Is Holding You Back from Moving On?
When we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future. – Marie Kondo
There are many reasons a would-be seller might give for procrastinating in putting their home on the market, after they have shared with us that it is really, honestly the time to do so. These reasons range from emotional (“I loved my life when I lived here, and if I move, I will be leaving that part of my life behind”) to the practical (“There is so much organization and clean-up to do, I can’t possibly get through it, and I don’t know where I would go”). If you find yourself walking aimlessly through your home after spring cleaning, feeling disconnected from the space or lacking that spark of joy, it may be time to engage in a deeper conversation as to how your home serves the person you have blossomed into.