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Prepping Your Home for Sale the KonMari Way

When it comes to preparing your home for sale, remember that first impressions are key. A potential homebuyer may make up his or her mind in a matter of seconds, and if your home is over cluttered, it will likely be overlooked, too.

For many homeowners, clearing out excess clutter can be a challenge, especially if they have been in the home for a long time.

Thankfully, the KonMari Method, created by organizational expert and best-selling author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” Marie Kondo, can help home sellers to let go of clutter that could stand in the way of the sale of their home.

Marie Kondo’s six basic rules of tidying can easily be applied to preparing your home for potential buyers. Tip: Talk to your REALTOR® before you start tackling Marie Kondo’s rules—he or she can advise you on what items to prioritize. You’ll also want to schedule your professional home photography shoot for after you’ve tidied up.

Rule 1: Commit yourself to tidying up.


Your home’s appearance can make the difference between a quick sale or a long slog. Take the time to walk through your home with fresh eyes, noting areas that could be improved.

Rule 2: Imagine your ideal lifestyle.

 When it comes to selling your home, consider not your ideal lifestyle, but that of potential buyers. By imaging what a potential buyer would appreciate, you’ll have a better sense of how to present your home. If you’re not sure how to present an ideal lifestyle to potential homebuyers, your REALTOR® can offer practical advice.

Rule 3: Finish discarding first.

Remove or discard any unnecessary things, such as knick-knacks, or broken or expired items, before you move on to organizing.

Rule 4: Tidy by category, not by location.

Rather than tidy up room-by-room, as most people do, Marie Kondo suggests tidying up by category. For example, rather than sort through your own clothing first, gather up the entire family’s clothing, and decide what will come with you to your new home. Not only will this method allow you to see the “big picture,” it will also help you to pack for your own move and reduce your trips to donation centers or friends’ homes with the items you will no longer need. 

Rule 5: Follow the Right Order.


Marie Kondo recommends working through the categories in this order, beginning with the least sentimental items—clothing—and working up to photographs and other highly sentimental items:

  • Clothes
  • Books
  • Papers
  • Miscellaneous items (“komono”)
  • Sentimental items 


Rule 6: Ask yourself if it sparks joy.

 clothingEven those who have not read Marie’s book or seen her Netflix show may be familiar with this question that she poses to homeowners. As you go about tidying your home for sale, ask yourself which items “spark joy” for you. Those items will definitely be going with you to your next home, and may even be useful as home-staging pieces. If an item no longer sparks joy for you, and your REALTOR® agrees that it’s not necessary for the showing of you home, then it’s time to “thank” the item for its purpose and toss or donate it.

Need more inspiration for tidying up your home for sale? Check out Marie Kondo’s Netflix series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” or visit konmari.com for more tips.