Need More Storage Space? Consider This Before Deciding to Love Your Home or List It

I’ve been binge watching old episodes of Love It or List It Vancouver lately. It’s similar to the Toronto version but based in Vancouver with hosts Jillian Harris (designer) and Todd Talbot (realtor). For those that aren’t familiar with the show, let me explain. Basically a couple is torn between loving their home (after extensive renos) or listing it (after an extensive search for a new one). One half of the couple wants to stay and one half wants to sell. It all comes down to the final decision of whether or not they will love it or list it.

I like the show but after watching so many episodes back to back, a very noticeable pattern appears. And no I’m not talking about the corny scripted lines or the staged fights. Instead what I’ve noticed is the constant complaining from the homeowners about how they just don’t have enough storage space. The show does a great job of highlighting the stuffed cupboards and the overloaded surfaces. Many of the couples desire to move to homes with more storage space hoping that will solve their clutter problems.

Need more storage space? Consider this before deciding to LOVE your home or LIST it. At I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

But what typically happens on the show is that after the renovations are done and Jillian makes everything pretty, the majority of the couples choose to “love it”. Couples are ecstatic about how much bigger their house feels. The knocked out walls that created stunning open concept spaces and the absolutely beautiful furnishings certainly attribute to that. However in my opinion, what often makes the biggest difference of all is what can’t be seen. What you don’t see scattered about everywhere is ALL THE CLUTTER. Poof the clutter is gone. Just like magic. There isn’t a stitch of paper on the counter, no piles of schoolwork, no crammed pantries or heaps of toys strewn all over the floor. Homeowners are in awe that it’s the same house.

These brand new spaces are like walking right into the pages of a magazine and who wouldn’t love that! The show does a wonderful job of showing homeowners how their home can feel and function without the extra stuff. Clutter blindness is a very real thing. Over time, people get very good at not seeing the clutter around them. They only realize how much better they feel once the clutter is no longer there to weigh them down. In fact, this happened to me last year when we were doing some home renos ourselves. Read more about my experience HERE.

Need more storage space? Consider this before deciding to LOVE your home or LIST it. At I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

For those that are insisting that a bigger home is the only option for more storage space perhaps consider this. If your cupboards were a disorganized mess before, chances are very good that they’ll still be an disorganized mess in a new bigger space. If you were living with piles of clutter before, you’ll more than likely still be living with piles of clutter after. In other words, a bigger space isn’t always the answer.

A bigger space isn’t necessarily going to make a disorganized person all of a sudden organized.

Sure you may have more storage space to shove your stuff into. However, eventually even these new spaces will be overstuffed just the same. And here’s why that is. All those declutter decisions you’re putting off making now about your stuff will follow you wherever you go. If you are in the habit of throwing stuff into cupboards and closets without any concern with purging and maximizing space, then a bigger space will just give you more room to do just that. Since life has a way of generating more clutter on the regular, guess what will eventually happen? Yep even your new bigger home with more storage is not going to be big enough.

Need more storage space? Consider this before deciding to LOVE your home or LIST it. At I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

Now I’m not saying you should never go out and buy a bigger home. There are definitely times when that is necessary. BUT learning how to organize first (it’s a skill!) and knowing how to declutter regularly (like a pro!) in the home you have now may make all the difference between loving it or listing it.

And while most of us won’t have a TV crew coming to our homes any time soon, the good news is you don’t have to wait to start enjoying the benefits of an organized life. You can start today! Then if you still decide to sell, thankfully a decluttered home is also good news for resale. So see it’s a total win-win either way! 🙂

So will you love your home or list it?

Posts you may also like:

How to Make Decisions About Your Stuff When You Hate to Make Decisions

When You Don’t Know Where to Start

The Beautiful Declutter High and How to Get It

How to Find Time to Organize in the Midst of Your Busy Day

Filed under: Clutter Control, Organizing Basics, Purging, Simplicity


8 Responses to Need More Storage Space? Consider This Before Deciding to Love Your Home or List It

  1. 1
    Dawn says

    I have noticed the same thing! I just watched a new episode filmed in North Carolina (I think) and these people had a massive 4000sf home – filled with clutter. Totally unorganized. The made-over house was gorgeous – no clutter anywhere (that they showed) – but, they made the decision to move. Wonder what their new house will look like in a few years? I’d like to see some “where are they now” type follow-up shows!

    • 1.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Yes I agree Dawn follow up shows would be awesome to see!!

  2. 2
    Sheila McVicar says

    Well, Laura, we downsized into a storage locker, then listed the home, sold in 10 days, moved items into locker, booked a flight to Australia and landed there within 6 weeks. I know, we are over-achievers! Now we are living our dream. Clutter blindness is a killer of dreams in my way of thinking!
    I love reading your blog and appreciate your advice. Thank you!

    • 2.1
      meryl says

      We have a 1300 sq ft house. The family who owned it before us raised 3 children in it – as did the neighbor with more or less a twin house. We fill it completely on our own. Then again we do have 2 professional practices and a craft business in the house.
      I keep trying to get rid of stuff – my problem is my husband, especially since for the past 10 years he is home all the time and with me 90% of it. Even when I go to get rid of some of my stuff, he insists we need to keep it. Part of this is that I made him get rid of pants that were too small some years after he stopped wearing them. He lost weight is back to that size which is no longer available as it was an odd size (as opposed to even) and no one seems to make pants in these sizes any longer, so his pants are always too loose even with a belt. On the one day I go out without him (other than business days) each month – Sept – June – I try to sneak stuff out of the house and donate it while I am out. This year I missed 4 of those days due to snow and our birthdays so not as much went out.

      I would never want a larger house – more to clean. We have trouble dealing with the outside – mowing and clearing snow and we have almost no lawn in front. We just spent about 2 hours cutting grass in the back yard with a trimmer as the mower would not start and we have not done it yet this year. I ended up doing most of the work as he exhausts easily and is allergic to grass. No, hiring someone is not in the budget – they will only cut the grass if we allow them to do (and charge for) all kinds of other lawn services and no one will do residential snow clearing any longer. Bigger house more to do outside too.

  3. 3
    Verena Hepting says

    Sooooo true. After living for 7 years in a small trailer we moved into a 2100 sq ft house. I remember saying…”so much room, what will we do with so much space?” Well, umpteen years later, it is STUFFED. You expand into the new space very easily but you still have the same problems…declutter, organize etc. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  4. 4
    Kristine Andersen says

    Hahaha. I love this post!
    I used to watch that show all the time back when I lived in the States. But I don’t think I ever noticed that pattern, not until now that you mentioned it. It is so true though.
    We used to always have 3 major problem areas. Piles of papers on the kitchen counter, piles and binders full of kids drawings (in a few different places), and my “junk drawer(s)” were filled with everything!
    But after sitting down and really analyzing what the problem was, how it manifested, why it arose and who was involved in making it a problem, we came up with some really awesome solutions (if I do say so myself).
    But I think the key was to really understand the problem before trying to fix it!

    Thanks for making me smile this morning. Keep up the good content.

    Kristine, the Dane

    • 4.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Way to go, that is awesome!!! And you totally hit the nail on the head with understanding the problem first….yes! yes! yes!

  5. 5
    Hedy says

    I have a friend who is a serious hoarder. I have always been very clean and neat with everything in its place. After seeing my friend’s home, I have started looking at everything in my home. I know I can keep many things that are special to me, but the rest has been taken to a thrift store. I’m still only halfway there but I’m serious about having less. It’s so much easier to clean.


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