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.
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.
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.
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?
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