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The words “spring cleaning” might not make you want to jump out of your chair and do a happy dance, but the truth is, the state of your home does affect your state of mind. It also affects the value of your property.

When our brokers prepare a home for sale, it means getting the property into the best possible shape it can be to attract a buyer and to garner the highest possible price for the home. Even if selling your home is the farthest thing from your mind, don’t you deserve to get the most value out of your own home when you’re actually living in it? Taking the time to refresh and clean out your home will deliver a return on your investment, guaranteed.

Here are a few tricks of the trade: simple ways our brokers help sellers prepare their homes for sale, and a few tips for homeowners who want to get a little more value out of their space every single day.

#1) Get rid of everything you haven’t used in a year.

Whether you’re clearing out your garage or your bedroom closet, this is the number one rule of thumb. Be honest! Chances are, if you haven’t used it, you won’t use it anytime in the near future, and you will be so happy to have gotten rid of it. Sell, donate, or throw it away: just get it out of the house.

#2) Clear the decks! And clean up those countertops.

Clean countertops create a feeling of openness and airiness, which is important in your kitchen and bathrooms. With the exception of those appliances you use every single day, put everything else away and out of view. Same goes for the bathroom—no one needs to see your crusty toothbrush, even you. Ditto for all your drawers. Clean them out and line them all with fresh white paper or plastic for an instant refresh.


#3) Primary focus should be on the primary bedroom.

Is your Peloton bike gathering dust—or worse, sweat—in your bedroom? Start by getting anything out of the bedroom that doesn’t belong there, like that makeshift home gym. Then it’s time for a refresh: try changing out your linens with something new and crisp. White is always fresh and modern, but any solid color will elevate the space and make it look updated. Paint is a fast, inexpensive way to make a significant change to the room. Stick with something current and neutral—soft, cool colors work best. Be sure to paint a sample and see how it looks throughout the day in different light.

#4) No more kitsch in the kitchen.

The kitchen is the heart of the home and it’s also the one that gets the most use. A spring clean-up of the kitchen will not only clear the space of clutter, but your mind too. A few simple ways to make your kitchen feel new again: Get rid of any mismatched mugs, glasses and plates and either purchase new ones or only keep complete sets. Not only does this make your cupboards more organized, it looks nicer, and chances are you don’t need as many dishes as you think. Line all your drawers and cupboards with fresh white paper or plastic. Get rid of large stuff you don’t use, especially old pots, pans and platters. Throw out old spices and only keep what you use every day. For an inexpensive, fast remodel, try repainting or refacing your cabinet doors and switching out pulls—inexpensive but more current pulls, available at most big box stores, can instantly update your kitchen and is an easy, fast fix.

#5) No skeletons in these closets!

The closet: that dreaded space in every home where messes can be quickly cleaned up and hidden, at least until someone opens the door. There are a few quick, easy ways to turn your closet from a nightmare into a sanctuary. Start by getting everything off the floor. If that means having to purchase some organizational products like shoe caddies, it will be worth the investment. Then get rid of all those shoeboxes and half your hanging clothes (we repeat: anything you haven’t worn in a year). Make sure to have a little space between each hangar. Buy white plastic hangars—or if you really want to splurge, you can get something nicer—but the key is that all the hangars in your closet match. Then organize your clothes by color. If your closet is dark, do something about it: lighting is everything, even here. With a little effort, your closet—and your well-loved and well-used home—will go from nightmare to a little slice of heaven.