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National Home Show Recap: Clutterbusting!

There were several interesting talks that took place at The National Home Show over the weekend, and one of our favourites was the talk about clutterbusting. Presented by Maggie McKeown and Kate Seaver, the talk was entitled Green Clean, Clutterbusting & Staging To Sell.

Kate Seaver & Maggie McKeown

Kate Seaver & Maggie McKeown


With springtime just on the horizon, clearing the clutter is a hot topic on nearly everyone’s mind. Admittedly, we are not the best when it comes to pairing down unnecessary belongings, but Friday’s talk offered advice that even we might be able to follow.

Step one, according to Kate Seaver, owner of Kate’s Garden in Markham, Ontario, is NOT to do what so many of us consider to be step one; and that’s to go out and buy a bunch of storage bins. She says that before bringing the storage containers into the picture, we need to start with garbage bags and boxes…suggesting that the goal is to toss or give away a good deal of the clutter.

The next step is to make three specific piles of things:

• Love it – if it’s something that you really love, keep it
• Use it –if it’s something that you actually use, keep
• Lose it –if it fits into neither of the above categories, lose it!

Apparently, there’s no “things you can’t stand, but have to keep because they were given to you by great-aunt Ethel” pile. Also missing is the “clothes I can no longer fit, but plan to get back into one day” pile.

Sadly, this was not an oversight. Seaver believes that one should never keeps things that don’t inspire good feelings. That includes clothing, knickknacks and even photographs!
Seaver also tells us to work in one room at a time. If you try to declutter more than one room at a time, chances are good that in the end, everything will only be partially done.

Staging to Sell

Following Chef Maggie McKeown’s Green Cleaning segment , where she introduced her new line of cleaning products, Kate Seaver brought the talk back to decluttering and staging a home for maximum saleability.

Here is the secret to a successful sale
• Hotel Neutral
• Depersonalize
• Arrange furniture to increase the perception of space and improve flow
• Let there be light
• Update and Simplify
• Clean, clean, clean
• Curb Appeal

While curb appeal appears last on this list, that doesn’t mean it should be left to the last minute. Seaver states that a home has 17 seconds to impress someone with its exterior. That isn’t much time, so ensure that you deal with nature’s clutter on your front lawn and garden as well. That means leaves, weeds, pet presents and whatever neighbourhood debris the wind blows your way.

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