We're a nation of anxious, stuff-it-in-the-cupboard hoarders who only spend an hour cleaning, according to new research compiled by Jelson Homes.
Survey results have revealed that when it comes to preparing a home for sale, 66 per cent of people feel anxious about how their home is presented to potential buyers. Common worries such as having a spotless presentation, a clutter-free environment and a pleasant odour are often at the forefront of sellers' minds
Furthermore, 72 per cent of people admitted to stuffing items in cupboards ahead of a viewing because houses are packed out with too much clutter and there aren't enough hours in the day to carry out a 'deep clean'.
- Time-starved families with young children are among the worst culprits, with 89 per cent of respondents admitting that they often resort to shoving toys under beds, in wardrobes and down the back of sofas in order to present a tidy home to prospective buyers…and even when friends and family come over.
- Surprisingly, single home owners are the most anxious about preparing their home for sale with 46 per cent admitting to having OCD tendencies about clean sinks, taps and immaculate carpets.
- Couples were the most laid back and blissful at home because they are able to share the work load and keep a tidy house 24/7.
Jackie Woodward, sales manager for Jelson Homes, comments: “The home moving process can be stressful right from the word go and some of these results highlight just how hard the clearing out and cleaning up the house process really is for some people, even before they have started their search for a new home.”
Hoarding expert Beverly Wade from Cluttergone.co.uk comments: “There are some simple techniques we can all adopt to make our homes become a better living environment, whether people choose to stay or move, and all it takes is time and a little forethought.”
Beverly's top tips:
Whether they have a busy family life or not, these people just can't let go of things, so making baby steps is crucial.
- Start with the easy stuff first. Look to your wardrobe and if you haven't worn an item of clothing for 12 months, ditch it, bag it up for charity or even better, sell it on and make a few pounds.
- Have the children grown out of the toys but you can't see the wood for the trees because they're always around demanding your time? Book a day off, organise a child minder or simply dedicate half-an-hour in the evening to clearing out. Starting with small chunks of time will mentally help you get over the hurdle of clearing out clutter and, when you bag up toys for the charity shop, you'll feel an immediate rush of feelgood endorphins knowing you've given back something that has been gathering dust.
- Home filing out of hand? Bank statements and junk mail lying around the place without a dedicated place to store them? Invest in a box file to pop everything in for that week and make a plan to clear it out every Sunday night. Dull we know, but if you're wanting to turn over a new leaf, habits are crucial for long-term, clutter-free success
The anxiety mongers
Aggravated by the house not being 'show home perfect' at all times, the anxiety mongers are clean and tidy but to the detriment of their mental health and family life. It's self-destructive and unhealthy.
- Relax and don't sweat the small stuff. Yes, you want a tidy house but it's not worth torturing yourself over. Step out of the house and then back in again with a fresh pair of eyes. Grab a notebook and pen and write down all the manageable things you would want to see if you were buying the home - this will clarify all the jobs to be done. Next step is to break them down in to bite-sized chunks, what's going to make the biggest difference and importantly, help you feel more relaxed?
- Dedicate 20 minutes a day to doing a home job that will give you immediate satisfaction. This could be something as simple as making all the beds in the house, cleaning the loos, shredding the junk mail or opening all the windows around the house.
- Get outside. Home anxiety can manifest itself inside and out, and if you have a garden to maintain that is also adding to the mental strain, simply by getting some fresh air while you work will help. It's surprising how therapeutic and satisfying it is to sweep up leaves, cut back hedges and dead head flowers.
Think these guys have got it sussed? Time-rich couples with everything in place can still learn some valuable clutter-free home lessons.
- One of the worst areas of the home for clutter is often in the garage so look there to strip back even more. Old paint pots and decorating supplies should be binned if not used for 12 months.
- Clutter can relate to technology too, so, if you have an abundance of unwanted emails filtering through each day, put some time aside to unsubscribe and you'll be surprised just how much time you will claw back.
- Toiletries and cosmetics stored at the back of a cabinet can quickly age so make a note to not forget about them.
Jackie adds: “An easy way to avoid having to show prospective buyers around the home is to Part Exchange* with Jelson on our selected stock plots. We take away all of this pressure by giving our buyers a market valuation and once an offer is received, the home moving process kicks into action straight away.”
*Part Exchange is available on selected plots only Offer not in conjunction with any other offer. We reserve the right to refuse Part Exchange.