5 min readThe first thought that comes into most people’s heads when they consider adding value to their home is through renovation. However, to perform a successful renovation, you need a surplus of one or two things – time or money. If you don’t have these to spare, don’t worry, there are other highly effective ways of adding value to your home, not through renovating but through savvy cleaning and tidying.
No matter what kind of home you have, modern or a bit more traditional, it will always look well cared for if it’s presented in sparkling clean condition. Now that we have a bit of extra time on our hands at home, here are the cleaning tricks to add to your to-do list asap.
How to instantly add value to your home by cleaning
Spruce up the front yard
Everyone knows the importance of first impressions, and this is no different for your home. What people see when they first walk up to your front-yard or click on your property ad will form the foundation of how they envisage their possible future at your property and how much they’re willing to spend to obtain it.
Remove the clutter
You’ll first want to remove almost all personal belongings from your front yard, leaving it as tidy and clean as possible. Clutter, kids toys and junk in your front yard can give a strong impression of neglect, so be sure to have it as clutter-free as possible. Remember – less is best!
Pressure wash surfaces
It’s sometimes unbelievable how surfaces change after they’ve been exposed to the elements over time. Equally as hard to believe is how quickly they can be restored to their former glory. Buying a pressure washer can cost as little as $50 from Bunnings, and they can be rented for even less. Consider pressure washing paved areas, decking, concrete driveways or even the grout between tiles and bricks. Just be sure to do some research beforehand to ensure you use the right attachment with to suit the material.
Be sure to cover the basics
If you ask most people when the last time they cleaned their exterior windows, front porch or front door was, they’d probably give you a funny look! Not many people think to do these things regularly, but they make a big difference to that all-important first impression. Make sure you mop the porch, wipe down the front door, window-sills and all visible surfaces in the front yard. These all contribute to that ever-important first impression and can make your home look as good as new.
Hotel-style finishing touches
Performing a top to bottom clean of your home will always reap huge benefits when it comes to the impression people get when they look at listing photos and walkthrough, but this can be very time consuming and labour intensive.
If you don’t have time for a complete cleaning overhaul, we’d recommend applying some of the following hotel-style finishing touches to your home instead. Sometimes a neat home can give just as good an impression as a squeaky clean one:
- Clear all surfaces of unnecessary items.
- Artfully arrange pillows on sofas and beds.
- Fold toilet rolls into points.
- Fold towels neatly in bathrooms.
- Arrange luxe toiletries on bathroom benches.
- Beds made to hotel standards (Tip: Iron your pillowcases and sheets for a crisp result!).
Make your home smell amazing
I’ve been to countless open houses, and something that always sticks in my mind is when a home smells great and, on the flip side, nothing is worse than a home smelling unpleasant and stale. Studies have also shown that of all your five senses, the sense of smell has been linked to some of the strongest memories and experiences.
To ensure your home smells great, you could try:
- A few drops of essential oil (lavender or eucalyptus work great) in typically smelly or high-traffic areas such as kitchens, laundries or toilets to keep things fresh longer.
- Add a few drops of essential oils to your vacuum bag to deodorise carpets while you vacuum.
- Real eucalyptus leaves aren’t just pretty, but they emit a pleasant, lasting smell throughout the house. Try popping some in a vase in the bathroom or toilet. Greenery and flowers can really elevate your property styling, plus, they smell great.
Steam clean the carpets with deodorising
Another great tip and one that is often overlooked is full and thorough steam clean of your carpets with the deodorising option that many cleaning companies offer. You can hire steam cleaning machines; however, we recommend using a professional company as steam cleaning can be a bit of an art – using the right machine and the right products is key.
A good steam clean can bring some of the shabbiest looking carpets back to life. Often stubborn smells that linger in a home are caused by things in or beneath the carpet, so good steam cleaning not only makes the floors look better, it’ll contribute to the house smelling and looking new and fresh too.
Just remember that steam cleaning will leave your carpets slightly damp and they will need a few hours to dry. On a hot day, they can dry in as quick as 2-3 hours and on a cooler day, be prepared to allow 6-8 hours.
Let the light in!
Light is your secret weapon. When somebody walks into your home, and it is filled with natural light, they start to think about what a wonderful area it is, how open and spacious it feels. The more light passing through a property, the bigger and more attractive it feels. It’s therefore imperative that you do everything you can to get as much light shining through your house as possible.
Start with all the glass in your home and make sure both the outside and inside of windows are cleaned to perfection. Do not just settle with cleaning the inside of your windows; it is the outside of the glass that makes the biggest difference.
During your listing photography and open houses, make sure to have as many doors open and all blinds/shutters/curtains open to allow lots of light into the property.
Bonus: COVID-19 home cleaning tips
With the world currently going through a global pandemic with the coronavirus, you may be wanting to be on top of your antiviral cleaning skills. We recommend undertaking the following practices:
- Take off shoes at your front door. While the risk is low, there is a small chance you could bring COVID-19 into your home on your shoes. If you have tradies or delivery people come into the home, ask them to wear shoe covers.
- Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, with soap, immediately after arriving home and handling deliveries.
- Wipe down ‘high-touch’ surfaces regularly (door handles, light switches and mobile phones) and new items brought home (e.g. fresh produce and takeaway containers) with soap-based products. Common household soap and detergents are one of the most effective ways to limit to spread of COVID-19 due to them breaking down the fatty outer-cell layer of the virus and destabilising it.
- For extra peace of mind, invest in disinfectant cleaning products or hire a professional service to perform a disinfectant spring clean. These services will kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria in your home to make absolutely sure you and your family are safe at home.
You don’t need thousands of dollars to add value to your home, nor do you need to invest countless hours of your time. Through applying some of these simple yet highly effective tricks, you can make sure your home is in great shape and able to make a lasting impression on any prospective buyers.