The Money is in the Detail
Too often, homeowners haphazardously shove belongings into closets when staging their homes to get them out of sight for a showing. Unfortunately, this can prove detrimental to a good offer.
Why? Messy, disorganized, and overfilled closets give prospective buyers several negative impressions:
• The house has not been properly maintained. (If the closets are a mess, what else is wrong?)
• There is not enough closet space in the house relative to the number of people who live there.
• The available space is impractical.
Disastrous closets give the opposite of a move-in ready appearance, which is a major drawback for many buyers. Thankfully, improving closet space is simple and not as time-consuming as homeowners might think.
General Staging Tips for Closets
The following are ways to spruce up your closet spaces:
• Start by removing everything from all closets, pantries, and bathroom cabinets.
• Reduce the contents by at least 50%. Either dispose of unneeded items entirely or store them offsite for showings. Closets must look airy and spacious, so this is the time to discard anything old and ratty.
• Before returning the remaining items, clean the closet thoroughly. (Buyers WILL notice dirt caked in corners.)
• If the closet remains dingy or tired after intensive scrubbing—common with food-related spaces like pantries—paint the inside a simple white. The space will appear brighter, cleaner and as if it has doubled in size!
Can I fit all my stuff into this space? That is the million-dollar question buyers ask when examining a bedroom closet. If yours is filled to the brim and floors obscured by junk, potential buyers will fail envisioning themselves using this space.
How can you tighten up the look of your bedroom closet?
• Display only clothes for the current season.
• Organize your closet in some functional way, such as using baskets for small accessories or sorting items by color and style.
• Replace mismatched hangers with ones of the SAME style and color (and ensure all hangers face the same way).
• Add lighting for functionality and the illusion of space. A well-placed mirror helps with this effect.
• Clear off the floor until it is bare. Add shoe racks or shelves if necessary!
Minimalism is the key for linen closets.
• Pack away what you do not need until you move, and organize extra soaps, shampoos and other products into white baskets.
• If possible, toss towels and sheets that have seen better days and coordinate what is left by colors.
• If you struggle with fitted sheets, the neatest way to store them is by putting them, as well as other linens of a matching set, inside one of the pillowcases; voila a tidy package.
• Since sheets grow musty over time, a little lavender sachet will freshen up the air.
Kitchen Pantry and Cabinets
Outdated food cans and boxes commonly languish in many pantries’ depths. Now is the time to get rid of these!
• Group like-items together: soups with soups, veggies with veggies, and so on.
• Create a spice rack if you do not already have one.
• Use door mount organizers or hooks for items like extra plastic bags or reusable shopping bags.
• Get rid of anything and everything that is out of date or looking ancient.
• Clean the pantry and all cabinets spotlessly before adding a coat of paint.
• Avoid stacking too many items on top of each other: You want the buyer to see the back wall of the pantry, giving the impression of space.
Laundry Room / Mudroom
If you want to show off your storage, get creative by adding hooks, shelving and baskets to your laundry room/mudroom.
• Laundry rooms should reflect tidiness; therefore, minimize the number of bottled products to shw off shelf space.
• Countertops should be devoid of clutter, so buyers can picture themselves sorting and folding laundry with this space.
• Make sure the machines themselves are clean too, as a whiff of mustiness can ruin a sale.
• Hooks inside a utility closet are perfect for hanging brooms, sweepers, and the extras for your vacuum.
• Shoe racks provide tidy rows for all your family’s boots, heels, and sneakers, instead of jumbled on the floor.
• Install proper lighting, so the space is usable.
• Like with all closet spaces throughout the house, determine if the walls require the shiny newness of fresh paint.
• Stage a theme for the mudroom that buyers can embrace: A sun hat, garden gloves, and fun rain boots for outdoor summer fun!
Storage space is crucial for upkeeping a home, so impress potential buyers with closets that are in great condition, fully functional, and ready to hold their belongings.
Marty Basher is the improvement and organization expert with Modular Closets, modularclosets.com