When I do a staging consultations for my clients, I sometimes see the following situation: when sellers start to declutter their homes, they take piles of their stuff lying around on the surfaces and jam them in the closets. That way they think that the decluttering problem has been solved and the house or the condo will show well.
However, I always explain that this is not the case! During the showings, 99.9% of the time the buyers will open closets, cupboards, crawl spaces, etc, just to see if their stuff will fit there. And these days, as we all know, everyone has a lot of stuff.
Here is a trick about storage spaces. When they are full, they look smaller than they are, and when they have breathing room, even small closets look decently spacious.
So, what to do? Start preparing for the move. It will benefit your home during showings and you will be well on your way to be ready to move into your new home because a lot of your stuff will be packed up. Collect everything you do not need on a daily basis, or can live without, etc. Seasonal items are a good example. It also a good time to take a closer look and make a decision on what you actually do not want to take to your new place. It’s easier to get rid of it now (sell, donate, throw out) than unpack in your new home and realize: why on earth did I pack and take it with me?
A few more tips for preparing your closets for showings:
- Remove everything from the floor, including shoes. If you have a shoe rack, only keep the shoes you wear often.
- Get decorative baskets or boxes (not see-through) for the shelves and keep all the “loose” items inside. This way you will have an easy access but the look will be tidy and organized.
- Invest in good quality hangers (wooden are the best) and keep the consistent look in all closets. No wire dry cleaner’s hangers please! Make sure there is a lot of room to hang more clothes. The rule of thumb: keep them at least 1/3 empty.
- Keep the closets clean and take care of the walls inside just as you will for the outside. Clean the scuffs with a Magic Eraser, or paint if necessary.
- Adequate lighting is important. Use bulbs with maximum wattage, clean light fixtures and make sure they are not obstructed by bins and totes.
- Keep in mind the function of every closet. If the buyers see pots and pans in your linen closet, they will think there is not enough room in the kitchen cupboards.
Happy Staging and Decorating!