If you have been following along with the decluttering chores, the rooms inside of your house is now looking very nice. But, as you prep your house for a sale, you have boxes piling up in the garage and/or the basement, or other storage area outside of the main living area of your house.
You might think that a garage packed full of stuff would give a buyer the idea that your garage holds a lot of stuff, right? Wrong. All that stuff works in just the opposite way. A garage or basement that is full of stuff indicates a lack of storage space rather than an abundance of space. When you show your buyer a large empty space, they see instantly that there is a lot of room for their stuff. Now that you’ve been decluttering the inside of the house and piling boxes up in your garage or basement, it’s time to take a look at that space.
Drive around any neighborhood and take a look at the houses with the garage doors open. Chances are you’ll see more stuff than the owner will need in a lifetime. Basements offer the same sort of “out of sight, out of mind” storage space. When a buyer is looking for a new house, they want a garage or basement that doesn’t resemble their own mess. When you stage your house for sale, you have to consider your storage areas, too.
Start in the garage, carport, or other outdoors storage area that does the duty of a garage. If you have sports equipment that’s broken or out of season, pack it up or get rid of it. Be ruthless. Treat your garage like the last day of a clearance sale – everything must go!
Your garage should be as empty as possible. You aren’t going to need 80% of that stuff in the next few months. Keep the good bikes, the yard tools for the current season, and paint cans for touch up. That’s all you need. Again, be ruthless. If you have shelves, they should be only half full. This gives the impression of more space to fill. The buyer sees this space and thinks “Good. I have a place for my [fill in the blank].” And that’s exactly what you want them to think. You don’t want a buyer to see your stuff filling the garage. You want the buyer to envision their stuff filling the garage.
If you have a basement filled with goodies, you will need to clear that out, too. Some things are expected in storage areas, but again, a half filled storage area looks larger than it is. A buyer can image their out-of-season clothes stored in the basement, but only if they’re not looking at your boxes of out-of-season clothes stuffed in corners and on shelves, or hanging on rods all over. It’s a funny concept, I know, but it’s true. Your stuff in the basement makes the basement look crowded and small. A buyer can’t imagine their stuff in there unless the area is mostly empty.
Now that you’ve purged the unnecessary things from your garage and basement, it’s time to deal with all those piles of boxes you hauled out of the house. No matter how neatly you pile them, the spacious feeling you worked so hard to achieve is gone. Remember, space equals value. It’s time to rent a storage unit.
A potential buyer needs to envision their stuff in your house. They can’t do that if they can’t see the space available. Run along now and clear out that garage and basement. Tomorrow is a busy day!