One of the first things buyers notice in a house is space. We’re talking about not only square footage, but closets and other storage. Remember how spacious everything looked at the model homes in your first assignment? You want to create the same feeling in your house because a buyer wants space. You may be wondering if the actual size of the closets is notated on the listing, what is the problem if you leave your stuff stuffed in there? Visualization – that’s the problem.
You need potential buyers to think you have the World’s Largest Closets. Of course, making the closets physically larger isn’t normally an option, but you can make them appear larger. Again, visualization is everything. The buyer has the dimensions, but the eye is the real measure. How does one accomplish this optical illusion? By making it appear as if your closets have plenty of space still available to be filled.
Today you will be decluttering your closets. It may sound like a lot, but by approaching the decluttering with a plan, you can get it done. How? Well, as hard as this may seem at first, the plain fact is you will need to get rid of your stuff.
Of course, I’m not asking you to throw away anything. If you want to keep that old bowling ball, go right ahead. If your collection of old picture frames makes you happy, then by all means keep them. But you have to get it all out of sight while your house is on the market.
This may require some pre-planning on your part, depending on how much stuff you have to stash. Perhaps you will need to stock up on boxes or plastic bins. I’m not suggesting you spend a lot of money here, but you will need something to put your stuff in. A popular place to get good sturdy boxes that are the right size to handle easily is at a liquor store. They are free and small enough to lift and move around.
Once you have the boxes, you will need a place to put them. If you have storage that’s convenient, use that. A temporary storage unit may be worth the few dollars it costs in return for a successful sale. If you have one spare room, a pile of boxes hidden behind a decorative screen is less distracting than a pile of junk stuffed in a closet taking up precious space.
Now that you have something to store your stuff in and somewhere to put it, it’s time to get cracking. Start with the easiest closets first. How about the entryway closet? When you get done decluttering it, your entryway closet should have nothing more in it than a couple of seasonal coats, a pair of boots or two, some accessories, and a few nice looking hangers. Nothing else. Be sure the floor is practically bare and you can see all four walls and the ceiling.
The less stuff in your closets, the better. It’s all about s-p-a-c-e. If you have linen closets and utility closets, repeat the same process as you did with the entryway closet. Sort out anything that is not absolutely necessary and store it, leaving lots of room in the closet.
It’s time to move into the bedrooms. This will be a bit more difficult. Here you need to take everything out – everything. Reduce your clothing down to about a dozen outfits. Match them up and hang them up neatly on matching hangers. Yes, make your clothes sparse and match the hangers. Seem silly? It won’t to a buyer. Box up anything and everything that is not being worn currently. Extra clothes and shoes need to go away. The out-of-season wardrobe items and any of those clothes you won’t wear in the next several months need to be boxed up. The shelves can have a few boxes and the floor can have a few pairs of shoes, but when a potential buyer opens the door, they should be able to see all the surfaces, walls, and ceiling.
What you are trying to accomplish with this clean sweep is to give the buyer a good look at the size of your closets. Make sure each closet is no more than half full. You want to create the illusion of space. If the buyer sees how much MORE room you have to fill-up, they will instantly feel the closets are spacious. If the buyer opens a closet door and the contents are bulging right out into the room, they will know immediately that they will never get all their stuff in that space.
So, box it up and get it out of there. Your closets need to scream “Look at all the room in here!” Without that, a potential buyer will walk away and never look back. Get busy and get this very important decluttering chore done today so you can move on to the next step. See you tomorrow!