Let Your Closet Sell Your HouseBy Lea Schneider While you might think your closet is just a spot to stash your stuff out of view, it’s really a sales opportunity. As a previous homebuyer, I can tell you your stuff is not hidden. Every prospective buyer wants storage, so they will open every door at your house looking for it. If you’re thinking maybe you should just declutter your closet and call it a day, keep in mind that 64 percent of homebuyers preferred their next home be move-in ready, according to a PulteGroup Home Index Survey. Not only that, but one of the top ten amenities homebuyers want in 2017 is space for all their stuff—putting a walk-in closet in high demand. As a professional organizer, I can tell you to not let your closets say the house is too small. Instead, use these tips to allow your closets to sell your house. Closet Must-Haves
- Go Bright – Don’t forget to look up. Go bright with lighting. Add new fixtures or can lights so there are no dark corners.
- Don’t Make It Match – His-and-her closets ranked highest among master bedroom features (31 percent) desired by homebuyers. Don’t despair if you have a single walk-in closet. Instead, recognize men and women store clothing differently and have different needs. Use that knowledge to create distinct zones in your closet to accommodate those differences. For example, a woman may have longer garments, like dresses, and more shoes. A man may need more shelves for folded shirts and sweaters or hooks for ball caps.
- Mix the Organization – Use a mix of closet organization to handle a mix of garments. Add long and short hanging rods, adjustable shelves, thick and thin drawers, different size bins and multiple hooks.
- Take a Load Off – Plan for a place to sit. Build in a bench, add an ottoman as a closet “island” or tuck in a chair. You shouldn’t need to leave the room to put on your shoes.
- Plan for Dirty – Design in a spot for dirty clothes. Build in a space for a hamper or leave a corner empty where you can tuck one. The same goes for a basket for dry-clean only garments.
- Keep It Stacked – Folded clothes start out neat but tend to tumble off shelves. Use wicker baskets, bins or shelf dividers to keep stacks of folded clothes tidy.
- Have a Valet – Valet bars, that is! Adding a couple valet bars is great (although an actual valet to help you dress would be handy as well). These easily installed bars telescope in and out. Pull one out anytime you’d like to match an outfit to wear, steam a blouse or hang up your bundle of clean clothes before putting them away.
- Go Tall – Keep a small step stool in your closet so you can make use of all the vertical storage. Use the upper shelves to hold off-season items or seldom worn items such as very dressy shoes or costumes.
Stage Your Closet
If your home has a standard closet rather than a walk-in, you can also get a makeover to maximize storage space. Compartmentalize the storage so everything has a home. Just like you stage your home to look its very best, you’ll want to stage your closet as well. Keep the goal in mind to make it look as spacious, organized and as easy to use as possible. Here is a checklist for getting the contents in your closet to look their best.
- Sort His and Hers – Separate his and her sides of the closet so each person can imagine where their clothing will fit.
- Divide by Style – Pretend your closet is a clothing store. Place like items together. Put long sleeve, short sleeve, jackets, slacks and dresses in groups together.
- Separate by Color – Make your sorted garments look neat by organizing by color. Hang them by working from lightest to darkest within each style.
- Clear the Floor – Make sure your floor is empty and clean. Place shoes in cubbies or on shelves or add a shoe organizer. If you have too many shoes, store some away during the staging period.
- Containerize – Use attractive containers to hold loose items from jumbles of sweaters to belts or running gear.
- Change Your Hangers – You may not realize it, but in pictures of beautiful closets, you never see the jumble of hangers you see in most closets. A combination of wire, wood and different color plastics creates a vision of chaos even if your closet is tidy. Invest in matching hangers. Remember—you’ll take those with you when you move!