Declutter Your Bathroom

How to sell your home and make a faster, more profitable sale

A cluttered bathroom countertop will detract from your home.A cluttered bathroom countertop shows buyers there's no room for their stuff!

Declutter your bathroom before placing your house on the real estate market to sell your home fast and for more money.

For many home buyers, the bathroom is on par with the kitchen as one of the most important rooms in a house.



If your bathroom needs more than a little updating, a simple renovation could be the answer.

This large mirror creates an expansive feel in this small bathroom.Mirrors add a sense of extra depth to a room, especially important in a small space.

A kitchen and bathroom remodel can give you a big return on your investment when selling your home.

Today's home buyers are looking for an updated bathroom decor, good storage, spaciousness and efficient lighting.

They want to see upgraded countertops, tile bathtub or shower enclosures, and matching bathroom faucets and lighting fixtures. 

The “spa-like” look is still very much desired in the marketplace, especially in the master bathroom. 

Potential home buyers WILL look inside bathroom cabinets, drawers and linen closet. If you have too many things crammed inside, they'll get the impression that there isn’t enough room for their things.

Bathroom countertops cluttered with daily items will look smaller and messy.

Get a head start on your packing by editing out items your rarely use.

Most home buyers are savvy enough to know that bathrooms are the second most expensive room in a house to renovate, and they may walk away if they see too many things that need fixing or updating.

Declutter your bathroom and stage it to keep home buyers from trying to negotiating the price down.

Declutter your bathroom

Start decluttering by collecting boxes, totes and garbage bags for sorting: 

  • Remove everything from the bathroom cabinets, linen closet and drawers. Take down the shower curtain, window treatments, wall art, and remove personal items from the shower and bathtub areas.

  • Declutter your bathroom by going through each item, tossing makeup that has expired, unused appliances, and anything else that you don't need for daily use. Sort through the linen closet and remove ratty old towels and linens that you wouldn't want guests to see.
  • When you stage your linen closet, follow the home staging 50% rule. Take everything out and put back only 50% of the items. This makes your closet look roomier and will keep buyers from thinking there's not enough space for their things.
  • Pack up any unneeded items for your new home and make a little money by having a yard sale!

Do it yourself improvements for the bathroom

A pedestal sink will take up less A pedestal sink reveals more floor space, making a small space feel larger.
    Once your bathroom is decluttered, inspect the entire room for possible repairs that need to be done. Here are some things to look for:
  • Grimy glass shower door? Here’s a bathroom cleaning tip; remove the shower door, (if possible) clean it with a mixture of 1 part muriatic acid and 10 parts water:
  • (Muriac acid is a corrosive acid, so you will need to wear goggles, gloves and protective clothing when applying it.) Scrub the door with #000 steel wool, wipe down and put the door back on. You can find muriac acid at your local home improvement store.
  • Another product that works well on glass shower doors is “Kaboom.” This cleaner will remove soap scum, rust stains and hard water deposits in your bathroom. Available at most home improvement and grocery stores. 
  • Does your toilet run or leak around the base? Go to diynetwork for tips on how to fix this problem.
Updated bathroom with glass shower doors.Replace a boring tub and shower unit with a shower with glass doors. Glass doors help a small bathroom look larger by extending sight lines.
  • Old or mildewed shower curtains should get tossed, as mildew is almost impossible to get out. For home staging purposes, buy a pretty new fabric shower curtain in a neutral color or pattern to make the bathroom look fresh. 
  • Better yet, replace your shower curtain with a glass door or enclosure. Shower curtains actually block at least 1/3 of the visual space in a bathroom. Replacing it with a glass door will make the bathroom look larger, adding to the perceived value of your home.
  • What is the condition of the bathroom walls? Grimy walls are a real buyer turnoff. They will assume that the entire home is dirty and neglected. Nothing updates a home faster (and cheaper!) than a fresh coat of paint. 
  • Clean the grime off all light switch plates and outlets. Make sure they all match.


Update the bathroom mirror

Find pre-cut mirror frames at mirrormate.com.Go to mirrormate.com to order pre-cut mirror frames like this one!

Is the bathroom mirror outdated? If you're stuck with one of those ugly glued-on builder grade mirrors, you might consider removing it, as most buyers just don't like them.

Instead of removing the mirror, consider updating it by adding decorative trim around the edges.

If you like the look of the mirror in the photo on the right, you can find it and many other styles of pre-cut frames at mirrormate.com.

All you have to do is measure your mirror, select a style and order.

The pre-cut frames are easy to install; you just press the frame right onto the glass while your mirror is on the wall. No tools or special skills needed. 

Fix damaged bathroom tiles

  • Do you need to re-caulk the bathroom shower or bathtub? Watch the helpful video below by iScaper1 on how to remove and replace moldy shower caulking.
  • If the bathroom tile is stained or outdated and you can’t afford a bathroom renovation, reglaze or resurface it instead. In this process, layers of coats of resin are applied to the surface of the old tile. Resurfacing can be used on bathtubs, sinks, ceramic tiles, countertops and showers. This bathroom remodel will be a fraction of the cost of retiling the bathroom. Go to bathtubresurfacing-local.com to find a business that services your area.
  • Home Depot carries a diy repair kit for tile called, “Homax Tough as Tile” tub and sink refinishing kit. It's available in white or bisque.
  • What is the condition of the floor? If you have carpet in your bathroom you should absolutely get rid of it. Carpet in a bathroom is perplexing and may possibly be the one thing that scares house hunters away.

Bathroom renovations

Recessed shelving between wall studs provides more storage.Remove drywall between wall studs to create extra shelving. Photo by Lowes.

For a small bathroom, consider removing the bathroom vanity and replacing with a pedestal style sink. This will make the space look larger by showing more of the floor.

But, there is a tradeoff...many buyers would rather have storage space under the bathroom sink rather than extra visual space. In addition, sometimes removing the cabinets during a bathroom renovation will reveal missing flooring or damage that will need to be fixed. Be sure to check that out before you take out your bathroom cabinet.

Replace the door in a small bathroom with a sliding pocket door. This will give you more floor space inside the bathroom, as the old door will no longer protrude into the room.

Help declutter your bathroom by opening up a wall to gain extra storage. Build recessed shelving or install a recessed bathroom cabinet between the studs in the wall. 

For more small bathroom renovation ideas, go to small bathroom design ideas.

Bathroom sink with matching satin-nickel fixtures.Matching brushed satin-nickel fixtures and accessories tie this bathroom together.

Update bathroom fixtures

  • If you do nothing else to update your bathroom decor, at least swap out dated bathroom fixtures. Be sure to match all metal finishes in a small bathroom. 
  • Good design choices for metal finishes are polished chrome or brushed satin-nickel.  
  • I realize that brass colored fixtures are all the rage right now, but in my experience they seem to lose favor quickly.
  • Bathroom lighting fixtures should be sparkling clean! Take out the bulbs, shake out the bugs and throw light fixtures in the dishwasher. 
  • Replace dim lightbulbs with the brightest wattage allowable. A well lighted room will always look more spacious.

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