Declutter Your Closets and Stage Them

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

Cluttered ClosetOver flowing closets show buyers that there is no room for their stuff in your home.

Declutter your closets and stage them to create the illusion of more space in your home. Prospective home buyers will be looking for spacious closets in your home and plenty of them.

Let’s face it, there is never enough storage space in our homes and most of us are embarrassed to have others look inside our closets.

Most people organize their closets every few years, so that’s a lot of time for stuff to accumulate and get out of control. Once the closet door is shut, we tend to forget about the mess inside. That teetering stack of boxes on the top shelf is a potential avalanche just waiting to happen! Maybe it's time to declutter your closets and have a yard sale?

Home buyers will be looking inside all your closets to see if there is enough room for their stuff. They WILL open every door! Cluttered and overstuffed closets are a red flag to home buyers-- they will think the rest of the house is too small and lacking in storage space. 

On the other hand, neat and organized closets, even small ones, will certainly impress home buyers. Read on for some decluttering and home staging tips that will make your closets look more spacious and organized.



How to declutter your closets

Declutter your closets by gathering up boxes, totes, garbage bags, permanent marker and tape. Label your boxes; keep, mend, donate, yard sale, or throw away.

  • Pull everything out of the closet.
  • Take this opportunity to dust, vacuum, scrub, and maybe paint the inside of the closet.
  • Adding a lighting fixture to the closet interior will make it more appealing to buyers.

Easy and cheap lighting for closet interiors

If your closet needs extra lighting, install some inexpensive battery-operated stick-on light pucks, such as the Sylvania Dot-it Silver LED Stick-On Tap Light. One light uses 3 AAA batteries and provides up to 100 hours of light with just a tap.

These handy little lights are a quick and less expensive alternative for under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen as well. You can find stick-on light pucks at Home Depot, Lowes, and most home supply stores.

Organize your clothing, shoes and accessories

This is your opportunity to get a head start on your packing. Declutter your closets by organizing your clothing and accessories into the following groups:

  • Apparel you haven’t worn for years, or that you've outgrown;
  • Damaged clothing;
  • Clothing that needs mending;
  • Clothing and accessories that you love and want to keep;
  • Out-of-season clothing, such as bulky coats and winter boots; pack away for your new home or save for your yard sale.

Donate or toss out the items you don’t plan to keep. For clothing that needs repairing, give yourself two weeks to mend them. If at the end of that time you still haven’t fixed them, throw them out.

Closet organizer systems

Closet organizer systemFind this closet organizer system at overstock.com.

Home buyers LOVE closet organizer systems. When I was a real estate agent, I witnessed many buyers get unusually excited about closet storage!

When your closets are empty and clean, determine whether there's room for closet organization systems.

Do you have enough room to install another rod for more hanging space? Is there room for more shelving? How about a rack to organize your shoes?

Is there an area inside or on the back of your closet doors where you can install hooks for hanging belts, purses or robes? 

Visit your local home improvement store to look at ready-made closet organizers. There are so many affordable options to choose from. 

Also find closet organizing systems on Amazon.com or overstock.com.

Take advantage of the vertical space in your closet. Maximize closet storage by going all the way from the floor up to the ceiling.



Home staging tips for hanging clothing

Organized bedroom closetThis color-coordinated closet is sure to impress buyers!

If you plan on storing folded items like sweaters and jeans, try placing them in see-through bins to keep them looking neat and organized.

Coordinating hat boxes and baskets will look very attractive on your shelves and will surely impress home buyers.

Sort clothing by color. When you're ready to hang your apparel back in the closet, arrange it in beautiful blocks of color.

Matching hangers are important!

  • You'll want to stage your closet with matching hangers, because uniformity just looks better.
  • Buy some inexpensive, but sturdy plastic hangers ALL in the same color. Black is a good color for home staging.
  • Don't use wire hangers. Not only do they look bad, they'll stretch out the shoulders on your clothing.
  • If you can afford it, wood hangers look especially nice and serve as multi-function hangers as well.
  • Clear plastic hangers with strap holders will protect your clothing and keep shirts from sliding off.
  • Hangers made specifically for pants will keep trousers from creasing and slipping off. 
  • Try "huggable hangers," which take up less room and will keep clothes from slipping off. Huggable hangers can be found at Amazon and containerstore.com.
  • Be sure that all hangers are pointing in the same direction. 
  • Space hangers a thumb's width apart. Don't cram clothing together, it just looks bad, and shows buyers that there isn't enough room for your clothing. It doesn’t matter how small your closet is-- this spacing tip is important in creating the illusion that your closet is bigger than it is.
  • Home buyers will love the way your closet looks! Even if they don't buy your home, they'll be sure to go home and reorganize their own closets in a similar fashion. I did that myself after viewing an amazing color-coordinated closet. As a bonus, it was easier to find what I wanted.

Watch the video by askthedecorator for diy tips on organizing and staging your closet. 

Organizing the other closets in your home

Neat and tidy linen closetLeaving spaces between items gives the impression that the closet has room to spare!

Organize closets in your home by placing "like" items together. That way, you will never lose something that was placed in the wrong closet. 

For instance; store Christmas decorations together in a rarely used closet; bed linens should be neatly stacked in a linen closet and cleaning supplies in a utility closet. 

If your coat closet is near the front entry, be sure to stage it carefully. This is part of the "first impression" room, the first room that buyers see as they walk in the door. You don't want to lose them at the front door.

For home staging purposes, holiday decorations can be packed away for your new home unless you are selling your house during the holiday season. 

NOTE: After you have staged the master bedroom closet, take pictures of it for your online real estate listing photos. Prospective buyers will be excited to see a home with such a great closet.

See photographing your staged home for tips on taking beautiful photos for your online real estate photos.



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