Declutter Your Closets and Stage Them

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

A closet overflowing with clothes will show buyers that there is no room in your home.Over flowing closets show buyers that there is no room for their stuff in your home.

When you are selling your home, you'll want to 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. 

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.



Get started decluttering your closets

Start by gathering up boxes, totes, garbage bags, permanent marker and tape. Label your boxes; keep, repair, 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.
  • If any closets are really dark inside, paint the interior a bright white.
  • Add a light fixture to closet interiors that don't have one.

A Quick and Cheap Lighting Solution for Your Closet Interiors

Install 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. Find stick-on light pucks at any home supply store.


Organize your clothing, shoes and accessories

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

  • Donate - apparel you haven’t worn for years, or that you've outgrown
  • 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
  • Toss out

For clothing that needs repairing, give yourself two weeks to mend them or drop them off at your local clothing repair shop. If at the end of that time you still haven’t fixed them, throw them out.

Closet organizer systems

This closet organizer system can be found at overstock.com.Find this closet organizer system at overstock.com.

Buyers LOVE closet organizer systems. When I was a real estate agent, I witnessed many buyers get excited over closet storage systems. It made a believer out of me!

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

Do you have enough room to install a low-hanging clothing rod? Is there room for shelving along one side? How about a rack to organize your shoes?

Sometimes the back of a closet door has room for hooks for hanging belts, purses or robes. 

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

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



Staging tips for hanging clothing

A color-coordinated bedroom closet will impress home buyers.This color-coordinated closet is sure to impress buyers!

If you plan on storing folded items like sweaters and jeans, place 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! This one never fails to impress buyers. In fact, after the first time I saw this done, I went home and organized my own closet in this way.

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.

Here's a Favorite Home Staging Tip

Space hangers a thumb's width apart. This creates the illusion that the closet is bigger than it really is. If clothing is crammed tightly together, it shows buyers that there isn't enough room for their clothing.


  • Be sure that all hangers are pointing in the same direction. 
  • 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

Leaving spaces between items inside your closet will give the impression that there's plenty of room.Leaving 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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