Saturday, October 10, 2015

Mirror, Mirror on the wall: Will your closets make your home sale fall?

Most people believe that closets are private, sacred spaces. Unfortunately this does not apply when you are selling your house. 

Some people think they only need to clean out the closets for the inspection, but this can’t be furthest from the truth! As soon as a house goes up for sale, closets are fair game. Some buyers will not even think about making an offer unless they have viewed all these secret spaces!

So how is a seller supposed to keep living in a house where their closets are on display?

Today when buyers tour houses, they expect expansive walk in closets that are impeccably organized. A lot of buyers have bought into the dreams they see on TV and in magazines. If they are disappointed – or disgusted by your closets, you might lose that sale!

Everyone would love to have this closet. If it was mine, I might be reluctant to come out after dressing! LOL

While this may be far from reality in your neighborhood, there are steps you can take to make your closets both beautiful and memorable while still keeping them functional for your daily life.


Most people know that they need to clean their closets when selling their house. Buyers don't want to see your mess!

This closet is a disaster! Everything is disorganized. Clothing and shoes have just been tossed in like the person doesn't care. While it may not matter to you, a buyer may wonder if you take care of your house's maintenance in the same way.

In some cases, tiddying may not be enough to prepare your closets for buyers.

If you have a lot of items packed in, even the largest closet will seem small and cramped. 

If the closets look empty, psychologically it seems as though you have ample space!

This closet looks organized, but it is so cramped that it seems as though the house does not have enough storage space.

A popular suggestion is that sellers should get rid of at least half of the stuff in any closet. 

This closet looks bigger because there is ample space between hung items and items on rge shelves:


The first thing to do is to get rid of anything that doesn’t fit into your lifestyle any more. 

Get rid of old, broken or useless items. 

Sort through clothing, sports equipment and anything else you may have in your closets and get rid of things that don’t fit or that you don’t use!

Don’t be tempted to keep things by convincing yourself that you “will use them at your new place”. Think about it – rationally – and make sure you really will!

If you have friends, family or a favorite charity, they may wish to take some of your possessions. Recycling is also a better option than throwing stuff in the garbage.


This is one case where the less you have to work with, the better! 

Pre-pack any item that is out of season and store it …somewhere else

If you have friends or family that can keep a few boxes for you, that’s great! If not, rent a storage locker.

Remember that buyers are paying by the square foot – and they want to see EVERY foot possible.


Once you have purged your closets, it is time to start fresh and organize them in a way that is appealing to buyers, but also in a way that will also be functional for you while you stay in the house.


If you have built in systems like this in your closets, that is fantastic. 

If you don’t, now may not be the best time to add some. It is unlikely that the expense would greatly improve your sale price. Look for ways to organize your closet with items that you can take with you when you sell. 

Opt for dressers, or free standing shelving (matching, of course!) to give your closet a more structured look. 

Free hanging systems are another good choice.

Baskets and bins on shelves are a great choice. If you are starting from scratch and buying these systems, opt for neutral shades. 

This pink and red closet system is lovely and functional, but the strong color may turn some buyers off.

Stategic Staging


It is not a question about being bashful or embarrassed by your belongings. When you hide items for a home sale, you are doing this to eliminate visual clutter and keep buyers focused on your house, and not your stuff.

You don’t want them focusing on your 100+ pair collection of shoes. You want them to notice the great features and proportions of your master suite!

If you have a nice set of luggage, don’t leave them empty. 

Use the luggage to store the items you still need whilr your house is up for sale.

Replace utilitarian items with something more decorative.

Everyone knows you will have laundry, but why not have it in a beautiful wicker trunk instead of a cheap plastic basket?

You may get bankers boxes from the copy center and dress them up a little to create a unique designed look for your closet. 

Simply covering them with newspaper can give them a designer look – and get rid of the visual clutter of the product labeling. 

This is a great way to conceal shoes, hats or sports equipment at little or no expense.

If you have a bunch of smaller items such as makeup or hair accessories, put them in decorative boxes, too. The less loose items, the easier it is for buyers to focus on your house.


One of the easiest mistakes in an organized closet is to have a variety of clothes hangers. The different styles, widths and heights can make any closet look sloppy.

The best way to show your closet is to have all matching hangers. It is very subtle, but it does create a sense of precision and elegance.

If buying new matching hangers isn’t an option right now, take the time to sort out your different styles and group them together. Take one style for shirts, another for blouses, and so on. It’s a good compromise and will make your closet look sharp.


It is surprisingly simple, but a closet where clothes of a similar color are grouped together will show better by looking less visually cluttered. 

Start by organizing your clothes by function, and then group items of similar color together.


If you have a fixture or outlet in your closet, take the opportunity to set up some nice lighting. 

So often owners just leave a plastic socket and bare light bulb in the closet. 

It just looks sad! 

At the very least, clip a shade onto that bulb. 

You can also look for fixtures at your local charity’s store, or a new simple flush mounted fixture is about $20 – if you have someone handy in the house.


If you store sports equipment or the entire family’s laundry in a closet, take the time to get an air freshener and check on it to make sure it is still working. 

In fact, get some sachets for all the closets! 

They are inexpensive and available at most dollar stores. 

Stick with more neutral scents, such as vanilla, citrus or “fresh laundry” to give a light, pleasant fragrance to the air.

Pact For Cleanliness

Make a pact with your family to stay on top of closet organization while your house is up for sale. 

It is tempting to want to “do it later” but when you get a call that a buyer wants to visit, the last thing you want to be doing before they show up is fold a bunch of clothes. 

If you know that will be a challenge – especially for young kids – plan to keep an empty decorative trunk or ottoman in the room as a catch-all. 

If space is too tight in a room, at least plan to have one of the drawers empty for last minute storage should buyers come a-knocking J

It may seem like fruitless labor to organize your closets before moving, but well presented storage will let buyers know that your house has ample storage space. That is very desirable in any market!

If you are putting your home on the market, the holidays can be a very stressful time.  If selling during the holidays isn't something you wish to consider right now, we can help.

If you have come to the realization that it is time to move right now to have a better life, but your house isn’t ready for market, we can help. 

If you are juggling too many responsibilities to sell your house yourself this fall, then there are people who specialize in the sale of properties "as is" - usually within a week to resolve the situation quickly. 

Contact us for details.

Next time we will look at how to set your house's price.

So thanks for reading my post. I'm so glad you're here! 

And I really look forward to getting into more great stuff in future posts -- so that you can 

Turn Your House To $OLD!

Feel free to ask me any questions through the contact info below. I would be very happy to help.

Linda  623-335-2662

Article Sources:

Lynda Bathory