Ah, to be a fly on the wall as potential buyers traipse through your home for sale. You could watch them peer into your cupboards and closets and peek into the drawers in the kitchens and bathrooms.
Don’t worry – most of them aren’t being snoopy; they are merely trying to figure out where they can store their “stuff” if they decide to buy the home.
If you are like a lot of Americans, your closets don’t represent your best foot forward. If shoes are spread across the floor and clothing randomly crammed in any available space, the chances are good that your closet looks smaller than it is.
The good news is that with a small amount of money and a couple of organizational hacks, the closets in your home will be screaming “Buy Me!” to every potential buyer who peers within them.
Start with the walls
Staging a closet involves changing your mind-set about it. Don’t consider it a place to hide junk, store items you no longer use or even it’s true purpose – to keep your clothing.
Instead, think of it as an additional room in your home, at least for staging purposes. This means, removing the clutter and organizing it.
It also means creating the illusion of spaciousness, regardless of how tiny the space is.
Paint color and sheen can go a long way in creating this illusion. The most common advice is to choose the whitest shade of white you can find and slap it on the closet’s walls and ceiling.
Many architects and professional designers claim that’s hogwash – that white actually makes a room seem smaller. And, really, when you think about it, isn’t it better to get color advice from a professional than from a freelance writer who specializes in crafts or personal finance?
More important than paint color is sheen. “Painting in a flat, matte or satin finishes [sic] will soak up light, while semi-gloss, high-gloss and lacquer finishes tend to reflect light, which make a darker room feel brighter and lighter,” Edith Gregson, partner in a Washington D.C. design firm, tells the Chicago Tribune’s Danielle Braff.
No doors on the closet? Debbie Zimmer, spokesperson for the Paint Quality Institute suggests painting the closet’s interior the same color as the room or, perhaps a lighter shade of the same color
Give the paint something to reflect
Closet lighting seems to be an afterthought for most home builders. Unless you own a luxury home with a super-sized walk-in closet, you most likely are greeted by a lone, bare bulb when you go to hang your clothes up after work.
You also know how frustrating it is to have to drag two pairs of pants into the light of day to determine which is black and which is Navy blue.
So, the next task in the closet makeover is to get more light in there so the paint can do its job.
Lighting solutions don’t necessarily require rewiring. Check out some of the LED lighting options at large home improvement stores or online at lighting retailers.
Add storage items
One rod with a shelf above it – that’s the layout of the typical American bedroom closet. Sure, some are blessed with larger closets, but even those typically contain the lone-rod-and-shelf setup.
Adding additional rods below the current rod is always an option, as is adding additional shelves.
Declutter and organize
Removing overly large and bulky items from the closet is winning half the battle when it comes to making it appear larger. Winter coats, blankets and anything non-clothing related should be moved to the appropriate area within the home or, better yet, to a storage facility.
Then, pare down what’s left to only those items of clothing and accessories that you actually wear. The jeans you’re saving for that day when you finally lose enough weight to fit into them? Get them out of the closet.
Purchase enough hangers so that they all match. Whether you choose metal or plastic, the most effective way to appear organized is by having them all match. Then, group your clothing along the rod, hanging all pants together, all shirts and blouses in one spot and so on.
If you really want to go for the “I’m the greatest housekeeper” award, follow this grouping by sorting everything in each category by color.
Finally, get the shoes off the floor by storing them in a rack or shoe bag.
A well-lit and organized closet not only offers the buyer the perception of additional storage space but gives him or her the impression that the entire home has been equally as impeccably maintained.