Oh….the closets. What kind of condition are your closets in? Are they neatly organized in a way that you can quickly find what you are looking for? Does the inside of your closet resemble a storage unit – packed full of so much stuff that you can’t even really remember what all is in there?
When you open your closets do you find yourself thankful that you live in a home with plenty of storage space? Or is it the opposite? Are your cluttered closets a symptom of living in a house that is too small? Even worse, do your closets make you look like you are a hoarder?
Lots of people feel like they need to clean out their closets. Some people make New Year’s resolutions to get organized, to declutter, to simplify their lives. Others decide to wait until they start spring cleaning. Or maybe, it is a fall task that is part of your preparation for company coming to visit over the holidays.
Yet, I think that if you decide to sell your house you are about to get very motivated to clean closets out as fast as possible.
Interested buyer prospects WILL look inside the closets
I’ve sold residential real estate for well over 15 years. I dont’ recall every seeing someone purchase a home without first looking in the closets. When an average buyer looks at a home, first impressions do count. The very first impression is formed based on the online photos. Generally, you are not gong to include pictures of the closest online. Most closests are too small to photograph well and there are more important things to show. Yet, when a buyer comes to look at your house, they will be interested in how much storage space there is.
The better your home shows, the better price you will be able to receive. Cluttered homes almost never sell for as much as neat, well cared for home with the same amenities. Investors don’t mind buying cluttered homes in nice area. Investors are looking for bargains that will allow them to earn a profit in the future. The less they have to pay for a house because it is cluttered or dated, the more money they stand to make.
As a real estate agent, I prefer to work with sellers that are willing to make the effort to have their homes sell for as high a price as possible in a reasonable time period. I want my selters to clean their closets. I want my sellers to declutter their homes because that will make the home show better.
What are you trying to achieve when you clean out or decluttering your closets?
1. You want your home to feel spacious.
2. The buyer should be able to imagine what it will be like to put their belongings in the closets.
Even if you have a small home or tiny closets, you want the home to feel as spacious as possible. You want to show buyers that it is possible to live in a home with tiny closets.
I’ve never heard a buyer complain that a home has too much storage. If your home has lots of storage and closet space, we want to show it off. However, that means that the closets need to be clean and somewhat organized.
Tips to clean your closets fast:
1. Decide what you plan to do with unwanted items. Your options are to donate, give away or sell the unwanted items. Plan to put these items in a box or a bag. Do NOT leave them in the closet.
2. Spend a few moments online looking at homes for sale that you might be interested in purchasing. This will help motivate you to get your house on the market as soon as possible.
3. Plan to start with the coat closet or a hallway closet. These closets are small. So, you should be able to clean it out the fastest.
Coat closet and other small closets:
Figure out what is the purpose of the closet
If you live in Colorado or a state with cold weather, you want the coat closet to have room for coats.
Is it a cleaning closet?
Is it used to store sports equipment or hobby supplies?
Would there be a better place to store some of the items than in that particular closet?
Don’t forget, you will be moving in the very near future. You do not need to be storing anything in the closet long term anymore.
Plan to pull everything out. As you do so, ask yourself:
- Is it torn, stained or in need of repair? Why hasn’t it been fixed?
- Consider getting rid of it unless you wear things like to clean the barn, to paint in or around house get dirty projects.
- When is the last time you wore the item? If over a year ago, get rid of it.
- Do you still like it? No – get rid of it
- Do you look good in it? If not, ask yourself why you wear it. I probably look like a fat orange in the winter coat I wear every day. I’ll keep it. But I’ve got some item in my bedroom closet that I probably should get rid of -especially if I need space.
If you want to keep it, does it really need to be kept in the hall closet? When you are trying to declutter the hall closet, would it make more sense to keep it in one of the bedroom closets?
Motivation for when you get stuck
you start having trouble getting rid of things even though there is a tiny voice saying to get rid of the items, think about how you will soon be packing everything up. Think about how it will have to get carried out to a truck. Think about how it will have to be carried back into new place. Imagine yourself unpacking it a your new house? Do you still really want to keep it?
If necessary, take a break. Look at pictures of your new area and the new home that you will be moving to. If you don’t know, look online at pictures of homes you are interested in.. Maybe place a home magazine with the styles you like on a table. Think about how neat and uncluttered the room in the picture are.
Putting stuff back into the closet
Once you have taken everything out, sweep the floor. Dust the shelf. Neatly put the things you want to keep in the closet back into the closet. Keep in mind that you want the closet to present a neat appearance when a visitor opens it. The coats you wear frequently need to be in easy reach. Is there room for a visitor to hang their coat? If not, remove more items.
Since you are planning on moving, maybe you might want to go ahead and pack some of the seasonal items that are not being used into a box. Do you like the items you are packing enough to pay to keep them in storage?