Monday, July 4, 2011

Eight Thrifty Ideas to Help You Stage Your Closets

Hangers are cheap at discount stores. 
If you ask a Realtor whether people open closet doors when they inspect homes on the market, she's likely to say something like, "Well, duh!"

At least my Realtor would, because she's that direct.

Here are my eight favorite ways to make closets impressive to buyers.

1.White Rules 

There's no substitute for a can of white paint. I like to use semi gloss in closets and cabinets.

True, it shows off bumps and dents, but it also reflects light and is easier to keep clean.

I know you don't want to empty closets to paint them, but it's not as big deal as it sounds. Look on it as a chance to deep clean and get rid of the junk you really don't need anymore.

Don't skip painting the ceiling a pure white. It will brighten the entire closet. While you have a brush in it, painting inside vanities makes a big difference as well.

If you don't paint, put down white shelf liner where you can, like on wooden closet shelves.

2.Get Up High

It's time to invest some cash (not a big bundle) on some closet hangers. Cull the ones that don't match and replace them with some spiffy ones from the discount store. Today's styles are more economical than ever. Aim for whatever is on the floor to be stored in hanging organizers made for shoes.

3.Condense Air 

Using Space Bags you can compress down to a few inches all those quilts, extra sheets, pillows, and sleeping bags that you need a few times a year. My experience is that sometimes even the best ones begin to leak air after months on the shelf, but that doesn't mean they are useless. Simply attach the vacuum, suck the air out again, and put them back on the shelf.

Every closet looks better when it's not crowded and it's prettied up.

4. Gussy Up

People like clean and people like pretty.

Put the little things in matching or cordinated baskets and boxes, especially toiletries like feminine hygiene produces, laxatives, dandruff remedies, hair removal products, odor eater foot pads, denture adhesives, pet shampoos, wart removers, and disinfectants. You get the idea. You'll make giant steps towards impressing buyers with what a problem-free home you live in.

5. Go Opaque

My vote goes towards boxes that are not see-through. I realize that clear plastic shoe boxes are handy because the contents are visible, but that's my point. The less visual clutter, the better when it's time to sell your home. You can easily cover cardboard boxes to make them uniform, even if they are different sizes. Use fabric, wallpaper, or contact paper.

6. Reflect

Most closets have little or no wall space remaining, because most of us like to keep accessories within sight to make getting dressed easier. Those ties and belts and necklaces and scarves can eat up wall space. But if you can find a place to add a mirror to your bedroom closet, do it. Even a small mirror will reflect light and confuse the eye about the boundaries of the closet. Ideally, you'd be able to add a full-length mirror.

7. Make Scents

Smells matter to buyers. Keep your closet dry and freshly scented. If air circulation is a problem, reducing the number of stored items will help. Keep anything that would mold or give off musty scents out of cabinets and closets. Sachets or scent diffusers can add a layer of fragrance, but they are no substitute for fresh air.

8. Add Little Lights

A small battery-operated, motion-sensitive light makes a statement in a closet or cabinet. For about $12, this one will stay on for 40 seconds, enough to impress house hunters. Well-lighted spaces build confidence because they look cleaner, bigger, and aren't hiding surprises.

If you are just beginning to declutter closets, follow my 9-step approach I describe here.

Are you working closely with your Realtor to get your home sold? She might suggest cleaning, organizing and sprucing up those closets, as well as the regular real estate advice. I give the same kind of advice in a handy, downloadable form when you buy my $4.99 eBooks,


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