4 Ways to Make Sure Your Closet Isn’t Sending the Wrong Message to Buyers

published Jul 12, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
cluttered closet
Credit: alexandre zveiger/Shutterstock.com

You know that potential buyers will absolutely open your closet and cabinet doors during open houses, right? So when they have a peek inside your linen or bedroom closets and see they look like a cyclone blew through them, they’ll hear one message loud and clear: “There’s not enough storage in this house.”

Remedying this impression involves maximizing every possible storage spot in your home. Here are four tips from a home stager and a realtor to get you there.

Identify the pain points in your house

Take a look at your home’s closets through a buyer’s eyes: Start by tackling spots that scream ‘I’m stuffed’, suggests Mia Collins, a home stager and prop stylist in Frederick, Md.

“Potential home buyers want to feel like there’s ample storage, even if they only utilize half of it; if this is their forever home, they will surely grow into the space.” she says. 

Make a list of the closets, cabinets, and other spots that need to be overhauled. Then, plot how you’ll empty them out accordingly.

Transform nooks and crannies into storage solutions

Homeowners overlook many areas throughout their homes that can be used to stow away all kinds of things, says Katherine Nelson, a broker with Allen Tate Realtors in Greensboro, N.C.

“Small spaces are sometimes the best places for storage; you don’t need huge shelving or furniture to do the job,” she explains. “Spaces behind cabinet doors provide great storage opportunities, and awkward small spaces or gaps on the walls are perfect for floating shelves.”

You don’t need to fork over fistfuls of cash for a custom bed to take advantage of the storage space underneath it, she adds. 

“This works great in children’s rooms filled with toys, books and clothes. Also, consider putting out-of-season clothing in storage bins under the bed to create less cluttered closets year-round.” 

Collins likes to carve out space underneath a staircase. 

“This could be great for shelving, making a small office, or a mini-mudroom area,” she says.

Don’t forget the space between or beside your washer and dryer, adds Collins. A narrow shelving rack can house laundry detergent, dryer sheets, clothespins and other washing, ironing or sewing supplies.

Have a wide window? Build a window seat with additional storage underneath, or add a ledge above the window to display books, suggests Collins.

Take advantage of vertical space

Homeowners often forget to look up for storage, and that’s a great spot to keep seldom-used or season items. For example, bikes can hang from the garage ceiling, and shelf inserts allow you to use the entire closet space instead of just the bottom half, says Nelson.

Closet extenders can also solve a lack of storage. Collins suggests widening the door in a small entry closet to increase access, or using the full depth of a cabinet with extra shelving or baskets.

Put your home’s best face forward 

Because adequate storage is high on buyers’ wish lists, keep your closets and cabinets show-ready to help them appear larger, notes Nelson.

“Buyers may or may not look inside your kitchen cabinets, so consider keeping only cooking essentials and box everything else up,” she says. “For pots and pans, bakers’ racks look great if you don’t have much built-in space.”

Above all, adds Nelson, convey calm over chaos by reducing clutter and keeping all spaces clean and organized.