Oftentimes, closet space (or the lack thereof) is a deal breaker when deciding which house to buy. So, it is your responsibility to present every square inch of closet space that you have, favorably. That may be a challenge if you only have shallow reach-ins. But there are steps you can take to help sell would-be buyers on what you do have to offer.
A dirty home can greatly reduce your asking price, and dirty closets can turn buyers away. Unfortunately, closets collect dust, cobwebs, and odors, (like smelly tennis shoes). Before beginning your closet organizing project, grab your cleaning supplies and a step ladder, then dig in for some deep cleaning.
One Step at a Time
- Remove everything from your closet. Don't grab an armful of hangers, but take out one item at a time. Take no more than 30 seconds per item to decide whether to keep, toss, or donate, and put it in its respective stack. Same goes for shoes, belts, scarves and boots.
- Once your closet is empty, wipe down every surface with a warm wet rag or sponge. Use your ladder to reach the ceiling and high corners where cob webs gather. You may want to use an all purpose spray cleaner on walls, baseboards and shelves to tackle grime and odors.
- If you see any indication of mold, use a mixture of Clorox Mold Eliminator Bleach to kill 99.9% of tough mold found lurking there.
- Now is the time to vacuum and spot clean the carpet, or dust mop and polish the hardwood floors.
- Let your closet air out and dry completely, leaving the doors open. You might want to wait a day before resuming.
- If your closet is painted a dark color, now is the time to paint. Dark colors make the space look smaller, so choose a light, neutral color like biscuit or vanilla. Remember, the goal is to make it look spacious!
- Place your favorite scented dryer sheets in closet drawers, on top of shelves and even inside of your clothes pockets to make your closet smell as if you just pulled your clothes out of the dryer.
Now comes the magic trick. Create the illusion of more space by putting back LESS STUFF!
Rule of thumb is to get rid of 50% of the items originally in your closet. If you just can't bear to toss or donate them, box them up and move to a storage facility. That may only be your garage or attic, but seriously consider renting a space until your house sells. It doesn't help if you just move clutter from one space to another in your home.
- Leave 1" of space between each hanger. You should be able to see the back of the closet wall between your clothes.
- Same goes for shelves with folded clothes and linen closets – leave open space above and wiggle room between each stack.
- No shoes on the floor! This can be challenging, but get creative with this one!
- You should have 20% - 30% of wide open space when this step is finished.
Now on to the Nitty Gritty!
You don't want your closet to look disorganized in ANY way. Mismatched hangers create the sense of chaos.
- Replace all hangers with the same style and color.
- Make sure they are all pointing in the same direction.
- Experts suggest having all of your clothes facing left, sorted by color.
- If you closet is dark, think about adding a light fixture.
Home buyers expectations are sky high due to DIY and staging TV shows. You have your work cut out for you, but during this time of isolation, you may be able to complete some projects you always talked about doing, but never seemed to find the time. Do what you can to give prospective buyers their dream closets!