When you are getting ready to list your home for sale, your realtor will tell you the first and most important thing you need to do is clean, declutter, and clean again. When you go home to do this you may be tempted to put most things in the closet to be tucked away out of sight, but this is actually the last thing you want to do because your closets will be looked at by potential buyers.

Buyers look into closets because they are interested in the amount of storage space a home has. A cluttered and overflowing closet communicates that the home is lacking in storage and the closets are not big enough to store items. Even if your closets are organized with rows and rows of the same sized boxes stacked neatly, if the closet is full it still communicates a lack of storage and can be a turn off to buyers. Storage space is an important feature to today’s home buyers.

How to Declutter Your ClosetsThe Importance of Cleaning Closets Before Listing Your Home

Start your decluttering efforts by gathering up all of your empty spare boxes or totes, garbage bags, a permanent marker, and some tape. Label your boxes with: keep, mend/fix, donate, sell, and toss/garbage.

First: Pull everything out of the closet, everything

Second: Sort everything that was housed in the closet into the boxes

Third: Now that the closet is completely empty utilize this time to deeply clean your closets. Dust from top to bottom (don’t forget ceiling corners and light fixtures), scrub the walls, vacuum the floor, and spot clean if you have carpet and need to.

If the carpet at the bottom of your closet is looking tired and dingy or has unsightly stains that you can’t seem to remove you will want to call in the help of a professional carpet cleaner to get the floors looking like new again. However, you may want to wait to call in this help until after the next couple of steps are accomplished.

Fourth: Once the closet is nice and clean the next step is to assess if the closet looks really dark inside, if it does or even if the walls are looking a little dingy like they need a freshen up, paint the inside of your closets with a fresh white or pale neutral color. This will do wonders for the look of the closet and also help it to seem just a little bit bigger.

Fifth: Take a look at the lighting, is there enough? Any? Making sure there is plenty of lighting to easily see inside the closet, it will add appeal to buyers.

Deciding What to Place Back in the Closet

If you plan to continue to live in your home while it is listed for sale it is unrealistic to expect you to keep all of the closets completely empty. Take this opportunity to pack up: out of season clothes, clothes that are for fancy occasions, and other items you can live without wearing until your home sells. Only put back in what you absolutely need.

When your home is so clean that even your closets look fresh and brand new, it will go a long way to communicate to buyers that the home is well taken care of and there is plenty of storage for them to put all of their stuff.

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