Home Organization: Preparing For The Sale
When buyers imagine their dream home, what do they picture?. Maybe it’s a downtown loft, a mid-century modern, or a plantation home in the country. No matter what type or style of home they desire, nearly everyone will picture a place that is clutter-free, well cared for, and immaculately clean. Sellers should take this seriously when they prep their home for sale. Organization in all rooms is important, but having specific rooms exceptionally well organized is key. Here are the rooms and areas of your home you should focus on organizing before you list your house!
Clean All Bedroom and Hall Closets
Start by tossing out or putting into storage items that are not in season or not worn. Install shelving and add pegs for ties or scarves or purchase baskets for these small items. A shoe rack will contain multiple pairs of shoes, freeing up floor space in the closet and making it look larger. Consider adding a dual-rod shelving system to double the amount of space for hangers. This is useful even if there is not enough clothing to fill both rods. Empty closet space adds to the impression of bountiful storage.
Organize the Pantry
Every home should have a spacious, organized pantry. Always use containers to increase storage potential. Plastic containers of cereal are easy to stack, but open cereal boxes are not. Lidded containers prevent items like flour and sugar from spilling from their bags. Consider installing a Lazy Susan to maximize the space (they are available in floor-to-ceiling models or small versions that slide into cupboards). Small bins mounted to the walls or doors are convenient places to tuck away bulky bottles or packages that do not store neatly on an open shelf. Labeled bins and baskets make it easy to corral snacks, baking supplies and other items and makes them easier to find. Store cookware and storage lids in slotted racks.
Prepare the Laundry Room
In the laundry room make certain nothing is stored on the floor or on top of the washer and dryer. Install a wall-mount, expandable drying rack. Hang the ironing board on the wall or the back of the laundry room door. Add shelving for laundry soap and other cleaning supplies. For a folding table, consider installing a fold-down wall mounted desk. These are are a great way to maximize usable space in a laundry or utility room. While laundry sorters do take up space, they look more organized than multiple clothes baskets filled with dirty clothes. Single hampers are great for small rooms and collapsible models make it possible to fold them up and tuck them aside before showing the home. Most importantly, make sure there are no dirty clothes visible to potential buyers.
Tackle the Garage
Home Organizing should extend into the garage too. Shelving and peg hooks are necessary for eliminating garage clutter. Hanging rakes, brooms and shovels look much more organized than those leaning in a corner. Use clear plastic bins for storing tools or camping and sporting gear, and place all bins on shelves rather than stacked on the floor. Hanging a pegboard above work benches will keep your tools handy, but out of the way. You may also purchase bars to suspend bicycles, canoes or other large items instead of allowing them to clutter the floor.
Take Control of the Playroom
Home organizing is challenging and this is never more obvious than when dealing with a playroom. If you have small children, you know how much of a challenge this can be! Toys come in a sizes and shapes that do not always tuck neatly onto shelves. Consider mounting decorative buckets on the walls above a craft table to store markers and crayons. Color coded totes let each child know where their toys belong. Make the toys part of the decor with shelving designed for specific items. For example, narrow shelves for displaying matchbox cars or Lego figures or a single clothesline with clothespins along a wall where plush toys can “hang out” when not in use. Keep a decorative trunk handy for quick storage of dress up clothes, pillows and blankets. If possible, installing a wall of kitchen cabinets provides a great deal of storage space and the doors help to close off the chaos of miscellaneous items that are hard to fit elsewhere.
Statistics show that organized homes sell faster and for a higher price than their messier counterparts. It pays to take the time to organize and remove clutter. If this seems unmanageable (and there are those people that appear to lack an organization gene), hiring a professional Home Organizer is a sensible solution that will help to get the the chaos under control, and get your home sold!
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur babies, Tyler and Livvie, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.