Cleaning Out

sudiepavFebruary 20, 2013

We are helping our son and daughter-in-law as they prepare to put their house up for sale. She is an interior designer, and the house is very nicely decorated...colors seem neutral. They have had carpet cleaners who did a great job. My question is about cupboards and closets. Everything is super organized, in marked tubs and bins, but everything is very crowded. My suggestion was to pack up holiday stuff (that alone would free up 1/4 of her linen closet). The Xmas stuff is away, but she has Christmas dishes in the cupboards, at least 2 shelves of glassware that is rarely used, fiesta ware that isn't being used. My thought is that if they boxed all this up, it would free up enough cupboard/closet space so that a potential buyer might think "Wow, there's plenty of room for all MY stuff." They've neatened and polished, but I think they need to take it a step further. Am I too nit-picking?

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When selling, we always throw as much as possible into boxes and then into storage as a pre-staging thing. I've done this many times and always saw it as, worst case, some early packing chore.

Buyers want to imagine how THEIR stuff will look in YOUR house when shopping. The less clutter of any kind the better. Also a good chance to de-clutter your life. Each time I've moved, I've managed to throw away more accumulated crap than I ever thought possible. But its gotten better. Moves one and two I almost filled a construction dumpster with crap I had been storing in the basement and garage. Moves thereafter....barely enough for a small garage sale and a few trash cans. Last move this past summer....nothing thrown away, all donated, and even that was only a few boxes. Its liberating!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 4:56PM
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Yes, please encourage them to get the "extra" stuff out of the closets and cabinets. As I used to say to clients, "You're moving. You're going to have to pack it up any way. Might as well do so now."

People don't want to see overstuffed closets and cabinets, even if neatly arranged. They want to dream that this house will satisfy all of their storage needs and wants. Tell your S and DIL to pack it up so people can dream.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 5:53PM
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If they have stuffed their closets and storage cabinets, they are telling house shoppers that the house does not have enough storage. Make it look roomy.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 6:45PM
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When we were going to list our house, our RA had some good suggestions for our small closets. Our master closet was small. She suggested taking enough clothes out to leave a good space between hangers. Only put one box per shelf, paint the inside of the closets a bright white and place a light inside which comes on when the door is open. The light takes away shadows which make the closets look larger.

It was a hassle removing so much of our clothes, but it really helped. The master closet was really a deal breaker but the changes created an optical illusion which worked.

Don't have empty closets, just make sure there is space between and around things to make the closets appear spacious.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:08PM
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Yup- stage inside every closet and cupboard just as well as you do each room.
Selling a home can be a tough road these days- don't allow lack of attention to detail to be your undoing.
If there is anything you can do to make your house more desirable then by all means do it. Why would you not?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 8:27AM
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In my area, staging is not popular or even necessary.

Almost everybody DOES get a storage unit to temporarily house the excesses of the house.
Roominess sells, and it is easier for the buyers to picture their things in a house that is more sparsely furnished, depersonalized, and decluttered.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 9:03AM
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It's good of you to think about this and want the best for them.

Still, you may be in a bit of a sensitive interpersonal situation with this. Yes, it's a good idea to declutter across the board when selling. But if you've already given the advice and they aren't following it, it may be better to let it go. It's their house and their sale-- it's up to them if they want to do everything possible or if they feel that what they're doing is good enough.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 11:49AM
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SheilaJoyce-"If they have stuffed their closets and storage cabinets, they are telling house shoppers that the house does not have enough storage."

I agree.

If/when I ever sell my house everything but the bare essentials will be put in storage.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 4:02PM
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Sovra, you are right. I gave my opinion, they chose not to act on it, and so I won't press it. Perhaps their realtor may bring it up or they may get feedback from people who see the house. It went up for sale today and it looks great in the photos. I just want them to sell quickly.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 4:33PM
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