Should I clean out all of the cabinets, drawers, and closets so they’ll look bigger when selling my home?
Ideally, the answer is yes — making these spaces as empty as possible will make them appear larger. Practically, however, this is darn near impossible for buyers who will continue to occupy their home while it’s on the market.
So what’s the best solution?
Take a deep breath. Except for the Primary Bedroom Closet (which does require lots of attention—for specifics, check out our book, available on Amazon), in most cases, it is okay to make cabinets, drawers, and closets what I call a “B-level priority.” This is because these areas likely will not be photographed or used to advertise your listing. As long as doors and drawers stay closed, they will not jump out as first impressions to potential buyers. And honestly, most buyers have much bigger issues to address than cleaning out a junk drawer.
Keep in mind that “plenty of storage space” is high on the list of must-haves for most buyers. They will open closets and built-in drawers and cabinets while touring your home. For this reason, it’s a good idea to appear spacious, neat, and organized. The more organized you seem to be, the more your potential buyers will view the house as “well-maintained.” They will also view you as a conscientious homeowner who took excellent care of a product they may now want to buy.
If you want top dollar for your home (and who doesn’t?), invest a little time and energy making these high-value spaces look their best and biggest by using these tips:
Reduce and simplify.
Box up the holiday plates you only use once a year. Stop buying bottled water and toilet paper in bulk at Costco for now. Donate gently used clothes to a local charity or thrift store. The single most powerful thing you can do to make cabinets, drawers, and closets look bigger? Make them as empty as possible. So start packing.
Get things off the floor.
Whether it’s a scattering of shoes across the closet or stacks of canned drinks in the pantry, pick it up and move it. Emptying out floor space will instantly give closets a more open feel.
Invest in drawer and closet organizers.
Available at home improvement stores and big-box retailers, these little organizational tools can be very appealing to home buyers. They help streamline the look in places where the “stuff” must continue to exist.
Use baskets or opaque bins.
Organize or hide what’s left. Leaving items stacked on shelves or in see-through containers may be convenient, but it creates visual clutter for potential buyers.
Remember, just like a large bedroom packed with too much furniture can look smaller, the same rule applies to cabinets, drawers, and closets — having them too full just makes them look cramped. Invest the time now, before listing your home for sale, to make those spaces look their best. And while you’re at it…yeah, just take the plunge and clean out that junk drawer, too.
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