Hearthside Happenings

Hidden Clutter Stalling Your Sale?

You may think shoving stuff in drawers is an easy fix to declutter your home, but buyers look everywhere!
Posted: March 17, 2020 by Joe Carelli

If you're listing your house for sale, you probably already know you're going to have to clean it up a bit. Look at any article about how to stage your home before selling and the odds are good that it's going to mention de-cluttering and paring down as one of the first must-do changes. The thing is, as great as you might get your home to look at first glance, what about all of the places that aren't visible to the naked eye? In other words, what do you do with the hidden clutter that lurks inside of your closets, cabinets, and drawers?


You might think the famous saying, "out of sight out of mind" applies when it comes to home buyers but this is simply not the case. Buyers are nosy by nature, and this is understandable since they're about to make one of the most important and largest investments of their lifetime. If you were a buyer, wouldn't you want to look at every angle of your future investment, both inside and out, and leave no stone unturned?


One of the biggest elements that sells a home is available storage. Buyers want to make sure their future home has enough space for all of their belongings and that there is room to grow. While purging and reducing visual clutter can make your home feel nice and open and airy, what happens when buyers start looking behind closed doors? If everything is going great, but then a buyer opens a kitchen cabinet and comes face to face with a jumble of plates, utensils, mugs, and other odds and ends, the impression of your home changes in an instant. Your potential buyer has now shifted her focus to worrying that your house won't have enough space; it's just not big enough. 

Even "hidden" clutter can be a huge turn-off to buyers; because they will find it.


Therefore, when you're getting your home ready to sell, don't forget about the hidden clutter. It doesn't have to take you days and days, and you don't need perfectly organized spaces, but it is important to show some openness within concealed areas so that buyers don't think your home is too small. When potential buyers open your closet and see some empty space on the clothing rod, or an empty shelf or two, it keeps things positive instead of distracting buyers from the rest of the home. Are you ready to make sure all of those hidden places are just as clutter-free as the rest of your house? 


Since time is precious when you're trying to sell your house, here are 5 simple tips to decluttering your secret spaces:


Purge! You don't need it! It’s the most obvious step, but it’s also the biggest game-changer when it comes to making a huge impact in your home. Go through all of your belongings that you have stashed away and toss anything and everything that you don’t use or need or love. The bonus is you’ll have fewer things to pack for moving day

Get a headstart on packing. Speaking of packing, once you’ve purged all of the deadweight (we mean clutter) that is holding you back, why not start packing up some things early? Leave only the essentials inside of your kitchen cabinets and drawers, consider the time of year and pack away any items that won’t be needed in your closet until next season, and wrap up anything else that you know you won’t really need to use over the next couple of months. This jumpstart on packing will make your move less stressful, plus it helps free up space in all of your tucked away areas so that the next step is easy peasy.

Leave empty space in every place. Only fill each space halfway. Every drawer, cabinet, closet, shelf, no matter where it is, make sure it is only half full so that your potential buyers see oodles of empty space. The result is the illusion that your house is a treasure trove of storage space that is every buyer’s dream!

Make even the "hidden" places pretty. Remember, the whole point of doing this is because buyers will open everything inside of your house and check out every nook and cranny. Therefore, empty space isn’t enough, the inside of all of these hidden areas also has to look clean and pretty. Give the inside of your cabinets, drawers, and closets a good wipe down, and then organize the contents in a way that is pleasing to the eye; similar colors together, like items on the same shelf, matching boxes, or attractive containers, can make even the inside of a cabinet look like a million bucks. 

Leave the light on. Now that you have spaces to be proud of, don’t keep them hidden! Leave the light on inside of your closet, place under cabinet lighting in your kitchen; draw attention to the amazing storage spaces that you have created for your buyers.

Never underestimate the power of empty space.


With these five simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating the coveted storage space that buyers are looking for in their next home. For more insight into how to get your home ready to sell, check out the rest of our blog! We have a bunch of useful tidbits and resources on home buying and selling, design trends, and more to help make your real estate goals a reality!

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