Storage Secrets for Staging your House
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Did you know that Professional Stagers (consultants hired to style a property and help it achieve a top price) often clear out more than 50% of a home’s contents when trying to get the sale? We all know the importance of depersonalising a home – buyers need to picture themselves living in your house – especially when more of us are selling our own properties. So why are most houses on the market so cluttered? There are several reasons. Moving home is a messy time with people packing or organising their belongings – this can mean boxes in the hallway and piles of clothes heaped in bedroom. Most houses don’t have the extra storage space to hide clutter from potential buyers either. However, with a little planning we can make a home feel much more spacious. Here’s how:
Start with your hallway. A neat and tidy hallway creates a good first impression. Put away any shoes, coats and umbrellas that might be clogging up the communal space. It’s a good idea to have an empty coat rack or hooks by the entrance for people to put their coats as they arrive to view. The living room is often the first room buyers go into so ensure it makes an impression and cull the pile of old magazines from under your coffee table. In the bedrooms organise your wardrobes to make them look more spacious, putting out of season clothes in a storage area.
Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Leave just enough in each room to illustrate the room’s purpose and plenty of room to move around. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways. Bookcases are often magnets for clutter so empty them of books and store them out of site. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Pay special attention to the kitchen, as potential buyers will most likely be opening cabinets and drawers to check their storage possibilities. Also, keep in mind natural light – you might want to trim outside branches and replace heavy curtains or blinds with something lighter. (Once you’ve finished decluttering, it’s a good idea to ask a trusted friend to give you feedback as most homeowners are too personally connected to their homes to remain objective). Finally, check and trim or discard any sad-looking houseplants.
But where to put everything now? Many homes don’t have enough storage to begin with, and buyers check hall cupboards and bedroom storage so over-stuffing them isn’t in your best interest. People often imagine they can use basement or attic space to store things, but forget about ease of access (stairs and heavy boxes don’t mix), and – especially during winter – the risk of mould.
Self storage can often be a solution. Home sellers can rent a storage room for as little as seven days (great if you want to quickly declutter a space for a short time) and as well as larger rooms that can take furniture and bigger items, smaller rooms (roughly the size of a telephone box) are also available. Some self storage facilities will offer a discount to new customers for a set period – often a few weeks or months – so talk to the facility manager and see if this applies. Paying up front can help you save more too. Finally, if you don’t own a vehicle big enough to transport your possessions, some storage companies will refund the costs of van hire.