How come some houses sell almost immediately while others languish on the market for months? Organisation and neatness inside is often key. Much is made of decor or furnishings, but buyers often want to change colour schemes. As long as rooms look fresh, paying more attention to neatness can speed up the sale.
How Storage Helps with Staging
The saying ‘less is more’ was never more true than in home staging. You need to display just enough to create a lived-in, comfortable ambiance without allowing rooms to become either cluttered or too empty.
Staging rooms by function helps you achieve this. The idea is to have only what is relevant to the room’s function on show. So you won’t have hobby or craft stuff all over the kitchen, or office and business equipment dominating the bedroom.
It’s a simple concept, but one that’s not especially easy to achieve, especially as we all tend to have multi-function rooms these days.
Having too many possessions on display is one area where first-time stagers often go wrong. Steps to perfect staging are:
- Decide on the function of room or zone you’re focusing on.
- Choose the props you need to demonstrate how well the room performs that function (an example is to clear the dining table of everything except what’s needed for dining).
- Find alternative storage for items that don’t illustrate that function.
Alternative storage can mean packing away unused possessions and storing them in the loft, or putting them into storage. One benefit of going through this exercise is you soon find out which items you really love and need, and which you probably shouldn’t hang onto. If you choose self storage, you’ll benefit from short term contracts so you’re not locked in long term, and have the satisfaction of knowing so many of your possessions are already packed for when moving day rolls round.
Find Underused Areas
Every home has underused areas. Two prime ones are the spaces under kitchen cabinets and the cubby hole under the stairs.
Beneath the floor cupboards in the kitchen is space for all manner of long or flat items, such as kids’ toys and little used tools or baking trays. To access the space, just remove fixed kickboards and replace them with hinged or sliding doors. Because the spaces are so long, you can even slide brooms or mops under there.
Some homes have lovely large cupboards under the stairs, but many are little more than glory holes that are hard to make good use of. A battery operated LED light is a quick way to illuminate dark areas, and it should be possible to hang hooks or install narrow shelves to organise and hold a multitude of smaller items such as cleaning materials, hobby equipment or even as a shoe cupboard.
Another idea is to open up the space completely and turn it into a bespoke storage area with fitted shelves, modular shelving and cupboards. Or, depending on location, install a workstation as a home office area or built-in seating. It could either be somewhere to relax, or a place to perch while you pull on boots.
Few people make good use of their wall space, rarely going beyond hanging art or photos. You can regain floor space by using shelves instead of bookcases, and if you haven’t hung the TV yet, now’s a good time to investigate.
Creative ways to use shelving include ideas like running a long shelf behind a sofa that’s pushed back to a wall. Keep it fairly narrow and it’s the ideal place for reading or mood lamps, or decorative books held in place with bookends that match your decor.
Shelves in alcoves almost disappear if you paint them to match the surrounding colour scheme, and you can create a warm atmosphere either side of a chimney breast with concealed lighting that picks out items on display.
Keeping the home clean and tidy, always ready for viewers, is one of the hardest things for many home sellers. Organising your storage and display areas, having designated zones for various activities, and pre-packing and storing little used items, makes the task easier and a lot less stressful.