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Smart Solutions: What today's home buyers want

Jeanine Matlow
Special to The Detroit News

Many Metro Detroit homes are selling like hotcakes because of factors such as favorable interest rates, low supply and high demand, but making an impressive presentation remains an important part of the process.

After bathrooms and kitchens, storage space is among the top priorities for prospective buyers. Marty Basher, home organization expert with Modular Closets, shares his insight on the significance of staging your closets and other storage areas before placing your house on the market.

Edit at least half of the contents in your cabinets and closets. Discard or store excess elsewhere and do a thorough cleaning before returning the remaining items.​

If the inside of a closet or pantry has seen better days, apply a couple of coats of white paint. This will make the inside look cleaner and brighter and it will appear to double in size.

Well-organized closets add value when selling your home.

Bedroom closets are especially important to the average buyer. They should only hold your clothing for the current season with some baskets for smaller items. You might also consider arranging pieces by color or style.

Do away with miscellaneous hangers and invest in the same style and color for your entire wardrobe. Make sure they are all facing in the same direction.

Add a mirror and lighting if possible to make your closet feel more spacious and functional. Make sure the floors are clean and free of clutter. Shoe racks or shelves can be added if necessary.

Linen closets should show well, too. Edit their contents and add white baskets for bath products to create a spa-like feel. Stash fitted and flat sheets with extra pillowcases inside a pillowcase from the same set. Add a little lavender sachet to keep the closet smelling fresh.

When organizing your kitchen cabinets and pantry, group like items together. Create a spice rack if you don’t already have one and add over-the-door storage or hooks for plastic bags and totes. Make sure there is enough space for the buyer to see the back wall of the pantry.

You can also get creative with your laundry room and mudroom storage with shelving, hooks and baskets. Keep countertops in your laundry room free of clutter, so people can picture themselves sorting and folding their own clothes in there.

Mudrooms and coat closets can become a catchall for odds and ends. Install hooks inside a utility closet for brooms and other bulky items.

Shoe racks, proper lighting and other special touches create a vision for the space that buyers can embrace like a sun hat, garden gloves and rain boots that suggest the feeling of home.

Garages can get messy, too. Spray or pressure wash the floors, then hang garden tools on the walls and install wire shelving for boxes and other items.

Tune up the door(s): the last thing you want is squeaky, loud doors when the image you want to convey is clean and calm. Potential buyers have to be able to visualize their own usage of the space, so it should be as practical and presentable as possible.

Even if you’re not planning to sell your home anytime soon, these tips can come in handy for enhancing your closets and other storage areas that tend to get messy over time.

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Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at