Posted in: Selling a home

Staging? Play up your storage to sell faster

Bathroom storage

Key insights

  • Functional storage spaces might win over the hearts — and pockets — of millennial homebuyers.
  • Sellers should showcase their effective storage spaces, while taking care not to overfill them. Balance is key.
  • Utilize additional spaces like the garage or a storage rental to tuck away items you can wait until after the home sale to use.

Homebuyers are updating their home search criteria with a surprising property feature: storage. Storage has become a major concern among homebuyers, especially millennials who have been squeezing into too-small rentals for more than a decade.

In fact, a report published by the National Association of Home Builders indicates that 79% of millennials want a walk-in pantry and 73% want a linen closet in the owner’s suite bath.

Sellers with these storage areas should be sure to showcase them when they list their home for sale. In some cases, this may even mean “staging” your home’s storage.

Creative ways to stage your storage

Here are five tips to stage your storage creatively — whether you’re listing your home for sale or simply want to tidy your current living space.

1. Store items neatly, in plain sight

70% of millennial buyers desire built-in shelving, so be sure to take advantage of these existing features! Start by filling each shelf with approximately 30% fewer books than the shelf can handle. In the remaining space, create balance and visual interest with candles, picture frames or nothing at all. Tidy up other noticeable storage spaces, including your:

  • Open kitchen shelving
  • Glass-front cabinets or pantry doors
  • Open credenzas

If your home doesn’t have built-in cabinets or shelving, upgrade your space with other functional storage options. For example, hanging pot storage can help free up space in the kitchen cabinets (and it fits perfectly in a modern farmhouse home). Multi-purpose furniture — like bar carts, tiered coffee tables and storage benches — can house other loose items. These items wouldn’t be sold alongside your home, but they do show the buyer that your property is spacious enough to accommodate pop-up storage options.

2. Thoughtfully arrange your belongings

While it may seem like items stashed behind closed doors don’t need to be rearranged, it’s actually important to keep “hidden” storage in tip-top shape. Whether browsing photos online or peeking at an open house, potential buyers will be curious about the size and status of the home’s storage closets and rooms. In these spaces, nix the knick-knacks and keep shelves filled and organized at about 50% capacity.

It’s also important to thoughtfully consider where to place items in hidden storage. We all have unique storage tendencies, but items that appear misplaced could indicate to a buyer that your home doesn't have ideal storage space. Go through with a critical eye and remove items that don’t make sense for the space, such as AA batteries in the bathroom linen closet or the Costco-sized paper towel stash in the master bedroom closet.

3. Focus on the aesthetics as you organize

Staging your home — and your clutter — doesn’t need to involve buying anything new. It’s possible to make use of what you already have as you smartly store your items.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Roll your towels instead of folding them, to make your storage look more like a spa than a closet.
  • Organize soaps and other toiletries into an old basket, instead of just stacking them.
  • Repurpose mason jars to hold office supplies or bathroom essentials.
  • Use a retro label maker to cohesively mark pantry staples like spices, nuts and grains.

4. Add storage to your garage

It may seem silly to stage your garage. But 80% of millennials want garage storage, which means that enhancing this space could be an easy way to win over potential buyers. Reform your garage storage with the following:

  • Permanent shelving
  • Ceiling storage racks
  • Organizational cubbies
  • Built-in storage shelves and hooks

Even if you decide not to spend a dime on garage storage, you can still categorize things by usage — lawn tools on one side, auto repair on another. If it’s clear that you use the space well and still have plenty of room to park a car or two inside, that could be a boon to buyers who have a garage on their must-have checklist.

5. Rent a short-term storage unit

If you’re still overwhelmed with stuff after decluttering your home and thoughtfully staging your belongings, it may be time to look into an external storage unit. Renting a separate storage space can be a smart solution if you’re ready to sell your home, but you’re not yet ready to part with some of your home goods.

The final step: Hire an expert

Now that you’ve organized and staged your home from the decor down to the storage, you can move forward with confidence. Reach out to Edina Realty or one of our agents to get expert advice on your home sale journey. Your agent will have your best interest at heart from the moment you list your home for sale until the final steps at the closing table.

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Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings