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Home Staging: The Forgotten Areas

Home Staging: The Forgotten Areas

If your home is for sale, you’ve done all of the things your real estate home staging-closet-beforeagent or home stager has suggested.   Bring on the potential Buyers because you’re ready for them!

Or are you?

Getting your house ready for sale is similar to having company over for dinner.  However, where you can throw your extra clothes, boxes, towels in the closet, utility room or drawers when the Smiths are about to arrive, it’s NOT what you want to do when showing your home.

When you are preparing your house for sale, it’s important to remember that your potential buyers will be looking in those places you’d hoped they wouldn’t look.

The Utility Room

It may be the ideal place to pile baskets of dirty laundry, all sorts of cleaning products, backpacks, shoes, athletic equipment and the oversized cans and boxes of goodies we get from Costco BUT not when your house is on the market.

Space is what you’re selling, especially here in Palm Beach County where basements are a distant memory of the north.

home staging- after-utility room

Look at how my client added some color to her laundry room!


What you can do-

1.Since you’ll be moving soon, why not get a head start and pack up what you don’t need and toss those cleaning supplies that you don’t use.  Be sure to dispose of any chemicals you have properly.

2.Have a family meeting and enlist everyone’s participation in not letting this area be their dumping ground.  Child-rearing principles aside, this might not be a bad time to employ the age-old parental tool known as bribery.

3.Why not use art and light to brighten this area.   Who says that artwork is only for your living or other family areas. And another great way to warm up this area is to add a small lamp that can augment the overhead light.


Once again, cabinets represent much needed space to buyers. Buyers will open your cabinets.  Privacy, I know, but it’s only human that buyers will open cabinets to see how much room there is.

What you can do-

1.First thing is make sure they’re clean.  If they are wood, try Murphy’s Oil Soap first to clean them.

2.Replace the pulls if you can.

3.Now open them up and edit and straighten.

4. Organize what you have left.


Linen Closets

Stop wincing! It has to be done.  This is one area that all buyers will look in.  Don’t worry, they’re not looking to see what you have, they’re looking to see your space.

What you can do-

1.Remove all of the towels, pillowcases, soap and anything else you have shoved in.

2.Edit for what you know you need now and will take with you to your new home.

3.Donate extras to shelters.  Most of us are lucky and are never without blankets and other linens.  Others are in need.  Do a good deed and you’ll be helping your linen closet as well.

4.Now, fold your towels so that your buyers will think they’ve checked into the Ritz!

home staging after- using huggable hangersClosets

Yes, they look here as well.  Just as in your utility area, this is not where you want to shove all of the extra things you have been trying to find a place for while you show your home.

What you can do-

1.One more time- edit what you don’t need.  Why go into your new home with the things that you kept shoving to the back of your closet in your old home.

2.Get as much off of the floor as you can.

3.Arrange your hangers.  The best investment I made for my closet was several sets of Huggable Hangers. (Target)  It makes everything you have look more organized.

Whatever you choose to do, remove excess hangers.  Arrange like items together; and if you really want to look organized, arrange like colors together.

( Don’t laugh- all of this gives a very organized look to your closet, and this gives your buyers that sense of serenity and spa-appeal you want to convey.)

4.Organize the shelves above your clothes as well.  Take those purses you’ve tossed up there and arrange them as if they were on display in a retail store.

The Pantry

This is a critical area of every home. It’s in one of the most used areas of the home and can garner high marks in the eyes of the buyer.

What you can do-

1.Toss expired or outdated foods.  “When in doubt, throw it out.”

2.If you have food items that you know you won’t be using, donate them to your local food pantry.

3.Use plastic bins or baskets to help you organize.  

The Garage

Did you think we’d forget?  Your MLS may say 2 car garage but can anyone tell by looking at it?

What you can do-

1. Edit what you do not need for now or what you do not need cluttered garageanymore.

2.The garage is still part of  your house so don’t make buyers cringe when they go in.  Make sure there is good lighting, clean up oil spills and trash.  Paint the walls if they need it. Paint the floors as well.  

3.Show the space.  The garage is still part of your home and buyers are still looking for space. Hang tools or bicycles if you can. Organize your shelves. Use shoe boxes or plastic bins to help you.

You don’t live in just certain areas of your home.  We use every bit of it.  It’s the same with buyers.  They’ll be interested in all of the areas of your house.  

Preparing your house for sale? Don’t forget these forgotten but important areas.


 Kathy Streib 

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Comment balloon 44 commentsKathy Streib • September 07 2015 05:02PM


This is great for those secondary areas that home sellers don't notice, but buyers do.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 5 years ago

Good morning Kathy.  When you took that photo of my garage you could have knocked on the door to say hi....  

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) almost 5 years ago

Those are some great ideas Kathy.  Rooms that often get forgotten by the sellers.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 5 years ago

Kathy Streib 
What a great post!!!
My "line" to Sellers is "When people look to buy - they want MORE space." Allow those Buyers to see SPACE.  I ask the Sellers to pack up lots of "things" - whatever/wherever - so that ALL closets and ALL storage areas are only 1/2 full.

You laid it all ouyt so clearly and with great photos as well.
Have a successful day -


Posted by Lynn B. Friedman, Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers (Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ...) almost 5 years ago

Good morning Kathy,

Nice list to get the forgotten areas ready. Goodwill or the Churches are looking for clothing so that may save packing some of the clothes that do not fit anymore.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) almost 5 years ago

Fantastic tips, Kathy! I have often asked my family to pretend we're moving and do these things... Now that fall is here, it's a good time to refocus, edit and organize. One room at a time!

Posted by Brenda Mayette, Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how! (Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc.) almost 5 years ago

Kathy, an organized closet creates a proper perception! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) almost 5 years ago

Kathy, Thank you for sharing these great tips. I will bookmark this post.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 5 years ago

Good morning Kathy. This is excellent. Wouldn't it be nice if we could live this way always.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) almost 5 years ago

Excellent tips!  When buyers see an overstuffed closet or area, they think "not enough space" which is one of the reasons they are moving in the first place!

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) almost 5 years ago

Love it from your lips to sellers ears.

Posted by Donald Urschalitz, P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County (Lubeck Realty Group) almost 5 years ago

Buyers look in every room, and they definitely think the house is probably too small when all the closets are jam packed.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) almost 5 years ago

Kathy thanks for sharing these tips on area's which are often over looked. 

Posted by Frank Rubi, (Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC) almost 5 years ago

Hot off the presses and re-blogged twice already BARFF.  No surprise.....when it comes to great advice on staging, you take the cake!  Excellent tips and suggestions on those forgotten areas.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) almost 5 years ago

Such a great post Kathy. You never know what the hot button is for a buyer...don't forget these important parts of your home!

Posted by Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty, Florida Space Coast Homes (Waves Realty) almost 5 years ago

Kathy Streib  I like that attitude "since you will be moving soon." Yes, get a head start on the process with a portable storage unit. Put everything you won'y need until AFTER you move in the POD and be done with it.

Bill Roberts

Posted by Bill Roberts, "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner (Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

Big heavy sigh!  you are right and no one wants to do it.  The cabinets and closets are where they want to hide thing when they de-clutter.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 5 years ago


Another excellent post on the subject of staging, and no spot should be forgotten, you are absolutely right about that.  Wishing you a superb short week.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) almost 5 years ago

I think I've been in those closets, garages and laundry rooms LOL! I think it's a universal issue for sellers.

Posted by Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional (Janice Ankrett Home Staging) almost 5 years ago

This is some really great advice, Kathy Streib.  Crisp, clean, light, bright, spacious are the things created when clients employ you to executeyour strategies.  It makes a world of difference.

Posted by Jill Murty, Realtor - Orange County, CA (Sunset Properties, Powered by Movoto) almost 5 years ago

Boy Kathy, you are the best,  I always pick up on something from your tips, thanks.

Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) almost 5 years ago

These are such great tips, I have bookmarked this for future reference.  I am always wondering what people should do with clutter in closets and the garage, now I have a great answer!

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) almost 5 years ago

Closets and garages are the most overlooked areas that I see here in my market. There are so many homes that I go in to that have huge walk-in master bedroom closets but you can't showcase them because they are absolutely stuffed with junk. 

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty (Zion Realty) almost 5 years ago

This is all good stuff for sellers to know about, Kathy Streib.  I'll be sure to keep a copy. Thanks.

Posted by Toni Weidman, 20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) almost 5 years ago

Kathy Streib Thanks for reminder to clean the linen closet as well as the utility closet.  So many hiddent treasures!!!

Posted by Mary Yonkers, Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor (Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

Kathy great suggestions.  Closets are one of the places I pay attention to, and it is such a turn off when they are all cluttered with stuff.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) almost 5 years ago

Kathy-I remember going into a woman's home who had her house listed and I went with the realtor I worked for to get pictures and I couldn't get over how organized her closet was. The rest of the house was as neat as a pin as well but the closet was amazing. Mine has never looked that organized. LOL

Posted by Sharon Lee, Retired and loving life (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) almost 5 years ago

Great advice for preparing a home for sale. I'm still surprised when a seller suggests "shoving it all in the hall closet"..... how can they not realize that buyers will look in the closets?

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) almost 5 years ago

Hello Kathy Streib 

Another great post on home staging...clearing the clutter is a must and an all important pre-listing task to be performed.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 5 years ago

This is an excellent post for sellers who are serious about giving their home it's best exposure

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 5 years ago

Great point Kathy Streib ....I think closets are the last thing people think about when staging.

Have a great night!

Posted by Rob Thomas, Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro (Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954) almost 5 years ago

This is excellent advice for home sellers. Have an outstanding week.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) almost 5 years ago

Oh the garage, i have been keeping pictures for years in case i ever get around to finishing my book, i could shock the best of them where the seller skipped the garage. 

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) almost 5 years ago


You always amaze me with your posts . . . .

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) almost 5 years ago

Kathy, indeed, these are some of the most overlooked areas by the sellers. I can't remember the last time I saw a two car garage that's used for it's purpose.

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) almost 5 years ago

These are not just areas that get overlooked, they can get overloaded with crap from other areas that sellers are trying to neaten up.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 5 years ago

Kathy you never stop amazing me with your fine blogs. Excellent! such good information on things that may be over looked.

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) almost 5 years ago

Hi Kathy -- so many of these areas are overlooked by sellers but not by buyers -- the changes make a difference.  And that difference can often be found on the bottom line of the settlement statement. 

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 almost 5 years ago

Hi Kathy, there definitely are no hidden places from buyers when one is selling their home.  

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) almost 5 years ago

Buyers look everywhere. I even have some that look under the house and in the attic. They may not can see much but I let them satisfy their curiosity.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) almost 5 years ago

Debbie Reynolds is right!!! Buyers do look everywhere-in every cupboard, nook and cranny and those frequently forgotten areas absolutely need attention and there is no time like the present!

Posted by Joanna Cohlan, Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes (Fresh Eyes For Your Home) almost 5 years ago

These are all good tips. Some sellers just assume potential buyers can see past all the clutter, but mant can't. I have a listing now similar. Men look at garages and storgae places the way women look at kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms.

Posted by Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA) almost 5 years ago

Kathy, great in-depth reminder to tackle these un-sexy areas of the home, ha!

It sure does take more time, but sooo worth the effort. 


Posted by Kim Gaston, Colorado Springs REALTOR®, CNE (719)661-6987 (RE/MAX Advantage Realty) almost 5 years ago

Kathy - These are great ideas to turn forgotten or non used areas in the house put into good use.

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) almost 5 years ago

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