Breathe new life into your wardrobe without spending a dime.

My husband and I are recent empty-nesters. When our youngest settled into college life, our plan to downsize kicked into high gear. First on my list was styling our home to sell, and that meant bringing the “wow” factor to every area of the house-even the closets. While I’ll never know for sure, I’m guessing I hit the mark, since we had a buyer within 6 days!

Whether you are staging your home to sell or just making room, closets can be a daunting area to organize and style for several reasons.  First of all, most of us need to live in the house we are selling, which means we regularly use our closet, making this area a challenge to keep in “show-ready” condition. 

Secondly, closet items are extremely personal.  I don’t think twice about having someone traipse through my living room, but my closet displays my personal taste, body size and even my budget.  Most buyers could probably care less about any of those things, but my imagination has them taking stock of each handbag and pair of jeans.

1.Display your best items

One idea that revolutionized my closet redo was the concept of “retailing” this space.  I began to imagine this little room, not as a storage space for personal items, but as a tiny store.  Here are some of the simple tricks that made my closet shine

Like many women, I love shoes.  Instead of leaving them tucked away in plastic boxes, as I normally would, I grouped them together on a shelf.  Since we listed our home in the fall, I made sure to display my cutest winter boots, so the buyer could easily picture herself slipping into a cozy pair.  Don’t be too shy to borrow a few clothing items from a stylish friend if you’re styling your home. If you are deep-cleaning, consider storing out-of-season items in the back of your closet so current items take center stage.

2.  Use accessories as a focal point

Between my daughter and I, we have far more scarves than anyone needs!  I decided to consolidate these colorful accessories into a collection. I used the brightest scarves to downplay the shelf brace in the center of the closet wall by displaying the scarves evenly across the length of the dresser (an old changing table). You could build the same effect by displaying costume jewelry or handbags.

3.  Tuck well-loved items out of sight

This steps may seem like a “no-brainer”, but most of us become blind to comfort items we use often. My husband and I wear our fleece robes at least twice a day and had gotten into the habit of hanging them on our bedposts or on a towel hook for convenience.  Since they’re not “spa-quality” robes, I hung them on hangers at the back of our closet- still easy to access, but no longer distracting to buyers.

You can do the same with your favorite lounging attire or worn out slippers.

Since I was editing our closet anyway, I took the opportunity to donate many of the things I hadn’t worn and just didn’t see the point of packing up and moving.  I now know just what clothing and accessories I have and love getting dressed in my little “store”.

What’s your favorite staging trick?