Storage Features That Buyers Want

The Rubbermaid Home Free Series Closet Kit (Photo by Rubbermaid Products/Flickr)As an interior designer, I spend a lot of time walking around clients' homes hearing what they love, or don’t love, about their space. Generally, the number one item on the “don’t love” list is lack of storage space. 

Just the other day I was meeting with a client whose traditional four-bedroom 2,000 sq. ft. Colonial, built in 1972, was sorely lacking in closet and cabinet space throughout. The kitchen was fairly small for the size of the house and the one pantry closet was maybe twelve inches deep. These homeowners were looking at having to hire Boston-area remodeling contractors to add storage space.

Like it or not, we are a consumer society and we all simply have more things than those who came before us. Antique homes are charming, but were built in the time when the average woman had two or three dresses and maybe a couple of pairs of shoes. There were no big box stores.

Savvy home buyers are specifically looking for houses that can accommodate their lives and all the stuff that goes with it. Homes that feature great storage options will rise to the top of the must-have lists very quickly.

1) Kitchen Storage: As the heart of the home, the kitchen is generally the first place prospective buyers will focus on. An organized kitchen with great storage is hard to turn down. Make the most of pantry closets with customized built-in storage systems such as those from California Closets or shop Lowe’s for storage solutions for existing drawers and cabinets.  Every inch is important in the kitchen.

For inspiration, we look to one of our favorite bloggers, Hometalk member Emily from Decor Chick. Emily's pantry makeover is DIY fabulous and features clever storage devices like lazy Susans, creative shelving and an amazing use of attractive storage containers.

2) Walk-In Closets: Today’s busy families need to get going quickly in the morning.  A well-organized walk-in closet in the master bedroom is seen as an efficiency more than a luxury. Beautiful cabinetry by a skilled carpenter in a walk-in closet will be attention-getting, but even a smaller standard closet will benefit from a carefully planned system. Storage systems such as those from Elfa offer flexibility as needs grow and change.

3) Garage Storage: Few things are more off-putting to a potential buyer than a messy, overstuffed garage. It not only looks dirty, it might as well be announcing that storage space is tight in the house -- a bad message to broadcast. Of course, garages are workspaces and must house a wide array of items from lawn and garden tools to sports equipment.  Ceiling mounted storage systems are an excellent use of previously wasted space, which free up the floor and wall shelving units for in-season gardening supplies and the like.

We turned to another favorite blogger, Hometalk member Cheri from It's So Very Cheri. Cheri posted about how she made a magnetic tool storage bar, and we think that that's exactly the kind of creative storage technique that can tame a chaotic garage.

4) Basement storage: Basements offer immense flexibility when it comes to creating great storage spaces. Whether the basement is finished or unfinished, a dedicated storage room within the space would be a major asset in the home. Raised storage options such as sturdy wall shelves protect items from potential flooding and make access much easier.

Updated September 4, 2018.

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