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Fact: You can only binge so many episodes of Selling Sunset, Get Organized with The Home Edit and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo before you start envisioning your own home overhaul. Thankfully, custom closets and pantries have become way more affordable, and some of these organizational upgrades provide an added bonus: becoming major selling points when you go to list your home on the market. (Psst: If you’re thinking of doing so, the market’s the hottest it’s been in 14 years—especially if you live in the Midwest.)

We talked with professional organizers and real estate brokers to uncover which updates, exactly, can help you earn top dollar for your home down the road. Here’s where they recommend focusing your energy.

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1. Customized Closets

Across the board, everyone we spoke to recommended investing in a custom closet. “If you currently have a closet with the outdated single wooden bar and one shelf with cleat fixtures, it’s time for an update,” says Cary Prince, certified professional organizer and National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals board member.

Nowadays, the service is more accessible than ever, with companies like the Container Store and IKEA offering customizable wardrobe systems. Spring for a design that allows for multiple configurations—a mix of shelves, cabinets, drawers, long-hang racks and short-hang racks—to really appeal to buyers, Prince says.

And, whatever you do, know that splurging on custom shelves for your shoes will pay off. Because when you go to sell the house, clutter-free closet floors are a must, says Beatrice de Jong, consumer trends expert at OpenDoor.

organizing roi pantry
JOHN SHEARER/NETFLIX © 2020

2. A Home Edit-Worthy Pantry

With so much time spent at home, people are cooking more, and pantries have officially made a comeback. Highlighting this space with smart storage—like clear containers neatly showcasing dry goods, or snacks organized by Roy G. Biv—create a sense of order in your life right now…and help a buyer envision themselves leading an equally tidy life (even if you will be taking the OXO containers full of Cheerios with you when you move).

The key thing to keep in mind when selling? “Empty your cabinets, drawers and closets by at least 30 percent, so it looks like there’s ample room,” Prince says. “Clean, clear, uncluttered spaces will be the best investment to showcase your home.” Your cereal shelf included.

3. Add Pull-Out Drawers to Deep Cabinets

“Kitchens generally sell a home,” de Jong notes, so whatever you can do to enhance yours is a good call. From an organizational perspective, that means taking a good, hard look at your cabinets. If yours are pretty deep, like your pots and pans or canned food tends to get lost forever, Prince suggests installing pull-out drawers. Not only will they make you actually look forward to cooking—without having to take apart your whole kitchen to locate the colander—they create that “wow” reaction when potential buyers visit your home.

Bonus: If you really want to go the extra mile, install a charging station in one drawer. (In a recent survey, Masterbrand Cabinets found that 67 percent of designers were searching for smart ways to incorporate charging stations into their kitchens.)

4. Storage Stations in Your Garage

Chalk it up to the pandemic, but over the past year, we’ve all picked up a bunch more hobbies. And now, we need places to store all the extras that go along with rollerblading, painting, gardening, and so on. Instead of piling everything into the garage and hoping to avoid an avalanche the next time you open the door, invest in built-in cabinetry and hanging racks to store everything from sports equipment and camping gear to holiday decorations and, yes, even tools, Prince says.

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