We have a lot of stuff. Some people have a little bit and some people have quite a lot. Our possessions can offer us comfort, support, and for some, anxiety. Our stuff changes as we grow older and family dynamics change over time. Stuff can be clothes, work items, outdoor gear, treasured family mementos, holiday decorations and on and on. Having clean and conditioned spaces to put away our items helps to de-clutter our bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms and offices. Having dedicated areas for items helps us organize and take better care of our items. Look at how many Netflix shows are dedicated to organizing our homes and our stuff. There are countless Instagram pages dedicated to ways to organize and store our items in fun and creative ways. Proper storage and having items easily found allows them to be used more often and be taken care of. It also allows us to easily remove items that we no longer need. This is much more difficult if these items are buried in a box in the back of the garage. Keep in mind that many buyers who move every few years due to employment don’t ever fully unpack.
Having a clean area within the home to keep boxes of mementos until the next move is something to keep in mind.
Oversized coat closets, walk in pantries, walk in closets and mudrooms are some of the lowest price per square foot areas to build however they are quite often overlooked in home design. The old idea that people just use the garage or the attic needs to be rethought. Attics are not conditioned spaces and treasured items tend to degrade faster in unconditioned spaces.
Most homes attics are also very shallow and don’t allow for storage. Garages can be dirty rooms and subject to possible flooding, are most often not conditioned and also remove the ability to park vehicles inside. Here are some suggestions:
Not just one on the main floor but two of them. One for guests, one for the resident. Maybe one of them stores the vacuum..or the extra leaf in the dining room table. Make the coat closet deeper than the normal 2’-0” so that luggage may be stored inside or additional racks below for shoes.
This spaces take much of the dirty burden away from the rest of the main floor. A bench with open storage underneath gives space for winter hats, gloves and scarfs. The dog’s toys might be stored underneath. A drop counter gives the buyer a place to drop their keys, cell phone, receipts out of their pocket and it’s a place to place grocery bags before coming into the home. The open floorspace is a place to take off boots, take off wet and snowy clothing before it comes into the house. Additional closets and bins allow this space to take the burden of stuff away from the dining room table or the laundry room. Mudrooms are often the place where a litterbox for the house cat will reside or it’s the dog’s home overnight in their crate. This is not a glamourous space however the mudroom is a very useful and very practical space. It is also an area quite often overlooked in home design or if there is a mudroom, it is very small and just has a 30” wide bench with nothing else.
Oversized Working Pantries:
Not just a corner pantry or a cabinet pantry, an oversized working pantry will hold large amounts of food supplies but can also hold cleaning supplies, grocery bags and other general household items. A lot of buyers have rechargable vacuums. An outlet in the pantry or two is a must not just for recharable cleaning appliances but also small kitchen appliances. This allows these items to stay out of the kitchen. Provide extra deep solid shelving for larger items. If room allows, a full size bank of lower cabinets provides extra areas to store large items that are out of sight.
Another item that is overlooked in many home designs is the linen closet. Every bathroom should have one either inside or just outside in the hallway. Being able to properly store towels, extra sheets and pillows, toiletries and other household bedding items keeps them clean and also keeps them off the countertops in the bathroom. Remember that most bedding items are quite large when folded so make at least one linen closet at least 6’-0” wide.
Oversized Closets for Bedrooms:
Think of not just clothing items going into walk in closets but also long term clothing storage for different seasons, holiday decorations, Christmas gift storage, family mementos and luggage. I have told customers over the years that no one has ever said that a primary bedroom has too big of a closet and how they wont buy the home because the closet is too big. If you think as a builder that the closet is too big, there will be buyers who will think otherwise. Think of a bedroom closet also as a place of retreat, luxury, playhouse for the kids and also a place for a temporary nursery or a hide-away home office.
Don’t Forget the Bonus Room, Loft, Office and Laundry Closet:
Bonus rooms, lofts, offices and laundry rooms also need closets. These spaces need places to store board games, puzzles, work from home items, paper, kids crafts, extra pillows, seasonal storage and washing/clothes cleaning supplies. Remember that every item that has a purposeful place to be stored is one less item that is being left out on a countertop or in the corner of a room.