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One thing about being a real estate agent – you become very comfortable looking into other people’s closets.  It’s just part of the job.  Closet space is IMPORTANT – we have lots of stuff these days.  The homes built in the 1960s or earlier generally have very very small closets compared to what we’re used to today.   Lots of times, owners have added on closets or expanded closets (one of my relatives even made a small bedroom into a closet).  In any event, closet space, and storage in general, is an important aspect of a home for most buyers.

Now when I go to a friend’s home to socialize I sometimes find myself automatically opening closet doors as I’m getting a tour of the house.  Not cool.  I catch myself right away, and people laugh.  But now I try to remind myself when the house I’m viewing is not on the market to NOT look in the closets unless prompted.  Looking into closets has become an automatic reflex.

When we put my now-husband’s home on the market, in one of the closets we left a piece of artwork that consisted of a stylized hanging skeleton, hoping that buyers would get a kick out of it and feel warmly towards the home.  Okay, it’s a stretch – but the more you can make buyers feel GOOD when they are in your house, the more likely they will buy it!  The house sold, but I have no clue whether or not the skeleton had anything to do with it – I am pretty certain it didn’t hurt, however.

I got the idea for this blog from one of my favorite columnists, Joel Stein, who writes “The Awesome Column” in Time Magazine.  Stein’s article is about “stuff” and “clutter” in general and was based on the book “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century”, about an 11 year UCLA project studying the homes of 32 Southern California middle class families.  I can’t wait to read it.  If you’re as fascinated as I am about homes, home life, and what people use and keep, I also recommend Bill Bryson’s “At Home: a Short History of Private Life”.  Bryson goes room by room – including the closets – to describe how the modern home got to where it is today.  Happy reading!  Excuse me now, I’ve got to go clean out those closets…..

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