Before a home inspection can tell home buyers about the state of the plumbing in your kitchen, potential future owners will peruse the space themselves.

While much attention focuses on having some upgrades made in your kitchen to help it sell, the room doesn't always need new cabinets, countertops and appliances to impress buyers. This is not to say those changes aren't helpful, but they're not always necessary, especially if your kitchen isn't too outdated. Sometimes all you need to do is grab some cleaning supplies and give the room a good scrub.

Here are some steps you can take to organize your kitchen without incurring the high cost of renovating:


Much of the time, the messy appearance of a kitchen can be the result of disorganization. As with staging your home overall, you want to create the feeling of open space: You want buyers to envision their own belongings in the kitchen. This means clearing your countertops of unnecessary appliances and other items. If you're not using your Panini press or waffle iron on even a weekly basis, you likely don't need it on display.

However, this doesn't mean you can stash everything away in your cabinets and drawers. Home buyers like to look at each nook and cranny, so you want your storage space to be orderly. Empty everything out, and develop a system for how you're going to place your spices, flatware and canned goods. 

Scrub everything

While this tip may seem like common sense, many sellers forget to take care of the week-old food stains in their kitchen. Wipe down all surfaces, including countertops and stovetops where stains tend to appear, and ensure that there aren't sticky spots. Thoroughly sweep and mop the floors, even under appliances if they can be easily moved.

Make sure your dishes are washed, the sink is clean and there isn't any cookware sitting on the stove. If there are chandeliers or other hanging features, be sure to dust them. Also, check for cobwebs and dust bunnies in the corners of every room.

Improve the ambiance

Once everything sparkles, consider adding a few fragrant flowers or scented candles with a light aroma. Bad smells can be a turn off for home buyers, so avoid preparing foods with particularly strong scents while showing your home. Not only can offensive odors affect the kitchen, but they can also spread to other areas of the house.