Hide your cleaning supplies, toaster, coffeemaker and teakettle. When you sell a house, you're essentially selling space, and you can maximize the effect of space more readily in the kitchen than anywhere else. It's all about surfaces: gleaming, spacious, bright and ready. An ornamental bowl of polished fruit is OK, but in general, keep your surfaces as immaculate and uncluttered as possible.
Shining and polishing your fixtures is essential. Aging cabinetry can be spiced up with inexpensive pulls and handles, and you can always stain or paint the doors themselves.
If your kitchen is unusually dark, take care to brighten it as much as possible. Darkness can be mistaken for dinginess. Install sheer cafe curtains for natural light, and use recessed track lighting to show off your counter space. Use as much white as possible if painting cabinets, and keep the walls and pantry door neutral and soft.
Your kitchen should be as bright and uncluttered as possible. Empty your refrigerator and cabinets of all but the essentials, and organize what's left: alphabetize spices, turn all the mug handles the same way and stack pantry goods from large to small. These are subtle ways to indicate the orderly, organized life your buyers will be living in their new home.
For more great tips on staging and organizing your home, check out the links on the next page.