Stage Your Home, Your Farm and Your Barn. Really.....
First Impressions Matter.
Starting with a barn that is in use for horses or other livestock, we have all experienced the "Gee, how did this room get so messy?" feeling. Keeping a working barn neat and presentable can be a chore. There is a lot to do each day and the clutter creeps up on us.
Everyone is guilty of dropping things in a corner or in an empty stall "for now" as we promise ourselves to put it away later. Before we know it, the space is a mess, dusty and full of cobwebs that seemed to grow overnight. Ugh. Cobwebs and dust can be the biggest battles, even in the tidiest of barns.
When preparing your barn for eventual sale, it is best to organize and clean up section by section. Concentrate on tack, feed and equipment rooms first and foremost as these are the spaces that buyers hone in on first. The goal, just like in the house, is to make these spaces feel large and able to accommodate a buyer's things.
Tack room: It is time to remove all the tack that you haven't used in ages (how is it that I have one horse and 8 saddle pads?). Catalog and sell things online if you have time, take it all to a consignment shop or, if you can't part with it, pack it up and put it in storage. A 3 stall barn should have a maximum of 3 saddles, bridles, girths and pads. Everything else associated with each horse, such as boot and wraps, can be stored in totes beneath the saddle racks.
Before sweeping or using a shop vac, use a Swiffer floor duster to get the dust off the walls and cobwebs out of the corners, especially in areas that are hard to reach - it works great! Wear safety glasses to keep debris from falling in your eyes, although the Swiffer throwaway pads really do collect most of the dust and dirt. Clean the floor and keep it clean.
Befores and Afters of the Barn
Click on a Photo to Enlarge
Before: We are all too busy and we tend to save things "just in case" we need them. The Before photo shows LOTS of empty grain bags, 17 to be exact. And who doesn't save baling twine? As the Macgyvers of our barns, we use it for EVERYTHING. This barn owner seems to have it categorized into sisal and synthetic, or maybe it is just color-coordinated. It also looks like a couple of winter blankets haven't made it to the laundry yet as they are temporarily hanging here collecting dust. This gives the illusion that the barn doesn't have enough room for everything "horse".
After: This same space (8' x 11.5') is now much more spacious in appearance, even after a wall shelf was added for supplements and 6 bales of hay were stacked in it. The buyer now sees room for these same things and MORE. The webs were knocked down, the floor swept, winter blankets cleaned and properly stored and cobweb-catching twine is now in one of the feed bags, stored out of sight.