I recently went through the process of staging my home for sale. Even though my house did not require MAJOR staging, there was still quite a bit of work to get it ready for viewings.
Lesson 1: Start in advance
Depending on how much work is required, it will take several hours, or days, to get your house in tip top condition. It will probably take longer than you think. So, don’t wait till the day before the house goes on the market, or the photographer comes, to start working.
Lesson 2: Work room-by-room
I identified the ‘less frequented’ rooms (extra bedrooms, dining room, living room and a second bathroom) and the rooms which are lived in on a daily basis (kitchen, my office, our bedroom, our bathroom). Then, I started with the easiest rooms first and worked through each one.
Lesson 3: Bedrooms must look neat
- remove all personal items, clothes, makeup, etc from sight
- empty and hide the waste basket
- hide the laundry basket
- remove everything from night tables, including tissue boxes
- make the beds and add extra pillows and decorative cushions
- open the curtains
- and, air the room out!
Lesson 4: Bathrooms must be practically empty
- remove all products from the counter tops
- remove all products from the shower or bath tub
- CLEAN toilet, sinks and mirrors
- put out clean (and, preferably, new towels)
- sweep and wash the floor
Lesson 5: Office struggle
The office is where things tend to accumulate in my house. And, I must admit, it is NOT the prettiest room, it could use a facelift….I am still hoping that it will get one very soon , but, meanwhile, the staging must go on :).
The office needed some significant de cluterring – boxes from electronic equipment, office supplies, old CDs, some out of date books and reading material, invoices to be processed, bills to be paid, and all my everyday paperwork lying in not-so-neat piles.
- went through each pile and threw out 3 full garbage bags of unnecessary stuff. Very satisfying!
- bought baskets from Dollar store and hid the small stuff in them
- bought plastic bins and put away some papers which must be kept then stored the bins in the basement
- remove photos, diplomas, trophies etc
- whatever is left and needed, organized neatly on my desk
Lesson 6: Kitchen rules
The kitchen was prepared last, as it’s the central hub of our house.
- do NOT cook for a few hours before the visit
- empty the trash
- remove practically EVERYTHING from the counter tops
- wash all surfaces
- clean the floor
- a bowl of lemons or a bouquet of fresh flowers makes the room look so much more appealing
- tried olfactory staging – boiled some orange peels, few sprigs of rosemary and some vanilla essence in a bit of water for at least 45 minutes – the house smelled amazing!
Conclusion: every house needs some staging and preparation to be showcased properly. Staging my home was an excellent reminder of that!