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Home for Sale: 4 Easy Staging Tips

We are in the process of selling our first house and doing it DIY style too — as in For Sale By Owner (FSBO). This post is part of a series called, Home for Sale, in which I’ll share some of the details of our FSBO journey.

After years of watching HGTV — shows like Designed to Sell, House Hunters, Get it Sold, etc. — I knew going into this FSBO journey that we would need to stage our home to make it appealing in a Buyer’s market.

The staging rules that I’d heard the most often were:

  • Declutter
  • Remove Personal Items
  • Paint Neutral Colors on the Walls
  • Make Clear the Function of a Space (i.e. a Dining Room should have a dining table)

But, being a rebel {I’m so not a rebel}, I only followed some of these rules. Today I’ll share why we did {or didn’t} follow a rule and share some practical tips to go along with each one.

Disclaimer: Please don’t think we are real estate agents, or staging experts — we are just regular people trying to figure out how to sell our house and live in it during the process — without breaking the bank! 🙂

Rule #1: Create White Space by Organizing & Decluttering

To be fair, I am an organizing nerd {as seen here, here, and here} so it’s fun for me to purge, store and label things. In other words, when we started the staging process, we weren’t starting from scratch in terms of organization. But there were still a few “problem” areas.

Prior to listing our home I went through every closet, drawer and cabinet in our home. However, I didn’t throw out a ton of stuff. Instead I reorganized, container-ized, cleaned and created white space. In my opinion, white space is really what the term “declutter” is all about.

Have you ever seen those ads for closet organizers? They typically look something like this:

What the closet company wants me to think:

“WOW!! If only I had a fancy closet organization system, then I’d have soooo much extra space in my closet.”

What I actually think:

“WOW!! Who is this female that owns only 5 shirts, 3 blazers, 2 skirts and 6 dresses? She must really know how to re-mix her wardrobe. Oh, and I guess her amazing Hubby most fold all 6 of his shirts neatly on that third shelf.”

Sneaky closet organizer ad, you don’t fool me.

However, I understand the concept. When there is some white space, or empty space, in a closet it just feels bigger.

TIP #2: Hide items that aren’t typical closet storage behind clothing.

TIP #3: Leave some space between containers.<

TIP #4: Use vertical space instead of the space directly at eye level .

TIP #5: Pretty containers, like a basket, corral clutter and make creating white space easier.

Rule #2: Keep Personal Items {as long as it doesn’t distract from the space}

This is one of my all-time favorite inspiration photos for a Gallery Wall. I love how it scales from the chair rail to the ceiling and goes wall to wall — encompassing so many family photos.

The Brown’s via Apartment Therapy

But I can understand that even though this space is beautiful to me, it might be a little too personal, and the Buyer might miss some of the details of the kitchen because the photos are such a focal point. Here is another example:

via Simply Seleta

Again, a beautiful, collected, gallery wall, but it might distract from the architecture in the room for a Buyer.

However, on the flip side, the Buyer knows someone is living in the home and I think some personality gives the home warmth and comfort. And, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been creeped out by seeing a family photo during a showing.

So we left most of our photos and artwork out including the Gallery Wall in our Entry Way. In fact, I think it takes a rather boring, small Entry and makes it look much more welcoming {though, I admit, I could be biased}.

See how I got that pic of my little cutie into this post?? 🙂 I’ll be back next week for Part 2, where I’ll talk about how we worked with the second two staging tips:

  • Paint Neutral Colors on the Walls
  • Make Clear the Function of a Space

So what do you think so far? Have you staged a home? Did you leave out your personal photos? How did you declutter your closets?

More Tips to Sell a House: