You’ve made the decision to sell your home, and you want to stage your house for sale while living in it. You’ve found a great real estate agent and have staged your home to sell. Somehow as you’ve been staging your home with professional stagers, magic happens. Rooms look bigger. Décor looks more modern. Everything is crisp and clean and new and you wonder why you’re moving. But then you remember why… Anyway! We digress.
The point is that your house looks great! Oh, but staging a house while living in it? How is that possible? Can you live in your home while it is staged and not mess it up? Here are a few home staging tips that should help sell your house:
1) Keep an extra hand towel in bathrooms
There is likely a pretty, perfectly hung hand towel by the sink. Don’t use it. Have another one folded by the sink for people to actually use. During showings or open houses for potential buyers, put it nicely in a drawer or under the sink. Little things like this matter and will help your house sell faster.
2) Pare down bedding
Whatever makes it easy to make a bed look freshly made is key. You don’t need 14 pillows and a teddy bear (yikes…especially not a teddy bear). Allow the stager to put away all the extra pillows and bedroom accoutrements in your storage space. It is your job to keep bedroom clean-up simple and stager-approved. Almost as if nobody has lived in your house.
3) Baskets and multipurpose furniture
Stagers find amazing ways to stash, store, and hide personal items. Learn from them – and learn this one quickly. Baskets and multipurpose furniture will become your best friends! If you are going to allow yourself to use that blanket on the couch in the living room, have a nice place to fold it up and store it when you’re done. If a stager puts out a blanket, it’s a good idea to not use that one.
4) Walk in, put it away
Did you used to just drape your coat somewhere and kick off your shoes? Do you throw stuff on the kitchen counter? Well, not anymore in a staged home. But guess what? This is good training. Getting into the routine of putting away the items you wear or bring in from the car is actually a good thing. You may be forming a quality habit for a lifetime. Boy, the entryway looks so much better, too!
5) Ditch your shoes
For those who are used to wearing shoes all the way to the kitchen or bedroom, retrain yourself in this regard, too. Likely the floors, carpets, and area rugs are freshly deep cleaned, and one muddy walk or even just some gravel or grass can ruin the look. Get into the habit of taking them off (and putting them away) right when you get home.
6) Charge and hide
We live in a world of chargers. But chargers in every room that move around based on needs ends in cord chaos. You don’t want that. Have (or keep) a charging station in one place that hides cords neatly. Use the chargers and keep charged up (helps for last-minute showings) but keep it neat!
7) Simple foods
We highly recommend eating healthfully during the selling process. It keeps emotions in check, families happy and healthy…the reasons are numerous. That said, it can be easily done by eating simply. Unless it’s a special occasion, there is no need to make homemade lasagna or a multi-layer cake in a staged kitchen. If it calls for a lot of flour, maybe reconsider.
8) Leave the guest room and bathroom alone
Most people already do – they are the guest quarters for a reason. But consider this: if it is staged and perfect and you don’t need to use it, then let it be. When you’re trying to live in a staged home, it’s best to think of it as off limits.
9) Have a process for dishes
It really should be this: eat, rinse, put in the dishwasher. But if there is another process for you, such as someone does them every night before bed or something else, do what works. But think about how beautiful the kitchen looks with it’s clear counters and clean sink.
10) Breathe and enjoy the clutter-free lifestyle
There is some added stress when selling your home living in a staged home, but it can also be very calming. Research shows that clutter adds stress, so this may be an excellent opportunity to breathe deeply and enjoy the new feel of your current home.