Why Staging Your House Before Selling Is Critical

Staging sets the scene for your home. This allows a buyer to have an emotional connection to the space you have. Staging your space is done in layers.

Base: Primary Item

  The most necessary items needed for the purpose of the room.  For example a bed, a desk, a table and chairs

Layer 1:  Secondary items that contribute to the function of the space

  Side tables, lighting, occasional seating

Layer 2:  Accent Pieces

  Rugs, Artwork.  These items accent the “style” or bridge differing styles with color and texture

Layer 3:  “Icing” Pieces

  These are comfort pieces and add to the luxury of the space.  They beckon the viewer to feel compelled to interact within the space.

A well staged space will have a common thread that runs throughout the design. But don’t dwell on a single tone.  Just as a song, a well staged room has highs and lows to engage a person using the space.  Find a base color and accent with both lighter and deeper shades.  Accent a room with accessories that round out the theme.   Most items in a room should be a “middle” tone with a few special accents.  Too many and there they get lost to an overstimulated mind.  Use multiple fabric textures between the soft seating, the floor coverings and accent pillows.

The most challenging area can be closet space:

Notice the space is light and airy and is mostly white hangers and is not bulging with clothing. The majority of clothing was packed up to give a bigger feel to the room.

You will notice all white (Sherwin Williams Extra White) on trim, doors, and cabinets. The walls in most spaces is (Sherwin Williams Versatile Grey) and the Bathroom Vanity and Kitchen Island (Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal but paint from Sherwin Williams) the closet ceiling is a foam green to create a more spacious feel. Paint is an easy fix to stage a house and can add a large value to the end price. More pictures to come on the before and after.

Special thanks to @nthdegreecompanies specifically Neal, Jeff, Alan, and Derek.

Check out their website Nth Degree Realty

Home Staging Checklist


  • Evaluate each room from a buyer’s perspective
  • Talk to a local real estate agent and professional home stager for customized advice
  • Consider a home inspection to identify any issues that should be fixed prior to selling

Declutter and Depersonalize

  • Go through every room and get rid of anything you no longer want or need
  • When in doubt, choose neutral colors: white bath towels, white bedding
  • Depersonalize the décor 
  • Remove wallpaper, popcorn ceilings, and outdated carpet
  • Less visual clutter – bookshelves a few select items 
  • Pack away family photos,  certifications, toys, kids art, and pet supplies
  • Remove bulky furniture
  • Keep blinds open during a showing; natural light always
  • Clean the house thoroughly


  • Clean the interior of the cabinets, appliances, and entire kitchen
  • Evaluate the appliances; consider updating (stainless always)
  • Clean everything off the countertops to show as much counter space as possible; select 1 or 2 decorative items such as jar or vase with flowers
  • Put away small appliances
  • Remove the trash cans out of the kitchen to the garage for showings 
  • Neaten up the pantry; box up extras and keep a minimalist feel 
  • If cabinets are outdated, consider a fresh coat of paint and new hardware
  • Remove duplicate bowls, dishes, pots and pans; keep one set of attractive matching dishes. Do the same with cookware, flatware, and glassware
  • Decluttering shows how much space you have
  • Under the kitchen sink, remove everything that is not needed 
  • Upgrade light fixtures

Living Room

  • Remove bulky and unnecessary furniture; take the rest to the garage or basement
  • Create an open feel 
  • Minimal decor on bookshelves and on the coffee table
  • Outdated furniture or bold colors furniture – use a neutral slipcover 
  • Pack up video games, movies, magazines
  • Add colorful accent pillows or blankets to chairs, sofa: go for symmetry
  • Add lighting – lamps and chandeliers 
  • If you have one, clean out the fireplace and stage it (such as with a stack of wood or tools)
  • Slideshow of beautiful images on your tv like a screensaver during showings


  • Gender neutral all bedrooms
  • Depersonalize – no pictures, floral things 
  • Surfaces should be clear – maybe a flower 
  • Put away jewelry and other valuables in a safe place
  • Declutter and organize your closet (more on that later)
  • Create spacious feel to all bedrooms- remove bulky furniture


  • Clean and sanitize – polish everything
  • Make necessary repairs like re-caulking around the tub and sink
  • Polish everything
  • Remove outdated elements like unappealing tile and flooring
  • Declutter the countertop and cabinets and organize the latter
  • All white towels – think spa experience! New bath mat, white shower curtain
  • Remove everything off toilet, sinks, all personal items – medicine, toothbrushes should be out of sight
  • Remove stains and rust; consider regrouting and scrubbing.


  1. Tackle one closet at a time. 
  2. One season of clothes only
  3. Same hangers (preferably white) same direction
  4. PACK away for future. Put in garage, basement, or in storage.
  5. Thoroughly clean the closet.
  6. Paint it white.

Other Spaces

  • Address any awkward spaces and stage them to make them more appealing 
  • Declutter your home office, store any personal documents, and clear space
  • Declutter and organize the garage
  • Declutter! Consider it pre-packing for your move. Box up clothes, books, anything not used- consider placing in the garage or a storage unit. 
  • Get rid of all personalization items and posters. 
  • Keep closets, basements, and attics as empty as possible to maximize the appearance of storage space
  • Swap dim lights for high-wattage bulbs.
  • Check doors and drawers and make sure they are clean and open; hardware is clean and replace if needed
  • Hardwood- consider sanding down and restaining
  • Hire a professional cleaning company to deep clean prior to pictures

Curb Appeal and Backyard

  • Powerwash the outside of the house; driveway, front porch, sidewalk, gutters
  • Make sure mailbox is nice, labeled
  • Make any necessary repairs to the exterior of the home
  • Add a fresh coat of paint to the front door and garage doors especially if the colors are unconventional and make sure any light fixtures are clean and updated
  • Consider a fresh coat of paint to any bright garage doors or front doors – black or white should be considered
  • Front porch should be clean and have a new welcome mat
  • Grass should be watered, cut, fertilized, bushes and shrubs neat – call a landscaping company if you need help
  • Make sure bugs, insects, spider areas are swept clean
  • Hide recycle bins and trash cans
  • Organize outside wood piles and twigs.
  • Create a nice outdoor living space; consider the outdoor living space as a second living room

Extra Touches

  • Hide any pet items: bowls, beds, and toys
  • Keep the house smelling fresh and clean
  • Switch out art for neutral and appropriate



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A travel, home, & lifestyle blog written by Heidi Stevenson. Follow along for affordable ways to travel, sophisticated and savvy style, expensive looks for less for the home, and everyday style



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