Living, Family, Bonus Rooms, Rec Room(s), and Den
Less is more. Remember two weeks ago when we said most of staging is just packing up items you are going to pack up anyway? These areas are a great place to start. If you need help, Pinterest can give some great inspiration! Clear off all coffee tables and end tables to just 2 or 3 magazines or books and one nice vase, picture, or statue.
Entertaining comes in all shapes and sizes so making your dining room look larger is easy! Remove any tablecloths and clear off the dining room table except for one nice centerpiece and table runner if you have one. If you don’t and have some pretty placemats and gorgeous china to display you could set the table, too. Remove extra leaves and extra dining room chairs if they crowd the table or fill up the corners of the room. Extra chairs can easily be stored in the basement if needed. As with the living room section above, reducing the number of valuables in a buffet will keep eyes focused on what really matters, the functionality of the room.
The kitchen is usually the central hub of the house so the main question is what can you live without? Clear off counters leaving only a few items that you use daily. Everything else including small appliances should be kept off the counters to create space. A few large decorative items like a bowl of fruit can bring a pop of color and look homey. Remove all magnets, photos, children’s drawings, etc. from the front of the refrigerator. If there are a couple of truly necessary items, put them on the side of the refrigerator out of sight. Also, remove items from the top of the refrigerator. It screams “we have run out of space!” Large appliances like an instant or slow cooker should be stored out of sight in a pantry or the basement. Clean the stovetop and oven, exhaust fans, filter, and hoods. Replace old burner pans if they are badly stained. Don’t forget to look at the walls for grease splatters and re-paint if needed.
Clean the kitchen floor and check the number of rugs. Too many rugs are distracting. Keep the kitchen sink clean and empty daily. Some cute hand soap and new hand towels are an inexpensive way to bring in some color. Make sure the faucet is working smoothly without drips. Keep cleaning supplies out of sight under the sink. Pack up your antique plate collection or whatever will distract buyers and take up space. Lastly, don’t forget to empty the garbage regularly to prevent kitchen odors.
Make your bed the focal point with a bright new bedspread and pillows. Clear off bedside tables and chest of drawers except for a few necessary items and pictures, you can store extra books and magazines under the bed if needed. Take a look at your blinds. Are they dirty or broken? If so, perhaps remove them and use curtains instead. Keep closet doors closed. If you have a walk-in closet, keep the floor clean and free of laundry and clutter. People actually do notice a well-organized closet. One thing to keep in mind, if you have a tv hanging on the wall, those brackets generally stay behind with a sale due to the large holes left behind.
Follow the guidelines for your master. Kids have to be kids and we understand. If possible, remove all posters and keep stuffed animals and toys in one area. One thing to think about is that pictures of your children’s rooms will be on public internet sites so reconsider name signs on the walls. For safety reasons, we recommend them coming down. Remove stickers on doors. Repair nail holes and paint walls. Make a mental note of any furniture bolted into walls for safety reasons as those can leave bigger holes that will have to quickly be patched after moving. Make sure all closet doors open freely without items falling on buyers.
Put soaps and cleaners in a cupboard or reduce the number and organize them neatly on one shelf. Keep counters and sinks clean and empty. If you have soap runover, wipe down your machines. If you usually have a hanging bar for laundry, put your clothes away each morning when dry. Replace miscellaneous hangers with one style of plastic or wood hangers, never wire (thanks, Faye Dunaway!). Make sure that light bulbs are working and have adequate wattage. Many laundry rooms don’t have windows and need to be brighter.