by Jannis Vann, RESA member
Living clutter-free is not the norm for most of us in our daily lives, but as we prepare to list our homes for sale, making an effort to change these habits is the first step to proper home staging and living in a Listed House.
For those like me, who believe that out of sight is all it takes to have a clean house, we need to take a tip from a recent client. Her home was so organized! Her storage areas were already staged, just in the way she lived every day. Well organized cabinets, neat closets, not overly crowded with clothes and “stuff.” Pantry and laundry room were well appointed! Many of the preliminary requests a stager makes were already done because she just lived that way. Unfortunately, this is not the norm.
A big part of the job of staging a home includes all aspects the staging process, down to the closets and cabinets. People will open every door and drawer if it stays with the house. Think about that catch all drawer in the kitchen or the hall closet that holds everything but coats. Yikes!
If you are serious about selling your house and know you will be moving, start that spring cleaning early. Don’t wait until you have listed the house to get started. Preparation will not go to waste. Even if you wind up living in the house for a few months while the house is on the market, you will be living without the clutter and things you can do without anyway. Pack it up!
Start by making all your storage areas clutter free. Go through each area. Review what you have, store what can be done without for a while and consign or throw the rest away. You’ll enjoy your daily living more and best of all, there will be less panic when you do receive that offer wanting you to close in 30 days. Prepare to move and you will be on your way to your new home in record time and without so much stress.
Another idea that will help keep the house clutter free is to rent a storage area. You don’t want to store these things in the garage or basement. These areas need to be staged, too. The storage space can be organized as well, allowing you to have access to anything there without the stress of having to find something that is buried in the back of the unit. Depending on the season, store all holiday items in marked boxes and bins. This will help with life in general. Finding things after the move will be a breeze. Also, consider your formal items. It is unlikely you will be entertaining after listing your home. Carefully pack up your good china and other special items for entertaining that are used only occasionally. This will free up a lot of cabinet and closet space in the house. You will also be able to minimize any hutches or decorative areas that will need to be staged.
Now, take the time to clean, clean, clean! The closer to “new” a house looks, the better it will show. Remember, no area of the house is off limits. Also, if you clean each area after you have de-cluttered you can do this a room or area at a time. It is not so overwhelming.
Once the house is clean and de-cluttered, staging will be all that is left to do. Staging will be like the icing on the cake. A professional can review your home during the de-cluttering faze to help you determine which pieces of furniture might best be removed. These can go to the storage unit along with the boxes and bins. The stager will then come in and transform your spaces into rooms that will show the house at its best!
That sold sign will only be days away.
Jannis Vann, RESA member
Innovations in Staging