3 Steps on How to Stage Your Home for Sale

  • Post last modified:January 4, 2021
  • Post category:Homemaking

The weather is warming, school is ending and it might be that perfect time to make a change. Spring and early summer is a popular time to sell homes. While so much goes into planning your next location, selling your current home usually comes first. We’ve sold a few homes with our large family and I have 3 steps on how to stage your home for sale. Mind you, these are ideas.

We’ll focus on clutter, cleaning and decor. Maybe you’ll see something that helps you out to prepare for the sale. When I follow my list, I feel fairly confident knowing I’ve done just about everything I can to stage my home for the next owner.

3 Steps on How to Stage Your Home For Sale

In Order of Importance According to Me

Blue Table with Pictures and Flowers

1. Clutter

Plain and simply, remove the clutter in your home. If you must leave some things available, nicely box them where you can still get at it. If you have so much stuff that boxing creates a bigger mess – take things to a storage unit. I’ll list by room what clutter really consists of. All else is because you live there, most reasonable people will understand that, so don’t sweat. CLEANING COMES AFTER CLUTTER! I’ll get to that, brace yourself.

  • Kitchen – Move or box most items on the counter you can live without while the home is for sale. Dehydrators, knick-knacks, extra canisters, blenders etc. Search the cabinets and pantry – you mean people look in there? YES! I would, if I was interested in space. Neaten up and leave them tidy. Old 1/2 bags of anything removed. Put food in nice plastic containers and use chalk board labels. Glasses and dishes neat, no broken stuff kept. Take out old plastic containers and leave just a few useable ones. Organize and dump clutter in the refrigerator. Buy containers made for the refrigerator to organize. I’ve seen ones for eggs, meat, bottles and more. Take out everything from under the sink, keep one plastic tub with organized needs. You get the idea.
  • Bedrooms/Closet – Box, and box more. Put the junk away or get rid of it! No books or other keepsakes need to be out. Keep only the clothes in season in the closet, including shoes. Make it open, but, you still live there, people know this.

Replace Bulky Furniture Add Mirror Steps Staging Home Sale

I had an older looking desk here. It was falling apart and just looked blah. Fixed. What did I do with everything? Moved my printer to our boy’s room because they had room. Got a closet filing cabinet and threw tons of stuff out. When you really look, you’ll find stuff you don’t need.

  • Bathrooms – No messy toiletries on the tub, shower or toilet area. Throw it out or use it. Do not keep 10 bottles of your favorite shampoo in sight. Razors and such must be put away for showings. Get some nice containers for under the cabinets and keep only essentials. Box medicines so you can still get to them. Consider adding a towel rod to hang more towels if needed.

Clean Bathroom Matching Towels

Bathrooms and kitchens are two of the most important areas to get sparkling!

Clean laundry room steps for home sale staging

Overly fancy? No. Just a simple clean and useful area. We added cabinets. Cost was about $200. Is laundry okay in the dryer? Yes. You live there. Is laundry okay on the floor? NO, for obvious reasons.

  • Laundry Room – Put soap in nice containers. Put up shelves if needed, show organization. Have nice baskets for dirty laundry. Consider finding new rags in the towel closet and don’t overload it. Fold each towel neatly and each washcloth into a triangle. My brother laughed at me once for doing that.
  • General Space – Just pack up what you can do without for a while and replace your ‘needs’ with nice decor, like baskets or candles, or nothing. Clean off desks, clean out any storage cabinets or spaces. Bookshelves, make as neat as possible.
  • Garage – Clean up stains on the garage floor, arrange bikes and toys neatly, clean off the top of refrigerator if you have one. Put up shelves or get hooks to hang things if needed. Don’t leave cars in the garage or driveway for showings, if possible.
  • Thought – Bulky Furniture Can Look Like Clutter – Not everyone can replace furniture because of budget, meet us. You can store it, but consider if you really need it. Storage units cost money, so replacing might make more sense. Big furniture is an eyesore, and sometimes plain ugly. We decided sell our bulkier furniture, replace what we could, and leave space open if we couldn’t find something attractive. You don’t want space so bare that someone wouldn’t know what to do with it, and you also don’t want it so filled the buyer can’t envision something great. Furniture that is old and doesn’t match anything needs to go, and good grief don’t try to decorate ugly stuff.
  • Yard – I’ll avoid a large list here. Your goal is to make the yard clutter-free, useful and attractive. Too many yard ornaments are tacky. Make wood piles clean and neat. Gardening things cleaned up and nice. Throw stuff out or sell it.

2. CLean – before the sign goes up

Don’t think someone won’t turn and walk right out. Clean the house. Don’t just surface clean. NOTE: Do not hide cosmetic flaws such as spots on carpet, or a stain on the countertop. If you can’t fix them, leave them open to see. If you try to hide them, they will wonder what else your hiding. Just do your best and be honest. I had a lady pick up all my rugs in a home we had for sale once. I put them there for prettiness, she thought otherwise.

Here’s a good start list for cleaning:

  • Clean the front door area. Clean the concrete to the walk-up. Paint your front door and trim. Add a wreath to the door. Add flower pots, even hooks to hang baskets of flowers if you haven’t yet.
  • Clean all floors and trim in the house. Polish hardwood, and shine up the floors. Give the children toothbrushes and have them go through every piece of trim and scrub it off. Paint trim if needed.
  • In the bathrooms, replace anything broken. Shine the faucets up in the sink and shower, no water stains. Clean out drains. Use a toothbrush to scrub the drain areas and around the shower doors. Clean the light fixtures over the sink. Scrub the toilets and replace the lids if they are cracked or stained. Caulk the toilets, tub, and sink area. To keep our bathroom shower doors clean and squeaky, we’ve always used a squeegee on the glass and shower walls, and wiped off the chrome after each use. Our glass showers always look nice that way.
  • In the kitchen, clean all cabinets and use wood polish to shine them up. Clean the light fixtures over the table or anywhere you have glass fixtures. Use a ceramic cleaner to scrub the stove-top, and a good oven cleaner for the oven. Shine the kitchen sink with a scrub, and use a toothbrush around the drain and hard areas to clean. Clean the refrigerator if it’s staying. Clean the microwave, toaster, and pantry. All must all be sparkling with no crumbs anywhere. When you show the house, unplug the coffee pot and toaster, make sure they are sparkling.
  • Furniture needs to be polished up, use a polish with lemon (hint). If your wood furniture has stains, this sounds abrasive but scrubbing bubbles cleaned off the little stains here and there. I then drenched it in wood polish cleaner and the furniture looks new.
  • Windows all need to be see-through. Don’t use vinegar to clean, it smells. In fact, this isn’t the time to be organic. Just clean it and make it smell NICE. Consider pressure-washing your outside windows.
  • Dust slats on wood blinds with a furniture cloth, window-sills, ceiling fans, and anywhere you think dust might be hiding.
  • The laundry room needs to smell good and be clean. Shine up everything you can. Pull out the washer and dryer and clean behind them. You’ll find socks. You’ll find dust. Consider leaving a box of dryer sheets open on a shelf. That smells nice.

Pretty rock garden to show your house for sale

Outside Yard 

  • No leaves or weeds in the yard or garden. Get the yard useful. Add fresh mulch or dirt to gardens. Clean off concrete porches and patios and driveways with a pressure washer, no oil stains, rust or dirt. Consider staining or painting decks. Clean cracks that have weeds in them. Get some Scott’s Weed and Feed, get that grass green!  No junkie bbq’s, fire-pits, chairs, or tables etc. Clean out drains and gutters.

Green grass steps for staging home for sale

3. Decor and color

This is really a simple task and helps a little to when your home appears cozy and you can pull a little color from each room around the house. Sometimes it’s very obvious to coordinate colors. If you have a hard time use a color tool like this one.

Use a color tool to help add color to home, steps to stage home for sale

What I normally do is hold the tool up and fanned out to whatever I want to coordinate. I can quickly see colors that look nice as a coordinate. Easy. Colors that are best when staging your home for sale are neutral colors. I do love light gray and white trim rooms. Keep it low toned. If you have wild colors, consider repainting. The only room in my house that is painted is my kitchen, as I wanted to separate it from our living area, which is sitting right next to it.

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Match up a few towels and items for a shelf. I would keep bathrooms white or beige and use towels to make color stand out. Green plants with green pots look nice!

Bathroom Plants and Shelves

Clean and organized. The shelves provided not only prettiness, but usefulness!


Speaking of plants, they give life to dead areas. Plants are a super choice to fill an area that needs love but not clutter.

Plants give life to dead areas when staging a home for sale

Plants give life to dead areas!

Bluesplash flowers steps in staging a home for sale

Even if they’re fake. I pulled some kitchen colors up my stairwell.

A twist of color in one area, steps for staging a home for sale

Add splashes of a new color in one area. I call my entryway the red hall. I just like putting little red decor here and there in that area.

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