Don’t let your bookcases sabotage your sale! Whether you’ve got a makeshift home library or a set of beautiful built-ins in your living room, your bookcases can either help or hurt your staging efforts.

Cramming your cases full of books and calling it a day can result in a messy appearance and cluttered-feeling space. To maximize the impact your bookcases have on buyers’ opinions, consider these three unique staging ideas…

1. Choose a Specific Color Scheme

The worst thing about a bookcase completely full of books is that the books themselves are likely very different! When staging a bookcase, decide on a color scheme and go full steam ahead; smart choices are whites/cremes or blacks/grays. Sift through your books and pack up any that don’t match the color scheme. Search the rest of the house for accessories that also “match” like vases, frames, and candles. Arrange the books and accessories shelf-by-shelf, varying whether you lay the books down flat or stand them up vertically. This technique is two-fold: It forces you to pare down the clutter and consolidates some of your household accessories!

  1. Paint the Bookcases

If you’ve got built-ins, they’re likely already painted to match the overall color scheme of your home. Stand-alone bookcases in dated wood tones or otherwise non-matching colors are worth painting if you have the time; something neutral like white or gray is usually a smart choice. Are your bookcases prominently displayed? One way to make them “pop” is to paint the back of the shelves themselves with a complimentary color. Choose a color that’s rich and ties in with the rest of the décor in the room. Fill the bookcases sporadically with well-chosen books and accessories and you’ve created a feature, not a detractor!

  1. Add Some Lights

Why not turn your bookshelves into works of art? If your cases have overhanging lips that offer coverage, invest in a few touch-button under-cabinet lights. They’re available at most home hardware stores and come in super-slim versions that are inconspicuous if placed correctly. Ditch the books altogether and arrange your shelves with various pieces of interest: Framed photo collections, small sculptural accessories, or ceramics. In the evenings – and especially before a showing! – turn on the under-cabinet lights to create an instant gallery feel.

Bookcases aren’t an afterthought! They can be a real asset to your home if you consider the ways in which you can use them to add value to your space. Need help? Call the staging experts at Creative Home Stagers to find out how easy it is to stage your home for sale.