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Staging is as much about what’s not in your home as it is about what is. Before your house goes on the market, it’s important to take a hard look at everything inside it – from the personal items to the furniture to the dust bunnies. While many of your belongings can probably stay, here are a few things that need to get the boot.

  1. Photos of your family.
    It’s nothing personal, but your family pictures need to be packed up and placed in storage. Wedding pictures, school portraits, and that adorable family pic on the beach you’ve got framed over the mantel? Those just remind potential buyers that someone else lives here which makes it more difficult for them to imagine themselves living in your home. If you’re into photography, trade out the portraits for more general images of landscapes, architecture, or travel.
  2. Pet beds and toys.
    You love your pet, but what if the right buyer for your home just isn’t a dog person? Pets can make a home feel a little worn, so it’s a smart idea to remove any reminders of their presence for the time-being. Toys and other paraphernalia make the floor look cluttered, and the water and food bowl most certainly need to be put away. Unless your pet bed is a work of art (hint: it’s probably not!), find a good place to store it during showings then bring it back out at night. And open those windows or invest in a fabric refresher, too!
  3. Extra furniture.
    Wait, you have extra furniture? Probably! Most homes look much bigger when a little of the furniture is removed; this is often when professional staging is most useful. A few pieces to consider storing include chairs in the living room, storage benches, barstools, and non-traditional seating like beanbag chairs or “poufs.” You may not need both those nightstands or that china hutch, either, and it’s definitely time to store all those exercise machines. When in doubt, store it.
  4. Half of your clothes.
    People tend to fill up their closets over time regardless of how many belongings they start with. If your closets are packed – and they probably are! – it’s time to purge. Try to remove at least half of the clothes and stored items in each closet, and organize what’s left so it looks neat and easy to get to. This will create a feeling of space which won’t leave buyers wondering whether they’ll outgrow your home too quickly.


Home staging is both a science and an art. It’s all about adding and taking away exactly the right pieces, and a professional stager can help! Staging gets sellers higher ROI and a faster sale almost every time.

Need help staging your home? Creative Home Stagers is your local staging expert.