One thing that often stops homeowners who must still occupy their home while it is on the market for sale from taking advantages of all that home staging has to offer is a fear of just how they will live in a staged home.
Not to sugarcoat things, there may be days when it gets a little rough. But it is perfectly possible to live in a staged home if you prepare yourself and plan accordingly. Here are some room-by-room tips to keep in mind that will be a big help.
In the Kitchen
In the kitchen, keeping your countertops and sink as clean as possible is a must. It’s okay to leave one or two essential appliances countertop – coffeemaker, microwave – as long as there is space to do so without things looking cluttered and the appliances themselves are in good condition. But counters should be kept as clear as possible of anything else.
Dirty dishes are a big no too, so try to get in the habit of keeping dirty dishes out of the sink by either washing the dishes or placing them in the dishwasher immediately after use. Keep those cupboards and that pantry clean and neat and yes, buyers will open doors to kitchen cupboards and pantries, so prepare accordingly.
If you are used to having a rug or mat near the kitchen sink it can stay, as long as it is clean, neat and in a neutral, solid color. Any other rugs should be removed though, as too many can give the impression to buyers that you flooring needs work, even if it does not.
Finally, before we ‘leave’ the kitchen, a word about cooking. If you like to cook spicy or fried foods make sure you have a plan in place to neutralize those ‘cooking smells’ quickly once you are done.
In the Bathroom
Remember when you back in college, or went to camp, and had to use a communal bathroom? Remember that tote you had with all your bathroom essentials in it? When living in a staged home it is time for that to make a comeback.
Buy a tote for every member of the family and insist that it be used. Each tote should contain their toothbrush, toothpaste, wash cloth/hand towel and all creams, gels, sprays and makeup that normally lives on the counter around the sink, tub and/or shower.
In the Bedroom
Bedrooms are the messiest near nightstands and in closets. To help remedy the clutter, hide items in a closed cabinet or nightstand. Or, purchase a basket with a lid that will slide easily under the bed.
Place all of your bedroom clutter in the basket–tissues, reading glasses, pens, journals, gels, creams, etc. It also goes without saying that you should make your bed EVERY DAY once you rise to keep your bedroom looking its best.
In the Family Room
This is where closed storage can become your new best friend. Keep children’s toys and play items in a cabinet, basket or storage ottoman for easy containment during a quick showing.
Reduce the stack of magazines on the coffee table to 1 -2 latest issues, along with your remote. Routinely sort the mail as it comes in. Mail that needs a response is immediately stored in a drawer or basket; junk mail is immediately tossed. It will help you keep your family room, kitchen or office area neater and keep wandering eyes from your personal items, too.
As we mentioned at the beginning, sometimes living in a staged home can be a little inconvenient, but it can be done. And, if it has been staged right, the inconvenience won’t last for long anyway (as staged homes sell so much faster than their unstaged counterparts)