Home Staging 101: Undercover Clutter
For home stagers, decluttering should be a top priority. Although your job lies in making a client’s home look livable and stylish, there’s a bigger culprit behind why that house just won’t sell…
And the culprit is clutter.
To be clear, a cluttered room is not necessarily a messy room. Identifying where clutter hides will raise your home staging game to the next level. Find out how clutter can sneak into your home staging projects where you least expect it!
As a professional home stager, you obviously know the importance of a tidy storage space. Potential buyers want to know exactly how much storage there is, so they’ll inspect the garage and closets closely. So, how do you ban clutter if you’ve already tidied the closets?
Well, it’s not how tidy something is that really matters – it’s how clear it is. For example, a garage that has a spotless floor but uses excessive ceiling and wall storage will look cluttered. The same principle applies to closets: vertical storage helps keep the floor clear, but you shouldn’t be overloading storage areas with shelving. The best solution? Donate, throw away, or sell any unwanted items. If it hasn’t been touched in over 6 months, there’s a good chance your clients don’t need it.
Trust us, once you banish excess items from shelves and hangers you’ll notice a HUGE difference in the appearance of storage spaces. Plus, it’s way easier to find what you need!
You’ll be able to spot this clutter culprit easily. It comes in the form of a large table in a small dining room, or a king-sized bed in a little bedroom. If there’s not enough space to comfortably walk and turn around, consider using smaller furniture. Although large pieces of furniture don’t look untidy, they make guests feel squished and make the room seem smaller!
Don’t underestimate how lack of space will affect potential buyers. No one wants a small and cluttered home, so maximizing space is a key target for home stagers. Use this test: you should be able to walk past another person (comfortably!) in every room. This gives everyone personal space and gives the home a relaxing flow.
Trinkets fall into the general realm of home staging sins. Whether sentimental or not, your clients probably have bits and bobs around the house. Now, we’re not saying this is a bad thing. However, you do need to rope in whatever doesn’t suit the home.
For your clients, trinkets make the home personal. You don’t need to take that away in order to banish clutter. Instead, ask your clients what their favorite pieces are, and make an executive decision of which are appropriate to use in the staging. From there, choose which room each item fits best in. Remind your clients that although the house should look like a home, it also shouldn’t make buyers feel like they’re intruding on someone’s privacy.
Create a welcoming atmosphere, but try to depersonalize as much as possible!
It may sound strange, but color clashing can do a lot worse than just hurting your eyes…
If you choose the wrong colors, potential buyers can feel overwhelmed. For instance, using a scheme of bright orange and yellow will attack their visual senses. The last thing you want a buyer to feel is preyed upon!
To bring in a pop of color, we recommend using small décor or linens. Choosing neutral wall tones will help you decide what your focal décor color will be for each room. Use a calming lavender color for bed linens or a lively green for bath towels. Focus on drawing attention to home comforts!
Minimal Counter Space
We’ve all experienced the frustration of not having enough counter space. It’s stressful, inconvenient, and you know that no buyer will like it. So how do you, the home stager, fix it?
Since you probably won’t be building new countertops, your best bet is to add shelving. Shelves are easy to install and go almost anywhere. In the bathroom, consider adding shelves under the sink or installing a wall cabinet above.
And check out your local hardware store for kitchen storage that comes with a countertop. You’ll give buyers great ideas on how to extend their storage areas. They’ll love using the extra space to cook up a mean dinner!
Finally, remember to ask for a second opinion on your work. You’ll be applauded for your amazing home staging designs, and you might gain some new ideas! Never underestimate the value of a fresh pair of eyes…