One of the things I love about staging in occupied homes is that when I’m done, usually working hand in hand with the homeowner, the comments are usually something along the lines of “I wish I’d done this years ago” or “I don’t want to leave now!”.
And why not? Why not do the things that need to be done now – so you can enjoy them while you are in a home. Here’s some of the things I do when I stage that can be done at any time, so you can have the home you want while you are in it. Then when you are ready to sell, it will be a breeze to get it ready!
1. Repair. Take care of all the little maintenance items that are annoying. These usually include things like loose toilet seats, a cracked outlet cover, a loud and rattly exhaust fan in the bathroom, drywall cracks, icky grout in the kitchen or bath, caulking around windows. You get the idea. These are the things that give you the constant litany of “I should take care of that” in the back of your mind. This can wear you down and make your house just not where you want to be. Contact a handyman and give them a list.
2. Clean. Have the house professionally cleaned at least once a a year, including carpets and windows. If you can’t afford to have someone do it for you, do it yourself. But make it a deliberate, intensive deep clean. It’s hard to make the time but if you do, it will really make you feel so much better emotionally as well as physically in your home.
3. Paint. Paint is one of the most inexpensive ways to freshen up a home. Pick a fun color if you aren’t moving, or neutrals if you are. If you hate the color – you can always paint over it. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for a room. Don’t forget freshening up the baseboards and other trim. These get beat up and look dingy after a while.
4. Update light fixtures, door knobs and cabinet pulls. Get rid of the cheap looking shiny brass and bump up to brushed nickel, black or oil rubbed bronze. Light fixtures can be easy – many just need paint and or shades. And don’t be afraid to hit the thrift shops or resale shops – and be creative. Knock off doorknobs and pulls are easily available on line (one of my fave places is www.everything-doors.com) for not a whole lot of money.
5. De-clutter. As a professional organizer as well as being a stager, one of the biggest contributions I find I make for my clients is teaching them how to pare down not only their accessories but all the other stuff that accumulates in homes. I mean, really, how many cups does one need? Or towels. Or whatever. Take the time to really evaluate your possessions and ask yourself the hard questions: Do I love it? Do I use it? Does it reflect who I am today and who I want to be in the future?
It’s amazing what these changes can make in a house, whether you are staying or selling.