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Your Home’s Open House: Staging Preparations Sellers Overlook

Photo by Roberto Nickson (@g) on Unsplash

An open house is your chance to show real estate agents and potential buyers your property’s best side. Staging your space is a huge part of that. A properly staged area should be clean, decluttered, and depersonalized. The depersonalization part tends to be one aspect homeowners have the most trouble with, but everyone has their own personal blind spots.

That’s why the help of a professional stager can come in handy. Stagers know what people want to see when they walk through the door of an open house, and they know how to execute that vision. Hiring a home stager can help sell your abode quicker and for more money—all for the small fee they charge.

Cleaning for an Open House

When a residence is clean, it doesn’t just look its best; it also smells its best. Scent plays a huge part in our emotions because we connect fragrances to memories. When your home smells good, open house visitors will make positive emotional associations with the property.

Hiring a housecleaner before your open house is a great idea. Professional cleaners have seen it all and know how to clean better than anyone, including yourself. Having someone else do a nice base clean makes it easier for you to see all those little details that need some extra love. Pay particular attention to the kitchen—the crown jewel of any dwelling. Clean refrigerator shelves, on top of cabinets, and appliance surfaces. Make sure there are no food stains or smudges on cabinets and drawers. Even go so far to take the trash can out to clean and deodorize. It’s the details that can make a huge difference!

Decluttering for an Open House

Believe it or not, there is also a psychological motivation behind decluttering for your open house. Clutter instigates feelings of stress and anxiety. When a person walks into a showing, the only feelings you want them to experience are joy and interest.

Decluttering should happen both inside and out. Improve your curb appeal (more on that later) by picking up any toys, decorations, and yard tools, and putting them where they belong. If you have a coat rack or hooks at the front door, put away any clothes or accessories hanging there. You also want to remove visual clutter—go ahead and pack up your hanging hooks, photographs, and other artwork on the walls. Recycle the old mail and paper that clutter up countertops. Go through your kitchen and get rid of cookware, dishes, and storage containers you won’t be needing. It’s even important to declutter storage areas like closets. These are selling points that you want to highlight, so you can’t just shove everything out of sight and out of mind.

Depersonalizing for an Open House

You want people attending your open house to walk in and picture their own family living there. If you don’t take measures to depersonalize, you’re making it that much more difficult for them to realize that vision. While putting away all those things that make the house your home can be bittersweet, just think of it as pre-packing that will cut down on the work you have to do before you actually move.

Remove your personal photos, including any family portraits or professional shots you have framed. You should also pack away any trophies, plaques, awards, and framed certificates such as diplomas. If you have personal collections out for display, go ahead and tuck them somewhere safe and out of sight. The same goes for toys, sports equipment, and exercise equipment—these all qualify as personal items. Don’t forget to remove valuables and any indications of smoking, pets, or politics. Only keep the basic things you need and decorations that highlight your home’s features.

Don’t Forget the Outdoors

As much as the interior matters, it’s the exterior that draws people in. Spend a little time sprucing up the front door, cleaning the windows, and repairing small issues that might be noticed by a keen-eyed buyer. HomeAdvisor has more ideas on how to enhance curb appeal, even if your outdoor space in minimal.


An open house is the perfect occasion to draw up interest in your property. Make sure it looks its best with a thorough and professional cleaning. Clutter is proven to cause stress and anxiety, so ensure good vibes by clearing out all the junk. Finally, make sure others can see themselves living there depersonalizing and packing away items.

Suzie Wilson
The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House coming soon!