How I Staged My House to Sell in 3 Hours

As of May I officially owned and lived in my house for 9 years. I know I keep saying that but it is so hard to believe. I spent all of my college years here, lived with some great friends here, and started my career in this house. My sister and I lived here together for 3 years.

 This is where Brennan and I first lived together for over a year. It's remarkable.

Selling the house has made me very sentimental, leaving my home town makes me nostalgic, it's a strange process.

Many of you that have seen my blog know how wrecked the house was when I first bought it. Here is what it looks like the day it hit the market. It's strange to imagine that it has come so far and I have done so much.

We actually received multiple offers on our house that were over the asking price! The house went "Live" on the market at 11:48 am and by 3:50 pm we had the offer that we ultimately accepted. Our realtor says there are a few things that we did to make it stand out.

The biggest one? Cleanliness and staging.


Let's do a final walk through, shall we? I'll tell you what I did in each room to make a big difference.

Master Bedroom: Normally in this room I have nightstands and small gallery walls over the dresser
and beside the bed. In order to maximize the space I took all of that down and replaced it with some mirrored stars. What's sort of interesting is that those were there the first year I moved in. I also usually have a big fluffy rug and a darker comforter.

Before Staging (minus the gallery walls by bed):

  • Remove any floor coverings so buyers see whats there. Also if you have wood floors makes it seem fresher and larger.
  • Remove gallery walls and personal photos or last name letters. I used to have a big M by the side of my bed.
  • Use WHITE bedding. In between showings I had a throw blanket that I threw over the comforter to keep it clean from little doggy feet.
  • Remove/store any furniture you can live without. Getting rid of the nightstands was a good move. Made it look even bigger and I figured out that I don't use them anyway so I gave them to a friend.
  • Get everything off of your dressers and surfaces that you possibly can. We left the TV and clock. That's it.

After Staging:

Master Bathroom: My bathroom is one of my personal favorite spots in my house, probably the one I am going to miss the most because it is unnaturally large. I'm sure the square footage could have been used more effectively to have a bigger closet but hey, it worked for me!

  • Clean! I took everything out of the cabinets that I wouldn't need before the move. Its pretty sad since I love all of my make up collection and I fear it hates me but the buyers being able to open and close the doors and see it empty allows them to see how they'd use the space. 
  • With something specific like the built in I left a few of my CHEAP necklaces hanging to show the purpose of it. Cheap because if someone has sticky fingers I don't want to lose my precious items to their greediness. 
  • Make sure paint on cabinets and trim on mirrors is fresh.
  • Make sure all bulbs work.
  • Clean the vent.
  • Clear all surfaces. This one was hard to maintain but worth it.

Living Room: This is where the most change happened and it is where I really started to see the house as "For Sale" and no longer mine. That was a weird feeling, definitely. I love art and pillows and fluffy rugs. I also love fully packed bookcases. English teacher probs.

Before Staging:

  • Take EVERYTHING but a couple items off the walls. All of my cool vintage images, maps, and decor came down. I only left the super neutral stuff above the TV to give it some character. I also left one mirror to reflect a bit more light.
  • Get rid of excess furniture- this seems like a given but especially for me. I had the two large couches previously. I was planning to get rid of them this summer for a sectional anyway so it just expedited that. 
  • Clear surfaces. 
  • Remove rugs.
  • Make sure the curtains are washed and fresh. 
  • Polish wood floors.

After Staging:

 Dining Room & Kitchen:  The kitchen wasn't too hard to do, it was hard to determine what I did need to keep out to use for daily life. Most of this was just packing some stuff up and sending other stuff to the thrift store. I had forgotten how much I had put on top of the cabinets. ha.

Before staging (and new counters):

  • Again, everything off the walls! I left one thing because it was a decal and I was worried I'd peel the paint. 
  • Throughout the entire house I swapped the light switch covers for the plain white ones and kept my fancy expensive metal ones.
  • Took every thing off the counters. 
  • Cleaned each appliance until it sparkled and scrubbed the back splash.
  • Dining room: I removed the rugs and the cat from the table.
  • Get rid of excess furniture. I sold my coffee bar and took down all art work in the entire space.


Laundry Room: This one is nearly the same. Here are the things I did to prep the staging on this space:

  • Repainted the cabinets where needed.
  • Repainted counter top.
  • Took down any extra art.
  • Cleaned the microwave.
  • Polished the front of the machines and cleaned the trashcan.

Guest Room/Office: My sister moved out about a year ago and I had sort of left the space the same since she left so it was our box storage area. We kept all of that to one zone. Buyers recognize that you are moving and don't really calculate that into it. That being said we did rent a large storage unit and house the rest of the boxes and gear. This was just stuff that didn't fit and I didn't want to pay for two units.  
  • Remove all artwork again except for a couple pieces.
  • Clear all surfaces.
  • Make sure the floors shine. 
  • If you have to have boxes, makes sure they are closed and stacked neatly.

Guest Room: This space was also pretty easy since I kept it pretty basic as a guest room.

Before staging- the last time I took pictures at Christmas. Ha.:


  • Remove all but 1 piece of artwork.
  • Use white bedding.
  • Clean and polish the floors and windows.
  • Wash curtains.
  • Clear surfaces of furniture.
  • Remove rugs.

Guest Bathroom: Since I was already using this as a guest space, it wasn't too hard to get it staged which was nice because I was still suffering the trauma of the kitchen.

Before staging:

  • I removed the shower curtains and liner and just hung a sheer really high to make it look bigger. 
  • Completely clear the counter.
  • Make sure all the lights work.
  • Clean the vents.
  • Empty the cabinets.
  • BLEACH the tub (or whatever product you use. Make it white!)
  • Take down all but basic decor.

Making sure that I had a clean and crisp color scheme, the floors shown, and I took my personality out of it (and all my art featuring redhead goddesses, hehe)  it really looked like a show house. Our amazing realtor told us that part of the reason it sold so quickly was because of how light, bright, and clean it was.

Selling your house, one of the few times that elbow grease actually has a return! What other tips and tricks help get houses sold? What do you look for when you're shopping for a house?

1 comment

  1. Yay! Congrats on selling your house so quickly! It's so weird to see it staged and missing all the personality you've put into it. I can definitely see how that helped you sell it so quick though. Adam and I have been talking about buying a new house, so these tips might come in handy sooner than I ever thought they would.


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