The Art of Staging Your Home — And Then Living In It!

Preparing your house to be listed for sale can be an extremely stressful time. Learn three simple steps for ensuring that your home is both staged for sale successfully and livable until sold: storage solutions, simple decor, and buyer drill practices.

Preparing your house to be listed for sale can be an extremely stressful time. Before you get to the point of staging your Dallas-Fort Worth home, you’ll likely have quick-fix projects to complete, decluttering to accomplish, and a million other chores. And then you’re finally staged, photographed, and listed. Now it’s time to learn the art of living in a staged home.

Storage, Storage, Storage

Most of the clutter of daily living comes from not having a place to put all of your stuff — that stuff that you really need, have to get your hands on quickly when necessary, but does nothing to add to the milieu of your home. That’s why the first step to living in a staged home is ensuring that you have storage solutions for every room.

Begin with your bathrooms and kitchen. Countertops in both rooms can so easily become overrun with the tools of everyday life. Rework your cabinets to ensure that everything that normally lives on top of your counters can now be stored below. The very act of uncluttering your counters will leave your home in great shape when potential buyers walk through.

Next, work on storage solutions for your kids and your clothes. Trying repurposing laundry baskets for both situations. Kiddo toys can easily be swept into a basket and hidden in a closet when buyers are on their way for a showing. The same is true for the clothes on your dining table awaiting folding, or heaped in piles in your bedroom. It’s much easier for buyers to picture themselves living in your home if your clutter is in your closets instead of strewn through various rooms.

Keep It Natural

Ignore all of the idealistic magazine photos of perfectly staged homes that feature high-end furniture and arrangements based on feng shui instead of family friendly. Buyers aren’t expecting to walk into an issue of House Beautiful and leading your everyday life in such a setting is totally unnecessary.

The second important step to staging your home while living in it is to keep it natural. Stripping all personality from your home will leave buyers feeling like they’re stepping into a sterile hotel instead of a welcoming home. Use your own furniture and a tasteful selection of your decor to set up your home for both photography and walk-throughs.

A good rule of thumb would be to imagine that your super picky in-laws are on their way for a visit and you’re working to get your home in tip-top shape for their arrival. When you approach it like that, you’ll be able to keep your home livable while also presenting it in the most flattering light.

Hold a Buyer Drill

Sometimes, you’ll need to get your home ready for a walk-through in a big hurry — and practicing for that eventuality is the third and final step to staging your home for sale without making it unlivable. After you initially prepare your staged home, do a walk-through to remember how it looks while staged. Then, once you’ve lived in that setting for a few days, it’s time to hold your first buyer drill.

Like a fire drill, your buyer drill will be your super fast test to go from “broken-in family home” to “staged for a fast sale property.” Get everyone in the household involved — when each person is responsible for promptly and adequately stashing their own belongings, you’ll have the fastest and most successful buyer drill.

By providing storage galore, keeping decor natural, and hosting buyer drills, your staged home will be best positioned to sell quickly.


Tiffany wasn't born in Texas, but she got here as fast as she could. She and her husband have gained extensive experience buying, selling, renovating and flipping homes in the DFW area. A professional freelance writer, Tiffany enjoys contributing real estate and home improvement articles to the Coldwell Banker site and working with other clients to craft content that's specially designed to generate interest while sharing valuable ideas.

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1 Comment

  1. Anita Kruse
    February 10, 2016

    This will make a great guide for my seller to start prepping their home for the market.


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