HOW TO LIVE IN A STAGED HOME
Selling your home can be a stressful time, but here’s some staging tips to make things easier
There are so many things that need to be organised and sorted out; especially when you’re still living it. Enlisting the help of a property stylist to stage your home will increase the value of your property (compared to similar homes).
Living amongst unfamiliar furnishings (that may not be to your taste!) may seem like a challenge, but, like with anything, preparation is key.
DOWNSIZE YOUR BELONGINGS BY HALF
Moving to a new house is the best time for you to sort through your possessions and donate, or sell those items that you’ve grown out of or no longer use. One way or another, all your belongings need to leave the place at some point anyway.
Move your lesser-used items into storage, a friend or family member’s house or smaller items into boxes or tubs that you can neatly arrange in a storage area or garage; leaving only your essential items behind.
“You want your place to look inviting, but not necessarily lived-in. This means taking you out of the home.
We realise this is easier said than done but looking at your home as a product you’re selling helps remove any emotional attachment and you’ll often find it’s easier to reduce.”
– Sharon, Head Stylist at AU Inspire
Give each family member a dedicated storage box or basket for daily use / personal items and another for toys / entertainment. Their boxes should then be placed neatly in a particular spot, either a wardrobe or under the bed, in preparation for inspections.
Keep bedside tables and dresser tops clear and ensure beds are made each morning to keep your bedroom looking it’s best.
No personal care products (hair, body, toothbrush etc.) should be left out. Everyone should have their own bathroom tote to hold their daily products, which is put away under the sink or a closed cabinet after every use.
Guest towels can be kept in a plastic tub out of sight so they can’t accidentally be used. Before inspections, swap them with your daily use ones and then swap them back when you return home. The towels and dispensers never get used, so they never need cleaning.
It’s also a good idea to keep some antibacterial wipes handy for quick and easy clean ups but if you have multiple bathrooms, try to pick only one or two to use on a daily basis.
In the kitchen, keep the benchtops, sink and splashback clean. Assuming there is ample space and they are in good condition, it is fine to have 1-2 appliances that remain on the countertop which you should discuss with your stylist on Staging Day. Try to get in the habit of keeping dirty dishes out of the sink by either washing and drying the dishes or placing them in the dishwasher immediately after use.
Make sure your cabinets are kept clean (buyers will open them!) and only the essentials in the refrigerator and pantry. If you have enough time before listing your home on the market, plan meals around items you need to clear out, otherwise many local supermarkets take donations for food with a longer shelf life.
Cleaning products can be kept under the sink and out of sight. Using baskets for your cleaning products, air fresheners and daily-use items is an easy way to keep them neat.
To make meal times easier, eating out can be a convenient option. Look into daily / weekly meal offers at local restaurants for things like “2 for 1”, “Parma Night” or “Kids Eat Free” specials. Also visiting websites like Groupon can help you stay on budget.
Unfortunately, pets are not staged-home friendly; it may be best to find another place for them to stay while your home is staged. Perhaps a family member, friend or neighbour can take care of your beloved four-legged family members. Another option would be to send them to a pet ‘resort’ for their own holiday but if they must stay in your staged home, designate 1-2 rooms for them to be allowed in. This will keep the fur clean up to a minimum.
EVERY DAY LIFESTYLE
Before staging, you should deep clean your entire home. If possible; stop using particular rooms in your home. By keeping spare bedrooms, office spaces or formal dining rooms unused and spick-and-span, once staged, you can just shut the door and only open on inspection days. The more rooms you can leave untouched, the fewer rooms you have to clean or tidy at each open for inspection.
But once staged and in case of any last minute viewings, it’s a good idea for you to keep on top of general household cleaning. Create a daily schedule, and stick to it. If you lead a busy lifestyle already and can afford it, invest in a weekly Cleaning or Quick Styling services. Before each showing, vacuum the floors, dust all furniture, wipe down all kitchen / bath surfaces and use those dedicated personal storage boxes for each room.
Worst comes to worst, never underestimate your ability to chuck things into baskets and shove them somewhere out of sight or in the boot of your car.
Get your whole family involved and make a list of activities to do on the days your house is scheduled to be shown. Ideas include bowling, going to the beach, zoo, museums, amusement parks, even simply taking your pet / kids to the park or visiting relatives.
Living in a staged home may not come naturally, but if you and your family can adjust your daily routine, it can be a lot of fun. Take the opportunity to go out, explore and do things you all had always hoped to do. Motivate every family member to get in on the challenge, with games or a reward system and it can turn out to be a memorable time spent together