We Gave a Professional Home Stager $30—Here’s What She Bought at Family Dollar

published Jan 6, 2021
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family dollar
Credit: Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock.com

When it comes to dollar store shopping, most bargain hunters agree on one thing: They’re a great resource for things you don’t plan on using for very long, like greeting cards, wrapping paper, party favors, and travel-sized toiletries. 

That rule of thumb also applies to accessories for home staging. When you’re sprucing up a home to look—and sell—its best, you don’t need to invest in pricey accents to get the job done. Simple dollar-store basics will work just as well for the short time you’ll need them.

Professional stager Lisa Quinn, of Lisa Quinn Home in Nevada County, Calif., couldn’t agree more. To prove our point, we sent her to Family Dollar with $30 to see how many home staging accessories and accents she could find on a budget.

She passed with flying colors, coming in at exactly $30 flat. (That might just be a new record for this series!) Read on to see what hidden gems Quinn discovered at Family Dollar.

Credit: Family Dollar

Glass vases

“Clear glass vases are so versatile—a staple for stagers. I like to bring in fresh flowers for my clients’ real estate photography and open houses, but I’ve also used these vases to hold wooden spoons on kitchen countertops; to fill with moss, stones, and small branches for a simple centerpiece; and to use as a clean-lined, contemporary container for cotton balls or bath beads. At only a buck apiece, I had to get two.”

Buy: Clear Glass Cylinder Vase, $1 (two for $2 total)

Credit: Family Dollar

Shelf liner

“Potential buyers love to open things up and take a peek. Small details like scuffed, dingy cabinet drawers can leave a bad impression. Especially if you have older cabinets, invest in some shelf liner to keep everything looking fresh and clean.”

Credit: Family Dollar

White hand towels

“Bathrooms should always appear sparkling clean, and adding white is almost always the answer. I use white towels, bath mats, and shower curtains for my stagings. Even if a bathroom is older and not so sparkling on its own, white towels will brighten the space. At $4 each for these hand towels, I bought two—one for the towel rack and one for the vanity counter.”

Credit: Family Dollar

Scented candles

“If you cook, have pets or kids, or just lead a normal life, your home is going to absorb those day-to-day odors. Just like stagers strive to neutralize the look of the homes, we also want to neutralize the smell. For severe situations, you may need to rent a steam cleaner, but most homes just need a good cleaning (wash your sheets!) and a lovely candle or two to add a pleasing scent. I bought one of each: one for a main living area and one for a bedroom.”

Buy: 3-Wick Spa Candles, $3.75 (two for $7.50 total)

Credit: Family Dollar

Plastic storage basket

“Clutter is what makes a home feel small, dark, chaotic, and uninviting. Particularly when staging a home, you want all the non-essentials stowed away. These plastic wicker bins are sold at my local Family Dollar for only $3.50 and can be used for the pantry, closets, laundry room, mudroom, garage, or anywhere where you need to gather up a lot of small things.”

Credit: Family Dollar

Paint tray kits

“Paint is the least expensive, most dramatic way to change a space. You don’t even need to buy new paint. Just touch up all those worn, dirty areas near baseboards, corners, light switches, and doorknobs with your existing color.”