7 Organizing Tips You Should Steal from Professional Home Stagers

published Dec 30, 2019
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Credit: Tamara Gavin

While professional home stagers are known for making spaces looks neat, chic, and accessible—by rearranging furniture, adding thoughtful accessories, and making strategic tweaks—they also have a hidden talent. They’re pros at organizing.

By decluttering a home and providing a clean slate that buyers can project themselves onto, it increases the chances of a sale.

And, since there’s no better time to freshen up your home than the present, we turned to three professional home stagers for their best organizing tips that you can steal right now.

Take it one room at a time

If the thought of organizing your entire home is overwhelming, break it down into chunks, suggests Wanda Colón, cofounder and instructor at The Academy of Home Staging & Design in Los Angeles.

“Don’t start another room until the room you are organizing is complete,” she says. “Once a room is complete, there is a feeling of accomplishment and it will motivate you to start on another room.”

Use baskets

To corral items around the house, Alyssa Rosenheck, an interior stylist and an architectural photographer in Nashville, likes to use baskets. This is especially handy for families who have an abundance of stuff.

“I recommend keeping beautiful wide-woven baskets in the main living areas for a daily clean sweep of odds and ends when there are littles running around,” she says. “Plus, once the kids get older and the toy consumption decreases, these make great decorative containers for olive trees, small fiddle leaf figs, bathroom towels, or decorative pillows and throws.”

Credit: Rachel Jacks

Tidy closets and drawers

If you think potential buyers won’t peek into your closets and drawers, think again. They’ll check them out to decide whether their belongings will fit, says Colón.

While you don’t have to completely empty them out, pack and store all items but the necessities in these spaces—about 50 to 75 percent of everything, she recommends.

Pare down items by color

Sometimes, decluttering sounds a lot easier than it actually is. If you’re having trouble deciding which books and accessories to get rid of, consider color and aesthetics, says Noel Gatts, owner and principal designer at beam&bloom interiors in Bloomfield, N.J.

“Pare down books and accessories by color, depending on what complements your featured elements,” she says. “For example, I’ll often ask clients to keep only up to five large coffee-table books and maybe five to 10 each of white, black, and blue books. I might ask them to keep all of their white, black, wood, and glass accessories for shelf and tabletop styling.”

This creates a neater, more cohesive overall look.

Declutter living spaces

In the family and living rooms, declutter the space by packing and storing personal objects, like collectibles and family photos, and getting rid of disposable items, like magazines and newspapers, Colón says.

When it comes to clearing off shelves, a good rule of thumb is to remove 50 percent or more of the items there, she notes.

Make the dining room for dining

With so many people working from home these days, dining rooms that are seldom used for actual formal dining have been converted into “multipurpose office, homework, den, or catchall” spaces, Colón explains. This isn’t especially appealing to buyers.

“Remove everything, and stage it as a beautiful dining space where potential buyers can envision their first holiday dinner,” she recommends.

Pack up or donate extra clothes

In your bedroom, stash things out of sight by packing and storing off-season clothes as well as donating items you haven’t worn within the last year, Colón says.