Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Stage it up.

The day after we got the job offer, I got to work on our house. I have seen enough HGTV to understand the importance of home staging. I am far from a professional decorator- that's where Pinterest came in handy. There are a million pins about "how to stage a home" or "model home" to get some realistic ideas. After a lot of prayer, Pinterest scouring, and hard work, we had a contract for full asking price, the day before our house went on the market.  Here is how we did it!

First thing's first:

1. Get a storage building.
You cannot stage effectively without one of these. We found a good deal online. Either way, you gotta have it. Now is not the time to decorate. It's time to take away and depersonalize.
6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

2. Remove all pictures and personal items. Kiss them and smile because you will see them again very soon. Seeing all your pretties will make it feel like Christmas. Pretty much everything on your walls needs to be packed away.
6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120
Keep out a couple of pieces of art and a few mirrors. No need to buy anything here. You can make something you have work. I needed art for my bathroom, so I framed a picture from a book.

3. If your kitchen needs a face lift, do it. Do it now.
Don't be afraid to haggle with the granite store. Going without my husband worked in my favor, I believe. If you feel comfortable, I think this can help- Plus, if you are selling like we were, you"re going to need to divide and conquer. I took my dolled up daughter...we batted our eyes...were as sweet as pie...and we weren't picky in the least. Ask to speak with the owner and see if they can give you a deal. You may be surprised!
We got to enjoy our granite for 3 days before we took staged photos. It was a little painful.

4. Clear out closets.
Donate, Trash, Love, Repeat.
*Use black trash bags when donating or trashing. Your kids will be less likely to go through "trash bags." Also, if you can go through their things in the evenings when they are asleep, you'll save your sanity ;) 

5. Pack up toys.
Depending on your time frame here, you can decide what your kids can live without for a while. Or, in my case, what can I survive without...Me? I had to keep out a small basket of basic legos, a few books from the library, soldiers, a baby, and some high heels. All art supplies had to go. It was rough, y'all. You can always invite yourself over for play dates :) I think we went to Chick-fil-A every day. Seriously.

6. Pack up your kitchen to maximize the look of storage space and organize pantry.
No more Costco trips between now and the move.
Use Styrofoam plates to protect your dishes and china.

7. Clear off counter tops (even your coffee pot).

If your kitchen is tiny, like mine, add a small vase of bright flowers in the same color. If your kitchen is larger, stage with green apples or lemons in a white bowl.
6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

8. Stop cooking. Give yourself the ok to eat fast food and sandwiches, for the time being. My kids were devastated when we stopped frying bacon... But unless you're making cookies and you're on your game, the smell can be a distraction. Make the switch to paper plates and plastic cups. It's amazing.

9. Clear off bathroom counters. Add bright white towels that are only for staging. Put away bathmats and used towels for showings.
6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

10. Start lighting vanilla candles for a few hours everyday. It will get the scent going. Ask your agent to light them during the open house.
Before a showing, you can make your house smell like Williams Sonoma by simmering water, tsp. vanilla, lemon slices and rosemary sprigs.

11. Put most of your furniture in storage and use lots of lamp lighting.
6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

12. If you have bunk beds, consider taking them apart and storing the top's mattress underneath. My boys thought it was the best thing ever and it totally opened up the room.
6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

13. Curb appeal is super important. Clean up the outside, add flowers, water and sweep like crazy. Add a new wreath.
6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

14. Do you have to move by a certain date? If you're on a time table, call and get some quotes from moving companies and reserve a truck, if you're moving yourself.

Remember, you need to pre-pack before you even have staged photos of your home. This is the hardest part, but try to stay positive. Reward yourself in the evenings with a TV show or ice cream. You're burning calories!

Whenever you find yourself getting discouraged or sad as your home starts feeling less and less like you, start researching your new home. Make the new step your focus for a bit.

I hope this helps! Best to you if you are looking to sell!



I haven't been very good with keeping up my blog. I have good intentions and a ton of furniture projects to post, but everything around me is craziness (and I'm not talking about my three kids!) :) If you haven't heard, we are in the middle of a cross country move, from DC to our home state of Texas.

We have been praying for quite some time about moving back home, with our hearts open to God closing that door. It's such a weird feeling to actually pull up roots and go, even though I know with every fiber in me, that it's what we want and what God desires for our family. It's still intimidating to start all over in a place where people already have bonds and history together. When we moved to DC, we had only been married a year, and it was just the two of us starting over together. It was fun and wild and special. I cherish those newlywed years. Fast forward eight years and three kids, starting over as a family of five is a different story. We went to church in our new town on Sunday, and as we were standing in the hallway, nervously awaiting the Sunday school class doors to open, all I could think about was "thank goodness I have a buddy," of course my kids went into their classes brave, tearless, and alone. God is good. We went into church feeling the big Texas welcome and left feeling like we had a place to make friends and serve. It was a milestone day for me.
I want to remember this whirlwind time because we are never ever doing this again. Ha! Stay tuned! I will post about how we staged our townhome to sell before it even went on the market...our last family hike...and making our new home ours...I may cry :)