Whether you’ve got company coming or simply because you want your home to look tidier and a little classier, take a tip from real estate pros and stage your home, even if it’s not on the market.

You don’t have to rent temporary furniture to replace your favorite patterned sofa or take down family photos, but you can de-clutter and organize:

  • Implement a new rule around the house that when a new item enters, an old one must exit. It’s a great lesson for kids, who learn early about the value of letting go and of giving to others.
  • Quit shoving clutter in the closet. You know you’ve done it. But when your closet it messy, it affects your time management. Pretend buyers are going to look inside and clean it up. Get rid of items you haven’t worn in a year or more and straighten it out. If space still is an issue, store off-season clothes in plastic bins in your garage.
  • You might not be able to afford a closet management system, but how about investing in some hangers? Stagers often suggest using all plastic hangers for hanging items so they’re all at the same height, and then colorizing the clothes. Not a bad idea for finding that pink blouse that’s gone missing.
  • Regroup your furniture to encourage conversation or make the room look larger. Enter your home as if you’re looking at it as a buyer, or ask a friend to look at it objectively, and don’t be afraid to mix up your furniture or add a slipcover and a few throw pillows for a new look.
  • Why wait until you sell your home to update a room’s color? A gallon of paint and a few supplies – that’s one of the least expensive ways to change the feel of a room and to update the house.

After your staging exercise, reward yourself with fresh flowers. Buy yourself a nice big arrangement and place it where you’ll see it every morning. If that’s too extravagant, take cuttings from your garden or create a new dry arrangement from pine cones and twigs in your yard or purchased fake fruit from a discount store placed in one of your finest decorative bowls.


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