De-cluttering gone too far!

Home Stager with Park Ave Homestaging and Redesign


De-clutter - Sellers hear it on TV, in magazines, and from their realtors. Before putting their house on the market, de-cluttering is a must. But, how do you know what, and how much to remove? Is there a fine line between minimal and bare? A home staging specialist has the answers and will share them with sellers. Some sellers want to do the work themselves, so a home staging consultation fits their needs. And, others will hire a stager do the job.


Here is an example of de-cluttering gone too far.




Moyer living room before


Following the advice of their realtor, the sellers de-cluttered the living room. However, they went too far. The room feels cold, unwelcoming, and non functional with only a sofa and a TV in the corner of the room to the left of the fireplace. It lacks personality even though the house has a lot of old charm. Buyers’ eyes go straight to the wedding photo and comment on that, rather than the fireplace, which should be the focal point in the room.


It leaves questions in buyer’s minds. How will we entertain if there is only room for a sofa? There is only seating for three. Will this function for our lifestyle? They stop, turn around, and they move on to view the next house.




Moyer living room after


With the addition of 2 small-scaled chairs, the room now has functional seating for 5. The pillow and throw cover add personality to the room, and repeat the colors found in the art above the mantle and, in the art above the sofa. The fireplace is now the focal point. The room feels spacious yet cozy. It draws buyers in to see more.


Sharon McConnell, Park Ave Home Staging & Redesign, solved the problem of de-cluttering gone too far with simple and inexpensive fixes.


Comments (10)

Erika Hansen
Coldwell Banker Mid-America Group - West Des Moines, IA

You are definately right on, some do take it to the extreme!

Jul 15, 2010 01:37 PM
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

You're right the first picture was pretty boring. I would have liked to see the same angle taken as the first pic. A little hard to see the room or changes. You should post this to your localism too. Happy staging!

Jul 15, 2010 02:56 PM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Sharon - you turned this room from Cold to Cozy!  I love the chairs on either side of the fireplace, especially the one with the bolster cushion. 

Jul 15, 2010 06:47 PM
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

What a wonderful example, Sharon!  Using the rose colors to pull the eye over to the well-established focal point, the fireplace.  Julie

Jul 16, 2010 01:53 AM
Julie Davis, Amy Blank - Rediscovered Interiors, LLC
Rediscovered Interiors, LLC - Andover, MN

We've had that happen before where we ended up going out to the client's garage and going thru her boxes and unpacking some things to re-stage the place.  Hospital sterile isn't warm and inviting.  Good job!


Jul 16, 2010 04:21 AM
Janice Ankrett
Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Sharon, good job. It always amazes clients when I tell them they have gone too far. They are so proud of the work they have done ;).

Jul 16, 2010 07:54 AM
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

I was in a house like this yesterday. They took almost everything out! Nice job.

Jul 16, 2010 09:18 AM
Sharon McConnell
Park Ave Homestaging and Redesign - Perkasie, PA
Bucks County Home Stager

Thank you everyone for your comments. Hearing that you have experienced this also, just reaffirms the importance of a home staging consultation by a home staging specialist. If sellers want to do the staging themselves, at least they have detailed reccommendations to guide them through the process - priceless.


Lori, I agree that it is easier to see the transformation more clearly if the after pics are taken from the same angle as the before pics. However, by the time that the staging was complete and ready for photos, the sun had moved around to the living room. Even with the blinds closed, the ISO setting on my camera could not  compete with the extreme brightness. Thanks also for the suggestion of posting this on localism.


Sally, I love the chairs too. The "granny chair" as I like to call it, is a example of how family heirlooms can be incorporated into todays' designs.  A trendy throw cover relates to the bronze color in the bolster pillow. The seat cover on the granny chair has a small print with the rose color of the slipper chair. That's a simple solutuon to make the old and the new chair work togehter. 


Janice, My clients and their realtor were satisified with the de-cluttering they had done. The sellers were not home when the staging was complete. What a thrill when the seller called and was blown away by the transformation. New pics were emailed to the realtor for the MLS listing.



Jul 19, 2010 09:00 AM
Linda D. Pufford
Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging - Novato, CA
ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager


I love all the color you brought into the room...painting, chair and pillow etc...  Now it looks warm and cozy.  Great job!

Jul 20, 2010 04:11 PM
Sharon McConnell
Park Ave Homestaging and Redesign - Perkasie, PA
Bucks County Home Stager

Linda, And staging is supposed to be neutral. I love color and, I feel that it evokes a positive emotional response. It seems as though you agree. Thanks for the comment.

Jul 21, 2010 07:24 PM