NH Home Staging FAQ - What Exactly Is Clutter?

Home Stager with Sharon Tara Transformations

NH Home Staging FAQ - What Exactly Is Clutter?

No checklist for preparing a home for sale would be complete without including the term "declutter." 

It's got to be the most frequently used term in real estate staging. 

Knowing that you have to declutter is only helpful if you know how to declutter.  Uncertainty leaves you questioning where to begin and feeling overwhelmed.

The problem:  Your definition, your agent's definition, and a home stager's definition of "declutter" are probably all the same: "to remove excess and disorder."  However, what each of us deems as clutter, how each of us would actually approach the task of decluttering, and what the end results would be, are very different.

clutterUnless you are a professional home stager, or organization specialist, your approach will most likely result in frustration and avoidance, neither of which is going to get your house sold.

Simply put, "clutter" is noise to the eyes.

 When you walk into a room and there are too many colors and too many small objects scattered about and your eyes just can't take it all in....that's clutter.

 Too many small pictures hanging on a wall, lots of small appliances, plants, cookbooks and pottery on the counters, too many knick knacks on the shelves...lions and tigers and bears OH MY!

If it's too loud for your eyes...it's clutter!

The fastest, most efficient way to identify and resolve clutter is to schedule a home staging consult and have a professional tell you exactly what needs to go.  Having that information will save you valuable time and greatly reduce your stress.

You can even avoid the work by hiring the stager to do it for you!


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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Gene Riemenschneider 06/02/2012 06:43 AM
Home Selling
Stage It Forward...
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New Hampshire - Real Estate and Life in The Granite State!
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Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


If it doesn't to sell the home it clutter. Great post.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Jun 01, 2012 12:00 PM #3
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Lou:  Too often I see more clutter than anything else!  It's like a breath of fresh air when it's removed.

Jun 01, 2012 12:01 PM #4
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

Sharon that's a good description for clutter -- "noise to the eyes!"  Pretty well sums it up!!  If people just got rid of all that "noise" then they'd be far better off, yet I can't believe how many sellers still don't know what a difference it makes opening up the space.  (good for us stagers though, because they need our advice)

Jun 01, 2012 12:11 PM #5
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Sharon- excellent!  And I like the 'noise for the eyes" too.  I find that when I walk into a room and my eyes are bouncing all over the place, then something's gotta go!  OK...how did you do that cute photo arrangement. 

Jun 01, 2012 12:13 PM #6
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Maureen:  I've had more calls recently from sellers who do know they need help, and it's refreshing!

Jun 01, 2012 12:14 PM #7
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Kathy:   Thank you!   "eyes bouncing around" is a great way to describe it!  The collage was made in iPiccy.

Jun 01, 2012 12:16 PM #8
Anna Dovger
Add Value Home Staging LLC, 281-704-6607 - The Woodlands, TX
Home Staging -The Woodlands, TX

Sharon, very good question to answer! Suggested.

Jun 01, 2012 12:37 PM #9
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

Very nice post. A lot of sellers really don't understand the concept of decluttering. Many I work with think if it's pretty and well organized, it's great. We always recommend "hotel room sparse". Buyers have to be able to imagine their things in the space, not to mention be able to see the space!


Jun 01, 2012 01:29 PM #10
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I hate to say it but all those pictures look clean and orderly compared to my house.  Six boys will do that.

Jun 01, 2012 02:02 PM #11
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Noise to the eyes is a great way to describe clutter.............nothing worse than showing "tchotchke hell" to buyers.

Jun 01, 2012 07:13 PM #12
Peg Barcelo
Fluff My House! Home Staging Inc. 250.486.6369 - Summerland, BC
The FlufftasticStager from Summerland, BC

Sharon, loud and noise are perfect desriptors! anything that makes the eye bounce about is a annoying and distracting. Not what our goal is!

Jun 01, 2012 08:17 PM #13
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

good morning Sharon. Did you come into my home while I was asleep? I feel like I have my work cut out for me when I'm ready.

Jun 01, 2012 09:38 PM #14
Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage - Brampton, ON
Our Family Wants To Help Your Family!

Sharon, we have to agree also that your statement 'noise to the eyes' is excellent and certainly should drive the point home to Sellers!  Suggested.

Jun 01, 2012 11:19 PM #15
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I love your definition of clutter as "noise to the eyes", that is so descriptive and vivid.  Hopefully a Seller looking at this can hear it, they are often so accustomed at looking at it, they don't see it.  Suggesting also.  A

Jun 02, 2012 08:20 AM #16
Janice Ankrett
Janice Ankrett Home Staging - Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Sharon, 'noise to the eyes' love it! I'm forever telling clients that a space has to be visually calm but I like yours better ;). When I see a decluttered space I just want to sigh in relief.

Jun 02, 2012 09:12 AM #17
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Anna:  Thank you!

Gretchen:  "hotel room sparse" is a great way to describe it!  

Gene:  Don't know what you are supposed to do with six boys in the house....there just may be no hope for you!  LOL!

Roger:  LOL!

Peg:  Eye bouncers aren't usually what buyers are looking for.  LOL!

Sheila:  No, not your house, but there are plenty like it!  When you are ready, you will do just fine!

Al & Peggy:  Thanks for the suggest!  

Alexandra:  Thank you!  I hope they hear it too!

Janice:  "visually calm" is also good!  Sometimes it takes more than just one description before they get it.

Jun 02, 2012 12:19 PM #18
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives


I think it's a word that is easily misunderstood and you do an excellent job defining what it means as a professional Home Stager.

I like how you define it without being offensive.

Your talent is extraordinary!

Jun 03, 2012 03:21 AM #19
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Hi Sharon,  yes clutter.  Great topic and the bane of my existence (just kidding).  What if one spouse sees it as "clutter" and the other sees it as "art"?  I need to fly you out here for help.

Some homeowners just leave it for the kids (and the Realtor) to figure out.  It's easiest to NOT deal with it. I've been in that situation on numerous occasions.  That would be fine if you have, say, 24 children.

Jun 03, 2012 04:43 AM #20
Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

Hi Sharon, I would think you have described clutter very well by describing it as noise for the eyes. The issue with most home owners is that they just don't see their home the way others do. They come home each day and zone out to the "noise".  I take a photo of their rooms while on the consult to show them what every one else sees.

They usually gasp and say they had no idea their home looked in such disarray. Great post, clear as bell what to do. Call your professional home stager to give you direction on how to declutter.


Jun 03, 2012 08:54 AM #21
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Patricia:  Thank you!  I do my best not to offend!

Lloyd:  I've had many clients (the ones who think it's clutter) smiling with glee as I told the other (the ones who think it's art) that it really needs to go.  You win some, you lose some.  

Michelle:  Pictures make a huge difference in how they see the house.  I told my sellers this weekend that all their stuff would show up as clutter in the MLS pictures and they were more than willing to "prepack" it all to improve their chances of a quick sale.

Jun 03, 2012 12:05 PM #22
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