The Power of Decluttering

Home Stager with Home Sweet Home Staging

(Reblogged from my page on )

Take a quick look at this photo:

What did you see?

Did you notice:

  • The beautiful bay window?
  • The window seat?
  • New high-grade carpet?
  • A fireplace to the left?
  • Plenty of room to put a proper desk?
  • The incredible wooded view outside the windows?
  • The french door?
  • Neutral wall color?

Probably not.  Like most potential home buyers, you likely noticed only the clutter, disorganization and plethora of toys.  And the flat-screen TV sitting in the window!  If you were searching the internet for a new home, chances are you would not be in a big hurry to schedule an appointment to view this house.

This was ALMOST the photo that would have been taken for the MLS listing.  If a home stager (in this case, me!) had not arrived the day before the Realtor was scheduled to photograph and list the property, this would have been a buyer's first view.  A room full of chaos will evoke an emotional response, but certainly not the response we want.

Now, here is the after photo:

Office after decluttering and staging

In this photo, a whole new room emerges.  Architectural features are not only visible, but spotlighted.  The space has a completely different feel, and the size and scope of the room are evident.

In a stager's perfect world, the owner would have had an office desk and chair to move into the room and she would have taken down the personal calendar on the wall as I suggested.  She didn't.  But, you get the idea.  And so will the buyer, which is the whole idea behind home staging.

With the majority of buyers starting their home searches on the internet, it's crucial that the photos provided on listings look their best.  Decluttering is the first step.


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Stage It Forward...
Staging "Before" & "After" Pictures
Real World Home Staging for Newbies
home staging
home stager
metro detroit home stager
home sweet home staging

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Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

Decluttering does it's job again. Buyers are buying the property, not your personal belongings. Show buyers what they want to see... your house for sale and how much room there is so they can move their belongings in.

Nov 05, 2008 12:07 AM #1
Kathy Passarette
Creative Home Expressions - Mount Sinai, NY
L.I. Staging/Decorating

Marianne ~ Absolutely, I noticed all the toys and stuff.  I only noticed the other things you listed when you brought attention to them. 

Nov 05, 2008 12:47 AM #2
Charlene Storozuk
Dezigner Digz - Burlington, ON
Home Stager - Burlington Ontario

What an incredible difference!  I didn't notice the view outside at all in the 'before' picture.  The room looks so much bigger now too.  Great job!

Nov 05, 2008 03:51 AM #3
Michele Hess
Simply Staged Inc. - Rockford, IL
Home Stager Rockford - Simply Staged Inc

Doesn't look like to much work could get done in that office in the before photo - Actually, I can't tell if it is a office, play room or family room????  Great job defining the space and removing the clutter.

Nov 05, 2008 06:27 AM #4
Leah J. Armstrong
House to Home ReDesigns & Real Estate Staging Vancouver B.C. - Port Moody, BC
Home Staging Port Moody B.C.

I was so distracted by the "things in the room" for my quick glance that I didn't even register the "room" as an office.  Great questions to get the point across!  - Leah

Nov 05, 2008 10:30 AM #5
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

Your room is So Less Stressful!  Great job and great post!  

Nov 05, 2008 03:21 PM #6
Kathy Nielsen - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

The de-cluttering made a huge difference!

Congratulations.  Your post is being featured in the group; Staging Before & After Pictures.


Nov 05, 2008 10:11 PM #7
Marianne Sweet
Home Sweet Home Staging - Rochester Hills, MI
Home Sweet Home Staging, LLC Rochester Hills, MI

Pictures speak louder than words, don't they?  Thanks everyone for stopping by!

Kathy N......THANKS! 

Nov 06, 2008 07:13 AM #8
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

Declutter is such a big word isn't it.  It's easy to visualize a messy room when you say it, but the forgotten things are the things that sell, like the bay window, and the great view,  Nice examples.

Nov 06, 2008 05:12 PM #9
Gail Alexander
Setting the Stage, LLC - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Stager

Isn't it amazing how people live and want to sell their homes!  I staged a home that had a baby grand piano in it that we didn't even know was there.

Terrylynn, what in the world are you still doing up at 1 a.m  JET LAG?

Nov 07, 2008 01:51 AM #10
Michelle Pimentel
Empire Home Staging Solutions - Upland, CA
ASP, IAHSP Empire Home Staging


What a great way to show the POWER of de-clutterring and staging a home!  I like how you ask what features of the home you don't see when a room is filled with clutter.  Great post!

Nov 07, 2008 02:35 AM #11
Karen Dembsky
Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA - Peachtree City, GA
Atlanta Home Staging
Nov 07, 2008 07:08 AM #12
Marianne Sweet
Home Sweet Home Staging - Rochester Hills, MI
Home Sweet Home Staging, LLC Rochester Hills, MI

Terrylynn......such a big word with an even bigger impact!

Gail........whoa!  A cluttered-over baby grand?  Yikes!

Michelle......thanks for the nice words!'re too kind!

Nov 08, 2008 11:19 AM #13
Virginia Tatseos
Stage-Show-Sell - Bloomfield Township, MI

Buyers would most likely go into a room that's sooooo full of stuff.  Now they are invited in and can decide what they would like the room to be.

Great job

Nov 10, 2008 04:00 PM #14
Lisa Sherman
Interior Aura - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Interior, Redesign & Decorating - Salem Oregon

You're right - the power of decluttering... it is huge!  It is soooooooo true what they say... how we live in our home and how we sell it are two different things!!!  Thank goodnes the neon pink post-its are no longer a focal point of the desk. ;-)

Nov 10, 2008 04:51 PM #15
Marianne Sweet
Home Sweet Home Staging - Rochester Hills, MI
Home Sweet Home Staging, LLC Rochester Hills, MI


Lisa......I know, don't you love it?  The pink IS a nice pop of color though..

Nov 12, 2008 09:33 AM #16
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Marianne Sweet

Home Sweet Home Staging, LLC Rochester Hills, MI
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