So you are selling your home and you are at a loss for what to do. You’ve heard of Home Staging – but not sure of how to prepare for it. Following are some basic rules – for clearing up and out – before you sell and certainly before a Home Stager comes in to work their magic.

1. Get a bin: rent a bin for a couple hundred dollars – you can ‘thin’ out at an alarming pace when you’ve got a bin to toss to. Bins are great for old furniture, bikes, garden furniture, odds and sods that the garbage man will not take.

2. Thin out an extra furniture: living and family rooms: one couch and two side chairs is plenty

3. No chachkies on the fridge! Take down all fridge magnets, waste disposal schedules; write on calendars, pictures, artwork. Be sure that all items on TOP of the fridge are cleared away as well.

4. Kitchen counters: clear up and out. Leaving only a few items such as a kettle, cooking utensils vessel, and maybe one other kitchen countertop appliance like a coffee maker. Put away any dish towels, sponges, dish brushes and dish soap.

5. Absolutely NO pet food bowls out – not even the water bowl. I have seen too many buyers trip over these bowls – not expecting to find them in those locations. And besides have you taken a really good whiff of that kibble – yeassshh. Not a home scent I want to fill my house with – much less my kitchen!!

6. On this theme… no cat scratching posts – NONE! No matter how intricate they are – they are not a site for sore eyes in the minds of buyers. To this extent – no pet toys – a stuffed toy mouse – really – really? No. Bye bye.

7. Clear out the old fireplace ashes in wood burning fireplaces. This leaves a lingering scent – that you may already be used to – but fresh nostrils coming through the door may think otherwise (hence the kibble above too ).

8. Clear out any furniture, appliances that do not fit the desired function of that room: desks in dining rooms, sewing tables in kitchens or family rooms, gym equipment in bedrooms or family rooms.

9. Dead Plants!! (inside and outside)Yuck!

10. Put away all seasonal clothes and shoes – especially the shoes – don’t want them spilling out of front closets.

11. Ensure that all hallways and pathways are free and clear and not encumbered by any objects or clutter.

12. Bathrooms: no toothbrushes, hair brushes/tools, makeup, bath toys, bath mats (pee collectors – yuck – toss!) or air fresheners.

13. In general: you can live more with less – really you can. And when you follow the rules set out above – it puts you well on your way to a great sale – AND a head start on packing – two birds with one sale… gotta love it!!

Rob Longo, Sales Representative    ABR, GREEN, RSPS    Magic Realty Inc.    805 N. Christina Street    Sarnia, Ontario