Staging Checklist

    The Basics

    • Organize and declutter every room. Keep decorations to a minimum.
    • Empty the garage, attic & closets as much as possible to maximize the appearance of storage space.
    • Clean everything. Consider hiring a professional service to conduct a deep clean of the entire home.
    • Remove personal items and memorabilia, including family photos, trophies and collectables.
    • Replace dead light bulbs.
    • Open draperies and blinds to increase natural light.
    • Ensure all doors, cabinets & windows open and close properly.

    Living Areas

    • Remove unnecessary furniture to create as much walkable area as possible.
    • Use lamps to increase brightness.
    • Thoroughly clean the fireplace and replace old screens.
    • Use coordinated accessories to create coherence.

    The Kitchen

    • Clear countertops except for a few thoughtful, decorative items.
    • Empty cabinets and drawers and remove dishes, flatware and cookware that don't match.
    • Clean all appliances, including the inside of the oven, microwave and refrigerator.
    • Clean and organize the pantry to maximize space.
    • Empty trash cans and move them out of sight.
    • Remove coupons, magnets and photographs from the refrigerator.


    • Scrub every surface, including hard-to-reach areas behind the sink and toilet.
    • Remove personal products like medicine & hygiene supplies.
    • Replace old shower curtains and bath mats.
    • Use vinegar to remove hard water stains and clean shower heads.
    • Use neutral-colored towels and washcloths.
    • Check the condition of caulk and grout and repair as needed.
    • Deodorize with baking soda and avoid overpowering chemicals like bleach.


    • Remove clothing and coat hangers from closets to maximize space.
    • Store jewelry and other valuables in a safe location.
    • Depersonalize by removing unneeded decorations.
    • Remove video game consoles and standing electronics, especially those with exposed cords.
    • Replace floral prints and other feminine or masculine items with gender-neutral alternatives.

    Walls, Windows & Doors

    • Remove personal items like family portraits.
    • Patch any holes and consider a fresh coat of paint where needed.
    • Replace missing or damaged outlet covers.
    • Wash windows, inside and out.
    • Repair or replace damaged screens.
    • Consider repainting bold and gender-specific colors with bright, neutral alternatives.


    • Power-wash the home exterior, driveway, and porch areas.
    • Clean the mailbox or replace it if necessary.
    • Weed beds and trim back trees and shrubs. Consider fresh mulch.
    • Store lawn equipment and children’s toys out of site.
    • Replace any bulbs around the exterior of the home.


    • Remove pet hair from furniture and all surfaces.
    • Consider special cleaning products to remove pet stains.
    • Remove beds, toys, food bowls and other pet items.
    • Be sure pets are not present for showings.


    • Consider a fresh coat of paint on older cabinets.
    • Use high-adhesion primer and an epoxy based paint to freshen up dated tile.
    • Open windows and use candles to create an inviting aroma.
    • Use mirrors to increase the appearance of space and brighten dark areas.
    • Avoid cooking odorous foods on showing days.