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.